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Unread 03-05-2011, 07:22 PM   #1
kiratsukai
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K-Books Costume Kan (brick and mortar shop in Ikebukuro)

Name of Merchant: K-Books Cosplay Kan
Website: http://www.k-books.co.jp/company/shop/cosplay.html *in-store only
Items purchased: pre-owned "Keisuke" costume from Togainu no chi: work uniform, long black t-shirt, white t-shirt
Links to picture(s) of your items recieved: coming

Timeline (how long your order took to process): Entered the store and browsed, found what I wanted, waited in line for 20 minutes, costume review and payment for 5 minutes, another 10 minute wait for packaging (while browsing some more)

Describe your Experience: I had seen what I wanted a few days earlier and mulled it over after recieving an appropriate wig for the character in a lucky bag. Went back to get it just before leaving Tokyo. The shop is narrow and the wait was pretty long, but the service was spectacular.

Pros: Costumes are well-sorted and quite a few are crammed into the tiny shop. Some are even packaged with accessories and wigs. Everything you buy you have an opportunity to review out-of-bag, touch, examine and hear the opinions of sales reps (all cosplayers themselves). If a sales rep thinks your wig choice won't work or has been cut poorly by the previous owner, they'll plop it down on a wig head and point out the problems or errors in spite of screwing up their own sale. Any stains or damage to the costume is laid out beforehand and you're encouraged to go over every bit of fabric as long as you need to be sure it's what you want.

Cons: The shop is extremely small, cramped and overcrowded. On a busy day it becomes almost stressful to browse. As a shop carrying only used items, selection is limited to what has been sold back. Prices are also unremarkable, with many cheaper Chinese-made costumes or closet cosplays selling for nearly as much as they do brand-new in spite of wear. The purchase process is long and all of that customer service comes at the expense of long lines and waits on busy days. If you can't speak Japanese, I imagine the process becomes downright terrifying for both the sales rep and the buyer.

Final Comments: You pay for the remarkable service, not for the more or less unremarkablely priced costumes. Quite a few rarer characters surface and older series with ebbing popularity can be gotten for a good deal.

Final Grade: 9

Directions in English: Leave Ikebukuro station via the "Exit for Sunshine" (east side, keep left and pass the subway entrance). Follow the crowd to and through the shotengai to the crossing under the overhead highway. Cross to Amlux and turn right. Turn left at the convenience store and go straight past the Animate. K-Books Cosplay Kan will appear shortly on your left (after Lashinbang and the regular K-books building).
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Last edited by kiratsukai : 03-05-2011 at 07:36 PM.
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