A BL Fan’s Guide to K-BOOKS
A BL fan's guide to the largest second hand BL manga and goods shop in Japan
Hello from futekiya! We are Boys’ Love (BL) manga subscription platform as well as a website about BL culture, news, and more. We will be posting “A BL Fan’s Guide to” Series in our fu-pedia so make sure to check our website regularly. Here is futekiya’s BL Fan’s Guide to K-BOOKS.
What is K-BOOKS?
K-BOOKS is known for being one of the largest second hand shop for manga and anime goods in Japan, but did you know that they also run a butler cafe and an animal cafe? It is also home to the largest collection of BL (boys’ love) related manga and goods in Japan. We’ve put up a BL fan’s guide to K-BOOKS history and numerous shops located in Tokyo.
Brief History of K-BOOKS
K-BOOKS started out as a recycle shop for manga named “Kenchan no manga juku 1gouten” (“けんちゃんのマンガ塾1号店”) and opened its first store in Sugamo in 1992. 2 years later, after opening its second store in Sugamo, the company K-BOOKS was established. The stores transferred to Ikebukuro to become the first “K-BOOKS Ikebukuro Store.”
In 1995, the Sugamo store was reopened, and a new store in Kichijoji was opened. “Hon no mushi,” a comic book store was also opened in south Ikebukuro. “K-BOOKS α store” in Ikebukuro and “Akihabara store” in Akihabara was opened in the following year. The α store, Sugamo store and Kichijoji store was merged in the same year which became the Ikebukuro store.
1997 was a year of expansion for K-BOOKS as “Hon no Mushi” was transferred to east Ikebukuro and was reformed into a bigger store. The Akihabara store underwent the same renewal. In 1998, the Akihabara store transferred to its present home, Akihabara Radio Kaikan.
Going beyond the borders of the Kanto region, K-BOOKS opened “Osaka Shinsaibashi Store” in 2002, also the first shop that buy and sell doujinshi for female fans. In 2004, the Shinsaibashi store transferred to Nihonbashi, and included all genres in a single building, a first for K-BOOK. Focusing more on female-oriented content, K-BOOKS established its own BL (boys’ love) CD label “Atis collection” in 2005. In 2006, Butler Cafe “Swallowtail” first opened its doors to customers. In 2017, K-BOOKS opened “Nagoya Frontier-kan in Nagoya, Aichi.
In the course of a decade, K-BOOKS has expanded from selling just comic books to buying and selling doujinshi or self-published magazines, comic books, or novels for both men and women, pastries and sweets, dolls, cosplay items, goods from games, titles, concerts, stage play/musical adaptation of popular titles, voice actors/actresses, idols… you name it. K-BOOKS has anything and everything that has to do with Japanese pop culture.
Not stopping there, Butler Cafe “Swallowtail,” which has gathered popularity not only in Japan butalso overseas, with the butlers performing in events such as CharaExpo USA in Los Angeles, California, Anime Matsuri in Houston, Texas, and C3AFA Singapore in Southeast Asia. K-BOOKS also operates the animal cafe “Ikemofu,” where you can interact with 13 different animals such as owls, rabbits, guinea pigs, and more cute critters. For snake lovers, they also have a number of reptiles in “Ikemofu.” It also recently opened a concept bar, “Bar Blue Moon,” where butlers at Swallowtail during the day turn into bartenders at night.
For the past five years, K-BOOKS has transformed its stores to specialize in different genres: boys’ love, otome, idols, games, concerts, 2.5D, voice actors, doujin, games, historical titles, sports titles, VOCALOID, Youtubers, and even K-Pop and Hollywood stars. It also supports your activities by opening a store specializing on materials used to make Here’s a BL fan’s guide to K-BOOKS stores in Tokyo.
BL Fan’s Guide to K-BOOKS Stores in Ikebukuro (as of Nov 2019):
At Doujin-kan, you can find not only manga but also goods of both published and independent BL artists. We did a short interview of the store manager, Ms. Watanabe. See what she has to say in a report we’ll post on our blog soon.
Address: Showa Building 2-3F, 3-12-12, Higashiikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)
Butler Cafe Swallowtail
“Ladies and masters, welcome home.” Experience being treated like a princess (or prince, if this is your thing) at K-BOOKS’ concept cafe, “Swallowtail.” Reservation is required. We were able to do a candid interview with butlers Iori and Kagawa. You can read the interview here: https://futekiya.com/exclusive-interview-with-butlers-iori-and-kagawa-of-swallowtail/
Address: Showa Building B1F, 3-12-12, Higashiikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)
Swallowtail Gift Shop
If you want to bring home some of the pastries, teas and original goods from Swallowtail, you can drop by the gift shop right across the street.
Address: Clair Higashi Ikebukuro 101, 3-15-14, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)
Located at the home to all things otome, fans can buy and sell used goods of romance mobile games for women and otome game titles.
Address: Daiichi Mashita Building B1F, 1-15-1, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)
A paradise for cosplayers along Ikebukuro’s otome road, Cosplay-kan has more than 2,000 used costumes, props, wigs and more!
Address: Katou Daiichi Building 1F, 3-12-5, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)
If you’re looking for used goods of My Hero Academia, Demon Slayer, Naruto, Dragon Ball, Haikyu!! and other popular shonen titles, Chara-kan is the place to go!
Address: Kindai Group BLD. 21 3F, 1-15-13, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)
If you’re into 2.5D, you can find all sorts of goods, CDs, DVDs from musical and stage play adaptations in Cast-kan.
Address: Tact TO building 1F, 1-28-1, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)
Located on the same floor as Cast-kan, male seiyuu (voice actor) fans can buy and sell photo sets, CDs, DVDs and other goods of their favorite seiyuu here at VOICE-kan.
Address: Tact TO building 1F, 1-28-1, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)
Fans of titles such as Utano Princesama, Ensemble Stars!, TSUKIUTA., IDOLiSH7, A3!, The Idolmaster SideM can get their 2D idol fix at Live-kan.
Address: Clair Higashi Ikebukuro 1F, 3-15-14, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)
Game fans, don’t fret! The GAME-kan has goods covering a wide range of titles from the Tales series, Fate series, Pokémon, Granblue Fantasy and more!
Address: Ikebukuro Sunshine Plaza 1F, 3-2-5, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)
What used to be Entame-kan has transformed into the K-POP-kan, your one-stop shop for everything K-POP, from BTS, SEVENTEEN, GOT7, TWICE and more!
Address: Sunrise Building 1F, 1-27-7, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)
Historia-kan specializes in goods of titles such as Touken Ranbu, Ikemen Sengoku, Sengoku Night Blood, Hakuoki and other history-related titles.
Address: Ko-ken plaza 1F, 3-2-4, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)
With the rising popularity of YouTubers, live commentators, utaite, Vtubers, and VOCALOIDS, Douga-kan makes sure that fans have grab their goods anytime.
Address: Maru Building Ikebukuro 1F, 1-29-1, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)
Reopening as “Drama/Cinema-kan” in November 2019, fans of Pixar, Universal Studios, Marvel Studios, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Studio Ghibli and other movies now has a place to buy and sell their goods.
Address: Narita Building 4F, 1-29-4, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)
Preparing for your oshi’s concert? Sozai-kan has everything you need to cheer for your oshi, from uchiwa to ribbons, beads, and other materials.
Address: Ikebukuro Sunshine Plaza B1F, 3-2-5, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)
Looking for comfort in the midst of your busy life? The critters of Ikemofu can provide you the rest and relaxation that you need.
Address: Narita Building 6F, 1-29-4, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo (Access Map)
Have you visited K-BOOKS before? If not, which store would you go to if given the chance? Tell us on our Twitter account!
You can also check out our interview with Swallowtail butlers Iori and Kagawa. Our interview with Ms. Watanabe, the store manager of Ikebukuro Doujin-kan BL floor will be posted soon!
Main Office: Showa Building 7F, 3-12-12 Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
About futekiya: BL manga subscription
In 2018, futekiya began as a Boys’ Love manga news and culture website operated by FANTASISTA, INC., a CG/VR production studio based in Tokyo, Japan. futekiya transformed into a budding global distributor of officially licensed BL manga in 2019.
futekiya launched as an online subscription service for officially licensed BL manga on July 8, 2019. Determined to connect fans around the world with English-translated BL legally and conveniently, futekiya empowers readers to support creators and the manga industry.
Readers who subscribe to futekiya and pay a flat monthly fee of $6.99 will have access to our expanding library of English-language manga. To subscribe, please go to read.futekiya.com and create an account. More information is in our guide.