While it's possible to buy most anime merchandise online, it can be fun to physically go to a store and look at what's available. What's more, going to shops that sell anime merch is a good way to meet fellow fans.
If you ever find yourself in Manhattan, there are a ton of great anime shopping options available. Here are a few of the best.
1073 Ave Of The Americas
Kinokuniya has plenty to offer in the anime department. The entire second floor is dedicated to blind boxes, Japanese and English language manga, art books, CDs, clear files, Nenderoids, and more. If you get tired of shopping, you can sit in the cafe and have a bento or a pastry while you listen to the anime theme songs that are piped in through the sound system.
Forbidden Planet is a place where Eastern and Western nerd culture meet, so if you can't decide between Star Wars and Naruto, check out this nerd mecca just off of Union Square. Here, you'll find everything from single issues of American comics and Funko pops to Tokyo Ghoul iron-on patches and 3-in-1 volumes of Yowamushi Pedal. Even better, this store is on the same block as the renowned Strand Bookstore, so if you're also a book nerd, that can be your next stop.
3. Image Anime
28 W 37th St
Image Anime is a great place to for keychains, figures, cosplay items, obscure DVDs, and other anime paraphernalia that's hard to find anywhere else. The staff is knowledgeable about their product, so you might find yourself walking away with some solid anime recommendations - and if not, you'll still walk away with some great anime product.
49 W 45th St
Though ostensibly a discount bookstore, Book-Off sells a variety of anime paraphernalia. The entire downstairs is dedicated to English and Japanese manga, and there are also sections devoted to soundtracks, DVDS and Bluerays, figures, keychains, and more. Because Book-Off buys much of its stock from customers looking to resell unwanted items, you never know what you'll find - it could be anything from eighty keychains from anime you've never heard of to the rare Nenderoid that's out of production that you've been searching for for five years.
5. Dashop Corp
8 Elizabeth St
Dashop Corp, a hole-in-the-wall shop in the heart of Chinatown, is a great place to get Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, inexpensive stuffed toys, keychains, wallets, and other random anime paraphernalia. At the back of the store, there are arcade games that you can sometimes play - this is hit-or-miss since they're not always operational, but it's still worth the trip. When you're finished, walk a few feet toward Bayard street and grab some bubble tea. Where do you go for anime merch?