The Higurashi Hunt and the Mother Cafe (no maids, honest!)

So yesterday I started to pack away the manga that I bought since arriving in Japan and made a list detailing it (you can see the list here). I planned on heading to Nippombashi today to pick up the one or two missing from a series and also to enjoy the fine weather. Calling around one of my friends was also up for it, but first we went to a manga shop in Shinsaibashi.

Everyone loves a sale right, especially ones with lots of variety and end up saving you a lot of money, right?


Today I learned the hard way that when you buy things cheap, lots of things, so much that you fill a (large) back pack and are still carrying things in carrier bags (pretty nicely made paper carrier bags) you actually end up still spending a pointless amount of money. Only difference is you have a lot more stuff … heavy stuff … stuff that’ll sting you in the arse once more when you’re trying to send stuff home and have to pay an arm, a leg and a left bollock just for the cheapest and slowest delivery. Rant over, moving on.

I’d walked past the まんだらけ (Mandarake) store in Shinsaibashi once before, but didn’t have time to go in. I’ve been in the Umeda branch a good few times so thought I’d have a fairly good idea of the layout, which in turn figured out to be completely different, and much larger than I’d anticipated.

Mandarake had the first of the day’s wonderful sales in a 105 yen sale, with a huge section cut down in price. On top of this they were also having a 3 for 2 sale, meaning (if my maths is right) the manga was 70 yen each (48p). By horrible (ish) coincidence I found a ton of Higurashi books that I didn’t have, so swiped them up at a bargain price. I saw “swipe”, but that was nothing compared to one guy who stretched rapidly across an aisle grabbed a book and shouted “ゲット” (getto, Get) in celebration. Honestly this is something I’ve only seen in anime and manga, so I’m glad to see it really happens.

After (almost literally) buying the whole sale sections supply of Higurashi mangas, we went to the stores own cafe on the same floor as the sale and the cosplay section, yes this was a cosplay cafe. Not technically a maid cafe, especially compared to the one we went to last time, this time it was a Mother Cafe.

To be honest with the way various websites are talking about them, you’d be forgiven for expecting a lot more “mothering”. When I went to the top floor and saw it I thought it was just the name of the place, and that the staff being in maid-esque (more like house-cleaner than your traditional maid) attire being due to the fact that they were right next to the cosplay section. It wasn’t until we’d sat down, ordered, were half-way through our melonade (melon soda) that I noticed a small sign acknowledging (that’s an ugly word isn’t it) the waitresses as ‘mothers’.

We did have a really friendly conversation with our ‘mother’ about a variety of topics. Ranging from how long we’d been in to Japan to why I’d bought so many frickin’ Higurashi mangas. It turns out she was a fan also. Both my friend and I agreed that before going back to the UK next month we want to pop in and see ‘mom’ again (whether or not it’ll be the same one we won’t know), but above all that I was thankful that she didn’t say that my Japanese was good (that’s the key to wipe my memory of any and all Japanese language skills I have).

From here we walked down toward Nippombashi, and after stashing my heavy-ass purchases in a coin locker at the train station, we headed off towards Den Den town. After a while my friend headed back so I went on around a huge selection of anime shops, manga shops, game shops, electronic shops, doujinshi shops, and shops I wouldn’t take my nan in. Yes folks I made sure to get a hellova good nose around today and went in many shops for the first and last time.

This is where things began getting tricky for me in buying manga that I didn’t have. Off the top of my head I could only remember a few holes in the collection, such as volumes 7 and 8 of Yotsuba, but, as I mention in the list, Higurashi is a pain in the arse and trying to remember which I have and don’t have is like trying to memorise the distinct features of 101 dalmations.

My original plan was to take a photo on my phone of what Higurashi’s I had, and check the list via my phones (meagre) internet connection about the others. Part one worked just fine, and in Mandarake I referred to this so that I didn’t buy more than I needed (wanted). The problem was checking the others. When I tested it last night it worked fine but today my phone just wanted to be a whiny little toe stub, not getting online at all, leaving me in the dark when I didn’t know whether I had a certain issue of Genshiken (I didn’t). I then hit a snag with my Higurashi plan when I realised with the 17 (or so) books I’d bought earlier now in a locker, I had no clue which I had and which I didn’t.

Buying only what I was certain I didn’t (all at prices in the margin of 100 to 200 yen or so) I conceded that I would make one final trip to Nippombashi soon, real soon. But not tomorrow, because I’m seeing Rie Fu in Nishinomiya Gardens … hopefully.

Today’s Shopping List

  • CD
  • ひぐらしデイブレイク (Higurashi Dei Bureiku) – Original Sound Track (this is the soundtrack for a doujin game called Higurashi Day Break, based on the fames Higurashi franchise. I did see the game today, but that was a bit too costly)

  • Manga (aka the big chunk)
  • げんしけん (Genshiken) volume 2
  • よつばと (Yotsubato) volumes 7 & 8
  • 涼宮ハルヒの憂鬱 (Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuuutsu) volume 3 and a special edition of volume 4 that included a Haruhi figure
  • Higurashi – both books from the 綿流し編 (watanagashi hen)
  • Higurashi – both books from the 祟殺し編 (tatarigoroshi hen)
  • Higurashi – both books from the 暇潰し編 (himatsubushi hen)
  • Higurashi – both books from the 鬼曝し編 (onisarashi hen)
  • Higurashi – book 1 (of 4) from the 罪滅し編 (tsumihoroboshi hen)
  • Higurashi – book 2 (of 2) from the 宵越し編 (yoigoshi hen)
  • Higurashi – from the previous anthology (where I had two random books, 12 and 13) books 2, 3, 4, 8, 10, 11 (out of 17 … *sigh*)
  • Higurashi – (from a case-based anthology) books 1, 3, 4, 7, 9 (out of 19 … *even larger sigh*)
  • Higurashi – (from a 4-panel based anthology) book 4 (of 14 … T_T)

Damn that Higurashi >_<

3 thoughts on “The Higurashi Hunt and the Mother Cafe (no maids, honest!)”

  1. Pingback: JapanSoc
  2. GONZO’s Brave Story movie has been out on DVD here in the UK since September of last year – it’s one of that very small number of anime titles which have been licenced for the UK but not for North America (Taiyō no Ōji: Horusu no Daibōken is the only other one I can think of for sure) – but, though it has a couple of featurettes, it’s probably not a 2-disc edition.

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