Escape the Room, Manga-Style

Anyone who has ever read a manga has fantasized about entering the world of comic books. Here’s an event that made these dreams of book and manga-lovers a reality: Shosen Real Game Book Series Vol.1, Escape the Manga Labyrinth! This is a real-life version of the “escape the room”-style video games in which players navigate with a game book in one hand, exploring the bookstore and treading the border between the actual world and the manga world.

The game is being held at Shosen Book Tower, close to Akihabara Station. The game runs until June 1st.

real-escape-games01

To participate, you first of all need to purchase the game book (¥1,200 plus tax).

real-escape-games02

The book is a “refill” format, meaning you can add to it later. The game and how to play it is drawn out like a manga.

real-escape-games03 real-escape-games04

With a manga in their hand, the participants are shut up in the world of the comic book. They have to use the manga to search for clues inside the shop in order to escape.

real-escape-games05

real-escape-games06There are other people in the store, including staff, so you have to play the game while still not getting in their way!

This is actually the second time this game has been held, after a successful “volume one” in 2013 in which participants had to escape from a “bookstore labyrinth”.642-444 exam This time the theme is manga so Akiba is the perfect location.

This writer also took part and was surprised at just how well the concept of marrying a escape-the-room game with manga worked. (Saying that, I wasn’t able to solve the mystery at the end, though.)

At the heart of any escape-the-room scenario, the player has toCisco 640-822 find a way out of the room in which they are shut up in by uncovering the clues hidden around the space.

real-escape-games07You end up studying the game book very carefully.

The game utilized the words, frames and cell lines in the manga to the max. With the manga also being set inside the bookstore, you find yourself being drawn into the world of the comic book, hunting for the clues buried in the pictures.

The organizers plan to make other escape-the-room games based on popular manga like “Case Closed”, “Death Note” and “Attack on Titan”.

And you couldn’t get a better place to enjoy the game, since now the familiar aspects of the bookstore are transformed into key elements in the game. But if you’re a real bibliophile, you need to hold yourself back from browsing or you’ll never complete the game.

real-escape-games08

real-escape-games09Manga fans might be tempted to spend the whole time just in the comic book section of the store, but you’ll never solve the mystery that way.

You also end up going all over the store in the course of the game, making for encounters with types of books you’d not normally pick up. There can also be some real surprises. For example, on the fifth floor you can find magazines and books about railways, but you’ll also find Sanriku Railway and JR Kyushu merchandise.

real-escape-games10Books and magazines aren’t the only things for sale in the bookstore.

real-escape-games11There is even a section of the store devoted to free newspapers.

There is no time limit for this escape-the-room game so you can go at your own pace, stopping to look at things in the bookstore other than the clues themselves. You can also leave the store and take a break at any time too.

So, do you fancy a trip to Akihabara to solve the mystery?