Poster’s final, poignant message has otaku everywhere shedding a tear.

Just last month we were rocked by the news that one of Akihabara’s most iconic video game arcades would be closing down at short notice. The Sega Akihabara Building 2 arcade, located south of the station, closed its doors permanently at the end of August, after almost 17 years on the premises.

▼ The building, as it looked in March 2020.

The unusual, angular shape of the multi-storey building, and the fact that it sat on the corner of a busy intersection opposite the Manseibashi Bridge, made it a prime location for massive promotional posters.

These posters, which ran up the side of the building facing the Kandagawa River, advertised anime collaborations and new video game releases on such a giant scale that the building often appeared in photos as an unofficial “symbol” of Tokyo’s otaku district.

▼ Nothing screams “Akihabara” quite like a colourful retro Sega facade and giant anime girls.

Sadly, the iconic landmark closed forever on 30 August, with fans gathering outside to thank its occupants for years of wonderful memories.

As fans mourned the loss of an iconic landmark, it became apparent that they would soon be mourning the loss of the giant poster that helped to make the facade so recognisable as well. The final poster posted by Sega Akihabara Building 2, featuring characters from Japanese free-to-play web browser game Kantai Collection, better known as KanColle, would be removed in sections under cover of night, and in the early hours of 16 September, the removal work began.

These photos show what the building looked like on 26 August (left) and 16 September (right).

In the light of day, the poster looked noticeably different with the first eight panels removed.

Today, all that was left of the poster was this section, which poignantly reads “Welcome to the Akihabara Anchorage“.

For many people, this final remnant of the poster acts like a last link to the old building and the old Akihabara they once knew.

“So sad I won’t be able to see this anymore when I go to Akihabara.”
“Those giant ads were a symbol of Akihabara!”
“I took this sight for granted for so many years but now the area just won’t be the same.”
“This will change the scenery from Manseibashi Bridge.”
“I saw the ad just yesterday! Didn’t realise it would be for the last time – thankful I saw it.”
“Thank you for all your hard work over the years. Thank you.”
“Farewell Akihabara anchorage…”

While the stripped building has been a sad sight for fans, this dark cloud does come with a silver lining, as a lot of the KanColle arcade games from building 2 have now been moved over to Sega’s number one building nearby.

▼ “A large increase in KanColle machines” on the fifth floor game corner

While Sega hasn’t revealed the reason for the closure of Building 2, many suspect the coronavirus pandemic may have been the final nail in the coffin for the building, which was likely already struggling in light of the flailing arcade industry.

Sega’s downsizing of operations follows a concerning trend in Tokyo, where a number of businesses have been forced to shut up shop recently. Here’s hoping this is the last of the closures, as we really can’t bear to part ways with any more iconic buildings.

Source: Otakomu Sega via IT Media
Featured image: Flickr/Sharon Hahn Darlin (edited by SoraNews24)
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