Turning Japanese

Big-eyed, mass-produced cuteness. Cutting-edge, irony-infused fashion. Bizarre television shows featuring chefs who think they’re gladiators.

Ah, Japanese pop culture. That wacky phenomenon without which American hipsters would be lost.

Where better to experience it than at the new Giant Robot Store in West L.A.? Brainchild of the Giant Robot-magazine gang, it’s L.A.’s answer to New York’s Tokion. The shop is packed with the kind of pop-culture Asian Americana that the cult indie zine celebrates — rare art and design books (our favorite is Crazy Japanese Hairstyles), limited-edition Yoshimoto Nara watches, killer Groove Visions gear, and Barry McGee tees. Let’s not forget those bizarrely cute stuffed Japanese toys Hut Dog and the best-selling Afrodog, who’s so cool, according to Robots founder Eric Nakamura, that “he kicks Hello Kitty and MashiMaro’s butt.”

Wow. Is it just us, or is them fightin’ words?

Giant Robot Store, 2015 Sawtelle Boulevard (310-478-1819). Not on the West Coast? Check out Giant Robot’s online store at giantrobot.com.