Thursday, November 7, 2013

CoFesta Day 3: Animate, world's biggest anime goods store at Ikebukuro

After our techie morning at the Digital Contents Expo, we took a cab to Ikebukuro, where we stayed for hours at the world's largest anime goods store: animate. Of course, we didn't go there just for shopping…

First, a tour from 9th to 5th floor! Yes... 9 floors of anime goodness! I used to come here, like 10 years ago~

This is our guide, tencho (shop owner). He sprung alive and brought us around.

… spiritually.

Cute handphone straps!
Hmm….anybody notice that we're using smartphones more nowadays, which have no holes for your straps???

This floor has life size posters for girls to take photo with…gawd...

This character was celebrating his birthday and these are all the fan messages for him… gawdx2….

I like their decor… no question about that!

They had a wall for you to leave messages (typical Japanese thing) so I left my ad there :P

So many dolls… reminded me about my dolls at home that I'm trying to get rid of now.

Miku… very hot among otaku.

I prefer Ghibli goods. But I didn't buy any this time because I still have some at home collecting dust.

So cute~ I love these things when I was a shoujo (teenage girl).

I like this Animate bar corner :P

My sis likes these things. I think they will be more popular than anime goods in Singapore.

This hamster is cute too.

After finishing our brief tour and some people making their purchases, we had to meet Animate's overseas business representative for some serious meeting back at the 9th floor. There was a make-shift bar that mixed us drinks in either green or yellow. I chose yellow, my lucky colour :)

This was the menu that they have for animate cafe, which was just next door.

The overseas business rep asked us questions regarding our country's anime fans' spending habits, cosplaying, prices of goods, etc. In business terms, it is called market research, which includes finding out consumer spending habits and disposable income. However, if you are no longer an anime fan like me, you would be quite bored. But cosplayers and ambassadors from anime-related clubs and business were very enthusiastic in answering those questions. I was tempted to challenge the questions but I kept quiet because 1) I didn't look like a MBA graduate, 2) I had horrible experiences talking to old Japanese men, and 3)I was not paid for consulting or interviewing.

At the end of the interview, we were given these coasters, chocolate snack, pen and kitty strap as a token of appreciation. Frankly speaking, I wanted to tell them to sell something practical+cute if they want to expand in Asia, and it has to be for general consumers and not for otaku only. They should not only sell these things that they just gave us, of course except Kitty. Besides deciding on the right products to sell, they have to deal with competitors and marketing too. It would be better for them to hire a strategist or a consulting firm to conduct a more accurate survey to evaluate if it's worth entering into the new markets and devising the entry strategy.

Anyway, like I said, I really like their decor, including these graffiti at the stairs:

This one is controversial. It can be mistaken as handicaps are not welcome, while its true meaning is to advise handicaps to take the elevator and not the stairs.

As for this, I leave it to your own interpretation!


  1. those handphone straps are now all hanging on my denki jisho haha! but yea, the stuffs has to be practical in the long run so that ex-otakus like me will con't buying even when I no longer chase animes. haha

    1. Yes, practical and not too childish looking, that's why I prefer Ghibli's design :)

  2. Eve the MBA part of you came out guns swinging hehehe, thats cool. I used to be an otaku myself back in the 90 and early 2000 now well I still find it appealing but I gsus not as much as when I was younger.

    As for the graffity on the stairs, they are pretty cool and the last one I would say "Try not to breakdance while going down"

    I also question big time some stuff like the picture in the chocolate...that is also a bit controversial, is it no?

    1. Yes the chocolate they gave us was obviously for guys (though even my guy friend didn't want the chocolate when I tried to dump it to him). Actually all the anime characters are beginning to look the same to me, although I used to think they are quite different. I feel that there's no breakthrough after One Piece or Naruto and the entire anime/manga culture is declining (but published reports say that it's growing globally). The most recent hit from Japan might be Attack on Titan, but it still doesn't surpass One Piece or Naruto (yet).



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