The KonoSuba Mug

Hello everyone and welcome back to Tiro Finale where, today, we will be having a short conversation about anime-related goods. No, not the core goods like Blu-Rays and figures. Rather, the smaller things like cups and apparel. Goods with a practical everyday purpose but, just exactly what purpose do they really serve? Join us as we dissect just exactly what these anime goods mean to us fans, collectors as a whole and the industry. 

Before we dive into my little food for thought, I thought I would make a quick introduction about the KonoSuba mug we have featured in today's article. Recently, I got the chance to pay one of our writers, takuya, a visit and it was then he showed me his KonoSuba mug. The otherwise simple white mug has the series' three main heroines surrounding it and, for the most part, is a very solid mug. Released in July 2017 by Azu Maker under their Petite Colle lineup of merchandise, the mug cost roughly 1,620 Yen. Which transitions perfectly into my first point, price.

At 1,620 Yen, you could easily buy 5 plain mugs of equivalent quality or even more if you are willing to go a step down in quality, just pay a visit to your local 100 Yen store. The point is, anime goods have always been vastly overpriced when compared to the base item they are selling. Mugs are not the only culprit as apparel look to take an even bigger cut. Where Cospa is commonly selling anime tees for 5,000 Yen and up, fans all around are just happy to lap it all up regardless of the hole it burns into their pocket.

Because for many of us, these goods work like a reciprocating action in a relationship. By purchasing anime goods, we become that one step closer to the series we love. At the same time, all those expenses go towards fueling the industry. Whether it is for a new season or volume or the continued prosperity of the culture we have grown to love, spending money is perhaps the most legitimate way of keeping a culture alive and growing.
Admittedly, you are still getting something for your money. An anime mug is still a mug and you can use it to hold any beverage of your choice. An anime hoodie is still a hoodie which keeps you warm when it gets a little colder. More than that, they have the added benefit of having our favorite characters and series on them. In fact, many would argue that anime goods have infinitely more function than something like a figure which is art at best and paper weight at worst. When you put things into that perspective, it is not hard to see why anime goods dominates such a large part of Akiba.

That being said, we also have to realize, from an outsider's view, that is just a really overpriced mug, hoodie or tee. To everyone else, it just seems like a waste of money. But, is that not what the fundamental of all hobbies are built upon? A specific interest that to everyone else seems difficult to understand or comprehend while, all the same taking up a large chunk of your time and money?

While you could probably have 10 identical yet, knock-off KonoSuba mugs for the same price as one, would you? You probably already know the answer to that. At the end of the day, these seemingly irrational purchases all come down to the roots of our love for the culture and the subconscious effort to drive it forward. And anime goods are the prime example of a small economy which drives an entire sub-culture. More than figures and Blu-rays, anime goods have evolved into something completely standalone. No longer just a mug, this is now a mug with that little extra.

What do you think? Perhaps you have your own thoughts and questions about anime goods too. I would love to read about them in the comments section below! Until the next time, thank you so much and have yourself a wonderful day ahead!


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