Animate Kashiwa

Hello everyone and welcome back to Tiro Finale. Yesterday, we gave you a rundown of all the hobby and anime stores in Kashiwa's city center. Today, we will be focusing on the largest and most popular store of them all, Animate Kashiwa. Located on the fourth floor of Don Quixote, Animate's Kashiwa is not a hard find granted you know of its existence. 

Upon arriving on the fourth floor of the building, you are immediately greeted by several gachapon machines as you would come to expect from any Animate store. Next to the gachapon machines are posters announcing new releases and tickets to place pre-orders for them. Those were all standard Animate layouts as far as their shops were concerned. The one thing which did take me by surprise though, was the sheer size of the shop. 

The Animate in Kashiwa occupied the much of the floor space on the fourth floor of Don Quixote. There were several other stores on the fourth floor but, it was clear what the main attraction of that floor of the building was.

Animate is one of the largest franchise of hobby shops in Japan and much of this is attributed to its mainstream appeal which focuses on the sale of manga, DVD, Blu-ray and novels. Both pre-orders and on the spot purchase are fulfilled by Animate which make them a one stop center for all things anime related. And this is a big deal for many people who are just into the media and not the merchandise.

That being said, Animate also caters towards the needs of merchandise to a pretty large extent too focusing more towards side merchandise such as clear files, straps, note pads and many more. These trinkets are hugely popular among female fans and the general audience who may not be so keen on spending thousands of Yen on figures. But are perfectly fine with spending on more functional merchandise such as clear files and note pads. 

Of course, Animate largely banks in on the most popular series at the moment in order to leverage sales. As such, a large proportion of the merchandise on sale are that of the most popular series . Love Live Sunshine is a particularly big hit as the second season had just recently finished and the series itself is popular among both male and female fans. If you are a fan of the series, this would be the place for you with merchandise so new that they reference material from the latest season. 

Even lesser items such as ball pens can be found, all in a way to get you to part with your hard earned cash. In order to meet the demand and roll out as soon as possible, many of these merchandise are often made in Japan. This way, they are able to hit the market sooner and sell better while fans still remember the series well. As time passes, lesser merchandise like these tend to become forgotten and even finding them on the re-seller's market can prove to be rather tricky. 

That being said, there are also your atypical merchandise on sale at Animate too. Such as these adorable bean bag plush of characters from the Himouto Umaru-chan series. Because the second season ended not too long ago, Animate was still holding on to some merchandise from the series. Certainly one of the more unique pieces of trinkets sold in the store.

It is not just anime which get attention as popular games to get a section of their own. Series such as Persona and the Tales Series are highly popular and extremely successful both in Japan and abroad. Reading the market, manufacturers have been quick to roll out merchandise for the series. Persona 5 is even getting an anime airing this season which would help to boost its popularity even more. 

Lastly, we have one final piece of the puzzle which frankly surprised me when I first saw it, a Love Live Sunshine themed jigsaw puzzle. I would never have guessed such merchandise would be sold in Animate but, it just goes to show how popular the series is at the moment. With that, we have come to the end of our quick tour of Animate Kashiwa. I purposely avoided focusing on the traditional media (books and discs) to focus more on the merchandise section of the store. Of course, if you have any questions regarding Kashiwa or Animate in general, do not hesitate to hit me up in the comments section below. Until the next time, thank you so much for reading and have yourself a wonderful day ahead!


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