In Japan, anime (アニメ) is everywhere, and not just in the form of comic books or video cartoons. Anime is an integral part of its culture and without anime and manga, Japan will not be as intriguing and colorful as it is. By definition, anime is a simple animation created by hand or computer, but its effect on the Japanese culture is far greater. The popularity of anime has given birth to Otaku (おたく) subcultures including computer gaming, role-playing, cosplaying (コスプレイング), and more. These hobbies have a huge fan base in Japan and around the world.
The influence of anime in Japan goes to the extent that come of the main landmarks and statues in this country are dedicated to popular animes. For example, people visiting Odaiba (お台場) get greeted with a life-size statue of Gundam (ガンダム) at the building’s entrance. The entire town of Akihabara (秋葉原) has various anime-dedicated venues and shops.
The anime influence in Japan is not just limited to life-size statues and names of venues. Here are six thriving retail product lines that are heavily influenced by anime characters and people are loving them.
1. Beauty Merchandises
The Japanese beauty industry has greatly benefitted from the wide-eyed and blue-haired fantasy anime characters. Japan has no dearth of exclusive beauty showrooms dedicated to anime beauty fantasies. From Full-Metal-Alchemist-themed eye shadows to Majo-no-Takkyuubin-inspired lip balms, the Japanese beauty industry has impressed fans of anime characters with their amazing product lines. Some of the most famous beauty products include Miyazaki lip tints, Pokémon eyeshadows, a lip color named ‘So Kawaii (可愛い)’ along with Sailor Moon lip balms that are available in 25 different flavors.
Some other famous anime-inspired beauty products include Sailor Moon blushes, Creamy Mami Eyeshadow Compact, Ojamajo Doremi Tone Correcting Face Powder and Magical Wand Brush, and Cardcaptor Sakura Blush and Lip Balm Set.
2. Body Pillows
Body pillows are known as ‘Dakimakura (抱き枕)’ in Japan and are proven to induce better sleep and various other health benefits too. They are one of the most popular anime-inspired products in Japan. Popularly known as ‘hug pillows’ or ‘love pillows,’ these Dakimakuras with anime characters printed on them allow fans to literally sleep with their favorite characters. Several body pillows in Japan come with graphic images of the popular anime characters in various poses.
From official merchandise to common street style, anime has a dominating influence on Japanese fashion. Japanese youth spice up their fashion style with anime-inspired styles. Walk on any busy day on the streets of Tokyo and the overly apparent influence of anime can be seen easily. Even the best of the world brands are bowing to the anime influence in Japan. The world-renowned brand, Gucci collaborated with Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure creators and launched their spring collection with its anime-inspired clothing.
Applauded American designer, Anna Sui paid homage to the Japanese craze by launching her collection of t-shirts and accessories influenced by seven different, but hugely popular Japanese series: Those Obnoxious Aliens, Rose of Versailles, Unico, Princess Jellyfish, Paradise Kiss, Patalliro, and Princess Knight.
While anime printed handbags are an extremely common sight on the streets of Japan, a measure of anime’s popularity all over the world was visible when Louis Vuitton partnered with Takashi Murakami (known for of 6HP Six Heart’s princess, Jellyfish Eyes, Superflat First love, and more) to re-design their signature handbags. The brand also released a limited edition of Takashi Murakami (村上 隆) handbags for their customers.
The Mexican brand, Heredia Clothing has brought out a range of Dragon Ball Z sneakers. The perfect combination of quality Mexican sneakers with one of the most popular anime of Japan, these sneakers are available in three anime-inspired colors and character elements of Goku, Vegeta, and Trunks.
5. Mobile Games and Accessories
Who hasn’t heard of Pokémon Go? One of the biggest mobile games in the history of gaming, Pokémon Go was launched in July 2016, and after almost a year of its release, an average of 1 in 10 US smartphone users are still playing it. In Japan, 20% of smartphone users play still play this game on a regular basis.
From beautiful computer mittens to adorable Pokémon phone protector cases, the Japanese market is flooded with anime-influenced accessories and users across all age groups beautify their handsets and add a quirky feel to it.
6. Snack Items
From recipes inspired from anime to snacking items that made their way to anime series, the Japanese food industry also has popular anime-influenced food items. Whether it is the spirited-away-anime-series-inspired Konpeito Sugar candies, the favourite Anpan of Gintama's Yamazaki Sagar or the famous Melopan pastry from Shakugan no Shana, there’s a huge demand for anime-inspired snacks in the Japanese food scene.
Who can deny the popularity of Ramune soda, which is as much as a symbol of Japanese culture as Coca-Cola is to the American culture? The famous series Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi also depicted characters drinking it.
Japan’s love for anime is growing every day and this is evident from the way it is influencing the lifestyle of Japanese people through diverse product ranges. The anime utopia is spreading across the world with full fervour and the demand for anime-influenced products is increasing all over the globe.
About martinrrrose One of us since 11:52 PM on 12.27.2016
Rose Martin loves blogging about anime, manga, entertainment and fun. Her main hobbies and interests are fitness, health, painting and listening music. In spare time, she spends her time in outdoor activities and family.