Japanese retailer Animate recently announced that its main store in Ikebukuro will benefit from an expansion that will make it the “largest anime store in the world.” The new store will have a festive reopening in spring 2023, coinciding with Animate’s 40th anniversary.
The expansion will be built on the site of the former Ikebukuro public health center and will be connected to the current store. Animate Ikebukuro is the retailer’s flagship store, having opened near Ikebukuro Sunshine City in March 1983. The current main store reopened in November 2012.
Animate is a popular destination for anime fans, offering a variety of anime products often revolving around the titles currently airing. The store offers everything from Blu-rays and CDs to action figures and various character items like art books, key chains, soft toys, clothing, and more.
The Ikebukuro branch is a nine-story building located a five-minute walk from Ikebukuro Station. It is one of 15 Animate stores located in the Tokyo metropolitan area, along with other notable stores located in Akihabara, Shibuya, and Shinjuku.
There are currently 117 Animate stores in Japan, with the Ikebukuro site being the largest in the country. The animation product retailer has also diversified into the international market. There are four stores in mainland China (Beijing, Nanjing, Shanghai and Chengdu), one in Hong Kong, one in South Korea (Seoul), two in Taiwan (Taichung and Taipei) and one in Thailand (Bangkok). There was an American store in Los Angeles, but it closed in 2003.
Animate offers two online stores that customers can visit. The lively online store has been active since 2005 and has an American counterpart, but the main site is in Japanese. The Animate International site is aimed more at international consumers; although the prices are indicated in yen.
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