Today, March 16 2023, the animate Ikebukuro Flagship Store celebrated the company's 40th anniversary with a Grand Opening after massive renovations! Each floor is about double the size now, plus there's a brand-new theater, exhibition space and more: all kinds of new experiences await in this huge new building.
Animate Ltd. Representative Director Jun Fujiki, animate Ikebukuro Flagship Store Manager Chikako Uemura, and special guests Tomokazu Seki and ROLAND gave speeches about interesting upgrades inside the store as well as their memories of animate.
Aiming to be "animate's holy land"
MC Hisanori Yoshida introduced Mr. Fujiki, Ms. Uemura, and the special guests on stage: Mr. Seki, the voice of animate's promotional character "Anime Tencho Anizawa Meito," and ROLAND, an entrepreneur and TV personality.
Mr. Fujiki thanked everyone attending, as well as the construction workers. He said that he hoped that merch, events and services would make animate Ikebukuro Flagship Store the "holy land" for anime and manga fans worldwide.
Mr. Seki, who has been working with animate for nearly 20 years, seemed deeply moved as he said that factors including his role as Anime Tencho meant he was feeing "as happy as if this belonged to him." He asked the staff gathered, with feeling, to continue to spread the wonder of anime. And, in the voice of Anizawa Meito, he gave a enthusiastic welcome to the many customers gathering in front of the store waiting for the opening time.
ROLAND, who has spoken of his love for anime on various media outlets, shared a story about a recent experience. He joked that he worried about how to connect with younger workers, and decided to teach them about "Ro-Kyu-Bu!" He once again called himself an anime fan, and gave a spin on his familiar quote: "Despite the vastness of this planet, there are only two kinds of places in this world – animate, and everywhere else."
A world fit for the very finest
After the words from the special guests, the tape was cut. Mr Yoshida said: "The culture of anime and manga, from Ikebukuro to the world! animate Ikebukuro Flagship Store! Let the grand opening begin." With that, a new chapter in the history of the animate Ikebukuro Flagship Store began.
The animate Ikebukuro Flagship Store is more than just a place to shop: with the addition of a brand new theater and exhibition space, the building is now even more important for anime fans. Mr. Seki and ROLAND had already been inside to check the renovated facilities. ROLAND was curious about the apparel section on Floor 4, and Mr. Seki said "through Tencho's store manager eyes" he thought that the more spacious floors would make it very easy to shop.
After this introduction from the two guests, Ms. Uemura the store manager said enthusiastically that with the new areas such as the event hall, theater and apparel exhibit, her goal was to make the animate Ikebukuro Flagship Store not just a place to shop, but a place you could enjoy the entire atmosphere.
Lastly, the two special guests gave final comments. Mr. Seki, speaking as Anizawa Meito again, promised everyone to meet there again someday. ROLAND shared a favorite quote: "Second-rates don't meet expectations. First-rates do. But, the those of the very finest-rate exceed them." According to ROLAND, the animate Ikebukuro Flagship Store is now a world fit for those of the very finest-rate. And, with that, the ceremony was brought to a close.
Life-sized "Anizawa Meito" figma on display!
From the year 2000, the character Anime Tencho has been the symbol of animate. Animate celebrated his 10th anniversary in 2010 with "10 Grand Projects," one of which being a life-sized figma exhibit. Now, it's back for a limited time to help celebrate the grand opening. Anime Tencho is waiting for you!
Time: March 2023 - TBA
Place: animate Ikebukuro Flagship Store Floor 1
Decorations all over Ikebukuro!
To celebrate the grand opening, "animate Ikebukuro Flagship Store" promos are scattered all over the streets of Ikebukuro!
Exclusive gift commemorative shopping bag for customers!
To commemorate the grand opening, customers will be given commemorative gift shopping bags, first-come first-served while stocks last each day.
Time: March 16 2023 - March 19
Place: animate Ikebukuro Flagship Store
Details: Customers who shop or place pre-orders at the animate Ikebukuro Flagship Store during the eligible period can receive a free limited edition shopping bag.
*Limited numbers available. Offer ends as soon as stocks run out.
animate Ikebukuro Flagship Store Info
Open Day: March 16
Address:〒170-0013 1-20-7 Higashiikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
*Content subject to change, suspension or cancellation depending on circumstances.