I realize that all of the items on my list probably do exist. Despite people constantly telling me that anime really isn’t that big in Japan, I have the internet and I know just how much anime merchandise is available if I’m willing to pay 10x the price in shipping and wait 6 months…
This said, these are items that I haven’t personally found yet so they’re probably not that common and I would definitely get if I could…depending in shipping….
Here are 5 random pieces of anime merchandise I wish I could buy right now… easily… I’m a bit spoiled!
5. Cosplay street wear
I feel like this is going to take some explanation. I like clothes and I would love to bring my love of anime into my wardrobe but not necessarily by be coming a walking advertisement with printed T-Shirts or hoodies. Actually, there are a lot of anime characters that I think are pretty stylish and I wouldn’t mind dressing lie them.
Not exactly like them mind you. And not in super expensive, often stiff and uncomfortable cosplay outfits. If a character has a signature pair of jeans, t-shirt and hoodie, I would love for a store to sell normal jeans, t-shirts and hoodies that just happen to be in the same colours and styles as the ones seen on the show. For anyone that hasn’t seen a series they would look like perfectly normal clothes but I would know.
Extra points if they are categorized not only by item of clothing but also by anime, for easy browsing!
4. Anime cookbook
I know for a fact that there are a couple of cookbooks inspired by anime series. Ymeiro Patissiere I believe has a desert cookbook and I’m almost certain Food Wars has one as well. But that’s all I have found and the Patissiere one has been out of print for years.
Otherwise, I’ve only seen basic Japanese cookbooks that use unlicensed anime looking characters as illustrations but have no particular association with anime beyond that.
I’m constantly watching a series and thinking, boy that looks yummy. Sometimes I’m lucky and they say the name of the dish but frequently I have to guess and it doesn’t always work out. So what I’m actually saying is not so much I wish there were anime cookbooks as I wish there were more anime cookbooks…
3. Glasses case and cloth
I occasionally wear glasses. I’m just short sighted enough that I don’t actually need to wear them at all unless I’m going to have to read small subtitles from across the room or something but I also like glasses. So I have a lot of pairs lying around and a lot of them come with dull cases and boring old cloths.
I would love to have a nicely decorated anime themed case and matching cloth to throw in my bag. It seems like it would be fairly easy to manufacture as well. I’m surprised there aren’t tons of these.
I’ve been to a few cons in my day. It’s pins and key-chains as far as the eye can see. Occasionally you’ll get some jewellery as well but I rarely see hairpins. Yet hairpins are a super common character design element in anime. They’re fun and way easier to see than jewellery but most of the time, if you want a hairpin just like your favourite character, you got to get the entire cosplay outfit. What gives…
I did find this adorableness on AliExpress but why aren’t hairpins one of the standard pieces of merch? They should be. I would get a lot!
You may know this already, I actually collect chopsticks. There are some real pieces of art out there. I have about a hundred right now ranging from cheap plastic ones to fancy mother of pearl laden ones and ones with intricately carved Chinese dragons. Those are my favourites. They are so beautiful.
Just because of how natural the fit and cross promotion between anime and chopsticks is, I feel like there’s probably tons out there. But I rarely see any when I go chopstick hunting and they’re almost exclusively Sailor Moon for some reason. Granted this is once again a case of I wish there were more but also I can’t understand why there aren’t more. Chopsticks are super easy to make and I bet you can mark those up very generously…
I just spent an hour on amazon looking at random anime merch. This was a dangerous post to write. Is there any piece of anime merchandise that you would buy if you could find it? Maybe you think there’s a missed opportunity out there…