AM 1

For anime characters, does the light novel section count as non-fiction?

Selling anime and making anime are, of course, two very different things. Even still, you’d expect the employees at a Japanese animation specialty store to have a certain creative streak, given their ostensible enjoyment of the art form they’re selling.

So while the staff at the branch of anime retailer Animate in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture might not be up to the challenge of producing its own animated series, someone working there is capable of amazing visual creations on a smaller scale, like this.

Japanese Twitter user @kobe_nonstep did a double take when he spotted this sailor-suited lass crouched down and seemingly browsing the light novel section. But that’s no ordinary customer. It’s Hanamaru Kunikida, one of the animated school idols from the currently airing Love Live Sunshine!!

Adding to the sense of realism is that the cutout stands at the far back of the bookracks, keeping it out of visitors’ line of sight until they draw near. Several other Twitter users who’ve also been to Animate’s Matsumoto branch chimed in to say that they too were startled to find Hanamaru doing some shopping right next to them.

Granted, it’s a little surprising to see an anime character picking out novels, as opposed to something more visual like manga, but I guess that when you live in an anime world like Hanamaru does, the aesthetic doesn’t have as strong an exotic allure as it does for human fans.

Shop information
Animate (Matsumoto branch) / アニメイト(松本店)
Address: Nagano-ken, Matsumoto-shi, Chuo 1-10-30, Matsumoto Parco 5th floor
長野県松本市中央1-10-30 松本PARCO 5F
Open: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Source: Hamster Sokuho
Top image: Twitter/@kobe_nonstep

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s thinking he really should make another trip to Animate and/or Matsumoto sometime soon.