Living Appraisal service helps family decide what to do with all the Blu-rays, figures, and plushies that departed otaku can’t take with them.

Otaku are, by nature, collectors. All of those Blu-ray box sets, limited edition figures, and event-exclusive pieces of merchandise are specifically designed to be things they’ll open their wallets for because they want them on their shelves forever.

But sadly, while anime may be a lifelong passion for hardcore fans, life itself is fleeting. So what happens to your personal otaku treasure trove when you die?

That’s a question Mandarake, one of Japan’s largest specialty shops for second-hand anime items, wants to help answer with its Seizen Mitsumori, or Living Appraisal, service. For no charge Manadarake’s specialized staff will examine your otaku assets and give you an itemized list of their approximate values, in the sense of how much the chain would be willing to pay for them.

“So this era has finally come” says Japanese Twitter user @walkyurie, who shared a photo of a poster advertising the Living Appraisal service.

On its website, Madarake describes the service with:

“A service for people who are thinking seriously about what will happen to their collection…When the time to say goodbye comes, in accordance with your wishes, this service will help your belongings be passed on to a future generations of collectors, or to remain with your family as part of their inheritance.”

Clients who receive an appraisal are under no obligation to sell the items to Mandarake, either before or after their passing. Rather, the intent is to give the applicant and his or her surviving relatives an idea of which items are valuable, and to what extent, in order to make an informed decision whether to keep, sell, or otherwise dispose of them. After all, non-fans may not be able to tell a rare figure from a commonplace one, or realize the premium a soundtrack CD commands on the used marker by nature of still having its paper spine sleeve.

While Mandarake does not require a doctor’s documentation of terminal ailments, the chain does remind applicants that the Living Appraisal service (which was launched in 2016 and can be applied for here) is first and foremost for collectors who know their remaining time is particularly limited. Items including, but not limited to, anime home video, collected manga volumes, figures, models, illustrations, and comic manuscripts/production materials can all be evaluated, with individual sessions covering anywhere between one and 100 items.

Though anime’s TV roots go back to the 1960s, it really wasn’t until the 1980s that hardcore fandom, in any way that resembles today’s, started to form. That means we’re just now on the cusp of the emergence of a significant elderly otaku demographic, and just like how seniors with more mainstream hobbies want to have their affairs in order, it makes sense that anime fans do too, both to prevent placing a burden on their families and to keep their collections from getting tossed in the trash because no one knew what to do with it instead.

Sources: Mandarake via Hachima Kiko
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