Specialty shop Animate stays true to its roots as it gets ready to celebrate a big milestone with a big store.

When people think of anime shops and events in Tokyo, Akihabara is the first neighborhood that comes to mind. It’s not the only otaku gathering spot in the city, though, as the Ikebukuro district, particularly the area east of Ikebukuro Station, is also a popular destination for anime and video game fans.

As a matter of fact, Animate, Japan’s largest chain of anime specialty shops, got its start in Ikebukuro, opening its very first branch there in 1983. Since Animate’s 40th birthday is drawing near the chain is planning something special to celebrate, and Ikebukuro is where it’s going to happen, with the opening of what the company says will be among the largest anime shops in the world.

Animate’s current Ikebukuro branch is a nine-floor complex about a five-minute walk from the station. But with otaku culture more popular than ever before, even that’s not big enough, and it just so happens the Ikebukuro Public Health Center, which used to be next door, has relocated, leaving behind a vacant lot. So Animate has decided to snatch the space up and use it to build a large expansion that will be attached and integrated into Animate Ikebukuro’s current form.

The new facility, to be called the Animate Ikebukuro Flagship Store, is scheduled to open in the spring of 2023.

Source, images: PR Times
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