Gigantic anime shop in Tokyo’s otaku district posted notice saying that it had ceased seinen sales.

Animate is Japan’s biggest anime specialty merchandise retailer, and Tokyo’s Akihabara is Japan’s biggest otaku neighborhood. Logically you’d assume that Animate’s Akihabara branch carries just about any and everything an anime/manga enthusiast could be shopping for, right?

So it came as a shock to many when a photo taken inside Animate Akihabara started making the rounds of the Japanese Internet, in which the store said it had stopped selling a major category of manga altogether.

The notice was hung on a cloth barrier at the top of the staircase connecting the store’s ground floor and first basement level. It read:

To our valued customers,

We have ceased dealing in seinen comics.
We apologize for the inconvenience and ask for your understanding.

Like shonen and shojo manga (boys’ and girls’ comics), seinen manga is a category based on the comics’ primary target market. While seinen can be broadly used to mean “the youth” in general, it’s most commonly used to refer to young men. In their most basic sense, you could describe seinen manga as comics that feature many of the same core themes of action/adventure and male-perspective romance and sexual hijinks as shonen manga, but with the intensity dialed up to better stimulate older readers.

At the same time, seinen manga is still a step below the no-hold/positions-barred pornography of hentai/ero-manga, and seinen manga magazines are commonly sold in Japanese convenience stores. So online commenters were startled to hear that Animate, at its Akihabara branch of all places, had decided to completely stop selling them…and it turned out that Animate itself was surprised to hear that too.

After the photo started catching people’s attention on Monday, Animate clarified the situation while speaking to Japan’s J-Cast News. Last winter, Animate Akihabara started an expansion and renovation project, with the grand opening of its new two-building facility having just taken place in April. Because of that, the store is still shuffling where certain categories of its merchandise are displayed and sold, including seinen manga. Previously, the seinen manga section was on basement level 1, but Animate has decided to move them somewhere else, and also to swap something into the space where they used to be, and the intended purpose of the notice and cloth barrier was simply to communicate that customers can’t go down there, and that the seinen manga isn’t there anyway, it’s somewhere else.

Unfortunately, the wording of the notice didn’t make that clear. “We sincerely apologize for the misleading text of the message,” said Animate in addressing the matter. The sign has since been replaced with a new one that simply says “Admittance for employees only,” and seinen manga sales will continue elsewhere in the facility.

Related: Animate Akihabara
Source: J-Cast News via Otakomu
Top image: Animate

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