BANGKOK – An estimated 400 customers lined up in Bangkok for the opening Saturday of the first Thai branch of animate, a Japanese manga and animation goods store that features limited items, accessories and other products related to popular comic books and anime shows.
The 560-square-meter store operated by Japan Manga Alliance Co. opened at the MBK Center, a department store in the heart of the city. Some 30,000 items are on offer including Japanese comic books translated into Thai, model figurines imported from Japan, CDs, stationary and posters. It also has a section specializing in products from the popular “One Piece” manga series.
Jiratikarn Auncharoen, a 24-year-old longtime fan of Japanese anime and manga, said that she had earlier visited an animate shop in Tokyo and was glad that a branch opened in her country.
Bangkok store manager Akihiro Sotokawa said he was grateful to see many customers come to the shop on the opening day, adding, “I want Thai people to buy authentic items, not counterfeit ones.”
Japan Manga Alliance was set up last September by four major publishers — Kadokawa Corp., Kodansha Ltd., Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc. — and manga and anime goods vendor Animate Co.