First permanent Sailor Moon store opens in Harajuku

by

Staff Writer

With the anime marking its 25th anniversary this year, the world’s first permanent store for “Sailor Moon” goods opened Saturday in Tokyo’s trendy Harajuku district.

The Sailor Moon shop is inside the Laforet building and sells a variety of goods ranging from key chains and smartphone cases to books, clothes and accessories.

There also are a number of exclusive items that will only be sold at this store, a spokeswoman at Toei Animation Co., which manages the shop, said.

While Sailor Moon pop-up stores, such as the temporary cafe already operating in the same area, are a common site in Japan, the Harajuku shop is the first permanent one.

“Sailor Moon” received a boost when the animated TV series marked its 20th anniversary in 2012, and new goods have been added to the lineup since then, the spokeswoman said.

“Because more goods have been released since the 20th anniversary, many fans were requesting a permanent store,” she said.

Illustrator Naoko Takeuchi started “Sailor Moon” as a manga in 1991, and the anime kicked off the following year, drawing a following not only in Japan, but overseas as well.

Reflecting its enduring popularity, Toei Animation said at least 170 people were lined up along Meiji Dori Avenue for the store’s grand opening.

“I have loved ‘Sailor Moon’ ever since I was young, so my friend and I came today for the Sailor Moon cafe and for the opening of the shop,” said Sara Kissick-Skeel, an American who is teaching English in Tochigi Prefecture.

For fans, the opening of the first standing store is “a pretty big deal,” Kissick-Skeel said.

“It’s really exciting to know that there is a permanent place where they will always have something there for you,” she said, recalling how hard it was to buy “Sailor Moon” merchandise when she was living in the United States.