Earlier this year, we stopped by the Ranma 1/2 Cafe, part of the 30th anniversary celebration for the hit anime/manga franchise, and found it to be well-worth the six-hour wait for a table. But Ranma creator Rumiko Takahashi isn’t just one of Japan’s most popular manga authors, but one of its most prolific ones as well, and she’s got another series hitting a major milestone this year.
September will mark the 40th anniversary of the publishing of the first chapter of Urusei Yatsura, the title that not only established Takahashi as a top-tier manga talent, but also established several of the magical girlfriend/zany high school class tropes that continue to influence anime to this day. So to salute the series and its memorable cast of characters, an Urusei Yatsura Pop-up Store, stocked with limited-edition merchandise, will be making its way around Japan starting this summer.
Urusei Yatsura ran for nine years, with its 374 chapters eventually being compiled in 34 collected volumes (which sold somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 million copies). The 34 collected edition covers serve as the motif for a series of plastic files, priced at 324 yen (US$2.90) each.
Continuing the theme of useful, practical ways for fans to indulge their fandom, this 2,160-yen throw pillow, featuring leading lady Lum, pervy male protagonist Ataru, and a large selection of the even larger supporting cast, should tie together any anime-decorated interior in your home.
Since the pop-up store is operating during the summer, when Japan is hot and humid just about every day, a handkerchief is always handy, and this 648-yen one, adorned with iconic panels of the manga, is a beautiful choice,
The store will also have merchandise (as well as displayed artwork) that’s exclusive to each location it opens in. For instance, the first announced location is in Niigata, Takahashi’s home prefecture, and so a plastic file of Lum and her cherubic cousin Ten flying past the Rainbow Tower, a landmark of Niigata City, will be on offer.
Oh, and even if you don’t buy anything, the store will still be worth a visit. In addition to a shrouded-in-mystery AR app (which will likely let you see/hear a greeting from Lum), there’s also a trick art photo corner where you can pose with the series’ stars.
Currently, only two locations have been announced, which are:
● August 8-August 20: Niigata Isetan department store, seventh floor
● September 1-September 17: Fukuoka department store, eighth floor
However, organizers promise that the Urusei Yatsura Pop-up Store is also coming to Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya. Further details will on exact locations, dates, and merchandise will be offered through the store’s official Twitter account, and considering the tremendous response to the Ranma 1/2 cafe, which had a lengthy line even to get into its attached gift shop, fans will probably want to show up early once we know exactly when and where to go.
Related: Urusei Yatsura Pop-up Store Twitter account
Source, images: PR Times
[ Read in Japanese ]
[ Read in Japanese ]