Merch is major part of any fandom. It seems like nowadays there are many ways fans can purchase items showcasing the shows they love! One such company is Atsuko, and I spoke with Preston Deanda, Brand Manager and Art Director at Atsuko, about the company and what sets them apart.
What is Atsuko?
Atsuko is a retail experience owned, operated, and built for fans of anime culture.
How did the company get started?
A couple of years ago, a few coworkers and I noticed that there was a serious lack of anime merch out in the world. And an even bigger lack of cool anime merch. You could find some of the top titles, but the world of anime is diverse and massive and – honestly – deserved a lot more and a lot better. So why not try to make something for everyone that felt current and intentional?
What makes your company different from other anime merch companies?
We have more officially licensed titles than anyone, which is something we pride ourselves on — everything we do is official. We also work hand-in-hand with the creators. And we’re constantly looking forward and around us. What’s the next big thing? New trend? What title are people loving right now? What has a huge fan base but not a ton of retail love? Those are the questions we ask ourselves constantly. Always through the consumer’s point of view.
There was a name change, why the change?
When we sat down to take a good look at Animepls, the one thing that stood out to me was that by putting “anime” in the name we were limiting ourselves. Why stop at just anime when we can represent a whole culture? Our first real example of what I mean by this is Godzilla! When we take away those limitations, we can look into things like tokusatsu, or food and beverage brands that resonate with our community.
Atsuko herself, is a character we developed who owns and operates our digital dagashiya with the help of her beloved little raccoon dog, Nuki.
What are some of the current top selling items?
The current star of our show is YuYu Hakusho.
Any special new releases you would like to mention?
We just released a new mini capsule around Katsuki Bakugo from My Hero Academia!
What are some of your favorite pieces and why?
Every single piece of Evangelion merch is my favorite thing ever. Being my favorite title, I basically made those for myself to wear lol.
Where can people find your products?
Anything else you would like to add?
I want to thank every single person who helped Atsuko get to where we are. We are lucky to be part of the most loving and supportive community in all pop culture. The best I can do for everyone is to make sure we have even more and better products in 2020.
Below are a couple videos of the Atsuko booth at Anime Expo 2019 and 2018. I take you on a tour of the booth and check out the fun merch on display!