Where have all the anime and game shops gone?

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of weekends spent playing Pokemon at the locally owned game and anime stores; family friendly places that parents weren’t afraid to leave their kids, where everyone felt welcome. Those stores are no more, and the closest you can get to that experience is a convention. Even though there are some comic book and gaming stores still around, they are usually not family friendly (a lot of use of profanity), and they don’t offer the kinds of items people want, so they end up going online to get it. On top of that, these new stores don’t cater to women at all, only offering men’s t-shirts. These stores don’t have the types of items I want like cosplay, accessories, clothing, jewelry, bags, plushies, anime items (except the few series that are “popular” in America, like Hot Topic carries), Gundam model kits, wall scrolls, Bushiroad Card Games like Weiss Schwarz (an anime card game), etc. My brother and I have been discussing how to revive the type of store I always dreamed of owning as I child, but we have little resources to do so. We will start by selling some things we already have, we can make ourselves, or that we can buy cheaply. We still haven’t found a cost-effective location yet; our base of operations is Dad’s guitar shop in Cana. If you know of any cheap convention tables, flea markets, or places to rent, please let us know. Our dream is to one day own our own storefront; King Kawaii and Café, where we would have live music, game tournaments, and other events.


2 thoughts on “Where have all the anime and game shops gone?

  1. You see, the thing about this is that there is no longer a demand for it. People also feel nostalgic about renting movies on the weekends, but they would never change their Netflix for that.

    Same goes with anime and games stores. When the internet came, we all started ordering things online and these stores had to close down. I know the owners of a Comic Book shop in my city, and even though they get quite a lot of people, they are barely holding up, getting a fraction of what they did 5 or 10 years ago.

    Also, try to keep in mind that what you’re asking from a store is very specific. Do people buy cosplay every week? Because if the answer is no, it may not be worth it for the store to buy and keep these cosplays they won’t be selling soon. Same thing goes for accessories, etc. And to make matters worse, they would be probably selling it a bit higher than most online retailers, so people would still order from the internet, even if the difference was small.

    Unfortunately, as long as the internet is the way it is, I don’t see these stores making a come back. I think they’re gone for good.


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