K-Ommerce

K-On’s influence is vast.  Here are some items that K-On! has sold:

Mio gets kickbacks for selling headphones

Headphones (English link)
Cell phones
Bass guitars
Pens
Hot plates

That’s in addition to the actual products associated with the series: CDs, figurines, manga, and of course dakimakura.

Given that overall Japanese retail sales fell 2.9 percent in April, will the boost from popular anime be enough to effect a turnaround?  Prime Minister Taro “Rozen” Aso, criticized as a “manga brain,” thinks so.  His “Japan Cool” campaign, whose stated aim is to leverage the popularity of anime and manga as Japan’s “Soft Power,” continues to be the focus of government efforts under his regime.  Ultimately, time will tell if he’s right.

6 thoughts on “K-Ommerce”

  1. Thanks for the link to my presentation of Aso’s family, much appreciated.

    The reality is that Aso has used and abused his so-called love of anime. It helped him attract young supporters to his party’s aid, but the lasting effect is negligible.  Given his lack of Kanji skill, I don’t doubt that he regularly read manga, the question is how much of it was an act?

    The whole Cool Japan project has an air of the absurd, especially when anime is still a fringe media – the preserve of children, geeks and the weird: regardless of what Western otaku might say to justify their mania. Japan does have the Japan boom (anime/manga boom) as a sort of cultural wave through the west, but it should be looking elsewhere for a real boost in its international standing.

  2. Thanks for the responses!

    @Kairu – Indeed.

    @James – It’s my pleasure to link to a worthwhile read.  Internationally, many people recognize Taro Aso’s name, but they may not be aware of his background.  Otaku should definitely be aware of it.  He is certainly practicing some identity politics.

    @omo – I was wondering how long it would take people to catch that.  Well done.

    @Raito – I think a lot of decisions are made that way – not for one reason alone, but for a number of supporting reasons.

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