UI/UX writer, interview writer, editor, planner. Currently mostly concentrating on conducting interviews. My specialty is web media, the future, technology, culture and things related to 'Cool Japan'.
Production I.G, the anime studio which has created many popular anime in Japan, including the Ghost in the Shell (Koukaku Kidoutai) series, has an official goods store, I.G STORE, on the seventh floor of Marui Shibuya in Tokyo.
It has been year since the store opened in April 2016. Any anime fan would surely be interested in this store! Of course, I am no exception, so I decided to go! I entered Marui at 11:00 (opening time) and I quickly got in the elevator to get to the seventh floor. When I got off, right in front of me was I.G STORE!
On the wall of the store, there were illustrations of many characters from Ghost in the Shell, including the Tachikoma, with the town of Shibuya in the background. There are many aspects of Ghost in the Shell included in these illustrations, and as a fan, they were so fun to look at!
In this store, there are many goods from Hiyoko no Basket (Baby Chick’s Basketball). Hiyoko no Basket are characters that originally came from doodles drawn by an anime staff member of Kuroko’s Basketball (Kuroko no Basket). In these official goods, the characters of Kuroko’s Basketball are illustrated as cute baby chicks!
Kotaro Hasegawa, the store manager, was kind enough to show me around the store.
He told me that the most popular character goods from the anime Joker Game are these tote bags. The anime’s characters are used as the motifs. They are very fashionable and good for everyday use!
The Cocoa Cigarettes (a type of candy) from Joker Game are also very popular. The design of the tobacco which appears in the anime is used as the motif.
In the ‘Character Reference Book’ of Joker Game, there is so much information on the cool and handsome characters!
The ‘canvas art’ of Ghost in the Shell is especially popular among girls. The illustrations on the I.G STORE wall are printed on canvas material. This canvas art has an autograph by Isaak Chaykov, the actual illustrator of the drawings. Clear file folders with the same illustrations are also very popular.
This is the Ghost in the Shell framed replica art work titled ‘Shibuya Kousaten’ (Shibuya’s Crossroad). It is an illustration of the characters from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex standing at the crossroads of Shibuya. This illustration is made by Takayuki Gotou, the animation director of Stand Alone Complex. It is a must-see for fans!
The frame reproductions of the anime scenes from Joker Game, Ghost in the Shell, and Kuroko’s Basketball are all very popular among fans. The staff members of Production I.G have printed them out on actual paper used during anime making.
The Japanese sake from Joker Game is also a hot item. Some kinds have already sold out. The sake of Ghost in the Shell is named ‘Koukaku Kidoutai,’ which sounds the same as the Japanese title of the anime, but is actually using a different kanji (Chinese character used in Japanese writing) as a joke.
Of course, they are real alcohol, so only people who are 20 years of age or older could buy them. The photo shows the Ghost in the Shell’s character goods named ‘Mini Mini Tachikoma.’ They come in eight colors. They are small and so cute! I want to buy them all!
In the showcase of the store, there is a diorama using these Tachikoma. In fact, the diorama was handmade by the I.G STORE staff members!
There are also official goods from Psycho-Pass, Atom the Beginning, Attack on Titan, The Ancient Magus’ Bride (Mahoutsukai no Yome), Cyborg 009, Legend of the Galactic Heroes (Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu), and Haikyu!!.
Shop manager Hasegawa commented, ‘It will be great if anime-lovers come here and find out ,“Oh, this anime is made by Production I.G too?” and they become fans of Production I.G!’
People who have made an advanced order on items from the smartphone app ‘Virtual Agent Tachikoma’, which is linked to a 1/2-scaled Tachikoma, get the chance to receive their items from Tachikoma in a special booth in I.G STORE!
This Tachikoma robot was created as part of the Tachikoma Realize Project. The 1/2-scaled Tachikoma actually speaks and moves around! You can see this until 9 June.
There is also a special booth where you get to experience the VR (Virtual Reality) world of Koukaku Kidoutai Shin-Gekijouban: Virtual Reality Diver (Ghost in the Shell New Movie: Virtual Reality Diver). You first sit in the Telepod, a ball-shaped chair equipped with a VR4D system. This system enables you to feel the vibration which synchronizes with the sounds in VR. Then, you put on Gear VR, which is a mobile VR head-mounted display with a Galaxy smartphone installed. What’s exciting about this video is that you get to experience battles with enemies and dives from high places.
If you are a Ghost in the Shell fan and you hear the word ‘dive,’ I’m sure the first thing that comes to mind is the scene of Major/Motoko diving from a tall building in the opening sequence. In this video, you get to simulate the Major’s dive from her point of view!
The VR images are so realistic and exciting that you will almost forget you are sitting down! You will actually feel like you floated for a second, and also feel the fuzziness in your stomach when you are falling. You can feel like you’ve become Major, with her cyborg body! Fans will definitely get super-excited with this booth!
This VR movie is also distributed from a smartphone app. You can see it by putting your smartphone on your VR goggles!
The Telepod at the store will let you have a more realistic and high-qualified experience, so if you’re interested, please experience it at I.G STORE! The VR experience costs ¥600 per play.
When you visit Japan, I strongly recommend you come to I.G STORE!
Business hours: 11:00 – 21:00 (closes at 20:30 on Sundays and holidays)
Address: 150-0041 7th floor, Shibuya Marui, 1-22-6 Jinnan, Shibuya, Tokyo