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“Animé is highly influential in the West”

Max Arguile, founder of Reemsborko, on why licensees and retailers are now getting serious about animé brands.

“Many more licensees are now getting seriously interested in animé – in December, at their request, I ran through the entire Reemsborko roster for the benefit of a licensee,” begins the agency’s founder, Max Arguile.

“This happened less than a year after almost the same meeting with the same licensee. At that point, they were very unsure about the genre and nothing happened but now, because retail is asking for it, they know they have to take animé seriously.”

Hatsune Miku (pictured above with Max) was the busiest licence for the company during lockdown and this continued in 2021, says Max. He is also confident that all the work done on Dragon Ball will soon bear fruit, while the Junji Itô Collection continues to grow with a number of new licensees and ranges.

So why should animé brands be on the radar? “It’s partly about the well-established and multi-generational fanbases, and also the ability to open doors at retail but more that, animé brands are very much worth your consideration because your competitors mostly don’t have them, and nor do your customers,” points out Max.

Animé is highly influential in the West and the fans that grew up on it are now creating their own versions. Zombie Makeout Club is an animé-adjacent property from a US designer that has been very well established in Hot Topic in the US for over a year. The apparel range just had an incredible start in the UK for Trademark. As well as HMV and Forbidden Planet, and others, they are now going into EMP, at which point we predict consistent European sales for an extended period. The fans are out there, and they are keen to buy the product. Watch out for Zombie Makeout Club… don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

This feature originally appeared in the spring 2022 edition of Licensing Source Book. To read the full publication, click on this link.

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