For too long, Great British anime fanatics have looked across the pond with wide-eyed wonder (read: raging jealousy). We’ve long been deprived of Toonami, and it’s taken until 2016 to get FUNimation to our shores. But worse than that is finding a good stockist or supplier of quality merchandise without having to endure the obligatory three week wait ordering from China. Enter Japan Goods.
Based in London, japangoods.co.uk was set up to fill the gaping chasm growing at the epicentre of the UK otaku community. Working in collaboration with Japanese artists and suppliers, the website offers a range of anime tees sporting designs that punters won’t find anywhere else.
As a teenage Naruto obsessive, I plumped for the 7th Hokage t-shirt silhouetted all menacing against a white backdrop. The falling leaves add a touch of gravitas and, coupled with the ghostly fade effect, it goes beyond a block print on a subpar tee. The red kanji offer a lively daub of colour, and the contrast adds that finishing touch proves the quality of the artists Japan Goods work with.
The subtlety of the design is a real conversation starter, and taking it out for a two day spin attracted no shortage of questions and comments from work colleagues and shop assistants. There’s nothing quite like preaching the virtues of Naruto to those who haven’t the foggiest what you’re gabbing on about. If cosplay isn’t quite your thing, than the t-shirt is a great option for conventions. But it’s also comfortable enough to slouch around reading manga or catching up on the latest simulcasts.
The good news is that Japan Goods is growing and will soon offer a bustling selection of figures, manga, mugs and more. Until then, get stuck into the range of tees, from Bleach to Naruto and that absolute must-have – the ‘Please Notice me Senpai’ shirt.
The 7th Hokage tee is available from www.japangoods.co.uk.