Anime fans in the UK have a harder time nurturing their obsession compared to our American cousins. Crunchyroll’s joint venture with Loot Anime was a case in point, but us Brits need worry no longer. The kind folk over at Subscription Radar are shipping anime crates across Blighty and we’ve teamed up to make sure no one misses out. Read below for our review (or click here to see it on SR’s site) and don’t forget to use the discount code RADARLOOT for 10% off.
I can’t speak for all anime fans, but most of us will feel the urge to take our favourite shows and stick them on the shelf. I’m talking, of course, about collecting. Wading through the hinterlands of merchandise can be exhausting, not to mention expensive, so a monthly box of curated collectables is truly a gift from on high.
Back in April, Crunchyroll partnered with Loot Anime to bring fans the very best in figures, tees and more besides from a plethora of anime old and new. Each crate boasts around 4-6 items, many of which will be exclusives. And we all love an exclusive.
Anyone who’s ever received a Loot Crate will understand the familiar rush of excitement. If not, the sensation is somewhere between fondling presents on Christmas morning and a lucky dip. It was all I could do not to tear the box to pieces to get to the goodies inside.
As we edge closer to the spooky season, September’s theme was ‘Demi-Human’ and showcased the sorts of shonen leads whose tremendous powers come with great personal sacrifice. It’s a box of brooding, devil-may-care types that we’ve come to know and love, from Bleach’s Ichigo Kurosaki and Tokyo Ghoul’s Ken Kaneki, to Rokuro Enmado of Twin Star Exorcists. Given the latter is licensed in North America by Crunchyroll, the emphasis on the series is hardly surprising, but for fans, this month’s crate will delight. The t-shirt showing off Rokuro and Benio in their best poses is a real statement in bold black, red and white. It’s certainly a conversation starter, and fit this reviewer perfectly.
The Exorcists theme spills over into the giant poster of Loot Anime’s own mascot Yume cosplaying as Benio. Corey Loving’s gorgeous, super stylised spread will already adorn plenty of bedroom walls. The broken kitsune mask she half holds over her face is also this month’s phone charm. See, it’s that kind of synergy that makes the crates more than a random selection to palm off on fans.
Given the thematic similarities, Tokyo Ghoul is a welcome addition to September’s crate. We get keychains of Ken and Touka, and if you’re anything like me, your keyring will already be weighed down with dozens of others, so it’s great that each comes with a base to display them.
So far, so dark. Halloween might be rooted in pagan ritual, but for us modern folk, it’s an excuse to have some fun. It might not be seasonal, but the first volume of the One Punch Man manga was a welcome surprise. Penned by enigmatic mangaka ONE, and adapting his own webcomic, the volume features art from Yusuke Murata. Having begun serialisation back in 2012, it really pinned down the anarchic aesthetic that would make the anime a modern classic.
For me, however, the highlight is the Bleach watch. There’s no denying the design is inspired by the anime, but it’s surprisingly subtle. If you look closely, the second hand is actually Ichigo’s Zangetsu. The chain link design around the clock face and the bandage effect on the strap just sweeten the deal. You could probably even get away with wearing it at work. Just don’t blame us if your boss takes offence!
The obvious downside is, what if you end up with a delivery of items you don’t care about? If you tend to favour fringe or cult anime, then perhaps the Loot Crate isn’t for you, but for anyone with a broad taste, there’ll definitely be plenty to get stuck into every month. The reverse of the poster outlines each piece as well as providing contextual information, so even if you’re a stranger to a series, the crate provides a great entry point. And, if you happen to get into a series, you already have some merch to go with it.
While you can’t get your hands on the Demi-Human crate anymore, why not plump for the next one? There’s sure to be more post-Halloween treats in store.