Manga stores score success in Cardiff

November 20, 2010 2 Comments »
Manga stores score success in Cardiff

manga store in cathays

The demand for Japanese animation and comic books is fuelling expansion in the trade of manga stores in the city.

Tom Amato (pictured above, left), one of the owners of Otaku Zoku in Cathays, said the store was going from strength to strength.

He said: “We have just celebrated our one year anniversary and I am pleased to say it’s all going really well.

“Since Borders closed down in the city centre we’ve definitely seen a rise in demand and we also managed to get a lot of their old fixtures and fittings.”

The 31-year-old said the store was moving into the retro video games market as well, at their customers requests.

The site of the store, in the student heart of Cardiff, has helped the business, according to Mr Amato.

He said: “We have built up some really good links with student managa and animation groups, there’s about 15 societies altogether interested in this kind of thing, and we offer them extra discounts.

“What we’ve been really pleased about is when the students go home our business has not dropped too much – showing there’s a real demand for manga in the city.”

Mr Amato said he had considered opening a new store in the Arcades but found the rates too high, and instead joined forces with fellow owners Russell Williams and Haydn Jones.

Christian Barry, who owns the newly moved comic store, Comic Guru, in the city centre had to move out of the Wyndham Arcades due to high rents.

Mr Barry, who has been running the shop for seven years, said comics were a growing industry: “While the sales of comic books in-store have dwindled slightly we’ve seen a rise in the amount of online and mail order sales.

“We’re part of a multi-billion dollar industry and I’m surprised no one has ever really started a chain that takes comics and manga to the masses.”

Mr Barry’s store, which opened on Wood Street earlier this month, includes a special members area where customers can watch films and read comics.

Davey Francis, a computer science student at Cardiff University, thinks the manga scene in the city is improving.

He said: “I really like what’s around at the moment, especially the rise in the amount of retro video games.

“I’ve been into comics for about 10 years now and I found them really easy to get into.”

Are you a comic fan? Do you like manga? What do you think about stores in the city? Let us know your views in the comments below

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  1. Tony Stark November 21, 2010 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    The rise in comic booksStores is a great thing for the city for us comic book fans, but i am worried how long they can last in such a competitive market, for example you can as much as a 40% discount online and i just cant see how they can compete.

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