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Anime craze drawing huge footfall at South Korean malls

Anime and related goods are gaining popularity with South Koreans spending long hours at home following the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

AK & Hongdae, a shopping mall in the Hongdae area in western Seoul run by midsize department store chain AK Plaza, has seen its fifth floor fill up with anime and subculture shops since May.

Among them, Animate was visited by some 140,000 people over the past two months, up threefold from the same period last year (45,000 visitors).

Another Animate store that opened I-Park Mall in Yongsan, Seoul four years ago introduced a separate shop dedicated to second-hand figurines last year.

The shop rents out display cases to people interested in selling their anime figurines and plastic models.

Visitors wishing to buy a showcased item can call the seller directly. The store sometimes buys second-hand items itself for resale.

Image Credits: I-Park Mall / AK Plaza /

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