Collecting Anime: Why and What Do You Collect?

Just as our access to anime has evolved over the years, from trading copies of VHS tapes among friends (a trend that’s returned?) to DVDs/Blu-Rays to digital streaming, so has the art of anime collecting. I’ve certainly seen it in my own habits, and I’ve had stages, too, in how I’ve approached collecting. I was once committed to creating a vast library of DVDs before deciding to get rid of all but a few choices pieces*; I’m now somewhere between those two extremes, while also occasionally purchasing other otaku pieces, like figures. And with the plethora of clothing options out there these days, I can’t resist picking up a Cowboy Bebop t-shirt or a Totoro backpack or an Attack on Titan facemask (though whether I can pull it off is another story).

When I consider adding another piece to my collection, it’s always with thought these days. I ask myself a number of questions: Is this a wise use of money? Do I have the space? Will I still like this piece in five years? Ten? Am I better off just streaming? Should I use my resources elsewhere?

Ultimately, I hope to reflect on why I’m developing this collection and how each DVD set, each anime figure, fits into that idea. I’ve been more haphazard about all this in the past—and there’s nothing wrong with that—but I’m more thoughtful these days. My reasons are nothing special, and they fit among the many others that otaku have—because of the feeling that you want to own what you love, because of obsession, because of that desire to hunt down those rare pieces, or just for the fun of it.

But what of you? Why do you collect? And what do you collect (anime, figures, games, clothing, etc.)? Check out photos from my collection below and share your answers with us, and links to photos of your collection if you have them!


*A problem with getting rid of your collection is that A) you grimace when realizing you’ve wasted money (bye, bye all that money spent on Tenchi Universe, Rurouni Kenshin, and Oh! My Goddess) and B) you grimace again when you purchase some pieces back (Evangelion and Serial Experiments Lain).


12 thoughts on “Collecting Anime: Why and What Do You Collect?

  1. Well..with way too many hobbies, I have to put a limit on things I want to collect. But if there is one thing I can say I do collect it’s anime DVDs As I live in Holland I don’t always have access to all the anime that other countries have. So DVDs are the best solution for that. And..I have a nice collection of Sword Art Online stuff because I simply love that show 😊😊

    1. What kind of SAO items do you own? I’ve seen posts about one the series’ swords around lately…might you own one of those pieces?

      1. No, though that sounds quite awesome I don’t own any of those. I do own a very cool original art book, a figure of Asuna, a bag, some pillows, playing cards, posters light novels and a couple of the mangas. It’s just a very cool show 😀

  2. I don’t really collect anything, but my friend got me a Salior Mercury Pop figure this month! 😀

  3. I used to collect anime DVDs, but I stopped because a lot of the UK releases would often come out with defects (broken packaging, sound issues, bad subtitles etc.) Now I just prefer to stream shows and buy the occasional one digitally.

    Collecting figures would be awesome, but I must resist going down that rabbit hole. Those things are expensive and I don’t have space to display them.

    1. Figures are most definitely a rabbit hole. When I visit to browse, what I often find are collectors trying to get rid of beautiful figures because they’ve overspent and lack space.

  4. I have lots of prints and posters. I also have clothing via Hot Topic. I’m still working on the dvd/Blu-ray and manga collection. I also have two Sailor Moon pillow cases and some pops.

    1. Thanks for sharing! I’d forgotten that I also have prints and posters buried somewhere haha, and clothing as well.

    1. It’s a disease haha. Also, it took a long time, so if you’re trying to collect it just takes time (and probably should take time, lest you spend too much!).

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