Known for her popular work Blue Sky Complex that ranked Third Place at the BL Awards 2020 for Best Series, Ichikawa Kei celebrates her 10th debut anniversary this 2021 with a fan book release and exhibition in Shibuya.
The Exhibition Space
Aside from Blue Sky Complex, Ichikawa Kei has produced many popular works such as Slow Starter, Stray Bullet Baby, and Kocchi Muite Waratte, to name a few. To commemorate her 10th Anniversary since her debut, a special brightly designed exhibition space that greatly contrasts the outdoor winter temperature in Tokyo was held at Animate Shibuya from January 16th to 31st. Fans got the chance to immerse themselves in Ichikawa Kei’s world through dazzling oversized illustrations, nostalgic original duplicate panels, and original exhibition goods.
Illustrations, drafts for the exhibit’s main visual, and original duplicate panels from different BL series.
As a precautionary measure, an advance lottery was held for admission on the first two days to avoid crowding. Winners were notified via Animate Club. A reference number list with corresponding reception time was sent as a guide for lining up—only ten people per time slot were allowed inside the exhibition space. For those who lost in the lottery, free admission started on the 18th. Depending on the situation, Animate warned fans that there is a possibility to give out numbered tickets for entering, so they highly encouraged everyone to check out their Twitter updates.
Signed standees, exhibit poster, a catchy congratulatory bouquet of balloons, goods case, and more interior images.
Original Exhibit Goods
No event in Japan is complete without goods especially tied up to the occasion. As for this event, fans were blessed with original exhibit goods, which were later available for mail order. This was in consideration of the times we are in right now and of the people who could not freely travel.
Original exhibit goods and other prior goods released that are available at the venue.
Ichikawa Kei’s 10th Anniversary Exhibit goods include the following: signed character fine graph (22,000 yen) character acrylic stands of Narasaki and Terashima of Blue Sky Complex (1,320 yen each), room key「K」ver (1,320 yen), A4 clear files that are available in 3 designs (550 yen each), Blue Sky Complex B2 poster (1,540 yen), random can badges (330 yen), and random SNS-style clear card (550 yen). Other goods from previous events were available at the event.
Signed Character Fine Graph
Ichikawa Kei will sign and write the name of the purchaser on the character fine graph.
Unlike the other exhibit goods that were available later on for mail order, the signed character fine graph was venue-limited only. Fans needed to buy one or more target goods at the event to purchase the signed character fine graph. They then needed to access the mail order page through the QR code printed on the receipt. They had to fill in the required information and type the serial code printed on the receipt. Payment is Cash on Delivery (COD) only and was, shipped out around April.
Gratte and Icing Cookies
Moreover, Animate Cafe’s Gratte held a collaboration with Ichikawa Kei’s 10th Anniversary Exhibit from January 16th to February 28th at five Animate stores: Animate Shibuya, Animate Kichijoji PARCO, Animate Sendai, Animate Osaka Nihonbashi, and Animate Okayama.
Sate your taste buds on these cream covered drinks and hard icing topped cookies.
A delightful lineup of Ichikawa Kei exhibition main visuals and newly drawn illustrations were made available on gratte and icing cookies. Order either gratte, icing cookies, or both, then choose the design you want. There was no reservation system, so fans could come to the shop and enjoy it anytime within its sales period. For those who are new to gratte, the word means “graphic latte” with character(s) printed on the cream. For the gratte, there are four different flavors to choose from—apple, orange, iced tea, and iced coffee.
Due to COVID-19, dining in was prohibited within Animate Gratte’s premises. You could only take out both gratte (540 yen) and icing cookie (486 yen).
Ichikawa Kei’s 10th Anniversary Fan Book “K”
L-R: regular version and special edition
Ichikawa Kei’s 10th Anniversary Fan Book “K” is a must-have for every Ichikawa Kei fan since it includes stunning illustrations, extra comic papers, essays, unpublished commercial works, interviews, and more. The fanbook is available in two versions—the regular version (1,540 yen) and the special edition, including a first press limited booklet (1,815 yen). Depending on the bookstore, it also had four different shop bonuses from, Animate, ComiComi, Toranoana, and other supported bookstores.
Special thanks to Tokyo Mangasha and Animate for letting us cover the event.
Ichikawa Kei’s 10th Anniversary Exhibit Details
|Date and time||January 16 (Sat) until January 31, 2020 (Sun)|
|Place||Animate Shibuya 3F (Access Map)|
|Official Site||https://www.animate.co.jp/blog/375451/ (in Japanese only)|
|Gratte Info||https://www.animate.co.jp/gratte/373723/ (in Japanese only)|
Sources (in Japanese only):
Ichikawa Kei 10th Anniversary Exhibit details (Animate): https://www.animate.co.jp/blog/375451/
Ichikawa Kei Twitter: https://twitter.com/k_ickw
Ichikawa Kei Anniversary Exhibit x Gratte: https://www.animate.co.jp/gratte/373723/
Ichikawa Kei’s 10th Anniversary Fan Book “K” details (Tokyo Mangasha):
Ichikawa Kei 10th Anniversary Exhibit details (Tokyo Mangasha): http://www.tokyomangasha.com/fair/ichikawakei10thten.html
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