Have you ever dreamed of flooding your room with faces of your favorite anime characters? How about lying down on a soft bed with your cute, beloved mahou shoujo (magical girl) gloriously printed on the mattress or pillows?
Now is your chance! Itabeya (痛部屋) makes it possible for you!
The term “itabeya” refers to a room, “heya” in Japanese, where the owner’s taste is evidently shown. In Japan, it is known as a form of interior decorative style that literally transforms the typical colored draperies and bed sheets to anime prints!
Imagine… Instead of lying down on plain white sheets, you now get to have the face of your favorite anime character covering your entire mattress! How cool is that?
Of course, you have the option to choose the specific areas you wish to put the vibrant accessories on. Some prefer focusing their attention on redecorating their beds, while others go as far as replacing their bland wallpapers with a full image of their beloved anime icon!
The idea of stuffing anime merchandise inside one’s room is nothing new. Lots of fans from all over the world have remodeled their personal spaces to feature their most prized anime possessions. From posters and stickers to figurines and complete manga volumes displayed on glass shelves, creating customized anime havens have been going on for quite a while.
However, it becomes an entirely different thing when this hobby of a few is made commercial by an actual company. Servicing this popular phenomenon is an interior Japanese manufacturing company SO-ZO, headed by the engineering graduate at Waseda University (早稲田大学), Ou Zen (王冉).
A beta version of the service was first released on July 22, 2014, and currently, it has already garnered widespread attention from anime fans and customers who fancy colorful and vibrant accessories for their bedrooms.
The company’s service can be accessed through its official website and it currently offers custom-made interior accessories like curtains, pillows, futon covers, and more.
Want to design your own?
By all means, do the honor! The company also allows illustrators to craft their own designs and upload them. From there, you can then view your illustrations across various products and see how well they look. From those cute magical girls to beautiful school teens, you have the freedom to personalize the design however you want!
“Japanese craftsmanship and manufacturing,” says Ou Zen, the president and proponent of this wonderful idea. He’s apparently a huge fan of Japanese products as a whole, but more importantly, he is also vocal in his personal interest in otaku culture and is said to enjoy the art of cosplaying and even attending anime expos.
More than that of his love for the manufacturing process as a whole, it’s quite apparent how his fancy for Japanese animation has contributed to this pursuit of creating well-crafted itabeya designs fit for various bedroom interiors.
Remember that time when you were blown away by those stunning anime-designed cars? They are widely known as “itasha (痛車)” and even at present, there is a significant number of fans in and out of Japan who sport their vehicles bearing the faces of their favorite anime characters.
The same principle applies to itabeya, but with a focus on interior designing. This rising phenomenon has even been considered as the successor of itasha.
With the two’s growing popularity, however, we see them going alongside each other in a prolific business rather than having one of them replace the other.
Perhaps one of the biggest advantages that this phenomenon has compared to the others in its league is its practicality. The company is currently partnered with other tourism ventures that provide accommodation to guests such as hotels, apartments, and even guesthouses.
This, in effect, attracts more anime and gaming fans to reserve a room that features an awesome itabeya design. Art enthusiasts, on the other hand, will get the chance to be more aware of what the otaku culture is all about while savoring the colorful, cute, and artistic interior display at the same time.
While we did mention how anyone is welcome to create his or her own design, there are several patterns or characters that get a lot of attention from the public. Here’s a short list:
- School girls
- Cute magical girls
- Anime princesses
- Samurai warriors
Of course, there is no limit to how much you would like to put out in the design. For illustrators, creating customized prints that combine one character with another anime is very welcome. Even laying out abstract backdrops behind the actual image is acceptable. Creativity is the limit!
The pricing depends on the size of the place you wish to renovate and the specific ITA-BEYA accessories you wish to install. A simple one could cost as low as 10,000 yen or around $90. Other items like special lightings could also affect the overall price you will need to pay.
Despite the widespread popularity of Japanese animation and gaming around the world, it has not entirely removed the stereotype that comes with the word “otaku.” Itabeya, along with other art forms of its type, is an excellent craft that tries to give more positive light to a culture that a lot of people from all over the world know about.
By incorporating anime and gaming characters into home accessories, users will have the pleasure of being surrounded by their beloved hobbies.
Bring out your creativity and identity in the open by redecorating your bedroom in an itabeya style. Make a list of your favorite characters if you need to before designing your own. Or, visit the ITA-BEYA official site and have a look at the readily available designs.
Your beloved anime deities no longer have to stay trapped inside those computer screens! Bring them to life in your personal itabeya quarters and enjoy a good rest!
ITA-BEYA Website *Japanese only