Manga and doujinshi chain Toranoana will shut down five locations in Japan from August 31, 2022. These stores are the Akihabara A, Shinjuku, Chiba, Nanba A, and Umeda stores. The announcement also states that plans to open a Toranoana branch in Nagoya will not proceed. The company had planned on opening it in 2021. [Thanks, Dankanemitsu!]
According to the announcement, the reason behind the store closures is due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Since 2020, the pandemic and quarantine measures intended to contain its spread greatly affected the physical locations of Toranoana, with the difficulties continuing into the present. These problems have affected other businesses and industries around the world. Toranoana apologizes for this, noting that the company’s “lack of effort” is to blame for the situation.
However, since Akihabara has been Toranoana’s center of operations since the beginning, the company wishes to return to it one day. Though the actual store itself will cease operation in August 2022, Toranoana will continue its plans to create a gallery. Artists will be able to display illustrations in the gallery, as well as look at other people’s works.
Toranoana is a chain store that sells manga-related items, and is also a location for doujin (indie) artists to sell physical copies of their books outside of conventions. While the online storefronts are still open, international customers cannot purchase from the website directly. This means that for some people, visiting a Toranoana store when they go to Japan may be their only way to access certain products.
Five locations of Toranoana will close down in Japan in August 31, 2022. The online storefronts will remain open.