We sat down recently with Michelle Mauk, Loot Anime’s Brand Creative Lead. What does that job entail? Michelle leads the discussion when it comes to product assortment, theme selection, and of course, what anime/manga titles we choose to include! Michelle is a long time anime fan, so you can bet she knows her stuff.
What is your favorite anime/manga title and why?
I have so many anime I love! My favorite anime movie is Spirited Away. I love anything with yokai, culture, spirits, the merging of different worlds. My favorite anime series is probably Ranma 1/2. I grew up with it, and it’s just a mash of comedy, action, cultures, martial arts, and love. My favorite manga is The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. I think it’s underrated, but it’s a neat blend of Buddhism, slight horror, comedy and mystery, and the characters especially Karatsu, are very easy to like despite doing a weird job (carrying out last wishes from dead people). Probably right next to that is Pluto by Naoki Urusawa. It’s a great retelling of Astro Boy but with the idea that the most advanced AI in the world are being targeted and eliminated, and it weaves a mystery around concepts of humanity.
What is one of your biggest struggles when curating a crate for Loot Anime?
There are always struggles in crate curation (pricing, licensing, etc)., but really the largest struggle is finding a theme and finding franchises that will work together in that theme. There is a lot of anime, and picking anime/manga series that can work well and carry the theme of the crate together and appeal to a large audience is probably the biggest hurdle.
How does the theme naming process happen?
The theme naming process isn’t a solitary process. I’ll often come up with themes and ideas, and then I run them by our internal fan base. They’re great because they are all hardcore fans, but in many different genres, so often they’ll come up with names and concepts different from what I had envisioned.
Which one of Loot Anime’s crates from its first year is your favorite? Favorite item?
My favorite crate is probably the “Delicious” Crate. It’s so colorful and full of fun items. My favorite item is the Guts Dragonslayer letter opener from the “Blade” crate. That’s a great conversation piece, and ties so well into the source material.
If you could be the protagonist of any anime story, which one would it be?
Haruhi from Ouran High School Host Club. She is so smart and keeps her cool so well despite the craziness around her.
What do you hope for Loot Anime to achieve in 2017?
I hope we can continue to have Loot Anime grow, since the more we grow, the more we can make great unique official product for the crate!
What is one thing you want to say to Looters about 2017?
Our Looters are the best, and we have a lot of great things planned for all of you in 2017! Please stick with us and we hope you enjoy what we bring to you!