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Monday, January 17, 2022

Anime Room: How To Create An Otaku Corner

Thinking of anime room designs organizing otaku collections gamer room and wall paper.

Anime room, weeb lounge, otaku area—whatever you want to call it, this haven is a fancy place for every "person of culture." 

Thus, if they earned an exclusive area for themselves, creating an otaku corner may be one of the first design themes that come to mind. 

What Makes A Design Otaku?

The history of the word otaku began in Japan. While its past would reveal a haunting story and its association with social stigma, the worldwide audience sees it positively. 

Society's perception of the terminology evolved through time and is now widely used to describe individuals with varying obsessions for anime, gaming, technology, and the Japanese culture.

The aesthetic covers a variety of areas. For a design to achieve the otaku standard, it needs to possess enough elements that would serve as references to an anime show, comics, games, horror icons, and more. 

Having a piece of merchandise may not translate enough, so it needs to work with other otaku materials.

Even if the Western influence gets mixed with the entire ensemble, things may still occur otaku. Most media consumed by the US audience have Asian roots that it's impossible to be in a geeky room without an item that refers to Japanese media.

Overall, transitioning a space into an otaku hub is no rocket science. Still, you need to make relevant materials work in harmony for that ultimate dream place to manifest. 

This dilemma leads us to plan everything before putting everything into execution.

Otaku Corner Themes And Anime Room Ideas

Source: Pinterest

With millions of references and possible combinations, it'll take forever to list down every tried-and-tested otaku theme.

In terms of thinking of different otaku room ideas, it refers to the particular variation of the otaku culture. 

The most common ones include games, anime, and manga. Designs that stood out had to narrow their wide selections to limited aspects for a cohesive collection and backdrop. Still, you can even bring out an otaku out of the room with just custom stickers.

If you are the owner or designer of an animation-themed hotel or a playroom, I believe you can not miss custom stickers to decorate your room! Turning your design drawings into exquisite stickers on the wall can not only meet your preferences but also play a role in publicity that can promote the brands.

On the other hand, being too general will only make it hard to organize as every otaku category is huge enough to overwhelm any designer, much more a DIY homemaker. 

Still, some roomies successfully put together stuff from various anime shows and video games into one furnished setting—it all depends on your skill!

If you are trying to convert a flat area into an anime bedroom or only have a corner to utilize, these themes will bring home a blast of otaku spirit.

Shrimp's Blue Room

A blue otaku room with gumball vending machine a white Cinnamoroll gaming chair and Kirby LED lights

Shrimp, Twitter handle @shryma, displays an adorable Kirby collection in this perfectly arranged anime room. 

The design showcases clever lighting that imitates the blue starry skies we can see in many romantic and slice-of-life anime series we've watched. The neon helped out a lot!

Custom Neon signs are one of the trendy ways to decorate the perfect anime room. Custom neon signs allow individuals to express their unique personality and interests in a visually compelling way.Whether it's a neon sign showing a favorite anime, a beloved band logo, or a wacky image, these signs have become a way for people to showcase their own personality and create a popular nerd corner.

But that's not all!

Shrimp frequently tweets about their pink gamer setup, Studio Ghibli papercrafts, the lovely plushies, and the kawaii Neko named Waffle. 

Examining the room's interior, it's obvious that the space is quite small, enough for one person, or maybe a couple. Even so, the designer was able to set up a mini lounge, a workstation, vending machines, a figure shelf, and a bed into one. 

Anime bedroom using a loft bed to save space, mirror shelves, moving storage cart and small lounge accommodating many anime and manga collectibles

This arrangement was possible because of the loft bed. IKEA's got a range of these bed units, though you can get cheaper loft beds with built-in features from Amazon.

Instead of a massive table, they used a mounted desk that stretches from one of the loft bed's foundations, curved at the corner to extend to the adjacent wall. 

Apart from the glass shelf that gave the illusion of a wider space, they also installed a floating corner shelf for the Nendoroids, Funko Pops, and other smaller figures.

Underneath the loft bed is the tiny lounge where they fitted a flat TV, its wide cabinet stand, and a mini sofa. 

Another space-savvy feature in this setting is the slim rack, like those often used in the kitchen. It served as a mobile storage for their manga collection, water bottles, and cookie tin cans. 

This storage cart may not be exact, but it should be close enough.

Like Shrimp, you can also create a wistful anime room despite the small work area. The key is making use of space-friendly solutions and grouping alike things together.

A Pink Corner

Don't fret if a small corner is all you have for this project. You can still make it work like this Pinterest user's transformation of that tiny area into a pink otaku hub.

Apart from mirrors, light colors like powder pink and periwinkle add volume to the room. So if you have anime merchandise with a narrow color palette, it calls for a collective theme like our above example.

There's so much you can add in a pink otaku corner: pink unicorn plushies, Kirby merch, Sailormoon accessories, and a pink shag carpet

You can also take out all the rosy characters from anime shows and have them join your collection: Tonde Burin, Nezuko from Demon Slayer, Biscuit Krueger from Hunter x Hunter, Kusuo Saiki from The Disastrous Life Of Saiki, Sakura Haruno from Naruto, and Mina Ashido from My Hero Academia, to name a few.

Manga Wall

Let's take a quick room tour through this TikTok video uploaded by @kendypie (Roxy).

@kendypie update/new room tour #fyp #weebtiktok #anime #weeb #roomtour #room #pinterest #bts #manga #mangacollection #viral #switch ♬ Kiss Me More (feat. SZA) - Doja Cat

We're jealous of her Banana Fish collection, but what caught our eyes were the manga printouts that adorned the walls of her room. It's hard to resist the thought of doing the same.

This full wall craft is called an anime mural. The project is entirely DIY, and it'll require enough diligence on your part for it to materialize. 

Begin by finding your favorite manga pages. Make sure that they are in black & white or grayscale before saving them in PDF format. Next, email or share the drive folder to a store with a commercial plotter printer. 

For this, go to the nearest Officemax in your area. Also, there are online shops that make custom stickers. Go with the cheaper or more convenient option.

Once you get your printouts, remember to purchase an adhesion substance and polyacrylic for coating. This step will preserve your anime mural and protect it from accidents. 

Roxy's pad is quite bigger than some of the otaku rooms we've virtually toured. Still, she employed space-saving elements to accommodate an immersion of anime merchandise.

Pop Culture Crossover Room

Speaking of immersion, it's understandable that some of our peers have equal enthusiasm over K-Pop and J-Pop. Even if there is bias, someone who plans to set up a room with references from clashing cultures would wish for an organized way to do it.

This arrangement shows how an otaku served two masters at once:

Segregating niches apart is key for a successful pop culture crossover room design. But this is easier said than done when it comes to smaller spaces. 

If this stinging dilemma hinders you, separate the K-pop merchandise from anime with shelves. For posters, dedicate one side to your BTS murals, and display anime wallpapers on the other.

You may apply the same principle if you have a larger space. However, it will give you plenty of design options at your disposal.

The Cyber Zone Room

Early adopters, hard coders, master streamers, and tech nerds are more likely to construct a cyber zone than settle with a corner. After all, most individuals from this demographic have gained enough livelihood to support the otherwordly room configurations they have in mind.

Starters can begin with these so-called "Battlestations."

The "Ice Cold Command Center:"

A Kiddie Gamer Setup:

Moreover, a fancier setup would involve an extraordinary gaming workstation like this.

Everything could be as complicated as a laboratory. We must also stress the need for enough space so the otaku can enjoy more high-end gadgets like a golf simulator.

Retro Otaku Corner

There's no denying that nostalgia is now a marketing tool. This intense longing for the past is the key ingredient to the ever-staying power of arcades, retro gaming consoles, vinyl players, and brands that capitalize on it.

That being said, these items are only a few of those that make a retro otaku corner. 

Heidi stopXwhispering’s room screams retro.

Cc: Heidi StopXwhispering

According to Heidi's blog, she started collecting in 2002 and has now amassed over 260 gaming units and over 6000 games!

The design followed no rules. Heidi neatly stacked her games and invested in a shelf lined with LED lights to showcase the old TV sets and giant keyboards, which she called the "Old-School corner." 

Let's list down what we've noticed in our quick image tour of Heidi stopXwhispering’s retro room:

  • Jeff Minter Games
  • Bang & Olufsen with PC
  • Blast City Arcade
  • C64 games neatly arranged in drawers
  • Castlevania collection separated from others in a gorgeous glass cabinet case
  • Atari and ZX Spectrum Games
  • Famicom tidily organized on floating shelves
  • SEGA and Nintendo collection
  • Japanese Mega Drive games
  • Virtual Boy
  • Famicom Joystick Pillow
  • Pac-man and Nintendo LED lights
  • A cabinet shared by Dreamcast and PlayStation games
  • The unique Vectrex, which is rare nowadays.

However, retro is not all about games. You can have this theme by incorporating other zombie technologies into the pool of collections. 

Also, you can have a vintage vinyl player, a feature wall of the best anime vinyl covers, vintage telephone units, maybe Superman's phonebooth, 8-bit decors, this nostalgic popcorn cart, old typewriters, a reel player projector, and other old-school stuff that'll send you on a trip down memory lane.

Japanese-Inspired Room

A Japanese-inspired room is a rad idea for households who can spend a spare room for a major makeover. Of all otaku rooms, this requires a handful of work, knowledge of washitsu (Traditional Japanese rooms), and excellent crating skills if you intend to do this on your own.

Let's check this room for inspiration:

The above image shows a simple yet contemporary take on the standard design. With a kotatsu, futon, and mat, you can easily transform your room into one of these.

But if you want to bring the design up a notch, you'll need more than just these accessories. If you pulled this off, you have our admiration.

Also called tatami rooms, traditional living quarters use tatami mats, a common flooring material in Japanese-style rooms. You can go minimalist by only adding a chabudai and modifying the entryway into a Japanese sliding door or shoji. 

Here's a sample from Kiarts:

Consider using a shoji-style panel divider if you plan to convert an open living space into a Japanese-style reception area. It would be a cheaper option than altering the walls of a room.

Accentuate the space with a Japanese sword replica or any rare item you purchased—no need to fill it with your anime and gaming items. Save them to decorate another room.

Check this DeviantArt inspiration by Fakhri-Aulia:

Other Anime Themed Room Ideas

Sky is the limit for an anime lover or a video game enthusiast who's keen to impress the world with their well-curated anime or video game room.

But before you start filling your living room or man cave, it's best to think it through rather than recklessly piling up anime figurines and other stuff. Each anime room idea in this section is worth looking into.

A Feature Anime Wall

Anime fans with only a small room to pour their creative juices onto can consider dressing up that empty wall. There are plenty of wall decor pieces to make use of:

  • Decals
  • Anime posters
  • Wall stickers
  • Wall art
  • Postcards and magazine cutouts 
  • Origami art for texture and vibrant colors
  • Wall scrolls
  • Video game CDs that no longer work
  • Collage of anime cards or stickers
  • Anime puzzle frames

Dragon Ball Z Room

Fans of Dragon Ball can easily gather room decor materials for this theme. After all, DBZ is one of the most successful anime franchises. 

While it's a great idea to purchase posters and anime stickers to dress up a wall, it's best to analyze what the space can do, especially if you have enough budget at your disposal.

To start, consider an orange anime room background and produce some red star cutouts to imitate the dragon balls. Then, dedicate one wall where you set up a shelf filled with Dragon Ball merchandise you have gathered since childhood.

For enhanced functionality of this anime aesthetic room, use light ornaments that are custom-ordered. You can go all the way by using DIY dragon ball light bulbs or LED lamps sold in different otaku shops.

Attack On Titan Theme

Remember the first time the Scouts discovered a titan buried inside the wall? Now, that's a good starting point for this anime room.

Going after the AOT room is a practical decision. Apart from being the anime with the best twists, it's easy to transform the entire room's aesthetic, as the anime design can be achieved with walls alone. 

If you want to be more extravagant, you can prepare a corner for a titan scale figure altar. On the other hand, fujoshis can order Eren or Levi's thirst-trap statues from Gentleman Studio or other houses.

Demon Slayer Theme

Another hit anime expected to grow even bigger in 2024 is Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer). We forecast that more anime fans will collect DS merch and purchase home decor pieces that would help them transform their rooms into one of those torn houses from the Taisho era.

Speaking of the Taisho era, the design is related to the Japanese-Inspired Room we discussed earlier in this article. However, this type of room is more rustic and dramatic, with no trace of any modern element. 

If you have enough space in your home for this setup and aim for a classic Japanese vibe sans the flying colors from anime merch, an anime aesthetic room project might be a great idea.

10 Things You Need To Setup An Otaku Corner

Whether you want a simple gamer hub, do a major renovation, or go full weeb, you'll need some instruments to acquire the otaku corner of your dreams. We've already mentioned shag rags, storage carts, and kotatsu earlier on, but there's still more that we haven't come across.

#1 - A Glass Display Cabinet Case

Most of the beautiful otaku rooms we featured owe their efficiency to the magnificent display of their figurines. 

Starters would think that a regular wooden cabinet would work. But, these are not as flexible and complementary as a sleek glass display cabinet case.

Others would create built-in shelves in their room, which is a more space-savvy option. However, it is a costly project that only hardcore collectors attempt to have. 

On top of possible wall reconstruction, installing LED lights and rewiring could make things more complicated. Still, it is a very rewarding home renovation project.

Click the image to see the product:

#2 - Gaming Chair

Any contemporary otaku room setting, particularly those who enjoy their games, won't be complete without a gaming chair. 

The most popular among anime lovers are the pink gaming chairs because of their kawaii potential. They easily blend in many setups, especially those with lighter shades.

#3 - LED Lamps

Fantastic LED Lights taking the shape of an anime character or a gaming reference sets the geeky vibe. Without it, a modern otaku hub would be dull and incomplete. 

We recommend these 8-bit Game Over Pixel Lights with a sound-reactive function to make the room feel retro. For minimalists, you can opt for Smart LED bars like this product from Govee.

#4 - A Snack Bar

Back to Shrimp's blue otaku room, we mentioned they had cookie tin cans and beverages in anime water bottles. If you check their Twitter feed, there were image posts of snacks, particularly those sweet goodies you can buy from Akihabara or online through a Japanese snack box subscription.

Consider getting a small fridge you can use to stock up with anime chocolates, other snacks, and drinks. It's a convenient amenity to have in your hub, especially if you need sugar to last your otaku activities.

#5 - Sound System

If you play games on the console or watch anime, it's not as thrilling if you rely on the sound of your monitor alone. Sadly, it's hard to find a custom sound system for the otaku market. 

Invest in a sleek soundbar system like this item from Bose, which you can easily mount or hide. If you couldn't find any good anime speaker, move on with decent tech.

#6 - A Badass Computer Set

Fancy computer specifications aside, a transparent CPU case with a pretty shape, LED lights, and enough space for a Hunter x Hunter Nendoroid is an impressive addition. Partner it with a mechanical keyboard and a good mouse with cool backlights.

#7 - Figure Stand

You'll need sturdy action figure stands if you have old anime figures—lots of them. It'll be a mess if you let the bigger bots lean on the glass shelf like problematic titans.

#8 - CD Rack

If you have tons of games and anime DVDs, you'll need more racks. You might even need a full shelf if you've been collecting since the 90s. This contemporary CD Rack from the Atlantic Store is a versatile storage piece with dividers. 

#9 - Maintenance

Depending on your gaming units and other gadgets, you would need to stock up with parts, or they'll end up like trash. If you have a retro arcade or an old phonograph, you should reserve drawer space for wires, arcade sticks, replacement styli, adapters, cables, and cleaning materials.

#10 - Wire Organizers and Universal Docks

Even your new gadgets would need some charging at some point. If they all go out at once, it'll be a crazy sight! 

Avoid tangling cables with an upgraded universal docking station like this consumer favorite from TOTU

When not in use, store these wires neatly in a corner with the help of cable organizers.

Other Resources In Setting Up An Otaku Corner Or Anime Room

Geek Home Decor And Figure Online Shops

  • Amazon
  • RedBubble
  • Senpai Mart
  • JapanCrate
  • Otaku ME

Related Articles

Anime Room Ideas: Summary

We hope that some of the anime room ideas we shared above will match the taste of our otaku readers. Our team carefully analyzed each of these themes to understand the anatomy and share with you the important elements necessary for their construction.

Still, we encourage everyone to explore the many options possible, like creating an otaku hub as a tribute to one of your favorite anime shows. We've seen many stunning One Piece rooms and miniature Studio Ghibli universe, and we're sure that many fans out there have been trying their best to implement a fantastic anime room setup like what we've shared today.

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