You may or may not be aware of this, but J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter books are very popular. I know, big shocker. Also, the films based on those books are quite popular. It’s a day of revelations. What you probably didn’t know, though, is that overseas the films and books are popular enough to warrant country-specific merchandising and officially licensed artwork. Not just the covers of the books and DVDs, but literally different versions of the characters specifically used to sell merchandise in other nations. Easily the coolest has to be the official Harry Potter anime characters for the Japanese market.
Now, these aren’t fan art pieces or clever parodies used for geek t-shirts; these are the anime figures officially licensed by Warner Bros in Japan. They’re going to be put on merchandise ranging from folders, buttons, rubber stamps, keychains, and other things that will make a trip to school — preferably a wizarding one — more fun. They’ll also apparently be on cards (trading or otherwise) which is where the images in the gallery below are from.
It seems a shame to just have the images on their own, so here’s hoping they get turned into full-on manga or even anime productions at some point. Who wouldn’t want to see an anime version of Buckbeak flying around? I do think some of the choices for figures are weird, though; I mean, sure the kids make sense, but Remus Lupin and James Potter? I can’t imagine those will be top sellers, lycanthropy not withstanding.
These products aren’t going to be available in the U.S. or anywhere besides Japan, at least not at the moment. Might be time to finally take a trip to Tokyo, Potterheads! Let us know your thoughts on the images in the comments below!
Kyle Anderson is the Weekend Editor and a film and TV critic for Nerdist.com. Follow him on Twitter!