Anime and manga have been around for years, and their art has been loved and admired by fans for as long as it has existed. Anime and manga have gone through many changes over the years though. One of the biggest is that throughout time, anime productions have shifted to digital, which means hand painted cels have become more difficult to find. To combat this, companies are bringing back the sales of these cels in new ways.
Anime and manga cels have recently entered the NFT marketplace through a company called Rakuza, where they are being sold as non-fungible token. If you are not familiar with NFT’s, they are a unit of data stored on the blockchain. They are bought with a cryptocurrency like Ethereum that also operates on the blockchain. The idea is that the transaction is tracked on the blockchain so people can see that you own a “real” version of the piece. This is similar to art, where every transaction is well documented and you are given a paper that authenticates it. These pieces are digital and every transaction is unique.
Rakuza posted on their about page that in the past, anime cels were thrown away when production was completed at the studios. So, why not make some sales off this? This is a big stepping-stone in the world of anime for Rakuza to preserve these traditional anime and manga cels.
The Rakuza marketplace has their grand opening this month. On the Japanese company’s website there are a variety of anime/manga cels that customers can purchase. For example, there’s a Porco Rosso anime cel for 48,185.13 USD.
Will Japanese anime and manga cels be popular in the NFT market place? I think so, since anime has a big fanbase and is popular all over the world. NFT’s have been in the news a lot lately as the art world tries to figure out what to do with them, and buyers are trying to figure out if it’s worth anything. With some huge sales coming from NFT in the recent months it’s really no surprise that someone is selling anime cels through this kind of transaction.