Interview #07Why Anime Shops Opened at Parco

Parco Co., Ltd.
Chihiro Tezuka

Organizing the Eva CL Exhibition and Heading to the Dream Position in the Entertainment Division

When meeting with Radio Eva for the first time, Tezuka only wanted to sell products on Parco’s EC shop. However, as they found mutual understanding with director Muto, their encounter soon gave birth to an unusual event: The Eva CL Exhibition held at Monozoku in summer 2010.

“Although Radio Eva was becoming more and more known being featured even on TV shows and such, they only had an EC site and no real shop. So, he made an offer: If we are going to do something with Parco, it should be an event! It was just about that time that Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance Complete Records Collection and the Blu-ray box for FLCL, an original anime created by the same director, Tsurumaki, during his time at Gainax, came out. The Eva CL Exhibition was what came out of the wild idea ‘what if we mixed all this together?’ (laughs) While the director is the same for both anime,* 2.0* was produced by Studio Khara, so this was an attempt to introduce works from two different publishers. Fortunately, both companies gladly agreed, and there was also going to be an autograph session with director Tsurumaki. Meanwhile, we had Radio Eva make original goods for the event.”

Evangelion + *FLCL *= Eva CL. The Eva CL Exhibition was unique in its concept of taking on two anime with wholly different atmospheres from two different production companies, albeit from the same director. It even had news coverage from NHK during the one month of its duration.

“The event space was small, but it was used well. While most of the anime exhibitions only line up original pages/frames and scene shots, the Eva CL Exhibition had a Parco-style twist on it which was also featured in the stylish products by Radio Eva. Plus, we could also move this exhibition to my former workplace in Hiroshima. We remained in contact with Muto. Originally, he also worked in the world of music and fashion including being a club DJ, so it was only natural we hit it off well.”

Tezuka found his way into the business of anime content through his unwilling transfer to the EC Division. After his achievements in Monozoku, Tezuka finally gets assigned to the position of his dreams, the Entertainment Division at Parco’s head office in 2011.

“During the first period after my transfer, I was responsible for planning and managing exhibitions held at Parco Museum in Shibuya while continuing doing EC-related work. The first I did was an exhibition of the Korean actor Jang Keun-suk and an exhibition of Kenji Ozawa, whose concerts were produced by our Entertainment Division. Although neither idea came from me, and maybe it was just because the timing was good, both events attracted a large number of visitors. After learning of the success of these operations, curators from museums in Shibuya and galleries from all around came asking me to help throw a gig.”

Later, Tezuka had another mysterious encounter with Eva. It was around summer 2012, when Tezuka and former Radio Eva director Muto were drinking together, unrelated to work.

A view of the display area of the Eva CL Exhibition held in summer 2010. Besides featuring materials from Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance and a model of the FLCL character Canti, they also sold limited edition goods such as clear files designed by Radio Eva. Even Radio Eva’s signature product, the lunch box with a NERV logo, was actually born during this exhibition.