There are many Mall lovers and Anime lovers. However, lovers of Malls IN Anime - now that is niche! For those of you who do meet in the sweet-spot of this Venn diagram of awesomeness, there have been many occasions where these two worlds have collided. This is a (totally un-) comprehensive list of my favourite Malls in Anime. Bear in mid that this is not a top 10 list of my favourite Anime by any stretch (although some of them are right up there!), if that were the case SDF Macross, Bubblegum Crisis and Steins;Gate would definitely make the list. The following list includes Anime with particularly cool Malls, and if you think there are any glaring ommisions, let us know!
This Manga adaption from 2009 was a huge hit. The show follows Hirasawa Yui, who decides to join her school's music club. She hits it off with fellow members Ritsu, Mio and Tsumugi and they decide to form a group and make it big. It's not the most ground-breaking plot but it is just so goofy you hardly notice! All of the characters have their own, very distinct personalities and we get to see many of their daily goings-on, including hanging out at the Mall. Moe to the max!
9. To aru Kagaku no Reerugan
To are kagaku no reerugun (or 'a certain scientific railgun') is a shounen anime by Kazuma Kamachi. There were 24 episode altogether which aired in the late 00s. The show was set in a futuristic City called Academy City, where the only residents were students, researchers and teachers. The main protagonist is Mikoto, a level 5 Esper with magical superpowers – one of only 3 in the entire City. Of course Academy City, being full of students, would have to have a great Mall. It does!
8. Monster Strike
Monster Strike was originally a video game on 3DS, IOS and Android. It was such a success that in 2015 a web series was aired on Youtube. The main character, Ren, ends up getting hunted by a monster brought the life from the game. He manages to summon his own monster to help him out and chaos ensues. In episode 5, one of the more intense monster battles take place in a Shopping Centre. A movie from the same franchise was released last year, making it to the very top of the Box Office in Japan in its release week.
7. Gakkou Gurashi
'School – Live!' in English, this Anime took a lot of people by surprise when it was released in 2015. From its outward appearance, one got the impression that this was merely a kawaii school anime. However, a bombshell, which hits at the end of the first episode, showed that the show was so much more and gave it a very different flavour. In episode 4, the Mall takes the focus when we discover some important back-story about what really happened. Yuki also proposes a trip to the Mall, a little more complicated than one would think. Why? You'll have to watch!
6. Pokemon - sun and moon
I'm certain I don't have to tell you about the phenomenon that is Pokemon. In it's latest anime iteration (season 20!), we continue to follow Ash and Pikachu as they get up to all sorts of trouble in the big City of the Alola region. In episode 6, Ash is having a nice day out at the Mall, until Team Rocket accidentally trigger the Mall security system. As usual, many awesome Mall monster-battles ensue!
5. Flying Witch
This is Japan's answer to Sabrina the Teenage Witch. We follow young Witch Makoto, who moves to Aomori to live with some relatives who assist in her Witch training. In the debut of the anime, in 2016, Makoto meets her cousin, Chinatsu. Chinatsu is unimpressed and thinks Makoto is a bit of an oddball because she keeps on talking to her cat. However, Makoto wins her over with a nice trip to the local Mall, where Makoto shows Chinatsu some of her broom-flying skills. It is a great show, very much in the 'Yotsuba to' tradition.
4. Rakudai Kishi no Kyabarurii
'Chivalry of a Failed Knight' in English, this Anime was originally a light novel written by Riku Misora. Ikki Kurogane has dreams of becoming a Knight, but unfortunately is a bit of a failure, hence the title. To improve, she partners up with Stella Vermillion, an amazing fighter in order to improve. The anime is set in an alternative Earth, where certain Humans have super-powers. In episode 3, Ikki, Stella, Shizuku and Nagi have a day out at the Mall. It's all going totally fine until terrorists take over Mall security. It's Paul Blart all over again!
3. Ouran High School Host Club
This is another older anime, originally released in 2006 and written by Bisco Hatori. Definitely of the shoujo tradition, it followed the lives of a group of students of the highly prestigious Ouran Academy in Tokyo, where only the very elite can attend. One student, Haruhi, stumbles upon a secret group of guys who entertain women as a sort of host club (popular Tokyo clubs for young, single Japanese girls who get to chat with good-looking Japanese gents). Haruhi accidentally breaks a priceless antique in the room and is subsequently indentured to work as a scivvy for the club. In one particular episode, the hosts have a Mall outing in order to better understand how the 'commoners' of Tokyo live.
2. Plastic Memories
This stunning anime consisted of 13 episodes which were originally aired in 2015. It occurs in the not-too-distant future, where androids live peacefully alongside Humans in a Megacity. However, when these androids near the end of their lives, they begin to behave erratically and must therefore be rounded up by “spotter'/'marksmen' duos to have their memories erased. We see the Mall in a couple of episodes - we first see the Mall in episode 3, where spotter/marksman duo Tsukasa and Isla go to the Mall in an attempt to bond. We see the Mall again in episode 11, where Isla picks up some ingredients for the delicious omurice she intends to cook for Tsukasa – yum!
1. Eden of the East
Eden of the East is one of the most visually stunning anime around. It has a great mood and the intrigue builds, episode after episode. Created, written and directed by Kenji Kamiyama, it was first aired in 2009. We follow Saki and Akira, who are trying to figure out who Akira is because he can't remember a thing. In trying to discover who he is, the pair go to an address listed as Akira's residential address on his passport. They discover that it is an abandoned Shopping Mall and go about exploring the place, even watching a movie in the deserted Cinema. We see many beautiful shots of the empty Mall and it fulfils a deep desire to run around an abandoned Mall and explore. They even reference Mall classic 'Dawn of the Dead' in episode 3. This is the holy grail for lovers of Malls and Anime! Check it out!