Unfortunately, Viewster has announced the end of Omakase – although they are looking for potential buyers of the service. It’s disappointing because it seemed that Viewster were really trying to have a product that fans would really like – as opposed to some existing ‘loot’ boxes that are overpriced sales of surplus stock.
Take for example the first box which was Kill-la-Kill themed featuring a shiny edition of the manga, a Sengetsu scarf and a Mako towel – much more practical (and much more interesting) than most companies who include stuff that might look interesting, but will be left in a shelf somewhere. The boxes also vary widely in items and characters, meaning that if the main item isn’t your jam, the rest of the box will probably still be worth it.
The previous Omakase boxes
We received Viewster’s final Omakase box which was vocaloid themed, and everyone who purchased the final box will still receive it. They have probably been contacted by Viewster via mail already.
The packaging of Omakase is pretty tasteful and changes with the theme – you might notice a leek and some familar faces in the screenshot above. Also above is the card that details whats inside your Omakase box – with a gorgeous illustration from Pivix user Rakuchi.
Now the actual contents of the box:
Also not pictured was a Meiko poster designed by the main artist of Skullgirls, and a Ren/Len themed belt & strap.
Something that is nice about Omakase is that it gives some of the fan artists great exposure. The tshirt is designed by HappyMappy, also pictured above is a cute sticker set from Punimelt and there are 12 independent artists represented in the comic book. Not to mention the digital offerings that come with the physical box, including an EP from SlimeGirls exclusive to the box. Some of the names might be more familiar than others, but they’re all artists that most hardcore fans would recommend.
In their closure message, Viewster mentioned that they weren’t leaving the anime scene – they will still be attending conventions and are planning their next surpise, so stay tuned – it’s likely to be good considering the amount of effort they put into Omakase, and being very receptive to fans.
Omakase represented decent value for money, favouring usability and fan favourites over single-use contents. Despite some initial disappointment in Viewster’s direction, it remains a company that may change the landscape for anime & manga fandom within Europe, where we’re all too used to being second priority to the States.
While we’re pretty disappointed the great service is ending, we’re also pretty excited about what’s to come.
P.S. check out their twitter account for some fun discussions