Fandom is a great way to connect and share your passions with others. Whether it’s full-on cosplay, a T-shirt with your favorite character, or just a key chain, many wear their love of a story on their sleeves. However, depending on your personality or surroundings, there are also times when you want to keep such passions and hobbies private. Perhaps expressions of any fandom are not appropriate at certain workplaces, or clash with the interior design style of your place. Whatever the reasons, there is enough demand in Japan to keep fandom private and, as a result, there are companies dedicated to designing understated anime merchandise. We look at one Evangelion merch collection so low-key, that even fans might miss the connection if they don’t look carefully.

Evangelion Merch for Grown-up Geeks

An anime with a serious, dedicated, adult audience, Neon Genesis Evangelion is the perfect candidate for toned-down anime merchandise. Available to order in September 2023, and released in February 2024, there is a new line of Evangelion interior design goods by Useless Use Laboratory (UUL).

Ideal for a work desk, even for the office, there is an elegant table lamp with minimalist Evangelion-related designs. Then there’s a black metal magazine or a file rack with the Nerv logo (the fictional organization from Evangelion), and a small hexagonal tabletop humidifier.

For ultra-stealthy fans, there are also decorative flower arrangements in the signature colors of Evangelion characters. There is a small sticker indicating the character’s name, which the owner may choose not to place. So, what looks like a simple purple and green mini bouquet under a glass jar is in fact representing Shinji Ikari’s Evangelion Unit 01.

The items are carefully handmade, which increases the price, so a fan will be spending ¥19,800 on the lamp, ¥9,900 for the magazine rack, ¥7,700 for the humidifier and ¥6,600 for the flower arrangements.

Other Anime Merchandise by UUL

UUL is a lifestyle brand that focuses on fandom expressed through interior design and miscellaneous goods and most of its designs are subtle enough that only dedicated fans will recognize them as anime merch. Often, they only use a pattern or color scheme to represent an anime character, or more obviously, the anime logo.

At the time of writing, UUL offers rugs with the kimono patterns of the main characters from Demon Slayer, Jujutsu Kaisen rugs and cushions and The New Prince of Tennis slippers and storage boxes, to name a few. In the past, the company also had My Hero Academia plates, slippers and cushions. Keep an eye on the official website for new anime merch dropping.

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