Artiswitch is an anime and multimedia media project that represents the meld of Harajuku’s fashion, art, and music scene within its episodes. The anime debuted in 2021 as a collaboration between Japanese animation studio Sunrise [and Harajuku culture production company Asobisystem. All episodes, each just shy of 10 minutes, are free to watch on the Artiswitch official YouTube channel. The first season is 6 episodes with a new season just announced on the way.
A Simple Summary of Artiswitch
Rumor has it that there’s a magical shop in Ura-Harajuku that can fulfill the secret wishes of customers. A witch in training named Nina runs the shop and invites customers to peek into their true feelings deep within their hearts. The customers have mixed reactions and make their own choices whether or not to make their wish come true.
Each episode features a different customer. With each trial, Nina experiences the joy, hurt, and conflict of humanity.
One of the biggest appeals of the Artiswitch anime is the bright, colorful, and eye-catching character designs. Many of Nina’s outfits were designed by Miki Aizawa, a renowned stylist and costume designer who has worked with many celebrities and Harajuku fashion brands.
All of the characters’ outfits represent different styles of Harajuku fashion. Nina wears a variety of outfits with different vibes ranging from bright and eccentric kawaii style to more mature gothic and lolita fashion.
Artiswitch Meets Fashion in Real Life with Brand Collaborations
As a project with many big Harajuku names involved, it should be no surprise that Harajuku fashion brands are also included in the collaboration! Several popular subculture brands have and will be releasing real clothing based on some characrers. Most designs feature Nina since she’s the main character, but Ruru from episode 4 is also a popular choice for brands since she actually wears lolita fashion.
ACDC Rag Collaboration
Artiswitch’s first fashion collaboration was with the street fashion brand ACDC Rag in 2022. ACDC Rag is a long-time brand of Harajuku street fashion known for its shop right off Takeshita Street. They release a bit of everything in a lot of styles ranging from pop and pastel to dark punk and visual kei.
The ACDC Rag collaboration included oversized T-shirts, shorts, and parkas based off the characters Nina, Ruru, and Mana. The printed shirts, available in short or long sleeves, feature the characters’ faces while the shorts and hoodies feature a print of the respective character’s special background.
- Short sleeve T-shirt: ¥3,850
- Long sleeve T-shirt: ¥4,290
- Shorts: ¥2,750
- Parka: ¥6,050
Metamorphose, one of the largest Japanese lolita brands, made their first collaboration with Artiswitch near the end of 2022. The ornate dress set was based off Ruru’s original mint and white hime lolita outfit. The Artiswitch Ruru Dress Set included the one piece dress, half bonnet, and ankle cuffs. The parasol was made by Apleberute, a parasol specialty brand that is also popular with lolitas. Misako Aoki modeled this set. It was also available in plus size.
- Dress set: ¥104,500
- Dress set (plus size): ¥115,500
- Parasol: ¥13,200
Metamorphose just released a second collaboration with Artiswitch based on Nina. The set will be released in March-April 2024. This time the pieces were based off Nina’s cream OTT sweet lolita design in episode 4. The Artiswitch Nina JSK Set consists of the jumperskirt, cape, ribbon clips, and ankle cuffs. Metamorphose recommended their Creamy Frill Round Collar Blouse to match the set (shown in model photo). Midori Fukasawa modeled the piece this time. It was also available in plus sizing.
- JSK set: ¥93,500
- JSK set (plus size): ¥96,800
Airily, a popular cosplay wig brand in Japan (and one of my favorite wig brands), released 6 officially licensed character wigs in late 2023. Featured characters included Nina and Ruru, of course, along with Mana, Akihiro, Saki, and Tiara.
- Ruru wig: ￥8,800
- Nina wig: ￥8,800
- Mana wig: ￥8,800
- Akihiro wig: ￥8,800
- Saki wig: ￥8,800
- Haruka wig: ￥8,800
- Tiara wig: TBA
Ruru’s Episodes of Memories
Ruru was such a popular character that she had her own two episode prequel. Some popular Harajuku apparel brands exclusively designed dresses for Ruru which she wears in the episode. Ruru’s Episodes of Memories #01 featured outfits made by Sheglit, Abilletage, and elements,H.
Gothic lolita brand Sheglit will open orders for their Ruru set in January 2024. The set includes a lace veil and black long sleeve cross one piece dress.
Abilletage, an elegant classic brand known for their corsets, madetThe second outfit in the episode. Abilletage’s pink outfit collaboration includes 4 pieces. These items, the Victorian Dress, Victorian Headdress, Victorian Mini Corset, and over knee socks are part of Abilletage’s signature pieces, but just made in a special shell pink colorway.
- Headdress: ￥14,300
- Dress: ￥45,000
- Corset: ￥36,300
- Socks: ￥3,520
Streetwear brand Elements,H will produce the final red outfit consisting of a scarlet red one piece dress and headdress with pearl accents. This set will be released in March 2024.
The second half of Ruru’s Episodes of Memories will be released in April 2024. For Ruru, there may be a possibility of more clothing collaborations in the future! Ruru is quite popular, so I highly anticipate more pieces for her will appear.
As for the other characters, perhaps there’s a slim chance that they could get pieces. I would love to see some more of Nina’s outfits get translated into real life.