As most programs I find wither away and die, Omakase is a program that I feel will always live on for me. It was my very first boxed subscription program that I followed and it will probably be the last one I ever participate in for a long while now. Not because I am so traumatized by the closing of Omakase rather, when I genuinely love a product and it is discontinued, it takes myself a long while to find another one to replace it. Granted, I will find one but now is not the time nor the place to concern myself for discussions on what box is to replace my Omakase Subscription. Now is a time for a reflection and my personal review for the program itself. Granted other larger sites by now have already written their reviews of the final Hatsune Miku box (I have been quite the lazy writer and have not gotten around to ours…) and few have written an in-depth review of the actual program. I hope to add a bit of my own influence into the search engines so I can give at least some lasting memory to a program that I absolutely still love and adore.
I started my obsessive journey with Omakase around October to early November of 2015. I was in a fever pitch of trying to find a website that offered K-On for legal streaming and my searches lead me to Viewster. While I finished making my account I stumbled across a rather interesting section on that website. Omakase. Intrigued, I clicked on it and discovered that it was a new boxed subscription program. It was also launching with my all time favorite anime, Kill la Kill as its flagship box. I was sold quicker than I ever have been in my life. I was never interested in the box programs but this seemed like it was more than the rest. The promises were certainly intriguing and almost too good to be true but as I found out later, the program delivered that and more. For a mere 35USD you got a box, anime HD Streaming, digital goodies and more. I mean I do not think I could have found better or more for that same exact price. It seemed like a lot for a box but I didn’t care since the items where almost all exclusive ones and where more than double to value for the subscription. Especially for the Kill la Kill items that I still cherish and show off to this day. The exclusive items in all three boxes are well worth their weight and I hope to see a high demand in the future for some of the unopened boxes that may be circulating out there in the wild. The digital exclusives were just as packed, for many day one supporters, we were given the awesome gift of a prepaid, six month subscription to Shonen Jump Digital Manga, a deal that was surprising and frankly out of this world.
Each box after, the Naruto and Hatsune Miku, where just as tailored and cared for. While I can say I never got a box that was too badly beaten up, I do know that others were not as fortunate. Viewster, previously the Omakase section, made sure that fans and supporters who received damaged boxes and content where aptly taken care of. Heck, just this morning I caught a Twitter conversation regarding the, Kill la Kill Vol. 2 Hardcover, in which a supporter got a damaged one and while Omakase has officially closed, Viewster is still strongly trying to help those who are still needing some assistance. That is dedication to their fans. The tailored experience was essential and a point of inspiration for Viewster’s Omakase program. Knowing that you were not getting a box that was stuffed with items seemingly picked at random, was all the more reassuring. Sadly, many feel that this method was to play in the downfall of Omakase. If you knew what was coming, would you subscribe to something that only consisted of items from a singular fandom? More than likely not. It was nice to be able to see what you were getting from the box in advance, rather than hope that whatever item you were getting from the box in question was going to be something you liked. I am so ever thankful none of the Omakase boxes shipped with the awful Funko Pop! Figures… I personally cannot stand them. However others love them. Omakase’s goal was to set out to provide a truly curated experience that sought to provide fans with a box that was both premium and full of inspiration. They wanted their subscribers to know they were not going to provide them with anything less than average. The verdict? They delivered on that promise. Everything was tailored to the specific box and all the exclusives were beauties to behold. Especially that adorable Hatsune Miku Squishable.
The digital side to Omakase was both comic and music based. With names like Cristina Vee and Sparklez* headlining the digital exclusives, you knew that the program was not messing around one bit. They were just as tailored as them items that came in the boxes. I cannot express how much of a home they have on my iPhone, as the boxes do in my collection. The contents of the boxes themselves ranged from apparel to figures. Everything that was exclusive to the boxed program was done so with artists and the creators of the products themselves and they were made with the utmost attention to detail. The Senketsu scarf was by far my favorite and pride out of all the boxes; not to mention the hardcover Vol 1 and 2 of Kill la Kill’s manga run. While the first two boxes had a split of exclusive to nonexclusive, the very last box was all exclusive content. From the Hatsune Miku Squishable to the stickers, every last one was a special curation for the last box for Omakase. Many artists gave this last and final box their best and it paid off in my opinion.
If a program like Omakase was so loved and enjoyed then why did it fail? Well sadly not everyone likes subscription boxes nor does new competition potentially aim to fair well in a landscape dominated by competitors like, Loot Crate. There are a flurry of rumors as to why the program shut it’s doors only after three boxes. Some cite a lack in growth as a concerning factor while others simply feel that the program was doomed from the beginning. I would like to think that the program just did not meet certain goals and or guidelines that Viewster was wanting. I wanted to see this program grow more. I wanted to see more boxes come out of the Omakase doors. I wanted to see other themed boxes like, Love Live or Kiznaiver, but that is fine. All good things must end, some sooner than others. I want to always look fondly at Omakase because the quality that they gave us was just as fond. I want to see Omakase return in the future, maybe in the cover of something else but still holding to the principles that made it great. Omakse was and still is a program that put the quality of its boxes first and has left a lasting impression on other companies that have already long been established. It takes a new threat to push innovation in industry and Omakase was a threat that was so influencing it has left its mark on the box industry in the short time that it was around. In essence, I did not know the deeper details regarding this program’s closing but I would like to think it was for the better of Viewster. That’s all I can do as a supportive fan.
While this overview of Omakase is heavily influenced by my own enjoyment of the program, this was how much I loved it all. I am not very vocal when it concerns programs and general items but when it comes to services that I feel put fans first and are genuinely trying to better the industry that they represent, then I will be strongly vocal about it all. I will support it to the moon and beyond. This is what Otaku Gamer Zone did and this is something Otaku Gamer Zone will always enjoy and fondly remember. The Omakase program was able to provide myself and my website a chance at an ambassador program and the chance to talk to and engage with others within the Viewster workplace. For that I am truly grateful. Omakase was a program that had brilliant ideas and shared a passion and love for the anime that we all do as well. It was and still has been an awesome ride and I can say that whenever I get the chance to show off those boxes I will. Maybe one day, Omakase can return and pick back up where it left off, providing the best curated anime content from any box to date.
Did you sign up for the program or were you interested in it? Feel free to leave us a comment down below and let us know your input and opinions regarding the program. You can still visit Viewster for your indie film needs and anime programs. Thank you again to Viewster for giving OGZ a chance to be apart of this program in the form of an ambassador. We also thank our fans who put up with are obsessive but loving interest in the Omakase program.
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