On June 27, the Azuki Elementals mint went live, generating immense fanfare throughout Web3. Billed as the next evolution of the popular anime-themed PFP project, Elementals sold out in record time, failing to make it past presale before all 20,000 NFTs had been minted.
Perhaps to be expected, though, not everything went off without a hitch. From unsatisfactory mint mechanics to an underwhelming reveal, after the dust had settled from the launch, scrutiny of the Azuki sister project became both severe and unwavering. Now, Azuki has responded to the mounting opposition faced by its Elementals collection.
A recap of the Elementals mint
On June 27, the Elementals minting event was initiated as planned at 12 p.m. ET. At this time, holders of NFTs from the original Azuki collection were granted access to mint. Then, at 12:10 p.m. ET, it would be time for holders of Beanz NFTs to mint.
But seemingly due to the fact that Azuki failed to impose a cap on the number of Elementals any single collector could mint, the full supply for the sister collection minted out shortly into the Beanz window, long before the public sale was scheduled to commence.
Although the mint was met with a wide array of reactions, with many Azuki holders pleased at the proceedings, countless others expressed frustration that, despite being punctual, they were unable to secure an Elemental. In fact, due to the lack of a ceiling on individual minting, one user even secured a staggering 332 Elementals during the presale, meaning many Beanz holders couldn’t mint.
Yet, the public response to Elementals mint mechanics was only the tip of the iceberg. Because after the art had been revealed, it became clear that Elementals wasn’t living up to its hype. Notably, many commented that the newly launched collection bore far too many striking similarities to the previous one.
The criticisms of Azuki Elementals being far too close to the original collection created a rift in the NFT space. Although there was a seemingly unending stream of enthusiasts arguing that the Azuki supply had now been diluted, others began speculating about the underlying traits of the new NFTs and how, in the end, the new collection might be net positive for the Azuki name.
It didn’t take long for Azuki to respond to both opponents and supporters of its new collection, though. Less than a day after the Elementals mint had commenced, the brand took to Twitter to address the situation. “This time, we missed the mark,” Azuki wrote in a thread. “We hear you – the mint process was hectic, the PFPs feel similar and, even worse, dilutive to Azuki.”
In the thread, Azuki went on to explain the grand vision of Elementals, saying the collection was meant to “welcome new members into the community” while also expanding the Azuki universe and enabling the creation of “a new type of anime that’s already under production.”
Even with the brand admitting its mistakes, the Azuki messaging ended on a positive note, with the brand stating, “We know that we lost a piece of trust today, but nothing gets us more motivated to make things right.” And to the surprise of collectors, Azuki shared an image of a green bean alongside a cryptic message, setting the stage for potentially another surprise collection to come.
Although details have yet to be revealed surrounding the “green bean,” considering that beans have long symbolized radical change within the Azuki ecosystem, it wouldn’t be a long shot to say that something significant could be on the horizon. So far, collectors have speculated about a range of potential happenings, including airdrops, complex “evolution” mechanics, and of course, yet another PFP collection.