Chiba Days #21 - Sega Ikebukuro

Hello everyone and welcome to another chapter of Chiba Days on Tiro Finale. As hinted in our previous chapter, Takuya and I decided to pay a visit to the Sega arcade while strolling around in Ikebukuro. What set out to be sightseeing side trip ended up becoming a full blown adventure that we were not expecting. 

Like Akihabara, Ikebukuro is a haven for anime/manga/light novel fans especially among female fans as many of the shops there cater to the female demographic. As with any other otaku haven, you can also count on there to be several large arcades such as the multi-story Sega arcade located in the bustling shopping street between Sunshin City and Ikebukuro Station. 

While perusing through the arcades, even if you have a slightest interest in anime, you are bound to find a crane machine or two that has something you want. In this case, Takuya spotted several Love Live Sunshine crane games with very attractive yet, feasibly winnable prizes. Ultimately, Takuya settled on going for the newly released My Mai Tonight tumbler. 

With some tips from the always helpful Sega staff and 1,200 Yen later, Dia's tumbler was obtained! Certainly a win in my books considering most re-sellers would be selling such merchandise at 1,500 Yen and above. Takuya initially planned on going for a Dia strap but, winning this was certainly a sweet victory too especially since Dia-chan is his favorite idol from Aqours.

When we first stepped into the arcade, the plan was just to browse the new releases in arcade and possibly source for them in shops later on. There was no plan on playing any of the games as more often than not, it would result in disappointment and a great deal of cash down the drain. 

That was until I came across this particular Monogatari crane game. Unbeknownst to me, some force must have compelled me to play this as I put my first 500 Yen coin into the machine. This would be my first time playing a crane game of this sorts. Despite having little to no knowledge about this sort of game, I was insistent on trying it out. Much progress was made within the first 1,000 Yen as I managed to edge the parcel fairly close to the edge. But, the third 500 Yen coin saw little to no progress and the fourth threatened to do the same until the same kind Sega staff stepped in to offer some advise on how to tackle the game.

Long-winded, yes. But after 2,200 Yen, I finally managed to get my own Black Hanekawa wallet! Was that too much to spend on an arcade prize? Possibly. I would not know for sure until she starts appearing for sale in shops. In my head, I was ready to stop at the 2,500 Yen mark where certainly my "investment" would have gone too far. Fortunately, that was not to be the case.

Sega's arcades are currently having a Love Live Sunshine campaign where every 500 Yen spent on crane games unlocks a single coupon. Two coupons are needed to claim a special Sunshine strap. Our total cumulative tries allowed for us to get 6 coupons for a total of three straps. It was then where we realized our luck had well and truly run out as we got a Ruby, Mari and Kanan from the blind draw for the straps. 

At the end of the day, I left feeling an ecstatic buzz throughout my entire body which kept me warm even in the single digit temperatures of the outdoors. The sensation of winning in arcades can best be described as winning a gamble and that I believe is the allure that keeps people coming back for more. The object itself is largely only a secondary objective where, after winning, do we realize the high that we are chasing from winning. Without a doubt, it is a dangerous and very expensive thrill to pursue and one that I have to be weary of in the future even if  I crave it so till this very day.

If there was any consolation in all of my expenditure, it would be to find the very same Black Hanekawa wallet in another arcade's crane machine for a much higher play price (500 Yen for 3 tries!). With that, we come to end of my little adventure at Sega's Ikebukuro arcade. Next time, we will be taking a look at my cumulative haul for the month of November. Until the next time, thank you so much for reading and have yourself a wonderful day ahead!


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