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Japan’s used panty vending machines are sort of like the white whale in Moby-Dick, even though a completely pure-white color would be a sign of inauthenticity in their merchandise. For decades, the obsessed have been combing Japan for them, but the fact that the scandalous machines were outlawed years ago means that while you can go home from a shadey back-alley vending machine bank with ramen in your belly, you won’t have a schoolgirl’s panties in your pocket.

On rare occasions, though, you can find vending machines that sell new undies. And while they’re definitely a niche product, there’s a new player in the market that’s satisfying customers with its cute little panties, thanks to the fact that they’re extra absorbent and also coaster substitutes.

Novelty goods maker Kitan Club specializes in gachapon toys, the tiny trinkets you can buy at random from vending machines in shopping centers and pop-culture centric retailers. Recently, Kitan Club made everyone’s beverage break a little cuter with hamster figurines that cling to the edge of your glass, but what if you’re sipping your drink straight from the plastic bottle? Oh, and also you absolutely love panties?

Simple, just drop 200 yen (US$1.70) into an appropriately stocked gachapon machine and get yourself something from the Panties for Bottles line, called Botoru no Opantsu in Japanese.

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Designed to slip snugly but comfortably around the base of a standard 500-mililiter bottle of the sort commonly sold in Japanese stores and vending machines, these are more than just a way to subtly perve up your surroundings. Japan gets pretty hot in the summer, and with dehydration a very real possibility, it’s always a good idea to keep a bottle of water or some other rehydrating beverage in arm’s reach. However, Japan is also extremely humid, so if your drink is at any temperature below tepid, you’re going to get a lot of condensation forming on the container and pooling in a non-evaporating puddle on whatever surface you set it down on. Panties for Bottles, though, solve that problem.

There are six patterns in all, so we’re going to have to hit the gachapon machine a fee more times if we want to complete our set with the striped, strawberry-print, and frilled panties. Still, we’re pretty happy with our haul so far.

▼ Classic white

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▼ Playful polka dot

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▼ Sexy leopard-print

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Simply slide the panties onto the base of your bottle, and their cloth material will help soak up condensation that would otherwise be dripping down onto your desk.

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Mr. Sato struggles to keep his eyes and mind on his work while this topless bottle of Miu sports drink poses provocatively on the other side of the RocketNews24 office.

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▼ Our coke bottle literally got its panties in a bunch, but the force-fit still gets the job done.

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“But why not just use a coaster?” some of you may ask. And while that’s a perfectly effective way to deal with condensation, if your actions aren’t governed by the equation “more panties = better life,” you’re clearly not the target market Kitan Club designed these mini undies for.

Really, between this and our recent discovery that you can make an incredibly convenient smartphone holder out of a bra, we’re wondering if there’s anything lingerie can’t do.

Top image: Kitan Club, RocketNews24 (edited by RocketNews24)
Insert photos: ©RocketNews24
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