”Includes some goods” is the only promise this anime shop makes about its fukubukuro.

The whole idea behind the fukubukuro/lucky bags that Japanese stores sell at New Year’s is that there’s an element of chance to what’s inside. The unspoken agreement is that the total retail value of the items inside is supposed to be greater than the amount you pay for the bag, but the items you get are a complete mystery until after you make the purchase and look inside.

At least, that’s how it used to be. Part of what’s made lucky bags’ popularity skyrocket in recent years is stores giving customers a bit more of a concrete idea of what’s in their bags prior to purchase. In some cases, like with the Mister Donut/Pokémon fukubukuro, you know exactly what sort of merch will be inside your bag, you just won’t know what the exact illustration pattern will be.

But our ace reporter Mr. Sato finds himself wistfully longing for the days when he had no idea what was going to be inside a fukubukuro, and so this year he was happy to find this.

That’s the “? Bag” from Liberty, an anime and game specialty shop in Tokyo’s Akihabara neighborhood. The only promise Liberty makes is that the bag “includes some goods,” and the written instructions ask that you “Please react with ‘?’ when you open this.”

His curiosity piqued, Mr. Sato handed over the 3,000-yen (US$26) Liberty was asking for the ? Bags, then rushed home to open it.

The first items he pulled out were a collection of keyholders and pins featuring characters from Jujutsu Kaisen, and Kuroko’s Basketball, plus a couple of mini One Piece figures.

Next up were an Evangelion hand towel and Jujutsu Kaisen clear file.

And at the bottom of the bag were its biggest treasures, a pair of Love Live figures, specifically Dia Kurosawa…

…and Yoshiko Tsushima (in her Fallen Angel Yohane persona), both from the Sunshine branch of the franchise.

All in all, Liberty’s fukubukuro contained 14 items, which works out to just a little over 214 yen (US$1.85) each. That’s a pretty great deal, so we were surprised when Mr. Sato said that he was disappointed with the contents of the ? Bag.

“I was expecting to have no clue what any of the stuff inside the ? Bag was, but I recognize all of these,” he said. “I was braced for it to be stuffed with things that an ordinary person’s mind wouldn’t be able to comprehend, but these are all well-known, popular series.”

When we asked Mr. Sato what sort of contents would have shocked him, he said “You know, like if there was an iPad and a pair of ballet tights in there.” While it’s true such a lucky bag did exist in Japan this year, it sort of seems logical to expect an anime store’s fukubukuro to have, well, anime stuff inside of it, and for those whose main goal wasn’t to have their minds blown, but just to score some cool anime merch, the ? Bag is probably going to be much more satisfying.

So yeah, it may not have met Mr. Sato’s standard for bizarreness…

…but that’s a pretty tall task when the guy is pretty bizarre himself, and if you want anime merch that’s more obscure, there’s a bag that delivered that this year too.

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