Things get complicated/expensive when Mr. Sato and our boss combine their intellectual powers/lack of willpower.

Japanese discount retailer Don Quijote has some amazing deals, so when our crack reporter Mr. Sato is out and about and finds himself near one of the chain’s branches, he usually stops in to see what bargains are waiting for him. A recent trip to the branch of Donki (as the cool kids call Don Quijote) in Tokyo’s Okachimachi neighborhood didn’t disappoint, as they were offering Gucci wallets for just 5,500 yen (US$44)!

Well, sort of. Technically 5,500 yen is the cost for one try at Donki’s Premium Capsule gacha machine. Inside each capsule is a voucher for a prize of your choice for a certain rank between E and S. The Gucci wallet Mr. Sato had his eye on, which has a suggested retail price of 45,000 yen, was in the S tier, along with some other high-end brand-name fashion items like a Tiffany necklace.

Naturally, Mr. Sato tried his luck, and he was happy to learn he wouldn’t need to put 55 100-yen coins into the machine. Instead, you go up to the customer service counter and purchase a token for 5,500 yen (5,000 yen plus 500 yen of sales tax), and that’s what you drop in the machine’s slot.

▼ To really hammer home that “premium feeling,” the Premium Capsule machine has an extra-large crank and capsules.

Mr. Sato wasn’t lucky enough to get an S-rank prize, but he was able to exchange his E-rank voucher for a Frank Miura wristwatch. Looking online, Mr. Sato found that this particular model has an MSRP of 7,040, meaning he’d just saved 1,540 yen, and he thought it looked pretty spiffy too, so all in all he wasn’t feeling to bad about missing out on that Gucci wallet.

As a matter of fact, Mr. Sato was so happy that he couldn’t resist showing off his new timepiece to SoraNews24 founder and CEO Yoshio. “Hey! Check out my new watch! Aint it cool? I got it as an E-rank prize from Donki Premium Capsule,” he cheerfully explained as he bounced into the office the next day.

But Mr. Sato’s thrifty exuberance was met with stony-eyed silence from Yoshio.

▼ “I said, I got it as an E-rank prize fr-“

“HOW DARE YOU!” roared Yoshio, his fury erupting. Was he upset about the gross fiscal irresponsibility Mr. Sato had shown by spending so much money on a gacha machine?

No, not in the slightest. What Yoshio did find inexcusable from one of his employees was…

▼ “Where do you get off, strutting around like you’re cock of the walk with an E-rank prize! Is that as high as your ambitions go?!?”

“You’ve got a lot to learn! Come with me!” Yoshio seethed, dragging Mr. Sato by the collar back to Don Quijote, where he declared…

“I’ll show you what REAL gacha playing looks like! I’m gonna get an S-rank prize on my first try!”

Figuring that Yoshio would have to release his death-grip on Mr. Sato’s shirt in order to use the machine, he didn’t try to talk our founder out of it. Brimming with confidence, Yoshio purchased his token, stuck it in the slot, turned the handle…

…retrieved his capsule…

…and got an E-rank prize ticket, just like Mr. Sato had.

But whereas Mr. Sato had chosen to be happy with what he’d got, Yoshio wasn’t willing to give up just yet.

“OK, Round 2!” he announced, apparently having forgotten that he’d said he was going to get an S-tier prize on his first try specifically. Once again, Yoshio lifted up his capsule with confidence, which…

…once again turned out to be entirely misplaced, as once again there was a blue E-rank ticket inside.

“Third time’s the charm!” Yoshio reminded Mr. Sato, and he was correct…

…as long as you define “the charm” as yet another E-rank prize.

By this point, you’ve probably noticed that Yoshio’s technique was exactly the same as Mr. Sato’s, and so perhaps it was silly of our boss to have expected any better results than Mr. Sato’s E-rank wristwatch. However, for try number four (yes, of course Yoshio tried a fourth time), Yoshio changed tactics and started using the Quick Pay cashless payment mobile app, which, thanks to a coupon, gave him a 10-percent discount, knocking the pre-tax price of his Premium Capsule tokens down from 5,000 yen to 4,500.

Thanks to this ingenious strategy…

…Yoshio’s E-rank voucher he got on his fourth try was 500 yen cheaper than the first three he’d gotten using cash!

And those savings kept coming on Yoshio’s fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth tries, all of which were E-rank prizes as well.

▼ Behold the unbridled joy of a man who just saved 3,000 yen!

Since 10 is a nice round number, Yoshio decided that his next try would be his last.

By this point, though, even his considerable confidence had been shaken, so he handed the unopened capsule to Mr. Sato.

“It looks like every time I open it, it’s going to be an E-tier prize,” Yoshio theorized, “so maybe if we combine our powers and you open it we’ll get something better.”

▼ They did not.

So that’s 10 Es in a row with Yoshio. Maybe that counts as “REAL gacha playing” if consistency is your goal, but not if you’re measuring success in number of top-tier prizes.

However, this gave Mr. Sato an idea. Now that Yoshio had cleared out so many E-rank capsules for him, maybe now was his chance to swoop in and get an S-tier one for himself, which he could exchange for that Gucci wallet he’d had his eye on!

▼ Nope!

So together, that’s 11 E-tier prizes in a row for our duo, or 12, actually, if you count the wristwatch Mr. Sato had won on his initial visit to Don Quijote by himself.

That’s not to say that this gacha excursion was a failure, though. They were able to exchange all of their E-rank vouchers for bags from maker LeSportsac, each of which has a suggested retail price of 15,500 yen!

Factoring in sales tax and the discounts for Yoshio’s Quick Pay-paid attempts, that means their 11-bag haul cost them 134,050 yen (US$1,080) less than it would have if they’d bought them regularly, which is undeniably a lot of money to save.

When it was all over, Yoshio stood tall in a show of pride that he had shown Mr. Sato REAL gacha playing…or maybe he was just trying to maintain his full height so that none of the bags he had draped over himself would slide off his shoulders.

As Yoshio strode away, Mr. Sato didn’t know if he should be impressed by Yoshio’s determination, baffled by his stubbornness, or already used to the crazy ways in which the guy spends his money. There was one thing he was certain of though.

If you’re a friend of Yoshio’s and have a birthday coming up, you’re probably getting a LeSportsac bag.

Shop information
Don Quijote (Okachimachi branch) / ドン・キホーテ(御徒町店)
Address: Tokyo-to, Taito-ku, Ueno 4-1-10
Open 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]