Oraora-kei orientation.

Traditionally, fukubukuro, or “lucky bags,” are sold by Japanese stores as part of the New Year’s holiday period. Some merchants, though, like to get a head start on the deep-discount blind-buy mystery bag festivities, though, such as Birth Japan.

Birth Japan is an apparel company with a very specific niche: Japanese tough guy style. This kind of fashion is called oraora-kei in Japanese, and it’s a favorite of those who admire the swagger and puffed-up confidence of a guy who’d be able to handle himself if he had to throw down. Our Japanese-language reporter Masanuki Sunakoma is a periodic Birth Japan lucky bag customer, and this year he decided to roll the dice on their 11,000-Yen Oraora-kei Super Crazy Full Outfit Coordination Course fukubukuro.

Really, though, it didn’t feel like much of a gamble. After tax, the lucky bag costs 12,100 yen (US$84), but it contains items with a combined regular price of roughly 50,000 yen. So you’re saving a fat wad of cash, and with an average review score of 4.82 (out of a maximum 5) from customers who’d already received theirs, Masanuki felt confident that the Oraora-kei Super Crazy Full Outfit Coordination Course’s contents would do a good job of making him look badass.

Opening up the bundle, Masanuki saw that it contained both a box and a few individually wrapped items. The first he unfolded was a matching shirt and pants, styled like an athletic warm up set.

The dragon bearing its fangs and claws on the right pant leg definitely demands attention, but even it can’t match the intense aura radiating from the back of the zip-up shirt, which is emblazoned with the kanji characters 剛毅果断, gouki kadan, meaning “dauntless resolution.”

▼ There’s also “Blood Money Tokyo” at the bottom, so you can broadcast your intimidating strength in two languages.

According to the attached price tag, the warm up set, by itself, is regularly priced at 12,800 yen, so Masanuki had already come out ahead on this lucky bag deal, even before accounting for the other items, which were two shirts, a pair of jeans, and three accessories.

One of those shirts has no fewer than five dragons on it: two on the chest, one on each arm, and one across the back.

▼ People who have, at any time in their life, ever thought “Naw, that’s too many dragons” are not in Birth Japan’s target market demographic.

We’re not 100-percent sure what exactly the pattern on the other shirt is supposed to be. Snake scales? Some kind of animal pelt pattern? Bones? Whatever it is, it’s vaguely ominous and threatening-looking.

The aesthetic motif of the jeans, though, is much easier to understand: snakes.

As for the accessory set, it consisted of a prayer bead-like bracelet, a necklace with a pair of skulls as the pendant, and some aggressively angled sunglasses.

Also tossed into the bundle were the thug-style tissue packs…

…and letters of thanks from Birth Japan’s shipping administrator, Ms. Noguchi…

…and company representative Ishikawa, as there are every year.

Since the three shirts and two pairs of pants can be mixed and matched however you want, that’s six different possible outfits, which isn’t bad for just 12,100 yen. Of course, the only way for Masanuki to really be sure would be see how he looks wearing these oraora-kei fashions, so he got changed, waited for the sun to go down, and hit the streets of downtown Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighborhood.

With seven legendary serpents wrapped around his body, Masanuki definitely looked like a dragon, or at least a character from the Like a Dragon/Yakuza video game series. Honestly it’s such comprehensive sense of style that it works perfectly with sunglasses at nights, and would have looked stranger without the shades.

Next it was time for the warmup.

Surprisingly, this one gives off a slightly different vibe depending on the angle you’re looking at it from. Seen from behind, “dauntless resolution” and “Tokyo Blood Money” give the message of “Look at me, but keep your distance,” while from the front the feeling is more of quiet strength.

Especially out on the Shinjuku streets, with shadows on the stretches of asphalt untouched by the neon lights, Masanuki has to say that the lucky bag did the trick of giving him tough guy style in seconds. It’s obviously not a look for everyone, but for those it speaks to, it’s easy to see why Birth Japan’s customers are so satisfied with this fukubukuro.

Related: Birth Japan lucky bag
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