Mulan Akiba delivers the randomized gacha goods.

It’s probably not a coincidence that Japan, the country with a tradition of celebrating New Year’s with blind-buy lucky bag/fukubukuro bundles, is also the country with tons of randomized capsule toy vending machines. As a matter of fact, sometimes these two surprise-supplying shopping styles converge, as is the case with this fukubukuro offered by Mulan.

Not to be confused with the Chinese folktale or its 1998 Disney animated adaptation, Mulan is a chain of secondhand stores in the Tokyo area focused on anime, video games, and other otaku-oriented merch. When our ace reporter Mr. Sato stopped Mulan’s main branch in Akihabara on New Year’s Day, he decided to try his luck on their 3,000-yen (US$21) Gachabukuro, or Gacha Bag. Filled with capsule toys, it’s like a mass gacha shopping spree all in one spurt.

With used-item fukubukuro, there’s often a degree of fear that you might be getting a collection of items that are in such poor condition they couldn’t sold by ordinary means. That’s not such an issue with capsule toy fukubukuro, though. If a fan has their heart set on a specific prize, say, their favorite character from an ensemble cast anime series, it might take a few tries at the capsule toy machine to get it, and they’ll often sell off the prizes they didn’t personally want to a secondhand store, like Mulan, in pristine, unused condition.

Though he picked the lucky bag up on New Year’s Day, Mr. Sato didn’t get to check the contents until a few days later (we have a lot of fukubukuro to open up at SoraNews24 HQ, as you my have noticed). Doing a quick count, he found that his Gacha Bag contained 31 capsules, which works out to a little under 97 yen each. Considering that capsule toys cost at least 300 yen, with many being 400 or even 500, this fukubukuro is an impressive value. Also impressive: there were hardly any duplicate items. It seemed clear that the Mulan staff had done their best to provide a wide variety of capsule toys, while also giving two toys for most of the represented series.

Taking a quick peek at each capsule, Mr. Sato grouped them into four categories: character items (キャラもの), real-world items (リアル), Pokémon items (ポケモン), and a final mystery category to be revealed later in this article.

As you can see, the character-based item group was the biggest, with 24 capsules.

Opening them up and laying out their contents, Mr. Sato found:

● 2 Tougen Anki acrylic character stands
● 2 Oshi no Ko acrylic character stands
● 2 Uma Musume figures
● 1 Blue Lock acrylic character stand
● 2 Powerful Pro Baseball figures
● 2 Tokyo Revengers acrylic charms
● 2 Crayon Shin-chan figures
● 2 My Hero Academia figures
● 2 Uma Musume rubber charms
● 2 Silent Hilll Robbie the Rabbit rubber straps
● 2 Spy x Family rubber charms
● 2 Uma Musume rubber magnets

It’s a pretty nice selection, and the adorable strap of Spy x Family’s Anya snuggling up with Forger family pet Bond was especially nice, seeing as how the franchise’s hit theatrical feature is currently playing in Japanese theaters.

Actually, it wasn’t until after he’d sorted the capsules into groups that Mr. Sato realized that this one actually isn’t an anime, manga, or video game character.

Instead, it’s a mascot illustration for Bumpodo, an art supply shop in Tokyo’s Jimbocho neighborhood that’s been beloved by illustrators for many years. Created in collaboration with Bushiroad, That packet of sand-like powder is actually an ink base that you mix with water in the included bottle.

Moving on to the real-world items, the lucky bag contained miniature recreations of:

● Sacre Light Pineapple-flavor sherbet
● 2 flip phone home button clusters
● 2 Kanefuku-brand mentaiko (spicy cod roe)
● 2 Neruneruneru mix-it-yourself candy packs

Though none of the foodstuffs figurines are actually edible, Mr. Sato was very happy with the level of detail on them, faithfully replicating the visuals of the actual foods, and came away with a craving for mentaiko. The flip phone clusters were also a nice inclusion for anyone suffering from physical button withdrawal in our current smartphone society who wasn’t able to snag one of Japan’s new flip smartphones yet.

The single Pokémon item in the lucky bag was officially described as a Poké Ball-shaped “miniature washtub.” Honestly it’s way too small to be used to actually clean yourself up with, as it’s really a children’s bathtime toy. It’s cute, though, and the choice of Water-type Quaxly makes sense for a tub toy.

And last, we come to the final category, which Mr. Sato is now ready to reveal as…

…a bunch of crap!

Not that it’s low-quality or anything. There’s honestly a unique charm to the pair of little toilets that say Morimori Unchi, or “Partying Poop,” and come with little erasers shaped like turd coils.

The same goes for the two turds on sticks, which in addition to being drill-shaped…

…move in drill-like motions thanks to their internal spring mechanisms!

Really, the only disappointment Mr. Sato had with them is that their motion is so smooth that his camera couldn’t keep up with them, and the video came out looking choppier than they look to the naked eye.

All in all, Mr. Sato is very satisfied with what he’s got here. Somehow, it feels like a portent of things to come, and he’s optimistic that everything in 2024 will be as smooth as these poops.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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