This Highschool of the Dead Pachinko Machine Will Make You Moist
J-List‘s home prefecture of Gunma is home to some famous companies, including Sapporo ramen, one of only three Häagen-Dazs ice cream factories in the world, plus Subaru, which is partially where Gunma’s reputation as a place for hashiriya comes from. It’s also home to all major manufacturers of pachinko machines, making it rather important for the anime industry, in a roundabout way. Pachinko is a game in which you buy a bucket of balls for ¥1000 then spend a few minutes or hours shooting them into a pinball-style machine. If you do well, you end up with more balls than you started with, and you can exchange them for
money valuable prizes, which you can “sell” for money at a shop conveniently located next door. (Direct gambling is illegal in Japan, but there are always workarounds.)
At about ¥19 trillion / US$168 billion, the pachinko industry is huge, making up around 4% of Japan’s GDP and dwarfing the annual gambling receipts in Las Vegas by many times. In the same way you see officially licensed Star Wars slot machines in casinos in the West, pachinko machines built around anime characters are common here, with every series from Evangelion to Gundam to Slayers getting a licensed pachinko machine to attract fans, all of which helps provide funding for that second season we’d all like to see. Pachinko has even enabled the “return” of our beloved Highschool of the Dead…though sadly, only as an official Highschool of the Dead branded pachinko machine, for now.
When you come to Japan for the first time, you’ll encounter many strange things, like square watermelons (which are grown inside wooden frames) and statues of Colonel Sanders standing outside every KFC to greet you as you go in. You’ll also discover some really interesting toilets, some of which are good (when they clean your butt for you after you’re done), while others present challenges for gaijin. The biggest problem is figuring out how to use a 和式トイレ washiki toire or Japanese-style toilet, which you squat over rather than sit on, and the first time you use one you never know which direction to face, how to balance without falling over, etc. Happily, seatless Japanese toilets are becoming more and more rare, as they can be difficult for Japanese to use, too, especially as people become more elderly.
We’ve got great news! October 1 was the birthday of J-List’s official mascot Megumi, but she’s got a gift for you. For the next 48 hours, take $5 off any order of $30 or more using code MEGUMI2017! It was also the 21st anniversary of the founding of J-List. Thanks, everyone, for such a wild ride, and let’s keep the fun times going!
J-List brings you hundreds of awesome 2018 anime and moe illustrator, traditional photo and art, and sexy Japanese idol and JAV star calendars. To help ensure you can get your calendars before the new year, we’ve been having a great Early Bird Calendar Sale, giving 30% off 2 or more calendars preordered together! The sale ends October 5th, though, so anyone who wants to spend a great year with their favorite anime characters, traditional images of Japan and sexy idol calendars, should do so right away!