The whole event felt like a battle…
After getting postponed last May for both Tokyo and Osaka because of the government’s poor handling of the current situation, Voltage Inc decided to hold the event in Tokyo for June while cancelling the Osaka event altogether.
With the event set to run from 17th June until 27th June, I prepared myself for the craziness that was Day 1. Because the first four days of the event are usually a bit busier and more crowded, they put a system in place wherein your entry to the venue was timed, and limited to choosing and purchasing the goods for
thirsty thirty minutes.
On Day 1, before I headed to the event, I met with my friends at Mitsukoshimae Station to… visit a shrine.
I have never thought of my friends to be religious but when they mentioned to me that they want to visit a shrine so that they would wish for extra luck with the random merch buying, I agreed to go. While not very spiritual myself, I didn’t think it would hurt me nor would it be a problem if I went to the shrine.
Fukutoku Jinja is a small shrine surrounded by tall buildings in the center of Tokyo, and is located near a shopping mall, Mitsukoshi.
Said shrine is a power spot where visitors pray for lottery wins.
In our case, it’s to hope and pray for good lottery draws for merch as most, if not all the goods for VolFes 2021 are in blind packaging, and there was this chance that we would get the characters that are not our faves.
After praying at the shrine and buying some omamori (doesn’t hurt to have more good luck!), we then headed off to Ikebukuro Marui.
On Day 1, entry to the venue was a bit slow as every fangirl out there was buying as much items as they could possibly purchase in one go as they were afraid of running out of goods to buy. From hearsay, I heard that the grand total of some purchases went up to JPY200,000! One of my friends bought goods for a common friend who couldn’t make it to the event, and it totaled to JPY80,000, as her merch purchase went across three titles.
A good friend asked me to get her some goods, which I prioritized for Day 1 as I wasn’t really keen to spend a lot; after all, the items I planned to buy were all random. It would all be dependent on luck.
While shopping, there were panels of CGs from various Voltage Inc games that you could look at as well.
This year, I mostly concentrated on purchasing SLBP/KoiRan goods, particularly Date Masamune goods because the CG/still they chose this year is my ultimate favorite.
This year, Voltage Inc decided to sell trading post cards, which made me determined to complete all of them, as the art is simply gorgeous. Thankfully, my friends were very supportive and were nice enough to trade post cards with me; all in all, I had to buy 27 post cards in order for me to secure all 16 available types, who are, incidentally, the number of love interests you can date in-game.
Like every merch buying event ever, every JPY3,000 spent gives the person a chance to win a prize, namely huge acrylic stands (Prize A), acrylic charm to complement the herbarium available for purchase (Prize B), illustraion card (Prize C), and “love prescriptions” (Prize D).
The way it works is that if you spend JPY3000 and you won Prize D, you get two love prescriptions. You can then ask the staff to get one card or two from numbers 1 ~ 30, and within each box, it would contain the love prescription from a Voltage Inc character.
Because there are so many prescriptions that you can get, you could, technically, complete all of it if you trade with friends.
Here’s a sample of how it looks like:
After all the buying, we then headed for karaoke, not to sing, but for my friends to sort out the can badge purchases they have made, as they bought 20 pieces (the maximum limit for one transaction for each type) in the hopes of getting their faves. As for me, I used that time to practice my singing as I didn’t really like opening can badges until I get home to do my own sorting.
While karaoke rooms were available during weekdays (the first two days of VolFes happened on a Thursday and a Friday), we then moved on to family restaurants like Saizeriya, or even cafes, to do any of the following: eating, drinking, sorting, and socializing.
It can get really tiring when done four days in a row, so by the third day (Saturday), I left early to have dinner with another friend at another location… then went back again on Sunday to hang out with my friends.
On the very last day, my friends and I did some last-minute shopping before the closing, and I managed to add more Date Masamune purchases to my pile.
i regret nothing
Both VolFes 2020 and VolFes 2021 had the exact same mechanics: go to event, buy goods, leave.
Obviously, it would get old and boring very quickly, but it wasn’t as if they lacked entertainment/activities: it’s just that they had no choice. VolFes 2019 was supposed to be the standard until everything went spiraling down in 2020, so we got stuck with a ‘goods buying-only’ event.
But then again, this is basically every event in Japan goes: you’re there to buy the goods, then when you’re done buying, you leave… unless of course, you’re set to attend a concert or a stage performance. Other than that, same old, same old.
I am really hoping that by next year, when things calm down, VolFes 2022 would become the event that we all deserve.
Till next year!!!
P.S. Let me know if anyone’s interested in seeing what I bought for this year