DS Bargains and Trying To Get A Refund In Japan

Today a friend and I took a(nother) last trip to my beloved Nippombashi and DenDen town, in a quest to fill in some gaps of various manga series and such before heading off home. Stopping in Shinsaibashi on the way, we stopped off at the Mandarake for a quick nose. Though I mainly raided the shops supply of cheap さよなら絶望先生 (Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Goodbye Mr Despair), I managed to score two bargains for the Nintendo DS.

狼と香辛料 (Ookami to Koushinryou, Wolf and Spice (refferred to as Spice and Wolf in the UK)), is an anime I first saw at the Leeds Anime Society. I was mainly entranced by it’s storyline that wasn’t set in Japan, but old Europe, and the fact that it uses early economics and trading as a continual baseline. ¬_¬ Yeah that may sound dull and boring to you, but shush, it was great. So not only did I manage to find a copy of the game (that I didn’t know even existed), but I found a special edition box set. I just checked the Spice & Wolf website to find it has a price of 7,770 yen (£54.33), however I paid a measly 2,940 yen (£20.56). I’ve just opened the box and found a ‘Horo voice in a bag’, an audio CD, and of course the game itself. Not bad.

My other bargain was partially based on something I bought yesterday (but forgot to blog about). There are two Higurashi (yeah I know, lately I haven’t shut up about the series) games on the DS which I’ve been wanting to get since I first noticed them back in September, but they were just too expensive. Well yesterday after dropping a 13.8kg box of books at the post office (which will take about 3 months to reach the UK), I found a copy of the second game at a reasonable price (with a 200 yen coupon I had) of 2,280 yen (£15.94), so scooped it up.

Fast forward to today where I find the special edition (Angel Mort) boxed version of the second game for a meagre 1,890 yen (£13.22). The cheapest I’d seen this edition was in the region of 5,000-6,000 yen (£34.96-£41.95), so let’s open her up and see what she holds inside …

We have the game (of course), a framed Shion & Mion card in an Angel Mort stamp card (might take a while for me to read what it says inside >_<), 2 Angel Mort coasters (one written in English: “Dear Customer, Welcome to my cafe. How lucky you are to have chanced upon this place. A place that will make your dreams come true. Have you found your favourite angel? If not, don’t worry. Keep visiting us, and you’ll find your one and only. Please enjoy yourself to the full. We are here to serve you. From, shop owner”), 2 sticker cards, an Angel Mort flanel/hand towel, a paper Angel Mort apron, and an Angel Mort Drama CD. Quite a haul really. You can see a picture of what’s inside on this forum page, though for some reason they got an extra amulet thingy.

So in buying this I was left with the predicament of having two of the same game. My choices were simple. I could either keep both games, try and sell one on to a friend (or eBay), or try and take the more expensive one back to the shop. Despite not knowing how refunds were conducted in Japan or if any etiquette was needed on my part, I opted for the last option.

After quickly looking up the vocabulary for returning something to a shop 返送 (hensou) and refund 払い戻し (haraimodoshi), I headed to the shop (open 24-7, or as is said in Japanese 4-6 (四六時中, shirokujichuu, open around the clock, 4 x 6 = 24)) with the game, the receipt, and what I hoped was the same carrier bag.

Normally in the UK getting a refund isn’t a very simple process. Well, I guess it is (as long as you’re not a prick to whoever’s serving you), but normally the shop will want you to fill in a form, give your address, wait for a manager and so on and so on. With this in mind I was somewhats apprehensive about the whole thing, especially as I still take a good 10 minutes or so writing out my address. When I approached the counter I explained that “I bought the game yesterday as a birthday present for my friend, but he already had it so I wanted to return it” (my usual blatant returning product lie ಠ_ಠ). The staff member then popped to the back and returned with another member of staff. She then checked the amount with me and returned my money with a smile. No paper to fill in, no signatures to sign, that was it … done.

I think I’ll be leaving these two games for the plane trip back, but in the mean time, here’s what I bought today (these will be added to The List at some point, along with the ones I bought that day we went to the Mother Cafe.

  • Manga
  • Genshiken – book 6 (series complete)
  • Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei – books 10 to 16 (series complete … for now)
  • The Meloncholy of Haruhi Suzumiya – book 5 and a one off special anthology
  • Love Hina – book 0
  • Akihabara Ichiman Chanel (1 off)
  • Higurashi – the remaining books from the 罪滅し編 (tsumihoroboshi hen)
  • Higurashi – the remaining book from the 宵越し編 (yoigoshi hen)
  • Higurashi – コンプエース編 (comp ace hen)
  • Higurashi – Book 1 of 5 of the 語咄し編 コミックアンソロジー (cohanashi hen comic anthology)