Hi, everyone! I’m Ayumi, your favorite otaku writer here on MANGA.TOKYO and today I want to talk a little more about Ita-bags. This is Part 2 of my previous article on these amazing anime, manga, and game-themed bags that are a part of the life of the real female otaku today ♪
Today’s contributor is Pinochio-san, wife of Touichirou Izumida from Yowamushi Pedal.
She is a huge fan of Touichirou Izumida (Hakone Academy) from Yowamushi Pedal.
All the merchandise she collects are Izumida-related. She has recently completed her full collection of Izumida merch from a satellite shop in Namjatown (an indoor theme park in Tokyo). She has about 77 Shachihoko rubber straps (limited sale at Maruei department store in Nagoya).
Pinochio-san = P
Ayumi = A
I wasn’t supposed to be like this.
A: Hello~! I really appreciate your generous cooperation on such short notice.
Allow me to get straight to the point: what triggered you to get so hooked on Yowamushi Pedal?
P: Hello! Great to hear you’re posting this interview for the whole world to see[laugh] Will it be ‘The whole world cried!’…or something like that? So, the trigger. It’s rather a long story, but I have always loved Jojo’s bizarre Adventure, Transformers and shows like that, which do not necessarily attract many female fans. Do you remember the time when the anime series of Yowamushi Pedal first started and fans were hyped up so much with shrieks that they were shrieking all over Twitter?
A: Ah, yeah, I remember. So much information on the series flooded the internet, and I learned about many characters without reading the original manga.
P: Exactly. [laugh] It was about that time that I wanted to read a new manga series, and since so many people were saying it was so good, I felt like I should give it a try. That was how it started.
By the way, I actually had Hokuto no Ken (Fist of the North Star), Saint Seiya, and Yowamushi Pedal on my list for a manga discovery.
A: What!? Aren’t the other two sort of very different!? Your pick is cracking me up.
P: Well, indeed they are. But I really enjoy those kinds of masculine stories. [laugh]
Then I found a Yowamushi Pedal manga at my school’s library, so I started reading it a bit casually. I couldn’t stop. It really shocked me. I learned what people were tweeting were all real and true, and I bought all the released manga at once. I love masculine characters, so I’m rooting for muscular Izumida-kun as my number one!! Well, actually not number one: my only one!
A: Oh my, I know exactly what you mean. The Ita-bag you brought here today is amazing too. I even see some really rare items attached on it… and arranged so cutely!
P: Thank you! I’m glad to hear that. I was really particular about the arrangement when I made it.
Come to think of it, I hardly thought of buying merchandise before, because of the genre I like. Jojo and Transformer don’t sell many tin badges or key chains, but their merchandise focuses more on figures and plastic models. So, the variety of merchandise Yowamushi Pedal has surprised me at first. What? Are there this many? And some are even random chance? That’s like sheer hell to complete. [laugh]
A: Not just Yowamushi Pedal, but many series targeting female fans release merchandise so fast and in huge numbers…
P: I was only buying some cute-looking ones casually at auctions at first, but then the next thing I know, I’m in the merch war, buying everything on an ad infinitum basis at events. [both laugh]
To be honest actually, I used to look down on those hyped-up otaku fans who were tweeting about buying mercs to celebrate a character’s birthday or buying one single item on unlimited basis. I couldn’t understand them. Now look at me. I’ve become one of them. I was supposed to be just a casual otaku fan… Izumida-kun has changed my life. I’m his wife.
A: I don’t know what to say. I’m another fan who stepped into this world with Yowamushi Pedal.
I never thought of crafting an Ita-bag myself, I also used to just look at those bags others were carrying, thinking. ‘that looks heavy’ and took a distance from them. But then I realized: I have crafted so many bags myself. Very deep love doesn’t make an otaku blind, but changes the person and their life, doesn’t it? A serious otaku even goes to Tokyo only to buy merchandise!
P: Yeah, right on. I used to be a kind of person who would never understand some otaku fans buying a birthday cake for a character. [laugh] Now, I’m so happy to celebrate Izumida-kun’s birthday, and I’ll continue doing so.
A: The birthday party you hosted for him was incredible. I do admire you.
She has more than just one Ita-bag
A: Anyways, this bag is incredibly cute! The original tote bag itself is also cute, but your arrangement of the items is really outstanding! I would like to steal your idea of putting a cushion cover in the center! This is the special limited key chain from the bus tour, isn’t it? So nice!
When I was checking out her cute Ita-bag, she mumbled in an undertone.
P: Um, I have brought a gross one too… wanna see it?
A: A gross one? Yes, please!
A: OMG… Love. Your love is flooding out from this bag. It’s like the greatest example to represent an Ita-bag… I’m sure it costs a lot to do these. May I ask how much money you’ve been spending…?
P: I don’t think about costs, and I have never calculated! But I guess I’m probably spending something like 40,000 to 50,000 yen a month. When there are many events or when the items are too cute to resist, I spend more. Basically, I don’t decline item-exchange requests or buying-off from others. Or more like, I can’t refuse. So, I had more before I even realized it.
A: You own 77 of Nagoya limited Shachihoko rubber straps, right? You can’t achieve that many without love.
P: I bought them all from those who didn’t want one.
A: It’s not just the level of otaku, but rather that of a dignified wife. Please don’t change.
Yowamushi Pedal 3rd season is starting in January, so you’ll be busy again!
P: Indeed! I’m so happy too that they’re releasing new items. My purse may become thin and empty, but I won’t regret it. But then, thinking about the possibility that Izumida-kun may be more popular with the new season, it’s painful for me. I have this conflict inside me… I can’t take it…
A: He transforms into a real cool thing.
P: I can’t really take it!!!! I’m scared!
We went on chatting about the content of Yowamushi Pedal for a little while. Pinochio-san gave me an original sticker that she crafted herself for me, and left for home carrying her heavy-looking Ita-bag on her shoulder.
She is such a cute lady. You couldn’t tell she is such a dedicated otaku if not for the Ita-bag.
The quality of the sticker she gave me was amazing:
I was overwhelmed by her boundless talent.
The diversity of Ita-bags
As I explained in my previous article, an Ita-bag is a precious item for the Otaku who wear them. Some of them show the owner’s individuality, and it’s also fun to just look at them. Thanks to everyone’s contribution, I have a few different Ita-bag images to show you here today.
First, here is my Ita-bag!
I bought this Fluffy Heart Bag from Daiso, a 100-yen shop. It wasn’t actually 100 yen, but it was very cheap, and isn’t this fluffy pink so cute? [laugh] It originally had some letters printed in the middle, but I erased them with nail polish remover.
And this is Pinochio-san’s Ita-bag.
She bought her Heart Tote Bag from WEGO. They started selling many heart shaped bags like this recently! It actually hurts her shoulders a bit sometimes, but it shows her love, and people who see her carrying it notice and often talk to her, ‘You like Izumida-kun?’ It’s convenient.
This is the Ita-bag of A-san. Thanks for contribution!
She can carry it casually, and it’s decently small so that she can also carry it inside another bag. It features Mikado from B-project and Yuki from KING OF PRISM. She often carries it to a collaboration cafe event such as Animate Cafe.
Every Ita-bag is different and reflects the love of its owner. Every otaku has her own unique preferences and Ita-bags are a cool way to express them. It’s also a lot of fun to create them and see them grow in cuteness and weight.
That’s why in my next article, I am going to craft an Ita-bag from scratch! I’ll write down all the necessary items and where to buy them in detail, to help you make one of your own.
Please look forward to it! Until next time!