The Secret Life of the UFO Catcher

Just another morning at Club Sega Jiyugaoka…

A Sega-branded arcade assistant checks the UFO Catcher stock at opening time.

A glaze-eyed, life-size maid-cum-vampire-bat stares over his shoulder from a Re:Zero banner.

Their hairstyles are similar, but hers is a surreal blue. His is a surreal orange.

Jumbo packs of chocolate biscuits fill a plastic crate on top of the machine.

I’m surprised the crane drivers don’t realise the futility of it all. You put yourself through coin after coin of arduous button clacking until you eventually receive the arbitrary blessings of the claw and a box of biscuits falls into the prize hopper, then a ¥1,000-an-hour fleeter just gets on a stepstool and pops in another from the crate that was on top of the machine all along.

At least you get one of those nice Sega carrier bags.

Photographer and writer covering Tokyo arcade life – the videogames, the metropolis and the people