I LOVE UFO CATCHERS and am
somewhat addicted to them (thankfully this only started in my final year studying in Japan or I’d have been reeeeeeally broke by now) and live vicariously through the amazingly skilled people who frequently upload videos of their feats on YouTube. UFO Catchers are serious business in Japan, with many large and small arcades all over the island, there were even UFO Catchers Championships and ‘professionals’ appear on national tv to share their tips – there are names for the specific moves too!
These are my favorite Japanese channels, in no particular order.
1. スーパーマン (Superman)
This guy, wow, just…wow. I guess I’m being a bit biased by listing his first because I’ve watched his videos so many times, and enjoy them the most. Some of those feats just…I have no words!
This particular video showcases just how good he is – he aims for the displays! Damn, I want those skills. Unfortunately he doesn’t upload as regularly as some of the other channels which is a shame.
2. ほしのちから (hoshinochikara)
I love how frequently this channel updates with new videos. They tend to be very short, quick videos catching easier things such as small keychains and plushies but what led me to this channel was the various videos featuring the ‘nadare‘ strategy/phenomenon. The Japanese word ‘nadare’ (雪崩) stands for ‘avalanche’ and just as the name implies, it describes when a whole pile of items fall in the machine.
There are many of the videos on this channel dedicated to catching figurines so there are some really good tips if you want to attempt prizes in boxes (which I personally find has a much higher difficulty than plushies). But of course there are such a variety of machines and prizes and videos on this channel that can leave you amazed for hours.
What I like about this channel is that there is info about the various machines (cost, arm type) and the prizes (series name etc), which helps in deciding what machines to try out yourself! There is also text commentary on the screen (in Japanese only). The person behind the channel must be a Love Live fan because most of the things caught are Love Live merchandise!
5. おるたなChannel (Orutana Channel)
This channel is a bit different – unlike the previously listed ones who play till they catch the item, this one in addition, gives various machines (gachapon too!) 10 tries to see if it is possible, to see if you can get your money’s worth. They manage to find some really interesting prizes and machines too! It’s run by two people – Naito and Shibuya Japan, and they upload everyday at 7pm. Naito lives in Thailand so there are videos of Thai UFO Catchers as well. I find the commentary a tad annoying at times so I can’t binge watch but they have loads of content so you’ll find something you enjoy.
Another figure enthusiast, he includes text to explain his strategy and info about the machine such as arm strength.
This is a subchannel of ‘chottomattenet’ run by expats who have lived in Japan for 10 years. It features a lot of 10yen, 20 and 30yen UFO Catchers which sets it apart from all the other channels.
While unfortunately they haven’t uploaded anything new in a year, there are quite a few UFO Catcher videos, but mainly compilations of the winning push and the moment when you get the prize.
These channels aren’t mainly UFO Catcher focused but have videos of them challenging the machines.
Asides from all the silly videos he posts and product reviews, Dante likes to show off the skills he possesses at the game center. He’s not the best skill wise, but he does know what to do.
Weeeeeell, Hikakin is probably the average person who attempts the UFO Catchers so if you compare him to the veterans you’ll spot his many mistakes in the approach. Still somewhat fun to watch, though.
Dekakin is basically a Hikakin impersonator but does a play on his name and the Japanese term for big (dekai) because well, he’s a bigger version of Hikakin. Skill wise he is much better than Hikakin at catching stuff.
And then there’s me – or well, my really small and new channel to post random stuff like, waddaya know, UFO Catchers! There isn’t much content now and I never thought to film much last time so oh well. But I am going to try and post some tips and stuff I have learnt about the machines!