Episode 4 A mass of Hobbies

“‘Kinnikuman vs Ultraman ~A Dream Match~! “

Nakamura has come up with many ideas on how to advertise new figures for adults.

“Kinnikuman vs Ultraman”!! If there is such a thing, I want to see it, too!! Nakamura, that’s what I.. no, that’s what everyone wants!

If the store owner gets enthusiastic about a new and different way of store reform spontaneously, success is already mine.

“Nakamura-san, can you show me all of those ideas later? It would be exciting if the entire shopping mall could hold events like that with a coordinated schedule.”

“Understood! If necessary, I’ll play the role of Kinnikuman…”

“Ah, please put those sorts of ideas together, too! ……By the way, I was wondering earlier, what’s in the back here?”

While I was listening to Nakamura’s grand project, I began to get curious about the things I glimpsed in the back of the store.

“In the back is a new hobby of mine, a corner where trading cards are placed.”

Nakamura shyly said so… but the shy appearance of a big, hulking man…, no matter how I tried to process it in my brain, isn’t cute!!

“Trading cards! Can I have a look?”

Without waiting for Nakamura’s permission, well, I couldn’t.., I went into the back of the store.

“Oh, it’s dazzling.”

Yoshino-san, who followed me, covered her face with the sleeves of her kimono. …… It’s just like what I’ve seen in historical dramas, and I feel lucky.

“Yoshino-san, the glowing cards are rare cards.”

Saying that, I called out to Nakamura in the figure corner.

“Nakamura-san! Is this really your new hobby!?”

Wonderful! I’m at a loss for words to describe this beyond “wonderful”.

I’m sure Nakamura has the characteristic of a superclass collector!! This may be natural for a store, but Nakamura has so many valuable cards that make me doubt if he can really sell them.

I myself only play trading cards of Uma Musume, but in order to get information from trading card connoisseurs, I’ve been studying all sorts of trading cards. After all, knowledge doesn’t lie.

Nakamura came into the trading card corner and said,

“At first, a friend of mine recommended ‘Yu-Gi-Oh’ to me, so I placed it in the store. I thought I should know more about what I was selling, so I gave it a try and found it interesting. I looked for other trading cards, played them, put them in the store if they were fun… And before I knew it, it was like this.”

“You’ve tried playing all of them. You are a role model for trading card sellers.”

“Well, it’s only natural for a store owner to get some knowledge about the products he’s selling.”

Nakamura humbled himself after being praised by me.

Yoshino-san was looking at the glittering cards while we were talking.

“I don’t know much about trading cards, but… they all have nice pictures.”

“This is Magic:The Gathering…, a foreign trading card game. This is the Pokemon card that everyone knows, and this one is the recently released One Piece card. After all, if an anime series is popular, then its trading cards get also popular… Ah, speaking of anime characters…, there is Weiss Schwarz. It is a mixture of various anime characters that crosses the boundaries of productions, so if you are going to start trading cards, I recommend it. I’m sure there’s a card of characters from your favorite anime.”

“Weiss Schwarz… I’ve heard it for the first time.”

“Well, you may have, but this year is its 15th anniversary.”

“Fifteenth anniversary! It grew up with me for the most part of its life. When I hear that, I feel a sense of familiarity with it.”

Nakamura gets totally addicted to the things he likes… I was listening to them thinking so, when Nakamura suddenly spoke to me.

“Advertising for trading cards…, how do we tweak that? Customers who already like trading cards come here… but how can I invite new customers…?”

When I unintentionally looked at Nakamura’s face, he turned away suddenly.

I smiled, thinking he had begun to trust me a little about store reform.

I looked around the trading card corner again.

“Well… I don’t have any issues about the product line-up, but yes, I think it’s necessary to think up new ways to attract new customers. Yoshino-san, did you feel like playing trading cards?”

Yoshino-san was surprised when a question was suddenly directed towards her.

“Trading cards… um, I think the pictures are cute. If I play them… and get some glittery cards, I’ll be happy. But how do you play them in the first place?”

Hearing this, I had an inspiration.

“I got it!! Nakamura-san, how about setting up a play space in one corner of the store? For example, you could hold trial sessions for beginners on a regular basis there… Even if you’re not a beginner, wouldn’t it be nice to have a place to play the cards you just bought?”

“I see, that would make customers happy! If you have other people around who can play cards with you, you don’t have to look for them and you can interact with them. Then, you’re killing two birds with one stone…Once that’s decided…”

Nakamura started drawing something in his notebook.

“I’m going to make a big change to this corner. If we’re going to create a play space, we’ll increase the number of board games, which we are only handing in small quantities, so that people can play games other than trading cards.”

Nakamura was drawing a plan for changing the placement of the shelves in the trading card corner.

Board games…I won’t tell him, but Nakamura makes a pretty good point.

I don’t know about this other world, but board games are secretly booming in modern Japan. “Dixit,” which KimuTaku said he was playing with his family, was temporarily unavailable at stores, and its price was soaring on flea market apps. Japan has won the online “Carcassonne Team World Championship” for three consecutive years since 2020.  I heard that the “Game Market ” held in spring and autumn is also crowded every year. I thought Japan was a land of video games, but I’ve heard there is now a term “bo-sodate”, board game raising, a child-rearing method in which board games are used to educate children, coined after “ko-sodate”, child rearing, 

It’s just a personal feeling of mine, who don’t seem to have any connection with raising children yet, but board games seem to be better for education than video games, and I get the impression that it doesn’t hurt children’s eyes.

Both trading cards and board games may be good tools for communicating across generations.

“I agree with increasing the handling of board games. It may cost money to prepare trial games, but it will surely lead to customer purchases. It would also be possible to rent the play space for a fee, making play-only use available for customers.”

I don’t know if Nakamura is drawing a plan or taking notes, but he’s running his brush on his notebook.

“If such a place were created, I would definitely like to come and play. Nakamura-san, can you teach me how to play trading cards?”

Nakamura said with a smiling face.

“Of course. Once we have the space, we’ll start by planning a trading card beginners’ party for you!”

With a glow on his face, Nakamura turned to the notebook again.

You’re too enthusiastic. I hope you won’t run out of gas by trying too hard…

“Nakamura-san, you can’t do too many things at once, so let’s leave it at this for today. If anything happens, I’m always available. I’m staying at Sazankatei.”

Hearing that, Nakamura dropped his brush.

I pretended I hadn’t seen it and left Hobby House with Yoshino-san.

“Taro-san, it’s amazing that you were able to motivate Nakamura-san like that… I’m heartened.”

Yoshino-san probably didn’t know how I could actually help rebuild the shopping mall, but this should have given her some relief.

Well, the degree of Nakamura’s increased motivation was far beyond my expectations. but it turned out alright in the end.

(To be continued)

written by SASAKI HANAKO

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