Per my friend, Karl’s, recommendation, I thought I’d take a little trip to Shinjuku and visit the Square Enix store. Since I had to pick up my HIV test results at the Minami Shinjuku Building (don’t worry, it was negative), and it just so happened that the Square Enix Showcase was about a 10-15 minute walk from Shinjuku station’s south exit…I figured “Why not?.” It would be a good way to see something more light-hearted after visiting the testing center.
(Please see the official Square Enix Showcase map below.)
After a nice, brisk walk I arrived at the Square Enix Showcase and Character Goods Shop. I was kind of expecting a bigger sign, but when you’re walking along, it doesn’t just jump out at you. It’s in the recess of the bottom floor of an office building, being Tokyo and all. But when you see it, you can instantly recognize some of the characters. As my eyes scanned the main store window, I could see lots of the Smile Slime from the Dragon Quest series. I only played Dragon Quest VIII, but I’ve definitely had to dispose of my fair share of slime. There was also a deep, green Cactuar in standing next to Tonberry (that thing in Final Fantasy VII that would slow walk up to you and stab all of your freakin’ hit points away).
I walked through the door with anticipation. The first thing to catch my eye was large statue of…yep…you guessed it, more slime! It was blue, red, and green slime stacked on top of one another. From there I did an eye zoom around the rest of the shop. In the central area I saw loads of colorful, plush toys: Chocobos, Cactuars, King Slimes, and the like. The right wall had smile smile plush dolls. I didn’t pay so much attention to that area but it does give the store a cool aura.
Over in the rear, left corner of the store, there were Square Enix trading cards, pencils, eraser, etc. The left wall, had small statuettes of of some of your favorite heroes/villains including Cloud, Squall, Zidane, and Sora. As you continue along the left wall, there were all the video game soundtracks that you could stomach. Don’t you just love Square Enix video game soundtracks? Whaddya mean you don’t!? Huh? Just because I have a couple of video game soundtracks that I listen to while I’m running doesn’t make me an otaku, does it? Sigh…I guess it does.
Continuing along the left wall, you can see posters of Tifa, Cloud, and Sephiroth from the Advent Children movie (which I thought was great by the way). Some of the posters I wasn’t familiar with, because it’s been quite some time since I’ve played a Square Enix game, the last one was probably Kingdom Hearts 2. Let’s go to the second floor.This was the coolest thing in the store to me. You walk up the stairs, and glance at the floor, and you see a life-size statue of Sephiroth (from Final Fantasy VII) in a peaceful repose housed beneath a glass barrier in the floor. He almost looked like he was going to wake up, so I tried not to walk on glass, lest I be sliced to bits by that Masamune of his. He even had materia in that glass case with him! For those who don’t know, materia are these glass crystals that endow their holder with magic powers. These powers range from simple spells like curing people, to calling meteors from the sky to destroy people…please use with caution. Sephiroth is considered to be one of the ultimate bad guys in the Final Fantasy series.
The second floor was a better draw for me, there were detailed figurines of the characters I was familiar with. They had Solid Snake for Metal Gear (is that even a Square Enix game?), Cloud on his motorcycle, and some really cool kingdom hearts figurines (they even had some of Sora’s different suits from Kingom Hearts 2: Valor, Wisdom, and Master (I didn’t see the Final Form Sora, though). There were characters from Full-Metal Alchemist as well. There Keyblade charms, rings, and keychains. There were also items there for games that I’m unfamiliar with. I could probably make an entire post about all of the different items in the store, but I won’t do that…I’ll let you see it for yourself.
I was genuinely surprised at how cheap some of these detailed figurines were. Because of the detail I was expecting the starting range to be at least 10,000 yen, but many of these figures/models were 3800 yen. Of course there were some that were more expensive, but in general…very reasonable.
Though the store was smaller than I was expecting it to be, all in all the Square Enix Showcase was a nice little excursion, and I recommend it for those of you who may be gaming fans.
Thanks for reading,