Anime Vending Machines

October 27, 2010

You know all those convenient drink dispensing machines? The ones that when you put in a certain amount of coins, then selecting the available drinks on offer and at the push of a button, the cool can drink is dispensed, ready for buyers to quench their thirst. So what has that got to do with anime and this blog? Well erm… One day I got this bugging idea that in some animes, the conventional vending machine isn’t just a contraption to sell drinks but there are other uses for them as well! What are they? Below are some of its uses as I have observed. Of course, don’t attempt to try them in the real world.

1) To pick up girls… And successful
Hayate No Gotoku

 Hayate No Gotoku

Down on your luck and have debt amounting to millions? Trying extorting to clear yourself from debt? Well the fated meeting of Hayate and Nagi not only made the former the latter’s butler, but it’s a start of a relationship that goes beyond the master-butler bond. Now, if one would be honest with her feelings and the other not too dense.

Sola

 Sola

Heard of the saying the early bird catches the worm? Sometimes it pays off if you wake up early one morning to take pictures of the sky (if you ever have such interests) and happen to see a nice chic at the vending machine. What better way than to strike up a conversation and be her ‘accomplice’ in forcing the vending machine with her too. And as fate would have it, our guy Yorito is thrust into protecting the Yaka (Calamity of the Night) and promising to show her the true sky of daylight.

2) To pick up girls… And failed
Kanokon ~Manatsu No Daishanikusai~ OVA

Kanokon OVA

I know patience is a virtue and even the saying has it that reward come to those who waits. Our poor guy here, Tayura, has a secret unrequited crush on the tough and morally strict bespectacled bookworm. I don’t know what he sees in her but yeah, love is blind. Anyway he bought a bean soup can drink by mistake and gives it too her. Grateful? Yes. Any progress? No. Maybe he should buy her more can drinks.

3) To get yourself a whole new girl
Akikan

Akikan

Depending on the flavour and material of the can drink, you can get a whole new girl materializing and magically taking shape into its human form just by sipping it. I’m sure Kakeru must have been thrilled when he got his first girlfriend in 16 years (that’s how old he is, by the way), and even if Melon calls him her Owner (master), I hope that guy respects her as a girl and control his perverted antics. Think about it. Making love to a steel can? How odd is that?

4) A place of solace
Toradora

Toradora

Unless you are claustrophobic, you may not want to try this idea out. In fact, nobody I ever knew (living, dead or fiction) tried this until Ami came along. She loves sitting between the little empty spaces between the vending machines at her school. It’s a secret spot of hers to think and ponder things and recollect her thoughts. I wonder if she really has too much on her mind.

5) To further one’s friendship… And probably win a prize!
Kanamemo

 Kanamemo

Sure, buying a can drink for your friend could be a nice way of treating him/her and it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to buy expensive gifts. I don’t know how true this is in the real world but if you’re the XXXth customer, the vending machine may announce that lucky buyer as a winner and dispenses out a free can drink as a reward. The case of Kana and Mika as their day is brightened up by such a phenomenon and not only they both can have a drink each at the price of one, they probably got their friendship-cum-rivalry renewed as well.

6) Some ego showdown
Nodame Cantabile: Paris Hen OVA

 Nodame Cantabile OVA

I didn’t fully comprehend what was going on or whatever they were trying to tell each other. But the funny part to me was that ‘intimidation’ scene that sees both Chiaki and Matsuda ‘selecting’ each other’s drink at the vending machine. Not the drinks that they were hoping for anyway.

7) To screw and mess with your head
Azumanga Daioh

 Azumanga Daioh

Tomo must have felt the vending machine is messing around with her since she’s got her drinks poured out without the cups. But this didn’t happen to Yomi when she purchased her drink subsequently. Too bad for the vending machine, for the mental anguish that Tomo has suffered (exaggerated, though), just like Osaka said, it has lost the trust of one of its customers.

8) A place for cats to live… And provide body warmth temperature drinks
Pani Poni Dash

Pani Poni Dash

We know Mesousa has always been the over-used, abused, bad luck rabbit the series has portrayed the rabbit to be. It makes each visit to the vending machine for horrific since there’s this God cat called Neko Kamisama that resides in it and became Mesousa’s ‘friend’. Not just a particular vending machine, but any vending machine that rabbit patrons. To top all that terror, Neko Kamisama even gives extra ‘service’ by providing body warmth temperature drinks for the rabbit. Hey, it helps keep your normal body temperature at 37 degrees Celsius, right?

9) Tool to take over the world
Keroro Gunsou

Keroro Gunsou

Imagine if everyone in this world find the vending machine indispensable and a necessity, then theoretically that would mean if such contraptions were to be held at the mercy of the invaders, that would lead to world conquest, right? Since those pesky humans won’t be able to live without them and at the same time make some money. At least that’s what the head platoon Keroro thinks. But make sure this plan is foolproof and not let early success go to your head or else you’ll be forced to swallow 3 litres of liquid and at the same time have your money taken. Plan failed…

10) As a projectile
Durarara!!

 Durarara!!

If you’re strong enough, have no conscious and rage so fiery that even the fiercest tiger would back down, you could try Shizuo’s tactic of just detaching just about any public amenities including vending machines and throw them at your enemies. Big enough to crush a single foe or wipe out a gang cluster. Hell hath no fury like Shizuo does… Pity those can drinks inside have to go to waste.

11) To vent your frustration
To Aru Kagaku No Railgun

 To Aru Kagaku No Railgun

If you don’t like some guy who is acting so cool and in the right way, just because he doesn’t want to take credit for saving people’s life, I’m sure Misaka could do let loose some of her steam by kicking the vending machine until it can’t take the abuse and even gives out a free can drink. It’s your alternative to a punching bag for more powerful people like espers.

Sola

Sola

Hey, it’s this series again. Sure the vending machine here has got lots of use, eh? As usual, if the vending machine doesn’t like you and eats your money, I’m sure Matsuri must have figured out that this must be the best way to get her money back or at least kick it till it dishes out your purchased drink. Ever try buying from a different machine, girl? They should have called it venting machine too…

12) As a shoulder to cry on
Yume De Aetara

 Yume De Aetara

If you’re feeling like a loser and a jerk just because you forgot to ask the girl her name, phone number or address after falling in love with her at first sight, what better way than to pour out your misery at the vending machine? They may not be able to pat you on your shoulder but at least they don’t talk back, right?

13) An indication that you’re lost
Pani Poni Dash

Pani Poni Dash

What happens when you see a vending machine smack right in the middle of the forest? Oh hell, that can only mean you’re lost. Very lost. Where the heck did they get the power outlet anyway? Do monkeys and tigers really buy those stuff? Is it a thoughtful idea for people who are lost to rest and have a drink after meaningless hours of meandering? If you have time to ponder all that, you should have used that time to find your way out.

14) As a secret passageway
Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn

Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn

Having secret passageways hiding behind bookshelves has become so old fashion. By using a vending machine, you can blend the path to your secret hideout with the city itself. We all know how big the Vongola base is in the future, right? It would be just wrong to have a single entrance faraway from the city instead of entry points at certain locations in the city. Just remember to but an ‘out of order’ sign so that unsuspecting and unwanted people won’t use it.

15) To play hide-and-seek
Kobato

Kobato

If you’re a naive and dumb person like Kobato, then I guess using the vending machine to play hide-and-seek will be a breeze. One of the many perfect places to hide from ‘it’ since the vending machine is bigger than the average human and especially little kids. Yeah, she can spend hours looking and looking without noticing the obvious is right under her nose.

And the best use of them all…

16) To time travel
Gintama

Gintama

Accidentally killed someone? Moreover, somebody who is a prince of an alien planet? Oh yeah, what better way than to escape or turn back time by heading towards the nearest vending machine to undo the act. Even if Gintoki demonstrates this silly panic act and was nowhere successful (because you couldn’t fit the rest of your body except your head lah!), but imagine the potential if this possibility was true. In short, a future without errors! “G…G…Gotta…F…F…Find a time machine…”.

Chill out…
Aren’t they useful, no? Yeah I know it only happens in anime. Another feature of vending machines in animes is for of course product placement. You know the power of advertisement? What better way for Easter Eggs and trivia for those with sharp eyes and spot them whether goods or advertised publicity (notice the one in Angel Beats?). Then there are many other types of vending machines not only dispensing drinks. We have seen ones that dispense candies, trading cards, cigarettes and little tit-bits all in various shapes, designs and sizes. Of course another famous variant and cousin is the Gachapon vending machine whereby you get your cute chibi palm size anime figurines in capsules. For those who are hardcore fans of a particular anime series, I’m sure there are vending machines that sell their favourite anime merchandise. I’m waiting for a time when you can just purchase anime via vending machine. Oh heck, it won’t cost you just a few coins, but a few big notes. A big possible target for thieves if I should say. Otherwise I don’t see the trend of vending machines dying out soon or in the near future. Too bad I just can’t use it as a time machine…