[ ~ objectively superior, but for what objective? ~ ]
It is (was) Christmas, so what better (worse?) time to celebrate some excessive commercialism!
I’m on vacation in Tokyo this week and decided to stop by Akihabara to see capitalism in action… just a weird capitalism catering to a niche set of hobbies all assembled together into a giant tourist trap. It’s a lovely place, but given the tight spaces and crowds, it’s perhaps more interesting to explore as living museum to gonzo commercialism than as a place to actually shop.
With the eye of a tourist rather than a shopper then (half the people there must have been tourists), it was fascinating to take Akihabara as a vast sample of what’s new and popular in the anime-mangasphere. On that, one thing stuck out to me after cycling through a few shops: the uncontested ubiquity of Re:Zero’s Rem and Ram.
Oh, but it’s mostly just Rem. And boy is she expensive.
If the silly polls and mountains of fan art don’t already make obvious, Rem won the waifu wars of 2016 and, if my trip to Akihabara is any evidence, she’s still winning in 2018-going-into-19. The sheer volume of Rem figures and Rem art and Rem trinkets fascinated me. But even more, I laughed every time I saw Rem and Ram paired with twin goods – only for Rem to cost up to twice as much.
Once I picked up on the pattern, I made a game of recording the price differences between Rem and Ram figures. With a casual sample of ten comparisons, I can only conclude that Rem is indeed the numerically — no, objectively! — superior character.
My statistician friends might mutter something about motivated reasoning and oops, I’m maybe trimming one or two cases that don’t fit my narrative*. But what do those mathematically-minded pinheads know of love, of the only number that really matters: the ONE true waifu! (only shared with thousands of other anonymous fellows online. Meditate on that thought).
The market has spoken. True fans don’t need evidence to know that Rem is the best, but if some appears, I’m sure they’ll take it anyway. So, with no further comment, I present my data.
For each listing of paired figures:
Ram price, Rem price, ratio
- ¥1400, ¥2900, 0.48
- ¥1400, ¥2800, 0.50
- ¥1580, ¥2580, 0.61
- ¥6100, ¥9500, 0.64
- ¥12800, ¥19800, 0.65
- ¥2800, ¥3800, 0.74
- ¥12500, ¥14800, 0.84
- ¥1980, ¥2180, 0.91
- ¥2500, ¥2600, 0.96
- ¥2800, ¥2900, 0.97
* (I saw two instances when a Ram figure cost more than a twin Rem figure before I started jotting down prices. Ram fans, don’t lose hope! Or better yet, rejoice for knowing that you can build a collection at a discount!)
[And an unrelated PS: writing on mobile feels so fragmented. It has none of the flow of rolling out thoughts on a keyboard or pen. I tried voice input. but only.. ended up with… awkward…. starts and stops, not. sentences. It’s fun to say “comma” though!]