UFO catchers occupy a major portion of Japanese arcades nowadays. If you happen to walk by an arcade, the flashing lights and fun prizes all beckon customers to try their luck at these “skill” testing games. Normally, the prizes are figures and stuffed animals from popular TV shows and manga, but you will often see snacks and food. Most recently, a UFO catcher at the Amuseum Oizumi caught our eye because of its prize, a real live pufferfish!
You won’t be able to eat this fugu as it’s much too small, but it would make for a pretty cute pet. Actually the midori fugu (tetraodon nigroviridis or green spotted puffer) is a small species of blowfish that normally lives in the freshwaters and coastal waters of South and Southeast Asia. In Japan they are a popular aquatic pet that you can find at tropical fish stores for around 300 yen (US$2.47).
▼ So cute! The spotted pattern and the way it moves makes it popular…it’s the midori fugu!
Anyone who has played a UFO catcher game knows that winning a prize while spending less than 300 yen is pretty unlikely, so why wouldn’t you just buy it from a pet store? Well, for some, the thrill of winning a prize at such games is worth all the money they use. And, doesn’t it feel better knowing that you earned your prize pet? Anyone can just fork over the money to buy a little fish, but it’s a much better story to tell all your friends how you rescued your new pet from the evil UFO catcher.
▼ Oooooo, the claw!
This particular machine was found at an arcade in the Nerima Ward of Tokyo called Amuseum Oizumi. However, sometimes you’ll find fugu prizes being stocked at game centers in ther parts of the country. So if you are looking to fish up a new swimming buddy, check out your local arcade to see if they have one.
Editor’s note: Remember, as a living creature, your fugu prize is going to need the suitable habitat and proper food needed by any pet, and green spotted puffers can live for a decade or more. If you’re not up to the task, maybe you’d be better off going for a UFO catcher prize that requires less personal care, like a plastic anime girl in a bikini.