There’s only one thing better than playing games and that’s collecting every piece of merchandise tied to them. There was nothing like flipping through your favorite gaming magazine and seeing a profile of a limited edition collectible or discovering a piece of memorabilia from a beloved game in an overlooked corner of a shop and it’s a feeling we strive to replicate every month as we look through our own collector’s cabinet and dig out items new and old to show the world.
One of the most infamous anime series out there is School Days. As with a lot of anime, it’s in fact based off a visual novel. In 2010, JAST USA released School Days HQ on PC alongside Sekai Project (who were a new company at the time). The game remains available as a digital download or DVD copy for PC, but for a brief period of time JAST USA released a special edition version for launch. The School Days HQ Collector’s Edition arrived at a time when the company were not releasing tons of limited editions, which made it a desirable release.
Compared to the current and upcoming limited edition releases coming out of JAST USA, this one feels barebones. Everything is housed within a large cardboard box which is similar in size to classic PC big boxes, albeit a bit wider. Inside the outer cardboard case is a sturdier cardboard box with a cut out for the game. As might be expected, this is a typical DVD case which comes sealed and includes the game on disc. Note that this game arrived prior to the era when JAST USA included complimentary digital download access alongside the disc copy.
Flipping open the inner cardboard box is how you get to the remaining two items in the School Days HQ Collector’s Edition (but you can see at least one item peeking out before doing so!). And what is housed snugly inside? First off is a silly keychain. It features a goofy chibi head of protagonist Makoto. The keychain is one of those soft rubbery types and feels high quality for what it is. The keychain might turn a few heads, but it’s unlikely that most people would peg this as a keychain from School Days HQ specifically.
Next up is the item which necessitated the sturdy inner cardboard shell. It’s a mousepad with built-in wrist support strategically set to look like breasts. These are a popular form of mousepad invented in Japan, but are not often seen in English-language collector’s editions. This was one of the earliest games to offer one to the Western gaming world. With that said, given that School Days HQ is an 18+ game, it totally fits in with the concept. The mouse pad is high quality overall, with a rubberized bottom to keep it from moving around the desk.
When looking back at the School Days HQ Collector’s Edition it feels quaint. School Days is such a monumental game in the visual novel world, but this edition hardly feels premium. Yes, the inclusions are nice, but there could have been much more included to celebrate its release. It’s also strange to note the lack of “obvious” items such as an artbook or soundtrack CD. Fans would have loved these, so why avoid them?
With all that being said, it’s nice that JAST USA even put together a special edition release at all. As mentioned earlier, they didn’t do that frequently with previous releases. Unfortunately for those who missed out on this version of the game, it has long since been unavailable for sale. Copies may appear sporadically on eBay, but at a definite markup over the original price. It simply seems like maybe a ton of copies weren’t produced since they’re rather uncommon online. Those who don’t need something for their bookshelf can still play via a digital download from JAST USA.
Want to look through the rest of our Collector’s Cabinet? Head right here.