Play Video Games For Only An Hour A Day (ゲームは一日一時間,Gēmu wa ichinichi ichijikan) is the ninety-eigth episode of the Gintama anime.
Many passionate otaku have gathered in Akihabara, the otaku holy land. That's because the new Bentendo OWee game console is going on sale. The OWee will only be given to the first hundred people and a long line has formed. Odd jobs Gin has been hired to buy one. They cleverly make plans to get ahead in line. Katsura and Elizabeth are also in line. Even the Shinsengumi, who were asked by Otae to get an OWee, are also standing in line. A fierce battle to get the game console begins!
The Edo News go into the Otaku district, Akihabara at night, revealing a long line of fans waiting outside an electronics store. The reason, the release of the new console, the Bentendo Owee. After interviewing some of the people in line, the reporter states that there is a chance that only the first one hundred people will get the console. She is then interrupted by smoke coming from a small campfire lit by Gintoki, Kagura, and Shinpachi. The line security staffer tries to tell them to put out the fire, but he is ignored when the trio plays a scene from Heidi involving food. The trio tricks some of the starving men in the front to trade places with them so the otaku can eat it, moving up twenty places.
The Yorozuya were hired to buy five consoles for their clients, but with the way things were going, Shinpachi doubts that they would be able to get any. Gintoki, irritated that he was wasting his time with this toy in the first place, declares that he didn't mind if Katsura destroys this city. A few places ahead of them, another line security staffer asks Katsura and Elizabeth to move the kotatsu off the line so as not to inconvenience the other people. Katsura refuses as they were eating. He argues with the man but is interrupted by the Yorozuya kicking him out the way and moving up ten spaces. Katsura chastises Gintoki for his underhanded tactic and reveals that he was here researching the latest fads. But he proves to be incompetent when he believes that the line was for the Famicon. Gintoki berates him for his idiocy as well as being in the open undisguised. But Katsura assures his friend that the police wouldn't be up this late.
A few places ahead of them, another line security staffer asks a bathing Kondou and Sougo to move to the side so as not to inconvenience the other people. The two males refuse since they weren't finished yet. They argue with the man but are interrupted by Hijikata kicking the two out the way, right near the Yorozuyza and Katsura. Hijikata then notices them and the Yorozuya tell Katsura to hide under the kotatsu. The Shinsengumi Vice-Commander asks what the trio were doing but Kondou and Sougo sneaks into the heating table. Kondou hypocritically mocks them for wasting their time in line and reveals that the store was only going to sell the console to the first one hundred people, which makes Hijikata the last person who will get it....Or it should be, if Hijikata wasn't sitting under the table with them. He panics as he reveals he was in line since yesterday morning after being asked (threatened) by Tae to buy one for her and the other hostesses. Hijikata assures his boss that Yamazaki was holding his place on line.... Except Yamazaki was also out of the line playing Kabaddi with other otaku.
The store opens and the staff tells the people to form a line as well as they will be receiving one console per customer. Gintoki and Hijikata barrels past the staffer and fight each other over it. This was followed by the rest of the Shinsengumi and Yorozuya then the rest of the otaku. The reporter declares that a riot is forming and asks a Bentendo representative if this was expected. He admits that the Owee's constant delays may have contributed to these impatient masses but assures the reporter that they already have a solution before calling out the store manager. A side wall lifts up to show a large screen and a playable Owee. The manager arrives dressed in a flamboyant getup and declares that since they were so enthusiastic about the Owee then they should bet on who will win in an game battle, which will involve the Yorozuya and Shinsengumi trios. Whoever wins the battle will get the console for free and whoever bets right will get the right to purchase the console. The otaku angrily berate the owner for this idea, but the trios' promotional influence sway to gamers into participating in the betting.
In first round, one person from each team will be playing "Bakiboki Memorial", a dating sim game where whoever makes the heroine fall first wins. The Yorozuya find themselves at a disadvantage as they never played this type of game before. But the Shinsengumi themselves have their self proclaimed expert, Kondou, who declares that he can predict what ways to make the 2d girls fall in love with him. Suddenly a laugh comes from the kotatsu and it declares that you must also take into account the unnecessary things when it comes to love, before revealing himself to be Mario (Katsura dressed as him). Everyone is completely fooled except for the Yorozuya. Before going, Gintoki tells Katsura to be careful.
So let the first round begin!
- Sakata Gintoki
- Shimura Shinpachi
- Katsura Kotarou
- Kondou Isao
- Hijikata Toushirou
- Okita Sougo
- Yamazaki Sagaru
- Terakado Tsuu (cameo)
- Matsudaira Katakuriko (cameo)
- Matsudaira Kuriko (mentioned)
- Catherine (cameo)
- Musashi (cameo)
- Shimura Tae (flashback)
- Heidi is a famous anime made in the 1970s based on a very popular Swiss children's book written in the 1880s. Both the cartoon and the novel tell the story of the life of a young girl living in the Swiss Alps with her grandfather.
- Full Metal Alchemist, a 2009 anime which is one of the highest rated anime globally (see here), revolves around the law of alchemy which states that "In order for something to be obtained, something of equal value must be lost." This quote was used by Gintoki to advance in the line (see here).
- Bentendo Owee is a parody of the game console Nintendo Wii, that came out three years earlier.
- Bentendo could also be a parody of the American TV show Ben 10.
- Famicon (Family Computer), or known outside of Japan as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), is a home console that came out in the early 1980s. It should be noted that what is seen in the anime was the original design of the console sold in Japan before it was altered to the more familiar look sold to the rest of the world in the rest of the decade. Katsura also references Twin Famicon.
- Kotatsu is a low wooden table covered with a heavy blanket and a table top. Underneath is an electric heat source. It is one of the most ubiquitous household items in Japan.
- Kabaddi is a popular contact sport originating in India in which a person on one team must try to tag the other team and return under a single breath or before being tagged themselves.
- Zega is a parody of Sega. Ironically enough by Sougo’s foreshadowing, Shenmue III came out in 2017 after an almost two decade hiatus, though not developed nor published by Sega, while still under Sega licensing banner.
- Zony is a parody of Sony.
- Yorozuya and Shinsengumi fighting each other as black Friday.