I've been playing otome games for about 2 years now, and I've acquired
too many a couple of husbandos. Since I'm in Tokyo, I want to attend otome-related events in the future. So naturally, the best way to show my love is by making an ita bag!
Getting the badges: I got most of them from K-Books' Otome store. K-Books has multiple stores with different themes in the same area in Ikebukuro, such as games, anime and idols. The store did not have Hakuoki badges, which I was very surprised by, considering that it had new games released recently. I found the 2 Hakuoki badges at Lashinbang Akihabara, a secondhand store. There was a Lashinbang next to K-Books, but it did not have Hakuoki items. I was a little disappointed, as I was hoping to get a Iba Hachiro badge.
Cost-wise, I have seen badges ranging from ¥200 to ¥3200, but the average price for a series that's a few years old is ¥400 - ¥600. This makes ita bags expensive as the costs add up; you would probably have at least 10 badges on your bag.
Finding the bag itself was a little harder. I tried WEGO Ueno but didn't see any. Mandarake had a few, but they were from series that I wasn't interested in. I finally found a large selection at WEGO Ikebukuro, which makes sense since the target demographic would go to Ikebukuro rather than Ueno. They had bags of varying sizes, with prices between ¥2000 - ¥3000. I chose a mid-sized one as a smaller one wouldn't be practical, but a larger one would be more expensive to fill with badges. What I like about it is that it comes with a flap that can hide the badges if you don't want to get weird looks on public transit.
Another good thing about it is that the display section is detachable, which makes it much easier to put the badges on.
The main thing I dislike about it is that it looks and feels rather cheap (it's made of canvas), but since it's my first ita bag, I didn't want to splurge on something too expensive.
One mistake I made was buying badges before buying the bag, which resulted in me having some wasted badges that couldn't fit onto the bag (fortunately only 2). So I would recommend buying the bag first.
Total cost: I estimate that I spent around ¥6000 - ¥7000 on the badges, including the wasted ones, and the bag was around ¥2500. Thus I would recommend setting aside at least ¥10,000 for an ita bag. I chose mostly cheaper badges (under ¥800), or else it would have driven up the cost significantly.
I'm hoping to bring my bag to otome-related meetups or to events like Otomate Party next year!