Summer shopping list

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Time to blow past yesterday’s emo moment and go through my latest batch of shelf stuffers.

First on the list is the limited edition, 2-volume Region 2 DVD box set of Shinkai Makoto‘s 5 Centimeters Per Second, originally released in Japan on 19 July 2007. I ordered this little treasure about a month ago and I’m very favourably impressed with its contents, although the box itself is disappointingly flimsy. The item also marks a personal milestone in my collecting history as this is the first time I’ve acquired the original Japanese version of a DVD release, instead of a U.S. version licenced for distribution in North America. Details and photographs in my upcoming review.

The sixth of May 2008 will see the North American debut of one of last year’s biggest comedy hits: Kyoto Animation’s Lucky Star. Kadokawa Pictures and Bandai Entertainment are giving this series a treatment to remember, rolling out a whopper of a special edition with two CDs, a T-shirt bearing the image of the now-famous Lucky Star seifuku (not the seifuku itself, unfortunately), and a screen wipe in the shape of a chocolate cornet, plus a flashy artbox to hold the lot. (They’ve even thrown in the first volume of the series itself, bless their generous souls.) A steal at US$64.98 list, US$48.99 on Amazon.com.

With their recent production delays now well and truly over (I hope), ADV have resumed work on the Region 1 release of another Kyoto Animation series, Kanon. Volume 3 first hit store shelves in North America in March 2008, but I was one of the unlucky souls whose orders got tangled up in the mess of recent months and I’ve only gotten around to reordering it now. Shipping with my copy of Volume 3 – unless some new disaster intervenes – is Volume 4 of the same series, which will be officially released in the U.S. on 13 May 2008.

I’ve never been a fan of Death Note, but my admiration of Obata Takeshi‘s fine artwork led me to purchase Volume 13, the last installment of the manga series. (NB: I acquired a copy of the English translation published in the U.S. by Viz, not the original Japanese version.) Titled “How to Read”, this slightly oversized volume fully merits its claim to be “the ultimate Death Note encyclopedia”, packing everything from character profiles and detailed chapter-by-chapter commentaries to extensive interviews and a bonus 50+-page manga. I snapped up a copy for PHP799.00 (about US$19) from Bibliarch in Glorietta 3, where I remember seeing one other copy still on stock a few days ago. (I can’t guarantee that it’s still there, but if you’ve been looking for this volume I’d advise you to ring them up and lock onto it ASAP – PowerBooks doesn’t have this one yet.)

Apart from Death Note 13, I won’t bother listing the manga I acquired during the Hiatus – too many to mention, and unlikely to generate much interest. There’s a figure I have my eye on right now, but it stays off the list unless I firm up my intention to purchase it.

8 Responses

  1. Welcome back to the wide world of blogging. So many purchases lately!

  2. Wow!!! That is a lot of stuff. If I buy that much, my wallet would be empty…
    Still, I would like the lucky Star limited box set.

  3. Glad to hear from you guys! I look forward to catching up with your blogs.

    @Yamcha: It’s great to be back. I haven’t shaken off my entire workload just yet, but things are definitely loosening up.

    @Rin: My wallet definitely feels a lot lighter now that I have time to browse and shop. On the other hand, my shelves will look a lot fuller – which always cheers me up!

  4. Bibliarch seems to get the “even-more-special” books than what the normal bookstores get. I just got a Chobits artbook there a couple days prior to this.

  5. @Zeroblade: Ah yes, the Chobits artbook. I actualy picked it up a couple of times in the past two weeks, thinking about whether I should buy it or not. In the end, I decided that I wasn’t enough of a CLAMP fan and chose to reallocate my resources to the wallet-drainers listed above.

    And you’re right about Bibliarch. I grabbed a copy of Stephen Colbert’s “I AM AMERICA (AND SO CAN YOU!)” from them about two weeks ago; even now, I don’t think PowerBooks has this one on their radar screens (despite the fact that it was a huge bestseller in the U.S.). Bibliarch may be small, but it’s definitely a great place to look for hard-to-find titles.

  6. Oh yes, not totally related, but do you have any plans to get Sora no Kioku? I’ve wanted to get it, but the lack of a card prevented that. Shipping is a bitch, but people’ve been ordering it en masse in a single go so they can split S&H costs.

  7. @Zeroblade: Oh yeah, I’m still interested. We can do a double order and save on shipping, although the final price will still be a huge pain in the posterior.

    The book is selling for Y2,800 on Amazon.co.jp. International express shipping fees (Asian region) are pegged at Y1,900 per shipment, plus Y300 per item. If the fixed component is split between two copies, each book will have a total cost of Y4,050 (Y2,800 + Y1,900/2 + Y300) – not including customs charges and local handling costs. A hefty price tag (and heaven knows how much the taxes will be – maybe another 50%?), but certainly less than the sum one would pay for a single order.

    The trouble is that the book is now on backorder status at Amazon Japan, with a listed availability of 3-5 weeks. In other words: still available, but purchasers may have to wait more than a month between order date and delivery date.

    I have a couple of leads on other places where Sora no Kioku might be available online (e.g., HMV Japan); I’ll check them out and see if there’s a more cost-effective way of getting the book. Please let me know if you sniff anything out on your end.

  8. Oh sweet Jesus, that is a lot of money alright – roughly 1,700 without tax and such. Now I’m having second thoughts… It is Shinkai we’re talking here, but that’s about half my month’s pay.

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