RDrake’s anime roamings


Stuff to sell
December 17, 2006, 4:17 pm
Filed under: General Schtuff, Japan, Music

Anyways, just a little regarding the items I brought back from Osaka to sell here.

First and foremost, the manga boxes which seemed in demand is no longer with me. Weiye kindly offered to buy them all off me and sell them himself. So this means that should you intend to go buy some, no need to approach me anymore, you can go straight to Urban Attic to get them. Here’s a sample picture of one:

No, the books don’t come with them…

Next, of the items I didn’t sell to Weiye are these interesting little plastic boxes for keeping little figurines. Not exactly very big, but there’s quite alot of stuff that may fit, like the small little ones that line the glass walls of La Tendo. Trying to sell these too, contact me if you’re interested. I’ve only got 2 or 3 left. Sample pictures:

Last group of items on the list is a set of music cds. All singles. I think I’ll sell them at 5 dollars each.

Get Wild – Tamaki Nami
Result – Tamaki Nami
STYLE~get glory in this hand~ – High and Mighty Color
Addicted to you – Utada Hikaru
Passion – Utada Hikaru
Be my last – Utada Hikaru
Bold and Delicous/PRIDE – Hamasaki Ayumi
Cragy Mama – hitomi

Oh, I almost forgot, I said I’ll scan in Weiye’s new name card. Ok, here it is, the back seems rather…unusual…

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RTB
December 15, 2006, 9:49 am
Filed under: General Schtuff, Japan, Music

Ok, I’m at the Kansai International Airport right now, just waiting for my flight home to open gates. Sorry I haven’t been around for the past couple of days or so, but I switched hotels.

Lot’s of things seen and done the past week, I think, and most of my thoughts on them probably border on irrevalent. Example, I’m wondering why train interiors are pretty bare in anime while in reality, they are flooded with advertisments. Walls, doors, even hanging from the ceiling you find those ads. I must say though, that would probably be quite some work for anyone intending to draw them all…

Something else? The Japanese are far more high-tech than they let off. Heck, they’ve pretty much automated everything. Even to their toilets, with motion sensors for every sink…Remember the vending machines? I thought the hot soup one was pretty novel an idea, but the one that was selling T-shirts-in-a-can took the cake. Selling things like T-shirts from vending machines. Small wonder, though, from the people who invented the gachapon machine.

Ok, just a couple of stuff left to say. One, if anyone is interested in the manga boxes I’m bringing back to sell, I’ve got about 16 with me. What I need to know is how much you guys are willing to fork out for one. I’m thinking something between 2-3 dollars each.

Also, I’m intending to also sell some of the singles I bought over there to try cover part of the costs incurred on the trip. No time now, but I’ll most likely be over at the STAC Resolutions event tomorrow, and if you can find me somehow, we can talk.

ARGH, plane coming, will continue later.



Rush hour ni Youkouso
December 12, 2006, 6:39 pm
Filed under: General Schtuff, Japan, Music

Well, something about Japanese rail lines. Never take them during rush hour. It’s a painful experience…

Ok, short post till I edit later, but here goes. I went on a shopping trip in the Minami area of Osaka, and I found another music shop. No really cheap stuff this time, though, unless you’re looking for mostly non-anime stuff.

So there comes the problem. I have a really limited budget, and can only buy a few (read handfull) cds. I need to know exactly what to get…Things also depend on how much I can borrow, and if anyone is willing to put money down right now…

Top few choices right now?
1. Haruhi singles (Character discs 1-3, OP, ED)
2. Fate/Stay Night OSTs
3. Negima?! OP single
4. Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto OP single
5. Xenosaga 3 OST
6. Valkyrie Profile OST Silmeria side
7. Kanon OST vol2 (I think this would be for the old Kanon, not 2006)
8. Bleach movie OST
9. Bleach OPED single collection
10. Gundam Seed/ Destiny OPED collection
11. Final Fantasy 12 Limited Edition OST
12. Yakitate Japan OPED set
13. Super Robot Taisen OP single

Well, most of them cost between 1200 yen to 3000++ yen. I know I always do things on short notice, but yea, any help on what I ought to get first that you guys are sure to buy from me back in Singapore?

 Also picked up some very interesting little thingies. They’re supposed to be manga boxes. Made of some soft material, I think. You pack your manga into them, zip it up, then store the whole thing somewhere, without fear of dust attacking your precious manga…I picked up maybe 6-8 of them? I think I’ll keep one or two for myself, then sell the rest. I mean, look, the Chuang Yi manga sale just finished right? Most of you probably are getting headaches finding places to keep all the books you dragged home. Well, worry no more…

Anyway, I’m not sure, but I’m considering doing a little something. Charge a little extra over the cost of each item I bring back from Japan and sell. Then send the profits over to animeblogger.net or something. Must try to help out after all, real shame if people like Tsubaki have to close down out of a lack of effort.



Kansai reporting
December 10, 2006, 10:13 pm
Filed under: General Schtuff, Japan, Music

Ok, I managed to get some time to update things here in Osaka. Let’s see…damn, these Japanese keybnoards are crazy to use…

I should be able to check in here and around daily, since there’s a free to use computer with internet connection here in the hotel lobby…and also because the winter day in Japan ends at maybe 5PM…after that, there’s not much to do outside…

Well, first off, I’m based in Osaka, but have been travelling over pretty much all off Kansai. It’s quite amazing how the whole place is connected via railway lines. So far been to Kyoto to see kimonos, Nara to see the deer park, and Himeji (Kobe) to see Himeji-jyo. (That would be Himeji Castle). That should be about all the rail line travel there’s going to be. Rest of the trip will be within Osaka itself.

Food is good. So far I’ve had okonomiyaki, takoyaki, yakisoba (for Tsuruya-san!), tonkatsu, kare-raisu, udon…

Ok, skip to the good part then. At Himeji (and to think that that place is more of a tourist town, actually…), I found a nice little (ok, fine, it’s about the size of a supermarket already)shop selling used and new books/manga/games/music. First three choices are out, no thanks to language barriers, so of course I check out the music section. Found some (used?) discs going for ¥50 apiece, that’s like…SGD 0.70? All singles. Picked up a whole mass, but most of you probably recognise only a couple of them.

Honoh no tobira – FictionJunction YUUKA. From the cover, this came from Gundam Seed Destiny…most likely, I guess…

Snow Kiss – Nirgilis. YAY! The song that Tsubaki ranked top of ADD rawr’s ED pick of the month.

As I said, plenty more, but at that price…50 yen…oh my…Sorry, but I won’t be going back to Himeji, so try not start to bombard me with shopping requests, I don’t exactly have all that much money to blow anyway. But what I can do is to look out for stuff, and if within my means, yea, maybe I’ll be nice and help people buy stuff. Must be small items!

Leave any requests as comments…

Edit: Sorry, forgot to mention something. Purchase requests mainly available only to Singaporeans, unless one can come up with a satisfactory method of transfer…



This month’s YURIA releases…
November 24, 2006, 4:37 pm
Filed under: Music

YAY! Two singles from YURIA in one month. Oh, that is teh powah…hehehe…

Actually, to clarify, one is actually by HoneyBee. The truth is that HoneyBee = YURIA. Got it? Don’t forget it…I did that myself and almost lost the second single till aurabolt reminded me…

Oh, and both are released by Lantis, YURIA’s recording company. Aurabolt said something about Lantis and Navel (eroge production company) having some sort of affiliation with each other. I’ll cover that another time…

1. Really?Really! Game OP single – YURIA

Tracklist:
1. Remember memories
2. Happy Go Lucky Days
3. Remember memories (off vocal)
4. Happy Go Lucky Days (off vocal)

Torrents: Moe, LonE, NipponSex

Hmm, from the scans, this looks like…is that Asa and Kaede?!…
Ok, aurabolt to the rescue again. It seems that Really?Really! is one of the sequels to Shuffle!. The game, not the anime. And only if you chose the Kaede path. There’s another sequel for the Nerine path…No wonder those scans…

Well, about the songs themselves, yes, very good. It has a similar style to the two earlier songs YURIA sang for Shuffle!. Moderate ambience, heavy on the guitar and bass, and she sings in her higher voice tone.

2. Sumomo mo Momomo ED single – No Rock No Life – HoneyBee

Tracklist:
1. No Rock No Life
2. Guitar Satsujin Jiken
3. No Rock No Life (Instrumental)
4. Guitar Satsujin Jiken (Instrumental)

Torrents: Nipponsei, LonE

Ah, and this one is quite pretty too. Doubtless, not too few of you actually do watch Sumomo mo Momomo already…As it’s title would suggest, it has a mainly rock feel, not the heavy metal kind, the more melodic rock.



YURIA – YURIA [1st best album]
October 27, 2006, 10:15 pm
Filed under: Music

Woah, managed to catch this off Tokyotoshokan. (I thank all you last minute seeders who popped out today.) I’ve been on the lookout for stuff by YURIA ever since I heard her first in Shuffle! OP.

Playlist:
1. Dream & Love
2. 抱きしめて
3. 君に再び逢えた奇跡
4. 青空
5. LA♪LA♪BYE
6. ぬけがけしないで
7. Mirage Lullaby
8. You make my day!
9. WISH
10. YOU
11. モノクローム(Studio Live Ver.)
12. baby kiss

Yes, there seems to be quite a few in there that came from an anime. You – Shuffle! OP. Wish – Gravion ED1. Mirage Lullaby – Shuffle! game OP (thanks to DarkMirage for the translation on his blog). LA♪LA♪BYE – Can’t remember, but it’s either Gravion ED2 or Burst Angel ED.

So, if you happen to like any of those above songs, this is a very good album to pick up. Go get it now!

YURIA is love…



What is China’s role in furthering the J-pop industry?
September 23, 2006, 10:21 am
Filed under: General Schtuff, Music

Recently I went over to Sembawang Music (Compasspoint) to check out the lastest J-pop releases. I was quite pleasantly surprised to find that certain albums which normally cost between SGD 18-22 were now selling at SGD 13 apiece. That’s basically a discount of 5-9 dollars. No joke. So what was the difference? Seems that the cheaper copies come from China.

Yep, this is the disc I bought, though the packaging is a little different…There’s no colour, more like the second pic.

Taiwan used to be the route through which Avex Trax released it’s Asian editions of it’s albums. (The main, and to a certain extent only, company which sells J-pop here is Avex). Now it’s China. Just how much can you cut on production costs of CDs that price differences of almost 10 dollars can be tolerated? Apparently alot.

Now this is may seem surprising to some, taking account the current frosty Sino-Japanese relations. However, the common misconception is that those relations affect business. Yes, it does to some extent, but the sheer difference in wealth between the two countries is big enough that Japan is becoming a HUGE investor in China.

Ok, enough of the political talk. I said before that I bought one such Made-in-China disc. how was it? In terms of sound quality, no different from the Made-in-Taiwan ones. Of course, I should have two sets of the same album to make a good comparison, but that’s expensive…

What other differences are there then? The shopkeeper said that the China discs are cheaper because they do not contain the music videos that can be found in the Taiwan made discs. Normally, the Taiwan discs contain one or two PVs for single artiste albums and almost the same number as the number of music tracks for compilations. These were noticibly absent in all the China discs I checked.

However personally I think that if I can save that much money simply by not watching the videos, it’s no loss. I’m not really a big fan of them in the first place (joys of not having grown up on MTV…).

The other big difference would be packaging I suppose. On first glance, sets appear very mcuh similar. However, the China packages are smaller, or rather, thinner. This is most likely directly attributable to the fact that there are no more videos, and the space once needed to hold the bonus disc is now gone. Other differences is that while in the Taiwan discs, only the Avex brand name is shown, the China discs hold both Avex’s logo and that of the Shanghai Record Company.

This is probably the biggest reason for the price drop. Avex has teamed up with a mainland company…So if the discs are to sell in China, the price has got to go down. Of course, while Avex may not be happy to lower it’s profits, the Shanghai Record Company is in a big position to make up for that loss through the utilization of it’s guanxi (basically relationships with those in power and in the business) and local knowledge to cut red tape and production costs.

And if you’re worried that the goods are bootleg? Fret not. Two reasons. One: The Avex logo, and sticker are both on the package, signifing some degree of authenticity. Two: A well-known and well-established name like Sembawang would never sell bootleg music in it’s outlets. It’s name will get dragged down into the mud.

The best part about these developments though, are probably to the customer. In a market area where interest in J-pop is not particularly high, (explains why only Avex exports here…), the choice of being able to buy cheaper discs is a great boon. Here’s a big cheer for the great people who made this happen, whoever you are!