January Loots

Didn’t plan on spending much in January but still managed to acquire a few items ^^;  Just a quick rundown on the various items I procured.

First up is the disc media.  Rightstuf happened to run a sale on Ouran late last month so I picked it up.  Then a few weeks later, they had another sale on Funimation items.  Yeah, I know Funimation doesn’t have the best reputation but I really enjoyed Ouran so figured it would be worth it.  Also, grabbed Spice and Wolf since my interest in the series has been renewed recently (more on that in a bit).  A few Kodocha volumes I needed to complete my collection went along with the order.

Aside from the anime DVDs, also grabbed Valkyria Chronicles for PS3.  I’ve been wanting to play this game since its release and since I spotted it for a mere $20, I went for it.  Not one for JRPGs these days, but I’m liking it so far.  Combat system is a bit quirky at points but it’s fun ^^.  Mass Effect 2 is taking game-time priority though ^^;

Hoihoi-san is next!  Yeah, I know this is an old release (Fall 2009) but the store I ordered her from was not too reliable and they just this month shipped her out to me…  Probably won’t be ordering there again.  If you’ve never heard of Hoihoi-san, she’s a small robot that is made to exterminate bugs and also to be irresistibly cute xD.  Check out the OVA if you want to see more.  Here, she is a pre-painted model kit so assembly is required but it doesn’t look too hard.  I have not had a chance to put her together yet.  Her miniature rival, Combat-san is also getting the model kit treatment soon!  :D

Moving on, I’ve got a few treats for my doll daughters.  The Christmas dress is actually the red version of the one Kagami wore for Christmas.  Hobby Search sent the wrong color by mistake and so they sent out an additional one at no charge.  First time I’ve had a problem with a Hobby Search order and they took care of it nicely.  That means I’ve got two of the outfits for next Christmas ^^.

Also from Hobby Search, I ordered an additional Obitsu Body stand and a pair of 1/6 scale high-heeled strap shoes.  The stand is same type as I used for posing Yui earlier, just clear instead of blue.  It worked really well so I bought another one.  The shoes are actually in anticipation for a new outfit I have ordered for the dolls.  Will have photos of that when it arrives ^^.

Books!  And they’re not manga either ^^;  Decided to give light novels a try (also from a recent Rightstuf sale).  Yes, they are English translated.  This is why my Japanese skills never progress ;_;  I should have gotten them in original Japanese but reading each probably would have taken me a month…  So, I took the lazy route and got the English published versions by Yenpress.

Each book has a few illustrations. Make no mistake though, the book is 98% text ^^;

Spice and Wolf light novel volume one was released just last month and caused quite a stir when Yenpress announced their “updated” cover art.  Not many fans liked the new cover and after lots of complaining Yenpress decided to provide the original cover to customers who order from certain online retailers.  Rightstuf was one such retailer that offered the original cover slip so I got it ^^.  ‘Tis a good thing since I didn’t much like the other cover.  Anyway, the novel itself…  wasn’t really a big Spicy Wolf fan but since reading thing book, I have renewed interest in the series.  In fact, I really liked the novel!  Seeing the much more fleshed out relationship between Holo and Lawrence kept my interest and left me wanting more.  I love their subtle, yet playful jabs at each other as their relationship developed.  Also, while the anime glossed over a lot of things, the novel takes its time to explain the economics in thorough detail.  It’s an all around good read.

Yuki ... ... ... xD

No need to introduce the next two books.  Haruhi novels volumes 1 and 2.  Still never finished the anime, lost interest halfway through.  The books, however, I can safely say kept my interest ^^.  Already read volume 1 and nearly finished with volume 2.  Kyon didn’t strike me as very clever in the anime, but I really like his character in the novels.  Haruhi, on the other hand, seems a bit more annoying here than in the anime.  Kyon is really the main character of these books though, not Haruhi.

Both Spice and Wolf and the Haruhi books were great.  Definitely has kindled an interest in light novels for me.  Would recommend both if you like reading ^^.

Speaking of kindling… here is my final item in January!

Recently became an owner of the Amazon Kindle e-reader ^^.  Was not a personal purchase however; a gift instead.  Still, I’ve always liked reading and getting my hands on a new piece of tech is always fun.  Most people have probably heard of the Kindle.  It is Amazon’s attempt to head off the inevitable drop in physical book sales and get a head start in the growing e-book market.  Prior to receiving this gift, I had little interest in e-books.  I always thought that a physical book would be more convenient and comfortable to read and to a certain degree, I still think this way.  Still, having had the Kindle for a few weeks, I have to admit I’m enjoying it more than I expected.

When you put the Kindle in stand-by, it displays a random greeting image.

The device is really thin and light which gives it a great deal of portability.  Also, the battery life is outstanding.  I was able to read nearly two full books before having to recharge it.  That’s about 2 weeks time.  It has built-in (and free) 3G connectivity which allows you download books instantly and even browse the web if you like (the browser is pretty bad though).  Most importantly, though, is the screen.  The Kindle uses e-ink technology which gives displayed text a very natural, paper-like appearance on the device.  I don’t know about you, but when I stare at an LCD screen, even nice ones, I can tell it’s a screen and reading for hours on end will result in some eye-strain.  The e-ink tech in the Kindle pretty much dismisses the eye-strain problem.  It’s very easy to look at and read.  The downside is that the screen is slow to refresh and is only black and white.  Still, that’s completely acceptable for normal book reading so I’m not bothered by it.  As for the books, I don’t like the DRM’ed mess that currently exists but since many classic, public domains books are available for free on Amazon, I can’t fault them much there.  Currently reading War of the Worlds and have a dozen more on the device waiting to be read ^^.

Anyway, this post has gotten too long so I will end it here.  I actually have received most of my C77 goodies as well but I will save those for a later post.  Thanks for stopping by!

24 thoughts on “January Loots

  1. Leonia

    My boyfriend had HoiHoi San too ^^ I find her funny ^^ I would like light novel Spice & Wolf but sadly my engish is not really good and I don’t really like read in english >_< Nice haul !
    .-= Leonia´s last post… Janvier 2010 =-.

  2. Optic

    Valkyria Chronicles will keep u busy for a while, (after ME 2 off course). It’s still one of the best JRPG’s I’ve ever played. The battle system (does that a bit of time to get use it), the character development and the story just fit’s perfectly.

    Unfortunately, I had to pass on Rightstuf Funimation sale. There was a few I wanted to pick up especially Spice and Wolf but with so many orders last months and my last order arriving today, the hole in my wallet is big enough as it is. :(

    If I know Rightstuf well, they have like 2 to 3 Funimation sales per a year so I will look forward to the next one. ^^
    .-= Optic´s last post… Hobby Search Special Sale =-.

    1. anonymous_object Post author

      Yeah, I think I’m on chapter 3 or 4 of Valkyria Chronicles and I do like the story and characters ^^. Just kind of annoying when the enemy gets way more CP than you and can march across the entire battlefield and kill 1/2 of your force in 1 turn…

      I’m sure Rightstuf will have another Funimation sale this year. Just gotta keep an eye on their newletters ^^

  3. mefloraine

    Hmm, you got the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya novels with their proper covers…the ones in the actual stores are the paperback covers without cute art. >.<

    Eh, I'm still pretty doubtful of the Kindle. It just doesn't have the smell of a book, and that's pretty important. ;;;
    .-= mefloraine´s last post… pen =-.

    1. anonymous_object Post author

      Smell, eh? Paper books do have a smell but I don’t associate it with the quality of the content so I tend to disregard it. Also, there are often half a dozen or so versions of any given published book, all of which may have different shape, size, and paper and print quality. Given the variation, it would be inconsistent to associate any of those physical attributes with the quality of the book itself. I was more concerned about the feel and atmosphere of holding a flat device instead of a book with individual pages but I got over that more easily than I expected.

  4. Ippiki Ookami

    Very nice loot there! Valkyria is definitely a very beautiful, very enjoyable game. It’s just too bad you got sucked into Mass Effect 2 first. ^^;;

    Lazy route is good sometimes… the economics you enjoyed so much in Ookami to Koushinryou would probably have been excessively hard to read (and thus, enjoy) in Japanese. Suzumiya Haruhi should have been pretty manageable, though. =P

    Speaking of e-readers though, I’ve been thinking about getting one… for light novels. ^^;; But, well, doesn’t look like the Kindle natively supports Japanese (have to hack it a bit) and the Nook doesn’t have any Unicode support at all… I’d need to do some more research into how many/which light novels are available as e-books, too.
    .-= Ippiki Ookami´s last post… A Tale of Two Kudos =-.

    1. anonymous_object Post author

      If I had to judge Valkyria Chronicles beside Mass Effect 2, I would pick Mass Effect 2 as the better game so I don’t feel bad about playing it first =P

      Yeah, the economic explanations in Spicy Wolf would have been difficult in Japanese. I did think of that but perhaps for Haruhi I could have read it. I’ve got most grammar, syntax, and vocab down. I’m just too lazy to memorize hundreds of kanji…

      What about getting a Japanese e-reader? :)

  5. bluedrakon

    I could of gotten Hoihoi-san from my local comic shop in Florida before I left, but due to cash concerns, held off. I am a little strapped the next few months, so my Loot will probably just some Manga from Borders :_(
    .-= bluedrakon´s last post… FML – Anime Style =-.

  6. Smithy

    Nice loot! Don’t get to take any advantage form such Rightsuf sales over here, but I did grab the “Spice & Wolf” first season disc set right away since I adore the series.

    Tried the English translated (official release) of the “Shinigami No Ballad” novels and they were nice since you indeed get more depth from the light novel version of series, but else it was rather lackluster.

    Would love to try original Japanese light novels but their level is pretty advanced, without a lot of kanji knowledge you wouldn’t get anywhere. Some manga at least have furigana to help you on your way.

    You canceled your Alter “K-ON!” figures? Blasphemy!
    .-= Smithy´s last post… Rangetsu C77 doujin ‘Yellow Noise’ =-.

    1. anonymous_object Post author

      I thought Rightstuf shipped internationally?
      I will probably get a Japanese light novel just to see how difficult it is. Need more practice anyway.

      Yes, I canceled them. I wasn’t sure about them to start with. Not that they’re bad, but the school outfits weren’t very exciting and I wanted other items more ^^;

  7. meronpan

    lotsa good stuff there ^^ i’ve been wanting to try out valkyria chronicles too but i’d need to get a ps3 first ^^;;

    have seen hoihoi around but didn’t know anything about her, thanks for the info~

    light novels, eh? very nice ^^ i own soooo many but so far i’ve only read haruhi 1 & 2 aand… hmmm… that might be it ^^;; …despite owning all the haruhi novels, almost all of spice and wolf, shigofumi, kanokon… etc etc ^^;;;; i think i’m currently halfway through three different novels atm (spice & wolf, wagaya no oinari-sama, & kanokon) ^^;;

    you should definitely give the japanese ones a try! though i admit it can be pretty challenging at times… i’m usually just barely holding on until the easier-to-understand dialog rolls around ^^;

    i would totally love an ereader for manga and light novels… but only if i could back up everything and have control over it… basically no drm… which i assume will never happen orz
    .-= meronpan´s last post… Reimu Nendo Test =-.

    1. anonymous_object Post author

      PS3’s are getting cheap these days ;) Valkyria Chronicles is definitely worth picking up if you get a PS3. Great game for $20.

      Ah, you have a lot of light novels. And I bet they’re all in Japanese? ^^; Do you have any recommendations on which would be an easy one to start on?

      Yeah, I don’t like ebook DRM but since all the books I’m reading are free, it doesn’t bother me much. So many classics I never got around to reading can be found for free on Amazon’s site :D

      1. meronpan

        indeed, all in japanese ^^; an easy one, eh? unfortunately off the top of my head none of them really stick out as easy… though i will say this – if you’re reading a series for which you’ve already seen the anime, it helps a lot. The situations are familiar, directing your brain to the sorta vocab to expect and look for.

        do you have an electronic dictionary? especially one where you can write the character? personally i’ve found them to be an outstanding study aid. sorta shifts the focus from relaxing and reading a book to japanese study, but i think i picked up a lot of vocab by keeping my dictionary handy and looking up kanji that seemed key to understanding certain passages.

        my dictionary is actually a ds “game” and i highly recommend it if you don’t already have one (or own a ds).


        i think you do need to have a fairly good grasp of stroke order though because i noticed it having trouble interpreting characters if i wrote them wrong. aside from that i’ve been amazed how well it interprets my child like writing ^^;;

        some words don’t have an english translation (after all it’s a dictionary for japenese folks ^^;), but a vast majority of them do. when they don’t you get to practice your japanese more by trying to translate the definition ^^;;;
        .-= meronpan´s last post… Reimu Nendo Test =-.

        1. anonymous_object Post author

          Heya, thanks for the advice. I really like Toradora so maybe that’s a good one to start on ^^.

          By the way, I use that exact DS dictionary too! xD. I thought about buying a dedicated electronic dictionary but they’re pretty expensive and this DS app works nearly as well. I did actually take a bit of Japanese in college so I’ve got stroke order down pretty well, just need to memorize radicals and readings of a lot more kanji >_<.

          1. meronpan

            oo yeah, toradora sounds like a good idea. since there are no fantastic elements you won’t have crazy vocab. and words like 廊下 and 放課後 get burned in your brain ^^;

            for the dictionary i guess i was preaching to the choir ^^; good choice ^^

  8. Persocom

    Kindle sounds pretty interesting. I love to read but I don’t do it as often as I used to, and I much prefer real books over scanlations and online reading because I seriously stare at the computer screen too much as it is. I need to acquire that Spice and Wolf novel, been wanting it but want to make sure I get the right cover.
    .-= Persocom´s last post… Last Month’s Loot =-.

    1. anonymous_object Post author

      Yeah, if I had a choice, I would still prefer a physical book but I can have hundreds of books on my Kindle, so it does have some advantages ^^. Plus, I like the free book :)

      Would definitely recommend Spice and Wolf light novel. Might want to pick it up soon though, I read that the original cover was only in limited supply and only available at certain shops.

  9. Q

    Ah, the light novels… Your pictures remind me that I have to resume on my Shana ones (locally translated for Hong Kong and Taiwan liscense and releases). I did read scanlations for Haruhi up to the end of volume 8, and while not all stories are fab, reading the novels can be an enjoyable thing to do surprsingly, despite the fact that I usually don’t like reading things more than just a few paragraphs.

    The concept behind Kindle sounds nifty, and I agree that reading on something that’s like on paper is not as strainous as reading things on screens, so it sounds ideal if you like reading. Btw does Valkyria Chronicles you have provide both Japanese voicing and English dub, or just English dub only? A friend of mine told me that it has both for International versions but I have not seen it myself. Will very likely buy it when I decide to buy a PS3 for me and my sister.
    .-= Q´s last post… Nendoroid Snow Miku preview =-.

  10. Blowfish

    I hate you!
    I ordered my Spice and Wolf LN via Amazon and ended up with the crappy Cover <.<

    I found it interesting that they changed the business partner that hunts them down in the sewers was turned into a female love interest for the anime while it was just an old business partner from the town in the novel.
    Looks like the wanted to bring in some more heat between Horo and Lawrence in the Anime.

    So how is the quality of the DVDs? Worth the cash or just another lazy Western Release?

  11. Shiddo

    Valkyria Chronicles! Awesoe get ^^
    Got it my self right after x-mass along with PS3. Had my eyes on this game since ever they announced it ^^ But back then PS3 was expensive and this would be only game I had interest in ^^

    Later in the game, when you level up units, you will be able to run thru maps as well ^^ Elites, mainly scouts are insane ^^ In the begining its better not rush to much.
    Try to create covering-positions for crossfire. Enenmy usualy gets more CP but is also quite supid at some spots.
    Or lets say random ~ some orders and actions AI does can rly decide outcome of battle. For example… had one mission started in best way possible. And in the ending AI gives order for evasion and aim -> results in total negation of my turn ~ When I loaded on same spot, AI used some other orders (mainly no evasion) -> and game was won easy. And there are many other places where luck comes in play… kinda hate those ^^

    Anyway story, art and enjoyment + replay and bonus missions = one of my fav games ^^

    Can’t wait for English release of Valkyria Chronicles 2 on PSP. Tested Japanese and its very good. It’s has lot repeative missions and their content but there was bunch of new weapons, classes and vehicle customization added ^^ As well as some returning characters in side roles.

    Hope you will enjoy it as well ^^

    1. anonymous_object Post author

      Ah, thanks for the advice. I need to get back into Valkyria Chronicles before I forgot about it. Been distracted recently. I looked at the PSP sequel but sadly do not have a PSP so I will probably not get to play it. I’m not a fan of sequels on portables >_< Spin-offs/side stories are OK but I'd rather have the real sequel on a console!


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