Expenses Manga Music

Kaimono Log – Lots of Manga + J-Pop CD

First off, thanks to all who commented on my "Adventures in Manga Importing" post. It’s nice to know that wherever I’m ordering stuff from, I won’t get bamboozled. Last night I finally made an order for some manga and a CD that I’ve wanted for more than a year! Here’s the complete shopping list:

Anime Gaming

Disgaea Anime Promos!

Okay, so being a huge Nippon Ichi fanboy, the Disgaea anime is something of a holy grail for me. The slightest news about the Disgaea anime is enough to send me into a giddy mood. So imagine my surprise when I read on Heisei Democracy that there was a new promo out today!

The first one I saw made me a bit worried that the anime would suffer from talking head syndrome. I didn’t see much action, and the framerates were kinda jerky. 

Today’s promo looks a lot better. It’s much more fluid than the first one. I did notice my mortal enemy: inappropriate/out of place CGI. Hopefully it won’t be too prominent in the anime…

The Disgaea anime is slated for an April release, so I only have about two more months of languishing until it comes out! I guess I could always pass the time by playing the game. I think I logged like, 40+ hours two Summers ago…


Adventures in Manga Importing

Lately, I’ve been meaning to pick up some imported Japanese manga, both to boost my literacy and to read some stuff that isn’t available in English yet. As long as it’s got some furigana over the kanji, I should be okay.

I’ve looked at a variety of options, but I thought that others might know more about the import scene than me. Mainly, the shipping costs seem to be pretty high for importing directly, and I’m not sure which domestic importers are "legit." First off, the stores I’ve been looking at:

  • – Has a pretty awesome selection, but shipping for one manga book is 1,500 yen. I guess I could buy in bulk, but I think buying from a domestic importer would be cheaper.
  • – I was stoked because I found a lot of manga that I wanted at pretty reasonable prices. Shipping is free on $40+ orders. Then I realized most of them were the Chinese versions. I can’t read Chinese, so this isn’t an option. On a side note, I’m still thinking of getting a certain Round Table CD there that I’ve wanted for a while.
  • – I found a link to this book store on a forum. The prices are good and the shipping is cheap too. I don’t know how reputable they are, though.
  • – This store seems somewhat popular. The prices for manga are really good($5-$7 a volume), and the shipping isn’t that bad either ($5 for USPS media mail). I’d go with this store if I knew it was trustworthy. Their website is also kinda rugged (putting in an order for 10,000 copies of Shakugan no Shana vol. 1 caused an overflow on their side; granted, that’s a lot of Shana, but still).
  • eBay – Apparently, eBay is pretty good for domestic manga. I’m still kinda scared to buy import stuff there though. Too much bootleg stuff has gone through eBay to my doorstep in the past…

These are mostly all of the places I’ve considered. If you’ve shopped at any of these places before and you know they’re cool, please let me know by writing a comment. Also let me know if you know of a better place to import Japanese manga (to the United States).

Whilst looking for manga deals, I found some deals on domestic stuff too. I thought I’d share it with you.

Last but not least, happy Valentine’s Day.

Ilya Valentine
First Impressions Manga

Ultra Maniac – Manga Preview

Ultra Maniac Vol. 1 

So I wrote a while back that I had acquired a shoujo manga sampler, and that if I could muster the guts to read it, I’d put up some mini-previews. Weeks passed, and it sat on my shelf unread. Today I figured, what better way to spend Valentine’s Day alone than reading manga written for 12 year-old girls? Hmm, maybe there’s a reason I don’t have a girlfriend… Anyway, here’s my thoughts on the first chapter or so of Ultra Maniac: 

Anime First Impressions

Ergo Proxy – Anime First Impressions

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So Ergo Proxy has gotten a lot of hype, not necessarily because of its content, but because of its resolution: 1280×720! Any anime that requires a hardware update has got to be good! Do the specs make the anime? Read on to find out!

Anime First Impressions

REC – Anime First Impressions

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Back when I did my first preview of REC, all I really knew about it was that it involved a seiyuu. A hot seiyuu! Even with that small amount of info, I had a feeling it would be a pretty good anime. Okay, so maybe I just thought the picture was hot… So how does the first episode hold up?


New Year’s Anime Resolution Progress!


So I resolved this new year to finish up a lot of the anime that was lounging around on my hard drive. Here’s an update to the stuff I was supposed to finish:


  • Bakuretsu Tenshi (Watched like, one episode)
  • Full Metal Alchemist (Watched none)
  • Futakoi Alternative (Watched a few of this anime)
  • Mahou Sensei Negima Finished!
  • Mahoraba Finished!
  • Maburaho (Watched a few episodes, still pretty behind. Wasurechatta…)
  • Mezzo DSA (Watched like 0)
  • Okusama wa Mahou Shoujo (Watched a few more, I should finish this)
  • ROD The TV (Forgot about this one… I don’t even know which episode I’m on anymore)
  • Rozen Maiden Finished!
  • Sensei no Ojikan Finished!
  • Tenjou Tenge (Didn’t watch none of this anime)
  • Tsukuyomi Moon Phase (Ooops, forgot to watch this anime too)
  • Ultra Maniac (Almost finished! Really!)

I’d say that overall, I’ve been pretty successful. Too bad I’ve also picked up like a billion shows too. Wait, that’s a good thing! Anime is good!

I might do a few reviews on the stuff I finished too. I also gotta start on Rozen Maiden: Traumend. Those dolls’ adventures are freakin’ addicting!


What the world would look like if Manga was realistic


Over at, they’re having a photoshop contest for making normal people look like they came out of a manga. Now, I think I can say that lots of characters in manga are cute, but some of these pictures are disturbing! I guess when you apply giant eyes and pointy noses in real life, something is lost (or gained) in translation. Some of these are good, it’s just that they’re bizarre when compared to real life. They sorta look more like those grey aliens with giant eyes, which really give me the creeps.

Check out all the entries here.

Anime First Impressions

Queen Millennia – Anime First Impressions!

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While perusing the torrents at Tokyotoshokan, I came across the first episode of an anime called "Queen Millennia." Not quite knowing what it was, I decided to go ahead and download it. It turns out that Queen Millennia is an old-school anime that came out in 1981, before I was even born! Not one to waste already used bandwidth, I decided to check it out anyway.

Anime First Impressions

Binchou-tan: Anime First Impressions

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I usually wait for someone to fansub an anime before watching it, but Binchou-tan is an exception. There’s barely any talking in Binchou-tan, and when there is, it’s usually pretty simple Japanese. I’m going to try something new: Here’s my first sub-assistance-free anime preview!