lol, is this merchandise week or what? xD;
My order arrived last week, box all soaked from the rain but with everything all neat and cozy packed inside. Minus one thing I’ve been missing but it’s alright. I’ll get it the next time I make another order.
Once again, I’d like to give a HUGE thank you to stormfaerie-san for all her help and services and everything. Thank you~! You’re the awesomest seller EVAARRR!!1 <333
Just in case anyone's looking for some out-of-print stuff (mostly Sailor Moon) or you're having trouble ordering something from Japan, please click on the link and go to her LJ store! She's extremely nice and updates with new merchandise quite often. ^^
Alrighty, without further delay…I have to start off with a complaint. :(
So I got this off of Amazon.jp for $17/18. Sure, doesn’t seem like a bad price at all for an artbook. Plus, by merging it with the other stuff I bought, shipping this time was more worth it.
Other than like 2 or 4 pages of colored art (which, btw, are very lovely indeed), the rest are just…
…line art of those illustrations and…
…some postcard/miscellaneous cute stuff cutouts.
I really have no one to blame but myself because I really should have checked this out at my own bookstore before actually purchasing it. Then again, I did look into the details online one time but I guess I was just hoping for more colored illustrations than line art. That, and I let my excitement for Arina merchandise get ahead of me. Well, anyway, I was stupid and this is what I get. *bonks self on head*
I do, however, still think I’ve been ripped off because I think this was supposed to come with a tutorial DVD on how to color the line art (demonstrated by Arina-sensei herself)…LIES! Mines didn’t have any DVD included at all. Or maybe that was just an incorrect rumor or something. Maybe you have to order it separately? I dunno. In any case, the book has page tutorials on how to do that.
To end it off before it gets any worse, I don’t need this book. It’s a wonderful book for any Arina Tanemura fan to have but I can’t even color properly without going outside the lines so how can I be expecting to see myself using copic markers or whatnot? I would keep this for the MF illustrations but I have a feeling they’re going to show up in a real artbook later on anyway. If not, I have images save to my harddrive. No biggie. *shrug*
So, I’ll probably be selling this sometime soon. The price will be just as how much I paid it for ($17 w/o shipping) and if you’re interested, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s still in perfect condition and I can hold it for you for a month. I’ll put it up on my sidebar later on, as well. If you’re looking for anything else, I can check my Kinokuniya/Asahiya, too, so it’ll make your purchase more worthwhile (with a small service fee).
Um, yep, that’s all about this one. ^^;
Perhaps this isn’t anything special but it is to me~
I got the Amulet FLOW card file so I can put my FLOW cards in it and look through them more easily than going through all the hassle of taking them out of a card box and holding like 150-something cards together as I browse through them.
Ahh~ Believe it or not, this was the main reason I made this order in the first place. The cardfile is already out of print and at first, I didn’t think it would be a big deal if I had or not because I can find other cardholders just as easily where I live. Then my love for SC! grew at alarming rate after purchasing my first set of FLOW cards and when this appeared on stormfaerie-san’s page, I decided “I must have this to match!” More crazy looks ensued. And I’m so glad I bought it now. It would bother me forever if I put the cards in a folder that wasn’t Shugo Chara! related. <– Xiao is very detail-oriented. ^^;
Well, this is the red cardfile and it has 56 card seeps. But I made use of both display sides so I could squeeze more cards in and that it would look more like…well, a book, I guess:
Cool, ne? ^^
So I managed to fit 112 cards in instead of just 56. That’s where I hit my next problem cuz I forgot that the whole entire FLOW card series has a total of 150 cards due to the fifth (cross) set and every set has a least 30 cards. Then I contemplated on getting the blue cardfile but even that would be too hard to find now.
And then it hit me. When I ordered my DX set of cards, it came with a mini card-holder of its own. So it was all perfect!
I was able to organize all my cards with some files to spare! Yay! Be happy for me! *dances around* x3 I’ll ignore the fact that there are some cards I don’t want right next to my favorite ones.
Yep. My card-collecting will be finally completely if/when I can find all the special cards I don’t have yet (the shiny hologram ones). And I’m sure they’ll show up sooner or later on Yahoo Auctions! (Japan, of course) after the series end. The art on these cards are not that impressive and when SC!’s hype finally dies down, nobody would really want to keep them anyways. Though I’m worried about the price cuz all of them are out of print now but…no matter, I’m buying it with my own money this time. I just hope I can find them all…and that Takara Tomy won’t throw out another volume of cards to drive me crazy. 150 cards are enough! This isn’t Pokemon! ;3;
Eh…I still want that blue cardfile. Amu’s pic on that one I’m not so fond of but it’s blue~ && the Dumpty Key is on the front and I just want it to match my red one (w/its Humpty Lock on the back)! Arrrgghh! The pains of being a hardcore fan/collector! >.<
Next, I also bought the KKJ artbook. lol, I couldn’t believe these artbooks were still in stock cuz even the FMwS Japanese ones that were being sold on Amazon.jp were through third parties. And even those were few. Not to mention expensive. $26 for an artbook, are you crazy?
And no, please don’t get into an argument with me on how much artbooks should cost, how much they’re worth their list price and whatnot. I’m a great deal/bargain girl. I’m still living in my child years when books didn’t cost more than $10 and jeans were only $8! Not to mention, I hate spending. I won’t buy something unless I get the best product for the absolute cheapest price I can find
with occasional exceptions. :P
So there! Don’t know why I’m so angry but money is a touchy subject for me so please excuse that mini-blow up.
Anyways, I thought this was a good opportunity as any. Since kel-san mentioned that CMX has rights to KKJ and any (good) manga-publishing from them seems to have almost ceased, who knows if the artbook will ever come out over here? Then again, I’m sure rights are transferable (with money~)…but even so, I don’t want to purchase something like the FMwS book again. Yes, I am still very annoyed with all that text being right under/next to the illustrations and always will be. That’s not how artbooks are supposed to look, imo, and that’s that.
Now onto the art. :)
As usual, I only took pics of the illustrations that really caught my eye. I mean, they are all very beautiful but how much can I say when I can’t even read Japanese? ^^; I’ll learn someday, though. And then I’ll spend a whole afternoon going through my artbooks while munching down on cookies and drinking honey lemon. Yea~, that sounds nice. |3
But anyways…nyaha~, I remember these two illustrations a lot. The Jeanne and Maron one is obvious because it was also used in the OP for the
sucky anime and if I can recall right, Arinacchi wrote in one of her author notes for a chapter that she was so happy they used it in the OP sequence. hehe ^^
The one with the multiple Marons I remember from author notes, too. Especially the Maron holding out Earth on the left. I thought that was the most eye-catching thing in this image as well. “I present to you…Earth.” *offers* “Enjoy.”
Hmm, seen this image many times but never actually pieced them as one until I saw it in here. xD; Very weird. I guess I missed the Earth on the bottom? But I still like it a lot, nonetheless. You have a lovely normal girl like Maron on one side (holding a staff, I guess) and then her serious alter-ego Jeanne on the other in a slightly darker background. Well, not really “darker” but you get what I mean.
Damn, why is it that alter-egos are always so cool? Sometimes I wish I had one (or do I and I’m just not realizing it?). XD
hehe, I always love character collages no matter what. I used this one as my desktop wallpaper some time ago, too. Agh, but the problem with it in the artbook is I can’t see Access at all cuz his image is right on that page crease! =P
Oooo, I find these two to be the most colorful pages in the entire artbook. Or at least, their colors are very sharp and bright so putting them as a pair just caught my attention faster, I guess.
Ah, but another reason why I had to take a picture of these two pages was:
1) Finn (w/Access, kyaa~):
I love Finn. I loved her in her semi-angel form (both before and after the Sagami incident, and therefore both long and short-haired, too). I loved her when she reverted back to her Fallen Angel bitch (though not really) self. I loved her when she became a Pure Angel and gave her up life to save Maron and Satan. And of course, I found her reincarnation, Natsuki, completely adorable (in how she beats Acce-I mean, Shinji, up XD). Though my love for Finn is more because I found her character portrayal very interesting to the story over any attachment to characters like how I’d usually go but eh. KKJ was long finished by the time I was done reading it. I had no time to develop any closeness to them.
Anyway, when I got into all the Finn drama parts, I went “YES~! Betrayal!” and all that stuff I would’ve been slapped for. xD; But this longing expression Arina-sensei gave her in this illustration, the old photo-colored image of her and Access loving each other on a tree branch
You’re only suppose to kiss, you dirty angels! Don’t you know the song?! XDD;; and how everything outside that orb is all dark. Yea, I thought that really captured the entirety of her situation very well. How she would throw all her values and pride away and fall into hell just so she could see Access again. Aww~
Uh…well, I like the lacy patterns that were used. The roses were definitely nice (Arina-sensei always draws very nice roses) and…am I the only one who finds it weird that Finn is just sitting there while Access is making a move on her? …I dunno, is she asleep? LOL xD;
2) Maron, Jeanne & Jeanne!
Ahh~, besides the obvious shades of red I loved about this picture (red~), I always love seeing variations in my mahou shoujos all in one picture. ^^ It’s like an all-you-get for a great deal kind of thing.
So what? Pig-out buffet? xDD;;
Of course, the costumes has to be different enough before I like them first. Remember Sailor Moon? Yea, what was really different about Season 1, 2 and 3? And even 4 and 5, though a great improvement, was basically the same thing only more extravagant (5 was too much if you ask me o.O; ). Ah, but that’s a bad example cuz it had to be sailor fuku so nevermind. Totally forgot that part. ^^;
But I still like seeing variation in transformations a lot more. Probably one of the reasons why I like SC! so much. I have a mahou shoujo wardrobe instead of just a single uniform! xD Though Sakura’s wardrobe will continue to PWN! everyone else’s because she has the most costumes and they were all hand-made by the awesome Tomoyo. lol
Hmm…yea. Girls need a lot of different appearances after all. It’s what keeps us excited and not bored (let’s ignore the issue of over-usage because total fault falls to the authors on that <–meaning irrelevant~ :D)
I was looking for a picture with fishies since Arina-sensei loves drawing fishies and this was the one I found…and the fishies are ugly.
But no matter cuz whooo~, Jeanne with black wings. I think we got to see her with black wings only once in the manga (in Chiaki’s dream). Hmm, shame. I would like to see what a black-winged Jeanne can do. Dark version. Yea.
Oh wait. We did have one at the end, didn’t we? Just not without the wings…and she just went byebye like *snap!*…hmm. *frown* :(
Uwaahh~ Chibi Jeanne! <3
I never really took the chance to appreciate chibi Jeanne until now. ^^;
Kyaaa!!! Chibi Jeanne on a horsey! x333
SHK prototype. =P
lol, I just had to take it. I mean, I mean…the art style is very similar. If you change around Maron’s hair a bit, I wouldn’t even be able to tell the difference. I’m not really sure about the clothing (cuz I don’t know my history, buu~) but weren’t 12-layered kimonos popular during the Heian period? Wait, is this even 12-layers? ^^;
Well, now this got me wondering if Arina-sensei was thinking about SHK early on or not. Maybe lightly musing on it? She didn’t have that much of a break after Mistress Fortune…hmm. :/
Gah, I need some translated author notes.
& I want Miyako to make a cameo in SHK now cuz I think she’d make a great ninja. xD
And this is one side of the insert poster. I don’t have much of an opinion about Maron in this outfit. She’s been in so many angel outfits…and better ones (w/better stances), too. So yea.
Wah! Is it just me or does she like putting only three people on the other side of the poster every time she publishes an artbook? ^^
Hmm. Yay~ Kagura, Yashiro and Kaiki posing dramatically. lol, Kagura.
“Because Yashiro-sama insists!” xD You adorable pushover.
Ugh, seeing them reminds me of how really awful the anime was. I really hate it because they turned Yashiro into a clingy, glossy-eyed whiner and completely scratched her awesome competitive Oujo-sama charm! Yea, Yashiro was a bitch in the manga, too, but she was a funny bitch (lol) while anime-Yashiro I just want to hit (and she can have anime-Chiaki cuz he was god awful as well =P).
And she wasn’t even given a proper (hilarious) rejection from Chiaki! All we got was them going to some cafe, her asking if he found someone he liked, him saying “maybe” (pfft) and then we never heard from Yashiro again. Wtf, talk about the lamest open-end for a plot-related minor character ever. BOO! D<
I blame this on the lack of Kagura. In the anime, he was only Chiaki's butler. What happened to their childhood together or whatever? I wanted to see Kagura get mad over Yashiro and then embarrassed and all that other fun stuff and I didn't get it! *stomps foot* /:<
& then this leaves me to what happened to Madoka and how much she got screwed up and the lack of Nachi and…they really didn’t know how to make mahou shoujo back then. Except for Madhouse. Madhouse is love. <3
(Xiao has successfully swerved back into a good mood. *happy* 83)
See. See, see, see! This is how author notes/comments should be done. At the back of the book, in neat and organized readable position. Not slapped sideways along an illustration.
American manga-publishers suck. Especially ViZ. :P
Finally, here’s the back cover. I like this drawing of Maron. She looks very nice against all the sakura. The only problem I have with it are her goddamn too skinny waist that I can easily karate chop in half if I wanted to joke about it and her over-sized bewbs. D/
I know KKJ was her first long series so body proportions would still be a little edgy and I don’t blame her for that. I’m not really too critical of art to begin with but I will point out details if they seem really off (too off to pass off as close to normal). & big chests bothered me ever since Code Geass. Yea, they bother me more than flat-board chests though only slightly. So sue me. I have a problem with big boobs. =P
And finally, my last item is…
Haha, I was just looking for something to add onto the order so my total would come out to a good number. And I saw poor X-Dia among the leftover Chara-change mascots (with a few Tadases and Rimas to spare) so I figured “Eh? Why not?” I think X-Dia is cool anyway. In her personality and her part in Amu’s development. I guess you can say that besides being born from the huge amount of doubt and negative thoughts Amu had about herself, X-Dia was also the part of her she didn’t want. Or at least, didn’t want for everyone to keep getting the wrong idea about. X-Dia is very cold and detached, just like Amu’s Cool & Spicy image among her peers. It’s not that Amu wanted to get rid of her mask but going through all that peer pressure and her initial issues with Rima after trying hard to be friendlier and not so aloof, her frustration made her want to oust that side of her if you get what I mean. Plus Amu was very confused, too, so it just made her feel worse and catalyzed X-Dia’s birth.
…lol, this is going to sound strange but I think there was some subconscious reason on why I chose X-Dia out of all the other keychains on sale. Maybe it’s because of my hot temper and great indecisiveness over a lot of things that I wanted a mascot that would remind me to calm the hell down? I do break out into a lot of cavemen war cries whenever and about whatever so I often have to remind myself to take a chill pill. Too bad I’m not really good at convincing myself so I’m trying another method through visual perspectives. And X-Dia is the only one I can think of who doesn’t fly around in a frenzy like all the other Charas do so it was perfect match.
Hmm…maybe. Not sure.
I do know that X-Dia is going to serve as a reminder of what I shouldn’t be doing the next time I go shopping online. Especially if it’s about figures. Normally, I would refrain from buying any figure-related things altogether (yes, that includes keychains) because first of all, if I get even one, then I would want them all. I mean every single figure with even the slightest variations on them. Heh, knowing my love for SC!, I really would have done it, too. I’m a collector after all. o.O;
I’m serious. With all the good SR sets coming out for this series and just how awesome all the SC! merchandise is, I almost lost to the temptation. I even went so far as to go looking for every figure that has been released on Ebay and stopped only when I added up the total (of the cheapest ones that I could actually find). To me, the price would seem…okay since most of them are out of print but no way in hell was I going to pay 80 friggin’ dollars just to get the first set of Chara mascots keychains. O.o;
Maybe one or two years after SC! ends, some kind person who doesn’t want them anymore will sell them at a more reasonable price. Then I’ll reconsider. xD;
Second, I don’t really have a place to put them on display. Not to mention, my room collects a lot of dust so it’ll be a hassle to clean. :P
And third…because figures have to be worth the price they’re selling for. DETAILS. The painting, the sculpting, the expressions, all of that matters~
I would go on a bawling spree if the figure looks worse up close. Though the SC! ones are the best ones I’ve seen so far (minus the mutated Colle chibi ones *shudder*).
CLANNAD has been raped. Every feature down to the very tip of their toes looks so good and their expressions are just right. Which is why I really want to buy them in the first place. No way am I going to be this satisfied about how figures look any time in the near future.
Ahh~, but I can’t! I can’t be reckless with my money. Gotta save up for retirement. T_T
*sigh* Well, at least I have X-Dia. You can’t go wrong with her. She’s a Chara so it’s not hard to do her design. And she has the best expression out of everyone… practically because she has no expression anyway so it suits her the best. lol xD;
I’m still peeved about some paint chipping off of her headband and some yellow flecks over her black dress but eh, I’ll let that slide.
Yea…and she’s going to hang on that USB drive for a while cuz I don’t have any other place to put her where I can get a good view of her. Perfect. Now if I ever get the urge to do some compulsive spending, she can can glare me down with a “…” and I’ll think back on it. haha XD;
And so ends this sloppy post. Damn, that was long. The next one probably won’t be until August but that will be a CD review instead. Hmm…look forward to it anyway, k? ;3
…Damn, this is long. o.O;