2019 has come to a conclusion, and while this month’s haul had a couple of delays, the end result was pretty strong.
For this update, we have 3 video games, 5 anime titles, 3 light novel volumes, 1 manga volume, and 2 live-action Asian cinema titles.
#01 | Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie and Ghost in the Shell SAC: Solid State Society
The first two items of the month were during the last days of the Black Friday sale. HMV was offering 20% off sale across their entire Blu-ray catalog and I took this opportunity to try and get a few anime that were available. Eventually, I had chosen Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie and Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex: Solid State Society, as I already own ARISE and Stand Alone Complex and these two films were pretty much the last ones that I had needed to get.
#02 | Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion II: Transgression
Next is a slightly delayed release but it arrived just in time before the holiday season started to begin. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion II: Transgression arrived and this is the second of three films that Anime Limited is slowly bringing over from the Code Geass Movie Trilogy series. The third film is presumably due to get released in January/February 2020.
#03 | Death Stranding
Next is a surprise last-minute purchase before the holiday season, with GAME offering a random sale on select titles and one of them was Death Stranding for £34.99 so I figured I’ll get it. I actually did manage to start and finish the game throughout the holiday season and it was pretty good. The gameplay is divisive but the story, characters, and music were solid enough.
#04 | Christmas 2019 Haul
And thus we have come to the final haul of the year with the Christmas 2019 haul. Much like my Birthday back in June, I wanted to go through a variety of items.
For the Asian cinema section, we have four Chinese films across two Blu-ray sets!
The first is the 1985 & 1988 Jackie Chan’s Police Story & Police Story 2 film collection. The Police Story (Jǐngchá Gùshì) franchise has been on my radar for a very long time now and it caught me by surprise that some of the films were recently released in the UK, this time by Eureka Entertainment. I didn’t want to go for the special editions for shelf-space reasons so I requested the standard edition release. The second is the 1983 & 1987 Jackie Chan’s Project A Parts I & II film collection. My knowledge for Jackie Chan’s Mandarin films is actually quite limited, so much like Police Story I chose this film collection as Eureka Entertainment brought it over and I requested the standard edition release also.
For the anime section, we have Eureka Seven Hi-Evolution 1: Renton, which I requested from the 12 Days of Christmas 2019 sale from Anime Limited. This Blu-ray set was dropped down in price to about £4.99 and that is pretty insane. I did hear that the sequel film is much better so hopefully the Hi-Evolution franchise recovers.
In addition, I also finally got Hellsing Ultimate. This anime series has been on everyone’s watch list for years and with Manga re-releasing the series for Blu-ray I requested it for Christmas. I did watch the first three episodes at my Uni society so that helps with the pace. Seven episodes to go but it’s good to be able to watch it.
For the light novel section, this part was a challenge because some of the books I had in mind weren’t available or couldn’t ship in time for Christmas. I like my isekais so I wanted to get some more as per usual. The first chosen light novel was the 2017 series The Hero is Overpowered But Overly Cautious volume 1 from writer Light Tuchihi and distributed by Yen Press, was a simple choice because I had been enjoying the anime series. The second chosen light novel was the 2013 series Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash volume 1 from writer Ao Jyumonji and distributed by Seven Seas with the translation done by J-Novel Club, which was one I didn’t consider to be my priority but the anime was pretty good so I went for it. The third chosen light novel was the 2014 series The Magic In This Other World Is Too Far Behind! volume 1 from writer Gamei Hitsuji and distributed by J-Novel Club.
For the manga section, we have the complete hardcover omnibus collection of the 1987 horror series Tomie from writer Junji Ito and distributed by Viz Media. Those who follow my hauls may recognise that I had picked up Uzumaki back in June, so this is a nice companion to the collection. I hope to keep getting more of Junji Ito’s works in 2020.
For the video game section, we once again put the focus on visual novels. For the PlayStation 4, we have the Day One Edition release for Raging Loop by distributor PQube and the first print edition release for YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of this World by distributor Numskull Games on behalf of Spike Chunsoft.
And that wraps up the year of 2019! A lot has happened over the year and while the next four to six months will be pretty safe, whatever happens after that is where we start to really see the unknown.
January’s haul is already going to be a packed month, with three delayed standard Anime Limited releases (Aoharu x Machinegun, Kiss Him Not Me, Mind Game), discontinued Funimation UK releases (Attack on Titan: Junior High, Barakamon, Shomin Sample, Yurikuma Arashi), and also upcoming releases for King’s Game the Animation and Plastic Memories (apparently both parts will ship together).
Funimation is also going to go all-out with some of their titles and I hope to grab one or two limited editions along the way. Aniplex has discontinued more titles that I had expected so my list has lowered down a bit, and Sentai is being Sentai.