I certainly was not expecting a lot of diverges into the plans that I had for this particular month. Miraculously I did manage to acquire a number of out of print Asian films and also a couple more anime to wrap up the rather controversial month of the year.
For this update, we have 1 video game, 7 anime titles, 2 light novel volumes, and 9 live-action Asian cinema titles.
#01 | King’s Game the Animation
The first anime series of the month to arrive is an early arrival from Anime Limited with King’s Game the Animation, a B-horror type death game series that is so bad I love it. The collector’s edition is a nice treat but I wish it had more content in the booklet. I ordered this during the 12 Days of Christmas sale back in December 2019.
#02 | Confessions
The first Asian cinema film to arrive is an out of print title that I was lucky enough to find on eBay (and this is going to be a trend for most of the items in this month’s haul). From distributor Third Window Films is the Japanese film Confessions (Kokuhaku) by director Tetsuya Nakashima.
The film has been out of print for a long time and it’s been on my to-buy list ever since I first heard about it many years ago. I’m glad that I was able to find a copy, sealed even, and is the reprinted version which has the current spine layout.
#03 | Kamikaze Girls and Tokyo Sonata
As a result of finding the film I mentioned above, I decided to dedicate a new haul towards Asian films that are going out of print in the UK. One of them was through CeX online where I found a copy of the Japanese film Kamikaze Girls (Shimotsuma Monogatari: Yankī-chan to Rorīta-chan) by director Tetsuya Nakashima from distributor Third Window Films.
At the same time I discovered that this film was going out of print and was still readily available online so I ordered it on Base, which was the Japanese film Tokyo Sonata by director Kiyoshi Kurosawa from distributor Eureka Entertainment. Both of these films I have yet to watch but I am very happy that I have acquired them sooner than later.
#04 | Mother
With the success of Parasite, Studio Canal reprinted the very out of print Blu-ray release of the Korean film Mother (Madeo) by director Bong Joon-ho via its Optimum Releasing/Asia label. I did watch this film and I was quite surprised with the direction and how it ends. I’m glad that I was able to get the film for a low price though, since I wouldn’t pay a lot to get this film to be honest.
#05 | Angelic Layer, K: Missing Kings and K: Return of Kings
Plans to go to MCM Comic Con Birmingham in March was sadly postponed due to the current climate around the UK and I respect the decision, but fortunately I was lucky enough to find all three Anime Limited collector’s edition Blu-ray sets that I wanted for a lot cheaper online through eBay. From one seller I acquired Angelic Layer and from another seller I acquired both K: Missing Kings and K: Return of Kings together. I still have a backlog to go through but I am very happy again to get these three sooner than later, especially as Angelic Layer is going out of print.
#06 | Han Gong-ju and Memories of Matsuko
Continuing the journey of acquiring out of print Asian films in the UK, I found two more films on eBay from one seller. The first is the Korean film Han Gong-ju by director Lee Su-jin and the Japanese film Memories of Matsuko (Kiraware Matsuko no Isshō) by director Tetsuya Nakashima, both are also from distributor Third Window Films. These two were originally not on my to-buy list but I heard some positive reception by the distributor and those who had already watched them so I figured I will get them as soon as possible.
#07 | Vulgaria
A day later I received another out of print Asian film, this time it’s the Cantonese film Vulgaria by director Pang Ho-cheung from distributor Third Window Films. Like Han Gong-ju I wasn’t interested at first but after reading the reception I decided to give it a shot. I have yet to watch it but I wanted to build my Asian cinema collection of films from China & Hong Kong so this was an opportunity.
#08 | Ys Origin
Earlier in March I finally continued my progress on Ys Origin and eventually finished the game with all three story campaigns completed. I realised that I had yet to acquire a physical copy and I found one on eBay after Play Asia seemingly weren’t going to stock anymore (don’t know if its just out of stock or properly out of print). Either way I finally own the game physically, and this is the Asian English version, not the Limited Run Games US version.
#09 | Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2
Arriving at the same time as Ys Origin is an early arrival from Manga Entertainment with the second half of Attack on Titan Season 3. This is the limited edition release that mirrors the Funimation US version and will fit into the Ender Box of Season 3 Part 1. I really enjoyed this season and I am curious to see what the final season has to offer.
#10 | The Ring Collection
Last year I picked up the regular release of The Ring because the limited edition set sold out and there was no word on the sequels. Eventually the box set did return, but without the booklet and slightly different artwork for the box. I decided to hold out until I found the set being sold for a very low price on eBay new and sealed. It arrived as described.
The Ring Collection contains the films The Ring (Ringu), The Ring 2, Spiral and The Ring 0: Birthday across three Blu-ray discs. I did watch the second film and I thought it was interesting but doesn’t hold up as much to the first film.
#11 | GANGSTA. and Lucky Star
Next we have a surprise arrival with the remaining two anime sets from the Anime Limited 12 Days of Christmas Day 1 sale which focused on the Funimation UK Clearance selection. I made my first order immediately when the sale happened and that batch arrived back in January. I made my second order close to when the sale finished and that batch arrived today, so there was a two month gap in-between.
The titles that I bought for the second batch were GANGSTA. and Lucky Star. The former was on my list to get for a while but it was at that moment that I decided to go ahead and pick it up since the price was pretty decent. Lucky Star was a case where I was going to import the US version to secure the DVD version (as the Blu-ray transfer is an mixed received upscale) but I figured it wasn’t worth the extra effort. The UK version does have the DVD bonus features disc so that makes up for it.
#12 | Pink Films Vol. 1 & 2
After finishing my group assignment and the lockdown was about to begin, I went to HMV just in case they closed as soon as possible (which they did like a day later). I bought the latest Third Window Films release which was a restored selection of Japanese Pink Films. It does feel weird to own these films because it’s basically close to Japanese adult films but it has a strange following over the years.
Pink Films Vol. 1 & 2 contains the films Inflatable Sex Doll of the Wastelands (Kōya no Datchi Waifu) and Gushing Prayer (Funshutsu kigan 15-sai no Baishunfu). There’s another selection coming later this May/June time so I’ll get those as well since these are 500 units only each.
#13 | Monster Girl Doctor
The final items of the month is actually a light novel pickup with the first two volumes for Monster Girl Doctor (Monsutā Musume no Oisha-san) from writer Yoshino Origuchi and illustrator Z-Ton. I first heard about this series from Seven Seas who had been promoting it using the connection with Monster Musume as the illustrator worked on the spin-off series Monster Musume: I Heart Monster Girls. Regardless I love the monster girl genre so I had been meaning to read this sooner than later. There’s an anime adaptation airing this Summer (assuming that it doesn’t get delayed) by the studio behind We Never Learn: BOKUBEN.
And that wraps up the March 2020 haul. Probably the most unexpected haul I had tackled in a while. The recent COVID-19 pandemic affected the world a lot more than many of us had anticipated so there’s been a number of tweaks to the schedule.
The bad news is that my trip to MCM Comic Con Birmingham did not go as planned but it has currently been rescheduled for late June 2020 which I can still attend as long as the pandemic calms down before then (because the location of the expo is being used as a temporary hospital in the meantime).
The good news is that this month’s haul in return did get the anime that I was looking for and along with it a number of out of print Asian films that were released in the UK. As I am self-isolating instead of returning home for Easter, I was given some more funds to keep me going and that allowed me to acquire some games along the way for April’s haul.
I Want to Eat Your Pancreas arrived at the same time as this post was published so you have that to witness, as well as Soul Eater coming very soon. Some upcoming anime that I have on order may receive delays due to production issues, most notably Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz, The Rising of the Shield Hero and Wise Man’s Grandchild. Given the potential further delays, I’m going to consider having April’s haul be focused on smaller items that are readily available over upcoming releases, but that idea could change later down the line.