Welcome to the Otaku Collection haul for the month of December 2020. This update features 28 anime titles, 3 light novel volumes, 1 manga volume, 3 video games and 3 live-action Asian cinema titles.
We leave the year of 2020 with a bang, surprisingly, because not only did we have a Christmas haul and Christmas Sales haul, but also a bunch of additional anime that were initially delayed from earlier in the year and delayed/scheduled into the coming months arriving in the same month.
This haul is perhaps the largest that I have ever seen and it was so large I had to reposition my two draws that sort out my unboxings, photos etc so that I can get a better lighting presentation for the whole collection, and miraculously it worked.
#01 | Dr. STONE Season 1 Part 1
The first item of the month is an slightly early arrival with the first half of Dr. STONE Season 1. This is a series I surprisingly had enjoyed and while I know many were put off by the art style, I kind of liked it and as the show progressed it grew on me. I’m certainly going to check out the second season when it airs this January season.
#02 | Turn A Gundam
The next item to arrive is a combination of being an early arrival and an unexpected one – Turn A Gundam. This series arrived with both collector’s edition parts together thanks to Anime Limited having early stock. I am very happy to finally own the series and while my Gundam backlog is still rather large I will look forward to watching the series when I get the chance.
#03 | KOKKOKU: Moment by Moment and Silver Spoon Season 1
Next we have two titles that I was hoping would make an appearance in the Anime Limited’s 12 Days of Christmas sale and instead they turned up in the mystery box. Fortunately, there’s always select folks who don’t want to own the items and decide to sell them on eBay. I found both of them from a seller for pretty good prices and while I was aware of some who had bids on the items going for much less, the uncertainty and shipping cost meant a possibility of having to pay more than you would expect so I played it safe.
The two titles I am referring to are KOKKOKU: Moment by Moment and Silver Spoon Season 1. I have watched KOKKOKU during its simulcast and I liked it but didn’t want to spend early bird prices when it came out. As for Silver Spoon I haven’t watched it before and while I know it’s well-loved by the community, the value of the collector’s set is quite empty so I wanted to wait for the price to drop a lot before I would jump for it. I do plan to get the second season but again I’ll wait for the right opportunity to do so.
#04 | Sword Art Online: Alicization Part 2
Next we have the second half for Sword Art Online: Alicization. I like the franchise which should not be a surprise at this point but the set itself does the job pretty well from the distributor. The booklet is a weird version of Aniplex’s version but does the job. I still don’t like the foil effect but overall the presentation of the collector’s edition is pretty good regardless.
#05 | Ajin: Demi-Human Season 2 and Welcome to the Ballroom Part 1
For this haul I received two items from different instances. During Anime Limited’s 12 Days of Christmas sale they had a Buy One Get One Free offer and outside of the items I mention later in this post, I couldn’t decide or didn’t consider any other item on the list outside of one. Thanks to the co-operation of a fellow friend of mine, I was able to get Ajin: Demi-Human Season 2 for half of the asking price. Really surprised the series turned up in the sale this soon but I guess since it was released in April 2020 it just narrowly makes the selection.
The other item is once again another series that turned up in the mystery box – the first half of Welcome to the Ballroom, and a funny situation that is. I actually ordered this first through Zavvi for £27 and had buyer’s remorse because it was cheaper on eBay so I re-ordered it on eBay from the same seller as the two above and plan to send back the Zavvi copy which took ages to arrive. Regardless, Ballroom is a series I am very interested in owning and was a situation that I wanted to get it for a cheaper price when I could.
#06 | Robotics;Notes ELITE & DaSH
Here’s another surprise package. I managed to win a competition from publisher Numskull Games, who have partnered up with Spike Chunsoft to release titles like YU-NO (which I got last year), the Science Adventure games like Steins;Gate ELITE and even the upcoming Re:ZERO visual novel.
The package I won from them is Robotics;Notes ELITE & DaSH, a double pack covering two visual novel games from the Science Adventure series. In addition it also came with a Nendoroid figure of Koujiro Frau which is pretty cool as I never owned these sorts of figures before, they’re a lot smaller than I had imagined also.
#07 | Anime Limited Christmas Sale Haul
So before the sale was coming to a close I decided to order a few items that I was interested in owning. Each of these were below £10, with the overall package costing around £19. The first is a series that I had expected to appear in the sale last year, Castle Town Dandelion, so I grabbed that in this sale. The second is Giovanni’s Island with its ultimate edition Blu-ray set which took me about five to six years to finally acquire given there’s no title on the spine heh.
The third title were both parts of Heavy Object which is actually an out of print series in the UK as it’s among the Funimation UK published anime that discontinued due to Funimation acquiring Manga (and Anime Limited losing the rights to distribute them except for these Christmas sales).
#08 | ARIFURETA: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest Season 1
Next we have a delayed series that was supposed to arrive back in October and is now finally available, granted United Publications for some reason is withdrawing this limited edition release for some reason. Anyway the anime I am referring to is ARIFURETA: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest Season 1, which is not the best adaptation out there but I liked it enough to consider the special release when I could. Heck this limited edition is actually out of print in the US which is rather surprising to see.
#09 | Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory
Another series that arrived on the same day as ARIFURETA is the opposite of arrivals – Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory was supposed to arrive in January 2021 and out of nowhere ended up arriving early which is pretty neat. This is one of the better offerings to own because of how the distributor handled the audio dramas, so rather than having to deal with raw audio CDs and a translated booklet, we have instead a Blu-ray disc with a still image and English subtitles to accompany the experience.
#10 | The Promised Neverland Season 1
The Promised Neverland is an interesting series and this collector’s edition set is really nice. Pretty much almost an exact replica of the Aniplex release but with Anime Limited’s spin to the packaging. The discs are using Madman’s but it doesn’t really matter than much considering from what I heard they did a decent job at it. Either way, looking forward to the second season when it airs this January season.
#11 | Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Part 1 and Weathering With You
Next we have two recently released anime that arrived from Anime Limited as part of their early birds a while back. The first is the first part of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, which at this point may as well be considered as over-rated but still enjoyable series. This release is one of the more surprising ones because it is literally the exact same as the Aniplex release with the disc count and content.
The second is Makoto Shinkai’s Weathering With You with the deluxe edition variant version, so we have the 4K Ultra HD disc and bonus Blu-ray documentary disc but sacrificing the original soundtrack CD. It’s not the end of the world and it’s weird that those who ordered it first via the original version only just got theirs shipped like today because of bizarre stock issues.
#12 | MVM Christmas Sale Haul
Next we have another last minute decision from the sales, this time from MVM Entertainment. While the prices were not as good as the Anime Limited offerings I did want to pick up some titles from MVM and in return I chose six of their releases. This is a mixture of titles in terms of quality and “plot”.
The anime I selected were The Eccentric Family Season 1, Girlish Number, Love and Lies, Love, Election and Chocolate, Photo Kano and Seven Mortal Sins. Considering MVM is almost a one-man company and they have done their best to improve their releases whenever possible, I decided to try and support them more into 2021 whenever I can.
#13 | Dr. STONE Season 1 Part 2
And the final item before the big haul was an early arrival in time for the Christmas season with the second half of Dr. STONE Season 1. I wasn’t expecting this to arrive this quickly and honestly I’m quite surprised by the quality of the artbook which is well detailed and is worth owning if you are a fan of the franchise.
#14 | Christmas 2020 Haul
And just like the previous year, the Christmas 2020 haul is the final haul for 2020. Keeping the trend going from previous Christmas and Birthday hauls, I have once again gone for a variety of items and this is probably one of the best batches I have received (and it’s almost perfect).
Starting the selection is the anime, we have a couple older Anime Limited collector’s edition Blu-ray sets released a few years ago that were almost going out of print. I selected them because they were part of the Christmas sale’s Buy One Get One Free offer.
So the titles chosen were Black Butler: Book of Circus, Durarara!!x2 Shou, Durarara!!x2 Ten and Durarara!!x2 Ketsu. The latter three I have watched before during their simulcast, while the former was one that I would have picked up sooner had Anime Limited managed to also release the anime’s next few arcs released after. Sadly Anime Limited still don’t have them, and for the price I figured I’ll get it.
Next selection is the light novels, I haven’t picked up many novels this year outside of the Summer batch and similar to the Birthday haul I wanted to also acquire continuations.
So the books I have chosen were the first volume of High School DxD which was just recently released, the third volume of How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom, and the second volume of Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?. One of these was picked up during a Wordery sale and the rest were from other sites. There were stock issues and pricing issues so the selection was harder to sort out for this batch.
Next selection is the manga, which I left out in the Birthday haul and is now part of this haul because it’s another Junji Ito release.
Released last year and went down in price, I now finally own the manga adaptation of Osamu Dazai’s No Longer Human. Like the other Ito titles, this one was released in hardcover format and has a wraparound as well which works. My copy is slightly worn but not damaged.
Next selection is the video games, now I usually struggle with this part for these sorts of hauls because of pricing, but these two went for very solid offerings.
I now finally own both Code Vein and Sakura Wars. The former was on offer for as low as £10, while the latter was part of a site discount so it was available for £19. Pretty good deals, especially for the latter considering it was released last Summer.
And finally we have the Asian Cinema films, which is the bigger surprise of the batch. I knew about one of them but the other two I wasn’t told so that was very handy.
The film I knew about first was New Fist of Fury by director Lo Wei and is one of the many Jackie Chan films that 88 Films were releasing throughout the past year and is the latest one so far. The other two were film sets that I didn’t know about and were distributed by Eureka Entertainment and in Hong Kong were sorted by Fortune Star. They were Last Hurrah for Chivalry + Hand of Death: Two Films by John Woo and Three Films From Sammo Hung: Eastern Condors, The Iron-Fisted Monk and The Magnificent Butcher.
Considering last year I had four films, this year we have six films and these were actually the more expensive of the selection that I had sent to my sister (one of them was bought by my parents) and it’s interesting that they went for those than the others which were single Jackie Chan films. Never-the-less I am grateful and very happy with the choices as it also helps me out with the Asian Cinema haul for the future. These releases from Eureka Entertainment are the second print run versions so they have the slipcovers but lose out on the booklets.
In terms of other items I received for Christmas, were a few shirts and chocolates.
You can view more photos & specs for the titles below:
- Ajin: Demi-Human Season 2 + Movies 2 & 3 (CE Blu-ray)
- ARIFURETA: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest Season 1 (LE Blu-ray & DVD)
- Black Butler: Book of Circus (CE Blu-ray)
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Part 1 (CE Blu-ray)
- Dr. STONE Season 1 Parts 1 & 2 (Blu-ray + LE Blu-ray & DVD)
- Durarara!!x2 Shou, Ten & Ketsu (CE Blu-rays)
- Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory (CE Blu-ray)
- KOKKOKU: Moment by Moment (CE Blu-ray)
- The Promised Neverland Season 1 (CE Blu-ray)
- Silver Spoon Season 1 (CE Blu-ray)
- Sword Art Online: Alicization Part 2 (CE Blu-ray)
- Turn A Gundam Parts 1 & 2 (CE Blu-ray)
- Weathering With You (DE 4K Ultra HD & Blu-ray)
- Welcome to the Ballroom Part 1 (CE Blu-ray)
What’s to Come for the Hauls
So in terms of anime, honestly it’s pretty much sorted because we have a couple of Anime Limited releases thanks to the early birds from October and the 12 Days of Christmas sale. In other words, expect the appearance of Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;Surrection, Cyber City Oedo 808, Mobile Suit Gundam Narrative, and Millennium Actress in 4K Ultra HD in this haul unless last minute delays occur.
Meanwhile I have expressed interest in a few video games and manga so I may get something for that month if I am 100% confident to go for it sooner than later.
So far we have only one series that will arrive in February and that is Planetes, which was another anime that was available for pre-order as part of the 12 Days of Christmas sale.
Meanwhile there’s no update on Mobile Suit Gundam SEED other than it’s still being worked on, but in recent weeks Violet Evergarden is the latest Anime Limited release to also suffer a massive delay due to video quality issues. So right now there’s no current timeframe for both shows.
And that’s practically it for the current upcoming items. This has been a wild ride in terms of the hauls over the past year. I was able to get a lot of anime and while there were fewer imports, the ones that I did get were still solid enough. The biggest surprise is being able to acquire more Asian films especially titles that were no longer available or having the right timing to grab those Jackie Chan films with consistency.
You can view my latest complete otaku collection update on my blog, which is up-to-date as of 30th December 2020.
As mentioned a few months ago, I have a limited amount of funds for the next few months. January I reckon will be alright but for February and March it may be a challenge. My 2021 goals are pretty simple; secure a job to keep the funding going, lose some weight in preparation for my graduation in May, and get my anime hauls closer to being up-to-date whenever I can.
Those of you who have supported me through Amazon via my affiliate links does make a surprising difference to my future hauls, because it has helped keep me going. Again, I cannot thank you readers/followers of mine enough for using those links regardless. I know those sorts of things do get flack but it’s the best way to support me for the meantime.
In terms of what anime I am aiming to acquire, Anime Limited will obviously go all-out with their titles as per usual especially with the big ones being Cardcaptor Sakura and Evangelion. But there is also the backlog for titles like MEGALO BOX, the second half for both Silver Spoon and Welcome to the Ballroom, Children of the Sea, K Season 1, Summer Days with Coo and Ride Your Wave. Manga and Funimation may take a slow pace due to delays with the simuldubs so there could be less limited editions I reckon, but we’ll see how that goes. I am hoping for a UK version of BOFURI‘s limited edition at least. MVM has a few titles I am interested in like Paranoia Agent, and they did say they were aiming to grab the likes of Rascal Dreaming Girl from Aniplex so hopefully they can get acquired.
I would like to try and get the Aniplex stuff sorted sooner than later, especially as I only have two volumes left to acquire for Monogatari but there’s at least 8 Fate sets to acquire at the moment which is a lot of backlog (Grand Order -First Order-, Apocrypha I & II, Extra Last Encore, Lord El-Melloi, Grand Order: ADF Babylonia I & II, Stay Night Heaven’s Feel III). Anohana I might just go for the UK release even if the quality isn’t up to par.
Video games is going pretty well in terms of the hauls, though there is still many to acquire. I think the big one that I would like to get sooner because of the publisher is Ys IX given how Ys VIII was treated prior. Langrisser I & II I would also like to acquire sooner and I’ll see what I can do with regards to Trails of Cold Steel IV.
Manga and light novels is more or less dependent on the publisher’s behaviour. I still aim to get the Seven Seas & Ghost Ship volumes closer to being up-to-date as much as I can, though fortunately Destiny Lovers Part 1 and World’s End Harem Part 1 do technically finish their English releases in 2021 so that helps.
Asian Cinema is a rare case of being in a good position. The 88 Films Jackie Chan stuff I reckon will slow down considering most of his big works have been released. Eureka has the Lucky Star films while 88 Films does have Young Master and Snake In The Eagles Shadow incoming. Third Window has been silent for their 2021 slate but they do have some pretty cool gekimation anime in the form of The Burning Buddha / Violence Voyager coming soon. Arrow is taking it slow but they have released a couple Japanese films I would like to get such as the Gamera collections.
And that pretty much wraps up the monthly collection update for 2020. Let’s see if 2021 hauls will be even better!