Welcome to the Otaku Collection haul for the month of February 2021. This update features 2 anime titles, 7 manga volumes, 7 video games and 4 live-action Asian cinema titles.
For this month’s haul I decided to give anime a temporary break to focus on other parts of my collection and with the assistance of additional funds I took some decisions to acquire various out of print or very close to selling out titles as soon as I could.
#01 | Himizu
So the first item of the month starts with Third Window Films confirming that a couple of their titles are selling out. One of those films turned out to be Sion Sono’s 2011 Japanese film Himizu which I did not think would expire, because the distributor has the rights to a number of his works on Blu-ray that are still readily available including Cold Fish which came out before this one. Considering the availability of the stock for the film has always been iffy, for instance Amazon is usually out of stock dozens of times, and was not easy to find recently I got very lucky finding a solid copy over on CeX.
#02 | Gemini
The second item is another Third Window Films release that will also sell out. However, in the case of Shinya Tsukamoto’s 1999 Japanese film Gemini, it is mainly the first print edition that will soon go out of print, which comes with a slipcase. I liked the artwork for the film’s slipcase and since I have been picking up the recent releases that come with one, I decided to order it sooner through Amazon.
#03 | Ruined Heart
The third item is the final film of three from Third Window Films that I needed to get because it was going out of print. Khavn’s 2014 Philippines film Ruined Heart: Another Love Story Between a Criminal and a Whore turned out to be a limited edition only release in a way so each copy had a slipcase, booklet and original soundtrack CD. I ordered the film through Base since they had a copy while Amazon was sold out at the time.
With these three films acquired, I am once again in a safe position for the distributor’s catalogue. Including their upcoming release of the Pink Films that leaves me with about 21 releases remaining before I have all of their films on Blu-ray.
#04 | Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs manga volumes 9-11
A number of people on the Anime UK News forum were talking about a discount code available for the retailer Hive and while they were focused on acquiring various Blu-rays, I decided to take a look at its book section and ended up ordering Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs manga volumes 9, 10 and 11.
Not only were the prices pretty good but shipping was tracked and arrived much faster than Blackwells, Book Depository, and Wordery. All three volumes were the remaining English translated volumes I needed to get that were released in 2020 for the series, so while I am a volume behind currently – that was released this year so I have time to get it later.
#05 | Astra Lost in Space and Demon Lord, Retry!
Back in January, Manga Entertainment announced a month-long Zavvi sale where a select number of anime were available for 40% off on top of the Zavvi price. This sale ended up being cheaper than MVM’s Anime-on-Line 20% off sale and the prices listed on United Publications. Most of the 2020 releases that I wanted to get I picked up in January but I saved two of them for February which were Astra Lost in Space and Demon Lord, Retry!, both are shows that I watched during simulcast and enjoyed for different reasons.
#06 | The Young Master
A while back, 88 Films revealed plans to release Jackie Chan’s 1980 Hong Kong film The Young Master and it was delayed a number of times. Eventually it finally got released and this is their most impressive release to date.
The Young Master was presented as a special limited deluxe edition with a rigid box, more content than their usual in the booklet and more which is really good and I am very happy with how it turned out. I pre-ordered the film through 88 Film’s main website considering how fast the Jackie Chan titles sell out and the fact that the price usually remains the same for a long while, plus I got it early.
#07 | World’s End Harem manga volumes 8-9 and WEH: Fantasia manga volumes 2-3
So after being impressed with the way Hive handled my Yuuna manga books earlier in the month, I decided to make use of their discount once again but towards World’s End Harem manga volumes 8 and 9, as well as World’s End Harem: Fantasia manga volumes 2 and 3 together.
I initially was going to order a couple Destiny Lovers manga volumes but the retailer did not have any available in stock. These four volumes were all released in English throughout 2020 and effectively up-to-date as a result. The main series only has three volumes remaining which are all expected to be released throughout 2021, while the spin-off is on-going.
#08 | Gal*Gun 2
From here is where I managed to receive additional funds from the Universal Credit in return for my job hunt. Progress has been slow due to the current lockdown. Anyway with the funds I decided to look at my video game collection and the games that I wanted to acquire. It seems that last year’s tactic of easing on the game purchases seems to have been a mistake because more titles started to go up in value which meant I had to spend more than I would.
And one of those games going up in value was Gal*Gun 2, which I managed to acquire for £14 at a retailer called Offer Games, who to their credit shipped it out pretty quickly despite the site design being a bit iffy. The listing on their site went up to £40 immediately afterwards which was amusing to see. My guess to why the game jumped up in value across multiple retailers is likely due to both the stock finally selling out (it’s been cheap for ages) and also the remaster of the first game recently released on Nintendo Switch.
#09 | DanMachi Infinite Combate, Nights of Azure 2 and Ys IX: Monstrum Nox
Next we have a couple more video games acquired for different reasons. What happened with Gal*Gun 2 was essentially myself missing out on an opportunity to get it for cheaper prices, and because of that I want to try and avoid that mistake of missing out on them when it happens. And thus I ordered these three games on Base.
The first is Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Infinite Combate, aka DanMachi, which was priced at £13 ever since the year began and while it’s a relatively newer release I decided to not pass on the price. My interest in this game was minimal at first, but after watching the third season of the anime I was more interested than usual to pick one up.
The second is Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon, also priced at £13, as I decided the game has been around for a long time to the point where its stock would eventually diminish sooner than later. Effectively these two games are playing it safe and getting them sooner than I usually would. I have yet to start the first Nights of Azure game but having both secured for my collection is still worth doing in my opinion.
The third game is Ys IX: Monstrum Nox, priced just under £40. This is an interesting pickup because the game literally came out in English a couple of days ago. The main reason I bought the game sooner was because of what had happened with Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, where it never went down in price and eventually went out of print for a few years. I didn’t want to repeat that trainwreck so I decided to grab it as soon as I could. I really enjoyed Ys VIII so I am very happy to own the new instalment sooner than later either way.
#10 | Dragon’s Crown Pro and Langrisser I & II
Another batch of video games! The first is an interesting one in terms of why it took this long to acquire, despite being readily available since its release. Back in 2017 I acquired the North American PS3 version for Dragon’s Crown and I never got around to playing it because a remaster was announced not long after called Dragon’s Crown Pro.
Atlus released the game first as a Battle Hardened Edition steelcase, which has very nice artwork but no spine so it wouldn’t look great on the shelf. The game did receive a standard edition but stock was more readily available in North America than in Europe, and I figured the game was going out of print at this point (which is probably mainly only on the European side).
I was fortunate enough to be able to find a copy of the North American standard edition on eBay for £29. Now some folks would argue why I didn’t go for the European standard edition copy considering the cross-save works between NA PS3 to UK PS4, well the simple answer is that the stock is virtually non-existent in Europe.
The second game I finally picked up is a remake of two classic strategy/tactical JRPG games from the 90s which was originally known in the west as Warsong. Released last year, I got my hands on a copy of Langrisser I & II and am very happy about that. The reason it took me this long is because the game was available at full price still and the only website that had a copy for less was none other than NIS America.
Yep this game was published by NIS America so you can guess where this is going. After what happened to Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen last year, I wanted to get this game sooner than later so while I could have held out for another discount, I decided it was best to get it now with the £5 discount code that I have on the NIS America store.
#11 | Kandagawa Jet Girls
The final item of the month was one that I was not expecting to arrive in time for the month’s haul. So earlier in the month I found out that Amazon US’s international shipping restrictions were still in-tact on various listings including some of the games I was after, and that Amazon UK was able to provide some of these listings as part of the AmazonGlobal shipping system.
Kandagawa Jet Girls, a game that was never given a physical release in Europe, was one of the games that I had to import from North America so being able to order it through this Amazon UK approach was the best option at this point. This was big because the price was £36, which included VAT in its cost and the shipping was free. In fact, because they used DPD, it shipped on Tuesday and took four days to arrive at my location which was insane.
XSEED provided Kandagawa Jet Girls with a nice launch edition and for the price I paid was pretty good value all around.
You can view more photos & specs for the titles below:
What’s to Come for the Hauls
At the moment I currently only have two items that are scheduled to arrive in March. The first is Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle, which for some reason is currently one of the most rarest and ridiculously expensive games at the moment, probably caused by various people buying the stock after Attack on Titan: The Final Season started airing.
The second is Anime Limited’s Konosuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World! Season 2 collector’s edition Blu-ray release, which is currently estimated to ship around the middle of the month. There’s been no mention of a delay so for now it may arrive early.
For April we have two delayed releases from Anime Limited that were supposed to come out a while ago. The first is the long-awaited Violet Evergarden collector’s edition Blu-ray release and the second is Planetes collector’s edition Blu-ray release. I’ve already provided my thoughts on these two in previous hauls, but I am still concerned about Violet Evergarden due to the distributor not providing any information on who has authored the release this time around.
For other tidbits, there is currently no updates for Anime Limited’s Mobile Suit Gundam SEED ultimate edition Blu-ray release, but I am still convinced it will be sorted before the second quarter of the year.
And that’s practically it for the current upcoming items. I won’t go nuts like I did with my recent video game haul from here on, because the purpose of that batch of items was to make up for the reduced number of games picked up last year and therefore put me in a better position from here on.
While I did receive my first allowance from the Universal Credit, my job hunt may still be rocky but one of the applications is still on-going which is promising and I hope it succeeds. I am expecting to receive the next amount for later into the month, but that’s as long as I continue my job hunt and attend my meetings with the support people. As I also mentioned before, supporting me through Amazon does help me out a lot if you feel like pre-ordering stuff like an upcoming 4K release, a music CD/vinyl or even Blu-rays and books.
Moving on to the discussion of hauls as I always do with each of these monthly round-ups, there’s been some progress at least.
So Anime Limited announced their March and April schedules throughout February and honestly there was very little that I was interested in. For February pre-orders the only major title to order was Konosuba Season 2 which I have sorted. For the March pre-orders Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name for 4K Ultra HD will make an appearance which I am hoping is priced reasonably and is not super expensive. They handled Millennium Actress very well and I don’t see the point in making the release super fancy when we already have the Deluxe Edition Blu-ray from back in 2017. They did confirm the 4K release will not be a steelbook and is shop exclusive between Anime Limited’s store and Zavvi.
Also starting pre-orders in March are Mobile Suit Gundam F91 which I am 100% definitely going to pre-order for my Gundam Blu-ray collection, and the other is K: Seven Stories which I am probably going to save for later, primarily because the K franchise is more of a ‘passion project’ for the distributor and therefore not something that would sell out immediately. Therefore this would allow me to focus more on the titles that need to be acquired much sooner.
Funimation & Manga Entertainment
So my thoughts haven’t changed much from the previous haul discussion, but I managed to get two of the regular releases from 2020 sorted at least. I may be able to get Fire Force‘s limited edition but I would like to see how Season 2 is tackled first, though Funimation’s schedule is taking a toll due to various factors from the US side. I plan to pre-order BOFURI‘s limited edition closer to its release, and CLANNAD is in a limbo state due to uncertainly on the discs being used.
Speaking of the US side, Funimation is also putting out a limited edition for Infinite Dendrogram and I don’t mind the design but it’s not on my radar just yet. To my knowledge there’s no plans for a UK release also.
Now this was a big part for this month’s haul so I want to further explain why this has happened.
Last year I did get a lot of games for my PlayStation 4 collection, but at that time I felt I was in a good position to slow the pace and when I look back at it I realised I actually acquired less than half of the amount of games that I picked up in 2019. That’s one factor, and the other came down to the fact that there are some games that are finally going to sell out and I had to act fast. The biggest one was Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle which is super rare at the moment, followed by Dragon’s Crown Pro and Gal*Gun 2 with rising prices and/or stock issues, Langrisser I & II and Ys IX: Monstrux Nox with uncertainty from its publisher and the remainder (DanMachi Infinite Combate, Kandagawa Jet Girls, Nights of Azure 2) essentially being safe at the moment but could change later in the year and were worth getting sorted sooner than later to prevent any potential mistakes.
The good news is that there’s now only a relatively small number of games left for the PS4 that I ideally would want to acquire sooner. There are still a fair amount of Asian and Japan imports remaining, but out of that batch Super Robot Wars T is my main focus next. For the localised releases, the remaining games I would like to grab sooner are 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, AI: The Somnium Files, The Caligula Effect: Overdose, Conception Plus, CRYSTAR, GOD EATER 3, Granblue Fantasy Versus, Gravity Rush 2, and The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV.
With more and more games coming to PlayStation 5, there’s going to eventually be less focus on the PS4 which would then mean less new games for me to get on that platform.
So 88 Films has announced another batch of Hong Kong films coming to the UK later this second quarter, with Erotic Ghost Story which I believe is going to be in a new line of releases similar to Jackie Chan but dedicated to Category III films (Hong Kong’s equivalent to the BBFC 18 and MPAA’s NC-17). There’s also Forbidden City Cop which sounds like a fun action comedy film to watch. Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow got delayed to May which is a shame but that means it won’t start pre-orders for quite sometime. There’s also no updates on Armour of God and Half a Loaf of Kung Fu so far.
Eureka Entertainment is releasing two more Hong Kong films as well with Time and Tide and One Armed Boxer, both sound interesting but their releases generally sell out on their first print items and I can’t get everything in a sense. Third Window Films hasn’t mentioned anything else for their line-up other than the already revealed Pink Films Vol. 5 & 6 coming at the end of March. And Criterion has the World of Wong Kar Wai collection which is not cheap but will stick around given that Godzilla and Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman are still in print.
And that concludes the February 2021 collection post, I know the video game haul pretty much came out of nowhere but considering I wasn’t interested in buying that much anime in this haul I decided a change of pace was worth doing, especially when you get into the right mood. For March 2021’s collection haul I’ll try to be a bit more balanced especially as we are almost approaching the ‘big anime releases season’ that usually starts in April to July in a sense. But yeah, stay tuned for the next post if I manage to get enough items that is.