Welcome to the Otaku Collection haul for the month of July 2021. This update features 7 anime titles, 1 book, 6 manga volumes, 4 video games and 1 live-action Asian cinema title.
For this month’s haul, the anime finally catches up after months of delays but we also get more video games from the Asian English region as well as an interesting book on JRPGs.
#01 | Anemone: Eureka Seven Hi-Evolution & Your Name
The first batch of anime for this month’s haul are two orders that managed to arrive at the same time from Anime Limited. The latter of which was supposed to be part of the June haul and despite ordering it as soon as the order was live, it wasn’t part of the first batch of dispatches which was annoying.
The first is Anemone: Eureka Seven Hi-Evolution, the second film in the movie trilogy series that has had a pretty bad start with its first film. The second film is a lot better but the franchise’s direction is still pretty muddy in all honesty.
Next we have Your Name once again, but this time it’s in 4K Ultra HD so that’s now Anime Limited’s third release on that format. The 4K disc was authored by MediaOCD who worked on Millennium Actress so it’s in good hands altogether, and considering how previous UK releases of the film had various technical or presentation issues, this release is the definitive version of the film for the UK fans.
#02 | A Guide to Japanese Role-Playing Games
Here is a very unique addition to the collection. There’s a company out there that has been offering high quality books dedicated to retro video games called Bitmap Books, and their latest one is focused on Japanese RPGs. Called A Guide to Japanese Role-Playing Games, the book features a wide variety of genres within JRPGs from Action-based, Tactical/Strategy, traditional Turn-Based, and even a mish mash of other genres like collecting monsters and more. I went for the regular edition which is still in a Hardcover format and it’s currently out of stock now, but more will be available later this year.
#03 | Bungo Stray Dogs
At the end of June I decided to sign up to Zavvi’s Red Carpet membership which basically means free shipping and 10% discount whenever possible. I figured with the amount of anime sales on there as of late it would make sense for me to make use of it whenever I can.
The first order came from a rather small selection of anime that went on offer and I only went for one release which was Bungo Stray Dogs Seasons 1 & 2 collection. It’s the first time this set has gone on offer and I wanted to get it sooner than later. I do need to get the Dead Apple film and Season 3 collection at some point though.
#04 | Prison School Omnibus 3 & 4
The journey to collect the Prison School manga continues with omnibus volumes 3 & 4 arriving close together. Both books arrived from Blackwells though at slightly different timeframes but close enough that it didn’t get in the way of other items.
#05 | GIGANT Volumes 2 & 3
From the Hive store I acquired GIGANT manga volumes 2 & 3 which wraps up all of the books I need for this series that were released in 2020. It’s been confirmed that the series is wrapping up with its 10th volume so that helps with planning.
#06 | Prison School Omnibus 5 & 6
Another batch of Prison School manga arrived not long after. Omnibus volume 6 came first from Blackwells, while volume 5 arrived a short while after from Amazon as it had been out of stock for quite sometime. Not much to say, but this is the point where the anime adaptation ended so from here on will be content that I have not witnessed before which is neat.
#07 | Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? II
Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? II was an interesting pickup for different reasons. For starters I wanted to keep the consistency with the DanMachi franchise because I acquired the first season, its OVA as well as the Sword Oratoria spin-off a few years ago. The other reason is that I ordered this directly from Rightstuf, which is rather unusual of me because of their high shipping cost and other factors.
But since the beginning of 2021, Rightstuf has finally implemented the pre-paid VAT system that Amazon and Play-Asia have had for years, so that means from here on I won’t have to worry about customs even if they are using FedEx etc. Now the FedEx shipping is why the shipping costs are high, but it doesn’t increase very much when you order multiple items together. This Sentai limited edition set was mentioned by the distributor that it’s almost out of print so I played it safe and got it ordered when I could.
#08 | The Future Diary
Next we have a series that was one of the anime that I actually downloaded before I got into the Blu-ray scene. It took a long while due to various ‘not so great’ releases but I finally own The Future Diary thanks to Anime Limited. It’s actually quite a surprise to see an anime like this get rescued from KAZE but it’s great news regardless. This collector’s edition is not one of Anime Limited’s best but is still a better looking box than the Funimation version.
#09 | SD Gundam G Generation Genesis
Next we have another interesting pickup because it was pretty much an instant purchase the moment I found it. To provide some context I had been going through my anime Blu-ray backlog and most of the titles were from studio Sunrise like Mobile Suit Gundam. I saw on the internet that someone modded Love Live! characters into SD Gundam and it made me remember the SD Gundam series that came out on PlayStation 4.
Therefore I looked around and found a copy of SD Gundam G Generation Genesis for £25, which is really good considering the Bandai Namco Asia titles are not only exclusive to Asia but getting them generally means paying at least £45-50 per game due to shipping, customs and the game’s usually going for higher than usual prices.
This game was released in 2016 and plays similarly to Super Robot Wars with the tactical gameplay, but the difference is that it’s mainly focused on the Gundam franchise. The instalments included in this one are Mobile Suit Gundam, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack, Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory, Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket, Mobile Suit Gundam MS-IGLOO, and many mobile suits from the previous Gundam games.
#10 | Real Girl
MVM held another one of their usual Deal of the Week offers, and one of them was Real Girl with its collector’s edition Blu-ray set for £19.99. I went for the offer as not only was the series on my list to get, but the collector’s edition going for that price is really good value. I’ve not watched the show before but I have heard it ends pretty well.
#11 | The Millionaires’ Express
Eureka Entertainment recently released Sammo Hung’s The Millionaires’ Express and I pre-ordered it at the last minute as I forgot it was getting released this soon. I don’t usually pre-order Eureka’s releases as I can only tackle so many titles for consistency at once, but this film’s first print is actually a unique case that I wanted to secure before the stock sells out.
Much like many of the Hong Kong films released decades ago, there are multiple versions of the film. The main disc covers the original theatrical Hong Kong cut (97 mins) and the Extended International cut (101 mins). The second disc which is exclusive to the first print, comes with two more versions; the Shanghai Express English Export cut (92 mins) and a Hybrid cut (109 mins) that combines all of the footage from the first two cuts into one complete film.
Alongside the second disc, the set comes with a slipcase, poster and booklet. There’s also a bonus feature for My Lucky Stars which was accidently inaccessible on the Lucky Stars Blu-ray collection that was added to this release as both films share the same director and actor.
#12 | Gintama Rumble & More Super Robot Wars
So I was originally going to make use of Play-Asia’s free shipping offer, but instead I ended up grabbing more Bandai Namco Asia games that were already in the UK by pure chance.
Starting off with Super Robot Wars T which I ordered from Bazaar Bazaar as the price was basically the same as getting it from Play-Asia with its free shipping and pre-paid VAT cost altogether. This is the third game in the franchise’s International Era line-up after V in 2017 and X in 2018. T was released in 2019 and like V & X were also localised in English by Bandai Namco Asia.
The game features dozens of different anime franchises including your usual Getter Robo and Gundam, but also Arcadia of My Youth: Endless Orbit SSX, Armored Trooper Votoms, Aura Battler Dunbine, Cowboy Bebop, Expelled from Paradise, Gun x Sword, Gunbuster, Magic Knight Rayearth, and Mazinger Z: Infinity.
Next we have two games that I acquired for £25 each (and £3 postage overall for both) over on eBay. The first is Gintama Rumble, a musou game that surprisingly did not get released outside Asia. I’ve only watched roughly the first 65 episodes of Gintama which I have yet to go back and finish, but my experience with Gintama overall is that it’s a fun series and has a ton of references that works.
Then we have Super Robot Wars OG: The Moon Dwellers, which was released in 2016 and was the first to be announced for localisation by Bandai Namco Asia, though was released after Gundam Breaker 3 by a few months. OG in full stands for the Original Generation as it’s basically Banpresto’s original cast of characters with the usual tactical gameplay. Moon Dwellers does have some translation issues but in general was still available so I figured I’ll grab it when I can.
#13 | Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Part 2
The final anime of the month just made it to the list as it arrived on the last day of July. After a few delays, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Part 2 is now here and it looks great for the shelf. Like Part 1, these discs are based on the Aniplex of America version (Funi’s version omits the bonus features while Madman made their own discs) and in general the UK sets are the way to go for affordability and content. Unfortunately Funimation UK acquired the rights for Mugen Train so consistency will be broken.
You can view more photos & specs for the titles below:
- Anemone: Eureka Seven Hi-Evolution (CE Blu-ray & DVD)
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Part 2 (CE Blu-ray)
- The Future Diary (CE Blu-ray)
- Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? II (LE Blu-ray & DVD)
- Real Girl (CE Blu-ray)
- Your Name (CE 4K Ultra HD & Blu-ray)
What’s to Come for the Hauls
The August line-up has a fair few anime incoming for the haul if things go according to plan, so expect Lupin III: The First, Penguindrum and Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto-Memory Doll to appear. More anime may appear depending on what shows up during the Anime Limited Summer sale event that starts between 2nd to 9th August.
Another anime that is tentative for bad timing is BOFURI Season 1. United Publications cancelled orders as far as June onwards so far (could have been even early on) due to limited stock, and while I have ordered the set on a different retailer the chances they may have stock is still low (but if they did get stock, it would be a bit cheaper at least).
In the books side, we have The Dungeon of Black Company volume 3 on order which should hopefully dispatch in early August. It’s been out of stock in the UK side for a while now.
It’s still early days for the September line-up but there was a slight delay for Love Live! Sunshine!! the School Idol Movie: Over the Rainbow as it was originally going to be released in late August but will now be due for early September. Though saying that it should dispatch early if stock arrives quick.
I have very bad luck when it comes to success with the job hunt. I had two roles that were rejected (at the beginning of July, and end of July) – I didn’t do anything wrong in my interviews, in fact I basically ticked all of their boxes in terms of requirements and overall reception – the issue is that they chose someone who had more experience. It’s the trope that ruins everyone who is trying to get back up on their feet in this current world. Either way, the experience I gained in these interviews was good so I can keep moving on.
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.
As mentioned earlier, Anime Limited has a Summer sale coming up in early August. This means a couple older releases may finally join my collection, but the distributor is also going to be offering at least 4 early birds throughout which may hurt my wallet depending on the title.
Starting off with the catalog, the ones that are left for me to acquire are Bartender, Children of the Sea, The Dragon Dentist, K, K: Seven Stories, Love Live! The School Idol Movie, MEGALOBOX, PSYCHO-PASS: Sinners of the System and Ride Your Wave. Out of those lot, the likely contenders will be Bartender, The Dragon Dentist, MEGALOBOX and Ride Your Wave as the rest are too recent.
In terms of what the early birds could be, the distributor has confirmed that there are more planned for the month so there’s at least 6-7. InuYasha Season 1 has been heavily hinted at, while they have confirmed that Sword Art Online: Alicization -War of Underworld- is not part of the Summer sale. I do think that Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny may turn up in terms of going on offer at the end of the month if Nozomi reveals their plans during their convention panel in early August.
Funimation UK continues to be frustrating. No Guns Life has inconsistent packaging so I have decided to discontinue going for those season sets. BOFURI is now out of print so the series never went on offer at all, and even Uzaki-chan is out of print in the states before it even got released which is even more annoying. Plunderer seems to be doing fine for now, but I wish MVM held a 20% off sale earlier in the year for these titles.
Speaking of Funi, they have yet to announce their Q4 2021 line-up so I’m curious to see what is going to be shown. I’m not expecting many Funi US limited editions being carried over as there’s very little on the schedule (just Robotech and steelbooks so far). MVM have been quiet but at least they’re still looking into getting the Rascal Dreaming Girl film.
Light Novel & Manga
The books side took a bit of a hit in terms of my pickups progress. Prison School is roughly half-way sorted, with omnibus volumes 7-14 left to acquire but there’s still stock issues here and there. I’m aiming to order 7-10 hopefully in this next haul batch.
GIGANT has all of its 2020 released volumes now acquired so the series is in a much better position, while The Dungeon of Black Company is still in limbo with volume 3.
In terms of any other book updates, my stance is still the same as before on the rest.
So video games took a very interesting turn for this month’s batch. 4 of the Asian English titles were acquired without even having to import them from Play-Asia which in turn saves me a lot of money (at least on average around £50-70). That being said there is still a fair few remaining for the Bandai Namco Asia catalogue and those are Full Metal Panic! Fight! Who Dare Wins, Gundam Breaker 3 BREAK EDITION, Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme Vs. Maxi Boost ON, SD Gundam G Generation Cross Rays and Super Robot Wars 30. The latter of which is not yet released until end of October.
Outside of Bandai Namco there’s also Bullet Girls Phantasia, End of Eternity (which now only has Korean covers so it’s no longer on the list) and Legend of Mana, though the latter might honestly get a UK physical release later like Final Fantasy VIII did.
The next big batch of priorities for the UK PlayStation 4 collection to get are sorted into groups. The most important (Priority Level 1) are Conception Plus, CRYSTAR, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV and Secret of Mana.
The second group (Priority Level 2) are Fairy Tail, GOD EATER 3, Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, Yakuza Remastered Collection, Ys: Memories of Celceta.
The third group (Priority Level 3) covers Black Clover: Quartet Knights, Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia, Catherine Full Body, Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls, Neptunia Virtual Stars, One Piece Pirate Warriors 4, Persona 5 Strikers and Trials of Mana.
There’s many more but the general idea is to grab what I feel are the games that I would like to own sooner than later due to various factors.
Arrow has announced another interesting box set with the Yokai Monsters Collection which also includes one of Takashi Miike’s films. Pricing isn’t cheaper but it wouldn’t surprise me if they re-release the set without the booklet for a cheaper price. They also revealed a Shawscope Volume 1 box set which will be too large for the shelf in my collection. Eureka announced an 8-film Joseph Kuo box set and Ringo Lam’s Full Alert which look nice but won’t be a priority on my list.
No updates on the 88 titles as they were delayed into late September, but they did announce a whole bunch of Shaw Brothers films.
And that’s basically it for the July 2021 haul. I do think this haul overall was pretty solid, especially on the games and anime side of the mix. August is going to be a curious one as it’ll solely depend on the Anime Limited Summer sale but hopefully I have enough left for other items.