Welcome to the Otaku Collection haul for the month of September 2021. This update features 4 anime titles, 8 manga volumes, 4 video games, and 2 live-action Asian cinema titles.
For this month’s haul, we have a variety of everything. A few more anime titles, plus more were acquired for the manga and video game collection, and to round it off we have more newly released Asian Cinema films in deluxe edition sets from 88 Films.
#01 | Fate/Stay Night [Heaven’s Feel] III. Spring Song
The first item of the month is a long overdue arrival for the collection. Released back in March of this year, it took me this long to acquire Fate/Stay Night [Heaven’s Feel] III. Spring Song because the Sony PS3 store fiasco as well as the manga stock situation delayed my plans. Since I had tons of money saved and hadn’t acquired anything else at the time, I finally went ahead and imported the Aniplex Japan set from Amazon Japan to finish the trilogy. Not yet watched it but I look forward to the finale.
#02 | Love Live! Sunshine!! Over the Rainbow & Lupin III: The First
Next we have two Anime Limited releases initially planned for earlier in the Summer, but delays happened so they both arrived together in the same day. Both were acquired during Anime Limited’s early bird offers.
The first is Love Live! Sunshine!! the School Idol Movie: Over the Rainbow which wraps up the Aqours series. I watched the first two seasons a few months ago and was surprised by how much I enjoyed the series despite the structure mostly being the same as School Idol Project.
Next is Lupin III: The First which is one of the latest additions to the Lupin the Third franchise. This is also the first film in the franchise to be presented in CG animation and from what I have seen from the trailers it actually looks great.
Both of these sets to my surprise used the Scanavo cases which is similar to what Criterion uses for their collection and what 88 Films had used for their Shaw Brothers collection.
#03 | Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs Vol. 13 & 14
Next we have another batch of Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs manga volumes with Volumes 13 & 14 joining the book collection from Amazon. Volume 14 arrived first because Volume 13 got lost by Royal Mail, so Amazon sent me a replacement which arrived the next day.
Originally I also included Volume 15 with this order, but I decided to cancel it because of stock issues. These two volumes were released earlier in the year and I wanted to get the series up to speed as much as I can in case Seven Seas decides to reduce the stock on future volumes.
#04 | Conception Plus: Maidens of the Twelve Stars
Conception Plus: Maidens of the Twelve Stars has been on my list for quite some time and I noticed it was on offer for £14.99 from a seller on eBay new so I figured I would order it when I had the chance. It’s one of the titles released under Numskull Games and Spike Chunsoft which are often up and down on pricing so I figured this would be the cheapest it would go for a while.
This is a Japanese RPG that originally started on PSP but was never localised outside Japan while its sequel did (Akiba’s Trip was a similar case). When the game was remastered for PlayStation 4, it was finally localised for the west.
#05 | Prison School Omnibus 12, 13 & 14
Next I have finally acquired the remaining Prison School manga with Omnibus 12, 13 & 14. I decided to get them straight from Amazon to save myself the wait since I wanted to get the series collected before the Summer period was over. Feels weird to have the series acquired but I’m happy either way.
Omnibus 14 arrived first because it was dispatched from a different location (Amazon sometimes have stock in Germany than the UK). Omnibus 12 & 13 would have arrived at the same time, but out of nowhere Royal Mail sent my Amazon package to the wrong depot. Fortunately it was fixed and arrived a day later. Anywho, the 28 volume series compiled into 14 omnibus books is now complete!
#06 | Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky & Robotrix
Originally scheduled for July/August time, the latest 88 Films releases for the Hong Kong Category III line-up are finally released and are both presented in deluxe collector’s packaging. Because of warehouse issues, 88 Films weren’t able to sell the titles on-time and because of how fast Erotic Ghost Story sold I ordered both films via Amazon for £24.99 each.
To provide some additional context – in Hong Kong, they have an age rating called Category III which is basically the equivalent of NC-17 and BBFC 18. The types of content that fit the rating are extreme violence, gang-related stuff (like triads), strong sex, and sexual violence. 88 Films started a new line-up earlier in the year dedicated to this rating which began with Erotic Ghost Story and now continues with these two.
Starting off with Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky, Nam Nai-Choi’s 1991 film based on Masahiko Takajo and Saruwatari Tetsuya’s Japanese manga Riki-Oh. I remember hearing many interesting things about this particular film, so I am looking forward to experiencing it for the first time.
The film is part of Category III due to extreme violence. The set comes with a rigid box, amaray case with postcards and double-sided folded poster inside, and a very nice booklet that includes a short history of Hong Kong Prison films, interview with voice-over artist Simon Broad and more.
Next we also have Robotrix, Jamie Luk’s 1991 film released uncut for the first time in the UK. Sci-fi spy exploitation film from Hong Kong so I’m very interested to see how it is.
The film is part of Category III due to both sex and sexual violence. The set comes with a rigid box, amaray case with postcards inside, a larger double-sided folded poster, and a thicc booklet that includes interviews with director Jamie Luk and actor Vincent Lyn, a history of how Robotrix was handled by the BBFC in the past, and more.
I plan to provide a proper unboxing blog post for all three current Category III films in the future.
#07 | Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight
Arriving not long after the previous batch is Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight for PlayStation 4. A music rhythm game that had mixed reviews but I did try out the demo when it first came out and liked it enough.
This game has become pretty hard to find compared to Persona 3’s Dancing game, likely due to the better soundtrack selection, as the prices generally go for about £35-40+. The Japanese version is readily available which is what I was originally going to go for since I have Persona 4’s Dancing game digitally in Japanese, but I found CeX had stock for £22 (plus postage) so I figured I would go for that approach instead. Despite the multi-language presented on the cover, this is how both games were presented when it was released in the UK, likely to cut costs for distribution in Europe.
#08 | Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight
Literally not long after the previous game arrived, Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight for PlayStation 4 also came. Similar to the previous game but this time focused on remixed music and cast from Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3. It’s not exactly a sequel (if you’ve played the game you’ll know what I mean) but it was readily available to get brand new so I acquired it for £18 from Base.
#09 | Destiny Lovers Vol. 5, 6 & 7
Next we have Destiny Lovers manga with Volumes 5, 6 & 7, published by Seven Seas via their Ghost Ship label. So for some reason, Volumes 5 & 7 were always out of stock throughout the year, while Volume 6 was SRP priced on Amazon. Out of random chance, I found out that Blackwells had all three volumes in stock so I ordered them together (plus Volumes 6 & 7 were under £9 so that was a good deal when it comes to Seven Seas titles). Looks like I grabbed the last stock for Volume 5 but either way, this does mean I can finish collecting the series before the end of the year at this current pace.
#10 | School Girl / Zombie Hunter
Now this is a random pickup but I may as well explain it. Years ago, around 2017, Aksys Games released School Girl / Zombie Hunter for North America and it’s basically one of D3 Publisher’s low-budget buggy poorly received games. It did get a European release but the physical copies are so unknown that you very likely not hear about it until it’s too late.
Out of nowhere I decided to take interest in owning a physical version and found a copy on eBay for a decent price of £24.99 even though it’s the North American version. Apparently playing the game on PlayStation 5 improves the game performance from a messy framerate to a constant 60 frames per second, and the same also applies to Disaster Report 4.
#11 | Miss Hokusai
The final item of the month is the 2021 re-release of Miss Hokusai from Anime Limited. While they released an Ultimate Edition Blu-ray five years ago I did not buy it because the price didn’t make up for the fact that the US release had more to offer, such as the English dub. Fortunately this new release is not only cheaper (£18 during the early bird), but has that dub. There are some flaws like the extras still stuck on DVD, but the price and booklet makes up for the current result.
You can view more photos & specs for the titles below:
- Fate/Stay Night [Heaven’s Feel] III. Spring Song (LE Blu-ray Disc Box)
- Love Live! Sunshine!! the School Idol Movie: Over the Rainbow (CE Blu-ray)
- Lupin III: The First (CE Blu-ray & DVD)
- Miss Hokusai (LE Blu-ray & DVD)
What’s to Come for the Hauls
Delays happened so the anime that would have appeared in this month, got moved to later into the year. Fortunately I have been lucky so expect different items to appear instead!
November is currently the month where all of my delayed anime titles have appeared. Joining Penguindrum are ON-GAKU: Our Sound and Sword Art Online Alicization -War of Underworld- Part 1 were ordered/paid during September as part of their early bird pre-order week offers from Anime Limited.
Still planned for early December is Anime Limited’s Ultimate Edition Blu-ray release for Neon Genesis Evangelion, which could ship in late November if stock arrives much sooner than expected.
If you saw my site news update, I have managed to acquire a new job so the haul will grow over time for at least a short period. October may still be the same usual pace, but expect to see a potential rise in items arriving starting November.
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.
Not including the Vinyls, I was able to pre-order all of the planned titles for September which was a surprise, but considering it was one show and one film that’s not an issue. I actually didn’t realise until later that ON-GAKU was released as a shop exclusive edition so it’s a good thing that I made the decision to order it as soon as I did, because they generally don’t go on sale that much unless it’s many months later.
Because I tend to keep track of what’s incoming from UK distributors, October to December is going to be a nightmare haul-wise. However, what might help is that going by previous years, November may not have many early birds because of the 12 Days of Christmas 2021 sale that’s coming up.
Funimation (UK & US)
This distributor just never quits on the disappointment front, well mainly for the UK branch. The UK side did announce some titles for November but it’s nothing that will be of interest for my collection. The US side however, does have Our Last Crusade or the Rise of a New World which I would like to own sooner than later in case a repeat scenario occurs on the stock issues for their LEs. Akudama Drive is a maybe.
December has no major releases that I am interested in so that helps.
It’s been a while since I brought up Aniplex, but now that I have Fate/Stay Night [Heaven’s Feel] trilogy now sorted, I can shift focus to the spin-offs in the franchise. Currently there’s Fate/Grand Order -First Order-, Fate/Apocrypha, Fate/EXTRA Last Encore, Fate/Grand Order Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia, and now Fate/Grand Order the Movie Divine Realm Of The Round Table Camelot: Wandering; Agateram (yes that is the title). There is also Lord El-Melloi but I don’t think Aniplex’s release is worth it when it’s more barebones than previous Fate sets.
Outside of that, there’s also Anohana and Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train to go for as well.
Light Novel & Manga
Destiny Lovers is now up-to-date and only one volume away from being complete. World’s End Harem also wraps up before the year is over.
I am however, still behind on their light novel titles so I’ll need to get ARIFURETA, How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom, and Monster Girl Doctor volumes acquired sooner than later to avoid the ‘out of print’ status annoyance.
Prison School is now complete after months of picking up the volumes. As for what I will acquire next from the manga side of the publisher, I think I’ll focus on getting Yotsuba&! up-to-date as much as I can, though there are stock issues for Volumes 5 & 6.
I’m still debating on whether I should start continuing my pickups on the SIGNATURE titles that are in my collection, such as Master Keaton, Monster, Pluto and Terraformars. There are stock issues here and there but with my new job I may be able to get these volumes acquired sooner than later, but we’ll see how it goes over time.
With more funds means more opportunities! Both the Nintendo Switch OLED and PlayStation 5 are planned in the coming months, but I do want to try and get my PlayStation 4 physical collection closer to completion along the way. The PlayStation 3 collection will also be sorted also.
Focusing more on the PS4 in this instance, my plan is to grab as many games as I can before the year is over, and for the backlog I’m likely to save them for the PS5 due to the console’s backwards compatibility improving the frame rate and resolution for specific games.
With Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky and Robotrix now acquired, what currently remains in my interest of 88’s titles are Armour of God and Black Cat which are currently scheduled for December. I do want to acquire more Third Window Films in the coming months, especially with the release of Toshiaki Toyoda: 2005-2021 collection coming pretty soon.
And that’s basically it for the September 2021 haul. I’m still surprised that I was able to get a new job now, but that means progress in my collection will speed up much more which is good. October’s haul may still be small but expect surprise pickups in November & December to round off the year.