Welcome to the Otaku Collection haul for the month of March 2022. This update features 17 anime releases, 4 light novel volumes, 6 manga volumes, 6 physical video games, and 11 live-action Asian cinema releases.
This month’s haul is perhaps one of the largest for the collection, with tons of anime, games and films joining the collection. This includes highly anticipated anime releases all the way to a couple of classic and cult hit Japanese films.
#01 | Mad Detective
March’s first item is a pretty rare Asian Cinema UK Blu-ray release, and I did not expect this. I managed to pick up the Eureka Entertainment release of Johnnie To & Wai Ka-Fai’s 2007 Hong Kong film Mad Detective (神探). Not only is this film quite hard to find, but it’s also one of the first films included in their Masters of Cinema series for the Blu-ray format.
There are two versions of this release; a Blu-ray only set with a slim blue case and a dual format set that matches the rest of the collection. I wanted to own the dual format version as it would be more consistent with the others, but at the same time I was not that desperate to own it. The decision to look into getting this film was mainly due to how I have been picking up more and more of Eureka’s catalog.
#02 | Josee, the Tiger and the Fish
Next we have the collector’s edition Blu-ray release of Josee, the Tiger and the Fish from Anime Limited. The film was originally scheduled to be released back in November 2021, but the holiday season and production issues related to the OST disc pushed back its release. While Funimation did manage to release the film first and with Anime Ltd’s OST CD, the UK release uses a different author made by the same folks who worked on InuYasha and PSYCHO-PASS: Sinners of the System, which is interesting.
#03 | Third Window Films Takeshi Kitano Haul
Next we have another interesting batch of Asian Cinema with five Takeshi Kitano films from Third Window Films. The distributor announced the Kitano films would be going out of print and held a sale through Terracotta Distribution at 4 for £20. Since I already owned Hana-Bi, I only needed to get the other five films in the list.
The films I ordered were 2002’s Dolls (ドールズ), 1995’s Getting Any? (みんな～やってるか！), 1996’s Kids Return (キッズ・リターン), 1999’s Kikujiro (菊次郎の夏), and 1991’s A Scene at the Sea (あの夏、いちばん静かな海。). Very happy to own the rest of the Kitano films from the distributor, especially at a very solid price range, and I look forward to watching them.
#04 | Gran Turismo 7
Another PlayStation 5 game for the collection and this one I have spent a good amount of hours playing, which is Gran Turismo 7. I don’t own any of the games in the franchise and while I did play the Beta demo for GT Sport, I don’t own it so this was the first time I had the chance of properly owning an instalment.
This is a very solid game, with great tracks, cool environments, the wide variety of cars and the performance of the gameplay is spot on. The only issue I have is that this is actually an Always Online game which basically means it’s unplayable if you lose the internet or the game’s servers are down for various reasons. I actually didn’t realise this until the 30 hour maintenance check was going on. In addition there’s also the focus on Micro Transactions but fortunately I was able to go through the single player campaign without needing to use them, though their recent updates will probably make it harder for other players due to changing the earnings for the races.
#05 | Yona of the Dawn
Yona of the Dawn was another one of the Funimation UK titles originally distributed by Anime Limited (though with Funi’s branding) that was re-released by Funimation themselves, and this time with a limited edition Blu-ray release. It’s another solid limited edition set and apparently the standard edition does not come with a slipcase which is interesting. The discs are the same as the two part releases and is also Region A compatible.
#06 | Hitomi-chan is Shy with Strangers & World’s End Harem: Fantasia Manga Volumes
Continuing from the Blackwells haul I made in February, Hitomi-chan is Shy with Strangers Volume 3 and World’s End Harem: Fantasia Volume 6 eventually arrived. Both of these were also the latest volumes in the series released in English, which is handy as I tend to be quite behind on the manga collecting. Like the two volumes I received at the end of February, these two were priced pretty well.
#07 | By the Grace of the Gods Season 1
Since I had enough funds, I was able to go for more US anime imports. One series in particular was released in the UK but only as a standard Blu-ray and due to weird decisions by Funimation UK, also does not come with a slipcase. I don’t mind the lack of a slipcase, but the artwork choice is just weird. That said, the limited edition release looked really good.
That said series was By the Grace of the Gods Season 1, which I ordered via United Publications, because it was already in the UK so it could arrive sooner than later. I heard this series is more of a slice-of-life isekai than your usual overpowered harem fantasy, and it’s getting another season so I figured I would check it out. The limited edition packaging is pretty good also, and it does help that the discs are Region A & B.
#08 | The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV
Among the list of PS4 games that I needed to get sooner than later, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV was one of them but I wanted to wait for the right price before ordering it. Eventually NIS America held another sale and the price point for the game was fine enough to order it finally. This game should have arrived last month, but the publisher got held up by something on their end and basically forgot to dispatch it for a month.
I have yet to play the Legend of Heroes games yet but the idea was to own these before they sell out, and I’ll probably hold off until I hear word that they have fixed the game-breaking issue that’s affecting Cold Steel II for PS5 owners.
#09 | My Hero Academia Season 3 and Star Blazers 2202
So Amazon lowered a few of the Funimation UK anime releases, and My Hero Academia Season 3 collection was one of those, so it was a no-brainer pickup. But I also decided to go ahead and pickup both parts of Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2202 for various reasons – Funimation UK dropping slipcases meant that there was a possibility that an eventual 2022 collection would get the same result, but at the same time it might not happen at all. I waited long enough and decided to grab the two part sets before it was too late. These do have unique artwork which is pretty cool.
#10 | Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle
Also arrived is some comfy stuff with Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle on Blu-ray from Funimation UK. Because United Publications is the cheapest for any of Funimation UK’s releases, I pre-ordered the series from there. Shame there’s no slipcase, but there’s no unique artwork here so it’s fine for this instance.
#11 | The Daimajin Trilogy and Yokai Monsters Collection
Next we have another interesting batch of Asian Cinema once again, this time from the folks at Arrow Video.
Since their store has sold out of this particular edition, I ordered it alongside another that arrived a few days later from Zavvi! The first one to arrive was the Yokai Monsters Collection – a trilogy of classic 60s Japanese horror fantasy and one modern remake; 1968’s Yokai Monsters: 100 Monsters (妖怪百物語) from Kimiyoshi Yasuda, 1968’s Yokai Monsters: Spook Warfare (妖怪大戦争) from Yoshiyuki Kuroda, 1969’s Yokai Monsters: Along with Ghosts (東海道お化け道中) from both Kimiyoshi Yasuda and Yoshiyuki Kuroda, and 2005’s The Great Yokai War (妖怪大戦争) from Takashi Miike which is a remake of Spook Warfare.
Then a few days later came The Daimajin Trilogy. Similar reasons with the former, I decided to go for the limited edition release and this is one nice box set. This is a trilogy of classic 60s Japanese kaiju fantasy films all released in 1966; Daimajin (大魔神) by Kimiyoshi Yasuda, Return of Daimajin (大魔神怒る) by Kenji Misumi, and Wrath of Daimajin (大魔神逆襲) by Kazuo Mori. The packaging looked really good compared to the standard edition re-release which was cardboard and still re-used the slim cases.
#12 | Midnight
Next I received Kwon Oh-seung’s Midnight (미드나이트), a Korean film from Eureka Entertainment’s Montage Pictures label. It’s quite rare for a Korean film to be released nowadays (at least in the UK) due to Netflix and licensing costs, but it’s nice to see something like this particular film getting some attention. I went for the first print edition so it has a slipcase and booklet.
#13 | Do You Like Big Girls? Manga Volumes
Another batch of Seven Seas/Ghost Ship manga is next with Goro Aizome’s Do You Like Big Girls? Volumes 1 & 2. The concept behind this one is what interested me in owning it as well as the fanservice of course. Seven Seas have released Volume 3 recently but I wanted to grab the first two while the prices were solid.
#14 | How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Novel Volumes
It’s been a couple of months since I last acquired a volume for this series, and now I have done another batch! How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Novels 7, 8, 9 & 10 were picked up altogether, and if you’re someone who’s been following my hauls you would have noticed that I had skipped Novel 6. The reason for that is because it’s currently out of stock for the meantime so I’ll be grabbing that later when it’s available. This big batch was so that I have most of what’s left in case any of them sell out.
#15 | Dr. STONE: Stone Wars
In another weird move by Funimation UK, they decided to release Dr. STONE: Stone Wars as a standard only release, so I decided to import the North American limited edition Blu-ray release from United Publications. This had arrived much faster than I had anticipated, but I’m happy to own it as I enjoy the anime quite a lot when it was airing. Much like the previous season, this one is also Region A & B anyway.
#16 | Isekai Quartet Season 2
Next we have Isekai Quartet Season 2 from Funimation UK. Much like the first season, this release does not include a slipcase but because there were no differing artwork between the slipcase and Amaray in the US release, the UK release uses the main artwork like normal. Interestingly while Season 1 is Region B only, Season 2 is Regions A & B.
#17 | Dragon Ball Z Seasons 4, 5 & 6
Last month I acquired the first three seasons and now I have the next three seasons for Dragon Ball Z, which are Seasons 4, 5 & 6. Like before, these are also packaged with a slipcase, art cards and poster and the spines are slowly forming a complete image which is really cool. The plan is to get Seasons 7, 8 & 9 in April as each batch costs about £69.
#18 | Why the Hell Are You Here, Teacher?!
United Publications placed a bunch of US anime Blu-ray releases on a special discount. Not a major amount were on offer, but since they were already on their store it would be immediate delivery i.e next day shipping. One of those happened to be the ecchi short series Why the hell are you here, Teacher?! from Sentai Filmworks. While MVM have released it on Blu-ray, Sentai’s release still came with a slipcase so I figured why not.
#19 | Funky Forest & The Warped Forest and Odd Couple
Next we have two more Asian Cinema films arriving from Amazon. Both of these just got released on Blu-ray as well.
First one is Katsuhito Ishii, Hajime Ishimine & Shunichiro Miki’s 2005 cult classic film Funky Forest: The First Contact (ナイスの森 THE FIRST CONTACT) and the 2011 lost media film The Warped Forest (あさっての森) from distributor Third Window Films. This is a big deal – Funky Forest is like one of the biggest Japanese films out there due to its weirdness and ‘oh Japan’ scenes, especially considering one of its scenes went viral on YouTube for years so you definitely have seen at least something out of this if you were looking for random Japanese clips. Also Hideaki Anno is in the film.
Then we have The Warped Forest which was considered lost media for a decade. It was screened at a few festivals and nothing happened ever since. Now it’s here on Blu-ray for the first time in the world. Both of these films also include audio commentary from the directors.
Next we have Lau Kar-wing’s 1979 Hong Kong film Odd Couple (搏命單刀奪命搶) from distributor Eureka Entertainment. This is another Sammo Hung film brought back to the UK on Blu-ray and has a slipcase and booklet to go with it.
#20 | Nioh Collection
Next we have a video game that I have been meaning to own for years. I picked up the Nioh Collection from Koei Tecmo and Sony for the PlayStation 5 via 365 Games for £40. This is a collection of remasters for Nioh and Nioh 2, which offers 4K mode and 120 fps mode so I now know that my TV and PS5 supports 120fps haha (for some reason the PS5 will only recognise the support if you own a game that has that mode even if your TV and cables are correct). The last time I played Nioh was the Alpha and Beta demos back in 2016.
#21 | Attack on Titan: The Final Season Part 1
Arriving once again a week earlier than its planned release date is Attack on Titan: The Final Season Part 1 limited edition Blu-ray & DVD from Funimation UK. Like the other new Funimation UK releases, I also ordered this set from United Publications because they had the cheapest price available. I also pre-ordered it because of how fast Season 3 Parts 1 & 2 did, and I’ve gotten this far with the sets that I may as well keep going since we’ve almost completed the franchise. Part 2 won’t be out for a long while but it’s nice to own Part 1 while its available.
#22 | Kandagawa Jet Girls
Next we have Kandagawa Jet Girls on Blu-ray from MVM Entertainment. The series was on offer as part of their Deal of the Week and I waited this long for this moment to happen so yes of course I was going to order it.
#23 | SD Gundam G Generation Cross Rays and Super Robot Wars 30
Another package that took longer than expected was this Play-Asia order. They held a sale throughout February and I took that opportunity to order two more PlayStation 4 Asian English releases with SD Gundam G Generation Cross Rays (Platinum Edition version, basically DLC content included with the set) and Super Robot Wars 30, the latest game in the crossover franchise. Both of these are tactical RPGs and the latter is a cross-over between multiple franchises which is neat to see.
#24 | Ghost in the Shell 4K Ultra HD
Amazon price-matched Zavvi once again and one of those titles was the 4K Ultra HD limited edition release of Ghost in the Shell which I finally acquired after holding it off for a while. Both the 4K and BD discs are basically the same as the Lionsgate release, which is good considering the track record of the previous UK releases so I now own a proper copy of the film in HD.
#25 | GANTZ Manga Volumes
Keeping the momentum going, I acquired GANTZ Omnibus 4 as well as Omnibus 5 for the book collection. The goal was to get one a month, but both of these were priced fairly decently and I figured getting more than one volume was another way to speed up the process. There are a few more omnibus volumes before I am caught up but it’s nice to be almost half-way through owning the manga.
#26 | Neptunia Virtual Stars
I was notified that Idea Factory Europe had a deal of the week offer on Neptunia Virtual Stars and I finally went for it, since the price was solid enough considering it’s the Day One Edition. I’m still wanting to play the Neptunia games in release order so this one will be stuck in the backlog for a while. That said, the Day One Edition has a decent offering.
#27 | Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train
The final item of the month is a last minute addition as it had shipped out ahead of its release date. Funimation UK’s limited edition release of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train arrived and I’ve watched the TV version of the story arc so I’m interested to see how the movie version turned out since it was adapted for that format. The limited edition came with the same amount of content as the Aniplex of America release, which includes the audio commentary and the original soundtrack as examples. That said, the box does feel cheaper though and the spine alignment reminds me of MVM’s releases.
You can view more photos & specs for the titles below:
- Attack on Titan: The Final Season Part 1 (LE Blu-ray & DVD)
- By the Grace of the Gods Season 1 (LE Blu-ray & DVD)
- The Daimajin Trilogy (LE Blu-ray)
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train (LE Blu-ray)
- Dr. STONE: Stone Wars (LE Blu-ray & DVD)
- Ghost in the Shell (LE 4K Ultra HD & Blu-ray)
- Josee, the Tiger & the Fish (CE Blu-ray)
- Yokai Monsters Collection (LE Blu-ray)
- Yona of the Dawn (LE Blu-ray)
What’s to Come for the Hauls
After a pretty packed March haul, April has a couple noteworthy sets on their way.
For anime we have Anime Limited’s In/Spectre release. As mentioned above, I also plan to get the remainder of Dragon Ball Z‘s 30th Anniversary Blu-ray sets so expect that also.
For the Asian Cinema collection the next batch of Eureka Entertainment films will arrive near the end of the month with Dreadnaught and Knockabout, both as part of their Kung Fu Classics line-up.
In terms of manga, Chainsaw Man Volume 9 has started to ship out and will arrive pretty much by the time this update is posted.
May’s haul will see a slight impact due to earnings, but there will be some neat items here and there.
In the anime section we have the long-awaited release of Cardcaptor Sakura from Anime Limited, which was delayed due to more time needed on the quality control. Joining this series is Future Boy Conan Part 1 in 4K Ultra HD and Jujutsu Kaisen Part 1 on Blu-ray.
In addition, Funimation UK releases for HINAMATSURI and WONDER EGG PRIORITY as well as the US release for Full Dive will also appear in this month. These three will be one of the last titles to use the Funimation branding before Crunchyroll fully takes over.
Also arriving is 88 Films’ latest Jackie Chan Blu-ray release with Half a Loaf of Kung Fu.
June is still a quiet month at the moment but there are two Blu-rays that I have pre-ordered so far.
The first is another 88 Films Blu-ray release for the Jackie Chan collection with The Killer Meteors, which is expected to arrive around the first half of the month.
The other is very recent with Lupin the Third Part 5 which took a while to finally be available to pre-order from Anime Limited. It’s expected to also arrive in the first half of the month.
This month was going to be a packed line-up and that’s primarily because I haven’t bought anything massive since the consoles a couple of months back. That said, I did get a new IKEA Billy Bookcase once again but for the light novel and manga collection because that area needed an update for a while. The older bookcase will instead be moved to the other corner of my room for the video games, allowing tons of space for the anime section for more titles to come.
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.
Anime Limited are still slow on their new announcements, likely due to setbacks caused by various factors. Lupin the Third Part 5 was their latest home video announcement and while they did reveal The Heroic Legend of Arslan I already own the Universal releases which do the job already. They also revealed Jujutsu Kaisen Season 1 which I have ordered as well, but it’s awkward considering they very likely won’t be handling the later seasons thanks to Crunchyroll.
The news surrounding this was a very interesting case, since many expected Funimation to take over the anime branding, but instead Sony opted for Crunchyroll. Crunchyroll does make sense though, because the brand is way more known internationally whereas Funimation was mostly in English speaking territories. Due to the transition, their June line-up was super small but I expect July will speed up the pace since they do have a lot of popular shows to release on home video.
The video game collection is holding up pretty well with another batch of Asian English games sorted as well as a few more of the PS4 & PS5 games that I wanted to get sooner than later. I am interested in getting into more of the Switch games mainly NIS America’s classic line-up since I don’t expect them to be brought over to PS5, though they did announce Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana for the next gen which was unexpected.
That’s it for the month of March 2022. This haul was going to be large regardless because of the pre-orders but I did get a mixture of new and older items to give some variety. Also as a last minute mention, due to the daylight savings time in the UK as well as the days getting lighter I’m now able to provide photos of the items after working hours! In other words, unboxings can now happen on the day they arrive if the weather is right. The Mugen Train unboxing and this collection update are two examples of the photos being sorted in the afternoon.