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Collecting and Buying Anime Stationery: Where to start?

I’ve always loved stationery. It used to be just notebooks. I have untouched notebooks I’ve had for years. Now it’s also tape and pens. One of the places I’m considering going on vacation next year is a place I’ve considered just because of how many cute stationery shops I’ve found there.

Mixing my two hobbies together is just natural. Bringing them to this blog is just natural. So today I’m going to naturally share my knowledge and share the best places to buy yourself some anime stationery.

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Saki Zenkoku-hen – Kiyosumi & Himematsu Tape 咲-Saki-全国編 清澄高校&姫松高校 マスキングテープ

I took these pictures hastily when I first opened these in November and I have been meaning about writing about them since then. I think if I am able to stick with this, my latest endeavor to save this blog from it’s slow decline into nothingness, then pictures going forward will be much better.

I love stationary. I love hoarding notebooks and pens and stickers and most recently, tape! I love washi tape and fancy masking tape. Combining anime chara goods and stationary is just the rightest thing in the world.

So, with that said: let’s look at this cute Saki tape I bought before.

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Loot from Mandarake Urban Mines Toiling in the Salt Mines, etc

So way back in March Mandarake launched Urban Mines. Their normal auction normally sells thing such a scripts from anime episodes or older anime cels. Stuff like that. The Urban Mines, however, is stuff that they would normally sell in the Mandarake stores proper but for various reasons can’t or won’t.

Better yet everything starts at 1 yen.

The creation of this lead to my (temporary) destruction as the situation spiraled more and more out of control. Addiction is a scary thing, kids.

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Grab Box (S Size for Boys) from Amiami

I still haven’t had the luck to get the 3000 yen grab box but maybe one day. I’m especially eager to get my paws on one because this was a “used” item grab box that was only 1300 yen. Of course because of one particular item shipping was 4000 yen for this bad boy so it ended up quite pricy.

Still, I would probably (once I have money again) get another one just because it was so fun and exciting. Plus I ended up with a few small things from my character specific collections. Seriously, a Precure and Saber figure I can believe because those things are common. But an Arcueid keychain? Come on, Amiami, you just wanted to spoil me.

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A few weeks ago, the subject of dakimakuras happened to come up (as it is apt to do). I started looking at dakis when I happened across a Hina Kagiyama one that I hadn’t seen before (I believe the daki only first appeared at an event in January because I didn’t see any mention of it prior to that). I think I’ve made my Hina love abundantly clear so it was obvious that I was very excited. I was at first lead to Otaku Republic who wanted $100 for it! Obviously that was a bit out of my range at the moment. Still, a not lewd Hina daki? My interest was at an all time high.

How could I resist?

A quick reverse-image search on Google brought me to another site. Yumemiyasan. Well, here only listed the same daki for 5000yen! I was disappointed that she was so cheap but out of my reach. With free shipping too? Well, I knew that wasn’t to here but… I don’t remember what lead me to try anyways. Determination? I’ve done enough online shopping for various otaku goods to know shipping to here is either impossible or costly and yet…

A miracle. Yumemiyasan, despite being a simple doujin group, did ship international! To anywhere! And still had free shipping? My excitement was quickly replaced with suspicion and doubt. Surely, I thought, this was too good to be true. I would get ripped off and be out $50. And yet… in the back of my mind, I couldn’t help but wonder. What if I really could have this adorable Hina dakimakura? Was it worth the risk?


I ordered the daki. It was risky. If I didn’t receive it, I learned a lesson about trust and waifus. A lesson I could never forget. If I did get it? Praise be, what a wonderful doujin group this would be.

My cats enjoy her too…

Now, I’m sure I wouldn’t be writing this post if I hadn’t recieved it and if you follow me on twitter it’s likely you saw that I received it. Yes, Yumemiyasan is just that amazing. I ordered the daki on the 5th and it arrived on the 12th and even emailed to check in and ask for a reply on the 13th to make sure that I had gotten it. They also included a small phone charm daki of one of their original characters for free (the package listed the total price at 5500yen but I still only paid 5000).

Since at the time when I ordered I had to do so out of hope, I want to spread the word that it’s a reliable place to order from. So yes, I wholeheartedly recommend Yumemiyasan and will likely shop from them again.

Alternatively, a tiny cat dakimakura

So now that I’ve sung this doujin group’s praises as much as I can, what do they even make and sell? Well Touhou dakimakura’s for one. All of them have their naughty bits covered though. Some of you might be like “oh” and lose interest there but for those like me (well I personally just always find lewd dakis to be so ridiculous looking and not to mention I still live at home), this is a good thing. The art for each daki is done by a different person so the art quality and lewdness depend on each artist. My Hina daki, for instance, was done by Nagomi no Ame.

You can also get oppai mousepads, iphone cases, psp cases, bed sheets and tiny dakimakura keychains of some of the dakimakura images. Some. A lot of those are limited though I think it wouldn’t be impossible to get a hold of them and request those items with one of their existing images. That being said, you can order your own custom daki of a any character (Touhou, anime, original, etc) though it starts at about 140000yen and probably not recommended if you can’t communicate with them fluently.

They're actually really cute

They also have a few original dakimakuras based on original characters. Well, kind of original. They’re all actually based on myths. Right now there are Zeus, Loki, Odin and Valkyrie covers available. My mini daki they sent was actually Zeus.

So there you go. Yumemiyasan is great and you should go shop there right now.

Bootleg Reimu Hakurei Nendoroid

There are many a guide describing the horrors of bootleg Nendoroids and how to avoid them but let’s have one more.

I already have a bootleg Haruhi nendo set and a bootleg Miku nendo because I was much younger when I got them and did not yet know about bootleg figures. I keep them for sentimental reasons since they were gifts and I’m a big sucker like that.

My latest acquisition, though, was made at AX this year. A few things should have tipped me off. While a legit nendoroid for $40 wasn’t unheard of, seeing a Touhou one was. I would have never bought it if I hadn’t thought the Jlist both was legit enough to not sell me a bootleg. Another thing that should have tipped me off was, again, the price. Not the average price of a nendoroid but the average price of anything from Jlist. Figures are always insanely expensive.

I suspected it a few hours later (after buying an actual, official Mayuri nendoroid) but didn’t confirm it until I actually got home. I left her in the box until now (so incensed was I) so I decided to take some pictures of her terribleness.

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Project U-Ta-Hi-Me

I had been looking at M3-30 stuff and wandered off to miko’s Alternative Ending site to see what she was up to. It was there that I noticed her part in Project U-Ta-Hi-Me (プロジェクト ウタヒメ). I hadn’t heard of the game before then and actually I’m sure a lot of people haven’t but I think it’s such a cool idea. The game was already released so I set about finding it. Luckily, it was available on a number of sites similar to DLSite (since I couldn’t download from there) and I was able to buy it from Game Liner since they had Paypal and were a lot more lax about everything.

Project U-Ta-Hi-Me is a shmup featuring music original music by IOSYS. The ‘bullet’ patterns are generated by the music and, yes, you can even play music from your own library as long as they are in MP3 or WAV format. I really like the select screen since you simply scroll through your selected folder and plays the song for you. (Songs with Japanese characters might not play if your computer isn’t set to (I assume) Japanese locale but I restarted it with Applocale and it worked fine)

IOSYS is also releasing a soundtrack for the game this month at M3-30 featuring the songs they did for the game as well as a few remixes of those songs.

The game itself isn’t that hard. The skins determine what kind of obstacles you’re going to have but depending on what song you picked, the ‘bullet’ intensity will differ. At first I didn’t think the length of the song really mattered but I picked a song that was only a 1:32 to see when the boss would show up and even though the boss shows up later and you don’t have much time to defeat it, you’ll still lose if your song ends. Though the boss will show up well before the end of a song in a longer one so as soon as you beat it and collect the Noise, the song fades away.

The gimmick carries this game though. It’s fun playing to your own music and on top of that it looks really good (AKAZA does all the main art). The stages all seem very… Madoka inspired. The television and piano levels both remind me of H.N Elly and the sweets skin is obviously reminiscent of Charlotte. You can pick different skins that serve as the level. There is a story but the game doesn’t really follow it. You pick a song and shoot. There are only a few skins right now but all the Coming Soon skins seem to indicate an update with more.

If you’re into hardcore shmups that are insanely difficult, this isn’t really for you. If, however, you’re looking for an entertaining, nicely designed way to pass the time without any real skill at shmup games, I’d definitely recommend this.

Available for 980 yen ($12) on Game Liner

Wherein I Gush: Phoenix Comics

Well, the price gap didn’t go away. Which sucks.But you know what hasn’t changed (and is awesome)? My love for Phoenix Comics! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go browse this old post.

Phoenix Comics has two locations in Calgary (to the best of my knowledge). I’ve only ever been to the one along the trans-Canada highway so I can only gush about that one but it is a dream of mine to visit the other one (clearly my ambitions are not very high). It is as the title says, a comic store. I haven’t been in an actual comic store before so I can’t really compare that aspect of the store. I have, however been to many manga stores. Nothing I have ever seen (well, nothing carrying English manga atleast) compares to the basement of Phoenix Comics. But maybe that’s just based off what we have here. I mean it’s not like I’m a specialist on this thing. It is such a breathtaking sight, wall to wall manga, many (imo) hard to find. I mean I pretty much go to Vancouver every year and the stop in Calgary is one of (if not barely just) the highlight of my trip. Considering I make my whole family stop (and go wait at Tim Horton’s or whatever) just for me to run in and impossibly try to pick some stuff out. But I’ll stop gushing for now. I’ll try.

A few quick snapshots below. They don’t really do the place justice though. I mean I got the first volume of Aria for under $4.00!  $4.00!

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