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Merchandise Review: Ascii Media Works 20th Anniversary Dengeki Heroines Figure Collection

18 Apr

Exclusive to Dengekiya’s online shop, The Ascii Media Works 20th Anniversary Dengeki Heroines Figure Collection is a set of 20 miniature figurines, manufactured by Toy’s Works to celebrate 20 years of Ascii Media Works with 20 of anime’s most beloved heroines.

Promotional Image of all 20 Heroines

Promotional Image of all 20 Heroines!

The set’s contents are an impressive line-up of chibi beauties who have spawned massive fan followings  over the past two decades.  Holo, Osaka,  Hoi-Hoi, Taiga and Kirino were enough to convince me I just couldn’t  live without it!

Box in a box...

Box in a box…

The set arrived very well packaged… this was what was inside of the initial shipping box.

...in a box...

…in a box…

Inside of the heavy cardboard box was a thin white and red cardboard box.

...in a box!

…in a box!

…and inside of that box was the final box, which houses the figures.

AmiBlog Preview

This is another promotional image that was posted to AmiBlog. See the orange and gold Chiyochichi on top of the box? Both were event exclusives, so if you ordered from Dengekiya’s online shop like I did, you didn’t receive them with your set.

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Artbook Review: トウカセカイ Touka Sekai – Fuyuno Haruaki Illustrations

12 Aug

トウカセカイ (Touka Sekai) is the first artbook to be commercially released by ふゆの春秋 (Fuyuno Haruaki) of Techno Fuyuno. Released on June 30th, 2012, it is A4 size and 159 pages in length.

Cover

Ooh.. shiny…

The cover of this book caught my eye right away for obvious reasons… it is highly prismatic. It’s really gorgeous in person. Usually, when I see a cover like this on anything, the contents end up being not that great. In the case of Touka Sekai, you can definitely judge a book by its cover.

Inside of the front cover flap.

The first thing in the book is a fold-out poster of the artwork used on the cover. The photo of  the cover flap here gives you a great idea of how the prismatic effect on the cover looks in person.

I hope that’s lemonade.

Fuyuno-sensei’s style is very distinguishable. His trademark is loose, sketchy linework. This is particularly evident in the hair of the characters he draws. (It always appears to be somewhat wind-blown.)

Girls

Japan’s clear umbrellas are incredibly convenient for panty shots on a windy day, huh? Umbrella girl was drawn for E2 magazine and girl at the beach (right) can be found in freenote’s SUMMER GIRL, a digitally distributed illustration book!

More Girls

Fuyuno-sensei’s comment on the girl on the left is “This is Akihabara Mansei Bridge. Girl has iPhone3Gs. Her hobby is readng books. So she is waiting for iPad & iBooks !” (Source) She’s also in Techno Fuyuno’s 制服少女、私服 (Seifuku Shoujo, Shifuku) doujinshi, with commentary and a  matching rough sketch. The varied illustrations of girls on the right were published in Dengeki Bunko magazine.

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A Handy Dandy Guide to Doujin Goods! 「同人グッズについて」

7 Aug
Doujin Goods

A pile of things I wish were mine. (Source)

C82 is coming up, so I decided to make a quick post that will hopefully be of use to some of you who want to buy doujinshi but need a little bit of help with the process of finding out what you want. If you’re looking at doujinshi or doujin goods, but you don’t know a whole lot of Japanese, there’s some terms you’ll want to know to make buying easier!

All Full Color オールフルカラー – Or simply Full Color フルカラー Means the book is printed entirely in color. Unless stated otherwise in this manner, doujinshi usually contain primarily black and white pages and a full color cover.

Clear Poster

A couple of Di Gi Charat clear posters. (Source)

Clear Poster クリアポスター – It’s a poster, but it’s clear! These are sturdy posters printed on translucent plastic. They look really great when you put them in front of a window and let the light shine through! It’s also really common to find クリア下敷き “Clear Shitajiki” which are pencil boards, but they’re essentially miniature clear posters!

Copy Books

A stack of copy hon by Studio UNILABO. (Source)

Copy Hon コーピー本 – “Copy Book”. This refers to a book that is photocopied and usually stapled or folded together. These are low-cost doujinshi (usually about 100 yen) that often contain comics or sketches. It can also be an orihon.

Dakimakura 抱き枕 – Means “hugging pillow”. This is what we call a “body pillow” in the United States.

A dakimakura cover of Holo from Spice and Wolf. (Source)

Dakimakura Cover 抱き枕カバー – This is the pillow case that goes over a dakimakura. They’re very popular items which are usually printed with an anime girl in a provocative “please be gentle with me” sort of pose. Generally, dakimakura covers are sold on their own and you are expected to purchase the cushion inside separately.

Doujinshi 同人誌 – If you’re reading this blog, you probably already know what a doujinshi is!

Kamibukuro

A typical kamibukuro with artwork by Tinkle. (Source: Rakuten)

Kamibukuro 紙袋 – “Paper Bag”. When you buy a set of doujin goods from an artist, it’ll usually come in a kamibukuro covered in bright illustrations. Some artists go all-out and provide bags made out of PVC with their sets rather than paper!

Muffler Towel

Muffler Towel (Source)

Muffler Towel マフラータオル- In Japan, “muffler” is a loan word for “scarf”. A muffler towel is a towel that is shaped like a scarf. You can wear it around your neck, or tie up your hair with it, or dry your back with it… I guess. I’ve never seen anything quite like it in the U.S. I think they look like really long bar mats!

Orihon 折本 – Literally, it means “folding book”. This is a handmade book, traditionally made from pieces of paper that have been put together and then folded accordian-style. These are often included as omake (bonus items) when you buy an artist’s special doujin goods set, and can contain things like extra sketches or comics. An orihon can by a copy book, and vice-versa.

Poster ポスター – You know what a poster is, right? ^^

Shinkan 新刊 – “New Publication” refers to doujinshi that are… well… newly published.  Artists usually feature a new book at each comiket if they can, as well as selling any extras of older books that they still have copies of.

Shiori しおり – Can also be written as 栞. It means “bookmark”. Sets of bookmarks are a common doujinshi item as they are useful and easy to make!

Shitajiki 下敷き – Also known as a “pencil board”, a shitajiki is a sheet of plastic that you put under a piece of paper while writing. Shitajiki are popular collector’s items among otaku!

Stick Posterスティックポスター – These character posters are tall and vertical like a stick, which is where they get their name. These are often sold in sets. Contrary to the sound of their description, they are not very large. (Average size is about 182 x 515 mm)

Puella Magi Madoka Magica cell phone straps. (Source)

Strap ストラップ – Also known as a “cell phone strap”, it refers to a strap that you attach to your phone or other handheld item with a loop attachment. It is usually made of rubber or PVC and has a charm of some kind of character mascot dangling from it.

Tapestry

A tapestry design by Tatekawa Mako for C82. (Source)

Tapestry タペストリー – This term is borrowed from English and refers to what we often refer to as a “Wall Scroll”, a large cloth wall hanging with an image printed on it.

uchiwa

Various uchiwa by Kimarin. (Source)

Uchiwa うちわ – A hand fan which is often given away as a promotional item. Doujin goods sets often come with these. They can be made of plastic or simply be a  shaped  piece of cardboard with a hole for your finger to go through.

These are just a few of the most commonly sold doujin items. Really, doujin goods can be anything that an artist has self-published. Things like mugs, CDs, PSP (Playstation Portable) skins, can badges and many other small items are sold among doujinshi goods. The more well-known the artist, the more likely they will invest in a really interesting doujin item to sell at comiket. Some even sell custom computer keyboards!

If there’s an item you see frequently that you’d like to see me add to this list, or something I got wrong, let me know in the comments or send me a tweet @ladyriven and I’ll edit this post accordingly. Happy shopping!

Disclaimer: None of the photographs in this post belong to me. They were all hunted down using google images, to use for educational purposes only. I’ve provided the source for each one in the caption. No copyright infringement is intended!

Pimp out your Starbucks Travel Mug with an 痛ンブラー

30 Mar

Many of you are familiar with 痛車 (itasha), the cars that are decked out with anime decals. While most folks aren’t quite “hardcore” enough to turn their car into an itasha, most any anime fan can easily get away with pimping out their travel mug. Thus we have the 痛ンブラー (itanburaa) which is a combination of 痛 (ita) and タンブラー (tumbler). There’s lots of doujin tumblers and even officially licensed tumblers that you can get ahold of, but you can actually just bypass all that and get yourself a really great custom artwork insert for your clear tumbler by checking out the 痛ンブラー and タンブラー tags on pixiv. (The former will yield more results, but it’s worth it to check out both!)

Starbucks Girl by Easycrew

Just in case you needed a reason to love Starbucks... (art by Easycrew)

I’ll get you started with some great designs I found while perusing the aforementioned tags!

Amazon.co.jp Box Design

12oz insert by King Kazuma

This faux Amazon.co.jp box design insert is by King Kazuma, who has quite a few really awesome tumbler designs, so you should check out his entire gallery. Among them are a fake Canon DSLR lens, some classy Starbucks designs, Burberry check pattern and a few really great Summer Wars inserts, to boot!

Summer Wars

12oz insert by King Kazuma

Looks pretty sweet, right?

NERV

by fallthing

I have to admit I’m pretty fond of this clever NERV design by fallthing. “M-2 Portable Drink Temperature Retainer”? Yes, please.

Starchild Coffee

by Marimo

Here’s one for the Ghost in the Shell fans; illustrated by Marimo.

Penguin's Coffee

12oz insert by Hiropon

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m a little bit obsessed with Mawaru Penguindrum right now. It probably helps that I’ve always loved penguins!

Starbucks Template

by Hazuki

Want to just design your own Starbucks logo? I’ll let you do that, too! This blank is by Hazuki.

If you can’t find what you want, it’s actually pretty easy to create your own insert. All you have to do is Google “Starbucks Tumbler Template” and you should be able to find a PSD or JPG file of whatever tumbler size you’re looking for. If you’re feeling lazy (and who can blame you if you haven’t had any coffee yet?), here’s an 8oz template, a 12oz template and a 16oz template that you can play around with. Doujin circle Chocolate Shop also has a tutorial on creating your tumbler here, and it includes a PSD template. (Psst, you can even get Choco’s own awesome tumbler designs here!)

Now that you’re armed and ready to go, whip up your own custom tumbler! When you’re done, I’d love to see photos of it, so feel free to post a comment with an image link or tweet me at @ladyriven! Have fun!

An Abundance of Goodies for Early 2012!

23 Feb

明けましておめでとうございます!Happy New Year! I realize I’m a little bit late on that. To put a long story short, I’ve been really busy since October 2011 and some of my hobbies have been set aside for more important matters. Nothing bad, though, because I now have a job helping to localize manga for Digital Manga Publishing. It’s fun, it’s exciting, and it’s a lot of work! That, coinciding with the holidays, caused me to sorely neglect my blog entries. In fact, I have a couple of books I photographed ages ago that I simply haven’t written reviews for yet. I hope you’re willing to forgive me, because in the meantime, I want to tell you about a lot of really cool stuff coming out this year!

Udon Releases Pixiv Almanac Vol. 1

Getting on to the fun stuff, in what is pretty much the best news ever of all time, Udon Entertainment has announced that they’re releasing the very first domestic book from Pixiv! It’s titled Pixiv Alamanac Volume 1, and the projected release date is April 11, 2012. The book will retail at $39.99, but of course you can pre-order off of Amazon for the significantly lower price of $25.24. (That price is subject to change, but with the pre-order price guarantee, you’ll get it for whatever the cheapest price is before release.)

Pixiv Alamanac Cover

Pixiv Almanac Vol. 1

How many artist profile images to you recognize on the cover? Sayori, Nardack, Cuteg and quite a few other popular names make their appearance!

Udon’s track record with imported Japanese artbooks is pretty rad at this point, as they’ve released high quality English-language editions of a lot of other great books lately, including but not limited to Ar Tonelico Visual Book, Shigenori Soejima Artworks, Tony’s Artworks from Shining World, the incredible Okami Official Complete Works and even the Atelier Series: Official Chronicle. Udon’s done a fabulous job localizing every one of these books and I fully expect them to do just as well with our first Pixiv artbook. Kudos!

Otome Time! Aksys Releases Hakuoki in the United States

In other unbearably awesome news for the U.S., Aksys Games has released 薄桜鬼 “Hakuoki – Demon of the Fleeting Blossom” in English, just in time for Valentine’s Day. An otome game coming to the United States is BIG news. I’m hoping this bodes well for the future of visual novels in the U.S., because I really enjoy them. I believe it’s a misconception that Americans just can’t appreciate visual novels the way Japanese do, and I’m grateful for every company that gives them a chance here on a “major” platform such as the PSP.

Hakuoki

Hakuoki Limited Edition

To sweeten the deal, there’s a limited edition of Hakuoki that comes with a little artbook and a soundtrack CD. (I picked up this one, because I’m sucker for that kind of packaged deal.) If you have any passing interest in visual novels and you own a PSP, definitely give “Hakuoki” a try. So far, there’s nothing about it that leads me to think that only females can enjoy it (although otome games are certainly marketed towards a female audience.) The game has a rich story, along with great dialogue and fantastic artwork by Kazuki Yone. You can get the Limited Edition with artbook & CD here, and the regular edition is available here.

Fantastic New Figures at Winter Wonder Festival 2012

An event that PVC figure collectors very much look forward to is Wonder Festival, the Winter version of which was just held on February 12th, 2012.  For a huge review of what was showcased at the most recent WonFes, I recommend hopping over to Neko Magic’s Wonder Showcase, where you can oogle at the abundance of upcoming figures, organized by the companies that manufacture them.

Snow Miku Nendoroid 2012

Snow Miku 2012 - Photo from Mika-tan's Blog

One thing I always look forward to is the release of a new Snow Miku Nendoroid. Each year, a slightly different Snow Miku is designed with different parts or accessories, along with another fun novelty item. 2011’s Snow Miku came with an ice cube tray for making Miku-shaped ice cubes. She also went from being a regular Nendoroid in 2010, to a Super-Movable type Nendoroid in 2011. The Snow Miku Nendoroid for 2012 comes wearing a fluffy coat and a light up stage. For full details and lots of great pics, check out Mika-tan’s blog entry on this special new Nendoroid!

Momohime

Momohime by Alter

While I could write a novel on all of the WonFes figures I’m currently drooling over, I just want to point out that the incredibly popular Momohime figure by Alter is going to be re-released this year, along with a brand new 1/8 scale release of the busty fox-lady Kongiku from Oboro Muramasa! This figure is very highly sought after, and while she’ll have a higher retail price this time around, I’m sure this re-release will be anticipated by a lot of collectors. While I don’t plan to buy her for myself personally, she’s one of a very small number of figures my boyfriend reaaaally wants, so I will be helping to make sure he gets her this time around!

At last, a new Tinkle artbook that everyone can get their hands on!

The last item I want to mention is the brand new artbook by Tinkle, which will be released in March 2012. In following the trend of their first two artbook titles (Tsukiyono Chakai and Byakuya Chakai), the third book is titled 密夜茶会 or “Mitsuya Chakai”. The first Tinkle artbook has long been out of print and the second was purely a doujinshi release, so a wide release of a new book of Tinkle’s illustrations is sure to be a hit.

Tinkle

Tinkle Illustrations 3 - Mitsuya Chakai

The book can be reserved now at Amazon Japan or Toranoana, for the retail price of 3,990円. (About 49.89 USD) Expect to pay a lot along with the shipping or deputy fees in order to get this book, but be aware that if it’s anything like it’s predecessors, every penny will be worth it. Tinkle’s 2nd artbook (Byakuya Chakai) remains one of the most worthy (and expensive) additions to my collection to this day.

Magazine Review: Monthly Anime Style #1 with Taiga Petit Nendoroid

14 Jun

Monthly Anime Style is the reincarnation of “Anime Style” magazine. One of the things that makes the new “Monthly Anime Style” so exciting is the fact that each issue will come with a Petit Nendoroid of a character from the anime featured in that issue. I’ll admit the #1 reason I picked up this magazine was because I recently viewed and fell madly in love with Toradora and I had to have the Taiga Nendoroid. As it turns out, Monthly Anime Style is a pretty awesome magazine if you are curious about the inner-workings of the animation industry.

Cover

Cover featuring Toradora!

This particular issue’s main feature is “Toradora!”. Also included are articles on Heart Catch Pretty Cure, Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt and 放浪息子 (Hourou Musuko).

Nendoroid Box

Taiga's Box

The box that the Nendoroid comes in is the same dimensions as the magazine. It seems unnecessarily large, but it keeps the magazine from getting bent when stacked. Anything that keeps the book in top condition is a good thing, if you ask me!

Taiga Puchi Nendoroid

While the lighting in my photo brings out some paint imperfections, the Nendoroid is just as lovely and high quality as I’ve come to expect from Good Smile Company. This is, of course, Taiga in her outfit from the final episode epilogue of Toradora. It is most certainly one of the most memorable scenes in anime! I’m beyond delighted to have such a cute and affordable little version of her.

Toradora!

The introduction to the extensive Toradora article features one of my personal favorite pieces of official Toradora artwork. There’s a fantastic cleaned-up, high-res version of this artwork available here on imouto.org, which I offer because my photograph didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped.

Screenshots Galore!

There’s a few pages of text and screenshots to start out with, the first one featuring the many moods of Taiga. (Tsun tsun and dere dere!)

Colorful Production Artwork

I really love the pages of genga (original production drawings) in particular. Some people might not find these too interesting, but I think they’re fascinating. I am a big fan of animation and in the past I collected animation cels before they were phased out. One of the few types of production art not done on the computer nowadays are these beautiful hand-drawn genga.

The Famous Kiss Scene!

Here we have pencil drawings of Toradora’s precious kiss scene. Seeing production art like this makes you realize the effort and delicacy with which these extremely important scenes are constructed. These scenes are normally drawn by what’s known as the “key” animator, who sets the standard of how each character should be drawn and animated.

Makoto Shinkai!

I was pretty excited that this magazine also included a section on the animation of Makoto Shinkai.

Shinkai's Settings

Shinkai manages to bring out the magic hidden in normal everyday settings. He is a master in his usage of color and light. In addition to this 2-page spread of settings, there’s quite a few gorgeous screenshots from his newest work 星を追う子ども (Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo). Unfortunately, my photos couldn’t do them justice, so they are not included here.

Hourou Musuko

Hourou Musuko has a truly unique animation style that mimics the art of the manga. Presented in its relating article are examples of the animation before and after applying this watercolor-like effect.

Panty & Stocking Manga

The end of the magazine includes a section on the Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt animation. Screenshots are accompanied by character model sheets as well a handful of pages of manga. This manga has the heavily stylized drawing of the animation as well as its trademark usage of foul English interjections. The artist has introduction of the color pink along with black and white to pack extra punch and make the comic feel that much more zany.

Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo

I took a picture of the back of the magazine because it has a big advertisement for Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo and that’s awesome. You can also consider it my apology for not taking any good photographs of the Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo screenshots in the Makoto Shinkai article. If anything, consider that another incentive to pick this magazine up! (As if you needed one in addition to the Taiga Nendoroid.)

I found this magazine’s content to be a pleasant surprise. I’m pretty used to animation magazines such as Newtype covering all of the good artwork with words and generally being too text-heavy. While there’s a lot going on in the articles, you can still enjoy this magazine quite a bit while only looking at the images. And with every single issue planning to include a puchi Nendoroid, “Monthly Anime Style” is a potential must-get for animation fans and figure collectors.

You can still get this issue at J-List for a limited time!

(As a heads up, issue #2 will be coming with a positively adorable Nadia!)

Japanese Ink Stamps: Not Just For Craft Nerds!

7 Jan

One of the more unusual items that I have a passion for collecting are anime-themed rubber stamps. Unlike stickers, ink stamps last “forever” and can be used again and again on letters, cards and other documents. My obsession originated from swapping letters with my penpal, Vanima. She has quite a talent for papercraft and her letters are always exquisitely (yet tastefully) decorated with glitter, stickers and of course, anime stamps. Inspired by her creativity, I started to build up my own collection of anime character stamps as well in order to make my letters more visually stimulating!


Drawer #1 contains some roller stamps (Kare Kano and Cardcaptor Sakura), plastic-mounted stamps (Inu Yasha gashapon, Prince of Tennis), foam rubber-mounted stamps (Fruits Basket) and wood-mounted stamps (Sentimental Graffiti, Seraphim Call, Naruto, Saiyuuki, Tokimeki Memorial, Wolf’s Rain). There’s also 4 hand-carved stamps which were made by luvmegabyte on deviantArt.


Drawer #2 contains many of my miniature stamps. The little square ones scattered about are San-X Nyan Nyan Nyanko stamps. The cylindrical ones all along the bottom are self-inking Fullmetal Alchemist stamps. There’s also wood-mounted miniature stamps from Gundam Wing, Fushigi Yuugi and Tonari no Totoro. The larger, self-inking Magic Knight Rayearth stamps are very cheaply made and I imagine they were sold as gashapon or at convenience stores. I love them nonetheless. There’s a little group of 3 Marmalade Boy character stamps mounted on cardboard that Vanima gifted to me. I adore them! I imagine they were given as a furoku in a phonebook manga to be mounted on cardboard.


Drawer #3 mostly contains Di Gi Charat stamps, if you can’t tell. There are even more Di Gi Charat stamps that were produced that I really want and cannot find anywhere. (Help me find them?!) I got 8 of them from Anime Gamers’ U.S. store website when it was functional. The top 3 Ah Megami-sama stamps came with a limited edition video game in Japan. I bought them off of my friend Dave since he never used them. Then there’s that creepy Dokodemo Issho cat thing.


Drawer #4 contains a few stamps I feel really lucky to have gotten. I got a good deal on all of the culinary Slayers stamps from someone on LiveJournal who was selling their anime collection. Unfortunately, the set was missing Lina Inverse, so she’s on my list of stamps to find someday. The Tamahome and Miaka roller stamp (which is mounted on top of a mechanical pencil) was acquired on eBay and Totoro was a gift from my boyfriend. The Summon Nights stamps are actually 2 different sets (I should have opened them to photograph!) that I purchased from Animaxis along with the Howl’s Moving Castle set. The Jiji and his GF stamp says “Taihenyoku dekimashita!”, and it is one of many Ghibli stamps I’ve acquired from J-List. (The only anime shop that seems to sell stamps anymore… orz)


Drawer #5 has a Korean Doremi set, a really gorgeous Tonari no Totoro set in a wooden box, Fullmetal Alchemist, Kyou Kara Maoh!, Tsubasa and more Saiyuuki. The Doremi stamps often meld themselves into the bottom of their little box and are very difficult to remove. -_-;


Drawer #6 contains Pokemon and Hello Kitty Rollers, a set of Candidate for Goddess and a number of hand-carved stamps. While these stamps are difficult to show you because of how they are made, they are undoubtedly some of the most beautiful and treasured that I own. I discovered them on eBay one day and I ended up purchasing almost every stamp listed by the seller at the time because I was so impressed with them. I have since made friends with the stamp artist, Yoshito, and I plan to commission him to create some stamps of my favorite characters in the future as well. They are so exquisitely and professionally carved, you would not believe it. The stamps I have here by him are of Belldandy (Ah Megami-sama!), Horo (Spice and Wolf), Konata and Kagami (Lucky Star), Cloud (FFVII) and Sephiroth (FFVII). They are amazing! If you ever wish to have a handmade stamp, I will refer you to Yoshito. He is very happy to have new customers and is a remarkably friendly fellow!


Drawer #7 is the last drawer (for now) and it contains a very old set of Hello Kitty stamps as well as a set of katakana (I love this!) and a kawaii girl themed Western Zodiac set. I’d like to get my mitts on a hiragana set (I know there is one!) but I have yet to find it for sale.

In case you are wondering about the “drawer” thing, my stamps are kept in a very sturdy wooden set of drawers that I purchased a number of years ago at The Container Store for around $40. They are long and deep, and could not be more perfect for storing my collection!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little look into my rubber stamp world. You can actually find much more detailed descriptions of each stamp, along with translations of the Japanese ones, in my Japanese Stamp Collection gallery on Flickr. Unfortunately, my collecting of anime stamps has slowed to a near halt because of the sheer fact that anime stamps are rarely produced anymore, save for those by Studio Ghibli. While the Ghibli stamps are of remarkable quality, they are also very expensive and continuing to order every set of them would likely take away from the variety in my collection. It seems that from now on, my stamp collecting will end up being limited to searching for rare out of production stamps from the ’90s on eBay and Yahoo Japan auctions.

Kamijo Eri’s 2010 “Colors” Calendar

25 Dec

Every year during the Christmas season, I go on vacation to Walt Disney World. Being an anime nerd as well as a lifelong Disneyphile, I will tell you that you can spend tons of money in Disney World without ever actually purchasing any items related to Mickey Mouse. In fact, if you’re an otaku or simply a lover of Japanese culture, there is one store in Disney World that you will go crazy in, and it’s called Mitsukoshi. It is located in the Japanese pavilion of EPCOT’s world showcase, and it is one of the largest stores in Disney World not dedicated to character products. This store is actually a “miniature” version of an actual department store chain based in Tokyo, Japan.

Browsing through Mitsukoshi is ridiculously fun, and as any department store should be, it is divided into different sections such as food/dishes, clothing, anime/manga collectables, stationery and more. Every year I manage to spend a lot of money in this store both on myself and on Christmas gifts that are otherwise difficult to get outside of ordering them from Japan. It really is the highlight of my trip to Disney World every single year!

This year, in addition to picking up some rad presents for my friends, I scored a really fantastic calendar that I’ve photographed to share with you all. The artist of said calendar is named 上条衿 (Kamijo Eri) and her website is called digipop. In addition to her calendars, Mitsukoshi sold all kinds of art prints, stickers and postcards with her work. I was immediately attracted to her cool shoujo art style, which is done in vectors.

Opening the box!

What really sold me on this calendar is the fact that it comes in a sleek white 8×10 frame, so that you can display it on your wall the same way you did any framed photograph or artwork. You’re buying the calendar primarily for the art, right? So it is only appropriate to display it that way!

In addition to coming fully framed, the calendar comes with a sturdy black cord to hang the picture with. Handy!  They’ve included everything but the wall to hang it on.

The above image is the cover artwork. Check out the details on those fingernails!

The artwork for January and February is this lovely geisha illustration. I’m liking the mix of the traditional Japanese theme with the modernistic feel of vector art.

The March and April illustration is the piece of art that caught my eye, and the picture that the sample on display calendar had in it. I’m not sure why, but I absolutely love pictures of girls with berries, or even food in general. It makes a sweet girl even sweeter, perhaps? ^_^


May and June get a goth-punk girl illustration. I’m not really into this theme, but I do like this image nonetheless. The girl’s hair is especially cute. Her outfit looks an awful lot like Himamori Amu’s (of Shugo Chara!) doesn’t it?


July and August get my 2nd favorite illustration in the calendar. It could be because my favorite color is purple, which goes wonderfully with black. This image is a great combo of cute and sexy, with frilly lace, butterflies and a little bit of provocative chiffon. :D


September and October get the appropriate color scheme of orange and black, with a sexy wand-wielding witch girl… and a skeleton.


November and December get a beautiful girl in snow, of course! Her rosy cheeks really make this picture feel complete. It’s too adorable! All it needs is a snow bunny.

Just in case you are wondering, this is the back of the framed calendar. There’s two loops for you to tie the enclosed cord to in order to hang the calendar on  wall hooks or nails. You could also buy some picture hanging wire if you’re worried about the cord not being strong enough (although I’m sure it works fine.) One interesting thing to note about the calendar that I didn’t notice until long after I bought it is that the glass actually isn’t glass – it’s hard plastic! You’d never know it just from looking at it, so don’t let it detract you from buying this calendar. It’s absolutely gorgeous and it is a cheaper buy than many Japanese calendars tend to be. Each picture is quality printing on card stock.

You can purchase the “Colors” calendar for $25 USD at Mitsukoshi in Disney World or you can order it from FEWMANY for 1575円 using a deputy service or other means of purchasing products online from Japan. It appears that the artist also attends Anime Expo and San Diego Comic Con, so you may have opportunities to purchase her work at those events in the future if you go to them.

I hope that you enjoyed this look at Kamijo Eri’s calendar for 2010. I do apologize for the quality of my photographs, but they get the job done of showing you what the calendar is like. If you love it as much as I do, please consider buying a copy to support the artist, and don’t forget to visit her website!

I hope that everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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