Recent Purchases (Kinokuniya is AWESOME)

Madoka and Pocket Monsters

Excuse the shod­dy image qual­i­ty, the pho­to came from my 3DS

Recent­ly, I’ve decid­ed to improve my Japan­ese by own­ing more Japan­ese-lan­guage read­ing mate­r­i­al. Luck­i­ly, when I went to go eat with my friends at Mit­suwa Mar­ket­place San Jose, I noticed that there was a Kinoku­niya Book Store right next to it. Remem­ber­ing that a mer­chant at Fanime rec­om­mend­ed it to me for man­ga, light nov­els, and what­not (God bless him), I decid­ed to go there after feast­ing on tsuki­mi udon and takoy­a­ki.

Much to my enjoy­ment, the place was filled with import­ed goods from Japan. There’s some Eng­lish ani­me/­man­ga-relat­ed stuff, but I real­ly rec­om­mend Right Stuf for that kind of thing, unless you have an aver­sion to online shop­ping or some­thing. The main draw of Kinoku­niya, I should say, are the Japan­ese-lan­guage prod­ucts — and there aren’t just books, there are tons of fresh­ly import­ed CDs and home videos, and plen­ty of chil­dren’s books in both Eng­lish and Japan­ese. The staff at this store were nice as well, which isn’t what I’d nor­mal­ly say about Asian stores, due to most cul­tures’ Chi­nese-influ­enced “neu­tral face” stance on shop­keep­ing.

I plan on grab­bing oth­er goods when I get some more cash, but for now I bought the first vol­ume of the Puel­la Magi Mado­ka Mag­i­ca — 4‑Koma Anthol­o­gy Com­ic (魔法少女まどか☆マギカ 4コマアンソロジーコミック) and Pock­et Mon­sters Spe­cial Vol.33 (ポケットモンスタ-SPECIAL <33>). The lat­ter is my first attempt to get back into the Poke­mon fan­dom after all of these years by fin­ish­ing up the DP saga of the Spe­cial man­ga, not to men­tion that I also have to play every god damn game and the entire­ty of Gen V which I nev­er played. I’ve kept up with char­ac­ter designs, which is fun­ny since my favorite female playable char­ac­ter is Mei, yet I haven’t played Black 2 and White 2, the games which she stars in. I’ve also amused myself with Game Freak’s recent ani­me-styled trail­ers of the games, which go out of their way to hire A+ Japan­ese voice actors for the char­ac­ters even though they don’t include voice act­ing in the actu­al games any­way… yeah, makes sense. As for the actu­al ani­me “adap­ta­tion”, kii­in­da don’t want to get back into that even though the recent open­ings have been bait­ing me. Nos­tal­gia teas­es (Lizardon and Oko­rizaru?!) and Satoshi being voiced by Rica Mat­sumo­to were always the upsides of the ani­me, but “Episode N” looks like it’s going to be a pret­ty plot-rel­e­vant and epic arc. But damn, Satoshi’s new moe moe eyes still both­er me first and fore­most. The orig­i­nal Red is cry­ing on Mt. Sil­ver as we speak.

Poke­mon ram­bling aside, I’ll def­i­nite­ly be com­ing back to Kinoku­niya instead of import­ing Japan­ese books myself online (too much of a has­sle). Speak­ing of which, did you guys know that small-time Japan­ese light nov­els were, well, light and small? I’ve only ever seen and touched the big titles like Haruhi Suzu­miya and Spice and Wolf (which is what we would con­sid­er reg­u­lar-sized chap­ter books in terms of height and width), and along with the fact that light nov­els are a pret­ty niche mar­ket in the US, my mind was lit­er­al­ly blown when I saw just how small these books were. They were TINY. I would have to put on my glass­es (which I real­ly should be wear­ing all the time) in order to read the furi­g­ana, if any.

6 thoughts on “Recent Purchases (Kinokuniya is AWESOME)

  1. Lucky bas­tard lol. I live in Toron­to and I guess I haven’t looked up ani­me spots yet but since it’s a big place I’m sure they got some, but usu­al­ly places are lucky if they have a comics place.

    I used to live in Ann arbor where they’re crazy about ani­me (uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan), and they had this store called “wiz­zy­wigs,” and it was a quaint lit­tle upstairs store where you could buy trad­ing cards, wallscrolls and get ani­me DVDs all sorts of stuff. Idk what hap­pened to them now, but I miss places like that.

    1. @Nuu: Hm, that’s actu­al­ly sur­pris­ing to me since Toron­to holds one of the big­ger ani­me con­ven­tions out there, so I would have expect­ed there to be at least a few eas­i­ly name­able places that would focus on Japan­ese mer­chan­dise even if there weren’t many. Hope­ful­ly an online search will help you locate one — thus far, I’ve only seen two San Jose-based stores that specif­i­cal­ly focus on Japan­ese media. As for Wiz­zy­wigs, I searched Yelp and the exact same one you men­tioned does still exist: http://www.yelp.com/biz/wizzywig-collectibles-ann-arbor‑2 😛

  2. We have a Kinoku­niya here in LA that I’ve gone to many times and they have cool stuff =) I’ve got­ten some art­books and ran­dom ani­me char­ac­ter goods there over the years.

    Oh, you plan on get­ting back into the Poke­mon games? That’s awe­some, let me know if you need any point­ers or want some­one to battle/trade with (all the games on the DS allow you to play with oth­ers online via Wi-fi).

    Hav­ing also been keep­ing up with all the Poke­mon ani­me episodes, I can hon­est­ly say that the Black and White episodes have been the sec­ond best in the series (after the orig­i­nal Kan­to episodes). There’s much more focus on an ongo­ing sto­ry and most of the stand-alone episodes are decent. I’m cur­rent­ly watch­ing Episode N and it’s pret­ty good :3 Oh, and Satoshi’s new design is some­thing you eas­i­ly for­get about. I don’t even notice it any­more XD

    1. @Yume­ka: There were many awe­some prod­ucts that I was inter­est­ed in, name­ly art­books and fig­ures, on my vis­it, but I held myself back for this year’s Fanime. I near­ly budged when I saw that Kinoku­niya had the newest Full­met­al Alchemist art­book in stock. Art­books — I’ll def­i­nite­ly get even­tu­al­ly from either Kinoku­niya, Right Stuf, or a con­ven­tion. Fig­ures… not at all, too expen­sive. lol
      I’ll keep you post­ed when I fin­ish the last bit of the Gen­er­a­tion 4 games and the Gen 4 remakes of my favorite gen. Gen­er­a­tion 5 is up next, though I’ll most like­ly get them through a flash card to cut the cost of catch­ing up faster. If I’m get­ting back into Poke­mon, I’ll def­i­nite­ly get X and Y — My 3DS friend code is 4656–6263-1690, by the way.
      Depend­ing on whether or not I budge, I may get back into the Poke­mon ani­me, since many things look vast­ly improved in Best Wish­es and gives off the same vibe as the first orig­i­nal 80 episodes. Man, those were the days, when Poke­mon was set for a 80 episode run and was over­seen by Takeshi Shu­do, who put his best into those 80 episodes; able to hold its own against the Spe­cial man­ga’s lev­el of inter­est. From the looks of things though, ret­con­ning Satoshi’s age back to 10 still both­ers me, since when I left the ani­me he was more mature com­pared to the orig­i­nal Kan­to episodes and I liked that devel­op­ment despite the show itself becom­ing some­what unin­ter­est­ing. But if Best Wish­es is any­thing like the clas­sic days, then my return to the ani­me is like­ly.

  3. I get all my light nov­els and most of my man­ga from Kinoku­niya. Still love the place. There’s always a hun­dred or so things I want to buy and read but I know I’d nev­er find the time for them all.

    1. @Ixrec: I know that feel­ing. If it weren’t for my friends remind­ing me to hold back, I would have killed my wal­let and bought more than my free time could han­dle, haha.

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