Odin Sphere is one of the most gorgeous games I’ve ever played, so of course I was thrilled when I learned about Odin Sphere Leifthrasir‘s super special (and super exclusive) Famitsu DX Edition. So thrilled, in fact, that I paid about $110 for the game, art book, wall scroll, calendar, coasters, and mug, making it the most expensive video game limited edition I’ve ever purchased! Well, I finally received my copy this month, and I just had to share some photos…
Category Archives: Swooning Over
Swooning Over: Cardcaptor Sakura Star Key Necklace
I can’t stress enough how much I am loving the current 90s shōjo revival! Of course there’s the always-popular Sailor Moon, but over the past year or two, we’ve also been seeing classics such as Magic Knight Rayearth, Revolutionary Girl Utena, and Cardcaptor Sakura receive a slew of all new merchandise and fun promotional items. And when a new line of affordable Cardcaptor Sakura necklaces popped up for preorder on Ami Ami, I immediately jumped on the opportunity. If it were up to me, I’d probably own necklaces of every magical girl trinket I could get my hands on!
Swooning Over: Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls Japanese Version
Unlike the first two games in the series, however, this is one that I couldn’t wait for a localization to purchase, so I went ahead and preordered a copy of the Japanese version after having my mind blown by Danganronpa 2 back in September. Of course, like many Japanese game releases, Danganronpa Another Episode came with some extras, so what better occasion to show them off than the game’s English localization announcement?
The box art for the game is stunning, as has been the case with the past two two titles in the series. Already, it’s clear that two female characters, Komaru Naegi (sister of Makoto Naegi) and Toko Fukawa, are central to the game. I also really dig the Revolutionary Girl Utena-vibe I’m getting from the roses and overall design, but I haven’t played enough of the game yet to say if the comparison is at all relevant. Luckily, NIS America has preserved the original cover art for the English release, though I think something was lost in the logo conversion…
The back of the box isn’t extremely exciting, but I really like the focus on black, red, pink, and purple, and how that carries through not only the game’s overall design, but the character designs themselves.
And would you look at that – an actual game manual, packaged with a game made in 2014! Ok, it’s just a single folded leaflet that briefly explains some basic gameplay and controls, but it’s still a lot more than most titles get these days, especially Vita games.
Because I preordered the game from CD Japan, I received this nice A4 poster of the protagonists. Again, I really love the color scheme! I haven’t figured out where I’ll hang this one yet, though. Honestly, I much prefer the strangely off-putting art of the first two games – I’m not as much of a fan of this cleaner/more anime-esque art style.
Finally, all preorders of the game, regardless of what store the preorder was purchased from, came with this adorable Monokuma cell phone stand. Now I can finally say I own a piece of Monokuma merchandise! Unfortunately, the opening on the top is too small for my new iPhone 6, so I’ll have to find some other use for it.
Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls will release on Vita in North America and Europe this fall (spring for fellow Aussie folk). That should be plenty of time for me to finish playing through my Japanese copy – honestly, it’s been so fun so far, I don’t know why I haven’t stuck with it! While the new action puzzle-based gameplay isn’t quite as snappy as the trials in the first two games, the story and characters pack more than enough punch to make up for it. If you haven’t had time to play the first two Danganronpa games yet, be sure you do so before Another Episode releases later this year!
Swooning Over: Gina Gallaway’s Videogame Customs
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of game critic and author Brad Gallaway, who is by far one of the most passionate and opinionated game writers I know. While Mr. Gallaway is loud and proud about his likes and dislikes on numerous corners of the internet, his wife, Gina, is slightly more subdued but none the less an avid video game aficionado. She’s taken her passion for all things gaming one step further, however, and combined it with her crafty talents to whip up an array of classic game inspired trinkets, primarily shirts and coffee sleeves!
|Lagombi and Kushala Daora coffee sleeves|
Here are two Monster Hunter-inspired coffee sleeves Gina made for me and Mr. Sushi in a recent gift exchange. All of her items are cross-stitched, which is the perfect way to translate the Monster Hunter monster icons into wearable art. It totally brightens my day to see an adorable little Lagombi peering up at me as I sip away at my morning drink of choice (usually coffee, if you’re curious).
But more along the lines of actual wearable art, Gina can also translate said cross stitch into t-shirts! Here are just a few of her recent designs:
|Edgar from Final Fantasy VI|
|Iconic Mario jump tee|
|Tigrex from Monster Hunter|
While Gina has previously showered her amazing video game designs on family and lucky friends, she’s finally opened a site to take custom orders from anyone who would like a special piece of game-inspired handiwork. Her shirts start at $25 and coffee sleeves at $15, but since she does everything by order on request, she’ll make any custom pixel designs your heart desires!
Head over to her site to see more of her past designs and get information on how to place a custom order of your own. I know it may be a little early to start thinking about holiday shopping, but wouldn’t these would make great personalized gifts?
Swooning Over Regional Hello Kitty Blendy Sticks
Back when I wrote about the Hello Kitty regional Blendy stick a few months ago, I resigned myself to never being able to try them due to their limited distribution even though I was traveling to Japan. Imagine my surprise, then, when I ran into some at a souvenir shop that specialized in food at Tokyo Solamachi! Of course, I was utterly thrilled and proceeded to buy them immediately.
Interestingly, the only flavor this particular shop stocked was the Tochiotome Au Lait from Tochigi prefecture, which is north of Tokyo. As you can probably tell from the packaging, Tochiotome is a type of strawberry that is particularly famous in Tochigi prefecture. Though I’ve eaten my fair share of Japanese strawberries, I don’t know if I’ve ever tried the Tochiotome variety, but I can say that Japanese strawberries are some of the juiciest, most flavorful berries I’ve ever had!
Each regional Hello Kitty Blendy stick box comes with 10 individually-wrapped packets for 10 cups of strawberry au lait. I believe I paid ¥600 (more or less $6), which might be a tad pricey for this sort of instant drink, but I was happy to spend a little extra for a region-exclusive item.
According to the back of the box, there is a special monkey trainer Hello Kitty design that, if you’re lucky, you’ll find on one of the packets in the box. A quick Google search tells me that Tochigi is famous for a theme park that used to have monkey troupe performances that closed in 2013, but will have a memorial hall opening this October. Unfortunately, I wasn’t lucky enough to get the special design!
I didn’t expect the box to reveal a cutout of Hello Kitty’s face when opened! It’s products like this that really showcase the amazing attention to detail and presentation you’ll find in even the most mundane items in Japan. Limited edition packaging is certainly a surefire way to get me to buy an instant drink I would normally pass over in a shop!
Unfortunately, while the strawberry Hello Kitty adorning the box and packets is all-around adorable, the drink itself wasn’t particularly impressive. The Tochiotome strawberry flavor was definitely strong and sweet, but I don’t think strawberry au lait is really my drink of choice.
Sure, it would be great if the drink itself was as thrilling as the packaging, but I’m still very happy that I was able to try one of the regional Hello Kitty Blendy stick flavors! Though I couldn’t find a seller that ships the Tochiotome au lait internationally, there is one that stocks the Hokkaido café au lait! I may have to give that a try…
Swooning Over Kira Miku Lesson and Animal Food Stationery
It’s no secret that I’ve been a little bit obsessed with Hatsune Miku/Vocaliods recently, so when I saw the above stationery series, I knew I needed one of everything. The Kira Miku Lesson series marries Miku and her Vocaloid pals with a lovely pastel palette, rabbits and bears, and a variety of musical instruments. All of my favorite things!
The back is plain aside from this fun little electric guitar. I love all the little details like the bow on its handle!
One can never have too many notebooks though, right? As you can see, this has the same central Miku design as the folder above, but for some reason I had to have it. It’s a bit of a shame that aside from the cardboard design attached to the band that goes around the notebook, it’s actually pretty plain.
But wait, the pages inside have two different Vocaloid designs on them! That totally redeems this notebook in my eyes. There’s nothing I hate more than a notebook with a cute design on the outside that just has plain pages on the inside. Of course, though, that makes me not want to write in it for fear of “ruining” it…
Now, sticky notes aren’t nearly as common as notebooks and folders, so this was a really fun addition to my Miku stationery shopping spree. I’ll tell you right now, out of all the available sticky note designs, I chose this one solely because of the fish. I’m not sure why they stuck the smaller sticky notes to the larger ones, as if/when I want to actually use them, I’ll ruin the first pink sheet featuring Miku and Luka when I go to remove the fish ones. A small caveat, but it’s still a shame!
Finally, who doesn’t love a good sticker? These stickers are especially fun they’re “squishy,” which basically means I have absolutely no idea what to put them on.
If you’re anything like the crafter Frainyxo, though, you might use these stickers to create resin charms! I hate the idea of “wasting” cute stickers like these, so when I saw she made an adorable heart-shaped charm featuring the dancing Miku at the top left of the sticker sheet, I knew I had to have it. Now I can stick these stickers on various things to my heart’s content and sleep soundly knowing I’ll have at least one of them for the long-term.
Next up are these utterly amazing food animal stickers I got in Japan last June but never got around to writing about! And you can bet your betting object of choice that, nearly a year later, not a single sticker is out of place. It’s sad, really, the life of a collector…
The great thing about having a scanner in this modern age, though, is being able to scan in things like stickers and save them forever. Am I starting to sound creepy yet? Seriously, for unique things like these, I can’t bring myself to actually use them until I’ve “catalogued” them in some way. The idea of sticking one on something and “ruining” it forever is too much to bear!
More importantly, though, how awesome are these stickers?!
Bird ice cream! I love how each series is a spoof on different famous fast food chains. Can you guess them all?
If I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be the Bird 32 Ice Cream, but the bunny donuts are also great! Who am I kidding, they’re all adorable. And would you believe each sheet was only $1? Talk about a steal!
I’m curious, do you like seeing pictures of my stationery? I certainly have a ton of it, so if that’s something people would like to see more of, I can certainly oblige! It would definitely be the motivation I need to scan in more of my collection…
Swooning Over Video Game Nendoroids
Good Smile Company sure knows how to hook me. Since I’ve sworn not to buy figures for series I’m not a fan of, they just went ahead and announced a bunch of figures for series I’m really into! Not just any series, too – GSC is bringing out a surprising number of video game-related Nendoroids over the next few months, and I’m going to have to be extra careful with my wallet if I want to make it past August with any change left over…
If the general internet’s reaction is anything to go by, Nendoroid Link: Wind Waker version is probably the most wanted of all the recent announcements. I’m going to break a few hearts by admitting that though he’s adorable, I probably won’t be purchasing him since I’m not a huge Zelda fan, and none of his posing options really grab me (let’s face it, I’m just making excuses for the sake of my wallet). I love the heart piece accessory, though!
Link’s currently available to preorder on Good Smile Company’s website, Play Asia, Jlist, and Ami Ami and will be releasing this August. Nintendo fans might also want to check out the Luigi Nendoroid coming out in June, too!
Unfortunately, Rin Ozawa Nendoroid is going to be a little harder to resist! The Touch Detective star comes with her very own Funghi companion, of course, and her design translates really well into Nendoroid form! She looks like she came straight out of the game! Just look at all these posing options:
Rin will be getting an official preview on the Good Smile Company blog on April 30th, where we’ll hopefully be seeing more accessories aside from the Funghi. Preorders for the Nendoroid open on May 1st, coinciding with the release of Touch Detective 3 for the 3DS! In the meantime, there are many more photos of Rin, along with a fun promotional video, over at the official Japanese Funghi site.
Now here’s the figure that really has me swooning – Aoba from the 18+ BL visual novel Dramatical Murder! His sculpt was first shown at Wonder Festival earlier this year, but they’ve finally unveiled the color version, and I have to say, he looks amazing! Between him and Gilgamesh, it’s really great to see more varied male Nendoroids.
Is it hot in here or is it just me? I can’t believe they included a shirtless torso part! If you compare the two photos, you can see that he also has the option to have his headphones on his head or around his neck. What a nice touch! I love the blushing face, too – it’ll make him really fun to pose with other Dramatical Murder Nendoroids, if Good Smile Company ever does more. With an anime adaptation coming soon, it’s a distinct possibility that they will!
By the way, today is also Aoba’s birthday! What better way to celebrate than by preordering the Nendoroid from Ami Ami or Good Smile Company’s store? Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until August/September for him to come out, though. I think the fact that most stores don’t require payment until the items are in stock is a cruel ploy to get us all to spend more money than we should be on adorable figures!