What did you RECEIVE today? PHOTOS EDITION!

😡I was meant to receive a big parcel today but it looks like I won't be getting today and it was meant be delivered this morning between 9 and 10 and did see a royal mail van but it just went to the end of the cul-de-sac that I live in and turn round drove off.its nearly 3 o clock so it's a no show.
Bummer, especially on a Saturday.
The FedEx driver updated my tracking as business closed recently. News to me.
If the bosses give them too much just tell me, I'll understand.
Because I've been away, I'm only opening/watching my new stuff today after receiving it on Thursday.
 
2023 HAUL VER 8.5
(note: images are hosted via AUKN for the meantime)


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Last Friday I received Witch on the Holy Night, a visual novel for the Nintendo Switch. This is by Type-Moon and is a remake of the 2012 VN by the same folks. This isn't the first Type-Moon VN to be released officially in English (for instance many don't realise that Type-Moon wrote the CANAAN scenario in 428: Shibuya Scramble) but its the start of more with Tsukihime getting the English treatment at some point.

As you have probably noticed, this is the Japanese version because Aniplex published the North American physical copies which are out of print (PS4 copies seem to be around, but we're dealing with Aniplex USA here). Fortunately the Japanese version does include English support.

You may have also noticed it's on Switch than PS4 for my shelf. After experiencing a burn-in moment with one of my VNs (because OLED), I decided VNs would be more suited for the Switch going forward.

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And yes I do have a Nintendo Switch, but the only game I've finished is Super Mario 64 (ironically) as I'm currently wanting to focus on my PlayStation backlog more. More Switch games are on the way, especially given the rumours of the next Nintendo console supposedly planned to be released in 2024.
 
Last Friday I received Witch on the Holy Night, a visual novel for the Nintendo Switch. This is by Type-Moon and is a remake of the 2012 VN by the same folks. This isn't the first Type-Moon VN to be released officially in English (for instance many don't realise that Type-Moon wrote the CANAAN scenario in 428: Shibuya Scramble) but its the start of more with Tsukihime getting the English treatment at some point.

As you have probably noticed, this is the Japanese version because Aniplex published the North American physical copies which are out of print (PS4 copies seem to be around, but we're dealing with Aniplex USA here). Fortunately the Japanese version does include English support.

Interesting, I didn't know that game had English support, onto the wishlist (witchlist?) it goes.
I've been collecting Switch VNs for a while now and it's frustrating trying to figure out which JP released ones have English language support.
e.g. I bought the following over the last month or so, the first 2 have a symbol on the front cover saying they have dual language support yet the Grisaia one only mentions it on the back, and most stores don't screenshot the back.

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Interesting, I didn't know that game had English support, onto the wishlist (witchlist?) it goes.
I've been collecting Switch VNs for a while now and it's frustrating trying to figure out which JP released ones have English language support.
e.g. I bought the following over the last month or so, the first 2 have a symbol on the front cover saying they have dual language support yet the Grisaia one only mentions it on the back, and most stores don't screenshot the back.
Yeah it can be fairly confusing to know which is which.

To my knowledge the VNs that have English are Akai Ito & Aoi Shiro Collection, The Centennial Case: A Shijima's Story, Clannad, Clannad: Side Stories, Disaster Detective Saiga, The Fox Awaits Me, Grisaia Trilogy, Grisaia: Phantom Trigger 01-05 & 05.5-08, Harmony, Island, Little Busters, My Girlfriend is a Mermaid, Return to Shironagasu Island and Tomoyo After. There's also various Otome games that have English support in Japan but the list and names are hard to keep track of.
 
Sorry I wasn't quicker but Colonel Homer was on.
 

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Got my first Rightstuf order in about a year coming shortly via Stackry. Cannot wait. Have been starved of Region A discs for a while. Damn import fees. Really glad these proxy services exist otherwise us UK based fans would be be really desperate for old school releases. I really wish one single retro focused anime home video label would pop up over here, just one!
 
Rightstuf sale order finally here!
City Hunter & Cat's Eye are pretty much my ideal of what an 80s anime should look like, no matter how silly the stories get I can ooh and aah at the pretty art all day
Sound Of The Sky has been on my wants list for a few years now, so v happy to finally own a copy. I just loved the atmosphere of it when I watched it, can't wait to revisit.
 

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2023 HAUL VER 8.6
(note: images are hosted via AUKN for the meantime)


We have some more goodies for this update. All of the items are pretty much arriving to the end of the month which is a common approach given the delays and having to order them at the beginning of the month etc etc.


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To start off, another Radiance Films release has arrived and it's the first Hong Kong addition to the label with Benny Chan's 1990 film A Moment of Romance (天若有情), which has a 4K restoration but is on Blu-ray. Like the previous Radiance Film releases we have a Scanavo case with a mini obi cover to keep the main artwork clean. Reversible cover artwork is what I use for my shelf at the moment but the front cover artwork is really good too.



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Next we have a haul that has a lot of people curious! So for those who have been following my hauls for the past decade, I have never used a forwarding service from the US and it's been a tactic that I had been wanting to sort out for a long time now. With the recent talk about Stackry, which is one of many services available, I decided to give it a shot and utilise it on Sentai Filmworks' online store, because they are the only distributor who doesn't ship internationally compared to others.

This haul is a test. A test on keeping it short but also affordable, and to see how Stackry handles the delivery. The results are as follows!

Ordering from Sentai:
  • Sentai's store uses the Shopify approach and ordering was pretty good, you have multiple shipping options but I went with the free shipping option which required having an order that was worth $50 in total. Three titles which were on sale added to $53 total.
  • Payment was done through Monzo & PayPal with no issues, which is good given some sites in other regions can reject your card because it's not local.
  • Sentai shipped the order 2 days later, but this timeframe can change as my order was placed during a weekend.
Stackry's service:
  • Joining the service was pretty simple, as they do a good job guiding you through its service. You are immediately given an address and it's free to join, with options to pay for more features if needed. As I used a referral link, I also got $10 off shipping which was used automatically.
  • The package arrived at Stackry in 2 days, which was done through USPS. Upon arrival, Stackry provided two photos of the packaging box and made note of its weight. Thanks to the photos I decided it was worth shipping out without any repackaging (which was $5).
  • There is a VAT form that you sort out, so I noted each one as a DVD product since that's an easier way of explaining what these are for the customs folks. Despite the VAT stuff, this cleared customs without issue and was not shown on the box.
Journey & Arrival:
  • For shipping to the UK I went with the cheapest shipping option which was Global Mail Direct (DHL) which included tracking. Once it landed in the UK, Evri (formerly known as Hermes) took over but tracking was also updated on DHL's side.
  • Because Sentai's packaging has changed ever since they stopped using Rightstuf's warehouse, the protection is hit or miss but everything survived for the most part.
  • No invoice was included inside the box for the Sentai order, just like Rightstuf's.
  • Journey progress: 12th Aug (Sentai order made) -> 14th Aug (Sentai order dispatched) -> 16th Aug (Stackry received package) -> 17th Aug (Stackry order shipped) -> 19th Aug (processed in the US for UK) -> 21st (cleared UK customs) -> 22nd (arrived with Evri) -> 23rd (delivered)
Overall conclusion is that Stackry in general has done the job very well. The only issue was basically down to Sentai's packaging and that is it. I was perfectly fine with the pacing especially with the fact that tracking was included.

The next steps for this approach will be to increase the number and value of the order, to see how far it can go. In total this haul costed me $53 (£42) + $18.99 (£15) ($8.99 (£7) due to discount) shipping = £57 (£49 thanks to the discount).

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So long story short, I bought three Sentai Filmworks Blu-rays which were on sale coincidently. Kids on the Slope, Negima! & Negima!? collection, and The Pet Girl of Sakurasou. All three titles have been tested and played on PlayStation 5.

The one that's worth noting was Negima! which was going out of print, and I was able to get mine secured whilst a bunch of Blu-ray forum users lost out. Kids on the Slope is the re-release version which is very handy, given the previous release was a decade ago and did have a mono issue at one point. The Pet Girl of Sakurasou is the second release version that includes Sentai's dub.


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Next we shift over to video games and here we have our first proper Limited Run Games titles, as my first LRG game (Senran Kagura Reflexions) was not part of the mainline list. This is the first LRG order that I made through VideoGamesPlus thanks to their stock batch earlier in the month, and there are a few more on their way. In this batch we have two bullet hell Cave shoot em ups called DoDonPachi Resurrection and Espgaluda II.

Known in Japan as DoDonPachi DaiFukkatsu, DoDonPachi Resurrection is one of the most well-known bullet hell games and was even released on Xbox 360 in the west. It was brought over to the Switch by Live Wire and is one of three to get this treatment from the Cave catalog. The other was Espgaluda II which was also released on Xbox 360 but only for Japan and Switch marks its western console debut.

The third Live Wire game to get the Switch treatment that I don't yet own is Mushihimesama, but I do have the game ordered however I won't know when exactly it will arrive just yet, as VGP had sold out before I started these orders.


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Next we got back to Hong Kong Asian Cinema with five more films joining the collection. The first is the Fight Back to School Trilogy which features Gordon Chan's 1991 film Fight Back to School (逃學威龍) and 1992 film Fight Back to School II (逃學威龍2) as well as Wong Jing's 1993 film Fight Back to School III (逃學威龍3之龍過雞年). This collection all feature actor Stephen Chow plus there's appearances by Ng Man-tat and Anthony Wong. While 88 Films' deluxe collector's edition feature physical items, this release only has a rigid box which I suspect is down to approval and asset issues. Never-the-less it's good to have more Stephen Chow films.

Also arrived are two more slim-type releases with Ronny Yu's 1982 film The Postman Fights Back (巡城馬) featuring Bryan Leung and Chow Yun-fat, and Herman Yau's 1993 film Taxi Hunter (的士判官) featuring Anthony Wong, Yu Rongguang and Ng Man-tat. The latter is often mistaken to be a Category III title but it's actually a Category IIB since some folks had been asking about that over on the 88 Films BD forum thread.
 
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