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-updated on 8-29-2011, package arrived on 7-22-2011-


Ladies and gentlemen!


Lately (more than a month ago now) I received a new package from Japan with 5 kilos worth of valuable and precious merchandise.


As usual, we start by examining the cardboard box. It has a customs declaration stuck to it. As I said before, the packages in "this damn country" are now subject to thorough examination. The declaration is stamped by a customs agent. I remember the times when there were no declarations and you could get your package freely. Now even private shipments are strictly controlled. This is unfortunate to say the least but there's nothing we can do about it.



 Interestingly, English is considered an international language but when it comes to international law French takes the lead. Which is why the customs declaration is written in French and Japanese. And at such moments you feel lucky you've spent all those years studying French at the uni let alone Japanese. Maybe this text is not very important but at least its meaningful to you. That is, to me. The box is a bit smashed but fortunately it has no holes in it like it happened before.


Since I ordered Tensou consolidation service the box is not from Amazon, it was some mysterious Mat'n'Rag. Upon checking the link printed on its side it turned out that it was indeed a company of mats and rags. Apparently I've ordered too much stuff and the box from Amazon was simply too small to hold it all. It's also worth noting that the merchandise was carefully packed. It's a big progress compared to last year when my goods arrived completely messed. Airbags WTF.


Now we open the box and see a HUGE pile of stuff.

Moved to the table it looks like this.

 So it's about time we take a closer look on each item. And as it became common lately, we have some 'serious purchases' and 'stuff for fun'. Let's start with the serious part. We have 4 items here.


1. 「日本語能力試験」対策 日本語総まとめN1 語彙


The first item is a textbook or rather, a reference book to prepare for JLPT level 1 test. It features some long lists of words to memorize. And since my vocabulary is very limited I consider this book highly useful.


2. 日本語総まとめN1 読解 (「日本語能力試験」対策)


The next textbook from the same publisher features a decent number of texts and it gives you an understanding of what topics would probably appear during the actual test. I should say I ordered 2 books of this series before and I thought it'd be enough. But considering the difficulties I've faced at the exam I thought that I need to prepare more thoroughly next time. Actually, from what I can see these textbooks are full of useful and quite common words and expressions. You can only wonder why they give them only at level one when the words are actually of day-by-day use and should be learned much earlier. Still, let's move on.


3. 歩く地図東京散歩 (SEIBIDO MOOK)

Walking around Tokyo. 53 routes



It's probably unusual to see guidebooks at my site. I'm still thinking that one day I'll have a chance to go to Japan finally and I need to be prepared. I already have a thick guidebook in Russian but as it turned out the Russian one is a complete trash compared to what I got this time. One reason to buy the Japanese guidebook was to read about Taishakuten temple that I saw in one of Nemousu Terebi episodes. Surprisingly, Travel Style book mentions Umeda Ayaka as an MC for Request Hour show at Tokyo Tower.


The 'official' part ends here. And we turn to the 'fun' part.


1. モーニング娘。シングルV「Only you」 [DVD] Single V of "Only you"



I think it's no secret that lately I'm a big fan of Haropro. Obviously, I couldn't get past this. The cover picture is awesome, I bought the disc specially for this. The girls look fantastic and Sayumi is the best. Of course, you can complain Momusu turned into a kindergarten but the newcomers are nice too. I'm becoming a fan of Mizuki. She's actually been around for some time in Haropro Egg.


2. 板野友美 - HMV / LAWSONオリ特:生写真付》 ふいに (+DVD)<type-B>



This is the second single by Tomochin, I got Type B. I preordered it at HMV as soon as I saw the cover picture. Tomo is uber-awesome here. And since Tomo is no.1 of all for me this disc was a must.


3. フレンチ・キス。カッコ悪い I love you! (初回盤A)

French Kiss. Kakkowarui I love you Type A, first print.


Yukirin'n'Co's song is actually pretty addictive if you ask me. So another single went into the buying cart.


4. Buono! Blu-ray Disc.Buono!ライブ2011winter ~Re;Buono!~


It's Buono live today! And this is their winter concert which was given on Feb.19, 2011 at Shibuya C.C. Lemon Hall. If Airi'n'Co means something for you, you simply can't go past it. The concert is awesome and its the first blu-ray by Buono. I've opened the box and it turned out there's NOTHING there apart from the disc. I was hoping to get some sort of a bonus photo or a booklet but apparently, not this time.


My laptop plays blu-ray video but it's only and is prone to slowdowns and freezes. So I decided to buy a separate blu-ray player and got this one - LG BD 550. It's the cheapest model I could find but it works fine. It looks like this:



5.【特典生写真付き】ここにいたこと(初回限定盤) [Limited Edition, CD+DVD] 


A new album by AKB. Got it from a local penpal of mine in exchange for a spare copy of AKB photobook. It comes with a booklet, a CD, a DVD and an absolutely awesome hardcover photobook with marvelous pictures inside. It's a must-have for all AKB fans.


 The following items are all paper.


6. アイドルマスター ブレイク!(4)<完> (ライバルコミックス)



 The 4th and last volume of Idolmaster Break. I took it by habit. This manga is not the best of its kind. The best one is Relations about Miki and Chihaya. But there are only 2 volumes and I already have them in my collection. In a form of reminding. Imas Break is a stupid (=idiotic) version of Imas story where President's grandson takes the reins of 765 Pro. The grandson is of course a good-for-nothing young guy who improves somehow by the end of the manga. But through all volumes he gets on idols' nerves and is hit by tsundere as is common in such cases. The happenings are quite humorous which is why I can't call this manga a complete trash.


7. 久住 小春。「17歳の転職」

Kusumi Koharu. Change of working place at 17


The title speaks for itself. This is an autobiography by Ms Koharu. She writes about her life before getting into Momusu group, during her star years and after that. Now when I'm writing these lines I've already read it. Actually, I liked the book and I recommend it to everyone who wants to know a bit about idols' life. Koharu tells a few absolutely laughable stories from her school years and mentions an embarrassing but funny as hell episode which happened during the audition. The book is fully about Koharu, she doesn't say a single word about her colleagues. You won't find any dirty laundry here but the book is still worth reading, at least to my mind.


8. AKB48 海外旅行日記2 WithSKE48

"AKB+SKE overseas tour 2010. Part 2"


This is a hit and a must-have for all Russian fans. This photobook features our group photo at the concert hall during AKB visit to Moscow.


Beside this the book has many great photos of AKB inside it. Photos from Russia are very nice, too. And theres also a separate page where the girls speak about their impressions of the trip. Our fan team is mentioned too. In particular, our hachimaki and a 5-meter long banner was noted. Im grateful to the girls for their kind words. It makes Russia a bit better in the eyes of foreigners.


9. 週刊プレイボーイ12/13  

"Weekly Playboy, 12/13 Nov 2010"

 Another hit magazine. This Playboy has 2 articles about AKB in Russia and their fans. I had to ask my Japanese friend who lives in Nagoya to get it for me at Yahoo! Auction.


Here it is, new in the package.


10. memew vol.51  特集 ℃-ute


Memew no.51 and its uber-cute cover. Because it features C-ute on it. 

It is also a must for fans. There's a huge interview with C-ute and beside this you can find an article about Yuka from AKB and her sub-unit DiVA. I've already translated these materials into Russian. Any other language versions (options: English, French) are by request.


11. UTB (アップ トゥ ボーイ) 2011年 08月号 [雑誌]

UTB magazine, June-August.

Airi was supposed to be on the cover page of May issue but then the disaster happened. Obviously, all publications were postponed but now we can finally see Airis spring photosession. You can also find some great photos of Erina. Beside awesome photos theres a lot to read in this magazine.


12. ハロー!チャンネル vol.4 62483‐86 (カドカワムック)

 Haro Channeru Vol.4.


This is an official magazine by Up-Front Works which tells us about idols life and special events. It features some great photos and must-read articles. I especially liked the one about Chisato and her fishing experience. Its so much Russian-like.


And finally, there's a small bonus. I ordered this sweet thing:


The long title wants to say it's a phone strap with Erina.


These straps were released back in 2009 as a part of promo campaign for the 35th Anniversary of Hello Kitty. There was a collaboration event with Erina and Haropro. Erina took the lead role in a theater play. It was filmed and later released as a DVD and features a tear-jerking story about Hello Kitty with a happy end. I highly recommend watching it. Speaking of the phone strap it was actually the last piece left at the warehouse. And there's no restock. The item was removed from Amazon's catalog. And the only way to get it now is probably at Yahoo!Auction, it's pretty rare. So, this is it.


I've told you my secrets. See you next time.

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