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Hello again. If you came here from the front page you already know that I received a new package directly from Tokyo. As usual, I've prepared photos and scans of the package. I'll also give some comments along the way.

First of all, I should say that this time I used an intermediary delivery service. It was for the first time in my life but everything went smoothly. The company is (lit. "forwarding"). They collect any package you send to their address and then ship this package to any other desirable location of your choice. We can assume that it'll most likely be your home address somewhere outside Japan because many people are actually not Japanese and they don't live on the islands but are nevertheless obsessed with Japanese goods and try to get them by all possible means.

Now I'd like to point out why it is so convenient to use One of the big advantages is that they are able to collect items from shops that sell goods only for the local market. The second plus is that you can order separate packages from various places and then ask tenso staff to put them all into one package and send all of the items you ordered at once. They call it a "consolidation service" and it proves to be very useful. The last thing is that tenso (actually tensou, 転送) uses EMS service for international shipments and that usually means no problems with the local customs.

It is also worth pointing out that using tenso turns out actually cheaper than direct delivery even though they take a fee from each package they receive. But it's a fixed fee. For example, I used to order packages from directly. They only use DHL and they charge 300 yen for each item they put into the package. In contrast, the domestic delivery is free regardless of the number of items you order. Thus, you send a package to tenso for free, pay a very small fee for their service together with an outrageous sum for EMS and wait for your package to arrive at your place. Easy as pie. Or cake.


Now, let's finally turn to the items I got this time.


The box looks like this. Your standard Amazon box.



It has a sticker from the Post of Japan which says that the items there are suitable for exports:



Besides, the value of the goods is less than 200 thousand yen so it's not the subject of exports declaration of duties. Well, it is obviously FAR less that 200 thousand. I tried to keep my expenses as low as possible so the items cost me around 12000 yen. Plus the delivery charge. So I think it comes to 200 dollars in total. Which is actually sad because I remember the times when I could buy like 5 or 6 kilos worth of manga and magazines and it would only cost me some 150 dollars. But since then the exchange rate has dropped from 150 to 80 yen for 1 dollar. Which means shopping became twice as expensive for the same goods.


The contents are neat, aren't they?


Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 1年1台ツインパック



Now this is what tenso is made for. doesn't send software of any kind abroad. But doesn't care so it does. And I'm lucky to get the Japanese version of this anti-virus software.

It came as a surprise to me that the box version actually has a 2-year license instead of just one year. So I'm even happier that I chose to get it.

Why do I need a Japanese version? If you missed the news I inform you that AKB48, or rather, its Research Student division headed by Acchan was hired to promote this Russian program. If you register your copy at the site you can get nice bonuses like customs skins for your soft.

Thought it turns out now that the special skins are only available for those customers who ordered a copy of Kaspersky online and got a 9-digit order number for it. But trying to buy the software through their site only results in the message that your credit card is not accepted so it was not the option for me. The box version, on the other hand, provides you with a user ID and an activation code for 2 PCs. Or actually those are 2 separate activation codes that you can use twice to get a one-year license when you register it.




The box contains a pretty useless guidebook, an even more useless CD because you can download a fully-functional demo from the site but at the same time there are 2 pretty useful sheets of paper containing activation keys to get a license. Using these keys you can actually upgrade your demo version to the commercial one immediately.


The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Trilogy)



I obviously couldn't pass by this book now that it cost only 500 yen. And surely it's in English. But the better question here would be why didn't I buy it earlier? I read The Hitchhiker's Guide many years ago and was thinking to get The Restaurant as well but couldn't find a good moment to order it. If I lived in a normal country I'd of course buy it in a local bookstore but here it's almost impossible to find a book in English. If you're lucky you can find some 10 or 20 books of classics but that's all. And books in Japanese simply don't exist here so the only way to get them is by mail. And it's surely very nice of to keep a variety of English books in store so that I can order everything I need from one place.


Now, the textbooks. I got them from in two separate packages. Ask Corp is actually a publisher which keeps a small shop in Shinjuku.  Funny, when writing my Japanese shipping address they messed up with my name a bit, corrected it but the second time they even figured to put my first name first. I bet they thought some crazy gaijin immigrated to them! All in all, the books were nicely packed in bubble wrap and came in perfect order.



「日本語能力試験」対策 日本語総まとめ N3文法


A grammar textbook for the new JLPT level 3 (called N3). Now that I pursue a language course I got it as a reference because we were told we'd have tests based on its materials.

「日本語能力試験」対策 日本語総まとめ N2文法


A grammar textbook we're studying now. But considering the amount of Japanese texts I translated every point here looks pretty familiar.

「日本語能力試験」対策 日本語総まとめ N1漢字


And finally, my favorite book. It's a list of kanji along with useful expressions that match the first level by difficulty according to JLPT classification. I'm going ahead of schedule in my studies but from what I can see it's very important to know every single thing in this book. A lot of attention is paid to verbs and their use in combinations and as set expressions. I hope this book will help improve my Japanese skills.


Alright. Today's shopping report turned out to be quite long but don't forget that there's a second package with even more staff on the way. Stay tuned for more updates! Cheers.



Hello again. As you can guess my second packages has arrived. There was a small delay in shipment due to national holidays, Russian post is to blame.

This time the package was smashed. It looked like someone played football with it. This fact didn't make me happy at all assuming its price, around $300 with shipment charges. There was a hole at one side. When I opened the box the items were lying in some deformed pile. The cover of im@s manga was crumpled and the mini-cover of Alice Quartet got torn.

The evidence is here. I have everything photographed.

I think it's amazon's fault. I mean they put this rather small amount of goods in a very huge box. It's only natural that the things were flying inside it during transportation. If they had put my purchases in a smaller box my items wouldve stayed fixed and arrived in a much better shape. But hopefully, the most valuable items, and that is the CDs, arrived in perfect condition.

Also, then I put the goods on the desk the merchandise looks much better. You can't really see that something's wrong with it.

So now let's take a closer look at each item I got.

「日本語能力試験」対策 日本語総まとめN1 文法


This book completes my collection of Japanese textbooks which we use during the classes at our language school. The book presents a list of grammar topics to learn and as you can see it's aimed at the most difficult level. If I continue my studies I'm supposed to start learning this book next semester.

アイドルマスター ブレイク!(3) (ライバルコミックス)

Im@s Break, vol 3. It got a bit smashed but I don't care. This manga's got poor feedback but I decided to keep reading it since Ive already got through volume 1 and 2. There's another im@s manga called Relations whose quality is much better both design and story-wise. But I've already read that! And this one is new for me.

飴色紅茶館歓談 (1) (IDコミックス 百合姫コミックス)
(Talks in Amber Tea House)

I came across this manga in Yuri-hime magazine quite by chance. I liked the design and the story seemed very sweet. The first volume of tankobon was released back in 2009 but I couldn't find an opportunity to order it until now.

Alice Quartet OBBLIGATO (角川コミックス)

I'm not sure what manga it is but it was strongly recommended by amazon together with the previous item. So I had no choice but to get it as well. Feel the power of marketing, it works!

マリッジロワイヤル 5,6 (電撃コミックス) 

Finally I got my hands on volume 5 and 6 of Marirowa manga. The first 4 volumes were an exciting reading so I absolutely couldn't miss it.

デッド オア アライブ エクストリーム2

Got a Platinum version of Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 for my Xbox360 (2500 yen instead of 7000 for the regular edition). If you remember the game is about Dead or Alive girls enjoying their time at a tropical resort. They play volleyball and participate in swimming contest much like AKB girls do. It actually it's AKB who picked up this idea. It's hard to tell if I'll have time to play it but the urge to buy a game as too high to resist. But then again, we'll have Dream Club Zero in December and im@s2 next year. So I have to save money for that, too.

The most intriguing items come last.

さくらんぼ (CCCD) 

This is Otsuka Ai's single dating back to 2003 ("when I was younger"). I couldn't go past it. The thing is the songs become a kind of classics of pop music. Most Japanese know it. I saw a PV for it where Ai was playing guitar and some pensioners were riding a bicycle.

Its mini-booklet includes a small sheet of paper which warns you the disc features some sort of a copy control. It says that I can't (physically) make a copy of it or convert the tracks to mp3 format. But I ripped it the usual way and no questions were asked. I donno why this warning exists.

Speaking of its cover. I think the picture of Ai is very nice thought I never considered her uberly cute. But she sings great, IMO. I also have to note that the box lacks a back-cover. The disc is put front-side down instead. I think it was a trend in the beginning of the 2000s because the single for Galaxy Anger I ordered earlier featured exactly the same design. Hopefully they gave up on this idea of saving on printing the back-cover because the paper is paper, it's much more appealing.


Now, the latest album by "Watarirouka Hashiritai (aka Corridor Runners Squad)", "Don't run in the corridor", type A. It features a CD, a DVD and a booklet of some very cute photos. But unfortunately the photos are very small. There's also an invitation flyer for a hands-shaking event as well as a closed party for 100 lucky people. All the events have ended back in October. However, it turns out that Mayu was sick on October 15 when the first hands-shaking event was to take place. She missed it and now Pony Canyon has fixed a new date for meeting with Mayuyu in a form of compensation for this inconvenience. The event is scheduled for Nov 27. Apparently I'm missing it as well.

The DVD features a story. What if the "Runners" were active back in the 60s? It shows a local barbers shop where the radio transmits a live interview with the girls. The girls comments are quite interesting, the song of the era add to the atmosphere of an old radio-broadcast.


I thought I really need some SKE stuff because lately I got pretty attached to their TV shows. So I got my eyes on this CD. It's their 3rd single and the 4th single is scheduled for Nov 17 but since I don't plan any more purchases (the yen exchange rate left me broke) I'm missing it.

The box features a mini-booklet which still has nice photos in it. Apart from that you'll find a CD and a DVD there. The DVD features some strong copy protection. I wanted to make an iso for convenience but it was no use. Still I watched it and I liked the clips there. A day earlier I was watching the SKE Academy, episode 14. Its main theme was this very album. They showed the location where the clips were filmed. I learned that the place is Minami-Chita Town, Hazumisaki and Hazu-jinja in particular. Hazumisaki gave name to the song and the clip IMO turned out pretty nice. I watched it 2 times in a raw.

I'm planning to update my music section, I'll upload the mp3 and booklet scans there.

memew vol.46

This issue featuring Rena and Jurina on its cover has a special article on SKE and AKB. There's an interview and well as the latest news of that time. I think that the magazine was released in spring this year so it's not quite up-to-date but it has very interesting materials inside, so I thought it'd be a bad idea to miss it.

And that's about it this time.




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