Well, this has been a LOOOONG time since I had a monthly overview...
But nope, still no wargaming figures, as I haven`t gotten round still to have the Ender fixed up.
But I did finish the painting I started back in may at last, the Yuno Gasai collage for Noshi.
At least that means some brushes have been touched this month. But let's face it, it seems still quit a while before I`ll be painting wargame figures again in all honesty, due to time, motivation, and well, bleughness.
The siblings have been ousted by a coup d'etat (which they staged themselves) to start... a pharmacy!
That's quite a start for this 10th, and for now final as when I finish this novel I will have caught up with the released books for the moment.
But as stated above, they have decided to step down from being the monarchs and withdraw into business, when they meet a dwarf, apparently growing from their garden. It turns out this is Tilvilg, a dwarven (looking like a cute monster lolicon) lady send to get medicine from Sora and Shiro, but also triggering extreme jealousy from Shiro, and enimity from Jibril and Fiel.
The group joins the siblings in travelling to the dwarven capital of Hardenfell, where they witness the creationist magic of dwarves firsthand. Including one giant robot that seemingly was build after the Great War and the 10 Covenants, meaning it might actually be operational! They find out that Til is the niece of the rather foulmouthed, drunk chieftain of Hardenfell, who challenges them... a mecha fight! They also learn that his weakness is that the royal bloodline can only find true love with a woman with big buubs, something that doesn`t appear in Dwarf society. So he uses a spell, enlarging the bossoms of all the women present in Sora's party, and putting a severe strain on him to keep concentration.
When they find out Til was destined to marry him once she could build a better spirit arms then him, they need to convince her to pilot the machine, something she flees from. Blank gets a bit desperate, as it involves a battle of souls as well, meaning actual physical fighting. And violence is something that Blank, being the coward that Sora is, shies away from. They know that the Dwarf race is created around the idea that making mistakes is a mistake, hence limiting their imagination. And during an alcohol induced stuper, the Forge God himself doesn`t seem to be much help either for them.
While Eimir-Eins finds out Blank actually sees Steph as the crop of the crop in economics and politics, the protagonists face off the dwarf king in mecha combat, putting their two old and refurbished creations against his pinnacle of craftmanship... But they overcome the narrowmindness of Veig and Til grows beyond herself, going as far as actually animating the whole battlefield into a mecha and making Veig see her as his equal.
And so it ends for now, as we will have to wait on further volumes to be written to know how Blank's adventures in Disboard continue.
Actually, this is a rant, even though if you read through the cases, it is more a slapstick or stand-up comedy.
But the result? Sorry, I`m stopping to buy from outside the EU now as well, I already did with the UK, and now our national treasure of a postal service is closing off Nippon as well.
Because read on brave soul, and whallow in the competence of our postal office service and their friends, import customs!
This daring take began back in july 2021, when at the 4th of july, without involving any aliens, AmiAmi notified me a parcel containing a Myth Cloth and a chibi Milim had left their store and was on the way to me. Now, ever since IOSS came into play, I received quite a few parcels from Japan, and all at the same rate of handling. Arriving about a week after shipping, paid the same day, then presented to customs to be cleared on average after 6 days, delivery next day after.
So the 14th the parcel arrived... and I didn`t get any payment requests. Suddenly, the 24th, I receive a notification that they lack an invoice from AmiAmi and I need to provide it, which I duly did. The 30th it entered customs... and that was the last update for the parcel until the finale two weeks ago.
In that time I send in the files 3 times, every time receiving a confirmation of receipt. I called the customer service 3 times, and chatted through their app 7 times about this parcel. Every time the answer: it's the app, no worries, it will be progressing soon. This happened on the 25th of august, the 8th of september and the 11th of september.
Then suddenly, on the 14th of september, I get a message the parcel is being returned to Japan because I refused acceptance at the door. Only to have it cleared out of customs on the app quarter of an hour later, so it never even came in the wide vicinity of my doorstep...
So I immediatly contacted Bpost and the reply: oh sorry, but we can`t stop the return shipment, your sender has to file a complaint when the parcel (ever?) returns in Tokyo. So I need to provide documents from the seller side, but can`t file a complaint for something happening on this side of the globe?
Adding more injury to the whole affair, the 16th I received a reply to my file uploading of the 8th that they will contact customs to put some speed after the clearing in... the parcel was already on a plane then!
Now, the shit thing about this is of course that whenever it arrives, I will have to have it reshipped, and as such repay the shipping cost again (it is noted that way in their store agreements), knocking me down again for 40+ euro shipping, with no guarantee it would not go haywire again this time!
Now, I hear you think, once can happen! Well, as I`m writing this, I have another parcel, from Mandarake, which arrived the 10th of september, and I paid the same day. It would have been presented to customs on the 17th, but as I write this, the 25th, that still hasn`t happened, even though I actually PAID all duties and their handling fee already (15 euro handling, 3 euro taxes...). When i contacted them, the customer service employee rather bruskly only replied "contact the shipper to file a complaint" and broke of the chat as "question resolved".
So yes, as I stated above, Nippon is seemingly being cemented shut by Bpost, as troubles keep stacking up. And DHL or the likes aren`t viable options, as the shipping minimum cost is at least double, which also means that will weigh in far more heavily in the import duties calculations (because yeah, your taxed on the shipping costs as well).
And yes, i do have screens and mails for all of the above should any representative of Bpost happen to come by this post (which I doubt but hey).
For decades I have been using Bpost to and fro to great satisfaction, but the stunts they pulled in the past two months so far is making me loose any faith or goodwill towards them!
There it finally is, my long anticipated base set to give MechaTop a run!
And inside the swiftly shipped cardboard box, the nice compact box was joined by a publicity folder, and a button with the logo of the project.
So let's crack open the shrinkwrap, and see what is inside this box!
The first thing you see of course is the handy pocket sized, hardcover pocket rulebook, the rules whom I already put a post on last year, as as a backer I received the PDF versions as well. It might be there are some modifications to it, but I guess nothing to spectacular. It's printed on sturdy paper, and littered with artwork and toy model displays while having a good, clear lettertype.
The box itself is nicely compartmentalized, allowing you to put everything in there nice and orderly.
So starting from the top left and going clockwise, let's have a look at all that's included.
We start with two trays of "cockpit buttons" whom are basically the way to operate your mecha with in the game. Every button contains the action the mecha will undetake, and they are printed on a stiff plastic like a poker chip. They also look nice and scratchproof, so the art and letters won't be damaged due to gameplay.
Next we have some cardboard tokens, nothing spectacular but usefull as they are for battlefield effects, as well as for generic units like planes or tanks, so nothing "specific universe related" war material.
The rectangular cardboard tokens are for the Act / Pass / Start orders, while the tat smaller ones are for Funnels and the likes.
And if you want to field a certain Decepticon leader, there is also a token included to represent him in his pistol form!
Two stacks of cards are included in the box as well, the smaller ones being the Pilot cards (blank's as well as some premade), Twists cards (kind off a battkefield joker gamble), Upgrade Cards (for all those extra systems on your mech) and Collateral damage (when you draw these, you're really in trouble).
The larger card deck contains the blank cards for your own units (mind you, the game has a database license containing hundreds of premade mecha cards!) as well as those generic tanks and jetfighters.
And finally, the box contains some custom dice, with two sets of crosshaired numbers and a mecha head on the "6" side of the dice.
There you have it, a quick look through of all the components of the base set of Mecha Top. Now to print out those solo cards, order the DLC campaign sets from their website amd get that Ender working at last to print more bases for my 1/400 scale mobile suits. The only thing then left is to corrupt my buddies for some good mecha action!
Oh, and the button? He went on one of my pinboards!
So my crane game win from Toreba arrived a short while ago, and this one is a figure I`m definitly keeping in my collection.
While he hasn`t had much screentime yet in the Demon Slayer series, he is one of the Hashiri, the mightiest demon hunting warriors.
As the Hashiri of Earth, he is indeed a big and solid presence, and the figure reflects this nicely as it is a tall model, and he actually weighs quite a bit as well.
The model comes in a few pieces: base, legs, body, head and his praying beads, so that makes him pretty straightforward to assemble. Like in the anime, he isn`t seen in a dynamic pose, as seemingly all he does so far is praying and crying...
But he is a nice an impressing figure for a prize scale model, a scale which I personally actually like due to the ease of display required, so that was a great game catch for sure.
One can wonder sometimes what the heck they make anime's about... or one can just watch the abundance of fanservice.
And that is the case with this ecchi fantasy comedy, as it is all about... reviewing brothels from a variety of species!
And it all starts out with what sounds like a japanese cover of YMCA... I kid you not!
Stunk and Zel are two perverts who made this their life mission, and are soon joined by an injured angel, Crimvael, who can`t return to heaven before her halo is repaired. And she gets defiled within the hour of meeting them, loosing his purity to a cat girl. But the investigations turn out to be the most popular and earning reports on the hero bulletin board.
They are approached by the spokesperson (the Piccolo reference loool) of Death Abyss, a demonic political party candidate that wants to get a bit more popular in the public view, to make an honest review of demonic succu-girls. But not before they experience the joy of a gender swap!
They continue exploring "the frisky life" with various species in the world (the golem episode is plain hilarious!), while we learn Stunk is actually a very legendary warrior as well, who fell out with his father but doesn`t look back on his past.
The series is also riddled with awesomely hilarious inside jokes, like a guy that managed to remain a virgin until 30 turning into a wizard, or some references to isekai anime, so it is truly worth the watch. It's just one of those series you think the creators must have had a blast at team meetings while making this...
Be warned though, weirdness reaches new levels with the egg episode!
It's a bit of a strange reason I started watching this series: sheer luck in a music opening quiz game on YouTube.
So as MAL has it as a stream on the site, I decided to go for this romance harem anime.
Uesugi Fuutarou gets a job tutoring five sisters, but he quickly learns that the five times the pay comes with five times the trouble with the quintuplets. But as it helps paying off the debt of his father, he decides to go for it. So he now finds himself tutoring the five Nakano sisters.
While they turn out to be all five potential flunkers, he knows he has his job cut out for him as he needs to get to know, and convince, each of them on getting to study harder. In order to do that, he needs to play to every strength and intrests of each and every one of them, wether it is historical warlords or XXX. All the while Nino, one of the sisters and the leader of the group, refuses to accept him. Until they go to an arcade and later the fireworks with Uesugi's younger sister Raiha, who causes a bit of bonding with Itsuki and the other sisters.
However, each of the girls is developping a crush on him in various degrees, and handling it differently. When the midterm exams come up, their father informs him that each of the girls must pass or he will be fired, so he has to get them to study and focus. They do fail, but Nino convinces her father to keep him on.
It is later shown that apparently in his youth years, he has been in love with one of the quintuplets, though it doesn`t show which one just yet, as back then they looked identical going by their childhood memories pictures. When he goes on school camp with the girls, they all get to know each other better and talk about their feelings... though it isn`t revealed which of the siblings he ends up marrying though in the end... nor which one it was in the picture.
BTW, I would pick Ichika...
Definitly an enjoyable, innocent series, which is sometimes a nice break of more action packed series.
Okay, so I really liked the Rise of the Shield Hero anime, and there is a companion series, centered around Spear Hero Motoyasu Kitamura.
While in the anime he was the gullible wannabe saviour of the world that got played my Myne (or should that be, Bitch).
Now, he finds himself back at the day he was summoned after he got killed in the first time around, but he has retained all his powers and knowledge. It's a fresh start of the "game" in God Mode! He is determined to get things right this time round though, but even while details seem to change, the general lines can`t be changed.
He keeps seeing women as pigs, due to them betraying him before and leading to his original death, he takes on the once again falsely framed Naofumi under his wing. He gets his own filiolal chick, a black one he names Kuro.
Naofumi goes to Siltvelt to train... and suddenly all is reset, Motoyasu having lost all companions. He learns that a skill on his spear resets everything back to the day of summoning should one of the heroes be killed. teaming up with a companion named Eclair, he will bring Naofumi to Siltvelt himself this time round!
A joy to read, though it quite odd to see a friendly Shield hero pass by. The Spear hero is his overreacting self from the anime though, and the "in between" pages are hilarious... definitly a series I`ll try to complete in the near future.
Picking up at the exact moment the first season of Demon Slayer ended, this movie was a huge success in the land of the Rising Sun.
And like the My Hero Academia movies, it is signified by "upped" animation levels.
The story starts as such when our four young heroes board the train with Flame Hashari Rengoku, set out to investigate the disappearance of people on the trainline. They soon encounter two low level demons, but it turns out one of the lower Twelve is actually on the train. More over, he is fused with the train and puts them all to sleep. During these sleeps he tries to destroy their spirit cores, only to find out their deepest desires and will is stronger then anticipated as they break out of his spellcraft.
Tanjiro and Inosuke manage to overcome him by working together, and defeat the Lower Twelve while saving everyone on the train, but an Upper level demon makes his appearance. With a power level far above they have ever seen, Rengoku steps in and fights him. While the battle ultimately ends in Rengoku making the ultimate sacrifice, the demon escapes right before the sun rises, to the great pain of our young heroes.
A truly epic and fun movie, this seems to be the perfect set-up for the second season coming in next year, and I must say both me and Noshi are awaiting it, we truly enjoyed this anime.
Okay, for once I ain't to late to the party, and started watching this highly popular series with Noshi shortly after it's full release on streaming.
And we had high expectations, seeing how it is represented in fan media, and it's MAL score.
It all begins when Tanjiro, living with his family on the mountainside, goes to the village to earn money selling charcoal. But when he returns a day later, he finds his entire family massacred by demons except his younger sister Nezuko. Her blood having been mingled with the demon's, she has become possessed, and Tanjiro swears to find a cure for her, and avenge his family.
A meeting with Gyuu sets him on the course to become a member of the Demon Slayer Corps, to gain the necessary skills to face the dark creatures.
After a long and arduous training, in which he slices a boulder thanks to the ghostly after images of two dead children, he faces the Final Selection trial with success. Shortly after, he is dispatched on his first mission, to investigate the disappearance of various young girls, and hopefully making progress in finding the "first demon" Kibutsuji, responsible for turning his sister. But he discovers they are all scared to speak his name.
On his next mission to Tokyo, he runs inot Muzan Kibutsuji, the first demon. Failing to get to him, he meets Tamayo and her servant, but as they discuss a potential remedy for Nezuko, they are attacked by assassins send by Muzan. However, in facing off to them, both he and his sister gain more and more power as they learn to use and control their skills better.
On the road to their next mission, a demon infested house, he meets and teams up with Zenitsu, a cowardly and frightened slayer with an immense hidden power, and Inosuke who fights like an enraged berserker. After overcoming this trial, they are bested however when they arrive in a forest infested by a spider demon family headed by one of the Twelve Kizuki. They are truly bested, even when Tanjiro and Nezuko tap into their inner powers through their family bond, and it requires the intervention of Gyuu and Shinobi, to top rank slayers, to quell the treat.
Tanjiro and Nezuko are put on trial for disobeying Corps rules, but thanks to the Master's interference and Nezuko refusing to attack for human blood, an excpetion is made for them and they are allowed to fight together. Together with Zenitsu and Inosuke they are put under the care of Shinobi to recover from their injuries.
After their recovery, they set out to hunt for the Lower Twelve again and find a cure for Nezuko...
A real fun series, mixing action and comedy perfectly together, and with a great art style. I love how they animated Tanjiro's water based attack effects, and it rightfully is a highly rated series. Now to sit down and watch the movie...
The latest manga I started, and of which I bought already all the available volumes from over at Akiba, is Gigant.
A series based around, well, an adult actress...
Rei is the son of a filmmaker, wanting to follow in the footsteps of his father. But he is also a "man of culture" and fan of the adult star Papico (whose real name is Chiho Johansson), who apparently lives somewhere near. One night, when he is removing posters shaming her, he bumps into his idol, and she immediatly takes a fancy in him.
When her abusive good for nothing boyfriend finds out, he hits her. She goes for a walk and sees a strange old man being hit by a car. Before he passes away (and mysteriously shrinks to a doll) he attaches a strange device to her arm, allowing her to grow to gigantic sizes. When her mom is in hospital, it turns out she supports the whole family as well. Down, she calls Rei over to demonstrate the device, and look over the DVD of the mysterious old man, who seemingly came from the future to stop an AI. But then her boyfriend comes home, just as she stands naked before Rei after her clothes ripped from demonstrating her enlarging...
He beats Rei, but using her growth device, Chiho steps in and chases her boyfried out of the appartment. A few days later, strange things start to happen, as feces rain down from the sky, all predicted by polls on a site called ETE...
A fun book for sure, and I look forward to reading the rest of the series, and it has a clean drawing style and the well placed oppai hehehe. I do own books 3 and 4, meaning I`m going to order book 2 soonish, or look for it at Made In Asia beginning of october, but I`m a fan of Papico as well ;-)