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Light Novels: Ben-to v01 »« Light Novels: Kino no Tabi v01

Light Novels: Shopaholic Woes

One of the biggest hazards of getting into light novels is the addiction to buying more and more books. As evidence I present the above picture, which displays the contents of a box that just arrived from Amazon Japan today. You can click it for an enormous version, if you’re trying get a closer look on the titles. The reason I use Amazon is that they keep nearly everything in stock, have ridiculously quick delivery (3 days!), and the items arrive at your doorstep. Considering I live across the globe (Sweden, to be more specific), this is rather convenient. The downside is that I have to pay an added 50% in shipping charges, but there aren’t too many alternatives over here. A less problematic downside, but annoying nonetheless, is that their title browsing system is born of pure evil. I managed to buy mixed editions of Nishio Ishin’s Zaregoto series, because it maliciously kept shoving the right title in my face, but hiding that they were all different sizes! It’s similarly irritating when you try to buy 85 volumes of Hajime no Ippo manga, as a festival of clickage delight. Oh, woe is me.

I had planned to write up a review for Ben-to v01 today, but it turns out I’m quite high on painkillers after a wisdom tooth extraction (not as fun as they have you believe), so I can’t focus on writing coherent sentences and making myself look like the triple-digit IQ man I truly am.

In any case, the photo should provide you with an idea of what will be coming up over the next few, er, years of blog posts.

May 20, 2009 at 2:58 pm
  • May 20, 2009 at 3:19 pmsuguru

    Ah, I remember having my wisdom teeth taken out…not real fun, but from what I remember didn’t need painkillers after the first day, so it doesn’t last long.

  • May 20, 2009 at 3:41 pmKaris

    its not a thrill ride when having to remove all four of my wizzies. The first two were easy, but the last two was a nightmare since they didn’t fully pop up.

    I wanna read the Zaregoto series as well, but I can’t seem to find the right time or place to read any.

  • May 20, 2009 at 4:33 pmMeery

    I used to have stuff shipped to my workplace. Business deliveries priority ftw! That ended when my boss’ wife, who happened to work in accounting, opened my box ‘o goods one Spring day. =/ Looking forward to more great reviews, especially for Bungaku Shōjo.

  • May 20, 2009 at 5:20 pmSissy

    I would’ve recommended Nippon Export (http://www.nippon-export.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=24_54_771), but their list is not so big. I use it to buy the odd artbooks I never knew even existed, plus other artbooks I’ve been wanting to get. And the shipping is really cheap compared to Amazon, at least to my destination in Puerto Rico. Check it out in case you find something there you like.

  • May 20, 2009 at 6:02 pmKarurosp

    I though amazom.jp didn’t ship outside japan o.O(atleast figurines aren’t) or are only books etc allowed?

  • May 20, 2009 at 6:22 pmMark

    You bought so much by NISIOISIN and yet only the first Boogiepop? I’ve only read the four released in English but it’s seriously awesome.

    Also, how seriously were you studying Japanese for those 3 years to get to reading light novels level?

  • May 20, 2009 at 6:28 pmGHDpro

    Wisdom tooths… argh, yeah. I hardly felt a thing with the first one that was pulled (lower right side) but the other side it was exactly the opposite: the tooth didn’t came out whole, so it had to be drilled out (OUCH!) and the wound also got infected causing an abscess formed which had to be cut open again (OUCH! again).

    @Karurosp: Afaik the restrictions are pretty much the same for all Amazons: exporting books & DVDs can be done to any country, but items like games and electronics are restricted.

    And yes the minimum shipping charge and per-item charge at Amazon JP quickly adds up when ordering manga and light novels. It might even be more cost effective to visit Japan a few times a year and bring full a suitcase :)

    For importing DVDs & CDs there is also CDJapan.co.jp btw.

  • May 20, 2009 at 6:34 pmPatrik

    Karurosp, they will ship books, manga and DVDs, but not games or technology, I think.

    Mark, I actually read the first Zaregoto novel a few weeks ago and fell in love, which is why I went on a shopping spree for the rest of his works. It’s included in the photo for completion. I studied Japanese full time at the university for two years, then watched anime and read manga and was lazy for over a year or two before I attempted novels. The “about 3 years” thing is just an estimate, not my personal experience. A title like Zero no Tsukaima is much easier than Spice and Wolf, so it depends a bit on what end of light novels you start at. You’re certainly not going to be reading everything after a mere 3 years, but it’s probably enough to give it a shot.

    Edit: Looking back at my order history, I seem to have bought Brave Story and Zero no Tsukaima just about three years after I started studying the language, so it should be fine. Took months to finish Brave Story, though, while Zero no Tsukaima took two days.

  • May 20, 2009 at 8:24 pmMelchior

    If only amazon would stop screwing up on the release dates of translated manga in North America…

    I suppose it is not really their fault (it is the publisher), but for a store that got its start becoming the largest online bookstore, they’ve been absolutely terrible lately. I think 1 in ever 5 books I order ends up with me responding to a “Do you still want this?” email.

  • May 20, 2009 at 8:44 pmpaul

    i couldnt even keep myself awake after i pulled out my wisdom tooth

  • May 21, 2009 at 12:04 amKaitune

    Damn, I wish I can read Japanese light novels in the original language! Not enough of good ones has been translated. I studied Japanese for several years but there is a blank period of three years that I didn’t use it, so I kinda lose it now… (Bang head on the ground) But may be it might worth a try… Do you have any suggestion for a noob that has to recollect her Japanese skill again? (Fantasy stories would be nice)

  • May 21, 2009 at 12:25 amDelwack

    I’m glad you are doing this. I noticed about two years ago that series I tend to enjoy or rate higher than average tended to be works derived from light novels or original productions. Such stories seem to be more concrete, and seem to translate better into the medium than manga or visual novel derivate works, in my opinion. (Scrapped Princess, Crest of the Stars, Shana, and Toradora being some examples). I think it’s the deeper story usually presented by such works that entices me. More though out, but hardly extrodinarally deep or involved.

    I’m sadded by the fact that English translations aren’t yet commercially viable in English, but I’m always hoping.

  • May 21, 2009 at 12:35 amKevin

    For anyone ordering stuff from Japan on a frequent basis, this service may be of interest: http://www.tofugu.com/2009/04/21/tenso-get-your-own-japanese-shipping-address-and-ship-things-on-the-cheap/

  • May 21, 2009 at 1:39 amPANDAemic

    mind listing some of those light novels listed cause they look really really intresting :)

  • May 21, 2009 at 2:19 amhelen

    I read my manga online

  • May 21, 2009 at 3:41 amMaximilian

    The only novels I recognize is Bungaku Shoujo( in the right side, there are about 6 volumes) and Phoenix Wright( though I didn’t watch or read it, so might be wrong).

  • May 21, 2009 at 3:46 amAnonymous

    Zaregoto series is also seriously awesome, although you can’t tell it’s a Mystery novel from the cover. Here’s the list of novels, from top left to bottom right:

    Show Spoiler ▼

  • May 21, 2009 at 5:31 amLachry

    Wow, that’s a pretty hefty shipment! I can’t wait to read some reviews for these. The GOSICK cover is so much prettier than the one I’ve seen available on Amazon(US). Also, Yuki Kamakiri seems to have an interesting cover – must check into this. Show Spoiler ▼

  • May 21, 2009 at 6:11 amFelicia

    I’m from Sweden too! Just had to point that out. I’m currently trying to learn some Japanese, mostly because I’m addicted to light novels and has to bear the knowledge that without knowing the language, the chance of getting my hands on non-fanmade light novels are slim to none. Jätte coolt att hitta ett svenskt fan som gillar light novels (ljusnoveller? xP)!

  • May 21, 2009 at 6:55 amNerei

    I see Seirei no Moribito in the photo! Looking forward to that!

  • May 21, 2009 at 11:01 ammi

    that’s a huge read

  • May 21, 2009 at 11:08 amNumberOne

    Can you blog Fate/zero by any chance?

  • May 21, 2009 at 11:56 amPatrik

    NumberOne, I’m afraid not. I have a billion things to read already, and I thought the Fate/Stay Night anime was terrible, so I’ve no interest in the series.

  • May 21, 2009 at 9:10 pmBigJerk

    How is amazon for manga? Was thinking about ordering some but I dunno much about it. How much did that ippo bundle cost?

  • May 21, 2009 at 9:41 pmPatrik

    BigJerk, they have an enormous selection of manga; prices are the same as everywhere else, I suppose. It’s the added shipping that makes it expensive, and it differs between countries, so it all depends on where you live, and you’ll have to test-order to see an estimate. It’s been ages since I bought Ippo, but I think it’s around $600 for 85 volumes, with shipping included.

  • May 22, 2009 at 1:21 amZakarum

    I tend to pick up several light novels whenever I’m in Japan (along with other books and software). I definitely can’t complain about the 500-600 yen price on these things, and the collection looks real nice filling up shelves after I’m done reading them.

    If you are judging Fate/Stay Night by its pathetic anime adaptation, you’re missing out on quite a bit. You gotta play the original Type-Moon visual novel for PC. The story is told far better. In fact, if you like reading light novels, I suggest playing visual novels.

  • May 24, 2009 at 12:04 amThe Enigmatic Moondoggiebuiscuit