[2021] 多読/extensive reading challenge

What do you mean by weirdly? Like wacky lolsorandom?

I may check out 安達としまむら doe. I mean, it was popular enough to get an anime and I liked yagate kimi ni naru.

By the way, did you ever read 〆切前には百合が捗る?

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A little bit, though mainly confined to one specific character. I was also thinking of the actual prose though and how it just feels kind of sloppy in some way I can’t really figure out completely(well, most obviously there were a couple typos and characters don’t speak realistically at all). To be honest I figure that might also be intentional though because there’s some stuff in it I have a hard time thinking anyone would be able to write unintentionally almost no matter how bad of an author you are(like some similies that just are nonsensically over the top in how they’re described, for instance). I found it kind of funny, but I could imagine people being put off by it as well.

Not yet :slight_smile: I have a bad habit of starting a lot of books without finishing them so I was planning to read it next after actually finishing the remaining parts of 2-3 other books I’ve started first.

週刊プロレス No.2118 & No.2119

I fell back behind for a little bit there (sorry @fallynleaf !) so here’s a two-for-one! Honestly though, these are pretty routine issues, so I don’t have a lot to talk about.

My favorite feature in these two by a wide margin is an interview with The Great O-Karn.
I didn’t really know what to make of O-Karn when he redebuted, and I haven’t been watching enough NJPW since to have formed an opinion about his wrestling, but this interview was a lot of fun to read. He has a very pompous to the point of being cheesy speaking style, referring to himself with the pronoun 余 and giving me plenty of crunchy words to look up. According to him, after being scouted to become a pro-wrestler because of his martial arts background (with no special love for pro-wrestling), he was treated unpleasantly as a NJPW young lion, successfully dominated in the UK, and is now returning as an invading force out of revenge (more or less, if I’m remembering right), although he also insists he has no memory anymore of pre-O-Karn. His explanation for why he staggers to the ring is that the veil is limiting his tremendous power. He cites 太宰府まほろば衆 (a dance troupe?) and of course キョンシー as inspirations for the entrance, and sees it as representing his being reborn from the “shitty graveyard” of NJPW.
But mixed with all of that also is that he’s a giant nerd. He references Bleach, and the vtuber Oozora Subaru (who inspired one of his moves), and says he doesn’t care if fans come to see the アニメオタク they don’t like lose.
All around, I get the impression he’s having a lot of fun with the gimmick and that it reflects his own tastes. I can respect that a lot! And I like the mix of “pompous, mystical threat” and “what a dork” that comes through in an interesting way.
Whenever I get around to watching more NJPW, I’ll definitely be watching his match with a more sympathetic light. This helped make the corniness of his act feel a lot more endearing, and dispelled worries I had that maybe the whole thing was like, some kind of imposed “sinister Chinese person” gimmick because of something in his background or something. Doesn’t seem like it’s that at all!
So this is one case where reading a wrestler talked helped me get what they’re about.

Also, Naito’s column talks about O-Karn and Naito seems very much perplexed. I watch some vtubers casually (they got big right when I most needed listening practice and losing my commute axed my former mainly podcast-based video game coverage consumption), and it’s very weird to see Tetsuya Naito talk about Subaru. Apparently the only manga/anime Naito has time for is ドラゴンクエスト ダイの大冒険.

Will Ospreay also had a big interview in the issue prior, but it wasn’t as interesting to me. He talked about wanting to wrestle CM Punk and Drew McIntyre to really earn the 世界 part of the title.
He also repeated the claim that his new faction, The United Empire doesn’t have a set leader. I thought this was pretty dumb, since it seems like… when you think of empires… having a set leader seems like pretty much the main thing. BUT I think the O-Karn interview helped me with this too - O-Karn doesn’t talk at all like a flunky. So even though optics-wise, it’s just Ospreay with a bunch of cronies, now I see it like – when a bunch of kids play make-believe, they’re all the protagonist in their head, and they just let each other believe that. I think it’s like that. They’re all a bunch of dorks cosplaying emperor in their head and not breaking the illusion for each other.

Other than that whole thing, the main happening is that two columns are ending with these issues:
Mayu Iwatani’s “The Buchake Talk With Mayu Iwatani” and Maki Itoh’s “立てた中指を下すな!”
It sounds like both just were never intended to be permanent, and now’s when they happen to be moving on, but I’m still pretty sad about that! Along with Tana, those were definitely the regular columns I was most interested in, and it’d be bummer if there’s no column by a female wrestler going forward. Hopefully new issues bring cool new stuff to make up for it.
Mayu talks about the rough state of Stars right now with Saya Iida injured and ご機嫌デス forcibly conscripted into Oedotai - right now it’s pretty much just her and Starlight and Hanan, the latter of whom can’t wrestle full time because she’s literally a high school student.
Itoh has an interview with her about her (then) upcoming title shot.

One new column that’s already started is 「武藤敬司の骨の髄まで」
This will hopefully help fill in the gaps for me between the young Great Muta fighting Sting in 80s WCW that I have seen and the lauded Keiji Mutoh I know enough to respect and revere even if I don’t know if I’ve actually caught any of his matches in Japan yet. I should probably fix that anyway!
This first column talks about his catchphrase プロレスLOVE. It sounds like it originated during the height of Inokism when MMA was encroaching heavily into wrestling, as a way to assert Mutoh’s support for pure pro wrestling. Also apparently he was in a stable at the time called “Bad Ass Translate Trading” (BATT), which is… certainly a name, meant supposedly to convey “垣根を超えた悪ガキども”

The history column has an account of the author’s first show at Kourakuen Hall, the show as part of the second Champion Carnival in 1974 where the highlight was Abdullah the Butcher vs. The Destroyer leading, naturally, to a blood no-contest.

On “thing I don’t know enough about to get a lot out of but would probably be really interesting if I did” watch is a continuing feature interviewing 坂口征夫, and a feature about Gaea and Meiko Satomura.

And the last minor note, I just thought this quote was a fun example of kanji in separate words piling together. This would have intimidated me a lot not too long ago.
When 拳王 references something from history, you just might say:


Thanks as always for this! I look forward to reading these every time! The Great O-Khan interview sounds interesting. Lots of people in the fandom were thrown off by his pronoun use, which the translators chose to translate as basically the royal “we.” It caused a bunch of fans to think that the character was supposed to be possessed at first! One of my friends looked up the pronoun and discovered that it was a regal sounding very old-fashioned pronoun, so in some sense, I understood the translation choice, but I think without that explanation, it’s very misleading to viewers!

Regarding The United Empire as a whole, well, my thoughts toward the faction aren’t very positive, but most of it stems from Will Ospreay, and not the other members of the faction. Sadly it’s enough to really kill any excitement I might have otherwise had toward the other members, though.

Hidden for negativity/general wrestling industry bleakness

I don’t know how closely you’ve followed the online discussions around NJPW for the past year, but NJPW hasn’t exactly handled the Speaking Out movement very well, and Ospreay’s current huge push on top of all of that is a really bitter pill to swallow. His title challenge also kicked off with a domestic violence angle, which was precisely the last thing his character needed. And to top it off, The United Empire recently released a Proud Boys-looking merch shirt. It’s not great!

There’s been a pretty large exodus of women fans from NJPW, at least in the western world, largely because of Ospreay’s increasing prominence in the company, but also because of other things, like NJPW’s attempt to rehire Marty Scurll, who was also named during Speaking Out. I’m still watching, but mostly just for Ibushi and a few other characters (and, if I’m being honest, for the Japanese practice). I’ve seen only a little bit of discussion of Speaking Out and related issues among Japanese fans. Unfortunately a lot of these subjects are very complicated and hard to explain when there’s a language barrier, and the company itself isn’t interested in taking any action.

Plenty of fans have decided that none of this is a problem, and Ospreay still has his fair share of supporters among westerners (Dave Meltzer just gave his last match with Shingo 6 stars…), but I’m incapable of enjoying any of Ospreay’s work, at this point, and I do WaniKani reviews during his matches instead of watching them, haha.

So, if you do decide to give NJPW another try, well, honestly, I can’t really recommend the product at the moment. They’ve had a few fun storylines recently, and a few good matches, but the booking has been kind of a mess since the pandemic (some of it I’ll give them a pass for; every company has had to adjust their plans, but putting the title on Ospreay after Speaking Out was a choice that they made that they did not have to make), and it’s hard to get invested in anything right now. You’re probably better off watching other promotions for now.


I definitely agree! While I haven’t followed the situation and exactly what went down very closely, Ospreay coming out blemished from the Speaking Out stuff and then being such a big part of the show going forward is for sure one of the (it turns out many) reasons I haven’t been enthusiastic about New Japan and have barely watched since like the baseball stadium show last year. I only left it unmentioned because I’m no expert (on either accusation details or NJPW management), can’t do anything to change it, and it’s just sort of a bummer.

Pretty frustrating considering for a long time my one complaint with New Japan was that the faction landscape was too static, that when they debut a new faction it’s in such a way that I can’t really enjoy any part of it! Oh well…

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週刊プロレス No.2120

Surprise! I already read the issue that I picked up today. It turns out I’m a lot more excited to read an issue with a Giulia column in it than one that leads with a Will Ospreay interview, who could have guessed…
Also they told me next week there won’t be a delivery next week (maybe this is one of the 2 weeks that make it a 50-issue subscription) so I’ve really destroyed the weekly cadence this week, sorry @fallynleaf . It’ll be 2-3 weeks before I talk about this magazine again.

With Maki Itoh and Mayu Iwatani’s columns ending in the last batch of issues, I was privately hoping that they’d make up for the sudden lack of women columnists and get Giulia to do one, since she’s done a bunch of interviews for the magazine and is obviously an industry talking point in her own right. And that’s exactly what happened! A regular Giulia-penned column starts in this issue: ジュリアのお騒がせシンドローム! She’s my favorite wrestler going right now, so I’m thrilled. (although it goes without saying that I would have been even more thrilled if the other two columns were still going too)
Her style of talking in the column is very much the same as her style of talking in promos (I still love how much the different columns reflect the wrestlers like that), direct and confident but with an air of being a bit guarded. There’s a LOT of "(笑)"s sprinkled in here, as though she’s constantly laughing a little to soften what she’s saying as she talks about herself in the column.
The topic is about her upbringing and how she got into wrestling. It sounds like a pretty interesting life! Her mom’s Japanese and her dad’s Italian, and they met while studying in England so she was born in London. Her family opened an Italian restaurant in Japan, but her parents divorced and she cut off contact with her dad as he moved away. She dropped out of high school to work in the restaurant, then realized she didn’t want to do that the rest of her life, so she juggled the restaurant, バイトs at a ガールズバー and a キャバクラ, to fund tuition for a top beauty and make-up school, after briefly traveling to Miami to try to figure out what to do… before eventually someone showed her pro-wrestling and she realized that could be an option. Apparently her real name is グロリア, but her mom preferred the name ジュリア and even would have used the ringname herself if she’d gone into pro-wrestling (apparently her mom was a big pro-wrestling fan as a kid but was stopped by her own parents from following that. Honestly though I’m not super clear on this detail because later she’s introduced to wrestling by someone else entirely. But maybe her mom’s interest in it fizzled out by then!)
Around the conclusion she talks about sometimes hoping to kind of calm down and settle into a situation instead of chasing the next thing she wants to do, but she’s not confident this leopard will change her spots. Roughly. She worded it better, so here:


(see I wasn’t kidding about the 笑’s)

In much much worse news - I learned from this issue that 拳王 was diagnosed with Coronavirus.
His column is just a handwritten note, explaining the situation and very humbly apologizing for not being careful enough and the people he may have exposed it to. It’s very sad to read, coming from him (whose character is the opposite of humble and apologetic). He points out the irony that he loudly criticized others in NOAH for not being careful enough (particularly Kiyomiya, who if I remember right, I guess went to a party as part of a show or something), but now he’s the first one to test positive. Obviously wish him a quick recovery.

Tana’s column has a weird part where he compares Jay White to a hare and himself to a tortoise, and he and the interviewer talk about how he needs to become a hare too. I feel like that’s… not the point of the story??

There’s a KUSHIDA interview, which is nice to see! I love KUSHIDA! I miss him…
I feel kind of uncomfortable when the magazine interviews Japanese wrestlers in or heading to WWE though because they talk about their dreams and… it is very hard for me to imagine a company where all creative decisions run through Vince McMahon fulfilling them. Here KUSHIDA talks about wanting to have title matches with Daniel Bryan and Rey Mysterio, and wanting to tag with John Cena. I remember Sareee wanting to someday headline Wrestlemania. I absolutely wish them all the best and wish dearly to be wrong in this cynicism, but if there’s any company that has so thoroughly poisoned my well of trust that I actively avoid ever extending it the benefit of the doubt again, it’s WWE. So while I am dearly tempted to watch cool KUSHIDA title matches and hope he has a great run… … … I hope he has a great run! and I’ll leave it at that.

There’s a whole article about NJPW’s collabo credit card, which I’ve seen advertised before (and almost mentioned).
Honestly my main takeaway is the Lion Mark has been the company logo for 49 straight years and if they ever change it I will be very sad. The fancy credit card exclusive logo inspired by it is cool… but that lion mark is just timeless.
P.S. - hey wait a minute, the 50th anniversary of NJPW is next year??

The big feature this week though is the 女子プロレス version of that promotion lineup from a few issues ago! I’m glad to see this as I thought maybe they might only do this for the men’s after all.
The promotions covered are:

  • スターダム
    最大のセールスポイントは。。。 日替わりのヒロイン
    This is about the depth of Stardom’s roster, and it’s really true! Looking at the faction line-up, there’s genuinely not a single wrestler on there who I wouldn’t want to watch in a wrestling match. That’s more than I could say for most, if not all promotions. Disqualifications involving Oedotai are pretty stale, but otherwise Stardom is in really promising shape.
    By the way, did you know 羽南, 吏南, and 妃南 are sisters? It’s a little more obvious with the kanji. Putting them all on different factions was a really smart way to start giving them individuality. I have very mixed feelings about how early some 女子 wrestlers start their careers (these three have nothing on AZM) but here’s to the future where it all works out great and all three are each successful in their own right.

  • アイスリボン
    喜怒哀楽 is one of my favorite 四字熟語, and Ice Ribbon is the promotion I’d most like to get into right now. I made a decent shot when I first started reading these magazines, subscribing to Nico Nico Pro and the Ice Ribbon Nico Nico channel, and while that made me a big fan of Risa Sera and Rina Yamashita and made me want to see more… I was frustrated with the unpredictable (or just delayed) availability of shows, and not being able to find a way to buy nico nico points in addition to the subscription, which seemed to often be required for some of the shows I did want to watch. So I stopped as I was trying to save more at the time. Someday I oughtta give it another try.
    My impression of Ice Ribbon is a bit of a “big indie” kind of vibe - as far as I know it’s not owned by a huge company with an additional huge stake in men’s wrestling like Stardom or TJPW, and it sounds like they’re pushing the death match angle more and more too. Plus people like ラム会長 show up from other indies.
    A running angle right now seems to be that 18-year-old 鈴木すず wants to be taken seriously as a death match wrestler and so she’s going through a 7-match series with top male death match wrestlers and so far is losing them (but putting up a fight).

  • 東京女子
    It lists the characters as 魔法少女や大怪獣、ヒーローやクビドル、パリジェンヌや猫など多彩なキャラクター, and I agree with the point! TJPW is indeed very fun for that reason.
    This does not answer my biggest question about the promotion, however, which is “why does that one wrestler come out to Old McDonald Had a Farm as her entrance music?”
    The paragraph also notes that the lack of injuries recently is a point in this promotion’s favor, and that’s true but makes me sad about wrestling.

From here the size gets pretty significantly smaller.

  • センダイガールズ
    I thiiiiink this is saying that apparently when matches were suspended for Corona, this promotion continued training, via farmwork instead of matches? I think?? Also, this is the promotion where the revered Meiko Satomura is from, but she’s in NXT UK now, so they have to band together and figure out how to make do in her absence.

  • マーベラス
    A lot of these smaller 女子 promotions seem like they put an emphasis on teaching, and it seems like maybe Marvelous pushes that the most, based on this sales point anyway.
    This has 彩羽匠 listed as 社長 - that’s cool! She seems rad as hell to me.

  • wave
    I put the names of all of these the way they wrote them in the magazine, so all lowercase it is for this one I guess. The name in the logo is “Pro Wrestling wave Crusing [sic] Resurrection”
    My best guess as to what サクパラダイス means, is that the title holder is named Sakura, and her ambition is to make Earth into a paradise. The column makes this promotion sound zany and fun.

  • OZアカデミー
    This appears to be referring to 尾崎魔弓 - that she’s a main draw even though she’s dropped the title.
    Fun fact: the wrestler who plays 不機嫌デス/ご機嫌デス/デスやまさん in Stardom, 米山香織, apparently currently has a tag championship in this promotion! (as herself)
    an aside - I don’t envy anyone having to try to decide how to translate that increasingly elaborate です/Death pun.

    This is still my very favorite Japanese name of something that’s technically in English but also really isn’t.
    My understanding is that this is the promotion formed by people who left in the fallout of the “gruesome match” (Yoshiko/Act) in Stardom. I see what the salespoint is talking about! The faction map makes each group look highly formidable!

Picture Gallery:

I haven’t mentioned it before, but please do know the copywriters have had ample fun with the feud where KENTA is obsessed with YOSHI-HASHI’s Bo-staff. 棒 wordplay abounds.

I don’t really understand anything about personal finance, but I feel like a free towel and points towards wrestling merchandise are not good reasons to sign up for a credit card.

It feels sort of crass to say since the topic is so somber, but I’m pretty proud I could read 拳王’s handwritten note pretty well. I would like to thank 芥見下々 for providing great practice via far worse handwriting.
(it’s probably a lot harder to read in this format since I just took a picture of the magazine page though)

Content warning: death match stuff, SCISSORS

Who comes up with death match ideas??
“oh yeah let’s make a ‘Fork Ball’ - so you can bodyslam me onto a ball covered in forks.”
“You know what would be great? Let’s have the finish be scissors vs. forehead”

Content Warning: Maki Itoh language

This week’s reader picture gallery is CHOICE.
That 7 year old’s drawing of EVIL!
That amazing Maki Itoh!
That incredibly corny Dwayne Johnson-themed ダジャレ!!

Content Warning: head trauma?

They’ve had a weekly stand-out photograph each issue and this is probably my favorite one so far.


Hi there, I’m a friend of fallynleaf’s who’s been having a fantastic time also reading along with these “ShuPro digests”. I hope this isn’t presumptious, but I saw you had a couple small joshi questions that I happen to be able to answer because I’m obsessed:

  • Yuki Kamifuku’s entrance music was Old McDonald because she lived in America (specifically Ohio iirc) for a few years as a teenager and being “the one who can speak English” tends to be a big part of her whole deal. So I guess they decided that conveyed party-farm girl better than any alternatives. (Although tragically she has recently gotten a new theme.)
  • Yes, Sendai Girls does do lots of farmwork! I suspect the, uh, training merits of such are a bit of joking, but they have a tradition of volunteering to help out with farmwork in the Sendai region every year, something they did more of while they weren’t able to run shows.
    Anyway just wanted to say thanks again for making these posts! They’re really interesting and a fun read every time.

Not presumptuous at all, I was specifically wondering about those, so thank you very much! Both are great answers! And I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying the posts!

Old McDonald as a marker of Cool American English knowledge is very very funny to me, but it’s memorable and endearing so I guess it does make a great entrance theme!


It’s cool to read more about Giulia’s background, thank you! It’s fun to realize that I share a typing quirk with Giulia despite the language barrier, lol.

And yeah, Kenoh caught covid recently. He had a real rough time with it, and got really sick. Thankfully, he has recovered now, though, and is booked for the CyberFest supershow on June 6 (which, I guess considering the coronavirus situation in Japan right now, might not manage to happen, but we’ll see). Kenoh is once again going to be facing Sanshiro Takagi! They’re doing a Kongoh vs DDT match, which is always a fun matchup, because Kenoh gets serious and angry and completely no-sells Takagi’s wild DDT comedy.

It’s fun to see what they single out about all of the joshi promotions! And thank you for the pictures! I’m glad the copywriters had fun with Kenta’s whirlwind romance with “Bo-chan,” because that was lowkey the best NJPW storyline recently imo.

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I sunk a few more hours into 真・女神転生 until the equipment I used to play decided to sacrifice itself for the cause. So I’m back to reading books instead.
So I went with bofuri 8. It was kinda fun again (or maybe it’s simply because I had a break). In particular, I liked the last part, which covered the qualifications of the 8th event. On the other hand, though, PvP scenes now sound just like a long string of skill activations… All the main characters now have just so many of those and tend to combo 3 or 4 of them all the time.
I guess the second season won’t go this far? Or else they’ll have to skip some other parts, which would be fine too, I guess.

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Most volumes of 魔法少女育成計画 appear to be 30% off on Amazon and Bookwalker for those interested. I’ve had books 2 and 3 on my list for a while now, so I just bought those.

I think they are on sale because a new volume was just released. The books are pretty short, mostly 250-300 pages each. Though strangely enough the last two (including the new one) are both over 500 pages each!


I was doing well focusing (kind of) and whittling down the number of novels I’m reading, but I got restless and on a complete whim started 機動強襲型令嬢アリシア物語 1 (someone recommended this to me but I don’t remember who or why…), and it’s ridiculous but I was enjoying it pretty well. (Favorite part: thinking it was a normal book and then getting to a line that said something like, when I met her she was three years older than I was, but she stopped aging at 17 and now we’re the same age, and my brain went :face_with_monocle: :exploding_head: :joy:.) Then today I was reading it and had the sudden thought, “I’ve been reading this my whole life and I’m only at 30%” (notably, I’ve been reading it for 8 days), so I chucked it (temporarily?) and grabbed for something else and ended up starting … 蜘蛛ですが、なにか 5. … I really wanted to start the next 伯爵と妖精 but I only had 15 minutes to read before work, and I knew it would be too painful to start a new 伯爵と妖精 and then stop before barely getting into it. It hasn’t been that long since I read 蜘蛛ですが、なにか, but it turns out I had forgotten half of what was going on (the non-spider half). When I got to the first non-spider section the rest of my spider book feelings came back to me, but too late! I want to know spider things!!

It also reminded me to say to @Naphthalene that if you like the stats going up thing (which I think you said at some point you did), the first three spider books, at least, really might be something you’d enjoy. That’s not all they’ve got going for them, but I did find the stats going up thing weirdly satisfying and fun.


*cries in 積読*


After seeing how fast I forgot so many kanji I’m getting back into reading. Now reading 氷菓. It’s fairly easy (except some jokes by Satoshi) but I am looking up dozens of words per page. Well, in most cases I can kind of guess what those words mean but I still like to understand close to 100%. And it doesn’t take a lot of time since luckily the book has a lot of furigana.

Then I also realized that one aspect of why I don’t like reading is that in most cases that’s reading on a screen of my pc or a phone. Reading a physical book feels quite a bit different and I can focus on the reading much better.

For that reason I wanted to got physical copies 蜘蛛ですが、なにか?(really enjoying the anime so far). Unfrotunately, couldn’t find them on Amazon or CD Japan: sold out or no international shipping :frowning:

Found some used copies on Mandarake… but the site looks so sketchy. I saw @Sharpevil 's thread about buying on Madarake (Imported Books Through Mandarake.co.jp: My Experience (Still cheap and fast during COVID!) - #61 by Brave-foot) and I guess I’m willing to try it because there are no other options :grimacing:


Mandrake isn’t sketchy, it’s just punk. :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s a very well established used bookstore chain in Japan. I’ve been to a few of the physical locations.


Yeah, I’ve been in the Akihaba store myself. And I am aware that Japan is just decades behind on the web-design front…

I’ll try ordering :slight_smile: Thanks for your post by the way, without it I probably wouldn’t consider Mandarake.

Btw, only now I think I get the name MANDARAKE = まんだらけ=漫だらけ=漫画だらけ which would make sense for a used manga (and other otaku goods) store


Yeah, I keep reading it as “Mandrake” too…

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In my defense, I was typing on a phone, and it autocorrected me.


I used Mandarake (Sapporo shop specifically) recently to buy the complete set of 月刊少女野崎くん。 They are sending with DHL as Amazon Japan, so it was pretty quick, and the books were in good condition.

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Thanks for your feedback. I ordered from the Akihabara Complex. It’s unfortunate that I won’t know if the books are in stock until they check the shelves. I was also a bit confused if they are still going to send the order if some items are missing.

But hopefully I’ll get a confirmation on Monday.