Review: (Nerd) Website and Shipment Services

It is time for a new review!
As I ordered a lot of things in the last few weeks and months I will give you a nice overview of some things I ordered and if/when I received those 🙂
Please note that I am located in the Netherlands, EU – therefore some options are not interesting for everyone.

 

I’ll start with Skylanders:
As I completed my Skylander collection I ordered with several websites and shops – of course I will not mention those I went to personally as there was no shipment involved *lol*

  • Amazon.de: Skylanders SuperChargers Land Racing Pack
    Price: German price (as it is the German Amazon) + Dutch VAT (!)
    Pre-order as it was released a week before Easter in Europe – sent on 17th of March, first delivery attempt 22nd of March by PostNL, picked up on 23rd of March at a store that has a contract with PostNL.
  • Amazon.co.uk: Skylanders Elemental Pack 1 (Dark)
    Price: UK price (incl. VAT) + Shipment
    Ordered on 18th of January, delivered on 23rd of January by PostNL.
  • Amazon.com: several deliveries of several skylanders
    Price: US price (incl. VAT) + Shipment incl. import tax
    Delivery of those took 1-2 weeks due to being located in the US and time of shipments. Shipment never exceeded 2 weeks. One was really fast with arriving just 5 days after the order was placed. Delivered by PostNL.
  • eBay: Price depending on seller location. Possible Import Fee depending on seller location and how they filled out the papers.
    Delivery moment depending on seller location.
    There was one that went wrong – terribly so. If you didn’t read, please check out these posts for details: ebay GSPeBay GSP2, eBay GSP3 (I re-ordered the item through Amazon.com)
  • Skylanderskopen.nl: several skylanders in 3 shipments
    Price: EUR (incl. Dutch VAT) + Shipment
    Delivery had issues… not the one which was sent as a letter as this was sent with Post service but the following 2 delivered by GLS.
    The first delivery: the delivery guy couldn’t find my home address – after 2 failed attempts a guy who knows the area finally brought it to my address.
    Second delivery: I tried to let it send to my company address, informed our office lady about a package arriving… again couldn’t find it as they didn’t put in the complete address (just name + street + city + zip code — missing out on the company name so reception refused to take the package). I solved this while calling the driver and informing reception of the package.

 

If I don’t order Skylanders (don’t need to as I do have all for now)
I do order Anime/Game Figurines – with different websites of course 🙂 Those are my usual deliveries anyways and therefore the ones I got most experience with.

  • eBay / Amazon: Price: depending on seller
    Delivery: DHL, GLS or PostNL
    You might want to make REALLY sure you don’t buy counterfeits there! It happens. There is no way to know before you got the item and even if you know how to check that it might be hard to tell (and the original box is no indication that the figure itself is not counterfeit) – handle those options with care and only if you either don’t mind or if you trust the seller.
    eBay items might also get lost.
  • Figuya.de: Price: EUR (incl. import fee) + German VAT + Shipment
    Delivery: DHL or PostNL
    Always on time – tracking without any clueless “where-the-hell-is-it”-moments.
    They also have a convention delivery system (Meaning: you can pick your order up at a convention they are present) – I didn’t use that yet.
  • Archonia.com: Price: EUR (incl. import fee) + Dutch VAT + Shipment
    In general they are quite pricey but there are things that are considerably decently priced.
    Delivery: PostNL
    They have a convention delivery system – I used that, went well. You need the receipt of the order and pay (if you didn’t do so before) to get the item.
    I did have issues with one of the orders I placed last year.
    The figure was on “Available” and meant to be sent out within 48 hours which didn’t happen without any notice. So I contacted customer service and got a really rude reply that the item was delayed due to distributor problems – after they sent the reply to me they changed the website information. There was no apology what-so-ever but item was then delivered after it was available at their depot. But that actually made me refuse to use them for several months.
    I did use their website a few days ago, item was delivered next day.
  • J-List: Price: US Dollar (incl. VAT) + Shipment + possible Import Fee
    Delivery: PostNL
    They have a various selection of games, figures and other items.
    I ordered several times with them – even when I was still living in Germany. They are my first address to check if I am looking for Anko (they rarely have that in stock but it’s a reliable source to get it from) or Pockys.
    Items may be pricey compared to other sources – I do not know the reason for this as other items are cheap. Might be based on interest in series.
  • Plamoya: Price: can be chosen by user (I used EUR) + VAT + high chance item goes through customs when choosing EMS (it’s faster and cheaper than SAL)!
    Delivery: PostNL
    I used them once so far as they beat the price on any website for a figure (with me excluding possibility it might be counterfeit) – delivery is freaking fast (took less than a week although I did not choose any express option) but item was going through customs and research before I used them already told me that 99% of shipments end up in customs. I will update this after I received my 2nd delivery using EMS but chances are high that it’ll end up with paying customs 🙂
  • Nippon-Yasan: Price: can be chosen by user (I usually choose Japanese Yen or EUR) + VAT + Shipment (can be chosen by user) + possible import fee
    Delivery: PostNL
    They have a various selection of games, figures and other items. Although several shipment options.
    I have a recent issue with their shipment option “Transi-Logistic” (shipment once per week in a cargo heading to France and being distributed through there). Item was ordered and not send for 2 weeks by now – customer service informed me that it will be sent out today which it apparently did as I received the confirmation for transit just now.
    Any other shipment options (SAL, SAL ECO) I used did never had issues – until present.

 

So in general: I do have mostly positive experiences with the above mentioned websites and platforms but there are things that might go wrong. But this is also the case for other things in life 🙂
I won’t stop ordering with some websites just because I had a bad experience – yes, sure I might not use it for a while but I do give 2nd chances 😀
Delivery-whise I do not like GLS nor eBay GSP so I try to avoid that although with eBay orders you can not really see that they use GSP before you place the order.

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Anime Season: Autumn 2013

Another season with lots of series I watch… (and some series I did not even touch or dropped after latest 3 episodes)

I try to be patient and still wait for Fairy Tail to start again (meanwhile I read the manga but it’s not the same T_T), I wait for Sailor Moon (but well~ I hope I will not get disappointed)…
I waited also quite a while for second seasons of: Magi, Little Busters! and Valvrave 🙂 Finally~

And as for the rest…. my current list of what I watch:

Ace of Diamond
Arpeggio of Blue Steel – Ars Nova
Coppelion
Diabolik Lovers
Folktales from Japan
Gifuu Doudou!! Kanetsugu to Keiji
Gingitsune
Hunter X Hunter
Infinite Stratos S2
Kingdom S2
Kyoukai no Kanata
Kyousougiga (watched only 1st episode so far… gonna check if I want to follow further)
Little Busters! Refrain
Log Horizon
Magi S2
Miss Monochrome
Monogatari Series 2nd Season
Nagi no Asukara
Naruto Shippuuden
Non Non Biyori
One Piece
Outbreak Company
Samurai Flamenco
Strike the Blood
Tokyo Ravens
Unbreakable Machine-Doll
Valvrave S2
Walkure Romanze

This Week Was Weird

Let’s  start with this Monday… I was off (as usual) and received a package by a drunken delivery man. Really reassuring to know that he drives while being drunk.
I tried to work on my cosplay… I started 5 attempts to sew stuff for Legretta and failed all – after this my room looked like a battlefield:

This Week Was Weird

Tuesday I did not even try to start working on it and instead went to my appointment with the optrician when I had this nasty small experience and went to shopping… because I was frustrated 😀 I spent roughly 75 EUR on underwear, trousers and hair decoration (for my cosplay) *wooh* I got home, fed Kiba and spent the rest of the day working on my cosplay – progress on main upper part (picture does not include trousers and scarf):

This Week Was Weird

Wednesday I started working (Wednesday = Monday for me) at 10 AM -_- I hate it. I love the time around 5 PM because it is chilling but in general I prefer the earliest early shift at 8 AM. Seriously. I am a morning person, I want to go to work early, I want to leave early… I do not know how I will survive my late shifts in September x_X’ Maybe I will switch them… nevermind.
I found out we will get a present for another milestone at work and cake on Thursday *___* and I watched a shitload of animes until 11 PM.

Thursday I started working at 10 AM again -_-‘ A colleague brought some frozen mice for Kiba to work – that was actually really funny 😀 I had also a small appointment with work’s physiotherapist who checked me out at my working place and I asked him if he would have some time somewhen to take care of my neck/shoulder/back issues (it feels really stiff – nothing serious, I would just need a real massage or something). He is a real nice guy 🙂
I got home and saw that Kiba shed his skin. Yay. So I forgot to take it out (actually it is still in the terrarium while I write this *lalala*)… watched newest anime episodes of the day and went to bed after that.

Today my working day started at 10 AM again -_-”’ Now even random colleagues who do not see me often told me I look damn tired, well thank you, but I am still a morning person, I wake up around 6 AM and do not sleep well until 8 AM soooooo yes I look tired :p I had a leftover cake from yesterday for lunch, saved my day.
I read an article that hot chocolate helps to remember and prevent Alzheimer at the age of 73 years when drinking 2 cups of hot chocolate – I do not know if that applies for my age as well, but hey I knew it would be worth something to deny coffee.
I went shopping after work and got myself some chocolate and ice cream… just because I felt like it. Not even cheap stuff, no no Twix and Snickers ice cream and Milka Melos *nomnomnom* I also ordered 4 Insanitees *__* Qwertee is a really nice (and cheap) shop for awesome shirts which also have a better quality than any other clothes shop I know. At least I really love the motive print quality that does not bleed out or gets rubbish after a few times of washing/wearing and the shirt’s quality itself rulez.

So now I will watch Air Crash Investigations and after that I decide for animes or games… until I get to bed and need to wake up to go to work at 8 AM tomorrow – at least an useful time (so Sunday it will be 10 AM again, which in this case I do not mind because no train runs before 7 AM from my train station). Hooray. Only 4 effective days left until I should have my cosplay finished *dies*

Review: Brave Story

First released as a novel and manga, there’s also a movie by the name of “Brave Story”.

Mitani Wataru and his friend are playing in a building that should be destroyed soon, as there’s the rumor of a ghost in the building. While his friend runs away in fear, Wataru sees a boy in the building and follows him to discover a floating door. When his friend returns the door is gone. The next day Wataru meets the boy in school and finds out that his name is Ashikawa Mitsuru. After school he finds his dad in front of his home and hears that this parents are going to divorce. Wataru runs away upset and enters the building to find out that Mitsuru gets bullied by older pupils of his school. Mitsuru uses magic to frighten the boys and both Mitsuru and Wataru get away. Mitsuru tells Wataru about the door to another world and that he will go there to change his destiny. Wataru finds that unbelievable and returns home, where he finds his mother collapsed on the floor. Worried about his mother, Wataru decides to enter the door to another world to get his chance to change his fate by making a wish to the Goddess of Fortune.

He hears a strange voice of a girl telling him that he will get tested and finds himself in a cave, where he gets asked if he wants Happiness, Strength, Wisdom or Courage. He chooses all, the test begins and starts as a Hero Apprentice. Wataru obtains a red gem and gets send out for a journey to find the other four gems. He meets Kee Keema, a lizard of the water tribe, that brings him to the next city. Wataru sees Mitsuru and follows him, but looses his track. Instead he ends up in a circus and gets arrested for the theft of a baby dragon by the Highlanders, an organization of Justice. While his name gets cleared he agrees on finding the real culprit and obtains his second gem. He joins the Highlanders. The circus girl Meena and the baby dragon join Wataru and Kee Keema on their journey.

Wataru soon gets to know that Mitsuru destroys everything in his path to obtain the gems, but still believes that Mitsuru has a reason for doing all these bad things.
While the empires wage war against each other Wataru hears that Mitsuru will soon obtain the dark gem which seals demons into the underworld and rides on the back of the baby dragon’s father to stop him from doing something really terrible. He finds Mitsuru and tries to convince him, but Mitsuru’s mind is set on getting his parents and little sister back, so he takes the dark gem and releases the demons.
Wataru follows Mitsuru into the Tower and meets his own dark side that battles with him for the reason why he started the journey. Wataru accepts his dark self, but fails to stop Mitsuru from killing his dark self. Mitsuru dies in the arms of Wataru.
The girl with the voice he heard all along appears in front of him and tells him to wish for the death of the Goddess to obtain the title of God for himself. Wataru denies that decision and kills the bad spirit of the girl. The Goddess appears in front of him and asks him for his wish. Wataru wishes for the disappearance of the demons while being aware of that this won’t change anything in his world.

He returns to his own world, where things go better with his mom, but also finds out that a guy named Ashikawa Mitsuru isn’t known by his friend. When they enter the school he sees a familiar little girl and recognizes Mitsuru’s voice.

Conclusion: I wanted to smack Mitsuru -_- really badly. Until he died, than I was like “Q_Q NUUUUH”… the story was really nice and balanced up to the end, I also would’ve never thought the girl might end up as an ugly toad *lol* and I loved the baby dragon >_<‘ (even if I don’t like pink dragons) kewtness!

Review: Brave StoryDirected by: Koichi Chigira
Produced by: Daisuke Sekiguchi, Hiroyoshi Koiwai, Koji Kajita
Studio: Gonzo
Release Date: 8th of July, 2006

Review: Unico (The Fantastic Adventures Of Unico)

I was watching the movie Unico yesterday evening. The english title is: The Fantastic Adventures Of Unico.

The movie is about the small unicorn Unico with white fur and a red mane that possesses a special power: Everywhere Unico goes, the people will remain happy. This power is a threat to the gods and they decide to steal Unico away from his mother and bring him to the Hill of Oblivion so no one ever sees Unico again and could gain happyness without the necessary effort.
The gods order the West Wind to deliver Unico, but as the wind is a kind spirit she can’t do as she got told and leaves Unico on a misty dark island. When Unico awakes he discovers he’s far away from home and feels lonely. He starts to search for other life on the island and meets the devil of solitude statue, who freaks out when seeing the unicorn baby and throws lightning in the attempt to get rid of Unico. One of the lightnings breaks a solid stone column that smashes the statue and Unico discovers the devil’s son Beezel (which gets called Akuma-kun through the whole movie). Unico tries to befriend Akuma-kun, but he only wants to be friends when Unico gives him  his horn. Unico denies at first, afraid of losing his powers, but hands the horn to Akuma-kun for one day in exchange for the little devil to be his friend in that time. Akuma-kun shows how devils play and Unico gets afraid of the rough play and falls into the sea. Unico begs for his life, but Akuma-kun detests water and decides to take a nap, but he gets bored and decide to end the day of the exchange and dives into the water to rescue Unico. Akuma-kun returns the horn to Unico and Unico transforms into a beautiful big unicorn (so I’d say it’s a Pegacorn as it has wings and a horn) and saves Akuma-kun from drowning and also gives him his own horn.
The two of them play around and the gods find out about what happened on the island and send the Night Wind to bring Unico to the Hill of Oblivion.

Unico finds himself in a beautiful forest and hears a voice singing a nice song. He wants to find out who the singer is and lands in the basket of Chao (Katy) by accident. Chao is an abandoned kitten and wants to become a witch, but her biggest wish is to become a human girl. They float across the river in the basket and find an old house in the forest, where an old woman lives and takes care of them. Chao wishes hard to become a girl and Unico grants that wish with his powers. At first Chao helps the old lady, but then decides to idle around. Unico uses his powers again to turn her back into a kitten. Chao regrets that she wasn’t of any help for the old lady and tries to help her in her kitten form, when Unico returns her back into human form so she can be there for the old lady again. While Chao sings her song, the Danshaku (Baron De Ghost) discovers her and asks her to come to his castle the next night to sing for him. She isn’t allowed to tell anyone else and despite Unico’s warning about the forest feeling weird, she heads out to the Danshaku’s place. Unico runs to save her, but fails.

Akuma-kun, all alone on his island wants to see Unico again and asks the West Wind to take him to Unico’s place. The Night Wind follows the West Wind and tries to stop her from rushing to Unico’s side, but the West Wind escapes into the dawn where the Night Wind can’t follow.

Akuma-kun and the West Wind find Unico, who runs off to help Chao. Akuma-kun follows Unico and they discover the Danshaku’s evil side. Unico once again transforms into the winged unicorn and defeats the lord. Chao runs off to the old woman and tells her about what happened, when she gets told that Unico isn’t allowed to remain at one place for too long. Akuma-kun swears to find Unico once again as they became friends.

Conclusion: Such a sweet movie. So it’s for small children the drawings reminded me of “The Last Unicorn”. I enjoyed the movie really much. So this movie was made when I wasn’t even born, it bests a lot of other movies when it comes down to storyline and music.

Review: Unico (The Fantastic Adventures Of Unico)Directed by: Toshio Hirata
Produced by: Shintaro Tsuji
Studio: Madhouse
Release Date: 14th of March, 1981

Review: Gyo (OVA)

Gyo the OVA is different from the original manga version, so readers will find this review disturbing – that’s not my fault, but the maker reversed the roles of the main characters.

Kaori and her two friends Aki and Erika celebrate their graduation of university on some island of Japan, while Kaori’s fiancee Tadashi staid behind in Tokyo. The girls, enthusiastic about their holidays, get back to their summer house one night and smell a horrible stench that reminds them of something rotting away – especially Kaori who has a sensitive nose complains about the smell that reminds her of dead flesh. A small creature freaks them out and Kaori kills it to find out it’s a dead fish with metal legs attached to it, puts it into a bag and throws it into the trash bin. While her fiancee calls her she doesn’t see that the bag fills itself with gas and floats away. Kaori tells Tadashi about the weird fish and he promises to ask his uncle Koyanagi, who is a known scientist about it.

The next day two guys who met the girls before hook up with Erika, when a shark with legs bursts through the window, attacking Erika and the two guys. The guys and girls panic, Erika gets hurt by one of the shark’s legs in the process. More of the walking fish enter the island and as a call with Tadashi gets interrupted, Kaori wants to fly back to Tokyo as soon as possible, leaving behind Erika and Aki. She meets Shirakawa on the plane, who has an interest in following Kaori to get to Tadashi for his work. The plane crashes in the middle of walking fish and both run for the train to get inside the city.

Meanwhile Aki finds out that Erika got infected by the shark and changes to a disgusting, smelly and inflated being. She tries to run away and gets stung by a smaller fish herself. Aki runs away from the house while leaving Erika behind.

The trains in Tokyo stop moving as well and Kaori and Shirakawa escape the train’s accident to find themselves engaged with the fish on the street – Kaori and Shirakawa both get stung. They find their way to Koyanagi’s house and discover that Koyanagi used his own arm as a sample to find the mystery behind the walking fish and their smell. Kaori and Shirakawa watch a video of Koyanagi explaining what might be the source of the problem, when they see Tadashi collapsing. They run into the basement and find Tadashi on a walker made by Koyagani.

Aki finds herself on a street when the dead fish implode, leaving the walkers behind. She sees Erika spreading more of the foul smell, stumbling onto one of the walkers which immediately gets activated and carries her around. Aki turns into the same being as Erika.

Koyanagi, himself being stung by Tadashi in his attempt to flee from the house, barricades himself in his hangar. Shirakawa promises to look after Kaori and looses sight of her, when he hears circus music. In the circus he sees the gas as a living being, which can’t be taped on video. Tadashi is an attraction of the circus. When Kaori enters the circus, Tadashi runs away yet again and gets attacked by other walkers. He tries to reach out for Kaori, she reaches out as well, but they get separated by the walkers. Shirakawa and Kaori flee from the walkers and find a way to escape. Shirakawa gets Kaori into a boat and tells her to leave alone as he was infected as well. Kaori denies to get his USB stick with his data and drives away from Japan. One of the shipmen talks to her onboard about the horrible stench that fills the air – Kaori responds that she’s already used to it.

Conclusion: Creepy, but good story. I had nightmares about walking fish tonight >_< wasn’t such a good idea to watch it directly before going to sleep…

Directed by: Takayuki Hirao
Released: 15th of February, 2012