Tons of news, so I’ll get right to it.
Kuja Senran no Shou Vol. 4 is Out
Card scans are up at Palusuke here. Boxes are available for purchase at AmiAmi, although as usual check out our buying guide for other places to go.
Chapter 10 Hints
Here’s the commercial for Kuja Senran 4 – which, actually, is the second variant of the ad, the first being the same thing but with a different final image, observed here. That image of the staff also appears on Kuja 4′s backing boards.
The second version shows part of the EP (Epilogue) card that was obscured in product previews up to this point: Madoushin Moebius. He last appeared all the way back in Ouga Rasen no Shou Volume 4 in 2010, seen here, where he wields the staff seen in the first version of the ad. His new card here with its special background alludes to the other Moebius card in Ouga Rasen 4, where it appears he was reduced to a child.
(Admittedly, I’m not entirely certain of the details, or if it’s the same character as Madou Ou Moebius in Chapter III)
Either way, it appears he’s returned for the next chapter. An early product listing seems to indicate it will be called “Tenchishinmei no Shou”. We’ll see if that holds.
Top Characters Selection News
The final results of the Shinra Bansho All-Stars Popularity Contest are in, influencing what characters will appear in February’s special Shinra Bansho Top Characters Selection release. The big upset here is Ako unseating the Goddess of Balance Balanciel for the number one place in the “Other” category.
To remind, the poll was divided by Male, Female, and Other characters – “Other” representing those of ambiguous or no particular gender (or in one case, two characters at once). Ako is a form that Ark assumes during Daimao to Yattsu no Pillar, disguising himself as a girl using magic. As for Balanciel, she’s a Goddess, of Balance, and one assumes that includes gender. And, well, you know how Gods can be.
Gpara ran an article here which includes samples of the cards in the Top Characters Selection. It seems they are indeed reprints of the previous art, but with new backgrounds and holographic effects. However, there will also be cards with new artwork of the top rankers in each category (so Saiga, Alma, and Ako – here’s a preview of Alma’s through magnification).
Astaroth fans will want to note this set will reprint her Chapter II, Volume 2 appearance.
There will apparently be a total of 38 cards to collect in all, more than the usual 30-or-so in regular Shinra Bansho releases. 30 of those are the poll winners, 3 are the new illustrations – it’s not immediately clear what the remaining 5 are.
You can pre-order Shinra Bansho Top Characters Selection boxes from AmiAmi.com here. The release date is February 24th. Note the higher than usual price is from packs going for 150 yen each, likely artificially inflated due to all cards having holographic effects.
Puzzle & Dragons Z Collaboration
The Top Characters Selection will have codes printed on the backing boards like the last few years of releases, and this time, it seems they’re used for accessing Shinra Bansho characters in Puzzle & Dragons Z. A code will also be included with the CoroCoro Comic issue released in February.
You may recall that Shinra Bansho characters have appeared in the smart phone game Puzzle & Dragons on and off as part of a collaboration over the past year. It’s one of a few – others collabs have ranged from Evangelion to Batman – and like most of those, they only appear in the Japanese version of the game.
Puzzle & Dragons Z is a stand alone game for the Nintendo 3DS released in Japan on December 12th to high sales. It has had its own collaborations, including using codes from Yoplait Yogurt and downloads at 7-11 locations to unlock new exclusive dungeons and characters. It appears the codes that come with Top Selection will probably function the same way as the former.
It’s already been said that the game will be published in the West at some point, although there hasn’t been any word on it since. It’s likely that any such Japanese collaboration content would be scrubbed from such a release (if it’s not already a separate download), but I’ll be holding on to some of those codes juuuuust in case…
Shinra Bansho Items For Ichiban Kuji
Ichiban Kuji (Number One Lottery) is a monthly lottery with sessions revolving around a particular franchise. Tickets are bought at convenience stores, specialty shops, and other locations for a shot at items in a lot of 100 provided to that store. The prizes include everything from detailed figures to miscellaneous cheap knick knacks.
(See here for another description or here for more detailed info on previous lotteries)
A Shinra Bansho lottery will be run starting on February 24th, at Circle K locations in particular. Prizes consist of original artwork reproductions, illustrated clear files, keychains, and draft artwork reproductions. For the latter, the Apollo version is the “Last One” prize, meaning it goes to whoever buys the last ticket at that store. As part of a “Double Chance” campaign, buyers will also be able to get a Wafer Man cushion.
For more details and clearer images, here it is on Ichiban Kuji’s site.
It’s noted that the items from Ichiban Kuji often become available for direct sale before long. This is likely the only way importers will have a real shot at them – I’ll be on the look out for any developments on this front, so stay tuned.