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October Surprise: Gensouryu Volume 3 is its Last, Classic Reprints in December

1609shinra_bShinra Bansho Gensouryu no Hihou Volume 3 is out this October 17th. It has been announced to be the final volume of this installment. Pre-orders are up at places like AmiAmi.

This came as a bit of a shock, and as for why, some background: Shinra Bansho releases are typically one story arc per year with one volume per quarter – April, July, October, and January. Last year’s Ikki Kasei no Shou shook things up by releasing 3 volumes, but with a higher amount of cards to collect in each. This year’s Gensouryu returned to the April-July-October releases, so it was assumed things were back to 4 volumes, but…apparently not. Unlike Ikki Kasei, this was never clarified from the start, so it’s unclear if this was the plan all along or if something happened.

1610shinraWe are still getting a fourth Shinra Bansho release though, as this December, Shinra Bansho Kessaku Sen (Masterpiece Selection) is coming. Recently announced, it reprints previous cards with new prism backgrounds, along with two new cards. So far it seems to span the Chapter I-II-III / Ouga Rasen era. Like the one off special edition Feb. 2014 Top Characters Selection release, it’ll go for a higher price point as all cards have prism effects. Pre-orders are already available.

On a side note, two other notable releases:

manykawaiis-Guardess in Eden is a new card wafer series from Bandai also set for December. The cards have special effects that can either be removed with body heat (like from a hand) or added with cold (like from a soda can). The back has symbols representing character relationships and story info. Vanilla wafers for max kawaii. Pre-orders are out.

alsoprettykawaiiiguess-Hagen no Zista Card Choco is out in November. The Zista series used to be figures with interchangeable parts packaged with chocolate, then gum, and now…it’s chocolate again, but with robot cards instead. Feature stats, plot, and secret messages to decipher. Pre-orders are also ready.

Asmodeus Figure Dated – Shinra Bansho Back on Puzzle & Dragons – Bikkuriman Update

emergingfromtheprincedimensionThe 1/8 scale Excellent Model figure of Masenki Asmodeus is coming out this September, retailing for 12,000 yen. Like previous figures, this one will include some new original art, this time featuring Asmodeus and her mother Astaroth. Pre-orders are now live at various places, so keep an eye out at your favorite figure retailer (like AmiAmi, HLJ, etc – is a good place to check too).

More photos on the official site, with a color sample of the illustration.

As a reminder, the figure of Alma is still set to release in July, and the previous figures of Astaroth, Izuna, and Arcana, remain available in various places.

13320936_1304470556248200_4025361008828169411_oThe Shinra Bansho collaboration is back on the North American version of Puzzle & Dragons, running from June 6th to June 12th (pretty short this time). This adds Hikari’s ultimate form, and also the versions of P&D characters Sakuya, Sonia, and Athena drawn by Shinra Bansho artist Mitsuhiro Harakawa. Details on the official Facebook page.

STARWARSbikkurimanSpecialEditionp1oFinally, the Bikkuriman section received a long overdue update, detailing the ill-fated Shin Bikkuriman and covering the recent Star Wars Bikkuriman collaboration.

Shinra Bansho Gensouryu no Hihou Volume 1 Out April 18th

downinfrontShinra Bansho Gensouryu no Hihou Volume 1, as previously mentioned, is out this April 18th. Pre-orders are up at AmiAmi.

Already knew that? Well, then you may be interested to know Volume 2 is already up for pre-order as well: It comes out this July. This would seem to indicate that it is switching back to the 4 volume a year release format, after Ikki Kasei experimented with three a year.

The official website is now open. The title means (roughly) “Treasures of the Twin Dragons”. This volume features the discovery of new continents, both shaped like, guess what, dragons, ripe for exploration. Our new hero is Van Crow, an adventurous guy with good luck and a thing for treasure.
It looks like some of the Round Table Knights from Ikki Kasei are back (that’s Percival with the green hair), and apparently are on the look out for the Holy Grail – time will tell if this has anything to do with the Holy Grail created by Balanciel way back in Chapter III. Also, in an important first for the franchise, Wafer Man has a hat. WAFER MAN HAS A HAT.

On a side note, the Figure section has been updated to include all released and soon-to-be-released Excellent Model Figures. It’s worth noting that Arcana in particular has proven to not be so hard to find after all, and is even now on AmiAmi secondhand.

12th Shinra Bansho, New Asmodeus Figure

getyouradultcoloringbookskillsreadyThe 12th Shinra Bansho chapter was announced during the latest World Hobby Fest, and is coming on April 18th. Pre-orders are already up at AmiAmi.

This particular chapter seems to carry an exploration theme, with the discovery of a new continent (which, keeping with the theme so far, resembles North and South America). Palusuke’s blog has the so-far sparse materials from WHF.

There was another surprise at the separate Wonder Fest in the form of a new Excellent Model figure, this time of Asmodeus, based on her appearance in Daimao to Yattsu no Pillar, Volume 3. This was when her true form was revealed after having previously debuted in that chapter as Asmo-Deus.

In addition, the Alma figure made its first full color appearance. You can find more photos of the two here.

prettycolorsShinra Bansho Shikishi ART is out very soon, on February 22nd. These are mini-shikishi boards randomly packed with gum. The official website has been revealing previews of some of the new art to be found in packs. Pre-orders on AmiAmi, and possibly anywhere else you may care to look.

Shinra Bansho on Puzzle & Dragons in America Again

First up, here’s your reminder on current available orders and pre-orders:
Shinra Bansho Ikki Kasei no Shou Vol. 3 (Out now) – AmiAmi
Scans of these cards also available for viewing on Palusuke
Shinra Bansho Shikishi ART (Due February) – AmiAmi
All of these may also be available anywhere else you may care to look.

toomuchkawaiilimitexceededabortabortThe Shinra Bansho collaboration is back on Puzzle & Dragon’s North American version again for mobile devices, running from 1/4 to 1/17 (…yes I’m late, I’m s-s-sorry e-everyone…) In addition to including all the previous characters, now you can get Alma, Polaris, and Balanciel. Kagato and Asmo-Deus also get new Ultimate Forms.

Just like the Japanese version, the Kapibara-san collaboration is running at the same time, allowing you to get the Kapibara-san versions of Alma and Polaris. Further details on P&D NA’s official Facebook page.

Meanwhile, in Japan…
Another Shinra Bansho collaboration is coming up, but it’s a bit different this time. Hikari gets her final form from Ikki-Kasei 3, but the remaining characters are actually existing Puzzle & Dragon characters rendered by Shinra Bansho artist Mitsuhiro Harakawa. (Info/images from P&D site)

Athena Another
Ronia Another
Sakuya Another

They previously debuted in Bandai’s Chouzetsu Puzzle & Dragons Wafer, a new wafer + card line replacing the previous P&D one they had going. These three cards are available by cutting out point stamps from the card backer to mail in.

Ikki-Kasei Volume 3 on Dec. 14th, Shinra Bansho Shikishi ART in Feb. 2016

theeviloneistheonewithashirtAt long last, Shinra Bansho Ikki-Kasei no Shou Volume 3 is set for release on December 14th. With this year’s break from the traditional quarterly format, this is actually the last volume for Ikki-Kasei. Pre-orders are up at AmiAmi or anywhere that sells boxes.

A number of the cards were previewed at a recent Banday Candy Toy event, photos of which you can check out on Dmzil’s blog. You can also get a load of the CoroCoro magazine pages they were first announced in thanks to Palusuke’s blog, if you would like to see how a grown man acting like a maniac on the printed page sells amusements to children.

(A side note for those ordering: Being December, this falls in the middle of the busiest shipping time in many parts of the world – so instead of a cheap method, like unregistered SAL, it’s worth considering paying a bit extra to register it or bump it up to a safer, fast method like EMS.)
There was also an extra surprise: Another product, Shinra Bansho Shikishi ART, is set to come out on February 22nd, 2016. (Right image via Dmzil’s blog, linked above) The Shikishi ART line is another of Bandai’s candy toy products that uses pre-existing licenses like Naruto, Gintama, Macross, etc – they’re miniature shikishi boards featuring art from that franchise, with a small gum pack-in. Here’s a video with an example of a Madoka Magica set released previously.

Although they’re mini by typical shikishi standards, they’re much larger than cards, and as such more expensive, coming to 280 yen a pack. It looks like the Shinra Bansho collection is going to feature previously used art, from packaging and other sources (largely only otherwise published in the Premium Bandai exclusive Shinra Bansho Art Works book), although it has yet to be confirmed if there will be any new art.

There are no pre-orders available currently, but keep an eye here for updates.

The Twitter/Facebook icons that may or may not show up in the corner of this page aren’t just for show, they’re a handy way to keep track of updates.
Twitter (@ShinraBanshoC)
Facebook (ShinraBanshoChocolate)
The Twitter account in particular is where I post news and info as it comes in on Shinra Bansho that isn’t quite worth a whole site update, so if you need your silly candy toy fix during those long stretches where there’s a dearth of site-worthy news, that’s the place to go.

Ikki-Kasei 2 Released, Figure Pre-orders, and More

imnotgoingtoaskwhatsgoingonhereThe newest Shinra Bansho chapter, Ikki-Kasei no Shou Volume 2, is out now! It can be ordered from AmiAmi or anywhere else that sells boxes. Here’s the commercial for it on YouTube. And of course, if you’d simply like to view scans of this set’s cards, Palusuke already has everything available for viewing.

Some notes about this set:
-The collaboration cards this time include the Saiga and Kiriko artwork from Puzzle & Dragons not included in the last set.
-There are two Kapibara-san (the capybara mascot character) collaboration cards, one featuring Chapter 1 character Alma available from regular cards by the normal artist, and one of Polaris by the Kapibara-san artist. See them both here.
-The latter is only available through this time’s Heaven Crystal mail-in service, along with a Hikari in a summer dress and Kagato looking fierce.
-Remaining collaboration cards to speak of are from Mister Donut, available only from buying a kid’s meal at their locations. One is simply a variant of Kagato, but the other features new art of Hikari encouraging you to take up bad eating habits.

Figure Pre-Orders

Good news/bad news situation with the new Arcana figure coming out this November. Bad news is, it’s a limited run exclusive figure, meaning it’s only available for pre-order from now to August 25th (it comes out in November) and places like AmiAmi won’t ship it outside Japan. Good news is, some online figure stores selling outside Japan are getting orders for it anyway, although of course there’s no guarantee how long that’ll continue past this month.

Here’s a run down of all the Shinra Bansho figures you can pre-order now:

FIGURE-012800_01Excellent Model ArcanaNovember 2015 (Limited August Pre-order Period)
Tokyo Otaku Mode
Anime Island
Yellow Submarine via Rakuten
Ixu Deviance
Kappa Hobby on eBay
…and possibly any other figure seller you may care to check.

FIGURE-006279_01Excellent Model Astaroth – Late August 2015
A re-release of the figure from last year.
Hobby Link Japan
Hobby Search
Anime Island
Tokyo Otaku Mode
Solaris Japan
…and possibly any other figure seller you may care to check.


Excellent Model Izuna – Late September 2015
Has a limited first edition artwork bonus and a store bonus at some locations (See this post for details)
AmiAmi (includes the store bonus)
Hobby Link Japan
Hobby Search
Anime Island
Tokyo Otaku Mode
…and possibly any other figure seller you may care to check.

Current Puzzles and Dragons Collab Detailsmaximumallpowerfulkawaii

Finally, the latest Puzzle and Dragons collaboration just came and went on the mobile game in Japan (my apologies for not posting about it here earlier). I did write some details about it over at Puzzle and Dragons Forum, running down all the new characters. Interestingly, even the Kapibara-san collab Polaris is it – and fortunately, said capybara has already been in the North American version of the game, so this will likely not be an impediment on getting her whenever this hopefully hits over here.

One other related tidbit: The main Shinra Bansho artist, Mitsuhiro Harakawa, also did a character for a card (far left) for the mail-in bonus for Chouzetsu Puzzle & Dragon Wafers, also from Bandai. Not aware if they will be featured in the game (or already are)…