Lots of news and updates here, chief among them: The next Shinra Bansho chapter is titled Ikkikasei no Shou, and set to come out this April. It’s up for pre-order on AmiAmi. Two cards previewing the set, available by mailing in Wafer Points from Tenchi Shinmei Vol. 4 and at the World Hobby Fair 2015, pictured left, can also be seen at Palsuke.com here and here. Here’s the display at from the fair, showing the decidedly Japan-looking setting. (Thanks to 9 and Eis for clarification on the title)
On that note, over on our forum, Eis has provided additional story details on Tenchi Shinmei no Shou right up to its conclusion in Volume 4. I’ll be incorporating this information into the Story Guide with images and such at a later date, but for those who want to dive into it right now, there it is. Big thanks for the hard work!
Some interesting new shopping options from Amazon: For you Astaroth fans (aka 2/3rds of this site’s traffic), the 1/8 scale Excellent Model Astaroth figure is being sold directly by Amazon.com, with Prime shipping available and everything, on January 28th. Also, it’s now possible to find single Shinra Bansho cards available from Japanese marketplace sellers on Amazon with search term “shinrabansho”. Prices are currently pretty wonky, but either way, it’s worth keeping an eye on.
In somewhat annoying news about the upcoming artbook, now titled Shinra Bansho Choco Artworks, it’s a Premium Bandai site exclusive – meaning no international shipping, and the need for a forwarding service or a friend in Japan. Set to come out in April, it’s up for pre-order there now. This is just like the currently released exclusive card album set. (On a side note, the characters on the Artworks cover were decided by a fan vote during the last Ichiban Kuji – the Heaven side characters from the older chapters won out)
-Palusuke.com also has scans of the Ichiban Kuji exclusive Balanciel and friends card, as well as the metal Saiga and Moebius cards included with the aforementioned exclusive card album.
-Among the display of new and upcoming products at WHF was a preview of the Fortune Badge/W Rubber Mascot pin/keychain art (upper right image), which includes the new characters.
-We now have a Figures section, so far covering the Excellent Model Astaroth and upcoming Izuna.
-The Kaiten Mutenmaru (and Shamu Meruruusa) section is now updated to include the newer products mentioned in previous news posts here. It’s all under the “Where to Buy & Other Merchandise” section.
One last thing: Perhaps you’ve heard that Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition, two games in one package for the Nintendo 3DS, are coming to North America in May. You may recall that the Shinra Bansho Top Characters Selection packs from last February included codes to access Saiga and Apollo in Puzzle & Dragons Z, the single release in Japan. While it’s probable this content or at least the way of accessing it will be stripped from the localized version, I’ll put that to the test if possible when it’s out.