Hello from Japan, a very cold and windy place right now. Today is a holiday in Japan, so I’m all alone in the J-List World Headquarters…
The Japanese economy continues to limp along, despite showing some signs of recovery. Ford, always the most successful U.S. automaker at selling cars in the Japanese market due to their partial ownership of Mazda, began offering $2000 back cash if you buy one of their cars — a new concept for the Japanese car economy, which is very different from the U.S.
No car marker is in the news more than Nissan, as it tries to bounce back from years of poor management and red ink. Just as America tired to emulate Japan and Japanese business practices back in the 80’s (think Saturn), not Nissan is trying to learn to adapt Western business and management in order to survive. After their merger with French car maker Renault, company president Carlos Gon (spelling?) has become sort of a “pop business idol, appearing on Japanese in interviews as well as Nissan’s car commercials. To help improve car sales here, Nissan is renovating all of its showrooms, renaming them Nissan Red Stage” and “Nissan Blue Stage” (we have yet to figure out what the difference between them is). In Japan, car companies control the entire customer experience, including car showroom, and Nissan had allowed their showroom network to become run-down and uninteresting. They’re fighting back now with the slogan “Nissan Renaissance.”
For tonight’s update, we’ve got some very nice new items for you. First of all, there is a slew of back-in-stock magazines and photobooks, including some items by the popular Miura Aika. There are some great new manga posted, including a rare and out of print Sailor Moon parody anthology, and others. We’ve updated the popular Gouka Book page with some new high-end fetish photobooks, too. We’ve taken another good whack at all prices of all calendars — Slayers Try and Turn A Gundam are down to $16, Hello Kitty to $12 — to help get our existing stock out the door. Finally, there’s another dozen or so of the winter Comic Market’s all-new dojinshi up, although they’ll go fast as always. Please stop by and see the newly posted items!
The world was largely safe from Y2K disturbances, but not complete: there’s a Y2K browser bug that makes some secure pages give an error when viewed with some Unix browsers and Internet Explorer 4.5 for Mac. The fix is to ignore the “certificate has expired” errors, or use Netscape until IE5 is out for Mac. We apologize for any confusion.