J-List is shipping out hundreds of packages daily, including Sailor Moon, Steins;Gate, Pokemon and kawaii cat-related products. In addition to our popular EMS Cash Back sale, which gives you up to $50 back when ordering from the site using EMS, we’re offering free shipping on all J-List anime and kanji T-shirts and shrinkwrapped visual novels shipping from San Diego, all month long!
One thing I like about Japan is that it aims to be a meritocracy by tying access to many areas of life to the ability to achieve on tests, which is certainly more fair than going by what connections your family has, or how much money is in your father’s bank account. The top public universities in Japan are popular in part because they’re cheap – tuition at Kyoto University is just $4500 a year – but the catch is that in order to get in, you have to compete against tens of thousands of other incredibly smart students on the school’s entrance exam, which can take years to prepare for. Good sons and daughters show filial piety (love and respect for one’s parents) by studying hard and getting into these less-expensive universities so they’re less of a financial burden on their parents. Because they take so many important tests, the Japanese are masters at memorizing information through mnemonic tricks, such as the date the Kamakura Shogunate was established (1192, which they remember with the phrase いい国を作ろう ii kuni o tsukuro, or “let’s make a good country”), or the square root of 5 (2.2360679, which maps out to 富士山麓にオウム鳴く Fuji-san roku ni ohmu naku, or “at the base of Mt. Fuji, a parrot squawks”). The way they memorize which months of the year have less than 31 days is through the phrase 西向く侍 nishi muku samurai or “the west-facing samurai,” which contains the numbers 2, 4, 6 and 9. Another fun information memorization tool is a 500-year-old game called Karuta (from the Portuguese word for “card”) in which teaches students to read hiragana while they memorize famous stories from Japan’s past…or, alternately, My Neighbor Totoro.
As usual, it’s hard to keep up with all the good shows on these days, but I do my best. One series I started recently is Zankyo no Terror (Terror in Resonance), a well-polished show that can best be described at the love child of Death Note and 9/11. It’s the story of two genius boys codenamed Nine and Twelve who start engaging in acts of terrorism in Tokyo as a way to “wake up the world,” and a girl named Lisa who gets tangled up in their schemes. Lisa is my favorite character in the show: she’s a troubled teenager with a terrible home life who’s being bullied at school, and they imply she has an eating disorder, for extra realism. With nowhere to go, she ends up staying with Nine and Twelve, trying to help out where she can. The show makes the standard “girl who is bad at cooking” joke but takes it further than usual: while making stew, Lisa tosses in a packet of Pocky to add flavor (?).
J-List is currently helping our customers get orders from Japan in time for Christmas with our awesome EMS Cash Back Sale, which gives you $20 back as a use-anytime store credit for EMS orders of $100 or more, or a sugoi $50 back for orders of $200 or more, when you order using EMS. We’re also offering our first-ever free shipping on all J-List T-shirts and shrinkwrapped “H” games shipping out of San Diego! Not in the U.S.? Enjoy our new greatly reduced shipping rates!
We have some more good news for fans of Japanese visual novels and “H” games! Our sister site, JAST USA, has been totally refreshed, with a great all-new website. The site now sells only download versions of games, but now you can now instantly download games you purchase, with no delay for processing! Plus their having a big sale through the end of Monday to celebrate their site’s re-launch — get up to 50% off download games! If you’re looking for shrink-wrapped package versions of their games, please order from J-List’s English VN page. We’ve got all their games, in package versions, like their upcoming game Littlewitch Romanesque. Follow JAST USA’s Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr by their devs.