We’d like to wish everyone 良いお年を yoi otoshi o (“have a good crossing into the new year”) or 明けましておめでとう akemashite omedetou (“congratulations on starting the new year”), depending on whether it’s December 31st or January 1st while you’re reading this. Thank you for all your warm support of J-List and JAST USA in 2014!
2014 was a very busy year for J-List, and we achieved a lot, including shipping more Japanese Kit Kat, anime magazines and artbooks and ecchi products to customers around the world than ever before. It was a big year for visual novels, too, with the wildly successful release of Steins;Gate (including the new price-reduced “The Best” edition), the new Girlish Grimoire Littlewitch Romanesque game (download shipping now, Limited Edition ships soon from San Diego), and a totally refreshed JAST USA website with instant downloading after you make a purchase. It was an enjoyable year for me personally, since I got to get some quality sightseeing time in with my daughter in Florida, plus I went to the top-of-the-world in Alaska and got to visit Kyoto and Osaka, which I’ve been away from for too long. After I post this, I’ll head home where I’ll have a quiet evening with the family, legs inside a toasty kotatsu, while we watch the NHK Kouhaku Red-and-White Song Battle TV show and eat Japanese soba noodles, which is what you do in Japan.
Just as in the U.S., it’s quite easy to gain a bit of weight this time of year, what with Christmas dinner and Christmas cake, which are just a prelude to the New Year’s holiday season’s highly developed culinary tradition. The problem is exacerbated by oseibo year-end-gifts, which companies exchange with their business partners, and bosses with their employees, with the end result being that there are always several boxes of food items sitting around, like rice crackers or cookies or German baumkuchen cakes. My problem is mochi, the pressed rice squares called rice cakes in English, which are delicious when toasted over a flame then covered with soy sauce…though being made of compressed rice, they’re quite high in calories, so I can only eat a few year year. Mochi is bad for another reason: it can and does kill a few people every New Years, due to its super chewy texture, which can choke the elderly or children. So if you try some of this fabulous food, make sure to chew it very well.
One reason we love the new Littlewitch Romanesque game is its high amount of gameplay, in addition to the awesome story and characters. The goal of the game is to train two witches, Aria and Kaya, how to use magic over the course of 3 years. You gain “spirit” magic by playing a strategic dice-rolling game, which enables you to learn more spells and get even more magic, including some that are seriously powerful. There are 79 entertaining quests to go on, as well as lots of unlockable material along the way, with 300+ uncensored images by Oyari-san. For more info on the game, view our official game trailer on YouTube!