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Posts Tagged RightStuf

RightStuf Warns of Boys’ Love Book Seizing at Canada Customs

RightStuf Warns of BL Book Seizing at Canada Customs

We have ketchup chips, Kinder Eggs and house the fantastic, and recently completed, Toronto Comics Art Festival, but even we here in Canada aren’t perfect. It saddened and concerned me to read this bit of news over the weekend, credit for which goes to Ash on Twitter.

RightStuf has posted the following warning on all four volumes of SuBLime‘s boys’ love series, Bonds of Dream, Bonds of Love by Yaya Sakuragi:

“Note: This item is banned in Canada, and will be seized by Customs if ordered.”

From what I can see, this is the only SuBLime title to have a note about being banned. We can assume it’s a note made based on a particular incident, though of course this wouldn’t be the first time we’ve heard negative stories about manga going over the border. Anime and manga have become buzz words of sorts for customs’ agent which see the youthful drawing of some characters, and sexual nature of others, reason to blanket the medium as pedophilia and pornographic in nature.

Bond of Dreams, Bond of LoveAs for Bonds of Dreams, Bonds of Love, I can see why they might ban it – with disclaimer I don’t believe in banning artwork like this – but it’s still not a series I’d ever viewed as being an obvious trouble-maker. Of course I speak from the viewpoint of a seasoned manga reader who is used to the distinctions of age and art style. One of the leads in this series is a teenager who very forwardly pursues an older man whom he’s known since he was very young. Though the young one is the more aggressive of the two,  it still follows a budding sexual relationship between an adult and a teenager and the age discrepancy is heavily emphasized in the way they’re drawn.

Interestingly, I actually received volume three of this series from RightStuf just a couple weeks ago and didn’t have any issues. Then again, being buried among many other items certainly helped. The requirement to buy $250+ worth of material to get the free Canadian shipping from RightStuf ups the chance that any supposedly-risky material like this can glide through in similar fashion. Of course, this depends on if RightStuf will actually choose to deny** the ordering of these books from Canadians or leave it to the buyers’ own risk.

For Canadians looking for the books, who don’t want to risk border bans, you can still order the books via Chapters/Indigo, Amazon.ca and your local book stores via special order.

**May 16th Update: RightStuf has since updated the warning to the following: “Note: We cannot ship this item to Canadian addresses, and it likely will be seized by Customs if ordered.” So no more ordering even allowed for Canadians of these books anymore. An unfortunate turn of events, one that could set a very bad precedent for other material from one of the mediums’ most prominent supplier.

Swag Bag: Marching Into Spring With All The Right Stuf

Swag Bag: Marching Into Spring With All The Right Stuf

It’s this week’s second Swag Bag! While I was busy hitting up my local comic store for goodies, RightStuf was preparing a box full of animated wonders to send my way as well. My Visa may’ve wept this week, but not as much as it has in the past thanks to RightStuf’s new shipping policies for Canadians.

Though I haven’t seen any of it, I started with parts one and two of Funimation‘s DVD sets of Toriko. I bought it based on my adoration of the manga. I’ve already made my way through both sets, which are a bit short at only thirteen episodes each. The show itself doesn’t offer anything more than the manga, but I really like the dub which is something I can usually count on Funimation to do really well. It had many funny, memorable quotes so I’m sure I’ll be watching it again just for the fun script.

My biggest purchase was the entirety of Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood on Blu-ray. I haven’t seen any of this either but the manga is phenomenal and I recently finished watching the original anime on Netflix. I’m very excited to see my favorite characters who were not in the first anime. Lin! And I’ve heard that the production values are great. This purchase includes the whole series, plus the OVA collection.

And also on Blu-ray in my collection pile was the box set of Black Butler II. It actually includes both the DVDs and Blu-rays, which is a great touch. I really liked the first season of Black Butler but it ended at a point that definitely didn’t feel like it needed a sequel. Can’t say no to the fans I suppose right? From what I’ve seen of Funimation’s previews clips, the new little butler-owning prepubescent has some seriously scary issues.

Fate/Zero Keychain: Rider SDRounding out the shopping trip were some Black Jack DVDs to finish off my collection (yay discount bins), and also an adorable Sailor Moon keychain and Tuxedo Mask plushie. I also couldn’t help but buy a couple Fate/Zero key chains of Rider and Waver. I’ll buy anything with those two on it! Maybe someday I’ll do a write-up of the phenomenal statue of Rider I received a couple weeks back…

And last, as I naturally cannot make any online order that doesn’t include at least some manga, I caught up on a few recent boys’ love titles – Bond of Dreams, Bond of Love (Vol. 03) and Awkward Silence (Vol. 03). I really love SuBLime‘s releases, from the clean and consistent cover design they use across all their titles, to the solid translation and lettering work inside courtesy of decades of experience from their parent company, Viz Media. I was a little disappointed that His Favourite (Vol.03) was spaced far enough apart from the other two third volumes that I wasn’t able to include it in this shipment. Ah well, next time!

That does it for this week’s Swag Bag. As always, feel more than free to share what purchases you’ve made recently and if you’d recommend them!

New Ways to Get Your Stuf: RightStuf Updates Canadian Shipping Options

New Ways to Get Your Stuf: RightStuf Updates Canadian Shipping Options

Last year I briefly wrote about RightStuf’s change in shipping policies to Canada. Prior to that, the popular anime retailer had a threshold of $150 for purchases to achieve ‘free shipping’, where as now Canadian shoppers must buy $250/US worth of items. This increase has obviously meant less purchases for my friends and I with $100 being quite a bit of additional cost, especially when it dramatically increases the amount of money we would likely be charged at the border.

That being said, yesterday we received our first RightStuf shipment since these changes went into place. With a big box of goodies now in my living room for Andre, Marsha and myself, I can happily say that RightStuf’s previous statement that they were “currently looking into alternative Canadian freight options, and we are doing our best to find an economical solution that continues to provide reliable service”, has made a really great update to their Canadian shipping.

RightStuf now sends their shipments to Canada via FedEx, which has resulted in three significant differences: shipment tracking, faster shipping times and upfront brokerage fees. Tracking numbers for your shipments and faster shipping is obviously great, but I was most impressed by the upfront brokerage fees.

Sailor Moon KeychainTo briefly explain, even though we’ve always reached the threshold of ‘free’ shipping, this only covers RightStuf’s expenses to ship. We would still be stuck paying considerable additional costs when our packages arrived because of custom fees. Ouch, right? You don’t even want to know what the total cost of my Fate/Zero box sets ended up coming to.

However now with FedEx, buyers are told upfront when  ready to check out just how much FedEx will charge to handle all the usual “taxes, duties, customs and processing fees”. This means that 1) you know immediately how much it will all come to (so you can also decide to go ‘nope!’ if too much), and 2) no waiting for weeks in fear you could be charged as much for delivery as what you paid for the stuff itself, and then dealing with the bill when it arrives!

As sign of how awesomely this new system has worked for us here at Kuriousity, in the past we have always paid an additional $50-$150 for every order we’ve gotten from RightStuf, and this was for orders totaling no more than $300/US. It has typically taken about two weeks for our orders to arrive once notification came that they had left RightStuf’s warehouse. This month we put in an order for $534 worth of goodies, and via FedEx paid an extra $78. Our order arrived within four days and came to the door with a simple signature, smile and not a penny more!

In conclusion to this long-winded ‘news’ post, well-played, RightStuf, well-played. The $250 threshold still makes it a bit more difficult to order as often as we did before but with shipping improvements like this (and, who am I kidding, the ease of reaching the threshold when combining orders with friends’ is obvious), you’ve definitely ensured we’ll keep going back for more and taking advantage of those awesome sales you hold.

(And for those curious about what we bought, keep an eye out for future Swag Bag posts!)

RightStuf and Tokyopop Go Tag-Team for Hetalia (Vol.03) Release

Hetalia (Vol.03) from Tokyopop and RightStuf

RightStuf – the mega-mecha online retail store of anime & manga goodies – made a surprise announcement last week when they revealed they had partnered with Tokyopop’s remains and Japanese publisher, Gentosha, to release the third volume of Hetalia. Along with the PR, they’ve also posted a 6-minute long video discussing the news.

Hetalia (Vol.03) is listed at $15.99/US cover price, but RightStuf’s current sale on it moves that down to $11.99/US. This first “limited edition” is set for release in June of this year and will sport eight colour pages for those who pre-order it. The kicker here is that the book will only be made available through RightStuf itself, which immediately puts it on the pricier side for international buyers who either need to pay the per-item shipping fee or, if you’re Canadian, reach that $150 free-shipping threshold. Of course, that doesn’t protect you from those hefty customs charges.

Hetalia (Vol.01)Along with the third volume of Hetalia, RightStuf is also making available new copies of the first and second via a print-on-demand system. Each of these will have the $15.99/US price tag as well. Volume three will be made available as a POD book once the initial run is depleted with the colour pages reproduced in black & white.

Tokyopop had already finished production work on this title months ago, around the same time the company ceased operations as a manga publisher (this of course followed by their sudden mind change). RightStuf’s involvement in the title right now seems to be mostly that as a distributor, though their role is likely larger when it comes to the funding and distribution of subsequent print-on-demand versions.

RightStuf representatives were lively on Twitter when the PR first went out last week and had some interesting things to say, particularly for those still holding out hope for a return of other titles that went down with the Tokyopop ship.

“If people buy the Hetalia vols, there’s a possibility of more Hetalia… & similiar arrangements for other titles. (No promises, atm!)”

“Because we know you hate it when you can’t find the manga volumes you want! So…”

“The scoop: We see your requests, & we’re making note of them. We’d love to expand this program…”

 Though I doubt I’ll ever be able to let go of my Tokyopop skepticism, it is great to see another opportunity for a fan-favourite title to return to print. Hetalia – a comedic series about personified versions of countries and nations playing out historical events – has been one of the most in-demand titles since Tokyopop announced their ‘end’. What I look most forward to is seeing what other series could come of this arrangement, especially if RightStuf’s manga-releasing program isn’t specifically tied to Tokyopop. With digital becoming a more common means of distribution, and print in turn having a more shaky looking future, print-on-demand has for a long time seen like  an inevitable route for some books. It means a bit more money for some books but that certainly beats no book at all.

Take me back to the top!