Tag Archives: Haikyu!

Souvenirs from Asia: Haikyu!! snacks!

As mentioned previously, a change in my husband’s business trip itinerary allowed him to get to the Jump Shop’s Haikyu!! promotional event. The interesting thing was that about half the items he bought back were edibles, mostly snack foods. I’m not sure what marketing consultant drove the Jump Shop in that direction, but I guess it worked, considering my husband bought a bunch.

Choco-caramel and chocopuffs

So to start we have the sweets. Karasuno, Shiratorizawa, and Aoba Josai chocolate candies. As with many Japanese food products, a lot of effort went into the packaging. I will definitely keep the containers, but the Shiratorizawa and Aoba Josai tins only contained 5 choco-caramel candies each. As for the Karasuno one, it didn’t contain chocolates but chocolate flavored corn puffs. When we tried it, we felt like we should pour the whole thing into a bowl and add milk.

Although the packaging for these next candies isn’t nearly as durable, it is clever and super cute. The Haikyu!! characters are occasionally shown with milk or juice boxes which is the inspiration for this candy set. Not really sure about a giraffe for the chocolate candy box, but the cow makes a nice design for the milk caramel.

Choco candy and milk caramel in juice box packaging

Next, pie from the rivals! The pie, by the way, comes in (tiny!) individual servings that are of course well encased in packaging. I haven’t yet tried the leaf pie so I’m not sure what that’s about, but the filling for the apple pie is more like apple puree. So it looks cute, but it wouldn’t be my first (or second or third) choice for a snack.

Apple and leaf(!) pie from Karasuno rivals

More appetizing is the Karasuno manju. They’ve updated it since two years ago, and this version has a cute crow shape and comes with bonus postcards!

Crow shaped manju!

With player stats on the side!

The majority of snacks my husband bought were sweet, but there is a savory one in the mix. Position snacks! Each box features one or two players with their stats on the side. Pretty cool in the package design department. As for the snacks themselves, well… they kind of taste like a barbeque-ish version of the corn puffs from the Karasuno chocolate flavored corn puffs.

Position Snacks!

And finally, what all shonen like to eat: curry! I don’t know what makes it cafe curry or why the rival cats and owls got put together, but it still makes a nice visual on the box.

Nekoma and Fukurodani curry!

By the way, as part of the Jump Shop promotion, customers received a Haikyu!! sticker per a certain amount spent. Because of that, my husband and I now have more stickers than we know what to do with.

Jump Shop promotion Haikyu!! stickers

Next up: Not Haikyu!! but still cool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Souvenirs from Asia: Haikyu!! Karasuno Revival musical DVD and more!

When my husband and I went to the Haikyu!! Karasuno Revival musical last November, we signed up for email updates from the production company. Thanks to Google translate, we’ve learned from these periodic messages that the third Haikyu!! musical, The Winner and the Loser, toured Japan last spring; a special Haikyu!! exhibition took place at Tokyo Dome; and their fourth musical, The Summer Evolution, is coming out this fall. Then just before my husband’s most recent business trip, we learned that Jump Shop stores would be selling Haikyu!! musical goods for a limited time.

My husband’s itinerary was all China, so we chalked it up as just another event we couldn’t take advantage of. However, due to some unexpected hiccups during his trip, his boss redirected him to Nagoya for the last bit of his trip.

Translation: he wound up with one full day to shop in Japan.

DVD for the second Haikyu!! musical

And shop he did. Not only did he find the musical goods at Nagoya Jump Shop, but the store, in anticipation of an influx of Haikyu!! fans, also had their own Haikyu!! goods in force. In addition, my husband has learned from previous trips that there’s no guarantee that a character good will be around the next time you visit, even if it’s just a week later. So if he sees something he likes, he gets it. Thus, he came home with quite a haul.

So to start, we have the Hyper Projection Engeki Haikyu!! Karasuno Revival DVD. This is the musical that we saw last fall. Yes, we liked it so much we want to watch it again and again. No, there are no English subtitles. Yes, the DVD requires a Japan region player, but that’s okay because we got one when we bought the DVD for the first Haikyu!! musical.

Jersey towels!

Next we have jersey mini-towels. As those who’ve visited Japan know, most Japanese restrooms don’t provide paper towels, so people carry handkerchiefs or small towels for drying their hands. Now fans can show their team spirit every time they head to the sink. Jump Shop had a towel for every Karasuno member, and because Daichi and Hinata are my favorites, my husband brought back 1 and 10.

Jump Shop also had jersey mugs for the whole team. My husband picked up a Hinata mug along with a traditional-style tea mug featuring most of the Karasuno team and several rival players. A nice detail of the jersey mug is that the inside of the mug has a manga-style picture of Hinata.

Chibi character tea mug and jersey mug

 

I think it reads,”Mou ippai!”(“One more cup!”)

Not to leave the Karasuno captain behind, my husband also picked up a Daichi clip and stamp. However, these items and the Haikyu!! pen alongside them are actually not from the Jump Shop but a random Ikebukoro shop.

Haikyu!! stamp, clip, and pen. The clip splits Daichi in half.

Also from another store (Ikebukoro Animate) is one of the best items of the bunch. When we visited last November, this team banner was part of a store display, but it wasn’t actually available for sale. This time it was, so now we get to show our support for our favorite volleyball team. Go crows!

FLY!!!

Next up: Haikyu!! themed snacks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Japanese Pop Culture Special: Hyper Projection Engeki Haikyu!! Karasuno Revival!

For a long time, the mark of a successful manga was an anime and possibly a spinoff comic, but nowadays popular titles spawn off live-action movies and TV shows, light novels, CD dramas, and even theatrical performances! Japan 2.5-Dimensional Musical Association, which was formed in 2014, stages productions drawn from Japanese manga, anime and video-games, and on November 20, my husband and I got to see their performance of Hyper Projection Engeki Haikyu!! Karasuno Revival!

 The flyer that started it all…

The flyer that started it all…

We first learned about Hyper Projection Engeki Haikyu!! from a flyer slipped into my husband’s Jump Shop purchases during his last business trip to Japan. We looked at the ad, thought it was cool, and filed it in the back of our mind as one of those things we could only dream of. However, the next two weeks brought an unexpected bonus and vacation time that changed our paradigm. By then, four out of the show’s five venues had sold out, but with the help of three Japanese speaking friends plus two international phone calls, a lot of Google translate, and much stubbornness on the part of my husband, we got tickets for the Canal City Theater in Fukuoka!

The Show

Not having been to Fukuoka or a Japan 2.5-Dimensional production, I expected Canal City Theater to be a modest, small-to-mid size theater. After all, how large an audience could an otaku musical possibly attract? I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Canal City Theater is a modern, quality venue that seats 1,184 and hosts Broadway style productions like The Little Mermaid. And yes, it was packed. There was even a line for people hoping to purchase unclaimed tickets (more on that later).

Program and commemorative folders from the Haikyu!! musical

Program and commemorative folders from the Haikyu!! musical

The audience demographic was another surprise. Haikyu!! is a shonen title, but the audience was over 90% female. My husband described the crowd as “young to middle-aged office ladies.” Perhaps musicals don’t appeal to Haikyu!!’s younger male fans? Or maybe they don’t have the disposable income for it? Well, these female fans had money for tickets and then some. An array of Hyper Projection Engeki Haikyu!! goods were available for purchase in the lobby, and they were doing a brisk business. We ourselves picked up an official program, some folders, and a DVD of the original Haikyu!! musical, but sadly all the hoodies had sold out. The crowd was definitely enthusiastic, and when the show started, we learned why.

Hyper Projection Engeki Haikyu!! is a high level production. The staging includes a special rotating platform, live video, and projected images for backgrounds and special effects. The cast also displays an array of talent, ranging from acting to acrobatics to rap. From what I can tell, Haikyu!! Karasuno Revival! has an original score that doesn’t draw from the TV series (although parts are reminiscent of the anime’s soundtrack). While I have referred to the show as a musical, it’s not like a Broadway show where characters break into catchy tunes every other minute. Rather, music is primarily used to set the mood, and most of the singing is relegated to one hip hop number in the second half.

Regarding the plot, Haikyu!! Karasuno Revival! begins with the team’s summer training camp and ends midway through the Interhigh competition. (The initial formation of the team was covered in Japan 2.5-D’s original Haikyu!! musical.) The first half focuses on the practice match against Nekoma. Viewed mainly from Kenma’s perspective, the match is depicted as a video game that the Nekoma setter is trying to beat. Thus, we get to see 64-bit versions of the Karasuno players as he analyzes them. The second half focuses on the Interhigh match against Dateko, which takes the form of an impressive rap- and dance-off. As such, the cast is more or less evenly divided between Karasuno, Nekoma, and Dateko players. But even though it is an all-male production, Karasuno manager Shimizu does play a part in the story.

As you might guess, the whole thing is in Japanese.  Because we weren’t at Japan 2.5-D’s Tokyo venue, we didn’t have access to translation glasses (more on this later). Even so, we had no trouble figuring out who was who (jersey numbers and projected manga images helped a lot), and we got the gist of 70% of the dialogue based off what we remembered from the anime. Not to mention, many scenes were sheer visual spectacle that required no knowledge of Japanese.

A major aspect of the Haikyu!! story is speed and height. Unlike their animated counterparts, the actors can’t hang in midair. So they rely on clever choreography and manipulating props. Lifts comprise a major part of Hinata’s battes at the net. Special lighting and illuminated volleyballs provide the trajectory of a fateful spike in slo-mo. In the match against Dateko’s ”Iron Wall,” pieces of walls are included in the dance number.

While high-tech equipment add a definite punch to the action, the show makes good use of simple effects as well. A pile of quilts facilitates one of the most entertaining transitions, and a stray cat Hinata encounters is merely a hand puppet operated by a stage ninja in a hooded poncho. In addition to moving the props and sets, the hooded stage ninjas also serve as a kind of Greek chorus, voicing the thoughts of the mob or serving as an anonymous extra.

So… my husband and I flew to the western end of Japan just to watch this musical, and you might be wondering, “Was it worth it?”

In answer to that question, I’ll just say that the third Haikyu!! musical Winners and Losers will be touring Japan March and April 2017, and we are talking about getting tickets.

Now perhaps our journey has piqued your interest. If you’re serious about viewing this production yourself, you have two options.

DVD

DVD and insert of the first Haikyu!! musical

DVD and insert of the first Haikyu!! musical

The cheaper option is to purchase a DVD of the show. As of the writing of this post, the DVD of the first Hyper Projection Engeki Haikyu!! is available, and preorders are being taken for Karasuno Revival. Those in Japan can purchase it at the Animate store (which also carries DVDs of Japan 2.5-D’s Naruto and Prince of Tennis theater productions) or through Toho Animation, which produced the videos.

For those outside Japan, neither Animate nor Toho Animation ships overseas, but if you do an Internet search for “Hyper Projection Engeki Haikyu!! DVD,” you’ll probably find a source who will. WARNING: the DVD is a REGION 2 DVD (the United States is Region 1) and entirely in Japanese (no subtitles, English or otherwise).

As mentioned earlier, my husband and I purchased the DVD of the first musical at the theater for ¥8000 (roughly $80 US), which is the standard price. For that, you get two discs and a lovely mini program with cast pictures and bios. It’s not an awesome as seeing it live, but Toho Animation does a great job of formatting the footage for the small screen.

Theater Tickets

If you are determined to see Hyper Projection Engeki Haikyu!! or one of Japan 2.5-D’s other musicals (upcoming productions include Prince of Tennis, Wake Up, Girls! and Death Note), there are three ways to go about getting tickets.

1. Though the Japan 2.5-D website. Japan 2.5-D actually does want a global audience for its productions. Thus, its website is in both Japanese and English (click on the ”EN” in the top right hand corner to toggle out of Japanese into English). Also, Subtitle Glasses are available in English and Chinese for showings at the AiiA 2.5 Theater in Tokyo.

When tickets go on sale, find your show on the Japan 2.5-D website and click on the green International Ticket button. This will take you to an English language form that will allow you to purchase Will Call tickets. This is the most expedient way for English-speakers to get tickets.

2. Through the musical’s official website. Each Japan 2.5-D musical has its own official website through which general tickets are sold. This is probably the worst way for internationals to get tickets, but you may resort to it if you’re desperate (like we were). Basically, the tickets reserved for internationals is limited. As such, it is entirely possible for general seats to still be available after Japan 2.5-D’s International Tickets sell out.

However, getting general tickets is difficult. All the instructions are in Japanese, you need a Japanese address to open an account, and you need a credit card associated with that address to make the purchase. Alternately, you can reserve seats online and then complete the order at a Japanese convenience store that has a ticket service. Our tickets were only possible thanks to three very kind friends (One to navigate the website, one to give us her parents’ address in Okinawa so we could open an account, and one to pay/pick up the tickets in Sapporo and mail them to us in California).

3. At the venue. Now the thing about general tickets is that they’re a bit of a moving target. When people reserve seats online, they have a few days to complete the order. When that deadline passes, the seats go back on sale. That means that a show that is sold out today might have availability tomorrow. That also means there usually a few unsold seats on the day of the show. Ergo, the unclaimed ticket line. If there’s more people than unclaimed tickets, they hold a lottery to decide who gets them.

So no guarantees with this last route. However if you just happen to be in a town where a performance is showing, it’s worth a try.

As for me and my husband, we’ll be aiming for those International Tickets when sales start.

Souvenirs from Asia: Haikyu!! Season 3 Haul!

My husband boasts that he can now get to the Animate store in Nagoya, Osaka, Ikebukoro, and Akihabara without the help of directions. This says a lot about how he likes to spend his free time on business trips. However, in addition to the fact that he is an otaku, he like to make his rounds with these stores because each location actually carries different stock. So between four Animate stores and the Jump store in Nagoya along with the start of Haikyu!! Season Three, he returned with quite a haul of Haikyu!! goods.

Seijoh chibi charm (?) and padded pen case

Seijoh chibi charm (?) and padded pen case

 

img_2624

Sports towels with school spirit!

Kenma on panda???

Kenma on panda???

Apparently, Karasuno’s rival schools have quite following, judging from their representative goods. According to my husband, there was also a Karasuno sports towel, but the design wasn’t nearly as slick as Seijoh’s and Nekoma’s so he only wound up buying the ones for the rival teams.

Not to say that Karasuno got outclassed by its rivals in all categories. During my husband’s last trip, he brought back Hinata and Kageyama phone charms. Apparently, the collection now includes Nekoma’s setter. However, I don’t know what panda bears have to do with Tokyo, volleyball, or Nekoma High School, and Kenma just looks awkward sitting on it.

A fan for ace Bokuto and chibi themed erasers

A fan for ace Bokuto and chibi themed erasers

Fits in the medicine cabinet!

Fits in the medicine cabinet!

While most of his purchases, like the chibi themed erasers, were “what-you-see-is-what-you-get,” we did get a bit of a surprise with one. My husband was trying to stick with practical items, ergo the simple plastic cup (something I’ve been needing for the bathroom) and towels. The eyeglass case also fell into that category. However, despite being a Jump store item, the proportions of the chibi crow on the are kind of off, enough to make it look like a counterfeit product. However, when I opened the case, I was pleasantly surprised by what is now my new favorite eyeglass wipe. And something that makes it extra special is that it’s a rare item that includes all twelve members of the Karasuno team and their support staff.

Eyeglass case and wipe

Eyeglass case and wipe

According to my husband, more Haikyu!! goods should be available as we get deeper into the anime season. However, I’ve got more than enough to keep me happy as Karasuno enters the finals against Shiratorizawa.

Go crows!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Souvenirs from Asia: Haikyu!! Akihabara Bonanza Part 5

During my husband’s latest business trip to Japan, he managed to spend some free time at that mecca of anime known as Akihabara. And because Haikyu!! is our favorite ongoing series, he returned with a bunch of Haikyu!! souvenirs that ranged from cute to odd. He also went a bit overboard with his purchases so I’m splitting this installment into five parts.

socks front

And finally we have this. When I got my first glimpse of it, I thought, “Oh, what a cute little shirt.” Then I flipped the package over.

socks back

They’re socks.

socks1Or I suppose you can think of them as shirts for your feet, which is the look the makers seem to be going for. However, I can’t say they hold much appeal for me. Weird is a better descriptor although they are definitely not on the level of weird that the Nekoma torso water bottle was on. In terms of functionality, they’re a bit tricky. They’re made of a slick polyester fabric. As a person who usually walks in cotton socks, I find them a bit of a trip/slip hazard on my hardwood floors.

socks 3Like the Nekoma water bottle, this product’s target audience is a mystery to me. Its visual impact is definitely diminished if worn with shoes so it’s probably meant for home use only. Maybe it’s kind of a strange home cosplay? At any rate, I think I’ll try to find an alternate use for these uber slippery, uber unique socks.

socks2

Happy New Year!

Souvenirs from Asia: Haikyu!! Akihabara Bonanza Part 4

During my husband’s latest business trip to Japan, he managed to spend some free time at that mecca of anime known as Akihabara. And because Haikyu!! is our favorite ongoing series, he returned with a bunch of Haikyu!! souvenirs that ranged from cute to odd. He also went a bit overboard with his purchases so I’m splitting this installment into five parts.

MANJU BOXMore Haikyu!! chibi characters! This time they’re on a box of manju. The funny thing is that the manju they’re eating looks an awful lot like the nikuman (pork buns) they get from their coach’s convenience store. The characters are super cute and very much in character as they munch on their treat. And inside the box is a bonus sticker! I got Asahi and a very naughty looking Noya.

Manju and bonus sticker!

As for the manju, it was… okay. Standard red bean filling inside a thin skin. Not something I’d go out of my way to eat again.

However, I would go out of my way for another one of those stickers.

Merry Christmas!

Souvenirs from Asia: Haikyu!! Akihabara Bonanza Part 3

During my husband’s latest business trip to Japan, he managed to spend some free time at that mecca of anime known as Akihabara. And because Haikyu!! is our favorite ongoing series, he returned with a bunch of Haikyu!! souvenirs that ranged from cute to odd. He also went a bit overboard with his purchases so I’m splitting this installment into five parts.

haikyuu glass3

Tanaka with chocobanana and Noya with a candied apple

haikyuu glass 2

Daichi with squid on a stick and Asahi with something in a box. Yakisoba maybe?

This was my husband’s Akihabara bargain find. It is a drinking glass he found at a character goods store for 200 yen. That’s less than two US dollars at the current exchange rate!

Haikyu!! will recognize the crow versions of our volleyball players, which kind of look like Angry Birds caricatures. Unlike the Haikyu!! items I’ve shown thus far, this glass doesn’t feature Hinata or Kageyama. Instead, it only shows their senpai: Daichi, Asahi, Suga, Noya, and Tanaka.

The overall theme is summer festival, and each bird character holds a different festival snack against a background of clouds and fireworks.

haikyuu glass1

Suga with cotton candy

Not bad for 200 yen.

Souvenirs from Asia: Haikyu!! Akihabara Bonanza Part 2

During my husband’s latest business trip to Japan, he managed to spend some free time at that mecca of anime known as Akihabara. And because Haikyu!! is our favorite ongoing series, he returned with a bunch of Haikyu!! souvenirs that ranged from cute to odd. He also went a bit overboard with his purchases so I’m splitting this installment into five parts.

noren

As if one Haikyu!! noren wasn’t enough, I also got these. I love chibi characters, and these curtains show the main Karasuno lineup in super cute style. While the volleyball players are the design’s most eye-catching feature, it, like the noren and charms in my previous post, also incorporates Miyagi symbols. Amid the volleyballs are silhouettes of Date Masamune, and crescent moons are all over the pattern. Plus, towards the bottom is the kanji for Miyagi.

Now the question is, what am I going to do with all these noren…

Souvenirs from Asia: Haikyu!! Akihabara Bonanza Part 1

During my husband’s latest business trip to Japan, he managed to spend some free time at that mecca of anime known as Akihabara. And because Haikyu!! is our favorite ongoing series, he returned with a bunch of Haikyu!! souvenirs that ranged from cute to odd. He also went a bit overboard with his purchases so I’m splitting this installment into five parts.

noren and charmsTo start, we have a piece of print fabric and two phone charms. Since I can’t read Japanese, I’m not positive as to the purpose of the fabric, but I’m pretty sure it’s a noren, the Japanese cloth divider hung in doorways and windows. In addition to featuring the show’s main characters, these three items have something else in common: they all promote Miyagi, the prefecture in which Karasuno High School is located.

The Kageyama charm features him with a samurai helmet and eyepatch. It looks really random unless you realize the crescent moon symbol and eyepatch are the trademarks of Date Masamune, a legendary warrior from Miyagi. In other words, he is the prefecture’s regional hero. (By the way, the only reason I recognized him was because I’d watched the historical anime Tono to Issho.) That is also why Hinata has the same crescent moon helmet on his lap in the noren.

K charms

No, Kageyama isn’t going pirate on us. The eyepatch is a Date Masamune reference.

The Hinata charm’s Miyagi reference was a little more difficult to figure out. However, I managed to get the kanji on the charm into my Google search bar and learned from the Internet that he’s holding a kamaboko, a Miyagi food specialty made from fish paste.

HINATA charn

Hinata and a giant piece of fish paste….

It’s a little strange to see anime characters on what amounts to regional souvenirs – kind of the equivalent of Spiderman on an “I heart New York City” bumper sticker. However, I can see why they did it. Tons of anime and J-drama are set in Tokyo. But Miyagi Prefecture? When Miyagi saw how popular Haikyu!! was, it probably figured that associating with their fictional local boys would be a great way to promote the area.

And that’s why I have a cell phone charm of Hinata with a giant fish cake. But that’s okay. It’s still way cool.

Souvenirs from Asia: Haikyu!! Water Bottle

My husband has been traveling to Asia frequently for his new job and has fun bringing me various souvenirs. On his last trip, he dropped by the Nagoya Animate, a manga and anime store, and found this.

haikyu bottle front

Haikyu!! water bottle. Nekoma print to the left also obtained from Animate but not included with the bottle.

It’s a water bottle. ¥378 (approximately $3.50 US) is pretty steep for 350 mL of water, but this beverage container is the most interesting I’ve encountered since I discovered Ramune. He picked it up because we are avid fans of the Haikyu!! anime series, and fellow enthusiasts will recognize it as the uniform of Kenma Kozume from the Karasuno rival Nekoma.

Please note the defined buttock region

Please note the defined buttock region

It’s kind of cool, but at the same time weird. It’s missing arms and legs, but the body is quite defined. Defined meaning it sports a distinct outline of abs and buttocks. It’s weirder given that Kenma didn’t quite seem that ripped in the series.

I’m curious as to who the water bottle’s target audience is. Haikyu!! is a Shonen Jump title, which means its fan base is skewed towards guys, but I can’t imagine a middle school boy paying a premium to drink water out of a Kenma molded bottle.

Novel as it is, I’m at a loss as to what to do with it. Seems too nice to toss into the recycle, but I’m not reusing it (especially since it’d be super weird to be drinking out of a container with abs and buttocks.). I can sort of see it as a collectible, but  my non-otaku friends might be creeped out if they saw it on our mantel. For now, it’s in our bathroom as a reminder of what happens when anime and Japanese packaging technology collide.