Summer is in full swing at Akiba Underground! We've got a new Magic set coming this month, as well as some summer releases and games!
July Magic Events
July is a big month for Magic the Gathering! Hour Of Devastation drops this month, so we'll be hosting all sorts of events for that. First up is, of course, the Pre-Release! As usual, we'll be hosting a midnight Pre-Release for Hour Of Devastation to allow people to get a very first chance to play the set. Midnight Pre-Release will happen on the Midnight after July 7th Friday Night Magic. If you're not up for playing Magic until 4am (Or maybe you're just not ready to stop playing Magic), we will also be hosting a Saturday Pre-Release on July 8th at 2pm. Both Pre-Releases are $25 and include a 6 booster pack Hour Of Devastation Pre-Release kit, the chance to win some Hour of Devastation prize packs, promos, and plenty of chances at door prizes. During both Pre-Releases we will also be hosting Planeswalker Deck Open Play, for those who still want a chance to play with the new set, but don't necessarily want the competition of a Pre-Release. Planeswalker decks are $14.99 each and come with a play-ready Planeswalker deck and two packs of Hour Of Devastation.
On July 7th FNM, the winner of the event will receive free entry into the Pre-Release event of their choice! So if you're looking to play in the Pre-Release, join us for Friday Night Magic on the 7th and compete for your chance to play for free!
Usually we do a Flashback Draft at the end of the month, but this month we'll be hosting a Theros draft on Tuesday July 11th. Theros draft is $12 and starts at 6pm.
Hour Of Devastation will be available for purchase on Friday July 14th, so if you want to guarantee you get a box or a bundle on release day, pre-order it today!
The Saturday after the set is released, July 15th at 2pm, we will be hosting an Hour Of Devastation Release Weekend Draft, which we will have some sweet promos to give away to all who play!
On Tuesday July 18th we'll be starting up our Hour Of Devastation League, where you receive 3 packs to build a deck with and compete with other players over the next few weeks, slowly adding packs to your league deck. More info about League will be posted on the Facebook, so keep an eye out for that! As usual, League days will be on Thursday evenings, but you can play league games any time in the store.
After a short break, Saturday Standard will be back on starting Saturday July 22nd at 2pm. All Standard events are $5 and include flat prize support.
After the July 22nd Saturday Standard event, we will be hosting a Modern Masters 2017 draft. Since Modern Masters is a premium set, this draft will be $30.
On July 25th at 6pm we will be hosting our first Hour of Devastation bargain draft for $10.
After July 29th's Saturday Standard event we will be hosting a cube draft. Cube drafts are free to play!
July Gundam News
On July 15th, at 6pm, we will be hosting a Gundam Build Night! So bring a Gundam you're working on and build with us while we watch some Gundam anime! If you're new to the hobby we would be happy to help you pick out your first kit and get you started, you're even welcome to borrow our tools and try out our panel lining markers.
We're also planning on adding some new kits to our shelves this month, so keep an eye out of the Facebook page for that! We would also love to hear what sort of kits you're on the lookout for!
Other Games For July
As usual, we will be hosting a free-to-play boardgame night every Wednesday at 6pm. We have tons of games to play for free in the shop, and if you have a favorite we don't have, you're welcome to bring it along and show us what you love about it!
We recently started hosting Yu-Gi-Oh on Thursdays at 6pm, so bring your best Yu-Gi-Oh deck and compete with other players! Currently, Yu-Gi-Oh is a free event, with the winner getting a single pack, but if there is interest for more serious prize support, this potentially may change and there may be a $5 fee, so let us know what you're looking for in a Yu-Gi-Oh tournament!
We're also looking to revive our Pokemon League and are once again offering open Pokemon play on Sundays from 1pm to 2pm. We have a bunch of awesome League exclusive Pokemon promos to give away! So show up, sign up, and get your free Pokemon promos!
New Anime And Manga For July
For July we restocked our set of Legend of Zelda Legendary Edition manga, which have been flying off the shelves lately! This is a gorgeous set of oversized manga volumes that follow the plot of 4 classic Legend of Zelda games. Keeping up with the Zelda fever, we also got the first volume of the Twilight Princess manga in, with the second volume coming out this month.
So what if I told you there was a show about the mascot from Full Metal Panic Fumoffu, Kanye West, and 50 Cent running a magical theme park to save Queen Latifah from a wizard's curse? I'd be exaggerating the truth, but only a little bit. Amagi Brilliant park is 13 episode anime about a sort of smug, but super smart former child star named Seiya Kanie, who ends up being recruited (see kidnapped) by a flat-affect girl named Isuzu Cento into administrating a failing theme park. This park is notable because all the employees and mascots are actually fairies, and they are running the park in an effort to produce animus by having satisfied guests. They need to continually do this to keep their cursed princess Latifah from succumbing to a curse that a wizard put on her, which also causes her memory to reset and causes her age to reset every year.
That's all great, but the problem is that all the mascots are actually terrible at running a theme park. Most of the mascots, despite their adorable appearance, are vice-ridden and jaded blue-collar workers. Cento has been acting as manager, but her solution to most problems is to shoot people with her blunderbuss. To complicate the situation, if the park doesn't reach a threshold of visitors in three months (250,000 to be precise) then the park will be bought out from under them.
I caught the first few episodes of Amagi Brilliant Park at a convention and ended up really enjoying it, and so I watched the rest of the show and found it to be consistently entertaining for the most part. I'm not normally big on gag animes, but this managed to go the distance for me. The characters are endearing (even Kanie who is kind of a jerk) and the show is just silly enough to be funny. I can definitely recommend checking it out!
April's newsletter is off to a late start, because the first half of the month was pretty much just recovering from Anime Boston! Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth, and thanks to those of you that stayed in CT and dealt with our half-empty store for the weekend!
April Magic Events
April is a big month for Magic, as we're finally saying goodbye to Kaladesh and Aether Revolt and moving on to Amonkhet. We'll be hosting a Magic Open House on Saturday April 15th at 2pm, an hour before our usual Saturday Standard. Magic Open House is a little bit like a Pre-PreRelease for beginners or people looking to hop back into Magic but are afraid they're a little bit rusty. If you've been wanting to play, but are waiting for the new set, this is a good introduction to the game! You'll receive a free starter deck (Which are different from the previous free starter decks!) and get to play against other new players, or if you're up for it, in the 3pm Standard game. If you're an experienced player who frequents our usual games, if you bring a friend to the Open House you'll receive a really cool looking foil full art Amonkhet promo land. The more players you bring, the more promo lands you'll get! This will unfortunately be our last Saturday Standard in April, as we have a bunch of PreRelease and Release Weekend events going on, but we will resume Saturday Standard in May.
We'll be hosting two Amonkhet PreRelease in April too! We'll be doing a midnight PreRelease, for a very first peek at the new set, on the midnight that follows that April 21st FNM. If you're not exactly a night owl, or you want a second chance at opening up some of those sweet Amonkhet PreRelease kits, we'll be hosting a PreRelease at 2pm on April 22nd. Both PreReleases are $25, and include the 6 booster pack PreRelease kit, prize support, and cool Amonkhet promos. Space in the midnight release is extremely limited, so RSVP today!
Amonkhet will be available to purchase on Friday April 28th, and that will be our first Amonkhet prerelease. If you are interested in boxes and bundles, pre-order them now to make sure you can have them day one! This is particularly important if you're interested in bundles, as they often come in limited quantities and we previously were only able to get a few in at a time, which generally sold out pretty quickly.
On Saturday April 29th, we will be celebrating Release Weekend with an Amonkhet Draft. We'll have some special promo cards to hand out to those of you who show up to this special Release Weekend draft!
Otherwise, our Magic events are more or less the same! We will still be doing bargain drafts on Tuesday at 6pm, and FNM at 6pm on Fridays. Our Flashback Draft Tuesday will happen on April 25th, we will be posting what we're playing on our facebook!
We will be doing a couple Gundam Build Nights this month, the first one on Saturday evening April 8th, and then after the Draft on the 29th. So bring in whatever kit you're working on and build with us as we watch some Gundam! We're planning on doing some more exciting Gundam stuff all throughout May, so stick around for news on that!
April Manga & Anime Releases
April has a few new anime and manga releases, including the return of Magic Knight Rayearth on DVD! Magic Knight Rayearth is a classic 90's CLAMP anime and it's on DVD again in one complete volume.
We've also got a restock on the Legend of Zelda manga, so if you're looking for something to read during your Breath Of The Wild downtime, try some more Zelda!
With the new Ghost In The Shell movie being all anyone seems to be talking about, why not check out the original manga before you see it in theaters? Originally released in 1989, this is a cyberpunk classic about the rise of technology and what it means to be human. The story has recently been rereleased in gorgeously printed oversized manga volumes!
March at Akiba Underground!
Hi all! Sorry for the late update this month, but we had a convention to prepare for the first week. More on that score later in the newsletter, but first our Magic update!
March Magic Events
It's a new month, filled with new opportunities to play MtG at Akiba! As usual our $10 dollar Tuesday drafts will fire on the 7th, 14th and 21st, at 6pm! FNM will still be every Friday at 6pm for $15. Our flashback draft this month will be Theros, on the 28th. Saturday continues to be for Standard, at 3pm (with one exception). Sunday is still our open play day for EDH, but let's get to the really exciting stuff! This month Modern Masters releases, on Friday the 17th. The week after that we will be doing two Modern Masters Drafts, Wednesday the 22nd at 6PM and Saturday, the 25th at 3PM both for $30 with prizes in Aether Revolt, but a pack of Modern Masters for first place! I plan to have more Modern Masters Drafts in the future, but these will be it for March!
As Amonkhet looms on the horizon like Nicol Bolas' horns there's all sorts of promotional stuff coming down the pipe. We'll be getting promo lands for people who attend 6 or more standard events between now and Amonkhet, and we'll be giving away some special playmats as well! Playmats so special we don't know what art is on them yet!
On the 18th we'll be having another Gundam build night. In addition to our weekly game nights on Wednesday, we will also be doing a game night after the Modern Masters draft on the 25th.
As a heads up to everybody, Akiba Underground will be vending at Anime Boston at the end of the month, on the weekend of of the 31st to the 2nd. As a result, our hours will be a little different that week. We will be closed on Thursday the 30th, and opening late on Friday the 31st. Events will proceed normally with FNM and Standard on Friday and Saturday.
Anime Night Viewing Schedule:
3/11: Mai Hime @ 8pm
3/18: Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory @ 7:30pm
3/25: Cowboy Bebop: The Movie @ 7:30
New Manga and DVD/Blu-Ray Releases March
We continue to expand our manga selection, with the Konosuba and Psycho-Pass manga being added along with new volumes of Tokyo ESP, Fire Force, Tokyo Ghoul, My Neighbor Seki, Gundam Thunderbolt, and a bunch more. We also restocked a ton of the Junji Ito manga.
We also picked up some DVD restocks, so stop in and take a look! Later this month We'll be seeing some more Gundam releases, with the Stardust Memory DVD set dropping.
Merchandise Restocks and New Releases
It's another month, and that means there's more Gundams to be had! I restocked a ton of kits, including the much sought after Beargguys, but they immediately sold out, so I'm going to have to order some more! We've got some neat new blind boxes as well as Love Live and Vocoloid restocks, and more Pokemon TCG Sun and Moon boosters. Next month we're hoping to expand our game selection, but in the mean time feel free to share what games YOU would like to see us carry and support!
Now how about recommendations!
This month, we're going to keep our recommendations, simple and kind of sad. We just got in the new release manga The Girl From The Other Side, which is a quiet and mysterious story about a little girl being raised by a well-dressed shadowy demon. The manga is beautifully illustrated, and the story is both sad and mysterious, and has a slow and dreamy pace similar to Mushishi, with the simple story of why they are in this situation unfolding over the course of the first volume. If you're into supernatural manga, I would definitely suggest starting The Girl From The Other Side!
February Magic Events
All our regular weekly events will proceed into January with some new additions. Bargain Drafts for $10 on remain on Tuesdays at6pm, $5 Standard at it's new home on Saturday at 3pm and FNM draft for $15 on Friday at 6pm. In addition, we will now continue to run Commander events starting at 2 pm on Sunday, until we close at 6. Next weekend, the 11th, is Aether Revolt Game day, which will be a standard event with additional prizes, including a playmat featuring Ajani! After the event we will also be drafting the peasant cube again, so stick around! The last Saturday of the month (the 25th) we will be having a Modern event instead of Standard, so if you're looking to jam some Modern that will be your chance! We've started a new sealed league for Aether Revolt, officially it started this week but there's still plenty of time to join! The only buy in is the 3 packs to start! Speaking of which, we are now running a little sale, so whenever you buy 3 packs of Magic Boosters, they're only 11 dollars!
On Tuesday February 28th we will have our monthly Flashback Draft, this month I'm extra excited, we're doing Khans of Tarkir! It will be a little more expensive because of the set ($15 dollars) but it is a super cool set with a lot of fantastic cards, and I hope you'll come. Finally, on Wednesday the 15th we will be drafting Eternal Masters, with a $25 dollar buy in. This is all the Eternal Masters I have, so if you want to have a chance to draft the set don't miss out!
In upcoming release news, Modern Masters 2017 is right around the counter, and we will be stocking a very limited amount on the shelves. If you want to pre-order a booster box come in and let us know!
Anime Night Viewing Schedule:
A quick note about the schedule this month, our viewing got off track after Gundam Wing, so we're going to be airing last month's stuff this month!
2/11: Sakura Taisen: The Movie @ 8pm
2/18: Mai Hime @ 7:30pm
2/25: Record of Lodoss War @ 7:30
This month we will be hosting a Gundam build night on the 18th and board game night starting at 6:00 on the 25th
New Manga and DVD/Blu-Ray Releases January
This month the manga keeps on coming, this month a bunch of first volumes that we picked up hit, including Fire Force (from the creator of Soul Eater) Big Order (from the creator of Future Diary) and also the hard-cover editions of the Ghost in the Shell manga. This month we also picked up new volumes of My Hero Academia and One-Punch Man, as well as Kuma Miko!
This month in DVDs we picked up Soul Eater NOT!, Last Exile, Genshiken Second Generation, the Sakura Wars movie and the 0080 Gundam release!
Speaking of Gundam... AGAIN
Merchandise Restocks and New Releases
January continued the awesome showing in Gunpla sales, and I couldn't be happier about that! As a consequence, I'll likely be doing a restock order again at the end of the month, to fill out our UC selections and also to restock the Iron-Blooded Orphan kits at last! In the meantime I have some sweet P-Bandai limited edition kits I managed to get my hands on.
In other news, all those Figmas and Nendos have arrived, including the new Zero-Suit Samus, Hikaru from Magic Knight Rayearth and Yukiko from Persona 4 Figmas, and Nendoroids of Korra from Avatar, Rem from Re:Zero, Elise from Fire Emblem: Fates, Akuma Homura from Madoka and Sinon from Sword Art Online II. These are obviously very limited stocks, so if you want them come get them! We also got a ton of new blind boxes in, including more Hatsune Miku and Love Live figures, as well as some cute cats that will probably all be gone by the time I send this.
We also got in some prize figures and Beach Queens for some of the Love Live girls, so come in to check it out!
In more delicious news, we restocked a bunch of snacks this month, so stop in for Pocky, bread, and my new favorite, the BIG THUNDER III, which is some sort of delicious chocolate cookie bar. Come buy them before I eat them all.
Now how about a recommendation!
This month I'm going to talk about anime, and I figured hey, I'm always talking about Gundam so why don't we talk about that really super sad Gundam OVA we got in this week? That's right, it's Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket, a story about regular people drawn into an ongoing war, and the fallout left in the wake as friends are forced into battle against one another, due to their obligations.
War in the Pocket takes place during the One-Year War, the conflict that is the central backdrop of the original Mobile Suit Gundam. Unlike that series however, and many others, War in the Pocket is a side-story (being only six episodes long) centering around a Zeon Commando team sent to destroy or capture a prototype federation mobile suit, which is hiding within a neutral space colony. More than the conflict between the two main political entities of the series, this OVA is a story about individuals and their experiences as they are caught up in a larger conflict. The main POV character is a 10 year old boy living in the colony, which has up to that point remained untouched by the war. The colony is further imperiled by the Zeon's planning of a nuclear strike, unless the last commando can destroy the prototype Gundam.
Like many Gundam Stories (and I guess really mecha series in general) War in the Pocket is about how ultimately there are decent people on all sides of the conflict, and that ultimately they become casualties of events beyond their control. While there is obviously a military conflict happening in this show, the focus is really on the three main characters, the 10 year old Al, who is a bystander to the conflict, the last surviving Zeon commando Bernard Wiseman, and the Gundam's test pilot Christina Mackenzie.
In addition to being a pretty gripping character narrative, War in the Pocket is notable for not including any Newtypes (a feature also of 08th MS team and Stardust Memory, two of my other favorite UC Gundam series) instead focusing on regular pilots with exceptional talents (rather than psychic space jedi in robots) I don't have as much of a problem with Newtypes as some others, but I still generally enjoy shows that are about robots and people, rather than space mysticism.
Anyway, if you are interested in smaller scale stories and big scale robots, I can definitely recommend you check this one out! We will probably be watching it during this month's gundam night!
If you're looking for a manga suggesting, I would definitely suggest My Neighbor Seki! My Neighbor Seki is a relatively straightforward, no frills story about a kid who sits in the back of the classroom and does distractingly weird things during class, disrupting the girl who sits next to him. It sounds absurd, and it absolutely is, but it's also hilariously weird, without being over the top wacky. It's not a Yonkoma (4-panel gag manga), but it absolutely reads like one, except the lack of structure allows My Neighbor Seki to parody other genres as it sees fit. My Neighbor Seki is relatively plotless, like so many slice of life comedy mangas, so you can pick up a volume whenever you need a good laugh and revisit your favorite scenes of Seki doing weird things in the back of the classroom. If you're looking for some light, and hilarious, manga reading, I would absolutely suggest you pick up a volume of My Neighbor Seki!
January Magic Events
All our regular weekly events will proceed into January with some new additions. Bargain Drafts for $10 on remain on Tuesdays, $5 Standard on Wednesday and FNM draft for $15 on Friday, all events starting at 6pm. In addition, we will now continue to run Commander events starting at 2 pm on Sunday, until we close at 6. We will be doing a Conspiracy 2 draft on Saturday the 7th at 2pm, before Gundam Night starts. On Tuesday January 24th we will have our monthly Flashback Draft, this month it's going to be Return to Ravnica, which we had a lot of fun with last time. Next month I have something extra special planned!
The biggest event coming up this month is the pre-release and then launch events for the next Magic set: Aether Revolt, the second set in the Kaladesh block. We will be running a midnight pre-release event after FNM on Friday the 13th, and then an afternoon pre-release event on the 14th at 1:30 PM. Pre-registration for both is currently open, there are limited pre-release packs available so come down to the store and sign up as soon as you can, especially if you want to play in both events! The Saturday after, following tradition, we will be running a 2-Headed Giant Sealed event for Aether Revolt, to celebrate the release of the new set. All these events will have exciting prizes, including those sweet pre-release promo foils for the pre-release events, and promo cards for the release event (I believe it's a promo Quicksmith Rebel for the release).
The last Saturday of the month (the 28th) We are going to be drafting the common/uncommon Cube that Robin is nice enough to let us play with, starting at 2pm, with a $5 buy in for prizes!.
Don't forget also that if you want booster boxes or bundles for Aether Revolt, don't delay, as we'll have a limited allocation at release! We will of course restock as soon and as often as possible.
Last but not least, and not technically in January, but on the first Saturday of February (the 2nd) and the first Saturday of every month going forward, we'll be doing a Modern tournament starting at 2pm! You have a full month, so get those Modern decks ready!
Anime Night Viewing Schedule:
1/7: Gundam Wing @ 7:30pm
1/14: Sakura Taisen: The Movie @ 8pm
1/21: Mai Hime @ 7:30pm
1/28: Record of Lodoss War @ 7:30
This month we will be hosting a Gundam build night on the 7th and board game night starting at 7:00 on the 21st
New Manga and DVD/Blu-Ray Releases January
The manga avalanche continues AGAIN this month with more restocks of the Deathnote black editions, and new releases for a bunch of ongoing series, This month we picked up new volumes of My Hero Academia and One-Punch Man, restocks of the Neo Parasyte manga, the first volume of Gundam Thunderbolt, Akame ga Kill! Zero, Tokyo ESP, the Junji Ito Tomie (a big nice hardcover edition) the first 2 Legendary Edition Zelda manga collections, and the ENTIRE run of the Yu Yu Hakusho manga.
This month in DVDs we have the Prison School complete set, the new S.A.V.E. edition of Robotics notes, Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Ilya, and the first DVD release in almost a decade of Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket, one of my favorite Gundam OVAs! We'll also be trying to restock some of the Ghibli movies we've sold out of, so look out for updates about that!
Speaking of Gundam...
Merchandise Restocks and New Releases
It would be an understatement to say that December was a big month for Gunpla kits. We sold a humongous, insane number of kits, leaving our displays pretty wiped out, but FEAR NOT! We have an equally huge restock order coming in, that includes FIFTY kits from across the range of series and grades. Notably we are restocking the range of real grade kits, filling our HGUC selection back out, and restocking select master grade and Re/100 kits. I expect to see this restock come in by the end of the week of the 13th, so be on the lookout! Mixed in with this restock, I also got my hands on a few more Bandai limited release kits, so look out for those as well!
Also on the import front, by the end of the month we will be stocking a bunch of new Figma and Nendoroids, including the new Zero-Suit Samus and Hikaru from Magic Knight Rayearth Figmas, and Nendoroids of Korra from Avatar, Rem from Re:Zero, Elise from Fire Emblem: Fates, and Sinon from Sword Art Online II. These are obviously very limited stocks, so if you want them come get them!
On the games and cards front, we have expanded greatly our selection of sleeves and play mats, and in February we will have some really exciting news. In the mean time, there is one big announcement, which is that starting on the 20th we will be carrying the new Star Wars: Destiny dice/card game from Fantasy Flight! We will do a demo day to be announced later, and will stock the two starter kits as well as the booster packs. I'm really excited about this game, and I know lots of others are as well!
WOO that was a lot of announcements. Now what about some recommendations?
Justin here! With Stein's;Gate 0 just being released, along with a ton of figures I just got hands on, I've been on a Stein's;Gate kick, so let's talk about the anime (also exciting, the movie has finally been licensed for domestic release by Funimation!!!! AFTER ALL THESE YEARS). Stein's;Gate is a really interesting story because it uses real life rumors and internet folklore (OR ARE THEY RUMORS) as backdrops for its story, and steeps itself in the popular culture of Akihabara (so I guess that's appropriate right for us to talk about right?) Stein's;Gate follows Okabe Rintaro, a Chuunibyou otaku dork who acts like a mad scientist who is hiding from a secret organization. Only one day, while experimenting on bananas teleported across the room using a modified microwave (no seriously) Okabe and his friends, the "super hacker" Daru and cosplayer Mayuri stumble into an actual conspiracy, involving assassination, time travel, and world domination! Stein's;Gate is notable not just for being a fantastic piece of science fiction, but also for being a truly fascinating character study, as the goofy and never serious Okabe is forced to face a gruesome series of events, and either rise to the occasion or fall to pieces. Stein's;Gate is a must watch for anyone who enjoys sci-fi anime or media of the time travel and parallel world's variety, and we'll definitely be watching it at the store at some point!
This month, Carolyn recommends the new Tomie collection by Junji Ito. I feel like half of my recommendations are these special Junji Ito volumes, but they keep putting out a new one every couple months and they keep getting better! Tomie is an overlooked Junji Ito classic, at least in the states it is. It's had a pretty spotty release history over the decades, with volumes of questionably quality going in and out of print, so it's pretty exciting to finally see it not just in one big volume (it's almost 800 pages big!), but in one big beautiful hardcover volume! It's not just outside that's important, but what's on the inside, and just like Tomie herself, this gorgeous volume is packed with horrors. The story of Tomie is not so much a linear story, but more of the idea of a story, repeated over and over again, the character Tomie more or less being a vehicle for Junji Ito to unleash some of his more gruesome ideas. The plot is more or less this: Tomie is a beautiful women, so beautiful that men are driven to kill for her, and sometimes kill her. But just barely below the surface she is 100% monster, she's evil and conniving, and also she is also often times a disgusting worm creature, or a living head in a bucket, or some other unspeakable horror. If you've ever fallen for a Junji Ito story, you're going to love the Tomie collection, because Tomie is where Junji Ito is at his finest.
December Magic Events
All our regular weekly events will proceed into December, with Bargain Drafts for $10 on Tuesdays, $5 Standard on Wednesday and FNM draft for $15 on Friday, all events starting at 6pm. On Tuesday December 20th we will have our monthly Flashback Draft, this month it's going to be Gatecrash. Everyone seemed to enjoy it last time, so I figured we could draft it again! Our weekend Commander event went over pretty well for the 2016 commander release, so starting on December 4th we'll be running fill and fire Commander events every Sunday, from 2pm to 6pm! In addition, we'll be getting a small restock of the new Commander 2016 products, so keep checking in, you too could own Atraxa!
While we'll be closing early on New Year's Eve, before that we will be drafting a common/uncommon cube, donated for the event by Robin, who has carefully curated the cards to create a really fun drafting format! Buy in will be $5, and prizes will be in Kaladesh packs! It's super fun so I recommend checking it out, we will be drafting at 1pm!
We are continuing with Standard Showdown, on 12/3, 12/10, and 12/17 at 3:30pm. There are lots of prizes to be won, and it's a fun Standard meta right now with room for a lot of neat decks! Try out your Standard deck on Wednesday and then check out the Standard Showdown on Saturday!
Speaking of exciting booster packs, we are now running a Buy-a-Box promotion (while supplies last). Buy a box of Kaladesh and you'll get two three-card boosters, just like the ones from Standard Showdown! These contain:
So if you've been considering picking up a booster box, for a present or yourself, now is the time!
After a month or so of waiting, we've finally received promos for participants in our Pokemon League! If you have a pokemon deck and want to play, our designated times for open league play are on Thursdays from 3:00-5:30pm, and on Sundays from 12:30-3:00pm. For those who are new to Pokemon leagues, open play essentially just means bring your game of choice and play with whoever is hanging around, and earn promos for showing up! Times/dates may change in the future depending on when people are interested, since we're still building our league, so if it's something you're interested in, stop by and let us know your thoughts!
We have also restocked on Pokemon Evolutions and have some other cool Mythic sets in time for the holidays!
Anime Night Viewing Schedule:
12/3: Tokyo Godfathers @ 7:30pm
12/10: Gundam Wing Endless Waltz @ 8pm
12/17: The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi @ 7:30pm
This month we will be hosting board game nights starting at 6:30 on the 3rd and on the 17th! On the 10th starting at 6:30 it will be Gundam build time, and at 8 we'll be watching Gundam Wing Endless Waltz, because why not, that's sort of a Christmas movie right?
New Releases December
The manga avalanche continues this month with more restocks of the Deathnote black editions, and new releases for a bunch of ongoing series, including Nichijou, UQ Holder, Akame ga Kill! Yona of the Dawn, and the Persona 3 manga! The Gundam Thunderbolt and Psycho Pass Kogami manga's have also just dropped their first volumes, and I'm especially excited for Gundam Thunderbolt! In notable DVD releases, Ranpo Kitan, My Love Story, and and Angelic Layer are all getting DVD releases, so look forward to those and more over this coming month!
Now that all that is out of the way, let's get to this month's recommendation corner!
Hi All, Justin here again! This month I'm just doing a manga recommendation, and I'm talking about SMT: Devil Survivor's manga adaptation. Based on the game of the same name, Devil Survivor follows a group of teenagers, Kazuya, Atsuro and Yuzu, trapped inside the Yamanote Loop in Tokyo after a series of unexplained blackouts and explosions. They discover that the lockdown is the result of demons being summoned within the city, and the only way for them to try to survive is to tame their own demons, using a summoning app created by Kazuya's cousin Naoya. For those who are fans of the "Death game" genre, this is a little more action oriented while still offering a similar set of themes, and also some really nice art and character designs from Suzuhito Yasuda, whose art you might also recognize from Durarara! It's worth giving a look, and one of my favorites!
This month, Carolyn recommends Space Brothers! Space Brothers is something I checked out on Crunchyroll one day because I thought the name was funny, but I was really excited to find out that it was a simply fantastic anime! The show's premise is relatively straight forward: two brothers attempt to become astronauts. But the character development and storytelling is really what gets this show going. The characters are all incredibly likable and the plot is very down to earth (ha ha, get it?) despite the space theme, as well as scientifically accurate! The writer apparently spent a lot of time learning about what goes on at JAXA (Japan's space exploration program) and even consulted with people involved with JAXA and space exploration! All this research has paid off, because Space Brothers comes off as an incredibly authentic and touching experience filled less with your typical anime tropes, and more with real live people.
It's time for the Akiba Newsletter, November Edition! Let's talk about cool stuff happening, exciting stuff being released, and other general goings on, as well as reading and viewing recommendations from myself and Carolyn! Let's start with upcoming Magic: the Gathering events!
November Magic Events
All our regular weekly events will proceed into November, with Bargain Drafts for $10 on Tuesdays, $5 Standard on Wednesday and FNM draft for $15 on Friday, all events starting at 6pm. On Tuesday November 22nd we will have our monthly Flashback Draft, which this month will be Journey Into Nyx (so we will draft 1 Theros, 1 Born of the Gods, and 1 Journey). This is a pretty neat format, and there's always still the outside chance that one of us cracks a god pack! To celebrate the release of the new 2016 commander decks, on Saturday November 12th we will be having open Commander play all afternoon, along with fill and fire pods for $5 a person, with prizes for all participants (paid out in Kaladesh packs of course).
In addition we have some other really neat stuff happening in terms of organized play! Starting on Thursday November 3rd, and running until Saturday the 26th, we will be participating in WOTC's Kaladesh Test League! The full details will be available on the event page, but to summarize, each participant will build a 30 card deck from three boosters, and then participate in single game matches against other players. Each week, or after three consecutive losses, a player can buy another pack to add to their deck. Other than this, there are no scheduled matches or times to play, players can come in to play games in the league whenever they want, and at the end of the league prizes will be awarded based on league points (which will be awarded for wins and other league achievements). This will be a neat way for players with tough schedules or who are still tentative about more structured events, to get to crack some packs and play some limited!
Finally, starting with the last Saturday of the month (which is the 26th) we will be participating in ANOTHER pilot program, which WOTC is dubbing Standard showdown. These will be regular Standard swiss events, only in addition to regular prizes, there will be special booster packs for top placing players. These boosters have 3 cards in them, which might not seem like a lot, but each pack is guaranteed to contain:
That seems like a pretty sweet extra prize to me! I'm really excited about these events and hope we'll see lots of people turning out for Standard Showdown, which will start at 2pm on 11/26, 12/3, 12/10, and 12/17.
That about does it for MtG for November! I hope you are all as psyched as I am about the cool stuff going on! Onward to other events, anime viewings and new releases!
If you haven't heard from the Facebook, we recently got approved to run a Pokemon league! We're still getting the league in order (and waiting for those sweet, sweet promo cards to arrive!) but we are hoping to run Pokemon league days, with open play for both the card game and the video game, on Thursdays from 3:00-5:30pm, and on Sundays from 12:30-3:00pm. For those who are new to Pokemon leagues, open play essentially just means bring your game of choice and play with whoever is hanging around, and earn promos for showing up! Times/dates may change in the future depending on when people are interested, since we're still building our league, so if it's something you're interested in, stop by and let us know your thoughts!
As an added bonus to the Pokemon league, we will be stocking Pokemon cards! We should be getting the new "Evolutions" set in sometime soon, seeing as it was released early this month, but in the mean time we will be selling Fates Collide boosters for 3.99 a pack.
Anime Night Viewing Schedule:
11/12: Spirited Away
11/19: The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-Chan
New Releases November:
This month we have a TON of new manga coming in, including some restocks for Yotsuba,One-Punch Man, as well as Gyo and Uzumaki. We also are getting in the latest volumes in a number of popular series, including Akame ga Kill!, Nichijou, Log Horizon, RE:Zero, Haikyu, One-Punch Man, and My Hero Academia! We'll also be stocking the FLCL Manga Omnibus, and the new 2-in-1 release of Kuroko no Basket. Later this month we'll be getting in Gatchaman Crowds: Insight (which is the second season of crowds) as well as the Prison School anime, and the first volumes of the Psycho Pass Kogami manga, and Gundam Thunderbolt manga.
Now that all that is out of the way, let's get to this month's recommendation corner!
Hi All, Justin here! This month for anime recommendations I wanted to talk about Robotic;Notes, a show about building giant robots, and overcoming the forces of evil using the power of teamwork. Also about a little girl who only exists in AR, until she exists in real life. Robotics;Notes is a series set in a nowhere Japanese town on an island in the south, in a near future world where AR phones are ubiquitous, and robots are an everyday norm. The story focuses mostly on Kaito, a guy obsessed mostly with just playing a robot fighting game called Kill Ballad, and Akiho, his childhood friend who is obsessed with mecha anime (most notably the fictional Gunvarrel) and also with completing construction of the giant robot project started by her older sister. Much like Steins;Gate, this series has a main cast composed largely of otaku of various types, who over the course of the show become generally more functional, as the serious circumstances they are forced into require them to grow as individuals. I found the show really shines because it is a show about mecha enthusiasts that is FOR mecha enthusiasts. It manages to be about the experience of being a fan, but also to be in the end a traditional mecha series. It manages to capture the tropes of the genre in a way that seems genuine instead of pandering, and for me in an age where so much anime seems to just be laser focused on generating fan feelings rather than being made with real enthusiasm. Robotics;Notes is a fun series that also fits in real drama, so I definitely recommend it!
For manga this month I wanted to talk about Bakuman, although I'm sure anyone who knows me is probably sick to death of me blathering on about how great I think this series is. Created by the duo that brought us Death Note (and more recently Platinum End) Bakuman is an incredibly meta series published in Shonen Jump, about a duo writing/drawing manga in Shonen Jump. It is a series about writing unconventional shonen manga, that is itself an unconventional battle manga about becoming a successful manga-ka. Over the course of 20 volumes it spins a story filled with memorable and likable characters you really get attached to, while also giving a fascinating insight into the logic and mechanics behind how series like Bleach and Death Note were created. The authors don't give themselves a free pass on criticism either, and the series offers some really candid reflection into the shortcomings of their own previous works. As a follow up series it is spectacular, and this series has one of my all time favorite conclusions of any manga I've ever read. If you are interested in basically any of the above, you NEED to check out Bakuman.
And now for Carolyn's recommendations! This month's anime recommendation is a series that won't be seeing a video release until late December, but I think you should all get excited for it anyways. My Love Story!! is a romantic comedy featuring Takeo, a giant of a high schooler, and Rinko, your typical petite shoujo heroine. The two fall in love with each other and generally are awkward and hilarious about the whole affair. The general plot is more or less straight forward, which much of the gags being about how Takeo is a lumbering mountain of a man with the heart of a delicate little baby, and Yamato is a clueless ditz trying to be the ultimate moe blob waifu, but the series has a whole lot of charm and some genuinely hilarious moments that are a cut above the usual fare for romantic comedy anime. My Love Story!! is just an all around heart warming and charming anime, it's kind of the perfect anime fluff. It doesn't have to rely on emotional rollercoasters of heart ache and angst to keep you interested, just some funny gags and charming and genuinely likable characters, who despite their obvious tropes, feel very relatable.
Adding to this month's theme of "What happened after Death Note ended???" my monthly manga recommendation is definitely Platinum End. This just came out in English last month, so who knows where it will go, but it's off to a really great start! Think of it like a Death Note do-over, only instead of spooky death demons, it's murderous angels, and instead of a notebook that lets you kill people, it's arrows that make people fall in love with you and wings that let you teleport. Platinum End features a gloomy Mirai Kakehashi, who just can't stand living any more, so he throws himself off a building. Instead of dying, he's rescued by Nasse, a sort of guardian angel, who gives him magical arrows that make people fall in love with him and magical wings that allow him to travel at the speed of thought. But, oh yeah, maybe she didn't mention this at first, but now he's entered into a contest to the death with 12 other magically gifted humans, to fight for the chance to become the new God. Because the old one is retiring in 999 days and needs someone worthy to take his place. And of course, everyone entered into the contest is probably the least qualified for the God job. I'm just as excited for Platinum End as I was for Death Note all those years ago, it might currently be more of the same (but hopefully better), but it's been a decade and reading Platinum End has the same sort of thrill I experienced reading Death Note the first time around. If you were ever a fan of Death Note, I would definitely suggest picking up Platinum End, as it probably has a much better chance of being a more evenly paced series. And if Death Note is just something you missed out on when it was new, I might suggest diving right into Platinum End and experiencing it for the first time with the rest of us! As an exciting bonus: the Platinum End manga series features a really cool looking holographic cover!
This is our monthly newsletter, where I'll talk about some cool stuff coming in this month, some sweet stuff that's happening at the store, and then probably babble for a little bit about something I think is pretty cool! First I'll talk about our Magic: The Gathering events for the month, so if that isn't your thing feel free to let your eyes glaze over until we're out of that section!
October Magic Events
As always, we are hosting $10 dollar drafts on Tuesday the 11th and 18th, and $15 drafts on Friday the 14th, 21st and 28th. This month on Tuesday the 25th we'll be drafting Theros, and that will have a $12 buy-in. Starting with next Wednesday the 12th, every Wednesday we'll be doing a Standard event with a $5 buy in, so that we can offer similar prize support to the Friday drafts. In addition we'll have some special events on Saturdays. On the 22nd we'll be hosting a Game Day Standard Tournament, where in addition to regular prizes you can win special promos, and the first place winner will get a special play mat! Entrance to the event will be $8 For the full scoop on the promos see the Wizards page here.
The following weekend, on Saturday the 29th we'll be hosting a special constructed event. To get into the spooky Halloween spirit, we'll be hosting a tournament where each player will build a 60 card deck consisting only of commons and uncommons from Shadows over Innistrad and Eldritch Moon. This is a fun opportunity to test your deckbuilding skills and make something that's fun (and cheap!). Entry to the event will be $5 with special spooky card prizes in addition to the regular support!
This month, the FNM promo is Rise From the Tides, so if you place in the top 5 at any FNM event you'll be able to get one! If there are any additions or changes to the schedule, look out on Facebook!
October Anime Schedule
Starting this month, every Saturday at 7pm we'll be airing a new series, to showcase some of our classic favorites or new stuff that we think is cool! This month we're watching:
10/8: The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi
10/15: Gatchaman Crowds
10/22: Gundam Build Fighters Try
10/29: Hell Girl
We're hoping people will stop in to hang out and watch with us, and in addition encourage anyone who wants to to come in costume on the 29th (we'll be unfortunately closed on the 31st as it's a Monday)
In addition to our viewings, we'll be playing Tanto Cuore with anyone who wants to join in on 10/8 (or any other game people feel like) a Board Game Night starting at 5pm on 10/15 and a Gundam Build day on 10/22 at 6pm, following our Magic tournament. As always, during our gundam build day all gundam kits, paints, hobby tools and accessories will be 10% off!
New Releases and Coming Soon
September was an exciting month for new releases and reprints. The complete box set of both seasons of Suzumiya Haruhi were re-released on Blu-ray and DVD, and we have both in stock. In addition The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan was also released in a DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack, so if you enjoyed that I recommend coming in to pick it up. The two seasons of the Psycho Pass anime have also been consolidated into just two DVD/Blu-Ray combo packs, rather than the four they used to be in.
In the Manga department, we just got some fantastic reprint omnibuses of the complete Death Note manga, and also the first volume of Platinum End, the new series from the creators of Death Note. If you enjoyed Death Note or like death games to become god (like Future Diary) then you'll definitely want to check this series out! This month the first volume of the Re:Zero manga came out, and next month the second is coming out! Of note new volumes of Genshiken Niidaime, Akame ga Kill! and Nichijou are also coming out!
Highlights and Store Picks
Justin: This month for anime I want to talk about Gatchaman Crowds, a 2015 series that we will actually be watching later this month. Gatchaman Crowds is a Tatsunoko series that is basically a (substantial) reimagining of the original and iconic Science Ninja Team Gatchaman. Similar to the original, the show features a team of heroes who use special powered armor suits to fight an evil alien force. The show's premise sounds kind of corny, and honestly it is, and that's one of the things I like about the show best: it is totally unapologetic about what it is. With a very silly (and catchy) team theme song, and a spastic main character, the show isn't cool, but it is very stylish. The art is gorgeous, the armor suits look cool, and you can't help but gradually get drawn in to the show. I was initially ready to write it off, but in the end I wound up really enjoying the show, and I recommend giving it a watch. As mentioned above we'll be watching the first 6 episodes on the 15th, and hope you'll check it out!
For my manga pick of the month I wanted to talk about UQ Holder, Ken Akamatsu's follow up series to the extremely long running Negima! (and just this month the series was officially subtitled as Negima 2) For those who don't know Akamatsu was forced to suddenly end Negima's run to retain creative rights to the series. As a follow up, once his intellectual property was secured, Akamatsu began authoring a follow up series that takes place in the same world, but set far in the future, in 2086. I was a long time fan of Negima, and was really disappointed that it was resolved in a fairly anti-climactic way. UQ Holder simultaneously proceeds with a new story, while reintroducing a number of characters that I (and clearly everyone) really liked. It's a chance you rarely get, to experience a satisfying conclusion to a story you thought was over. UQ Holder currently has 8 volumes out, with the 9th coming in November. I definitely recommend checking it out!
Carolyn: Anyone who's asked me for an anime suggestion in the past 4 months has probably heard me rave about Punchline, but if you haven't here's the deal: I think Punchline is as close to a new FLCL as you're going to get. I originally stumbled on this anime during some late night Crunchyroll browsing, having stopped on it because the premise sounded so dumb it couldn't possibly be good.
To put it bluntly, Punchline is an anime about a grumpy kid who accidentally sees a superheroine/magical girl's panties and gets so excited he turns into a ghost, and then spends the next 6 episodes haunting an apartment complex filled with girls, trying desperately to avoid seeing their panties because if he sees them as a ghost, an asteroid will destroy the earth. Now, before you change the channel immediately because you can't take any more of this ecchi trash, remember that FLCL was about a kid who got hit with a guitar so hard giant fighting robots from the depths of space came out of his forehead. And look where that took us.
Punchline is ultimately one of those series that you're encouraged to go into more or less blind, so I don't want to give too much away, but after the wacky pantie ghost antics of the first 6 episodes, things get surprisingly serious and complicated, and time travel-y. The animation is gorgeously done and the character designs are all very cool and stylish, and there's a lot crammed into these 12 episodes: Time travel, body swapping, magical girl transformations, secret government programs, and even a mecha battle. At the end of the series I was left feeling overwhelmed and thoroughly impressed, like I needed a moment to untangled what I just witnessed, an experience with anime I had not really had the chance to experience since I first saw FLCL. So if you're looking for a series that is an intense experience, definitely check out Punchline!
For manga, I would definitely suggest Fragments of Horror, which is a short one shot collection by Junji Ito, the famed horror mangaka behind "Uzumaki" and the short "The Enigma of Amigara Fault". Fragments of horror contains 8 short stories that run the typical Junji Ito gamut from disgusting, to unsettingly creepy, to sad, to just plain weird, perfect Halloween reading! As usual Junji Ito's art is drop dead gorgeous, even when it's all about showing off something completely gross. My personal favorites include the supernaturally touching "Gentle Goodbye" which is a story about a family with the power to bring back their loved ones as ghosts that eventually fade away and the more classic "Dissection Chan" which is all about a particularly creepy girl who just wants to get dissected. As has been the usual with recent Junji Ito releases, Fragments of Horror is presented as an impressive hardcover edition that is slightly larger than your average manga. While the stories inside of Fragments of Horror are all great (and terrifying) reads, my favorite thing about this particular volume of Junji Ito madness is that it looks really cool on your bookshelf, particularly lined up with the rest of the hardcover volumes of Ito stories that have been released as of late.