Our endeavour to have a Death Note gifts shop to match every character at the heart of our Month of... events finally made it in BEFORE the deadline by a fair few days.
But only because Lua took care of it, and did so with aplomb. Obrigado!
We have costumes, posters, eBay deals, figurines (some 1/6 life sized and really quite lovely), plus bags, body pillow and other miscellaneous goodies, with more coming in all the time. No really. Lua's on that case too.
Please do look in. All profits go towards the running of the site, though none came in to date!
Viz Media Turns 30 (Promises Goodies to Thank Fans) - Japanamerica Pop Culture Scholar Roland Kelts Contemplates the Impact of Three Decades of Viz
This summer, Viz Media celebrates its 30th birthday firmly entrenched as North America's foremost exporter, and promoter, of Japanese manga and anime.
There will be no big party in the streets by all accounts. Yet fans can look forward to special offers and goodies given out as a thank you for for thirty years of support.
However, those deals currently announced are only available to indivduals attending anime conventions across the USA. Kicking off on July 1st-4th 2016, at the Los Angeles Anime Expo, and continuing throughout the summer and autumn season. More on all that when we know further.
What Did Viz Media Ever Do for Us Anyway?
Roland Kelts Puts Viz Media's Achievements in Context
More to the point, Kelts discusses the effect of such global popularity success on the domestic market in Japan. With its shrinking population population and declining consumerism, the business opportunities at home were always limited. The injection of worldwide capital turned out to be very timely and very welcome for the overall prosperity of that island nation.
Not bad for a notion mooted by a San Francisco hippy, which turned out to be quite a fabulous one at that. Happy 30th birthday, Viz Media; the celebrations may run worldwide.
Manga Entertainment: Death Note Blu-Ray Anime Coming to UK in 2016! (Meanwhile Viz Media Promotes Death Note: Omega Edition in Blogs & Illinois)
It's hard to imagine British distributors reinventing the wheel, when an English language blu-ray Death Note edition with that exact specification already exists as Omega. Available for US consumer viewers since March 1st 2016, created, packaged and promoted by Viz Media.
Talking of which, the Viz newsletter recently ran a piece reviewing precisely that Death Note blu-ray box set!
Urian Brown provides a pretty thorough synopsis of the story and what we may expect by revisiting its anime again in blu-ray. The main event is earmarked once again as the unbelievable quality on display through blu-ray's famed high definition focus. There's much talk of the detail in L's strawberry or Misa Amane's frills in his Viz blog entry - entitled Death Note: The Omega Edition with the tag-line Death Note finally gets the proper Blu-Ray treatment! (Viz, May 17th 2016).
Worth a read if you're wondering what all of the fuss is about.
Viz Media reps were also busy promoting its Omega Death Note blu-ray box set in Illinois last week. The company had a booth at Anime Central 2016 convention, held from May 20th-22nd at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare and Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont. Fans stopping by to say hello could walk away clutching a free give-away Death Note poster.
Find Death Note Omega Edition in our own Death Note Anime Gift Store
- in fact, buy formatted blu-ray Death Note films from there too!
Hot on the heels of the Omega Edition hitting English language stores, there's a heads up that the Spanish dub Death Note anime is getting its own Blu-Ray formatting - available from July 6th 2016.
Death Note - Box 1 (Episodios 1 A 20) - Edición Coleccionista [Blu-ray], as the box set is entitled, apparently covers only the first twenty episodes of the anime. Presumably Box 2 will finish off with the remaining seventeen.
Selecta Visión - the anime's distributors in Spain - hinted at the fact to fans during their recent tenure at Japan Weekend (Selecta Visión Confirma Las Licencias de Death Note y Assassination Classroom, report by Víctor González Valle, Region PlayStation (Feb 14th 2016)).
However there's been no official announcement as yet, beyond vague references via Twitter.
Like that on March 24th, when a fan asked if Selecta Visión would make available a Catalán version of the Death Note anime, someone from the company responded that the new Blu-Ray edition would be in Catalán.
Though representatives at the convention suggested that it would appear in May, retailers across the board have since attached a release date of July 6th 2016. Moreover, their attendant information uniformly names the language as being Español, not Catalán, for this Blu-Ray Spanish Death Note dub.
Beyond that, all that we know is that Death Note Edición Coleccionista will be spread over four discs with a total running time of 500 minutes. No word on any special features, additions nor even cover art as yet. We'll keep you posted as soon as we know anything else at all.
See Blu-Ray Death Note - Box 1 (Episodios 1 A 20) - Edición Coleccionista on Amazon Spain.
It may be the tenth anniversary of its initial publication, yet manga editions of Death Note sales remain evergreen in the US, Canada and Mexico.
In fact, this far down the line, Death Note manga volumes are still one of the Top 10 best-selling titles within the c0ntinent for the genre. It pretty much seems lodged there; camped in all perpetuity.
That's according to ICv2 - the North American pop culture news magazine for retailers - reporting in the April 4th 2016 issue of Publishers Weekly.
While Death Note may lack the current mega-sales of latest releases like Attack on Titan, Tokyo Ghoul and One-Punch Man, that's because they are new and trending fashionably. But that's more than made up for by the steady drip-drip of continued Death Note manga editions purchased throughout the last decade.
It even survived well during the overall manga slump in North America, which saw the trade in Japanese titles fall from a high of $210m in 2007 to a mere $65m by 2012. The market had bounced back up to $75m by 2014 - mostly on the back of Tokyo Ghoul and One-Punch Man - with early figures suggesting that North American manga sales rose by another 13% again during 2015.
Yet even during the down days in manga consumerism, interest in Death Note there never really wavered. ICv2 stated that it, along with Dragon Ball, went on 'selling well'.
So why should Death Note stand out so much amid all the rest? ICv2 CEO Milton Griepp has an answer for that too. "I think it all comes down to quality," He said, comparing Ohba and Obata's epic manga with iconic graphic novels of the West, like Alan Moore's Watchman or Batman: The Killing Joke. "Death Note is a good series."
And sometimes it really is as simple as that.
Anything missed? Any great ideas sizzling away on a back-burner, in danger of becoming charcoal, because no-one's checked that list since we wrote it? (Being too busy organizing, liaising, coding, formatting, chasing and all other manner of orchestrating e-mails zooming back and forth, coz folk beautifully, fabulously and brilliantly did join in. In absolute droves.)
Finds a whole article written in advance, and promptly forgotten about; has a frightened little gasp over the short list pertaining to Light Yagami's birthday on the 28th.
Never did source an astrologer to tell us about the propensity of Pisceans to become Kira; nor anyone to explain why it matters that his Light Yagami's blood group is A; nor whether the Fire Tiger of the Death Note manga birth year for Kira, or Earth Snake of the anime, best suits Light's personality as described in the Chinese Zodiac. If anyone actually knows any of this stuff - or related charts, no-one mentioned Indian astrology yet! - then you have two days to jot your knowledge down and rush it to us in time for Kira's birthday on February 28th.
Pretty much guaranteed to ninja yourself into our already chock-a-block publishing grid for Light Yagami month though!
Then there it was, a faded, pencilled little note - create a gift store for Kira on Death Note News. It would tie in nicely and we have a freaking website to pay for! If we could just start remembering to populate (and promote) our Death Note Gifts area (tick), we might get a dribble of commission in to put aside towards hosting costs (He Moves Me Differently, not really here); domain name retention (here); Kira crossword prizes etc.
So when things get tough, we wouldn't have to resort to desperate measures, like launching an appeal replete with photographs of the wide-eyed, cute, beseeching faces of our two kittens and boa constrictor.
(Incidentally, and remarkably, that worked! Yow and Jiji are currently nowhere to be seen, out playing without risk of our kittens creating more kittens; plus they got their travel home, all their inoculations and insurance to cover them at their friendly, lovely vet. Tinkerbell is having a vivarium built especially for her. Until about two days ago, I'd have said she's the happiest boa constrictor alive. Then she got mites. This is not a great learning curve, but we're winning nontheless. No infestation of snake eating mini-spiders noms Tink on OUR watch. And yes, Anonysnake did raise Anonymous to help haX0r said mites. Two Anons anyway. No more about that here. This is a Death Note news site! If you want to keep up with kitten/boa gossip, follow them on Twitter like normal people.)
It's Here! Limited Edition, 10,000 Run of Takeshi Obata's Blanc et Noir in English Just Became Available for Pre-order!
So you think you've read (and probably own) every book about Death Note? Check out our store, you might be surprised.
We certainly have been. During a whole weekend of hunting down errant manga and other literary Death Note works, there were tomes we'd never heard of, let alone read.
And coming from a gang of such Death Note obsessives, that's quite saying something.
For example, did you know about L: File Number 15? A canon book of short Death Note cartoons created by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata. Half of our team did not.
Or what about Notes of Reasoning, the Chinese novel by Zao An Xia Tian? Which may or not not be a canon work taking the Death Note universe and adapting it to a Chinese setting. Or it may be an elaborate and published piece of fan-fiction. We don't know. None of us speak Chinese.
How about the hardback special editions of Death Note manga that exist out there in the English language? Some of those even took us by surprise, missing our radar entirely.
As you may have surmised, this weekend has been a time of skipping interesting things and putting our nose to the grind of finding, collating, formatting and arranging Death Note books everywhere, in various languages, across the board of genres.
All now beautifully arrayed in the Death Note News book shop.
It's worth nipping inside, if only to discover what you may have missing from your own library collection. But also to purchase a volume or two to help with the costs of running this website. Enjoy! And if you buy, thank you.
In addition the anime/movie Death Note store has been tidied up, hence will be easier to open, load and navigate. While the music merchandise has had one or two updates too.
School Judgment: Gakkyu Hotei Manga Volumes Launched February 2016, Co-Created by Death Note Artist Takeshi Obata
Meanwhile, over on Twitter, no mention was made until Christmas Day proper, when someone still at work Tweeted, '¡Oficial! El TPB de #HitGirl llega en enero y #DeathNote regresa a México en febrero de 2016 ¡#FelizNavidadATodos!' (Another general translation - 'It's official! The TPB (trade paperback - or manga, to the likes of you and me) of Hit Girl is coming in January and Death Note returns to Mexico in February 2016. Merry Christmas all!')
Then continued on earning their overtime in reTweeting the excitement of Death Note fans in reaction to it all.
To their credit, Panini staff didn't ignore such pointed queries, spending the Christmas period addressing comments amassing Facebook and Twitter. The policy of no competing reprints was only ever a 'short or medium term' one, and Death Note is their most requested manga volume set in Mexico. That latter reasoning repeated time and time again.
Its very popularity means that Panini Comics Mexico can make an exception for Death Note. It's only a short manga series, already concluded and extremely well known. No hassle really to reproduce and market. It's all for the fans. The fans want it. We're just here to deliver, was the general essence of Panini's response across the board.
So you see, nothing to do with the potential of a nice little earner later in 2016, when the franchise explodes under the glitz and frenzy of a Hollywood movie set to propel Death Note's popularity into the stratosphere. In theory. It's Mexican manga collection coming out now is just a big coincidence; rewarding fans with what they want for Christmas.
Panini Comic Mexico's manga Death Note volumes will be on sale in February 2016, priced at MXN 75,00 each.
Are you loving the Death Note Christmas gift shop gif that's over there on the sidebar being all festive? Wonderful, isn't it?
Orangepunch created it for us and it's been gently snowing away in that corner, calling people in to remember that seasonal Death Note decorations do exist and all that.
Whilst also reminding me that I never did get around to finishing half of the stores that it's inviting people in to visit. Plus some of them went up with way too big images attached to every pretty product, rendering them too long to load for the average sense of patience to withstand. If it doesn't crash the prospective buyers internet first.
What can I say, I was young and foolish, followed by forgetful and lazy. Swiftly introducing, 'Oh no! All of that should have been fixed months ago!' *cue pulling an all-nighter* into the bargain. One unfathomably long night later, we have a much improved Death Note Gift Emporium (though granted, that might have been more useful a few weeks ago BEFORE you bought all your Xmas presents), plus some new departments entirely.
You will still find flaws in there (size of pics in DVDs and books pages, we're all looking at you), but I also found something quite intriguing to bring to the table. Plus some gossip.
What's New in Death Note Gifts?
First let me run you through what's changed and sparkly new in our Death Note shopping area, plus a 'to do' list of what's coming up, so you can check if the issue you've found is already known. If not, then naturally we'd be very grateful to get the heads up.
The front page (screenshot above) got a redesign. The thumbnails were all much reduced in size, in order to boost the speed at which the page loads. Hopefully it is much more navigable now.
In addition, every Death Note merchandise page has been reconfigured with funky tabs - making finding things at a glance much easier and again dropping that load time a lot! Check them out in any department clicked below.
Death Note Decorations & Party Stuff
Death Note OSTs & Other Musical Things
GOSSIP STOP! In filling up those cyber shelves, I found several new Death Note tribute tracks by other artists, including two available for pre-order on release dates later this month or January. They are both in our gift store now, but I will be hunting down the musicians and featuring them as separate Death Note News reports. Death Note's 10th anniversary, TV drama or upcoming movies, appear to have inspired a veritable flood of them! Happy days.
Death Note Cosplay & Costume Accessories
Death Note Manga & Other Books
Death Note Anime, Movies and Other DVDs
Brand New Character Collections for Death Note Gift Ideas
These next two kick start a whole new category in Death Note memorabilia - collections based on merchandise for Death Note characters. I'm sure that most people choosing which characters to begin would have gone for Light and L. But I know my readership.
Death Note Mello Merchandise
Death Note Matt Gifts & Memorabilia
Anyone want to prod us towards which character to compile a collection for next? If there's no broad hints in any other direction, we'll default to Light Yagami and work through the series from there. Though I'm half tempted to be perverse and go Sachiko Yagami instead! Reckon there would be anything out there to buy in honour of Light's mother?
But this brings us nicely to the salient question with which I led.
Is Death Note's Matt a Motorcycle Enthusiast? Or Just a Punk?
I know where my money is. In fact, I've written twelve novels of Mello/Matt fan-fiction spelling it out - and one of them initially ran with the working title Cyberpunk. Another had titles lifted from several Cyberpunk dictionaries and cultural references. Matt in my universe ended up with a motorbike once, but we've barely seen it since.
Maybe that's because I've missed a trick. In conjunction with most of the Death Note Matt fandom, I missed what was in plain sight, because I never thought to look certain things up.
Matt's gift shop was looking a bit sparse. Mello's was jam packed. I felt bad. So I thought it would be a nice idea to hunt for that habitual Matt costume for Death Note cosplayers to buy, love and cherish. After all, its probably the most ubiquitously seen, ordinary collection of clothes on any Death Note character. You could grab half the items in any given mainstream clothes shop.
Or could you? It's harder than it looks, this cosplay malarkey. I started with the gloves. How do you search for those? They're quite distinctive. Racing gloves? Long, black gloves for men? Finally, I found them. They are officially known - in non-Death Note circles - as motorcyclist's gauntlet gloves, or motorbike racing gauntlet gloves.
Next I went for the goggles. Bog standard cyberpunk, I thought, with an option on steampunk, if that outfitting genre fell short. Close, but no cigar. Yet I was finding something similar, if not precise, in a whole new class of goggle sporting necessities. Necessary, that is, if you happen to be a motorbike racer. Like those wearing the gloves too.
Shoved some stripy, long-sleeved tops in and off into the jeans department. Mmmm, several billion here, what to search in order to narrow this down? Ribbed jeans? Denim with circles around them?
Turns out that there are some jeans created specifically with patchwork patterns surrounding each leg - just like Matt's wears in fact. They're made especially for bikers. Apparently it improves their saddle grip upon the seat. Saves them slipping about, as ordinary jeans might.
So goggles, gloves and jeans all point due Matt the motorbike rider, with a strong nudge towards racing them too. You going for that in your head canon? Fan fiction writers, is that why he's beside a bike the first time we see him, and why Mello acquires one only after Matt's on the scene? Death Note fan artists, what motorcycle does Mail Jeevas ride? If this releases the throttle on anybody's muse, let me link the results, or show them off here.
Or are you just going 'cyberpunk geek' like me, and dismissing this out of hand? I'd be fascinated with your thoughts!
A new Death Note reference book was issued by Shinigami Press on October 26th 2015.
Penned by Brad A. Yamaguchi, it's entitled Death Note: Unofficial Guide.
The clue being in the title, this isn't anything published by Tsugumi Ohba, Shueisha, Nippon, Viz Media nor any of the Death Note copyright holders. Nevertheless fair usage applies there - just as it does with our Death Note news site - and anyone can write about a subject. It's all good.
Yamaguchi's guide to Death Note covers all media in which the story is told - including the 2015 Death Note television drama, hence very up-to-date.
Just about everything you ever wanted to know about Death Note is there.
What's in Brad A. Yamaguchi's Unofficial Death Note Guide?
Yamaguchi's Death Note guidebook contains 90 pages. Which are split between five sections, featuring information packed chapters - each with their own focus within the Death Note universe. Delve even more deeply into the nitty-gritty of Death Note via all the sub-sections keeping things tidy.
The book's contents list is highly impressive.
Beginning with an introduction to Death Note, we get a summary of the story itself, plus much background and contextual information. Yamaguchi covers everything from conception to reception, then moves on to legacy too.
Each major character gets a chapter devoted to them in Part Two. For each one, we hear about how the individual was created; where they appeared in the story; how they were received by the readership/audience; and other links regarding them. References support every snippet told.
Another chapter highlights the supporting personae; further divided into those only known from one telling of the tale (for example, secondary characters seen only in a Death Note film).
Part Three of Death Note: Unofficial Guide takes us through an in-depth examination of every manga chapter or anime episode.
Contents pages for Death Note: Unofficial Guide by Brad A. Yamaguichi:
Part Four does the same for each live action telling of the story - including the TV Death Note drama and all four Japanese movies - then moves onto associated novels, primarily Another Note: The Los Angeles BB Murder Case, and Death Note original soundtracks too.
There's an especial chapter taking in New World - the Death Note finale - plus others dealing with real life murders associated with the show. Part Four finishes with a close look at the story's author Tsugumi Ohba.
The final part of this guidebook for Death Note merely lists all references and sources for further information within the universe, franchise and genre.
All told, a fabulous resource and wonderful gift idea for Death Note fans, with an eye on Christmas just around the corner. However, there is a strong reservation attached.
Death Note Guidebook Simply Reproduces Wikipedia Pages!
It doesn't take long in sitting down to read this unofficial Death Note guide to realise that Brad A. Yamaguchi didn't actually write the content. He merely copied it wholesale from Wikipedia and formatted as a real world book.
That doesn't make it any less informative and fascinating to read, but you could do that for free on-line.
Perhaps handy as a reference book for Death Note to carry with you, when there is no access to the internet. Or as an archive edition to record the information on Wikipedia on the day he copied it. Yet otherwise nothing new here as concerns the Death Note fandom, and nothing that cannot already be found digitally.
Check out Brad A. Yamaguchi's Death Note: Unofficial Guide to complete your collection, or see what other Death Note guides are available through our store.
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Site Claim and Authorship Verification: All that follows is for me to prove my authorship of Death Note News in various places. Hoop jumping stuff for me; boring for everyone else.