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Imouto.tv Membership!!!

13 Jan

久しぶり~!

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 9.10.40 am

It looks like Imouto.tv is viewable by those outside of Japan AND are accepting some foreign credit cards (in my case a Visa Debit card)! So I now have a Imouto.tv account =D

I use to have a Minisuka.tv account but had to give it up due to financial restraints (that and I only joined it because Imouto.tv was off-limits). I’ll have to try ordering some things from their online store using Tenso to ship them to me now =3

Now for a couple galleries:

Kuromiya Rei (黒宮れい)

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Katsuki Anzutama (香月杏珠)

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Junior Idol Resources – Know before you buy….. then buy!

9 Oct

If you’re like me and like Junior Idols AND owning the merchandise associated with it then you like buying DVD’s, Photobook’s and random junk off Japanese auction sites.

But quite often we, as foreigners living outside the holy land that is Japan, can’t walk down to the corner store and pick up our latest cutie (well, catch a train into Akihabara and walk to the goodie shops :P) whenever we want. This conundrum means we have to either buy on the spot without really knowing what it may turn out to be OR do some research. I do the later (and the former sometimes).

I use Kawaii 15 (sometimes, if I’m desperate, Akiba-Online — It’s not the nicest of places. Kinda creepy at times), Amazon Japan, GoogleYahoo! Japan Auctions (along with a host buyer, such as Ohta), Global Rakuten, HMV Japan and YesAsia to locate new items I want and to purchase them (Might I just say that you can go to Kawaii 15 and click on their ad links at the top of the forum to YesAsia and Amazon.co.jp. This gives them some support when you buy items). To start I’m going to show you some of the useful features of Kawaii 15’s forums. Below you will see two images with red rectangles around sub-forums:

I have highlighted the Media Reviews, Junior Idol (Online) Shops and Video Downloads (Direct Downloads) forums as these are the ones I frequently use when deciding on my next unknown purchase (as in getting a new girl I’ve never seen/heard of before).

In general the Video Downloads (Direct Downloads) forum will have some gems you may not be able to locate through normal channels, but most of the time you can find exactly the title you want (or never knew you needed until then). The uploaders are top notch and usually give you the catalogue code (something like CPSKY-213. Sometimes in brackets), runtime and the name of the DVD and the girl(s) starring in it, in both English and Japanese characters (the names in Japanese is important as the sites I link to either prefer it or won’t work without them), as well as the DVD cover and screenshots from the title:

If you’re still not sure give it a download to see if it is something that you want to part your money with. Sometimes the cover isn’t great or there isn’t one. In this case use Google and search for the catalogue number in the normal web search and in the Image search. I say to search the normal web interface because it’ll bring up sites like Oimoya-Shop which is useful as it has cover images and sometimes preview videos you can watch (It’s also a physical shop that you can visit in Japan 😉 ) and U-15 天堂, which has a big collection of Jr. items on the site, including magazines, with lots of screencaps (I also use this site to find new items I would like to purchase 😉 ). Sometimes you will come across a magnificent cover image in the Google Image results, but the site hosting it will be blocking non-Japanese IP’s from accessing it. In that case use http://japanweb.info/ and you’ll be laughing.

The Media Reviews section hosts members reviews of content they have bought or downloaded. It is something you may want to take with a grain of salt, and they can be rather old, but in general having someone else’s opinion does help. On a few occasions it’s helped me get things that I now absolutely love (the same thing goes for the Video Downloads section. I found both Miyuu Sasaki and Aikawa Seina from Kawaii 15 :D)

The last forum is  Junior Idol (Online) Shops and it’s invaluable! It lists known usable online shops for Junior Idol goods and how to use them, if they are a little complicated to use. The guides that currently work are always in pink and are a sticky at the top of the forum:

As new places are found and verified as allowing foreign purchase they are added by members to the forum. The forum is also filled with the remnants of former gaijin-friendly sites, which is sad that it’s dwindle to only a handful. There use to be a site called Catalogue 55 that had EVERYTHING you could want. It went out of business last year unfortunately and nothing has taken its place yet, nor does it look like there is going to be.

The only places I regularly purchase Jr. Idol items from are Amazon Japan, HMV, YesAsia (sometimes. They don’t have the largest Jr. Idol catalogue), and Global Rakuten. Amazon Japan is the only place that has a reasonable sized collection of Jr. goods. They carry DVD’s and Photobooks (if you’re lucky) and are a breeze to buy from as they have the site in both Japanese and English (though using Japanese for searches works best 😉 ). The only annoying part of Amazon Japan is that they don’t reference item’s catalogue codes, you can search using them but items don’t display what it is. HMV and YesAsia are quite good and can sometimes turn up little beauties of finds. They are in English and can be searched in both English and Japanese. Again, they don’t have the largest of Jr. collections, but they generally stock the more known idols. I got most of my Yukari Nakai DVD’s and Photobook from HMV and most of my Suzuka Morita ones from YesAsia .

Global Rakuten is my latest find. It’s in English, searchable in Japanese, and can ship direct from the marketplace to you without a middle host buyer. If you find this banner on a shops page:

then the store can communicate with you in English, and accept foreign forms of payment as well as ship outside of Japan. Not all places have it but that doesn’t mean you can’t buy from them, it just may mean communication is a little difficult. When searching you can either look for items that can be shipped direct to you (in my case Australia) or through the Tenso.com forwarding service:

The forwarding service is VERY useful for items you must have. It is going to be more expensive as you have to pay middle-man fees on top of the item, as well as both shipping fees (in Japan + overseas shipping).

The same is true for Ohta and his business SmileTrade:

I use his services for Yahoo! Japan Auctions. I started using him for Hello!Project and Idoling!!! goods, but he can get anything for you (but keep in mind to keep what you ask him to get clean, as in not risqué items). To get an item from an auction site, or indeed from the Amazon Japan marketplace or any other Japanese only site, email him with the URL of the item you want, along with the  maximum price you are will to pay, if it’s an auction. He will do his calculations (commission etc…), you PayPal him the money and he will bid on the item on your behalf up to your limit (keep a watch on the item yourself and if it is in danger of going over what you told him let him know you would like to increase your limit). If he is unsuccessful he gives the money back, if the item is won for you and at a cheaper price than your maximum then the excess is refunded or used in shipping etc… Go to his website for up-to-date instructions and commission levels. He can also get concert tickets 😉

To search Yahoo! Japan Auctions just type in your search term, in Japanese (the title of the item or the Juniors name, for example), in the top search field and then press the search button to the right (don’t worry about changing categories because you don’t need to):

You will be given a list of all items available matching your search query. Find something you like, if you’re using Google Chrome then click the translate button (I highly recommend Chrome for Jr. Idol work 😉 ) and find out what information the seller has on the item such as whether it’s new or used etc… then head on over to Ohta =) Simple, right? Just be prepared for the final cost, as well as none of the money being paid will reach the production company nor the idol, it’s mainly for out-of-print items and merchandise otherwise out of our reach as foreigners.

Not sure if this has be useful at all, but I’ll hopefully keep updating this with future things I use and ironing out any bad bits.

Minisuka.tv – Stage 1!

9 Oct

Well I’m now a Stage 1 member of Minisuka.tv!! I didn’t really know what that meant until today xD I was contemplating cancelling my subscription to the site as I couldn’t see any real benefits anymore and I’m saving for a Japan trip next year. That is until I spotted this sitting on the left sidebar: Once you click the image you are taken to the Stage 1 members area:

The Update List (image above, right sidebar) has all the newly released Stage 1 content listed and you get a new menu (image in the middle, below) with links to the new galleries you can now access. They include – Secret Gallery (image on the left, below), Dream Gallery (image on the right, below) and a whole new Archives Gallery (image below) to look at. There are two Archives, Special and Regular:

The image sets in Stage 1 seem to be of an older age (as in the girls) and the older sets are somewhat more “risqué” as they are no longer under the title of Junior Idol (so expect panty/bra removal, side breast and nude butts):

 

And here is a video from the Stage 1 Dream Galley (Mio Ayame):



In the Secret Gallery you can find extra and “secret” photo and video sets from normally released sets, such as the following examples of a Fuuka Nishihama and Mayumi Yamanaka secret set:

And here is a video of Yuri Kobayashi (16) and some photos of Kiyori Takami (16) from the Stage 1 Regular Archive Gallery:


All in all it’s a glorious place to be! I hope that you endeavour to find your way there sometime soon. If I make it the Stage 2 then expect another post on what I find there!

To sign up head over to Minisuka.tv and click the big pink “Join” button up the top (I would also recommend using Google Chrome to do this as it has built-in translation ;D). You pretty much just need to follow your nose as it’s not overly difficult.

The membership rates are as follows:

  • Every 30 days \ ¥2,000
  • Every 60 days \¥ 3,800
  • Every 90 days \ ¥5,400

The loveliness of Minisuka.tv

5 Aug

I frequently check the Online Store forum of Kawaii 15, hoping to find a new source of material. When I saw a claim that Minisuka.tv had in fact opened their arms to us foreigners I was sceptical, at best (as these sort of companies seem to have closed ranks on us for some time now):

The added claim of Imouto.tv being open also raised my skepticism levels. I was quite happy with the claim though, as the poster was Australian! I decided the only option was to test it myself and report the outcome, which just so happened to be that it had opened to none Japanese IP addresses and Credit Cards (they use a service called zeroweb.co.jp which seems to be the standard for these sites. Girlz High uses it, but rejects non-Japanese cards :/) and that it’s totally worth it!

The image sets are spectacular, the images themselves being not too large as to make getting them impossible on slow connections yet big enough to show all the splendour and joy these girls show.

Along with the image sets you will also find videos in the form of sub-10 minute clips collected from the shooting of the image sets. The video quality is OK, nothing HD which is a disappointment.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDfsxbIZL4c]

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLmxn02c0jA]

They also sometimes have Video Diary clips, which seem to be sub-15 minutes deals where the girls are the center of the cameras attention, outside of shooting image sets:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5r3oHy9qyCw]

You get access to a small collection of ever changing wallpapers featuring your favourite Junior Idols (well, those that model for Minisuka.tv anyway). They come in two sizes: 1280 x 800 and 1280 x 1024.

You don’t have access to the older sets, only the newly produced and released ones (unless they decide to do a “Revival” release which involves opening a set that is “old” for a certain amount of time), that is until you earn enough points.

To get points you need to log into the site every day which nets you a single point. Every month you subscribe you also get 200 points when they bill you (alternatively if you sign up with one of the other billing periods you get more points).

To sign up head over to Minisuka.tv and click the big pink “Join” button up the top (I would also recommend using Google Chrome to do this as it has built-in translation ;D). You pretty much just need to follow your nose as it’s not overly difficult.

The membership rates are as follows:

  • Every 30 days \ ¥2,000
  • Every 60 days \¥ 3,800
  • Every 90 days \ ¥5,400