Tokyo Otaku Mode Review

Hey guys,

I received my first order at Tokyo Otaku Mode and wanted to write about my experience here.

Tokyo Otaku Mode Review

I placed an order on 8/13 for two items:

  1. T-Shirt: 162nd Arpeggio of Blue Steel (Takao 02) Keep Cool Version
  2. Sumikko Gurashi Plushie Multi- Use Stand – Sumikko Sanpo

My Products

In terms of ordering experience, I’ve found the site to be appealing to browse through with lots of images and information on the products, but it is not the easiest to filter through/narrow down items and the 15 minute time limit for the items in your cart is a bit annoying.

There is no filter options after you go into a sub-category within a category page. For example, I was looking through their t-shirts section within the Fashion category, but they were not categorized by series, so I had to look through 7 pages of t-shirts to see if I find anything I may be interested in. The good part about their product pages was that there were a lot of images and details for most of their products so you knew exactly what you were getting. Products are also genuine; don’t have to second-guess whether they’re fakes from China or not.

One annoying thing that I’ve found is that they give you a 15 minute hold for the items in your cart. There is a live “remaining time” counter that counts down from 15 minutes from when you last updated your cart that tells you the time you have remaining before all the items in your cart is removed because your hold is over. If you’re familiar with Gilt city, it’s kind of like that, but more annoying, because they remove all the items from your cart so you would have to go back and look for them again and add them to your cart again.

This is for them to keep track of stock in real time, but personally, I’ve just been frustrated with browsing through products and having to keep track of the counter and to have to consciously add/delete an item after some time just to keep the cart “active.”

—————

The part that I liked was after I placed my order. Right after placing the order, I received a *Free Shipping Offer* that was valid for 3 hours from when I placed my order. If I placed another order within those 3 hours, I would get free shipping; no minimum. This seems to be a nice offer for people who forget things or like to shop around after.

At the time of my order, only EMS was available and for these two items, it was $12 base + $3 per extra item. If you are not in a rush for your items and want to save money, I strongly recommend using SAL Small Packet Registered (if possible), or SAL Parcel. The prices are all weight-based and if you’re ordering a lot of items, it could cost a lot. There is a price chart here on their FAQ page for comparison of how much it would cost.

My order was shipped via EMS on 8/18. Typically, orders should take 2 business days, but there was a notice that August orders would take longer due to “sudden increase of orders,” so my order took 5 days to ship, which is not bad.

I received my package on 8/20; I’m on the East Coast of USA. It was pretty fast. I also got some goodies, an Otaku Mode clear file and a fan, shown below.

Otaku Mode Package

Opening the Package

Otaku Mode Goodies

Otaku Mode Clear File

Otaku Mode Fan

In terms of price, the products are actually not as marked up as I imagined. The shirt I ordered had a price tag of 3990 yen, which is ~$38.42. The shirt is only available at Comiket 84 as written in this post, so I was super excited to be able to order and receive a legit version of it at this price. The other plushie stand had a price tag of 1200 yen, which is ~$11.57 at the time of the post. Little to no markup on the prices, maybe a dollar or two depending on how bad the exchange rate is.

Overall, I’m happy with my order/items. Checkout was simple; they take Paypal. Only complaint with the ordering process was the 15 minute limit item hold. I think they could improve in their inventory/stock, but they do have some niche/rare items that make shopping there quite worth it. I would recommend this place.

Anyone else have Tokyo Otaku Mode experiences they’d like to share?

If you register for Tokyo Otaku Mode with my link, you can get $5 in TOM points (as of Jan 2017), 5% off your first order.

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“Sakura Sale” on Tokyo Otaku Mode

Seems like Tokyo Otaku Mode is having a small sale of up to 70% off (though as expected mostly 20-30%) off some goods. Might be able to score some cheap anime goods. Again, if you register with my link, you’d get $5 in TOM Points (and so do I). Free shipping is available on orders over $100 now (as opposed to $200 before).

Sakura sale here.

Enjoy :).

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Honto.jp Ebooks Legal?

Recently, I exchanged emails with Fabio from Italy, who contacted me about honto.jp’s eBooks, particularly regarding the legality of it. As it seems, he was able to buy and read eBooks/eMangas on honto’s PC program found here: http://honto.jp/ebook/dlinfo.html.

But his inquiry to me was how legal was it? Would honto.jp just delete all your ebooks one day when they find out you don’t live in Japan?

I couldn’t find much information on the internet about this, only in their FAQs that it’s only supported within domestic Japan. As a result, he contacted honto’s customer service in English and honto replied back in Japanese. It seems that they understood his inquiry and he sent me their reply for translation. I am not going to copy and paste the email here, but the gist of it is that:

Their eBook service is limited to customers within domestic Japan. It is a possible to purchase eBooks from overseas, but using, or the means of using the computer/devices overseas is outside of their support (basically they are not subjected to providing support for their eBooks outside of their region).

They do not explicitly say it’s illegal or that it will someday disappear…just that if you buy and can’t read it for whatever reason (no supported devices), you would be on your own. For the most part, it should work! but only on the Windows app (no native Mac app at this time; you can Bootcamp or run Windows on a VM for Mac).

See Fabio’s screenshot below for what the Windows app looks like:

honto-ebook-program

There is also a protection lock for the program that prevents you from using 3rd party programs to capture pages of the ebook.

Maybe the browser plugin works for reading honto ebooks as well. I do not sure

Don’t forget that you still would not be able to read the ebooks/emanga on a non-Japanese tablet/smartphone and quite possibly, if you’re not living in Japan (because of region lock for app store). It has been confirmed by ETf that the honto app on iOS does work; however, non-Japanese Android devices may not work. From my previous post, I mentioned that the honto app is not available for out of Japan devices to download (if you don’t own a device from a Japanese mobile provider). I have not tested installing the honto .apk file outside of the Play Store. If you haven’t read my previous post on what doesn’t work for honto’s eBooks, it’s at: https://kaizora.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/honto-jp-ebooks/

Hope this helps! Thanks again, Fabio!

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honto.jp Film Coat/Lamination Service

I’m not sure if people are aware, but honto.jp does offer a film coating/lamination service on your shopping cart page (買い物カゴ) for 120 yen per book. If you check the 「フィルムコート」option, you would be able to purchase this service.

I’ve taken the opportunity to translate some of the text from their details page.

Products that cannot be film coated/laminated

  • CD/DVD ・ magazines・ and any products labeled with “フィルムコート不可”.

Important Points

  • It takes around 3 days of time after the product(s) arrive.
  • If you checkout with the film coat service (checking the checkbox right under your cart and right above the green checkout button on the your shopping cart page), your whole order will be part of the service (at 120 yen/book). In the case that you do not want film coating for your entire order, you would have to place your order separately.
  • Depending on the shape/form of the book, it is possible that it cannot be film coated/laminated. If that becomes the case, the order will be canceled and you will be contacted via email.
  • In the case that there are cases of applied things on the cover/binding/undersurface of the book, such as stickers, information/descriptions, barcodes, etc, it will be film coated as is.
  • In the case that the book has information printed on the paper ends of the binding, the bottom of cover sleeves, and such, the cover will be un-binded/cut, then film coated over. (I’m not entirely sure how this process is done, but see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJ5Lefyx26E and http://youtu.be/dDoNqyZ-cDM?t=3m42s ).
  • If your book comes with an obi, it will be removed for film coating. Then it will be re-wrapped around your book for shipping.
  • Regardless of shipping stage, after the order is complete, it cannot be cancelled.

I found this Japanese post with screenshots of film coated books done by honto if anyone’s curious what the results would look like: http://ameblo.jp/mr-nennkinn/entry-11453740938.html

* Sorry if some of the translation came out to be weird. As usual, do leave a comment if you need help. Hope this helps!

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Tokyo Otaku Mode

Hey guys, recently found out about this cool-looking new online store called Tokyo Otaku Mode. The site is in English and they seem to sell Authentic Japanese goods “to the world,” focusing on “otaku” goods. The products seem to be directly from the artists or publishers and they have a number of popular mainstream series/artists such as Attack on Titan and supercell’s redjuice (character designer of Guilty Crown). The variety of their goods include artbooks, art prints, doujinshi, smartphone cases, fashion items, figurines, books, licensed manga, etc.

I guess what really caught my eye in the first place was that they are the group responsible for putting the English translation of a Satoshi Hase’s Beatless light novel for free, to read online, which was what led me to find that they sell redjuice’s artwork, and redjuice is the illustrator for that series as well. I haven’t read it yet, but it will be my new train ride read.

The store itself seems new and shipping is only available in EMS, but shipping is free on orders over $200, which seems pretty good. I haven’t used it yet so I can’t vouch for whether they are good or not yet, but I suspect I may soon since I got a $5 coupon as a welcome gift to use in the next 7 days.

You can check it out and if you can, sign up with my invite link:
https://otakumode.com/invite/364713

You get $10 $5 in TOM Points, which I guess you get a $10 $5 coupon. And I get $10 $5 if you place your first order; too bad I didn’t use anyone’s invite link when I signed up! Oh well. As usual, let me know if anyone has experience to share about this place and I’ll happily share it :).

EDIT: They were running a promo when I wrote this post, giving away double the usual invitation TOM points ($10 instead of $5). Without the promo, they only give $5 and this post has been modified to reflect the change since the promotion is now gone.

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Guide on canceling/changing honto.jp orders

Hey guys,

Just want to let you guys know that I’ve just written a guide on Canceling/Changing Your Honto.jp Order. Might be useful for those of you who are not very familiar with how to do it; I’ve also just recently discovered you can do this, haha.

In any case, check it out! And as usual, if you run into any problems or have questions, feel free to leave a comment on my blog and I will get back to you :).

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Honto.jp Ebooks

Since eBooks is becoming more and more aggressively pushed on honto.jp, I thought I’d give my readers some information on what I’ve gathered briefly regarding ebooks on honto.jp. To be clear, I don’t have a working setup for it, so this post will focus on what doesn’t work / is not supported, as of Jan 31, 2015.

They’ve also recently implemented a 立ち読み (tachiyomi) feature to their ebooks, (which if you’re not familiar with the concept, see this). The way it works seem to be that you would need their app, or install a browser plugin on a support browser. Not all of their ebooks support 立ち読み though.

So honto apps… It appears that the honto apps for smartphones/tablets may be region locked. For Android devices, it doesn’t support any of my Android devices, because my device is not from a Japanese wireless service company; e.g. Docomo, Softbank, or au. It seems that if you have a Japanese device, you may be able to download the honto app from the Google Play store. The only other way of getting around this is by downloading the honto app .apk file and installing it to your phone. Refer to this guest post.

There is no desktop application developed for Mac OS X, but if you own an Intel Mac there is still the option of downloading a plugin called T-TimePlug. This is also an option for PC browsers (same link). Running VM (such as Bootcamp or Parallels) for Windows on a Mac is not supported according to their website.

The Windows app for honto has been reported to be working and I’ve written about the findings in this post. Just FYI, there is a protection lock when you run the program that prevents you from using 3rd party programs to capture pages of the ebook.

More information and the downloads can be found directly on the honto ebooks info page.

TLDR;
If you own a PC, download their native program, or install their browser plugin, T-TimePlug.
If you own a Mac, install the browser plugin, T-TimePlug, or alternatively, run Windows on Bootcamp or another VM and install their Windows app.
If you own an iOS device, it has been confirmed to work. Download the iOS app from the Japanese iOS app store.
If you don’t own a Japanese make Android smartphone/tablet, refer to this guest post.

My recommendation, if you want to give it a try, is to make sure you have everything set up and working before purchasing anything. I’ll be glad to answer any questions that I can find answers to on their site, or update this post if anyone would like to share their experience on honto.jp ebooks.

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