@digikerot one of these days you should do a post on all your im@s merch. could be neat.
My response to that is, well, it probably wouldn’t be, because it’s mostly just a whole bunch of CDs. You see, there’s several things about iM@S when it comes to me and merchandise. For one, iM@S as a thing that I was a fan of came along at a really awkward time for me – namely, the point that I’d run out of room for bulky, space-consuming merchandise. Like, you know, toys and figures and all the cool stuff like that. Yes, the point at which I was getting into iM@S was also the point where my merchandising purchases started to be filtered by a ratio of size to functionality which figures wouldn’t pass through. Which meant I missed all the cool stuff, by which I mean the characters I’d actually want to buy figures of in costumes I’d want them to be wearing, by which I mean Brilliant Stage Ritsuko (and I’m not really much one for switsuit figures, if I’m entirely honest).
Secondly, most the best iM@S merch, or at least the stuff it’d be interesting to own, tends to be rather more of a pain to get for those outside Japan – we’re talking store exclusive pre-order items or Lawson-exclusive items sold around major iM@S releases or live events. I’ve no patience for auction sites or using weird online stores or proxy services these days, even though I’d have loved to eat a tub of iM@S crisps.
Then there’s the year or so that I spent completely out of the purchasing, release-tracking part of iM@S fandom. This came around about the release of Dearly Stars, which, to this day, I’ve still not got around to actually playing. The thing about that particular game is that it came at that point where I’d already bought myself a European DSi, and therefore was finding it difficult to go back to playing a regular DS with the slightly smaller, less vibrant screen. Of course, with Dearly Stars being DSi enhanced, I couldn’t play it on my EU DSi due to the region-locking. I can’t play it on my 3DS either. I’ll get around to it one day (probably when they do a 3DS redesign, that being a convenient way to justify to myself buying a Japanese 3DS), but until then, I’ve been avoiding, to this day, anything with significant Dearly Stars related content that may spoil the game. This means I’ve got absolutely no attachment to the games characters, though, and therefore have no related product.
To get back to point, however…
Yeah, I’ve got an awful lot of CDs. Well, kind of, it looks like a lot of CDs, but when you compare this even to just the listing at the base of the Columbia iM@S page…
So, that’s, what, less than half? Admittedly, that listing doesn’t even have all the “for general sale” CDs released by Columbia at this point (no aniM@S CDs, no Cinderella Girls and no Jupiter, all of which I have), let alone the bonus CD stuff (like the iM@S Break Bakemonogatari or action heroines CDs, which I also have). It doesn’t have the few CDs that weren’t published by Columbia either, like the 8-bit iM@S series (which are fantastic, published via 5pb IIRC) and some of the drama CD stuff.
Otherwise, well, obviously I’ve got all the home-release games thus far. I do have Limited Editions where available (including, as I wrote about many moons ago, the crazy huge 360 iM@S1 box), and I do have three sets of SP first-pressing alternate covers, but since I didn’t put any effort into chasing store exclusives, I don’t really have any genuinely neat or obscure extras on that front. Maybe I should consider grabbing Shiny Fiesta from Amiami or something.
If you want to get a little more into the realm of pointless extravagance, I do have a complete set of the recently release iM@S covered mugs. Shame they didn’t release a Kotori one.
And speaking of Kotori, I suppose my t-shirt line-up rather betrays my character preferences, not that I’ve ever been particularly quiet about that. I’m not really that big a fan of such overly blatantly otaku-ish t-shirts – I’ll wear them to events where I think people will be wearing things nerdier than I am, but generally I prefer to be a bit more subtle about my nerdiness. I do wear my Nice Appeal shirt on occasion, though (the Puchimas shirt is new – I literally took it out the wrapper for the picture).
Coincidently, speaking of characters, I suppose I should admit that my secret favourite character (by which I mean my favourite character who isn’t Ritsuko or Kotori and I don’t usually admit to) is Mami, though I don’t think I could pull off a Mami shirt even in the geekiest of surroundings. This is partially because her story mode in iM@S2 is pretty hilarious in places. A large part of it comes from the music, though. I don’t really like the songs that they write for AmiMami, but I kind of love a lot of their versions of the general iM@S songs or their cover songs. It’s got a lot to do with the kind inflection that Asami Shimoda tends to put into her singing voice for the character – it can be a little peculiar, but it tends to display an awful lot more character than a lot of the others muster – if often sounds like she’s having a lot more fun than the rest. Whilst my favourite iM@S songs are probably i and L.O.B.M at the moment, my favourite iM@S recordings are probably Agent Yoru wo Yuku (Hoover & Acid Mix) from 8-bit iM@S #1 and the cover of Yume no Naka E (the song that was also covered for the KareKano ED) from the Mami Master Artist 2 character single.
If you’ve not seen one of these before, these are actually iM@S Arcade game cards, as in the cards which are used to track saved games. These are limited edition ones which were shipped as first-pressing bonuses with the first set of iM@S CDs they released (the two I have are from the fourth and fifth disks). Never used, obviously, and I’m not sure how they actually work – they’re made of thin card, unlike, say, the metallic cards used with first generation Initial D machines. I wouldn’t be surprised if the player information is actually stored remotely given it was a fully networked game, so maybe there’s something on there which is used to remotely key uniquely into that information. Maybe.
And… I’m struggling for anything else particularly interesting. I do use a Ritsuko key-chain (and I’ve got a Kotori one as a spare). I did grab a Kotori Puchimas armrest a week or so ago. I’ve got a bunch of the different LE xBox Live points cards, but I can’t remember where I put the things.
Oh, and I’ve obviously got all of the Xenoglossia first pressings on DVD (though not the .anime versions with the alternative swimsuit covers), but it seems that they’d rather you forget about that these days. Funnily enough, though, the only larger fixed-pose iM@S figure I’ve got is a Xenoglossia Iori Minase, which I actually bought surprisingly recently after I felt sorry for it having I spotted her sitting in a relatively-local toy store. I mean, if I didn’t buy it, who would?