Being a fan of Hirano Aya, I naturally kicked myself when I read that she’s coming out with a photo journal book/magazine, and I didn’t get a chance to place a pre-order for it – since I didn’t know until the initially set release date was way past. I searched all over the net in Chinese and some English sites to find where I can still place a pre-order with an e-store. No such luck. There were no sites in English that even remotely mentioned about her photo book, and for all the Chinese sites I surfed, I found that either no more pre-orders were being taken, or just plain info which wasn’t much help at all, since I already learned about the basic info – It’s Aya-chan’s first photo journal (well, not quite a journal but more like a collection of pictures of her, and no, nothing explicit), the Title in English is Hirano Aya H (H stands for the the first romanji of her last name and not “Hentai” – sorry guys) – Stair Way to 20 (probably a play of words of “the stairway to heaven”, which is where I’d love to take her…AH HUM!), but seriously, I had given up hope, reasoning that in no more than 5 years maybe even less, she’ll go back as a plain ol’s seiyuu-san – albeit hopefully a talented one.
Imaging my surprise and delight when I found somebody on the Taiwanese Yahoo Auctions was selling it for somewhat more expensive, but still reasonable (sellers have to make money, you know) price of 850 NT, which is roughly $25, which I found to be all right. The standard price of the book including tax is about 1950 yen [edit: it's 1990 yen plus tax], which is about $16. Being Otaku enough at the core, I jumped at the chance, even though I was dealing with the person for the first time.
After I used the “purchase” option, about 15 minutes later, I discovered that he had put up another copy for the same price. I frowned a little, thinking that in Asia her photo book would be very popular and hard to get, but apparently this guy had more than one copies. I couldn’t believe my luck in finding two copies of this book in a row, at the same place! O ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho (I much prefer using the anime female villain’s laughs)!
Then I remembered when I surfed Taiwanese anime/otaku pages, I found that Taiwanese people’s reaction to Aya-chan is much, much milder than people in other parts of the world, including the great US of A and the motherland of Her Moeness. So I figured, if no one else cared for it, I might as well be a true Otaku (and probably kicking myself and regretting it in 5 to 10 years for spending the money) and get two! So I bought another copy from this guy. I’ll then have one for keepsake, and the one other for my reading pleasure! O ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho!
The seller actually called me and confirmed which shipping I wanted, I told him Takkyubin (express delivery to one’s house), and it was OK to send both in one package for a flat express fee that he calculated – 160 NT, which is roughly $5, still cheap for me.
After that, he had put up a third copy for sale, this time for 1000 NT, which is roughly $30. That’s way over-priced for me, so I didn’t purchase it (I’m guessing fanatics and business-minded people would just buy another copy to sell to collectors, but I’m neither).
So after just one day and half, I’m sitting here with two brand new copies of the first run, Hirano Aya photo books/journals in my possession. Each copy had one corner that was slightly dented, but since I’m not selling them (and I doubt there will be buyers even if I ever want to), I don’t give a good-god-damn about that. :) Period.
I’m just jubilant! I’m considering posting one or two photos of this book not found on the net, but for anyone who’s interested in seeing the whole thing (which I’m thinking you can probably find it on the net later somewhere, but), please support Hirano Aya and purchase a copy somewhere. I’d post the link to that seller but the seller’s auction is in Taiwan, and he stated that currently he’s only willing to ship in Taiwan and the surrounding islands that it owns (snicker: it actually owns something…) (Update: when I checked 5 minutes ago it’s still there…oh well)
Well, if I can somehow to get her to sign my “keepsake copy” (what’s the proper term for that for collecting but not using it anyway?), then I’d be exploding in jubilee! Oh and,
BANZAI! BANZAI! BANZAI!
(This article just shows how pathetic I’m XD)
P.S. I guess the photos were shot back when she was 19, because she’s almost 21 now. Her Birthday is October 8th, 1987, back in the great ’80s.
P.S. 2 Damnit! It’s 2007 this year, not 2008! Silly me… XD
Update1: for more info, check out the Akihabara Channel at http://www.akiba-ch.com/?p=70
Update2: this Japanese guy bought 10 copies – completely blew this insignificant Otaku (me) out of water. I salute your Otakuness, whoever you’re. See the 4th pic on hit site at http://d.hatena.ne.jp/dantyoism/20070726