Saturday, May 16, 2015

Sketchbook Volume 11

So this is how my yearly ritual (since 2012) started this year. I browsed CDJapan.co.jp for Sketchbook (SB) Volume 11 without any luck. Bing search / Google search didn’t turn up anything interesting either at first but sheer perseverance on my part took me to a Japanese website NeoWing.co.jp which felt like a parent / sister / daughter site of CDJapan! But that didn’t stop me in this day & age! I just copied the Japanese spelling for Sketchbook from Wikipedia and searched for Vol11. IT WAS ON PRE-ORDER! I signed up on the site and managed to check out not just SB Vol11 but another manga by the same author: Scorebook! My heart beats knew no bounds as my Superpartner puts it. (I hope she’s not turning jealous of Sketchbook! [No, but I have other things to be jealous of. Winking smile])

After completing the payments, I noticed the status of my order (translated from Japanese to English) as: “Order Acceptance (Incomplete)”. The release date was 9th of May and I had (pre)ordered ~2 weeks prior so I knew this status will take a long time to change. Anyway, I checked the status again on 9th and lo & behold, the status had changed to: “Ships under Construction”! I couldn’t believe it… they were actually building ships to send these orders! I wondered about the next few status updates: “Ships Construction Completed”, “Ships Passed Floatation Test”, “Package Placed on Ship”, “Ships Sailed”, etc. And finally on 11th, I saw the golden word: “Shipped”!

My heart beats again knew no bounds when I got a call on 13th that a package from Japan has been delivered. [Last time, he was about to faint and this time I was preparing to take a flight to Taiwan in case he did!Smile with tongue out] I got back home from my office and opened the all familiar packaging with green paper covering the beautiful art below:

Green Covering

Here is the cover page for Scorebook as the two mangas lie protected in bubble wrap:

Scorebook

I removed the bubble wrap and got to the most exciting reveal. This year it’s Minamo (Daichi Negishi’s younger sister) on the cover page:

Sketchbook Vol11 & Scorebook - Front

And here are their back covers too:

Sketchbook Vol11 & Scorebook - Back

So there you have it… I needed to catch my breath and calm down at having such an overdose of awesomeness in one go. I couldn’t read the full Vol11 and took a health & safety break for the night. Of course, I completed glancing at all the comic strips next day. This volume has a lot of event-based strips (more than previous volumes I believe), like Beach Trip, Other Nature Outings, Christmas Celebration, Minamo’s Visit to the Art Club (given that she’s on the cover!), etc. So looking forward to showcasing some of them in my next post with all you eager readers (if any?).

Just for my own satisfaction, let me tabulate the characters that appear on the cover pages of various volumes:

Volume # Character(s)
01 Sora Kajiwara
02 Natsumi Aso
03 Hazuki Torikai
04 Kokage Kuga
05 Nagisa Kurihara & Juju Sasaki
06 Ryou Tanabe & Fuu Himuro
07 Asaka Kamiya & Daichi Negishi
08 Kate
09 [Regular]
09 [Limited]
Soyogi Asakura & Hiyori Kasugano
Hiyori Kasugano & Ujou Sugyou
10 [Regular]
10 [Limited]
Kei Kirishima & Natsumi Asou
Takane Ogi & Hazuki Torikai
11 Minamo Negishi

Where is Tsukiyo Ooba? Did I miss her? Or maybe I should look forward to Vol12 next year! Smile

And those of you who are wondering, “What about the cats? Why haven’t I tabulated them?”! Well, I’m not as good as Sora in identifying them so I’ll leave them for later. For now go here to know about the

CATS of Sketchbook