Oh, daisies—I had a whole post written up about what's been keeping me away, and I have a 43,000-character translation of a government report on subduction zones due tomorrow evening and therefore absolutely do not have time for this, but in combing through old links on my breaks, and I wound up on Akari Funato's Twitter, where she was recently posting about a mini-artbook she was selling at a con, and I took a glance, and LO AND BEHOLD, WHO SHOWS UP:
This must be the first new drawing she's released of Ghaleon in over 20 years. I could not zoom to her Booth shop fast enough upon reading that she'd released a PDF on there, only to be greeted with the hair-tearing news that Funato had set her store to private (meaning, on vacation) in the interim. She was last promoting the artbook on July 30. It is now August 25. She has doujin compilations up on DLsite that have been on continuous sale for over two freaking decades. This artbook can't be on sale for one freaking month?!? My favorite mangaka, the poet laureate of my favorite fictional character of all time, swears off Lunar forever, but she gets back on the horse for one more illustration, and I miss it!?!?!
Ahhhh—I know one of the hard copies will turn up on the secondary market eventually, but I've been having bad luck with gatekeeping and Japanese game art lately. Last week, I placed an order at Suruga-ya for a few items I'd been chasing for a while, but I made the mistake of attempting to pay with my overseas credit card directly instead of through PayPal. After my card was rejected for not being issued from Japan, I registered to pay by bank transfer, which involved an exchange of e-mails, but, whoops—overseas bank accounts are also verboten. I ask (in Japanese, of course) to switch my payment method to PayPal (both involve e-mail exchanges, so it's all the same to the system), mentioning that I've been a customer in the past, and I'm clearly not a horrid reseller, as my 12-item order consists of stuff like 200-yen Angelique doujins, but no! I'm from overseas and clearly have nefarious intent, with my desperate attempts to give their company money! So my order was cancelled, and I'm currently waiting for the items to be relisted so I can reorder and pay correctly this time. It makes no sense—they have to go through the hassle of relisting the items and miss out on an immediate sale, and I have to wait around to do everything all over again. I know about all the cultural issues at play here—Japan is my literal job—but I can't say they don't get exasperating when you encounter them at times.
ETA: I LOOKED AT HER "SKEB," NOT KNOWING WHAT A "SKEB" IS, AND JACKPOT:
Skeb is apparently a commission platform. Praise be to the saint who commissioned this! The Japanese reads like it might be from someone overseas. I was the last one to know about this, wasn't I?!
—Wait. Skeb is apparently a commission platform. I could commission new Vheen Hikuusen art. What are the rates!? Oh, God, the shop's closed. Maybe this and the Booth problem are all just Funato being on vacation. Who do I commission now? I'm leaning toward Dyne or Morris, frankly. I could really rock the airship and ask for Zain. Will she take another Lunar commission so soon!? Good Lord, you have to have Twitter to use the platform, I think. For Vheen Hikuusen, I'm willing to make the sacrifice.
So much drama in the past hour! I can barely breathe! Back to hypocenter regions.
ETA2: TO HELL WITH HYPOCENTER REGIONS IT'S NEI FROM PHANTASY STAR
(And on that subject.)
ETA3: Angelique Collet and Victor. Not subject matter worthy of the FONT tag, but I like that Victor, even though he's missing his scar.