Xmas time has come to town~

They say, you know that Halloween is just around the corner when they started to put up Christmas ornaments XD Every year it gets sooner and sooner XD I guess people do need the festivities. Well, how do you know when it is ACTUALLY Halloween, well the PV for Hurry Xmas just aired XD and it’s so CUTE XD Check it here on youtube. I love it! It’s a really fun PV with a whole bunch of Santas that looks like they’re drunk on an Oktober Fest celebration XD but they should hava smiled more in this PV, it’s a Christmas PV with Santas, how can you not smile a lot. Leader-san you could do much better than that. Cheer up ^^. *sigh* This PV really made my day XD Since today is halloween, I didn’t dress up as anything. I really can’t >_< But I am wearing something orange on me ^^ HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYBODY! ^^

+++++

This morning when I was browsing the newspaper as usual I found this article (Indonesian only). The newspaper was KOMPAS, and on the first paragraph it said:

In the beginning of April 2007 famous Japanese rock band L’arc-En-Ciel —that has many fans in Indonesia and the inspiration for a Jakarta rock band J-Rock— released L’arc-En-Ciel Five Live Archives that contains 5 DVDs including a photo book of the group activities for 29.400 yen or about Rp 2.352.000 (1 yen = Rp 80). For the music industry in Indonesia, this publication has almost never been done.

This L’arc-En-Ciel package consists of 5 events from the year 1998 through 2005 that hasn’t been released yet. ……

As usual they always got the caps wrong -___-” The article continues by talking about the FIVE LIVE ARCHIVES being an ispiration for the Indonesian music industry to release the same thing for Indonesian legendary musician, Chrisye, that consist of 21 CDs for the price of Rp 700.000 (8750 yen – so about Rp 34.ooo/CD or 417 yen/CD OR US$4/CD) …

“…Of course the song archives that was sung by Chrisye is far more money saving to its buyer than L’arc-En-Ciel’s Five Live Archives.

Well, that’s for sure! Comparing to Japanese prices CDs are cheap here in Indonesia. CDs cost like Rp 35.000 (Indonesian artists) to 75.000 (foreign artist). Original DVDs only cost like Rp 70.000 (for Indonesian movies) to 139.000 (foreign movies). Japanese CDs cost like 3000 yen and DVDs cost more than 5000 yen each! I can’t really complain about the prices really because in Japan those are the normal prices. But, when I buy CDs or DVDs from Japan I have to pay around US$7-22, depending on what I ordered. See here. So for me getting Japanese CDs and DVDs is expensive. I have to save a lot of money when the release date were announced a few months before.

These days, it has gotten better because I actually have an income. Before… I literally starved myself to get my hands on those CDs. I never asked my parents to buy these for me -___-” knowing that the prices are not “normal” prices for CDs. We have a lot of L’Arc~en~Ciel’s Indonesian version CD since Clicked Singles Best 13 (this doesn’t include singles, only albums) and also HYDE since 666. Imported Japanese music CDs from Hong Kong and Taiwan (overseas version) could also be found on the shelves of many record stores. But I think buying the Japanese version is much more gratifying than buying the Indonesian or the overseas release. Why? Here’s a few reason:

1. Most of the time Japanese CDs have first press or limited edition CDs that comes with a different cover or packaging or it sometimes comes with a bonus DVD and goods. These goods aren’t just limited to posters and stickers, like most of them here in Indonesia, the variations are limitless. TETSU69 has released singles with a figure phone strap and a t-shirt. The release of Hurry Xmas comes with a Christmas ornament.

2. The release date in Indonesia is generally unknown and most of the time it is released a few months after it had already been released in Japan. For me, the wait is killing me, since I don’t really download MP3s and rather wait for the album.

3. Indonesian booklet print is hideous. I remember when Ayumi Hamasaki’s RAINBOW was released in 2002 they had the Indonesian version of it, the Hong Kong version was also on the shelves. Seeing the cover it is completely visible that the Indonesian print was bad, the ink bleed. So it looks like Ayumi’s mouth was on a collagen overdrive. The Hong Kong Version was more expensive than the Indo one about Rp 125.000 (US$ 13) but I think the quality s much better. Through the years you might think it got better. On 2005 I got the Indonesian version of AWAKE and the print on the booklet was pixelized. It looked like they had gotten a smaller pic and blew it up >_<.

4. If you are a collector, you just can’t hope for any singles or DVDs to hit the stores here.

5. If you really do love the band, buying Japanese version CDs could boost up their ranking on the charts ^^ and there’s nothing more gratifying than seeing your favorite band/artist being on top of the charts ^^.

I guess those are more than enough reasons to buy Japanese release even though the price just KILLS you -____-“. My tips on how to get your hands on Japanese CDs? Well, here:

1. Know and remember exactly the release date of the CD you wanna buy. Keep in mind that DVDs have regional encode. Japanese DVDs are region-2, so make sure that your player can play it. Some Japanese CDs have copy-protection meaning that you can’t rip them into MP3s to play on your portable music player.

2. Make sure that you choose a good online store, for me CDjapan and YesAsia is a good choice. And make sure you know their policy and arrangement about shipping costs, shipping time, payment and points. You need to make sure that your CD will arrive at your door safe and on time, so be wise when choosing the type of shipping. Using EMS (Express Mail Service – 3-6 days) or Registered Mail (4-12 days) is always the safest and fastest way. But if you’re in a budget you can use regular air mail. If the release dates of two or more CDs are close, it might be best if you combine the shipping with the latest release. It will safe you more money.

3. Sometimes most of these online shops don’t accept credit cards from your country (I don’t think it’s common in other countries, but sometimes they don’t accept credit cards from Indonesia). Bummer. So here’s what you have to do: find someone that can buy it for you. Whether they are a collector themselves or just a re-seller. They sometimes have access and link to buy it straight from Japan. If they are a collector I think they will gladly help you if they can but re-sellers sometimes hike up the price, so be sure you found a trusted re-seller.

I guess that’s it. When you get the CDs be sure you thank your lucky stars and enjoy it all you can XD

UPDATED: made an article about Japanese CDs:

Japanese CDs, how they’re better and how to get them

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