We’ve heard it as recently as Lucky Star episode 6: the conventional wisdom that explains why, in defiance of all logic and economic principle, items (otaku goods in particular) are produced in lots far below demand. It’s been my frustrating experience over the past four years to observe first-hand the madness involved in procuring said items from their original source (as opposed to obscenely marked-up auctions), a process inevitably involving arcane mail-order procedures (at best), long queues with no guarantee of the item being in stock when you get to the front (the status quo), or the sacrifice of a firstborn child (good thing it doesn’t have to be your own).

Lucky Star episode 6: Japanese are weak against limited edition items

I always thought I was alone in my rage against the limited edition machine, but it seems that something has finally snapped the patience of even the most hard-boiled Japanese consumer: Shuraki, the Goodsmile / Red Entertainment figure collaboration project we’ve been reporting on since its inception. If you missed the preorder for the recently “unsealed” volume 3, you’re not alone: I was surprised to find yesterday that Shuraki vol. 3 “Shall” has been panned in reviews at Amazon (months before her release) by disgruntled fans, and not only that, there are dozens of fellow customers registering their agreement by voting the reviews as useful. The same thing is currently happening to Shuraki vol. 1. “The item quality isn’t the issue”, says one reviewer, “I don’t like the way they’ve chosen to sell it.” This seems to be the general sentiment across all the negative reviews, and while Amazon reviews alone are hardly enough to change company policy I’m guessing they’re just the tip of the (2ch) iceberg in terms of discontent with what Goodsmile is doing, and if this trend continues we just might see a change in the release format of future Shuraki volumes. Here’s hoping.

Shuraki vol. 3 Shall's current Amazon.co.jp ranking - two of five stars
do you hear the people sing?
singing a song of angry men…