Cel Shaded
Jason S. Yadao

New Best Buy may be
boon for anime fans

Unless you've been separated from civilization for the past few weeks, you've undoubtedly heard by now that national electronics chain Best Buy has opened its first store in beautiful industrial Iwilei.

So what does this fact have to do with a weekly column about anime and manga? Quite a bit, actually, as Best Buy is one of the more prominent anime retailers nationally.

In the interest of ... ahem ... investigative journalism, your intrepid columnist visited the store on Tuesday to scope out the selection and the deals.

There's certainly good news for fans of ADV series like "DNAngel," "Chrono Crusade" and "Full Metal Panic? FUMOFFU," as the store's selection of that studio's offerings are both plentiful and, at an average price of $19.99, $10 cheaper than suggested retail.

Fans of Geneon series, however, may want to look elsewhere. That studio's releases, including "Fafner," "Gungrave" and "Mermaid Forest," are at the full suggested retail price of $29.99.

As for the selection, it's certainly respectable as far as recent, high-profile series go. Most volumes of "Ghost in the Shell: Stand-Alone Complex," "Inu-Yasha" and "Initial D" are represented, albeit with odd pricing differences sometimes among volumes within a series (for instance, all "Ghost in the Shell" volumes are $18.99 except for vol. 6, which is $21.99). And the section is large enough to assure a diverse selection of series will be available.

The verdict: Best Buy is certainly worth a look ...

More tips on the cheap

While we're on the topic of anime deals around town, I've noticed that Oahu's three Wal-Marts have been selling "Gunslinger Girl" Vol. 2 and "Burst Angel" Vol. 2 for $17.84, and the first "Gatchaman" boxed set with volumes 1 and 2 and the extras disc for $19.94. Definite relief for ailing wallets ...

Cel Shaded, a look at the world of Japanese anime and manga, appears every Monday. E-mail Jason S. Yadao at jyadao@starbulletin.com

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