Espie (espie) wrote in pkmncollectors,

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Grail time! <3

Okay, so this is a little later than I intended, but at the end of my last post I left you all with the following teaser as to the identity of my super awesome biggest grail get ever ~

Quite a few of you guessed correctly, but for those left wondering, or who didn't see my earlier post, under the cut is the full unveiling, complete with the drama-filled get story and most importantly of all, photos of every single page of one of the rarest Pokemon manga's of all C:

...The CoroCoro Birth of Mewtwo manga by Toshihiro Ono! =D

(I seriously feel like this image should have sparkles on it or something XD)

So a little history on the manga itself ~ most of you have probably seen the movie mangas of the more recent movies kicking about, however did you know mangas were made for all the movies, but only ones from the Jirachi movie onwards were rereleased in English? The first five are notoriously hard to track down due to their limited release with CoroCoro magazines, and have all but faded to obscurity with many people not even knowing they exist.
Of these five, the one most sought after however is probably this manga by Toshihiro Ono, the artist of Electric Tales of Pikachu, which gained notoriety due to fact it doesn't simply follow the story of the movie like the other mangas, but instead depicts an alternate version of the Birth of Mewtwo than the one in the anime short/radio play.
Even online scans of it are near impossible to find, and information is very scarce, so when I first began actively seeking it out I was very much going at it blind. All I found through continued research were a few odd scans of pages or panels here and there, but no images of the cover, or even any information to fully confirm whether I was looking for a stand alone book or not. Resources claimed it was released in two issues of CoroCoro (most likely June/July 1998, although some claimed it was May/June). Some claimed it was 26-28 pages long, others claimed 52.
This mismatch of information, while inconclusive, was enough to concern me that I was in fact not looking for one manga, but two parts, either printed within the two CoroCoro issues, or as seperate supplements. By chance however I had a copy of the first half of the 3rd movie manga from CoroCoro, and it was printed in a seperate booklet, as mini-walky Mew shall show you below ~

All the other movie mangas I had seen had been released in two part supplements like this as well, and I knew if that was the case with this one then my hopes of getting the full manga were ridiculously low as even if by some crazy luck I found one half, the chances of then finding the second half would be near impossible.

Then one day on one of my daily Y!J searches for Mew/Mewtwo items, I stumbled across an item which I initially assumed was probably just a random magazine from the time talking about the movie. Nonetheless I looked at the auction just to doublecheck, and it was the second photo that caught my attention, as it showed this -

This was one of the very few images I'd ever seen from the manga, so of course, I immediately began freaking out. It was listed for 7 days, and needless to say, I spent that time OBSESSING over it lol I had no idea how much I wanted to bid. The way I saw it, it was such an obscure item it would go one of two ways - either it would get overlooked and sell really cheap, or it would sell for a crazy high amount :I Having nothing to go off, I finally decided that $200 was a reasonable enough amount to bid, and made sure I limited my funds on SMJ so as not to end up getting lured into a bidwar.
When the end of the auction finally rolled round, a fierce last minute bidwar kicked off between a Noppin bidder and a Japanese bidder, blowing my bid out of the water X3 It finally closed on 58,000 yen with the Japanese bidder as the winner.

Initially I didn't feel too bad, as it wasn't as if I'd just lost out, but the more I thought on it the more I regretted it. I ended up on the phone to my husband (who was working away at the time), and had reached that level of rationalisation of comparing the price the manga had sold at ($760+) to the price I could buy other things for that I would happily forfeit in a heartbeat for it lol. Now my husband's not really a Pokemon fan at all - he tolerates my collecting and has soldiered through some of the movies, and tried playing the games to show willing - but knowing how upset I was, he said that should another one ever turn up, and I was really willing to pay that much for it, that he would buy it for me C:

It was a lovely gesture, but I didn't really expect to be taking him up on it, as I doubted I'd see the manga up for sale again. On popping back to the auction to save the cover image for reference just on the off chance however, I noticed the Japanese bidder had backed out, and the Noppin bidder had now won. Vaguely I wondered why, but as it made no difference to me I left it as it was. Then shortly afterwards I was checking the community, and imagine my surprise when I saw a post from derranged appealing for the SMJ bidder who had bid on the manga, and saying there might still be a way for them to get it ._.

It turned out she was the Noppin bidder, and in the heat of the moment had bid a little higher than she's intended (which I think most of us are probably guilty of with special items like these XD) She'd received a second chance offer from Y!J, but theorised that if she rejected it it should revert to me, and from there I could either resell it on to her for a profit, or keep it and share scans instead.
Having agreed on that, she went to cancel the offer with Noppin, and I e-mailed SMJ just to doublecheck how the second chance offer would be handled as it wasn't covered in their FAQ. 24 hours or so later they replied, and I felt my heart sink as I read that they automatically reject all second chance offers to protect their bidders from shill bidding. I hurriedly e-mailed them back, arguing, begging and pleading with them not to do that if an offer came through, and then quickly messaged derranged to tell her not to reject the offer if she hadn't already. She replied to say she had, and rushed off to contact Noppin to try and stop them cancelling it, but shortly afterwards they confirmed they had cancelled it. By this point I was obviously ridiculously stressed lol, and had all but resigned myself to the fact I would not be getting it after all. But then SMJ replied, and said that even though they advised against it, they would accept an offer if it came through. With them on board, we were back to waiting to see what the seller would do, and finally, after two verrrry long days, they relisted it.

derranged and I agreed this time round that only one of us should bid to keep the price down, and she very kindly stepped aside to let me have a shot at it. With my husbands backing I felt reassured this time round I had a much better chance at it, but I still didn't want to take his offer for granted and bid silly amounts just to be assured of winning it, so I decided my new high bid and stuck to it. Continuing the vastly stressful theme of the whole ordeal however, it just so happened that the auction ended on a day when we were due to be at a family birthday party. Worse still, a party we were solely responsible for demanding to be changed from a Saturday to a Sunday so we could come. In a house without wireless internet. And due to start 4 hours before the auction ended ;_;

I was resigned to the fact of putting in my high bid and sticking with it, but the fact I wouldn't even know if I'd won or not was torture. Suffice to say, I sent my BFF a very long e-mail full of instructions, demanding she text me the result lol X3 Half an hour after the auction ended, a text came through saying it had finished on 30,100 yen with me as the high bidder, but I was still worried in case another SMJ user had outbid me. By this point my BFF had gone out however, and it was 4 more harrowing hours before I could finally log on and check my emails, and I nearly cried when I saw the message saying I'd won!

Obviously I was still terribly nervous waiting for it to arrive with SMJ, and when the parcel got held up in customs, as I was terrified in case it got lost somehow. I'll admit, I was also really paranoid in case somehow it wasn't actually the manga afterall, and that the page shown had been merely an advert for the next issue of CoroCoro. It didn't entirely help alleviate those fears either when I finally received the parcel and opened it, expecting to find a tiny book like my 3rd movie manga, and instead found this...

A quick flick through however revealed the manga, in it's entirety, and in near perfect condition <3 ;_; There were just no words to describe my happiness (and the relief lol) It's definately not what I was expecting though - it's pretty darn hefty, almost A4/standard printer paper size, and includes a lot of other stuff such as movie info and some 4-Koma strips. But obviously the manga is what it's all about, and it does not disappoint ;3

SO. Obscenely long drama filled backstory aside, time for the interesting part of the post, and that means PHOTOS C: Unfortunately I don't have the means to scan it properly at this point, due to my scanner being rubbish, and the fact that I really, really do not want to risk stressing the spine too much and damaging it by scanning it that way. I will be seeking out a method of getting it scanned in beautiful high res eventually however, but for now I have taken the time photograph each page as best as possible, and compile them so as to share this beautiful manga with you all ^v^

Since it's in Japanese I would do a story breakdown for you all, but as I've no doubt typed way too much already I'll just link you over to a relatively thorough summary over on Kokowa Dokoda. So without further ado ~ thanks for reading, I hope you all enjoy the photos, and remember, read right to left ;D

Tags: mew, mewtwo
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