For official Kalafina/FictionJunction/Yuki Kajiura merchandise, there would be no better place than Space Craft’s online store; apart from its huge catalogue, it’s the first to stock the newest merchandise and also carries a number of exclusive items. Unfortunately for many fans, 1) Space Craft’s site is in Japanese only, and, 2) they don’t ship outside of Japan.
If (like me) you can’t read Japanese, it is still possible to muddle along with Google translate and use a forwarding service to get items shipped to your country. But if you want to be sure you’re not making any mistakes or just want to avoid that hassle, here’s an option: CDJapan‘s new proxy shopping service. Provide a link to your chosen item, and CDJapan will order it on your behalf and ship it to you, with that classic CDJapan efficiency and reliability.
That’s how I obtained something I’ve wanted for a long time — a long-sleeve Kalafina shirt.
Sweet, sweet Kalafina merch
But I gotta warn you — it was pricey.
CDJapan may not be the cheapest service, but it’s incredibly convenient
This is the cost for CDJapan’s service:
There are other reputable proxy shopping services (such as Buyee or White Rabbit Express) with competitive service fees and shipping rates. You might wish to do a price comparison before deciding on a service.
However, CDJapan’s service has a number of advantages, especially if you’re already a customer of CDJapan’s. For one, the shipping process is quite streamlined; you don’t have to take another step to arrange for international forwarding (such as with White Rabbit Express). Also, along with the familiarity of the ordering process (it’s similar to shopping from CDJapan) this service comes with other advantages for loyal CDJapan customers, which I’ll point out later.
So this is how I went about getting my shirt, step-by-step.
1) Request items from other online Japanese retailers (like, say, Space Craft Online)
There’s already a list of items on CDJapan’s proxy shopping page sourced from a number of Japanese retailers or previously requested by customers.
However, if what you want isn’t available, you can just click ‘Request Item’ and submit a link to the item. For Space Craft, go directly to the page of the product you want and copy the link (click on the item photo, not the red button below it).
Note that to buy FictionJunction merch, you need to be a member of the FictionJunction Club. I’m not a member, and I’m not sure if the service will work for members. But this isn’t an issue if you want some pretty Kalafina shirts or, uh, a swanky Yuki Kajiura soup spoon.
I wanted that Kalafina with Strings long-sleeve shirt, so…
Make sure you choose the product page with the correct size for shirts. Copy link…
…then paste. Fill in the quantity and other details
The “Used OK”/”Lower limit/Upper limit” fields are really only applicable if you’re buying from Yahoo! Auctions. For Space Craft, items are brand new and prices are fixed (in this case, 3500 yen).
If you want to request more items, check “Add more forms” and you’ll be directed to another form after submitting this one. Repeat the process.
There’s no commitment at this point. You’ll receive a confirmation of your request.
2) Add Item(s) to Cart
Within one week, assuming there are no issues (I actually received my response within the same day), CDJapan will notify you that they have listed your requested item(s) on their site. Just follow the given link.
I couldn’t decide which size to get at first, so I made two requests. When you click ‘Ready to Order’…
Ta-dah. It now has its own CDJapan product page
By the way, if you’re looking to order this specific shirt as well through CDJapan, you can use the CDJapan links that have been created as the result of my request:
Kalafina with Strings Christmas Premium LIVE TOUR 2016 Long Sleeve T-shirt Black (Small)
Kalafina with Strings Christmas Premium LIVE TOUR 2016 Long Sleeve T-shirt Black (Medium)
Then, it’s simply a matter of adding the item to your cart and heading for checkout, just like a regular CDJapan order.
3) Choose your shipping method, or ship your item(s) with your CDJapan order
You can choose from a number of shipping methods
Use CDJapan’s shipping calculator (which is pretty accurate, from my experience) to check the shipping cost to your country before confirming your order. If you have items from multiple retailers within the same order, they’ll be shipped together at no extra charge.
You can even choose to ship your items together with something you bought from CDJapan. For someone who shops at CDJapan with a regularity that coincides with Kalafina’s release schedule, this is a pretty significant bonus. Just add your Space Craft/other retailer item(s) and your CDJapan item(s) in the cart and check them out together, or add your item(s) to another open CDJapan order after confirming this new order (see CDJapan’s FAQ).
I’d have saved quite a lot had I shipped my shirt with Kalafina’s into the world/Marchen single; shipping each item on its own via EMS costs 1400 yen per item. However, that would mean that the shirt would only ship when into the world/Marchen is released, and, well, I didn’t want to wait that long. So I chose to ship the shirt on its own.
But before confirming that order and whipping out your credit card, you should know that this is not the full amount you will be paying.