As we're getting closer to Christmas we wanted to touch base to give a state of play on where things stand when it comes to our 12 Days of Christmas Sales. Now, obviously the sales themselves concluded on 12th December with our Mystery Box offer. But during the sales themselves and following the final day our team have been hard at work to get orders shipped as quickly as possible.
This post is very much to give you an update on how things are going (as of 18th December), what we've learned so far from this years sales and what the plan of action going forward is.
~ Following on from the high volume of orders we received last year during the 12 Days of Christmas 2018 sales, our 2019 sales have shown incredible demand from customers when it comes to ordering; topping our already high expectations on what could happen. The incredible demand is something we don't take for granted and is something we're very grateful for! Although, this has meant that our original target of being able to ship orders within 7 working days of them being placed has been impacted.
~ Another thing we're very grateful for is people willing to give us another chance following the delivery problems that occurred last year during our Christmas sales. And we're also delighted to see people who did not partake in the sales happy to see improvements over last year based on feedback they're hearing from others.
~ But what we've already come to the conclusion of is that the volume of orders we've received this year in our sales has meant there will likely be further changes for our operations next year to ensure we can (try) to keep up with demand.
~ At time of writing [the evening of 18th Dec.] we're very happy to say that (excluding some exceptions here and there) all orders placed on Days 2-6 plus all the Blu-ray Mystery Boxes (from Day 12 - which have all been handled separately from the regular fulfilment house at our headquarters in Glasgow) have been shipped! Compared to last year, this is already a significant improvement!
The major exception to that of course being any products that are part of the ongoing Funimation clearance sale (which launched on Day 1), which from the outset has been advertised as not being fulfilled until January 2020.
~ And though we're happy with how things have progressed so far from the incredible effort of our team, it also obviously doesn't change the fact that the huge volumes of orders received has meant not all orders have been able to be fulfilled yet.
That coupled with the need to order in more stock to accommodate the extraordinary demand (which in itself takes longer time than usual to be delivered at this time of year) has not helped matters.
Because of changes we implemented for this year's sales, we have far greater visibility on what has actually shipped each day. Come the end of the day we are going through orders to send shipping notifications; so be sure to keep an eye on your email if you haven't been already!
~ The last day anything will be shipped from our fulfilment house is 23rd December. So if your order hasn't shipped come close of play on that day, then it won't ship until January.
~ However, and this an important note, Royal Mail's last postage day for delivery in time Christmas is tomorrow (19th December.) Obviously we're trying our absolute hardest to get as many orders fulfilled in time for the final collection as possible, but inevitably due to the volume of orders I mentioned earlier, we regrettably have to admit now that not all orders will be shipped before this cutoff date.
Based on the latest round of shipping confirmations we have received from our fulfilment house today (18th Dec.) combined with some pre-planning/estimation, here is how we believe things will work out -
-- By close of play 19th December we're intending to have all of Day 7 plus outstanding orders from Day 2-6 shipped.
-- We will be continuing to ship orders through the 23rd December, and we'll endeavour to get as much shipped out as possible. Obviously in terms of delivery times, these will more likely not make it in time for Christmas or may well not ship until after Christmas/early into the New Year.
-- DVD Mystery Boxes will not be fulfilled now until the new year due to a shortage of stock of the one the titles being included. (We have already contacted everyone who ordered one of those by email, so if you haven't checked your inbox already please do so.)
So, to recap:
-- Orders from Day 7 and as many outstanding orders from days 2-6 as possible will ship by close of play on 19th December.
-- Any orders from subsequent days (Days 8-11) will be shipped as soon as possible but cannot be guaranteed shipment before Christmas at this stage.
Chances are, the above information is not ideal for some customers who have purchased items as part of our sales. We're very sorry for any inconvenience caused by this. If at this stage you wish to cancel your order that is completely fine; please email email@example.com with your order number(s) and we can get that sorted for you, no problem.
We completely appreciate and understand any frustration that anyone has with the status of their orders. We assure you that it's not intentional that orders haven't shipped, but in the grand scheme of things we are only a small team of people who are managing to punch above our weight, to use a boxing analogy, given the demand for orders. In some ways it's both a blessing and a curse that so many of you want to order from us, and we're just so sorry we aren't able to meet the extraordinary expectation we've clearly generated.
We also want to extend a big thank you for your patience and understanding on this and if you have any specific questions please feel free to drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll answer as quickly and as best we can.
By Jasper Sharp.
In customary fashion for the time of year, the Japan Foundation has just announced the programme for its annual touring film season to give us something to look forward to in these dark and joyless winter months. With 20 titles heading to 22 venues across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland between 31st January and 29th March, the season continues its year-on-year trend of bringing more films to more people.
The 17th edition of “UK’s largest festival of Japanese cinema” promises a welcome light at the end of the tunnel for SAD-suffering Japanophiles, providing an opportunity for big-screen bingeing on the type of films that seldom get screened elsewhere over here. The theme this time round, ‘Happiness is A State of Mind’, might be as catch-all as ever (“the search for happiness has long provided Japanese cinema with a staple theme”, apparently), but of course Japan has just cause for optimism in 2020, as all eyes fall upon the country in its Olympic year. Continue Reading
By Andrew Osmond.
Noriyuki Abe, the long – very long – serving director of Bleach, offers up the new series Divine Gate. Handsomely visualized by Bleach’s studio Pierrot, and based on a smartphone game, Divine Gate is the kind of anime that can look impenetrably complex when you look at some of its synopses online, but it turns out to be straightforward. Actually its approach to world-building is pretty smart.
On the one hand, it brings in lots of story elements that you’ll know immediately if you’ve been following TV anime in recent years. In effect, Divine Gate relies on an informal shared universe of story ideas, not far from the ones studios spend billions building for superheroes. On the other hand, Gate sets up plenty of mysteries about the specifics of its world – fabled artefacts, hidden histories – to take its characters through the story. Continue Reading
By Jonathan Clements.
Patrick W. Galbraith’s Otaku and the Struggle for Imagination in Japan begins with an advert that depicts a man who is, in the words of Lawrence Eng, a “reluctant insider”, a slave of the rat-race who has an ace up his sleeve. Back in his bachelor pad, he has a virtual girlfriend who prods him awake, sends him off to work with a smile, and welcomes him home with magical words that make him feel like he belongs. Continue Reading
By Andrew Osmond
To shed light on Plastic Memories, it’s worth remembering a comment by Yasuhiro Yoshiura, who directed the android anime Time of Eve (and the gravity-defying Patema Inverted). “In the UK and US, robots are robots and they are completely different from human beings. There’s also a kind of Frankenstein complex where they are a kind of monster, standing against human beings. In Japan, robots are treated like humans; in some cases, the robots want to be human.”
Yoshiura’s comments are generalised – there are plenty of robots who want to be human in British and American SF – but they’re supported by Plastic Memories. Although the show often has a light tone, its subject is anything but light; the Japanese publicity bills it as “a story of meetings and partings.” It imagines a world where robots live with people, even as members of human families, but with very limited life-spans; they ‘die’ after nine years. The show imagines a team of professionals whose job is to supervise the androids’ passing, and collect their bodies for disposal.
The main characters are a human youth, Tsukasa, who’s just joining the Terminal Service Department, and his co-worker Isla, a petite girl android with whom Tsukasa is smitten at once. The white-haired Isla looks like Angel in Angel Beats, although she loses her composure more often; we learn androids have similar needs to humans, including toilet breaks! Continue Reading