Jen Shows Off Her Collection! (SOYC Pt. I)

Jackie: Well, the first thing that I’d like to ask is how long have you been collecting KH?
Jen: I got into the series in 2002, so I think it was around then.

Jackie: So that’s a decade worth of stuff! You do have quite the museum. It’s mind-blowing. What did you start off collecting first? For example, did you start with posters, or books, or figurines?
Jen: Figurines. The novelties store by my school at the time carried the imported trading figures.

Jackie: Speaking of imported, it almost looks like your imported goods outnumber North American/European goods. This is particularly true for the novels and comics. Can you comment on that?
Jen: Well, I started studying Japanese in 2000, and now I don’t have much trouble when reading novels and comics of this level. The reason I like getting the books in Japanese is because I can see what particular phrases are used, as well as characters’ speech patterns. Those get lost in translation sometimes, so I like the originals better.

Jackie: Who’s the character that you think has the biggest difference between Japanese and English, and why?
Jen: Actually, for the books, they are pretty much the same to me… So, I think the translators did a good job. I think I felt the gap from the games and the voice acting, in particular, for Goofy, Ursula, and Xemnas! In the Japanese games, Goofy sounds a bit… less there, to put it politely. Usrula sounds manlier, and Xemnas has this very long drawl.

Jackie: That’s pretty funny–we have a lot of readers who have played the imports, so I’m sure they know exactly what you’re talking about.
Do the books give away anything the game doesn’t? I heard that there are more behind-the-scenes in terms of Axel, Xion and Roxas’ relationship in the novels.
Jen: Yes, there are parts in the books that give the characters more depth, and they are fleshed out a bit more. I can’t think of anything off the top of my head, though. It’s been a while since I last picked up one of the novels. But I really like how the author depicts the characters, their dialogue, and interactions.

Jackie: And the doujinshi (fan-made comics)? Were they purchased as well?
Jen: Yes! A few of them I bought online, but the majority I either bought at events in Japan or asked friends to get them at events for me.

Jackie: Please tell me how you came to own the KH night light. From the photo, I can’t tell how big it is–can you describe it more?
Jen: Haha, that one isn’t an official product. I bought it on Ebay… I’m not entirely sure about the measurements right now, but I would guess that it’s probably about 1-foot high and 2-feet long. There is one plug cable, and the light at the top turns on with the flip of a switch. Oh, and there is also a small chain so that it can be hung up on the wall for display.

Jackie: That’s so neat. How do you fit all of this in your room?
Jen: Well, because of my lifestyle, I actually can’t display too much of it, so quite a bit of it goes into labeled boxes. Right now, they fill up 5 full banker boxes, and the posters fill up one poster display book.

Jackie: Let’s talk about those posters. You have so many! Many of which are promotional store posters. Are they Ebay purchases as well?
Jen: No, they’re actually Yahoo Japan auction purchases. I got many of them when I was living in Japan for a year.

Jackie: You lived in Japan for a year?! What an adventure!
Where’s your home normally? For example, your province, state, or city.
Jen: I live in California.

Jackie: Japan is much colder than California, I’d imagine. Were you in one of the big cities in Japan? Or maybe a quiet, more rural prefecture?
Jen: I was in a more rural prefecture. Have you heard of Gifu?

Jackie: Yes, but I’m not sure what they’re famous for.
Jen: One of their famous foods is Hida-gyu (Hida beef). I suppose you could say it’s similar to Kobe beef. It’s half meat-half fat. The fat is laced evenly throughout. Very delicious, but soooo heavy.
Hida is located in the northern part of the prefecture. I was located more in the southern part of the prefecture.

Jackie: Very neat. It also sounds very expensive to eat.
Jen: Yes, I only tried it once. My friend prepared it for me.

Jackie: What kind of things did you do there for your pastime?
Jen: Sometimes, I’d ride my bike around and explore the neighborhood. Otherwise, I’d take the bus into the city and spend time there, or take a train from the city over to Nagoya in Aichi prefecture and spend time there.

Jackie: Wish I could ask about Japan more, but we’re short on time, so I’ll pull back to my last question, which is KH-related. What is the difference and similarity in the KH fandom in Japan compared to America?
Jen: Oh man, that’s a loaded question! I’ll try my best to address it.
For similarities, both the Japanese and American KH-fandom are very expressive in their enthusisam about the series, but how they show that ethusiasm is different. As you know, in Japan, they cannot draw or mention the Disney characters in their doujinshi, but I’ve never seen it be a problem over here in America. Also, over here, you’ll see people wear more of the retail products like T-shirts, hoodies, necklaces, but over in Japan, it’s much more discreet. They’ll make things such as cute and decorative charms, where if you are familiar with series, then you’d know what it was from, but otherwise it would just look like an everyday trinket. Things like that appear different to me.

Jackie: You could say that North Americans wear their hearts on their sleeves.
Jen: That’s one way of putting it, haha.

Jackie: Well, thank you very much for you time, Jen. I had a really good time with this interview. I wish you all the best, and hopefully, in the future, you get a brand new room to house your amazing collection!
Jen: Haha, thank you! Thank you, too, for taking the time to interview me. =)

She had so much that we couldn’t show it all! View more of Jen’s collection when we post Part II!