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Top Ten 3x3 Eyes Products

by David Park

Start with the first half the list...

5. Anime Comics

When I first saw these things, I did not get the point. I mean, if you already have the anime, why would you want a manga of the same story? After I bought them, though, I found out how handy they can be. First of all, the comics follow the exact script of the anime, and as a student of Japanese it is helpful to read along while watching the anime. Plus the comics contain full-color artwork taken from the anime cels. This allows the artwork to be studied without wearing out the anime videotapes.

Value:
If you only have the dubbed videos and want to know what the characters are really saying, the anime comics are a very cost-effective option. The comics even include some of the character sketches included in the laserdisc packages. If you are not going to buy the Japanese laserdiscs, consider getting the anime comics instead.

Japanese Required:
Just like the manga, the anime comics are all in Japanese. However, because they follow the anime storyline exactly, the anime scripts can be used as translations.

Availability:
I am not sure if these books are still in print. They are becoming increasingly hard to find in Japanese bookstores, but some online stores may have a few in stock. As always, check around.

4. AiEN KiEN Artbook

[AiEN KiEN cover] To my knowledge, only one artbook has been published featuring Yuzo Takada's 3x3 Eyes artwork. This artbook, AiEN KiEN, is definitely worth having. It features lots of 3x3 Eyes art taken from the manga, soundtrack CDs, laserdiscs, and calendars. There is also a look at artwork from Takada-sensei's early career, including series like Mainichi ga Nichiyoubi (Everyday is Sunday). There are even some rarities, like a few Gundam CD soundtrack covers. Unfortunately, the book does not contain art from Bannou Bunka Neko Musume (All-purpose Cultural Cat Girl) or Blue Seed. Maybe one of these days a second artbook will be published.

Value:
The book is high quality and contains a lot of full-color artwork. I was greatly overcharged for my copy (that I was amazed to find at a comic shop in Lynchburg, VA), but I still feel it was worth it. If you like Takada-sensei's art, you should definitely track this book down.

Japanese Required:
The only text in the book are references of the source of each work (manga, soundtrack, etc.) and brief notes in the back by Takada-sensei describing each work. All of the text is in both Japanese and English!

Availability:
This book is surely out of print by now, but I still spot it occasionally in Japan, both new and used. I believe a few online stores still have it as well. If you want it, get it while you still can!

3. Anime Soundtracks

[CD8 cover] When I first saw the 3x3 Eyes anime, I fell in love with the music composed by Kaoru Wada. In part, it was my quest for the Japanese anime soundtracks that led to the creation of this page. There are many 3x3 Eyes CDs available, but a few stand out for their selection of anime BGM. I would recommend both 3x3 Eyes Soundtrack I (KICA 65) and 3x3 Eyes ~Seima Densetsu~ Soundtrack (KICA 247). The former has music from the first two original OAVs, while the latter has music from the first Seima Densetsu OAV. Both CDs also have a few interesting image songs. I prefer the Seima Densetsu soundtrack slightly, but they are both excellent. For more music, pick up 3x3 Eyes Soundtrack III (KICA 107) or 3x3 Eyes ~Seima Densetsu~ Soundtrack II (KICA 305). These CDs feature music from the third and fourth original OAVs and the second and third Seima Densetsu OAVs, respectively.

Value:
Japanese CDs are very expensive, even within Japan, and anime soundtracks typically cost about 3000 yen. However, soundtracks are popular among fans because they are cheaper than laserdiscs, most people have CD players, and you do not need to understand Japanese to listen to the music. Also, sometimes it is nice to own some original Japanese merchandise. I would not recommend buying all of the CDs at once, though.

Japanese Required:
The soundtrack CDs contain mostly background music, and the few vocal tracks can be enjoyed even if you do not understand the lyrics. The only problem is you will not be able to read the liner notes, which can contain a lot of extra information.

Availability:
Most anime stores online have at least the new Seima Densetsu soundtracks for sale. As I have already mentioned, it is easy to find used CDs for very low prices in Japan.

2. Manga

[Curse of the Gesu TPB cover] After watching the anime, people inevitably ask the same question: "What happens next?" For the answer, you should turn to the source, the manga series. With 29 volumes published and more on the way, it is a lot of material to read, but at least you have plenty to look forward to. Lucky fans in Europe and Asia have access to quite a bit of translated manga, but unfortunately the official English translations have not kept pace. After buying the excellent trade paperbacks from Dark Horse and Studio Proteus (covering volume 1 of the Japanese manga), you may want to pick up some of the original Japanese manga volumes.

Value:
The translated 3x3 Eyes trade paperbacks are US$12.95 each. The Japanese manga volumes cost a little over 500 yen each (including 5% Japanese tax). Of course, they will cost lot more if you buy them outside of Japan, but look around for the best price.

Japanese Required:
The original manga is not easy to read for beginning Japanese students (no furigana, some Chinese characters). Luckily, some generous fans have donated translations for some of the volumes. Right now, many volumes are still untranslated.

Availability:
The Studio Proteus translations should be available from your local comic shop (ask!), or they can be ordered online. The Japanese manga is still in print and can be found at any Japanese bookstore. Some online anime retailers also sell the Japanese manga.

1. Anime

By now you should have guessed what would take the top spot. I am guessing that most people first heard of 3x3 Eyes through the animated OAV series. (I will know for sure if you answer this month's survey on the News page!) Therefore, I will not go into details, but suffice it to say that the 3x3 Eyes anime is what got me hooked on anime in the first place. There is a commercially-available English dub of 3x3 Eyes (fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your opinion of dubs), so you are not required to pay high import prices to see the anime. Since I am no longer a starving college student, I was recently able to buy a laserdisc player and the Japanese 3x3 Eyes laserdiscs. In my opinion, laserdisc is the format for owning anime, and it will be for some time. (I do not see Bandai rushing to reissue 3x3 Eyes on DVD.) There is a bilingual laserdisc of the first anime available as well, but it has the same edits as the Perfect Collection, so I still prefer the original Japanese LDs. See the FAQ for more information on the anime.

Value:
The dubbed anime is very cheap. The Japanese LDs are expensive, unless you can find them used (not too difficult in Japan). In my opinion, they are well worth the price. VHS tapes are also available from Japan, but they are the same price as the laserdiscs.

Japanese Required:
No knowledge of Japanese is required if you get the dub. Even if you decide to buy the Japanese laserdiscs, plain-text scripts are available on this site in the Files area, so that you can read along while watching the LDs.

Availability:
The English-dubbed version is currently still on moratorium in the USA, but you may still be able to find a copy in your local store. The dub is still available in the UK and Europe from Manga Video, and MGM will reportedly be re-issuing the videos in the USA soon, probably next year.

Shopping Online

So, you have read the list and now you want to know where to buy some of these wonderful products? If you cannot go to Japan, contacting one of the anime importers on the Internet is the next best thing. A few shops that have proven to be fan favorites are listed in the FAQ. If you know of any other good sources of 3x3 Eyes merchandise, please send them in. I do not have any connection to these shops, and I cannot vouch for their quality of service. (I have personally ordered from Nikaku Animart in the past and been satisfied, but I think their prices are a bit high.) Please shop around on your own for the best prices. To take advantage of current exchange rates and get the best prices, the best option is often to ask a friend in Japan to get things for you. (Please do not ask me, though; I have enough to do already.)

Here is one additional note about online stores. The product names listed in their catalog do not always match the real product names as given on this web site. For example, I notice Nikaku is selling something called the "3x3 Eyes Perfect Fan Book". If you read the description, you can figure out that this is the 3x3 Eyes: Youma Daizukan book. Many stores have problems with the titles of soundtrack CDs, so be sure to double-check the catalog numbers before ordering, and email the store if you have any questions.

Finally, just because you are a 3x3 Eyes fan does not require you to blow a lot of money on imported merchandise. Some things are more important (such as food, rent, and college tuition). However, if you do have some extra cash to spend, I hope this list will help you spend it wisely. If you are looking for more information about the products mentioned here, I hope to have this site's Products pages completed later this month.

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3x3 Eyes story, art, and characters Copyright © 1987-1999 Yuzo Takada / Kodansha.
This unofficial fan web site is not affiliated in any way with the copyright holders.

Site maintained by David Park
Last updated: February 28, 2011 7:36PM PST