“Dark Birthday”

Hello everyone, look what just turned up on my doorstep!

My missing Nihon Box from February finally arrived, just days after my January box decided to make an appearance. Looks like I’m finally caught up now on all my MIA boxes, so reviews should be in perfect order from now on. Anyway, Februarys’ box was a pretty important one as it was celebrating Nihon Boxes 6th anniversary! And what a milestone it is, as they have not only survived a fairly niche market but also a worldwide pandemic! Super proud of them and it makes it even more special being a customer.

So let’s get onto the usual tidbits about this service. Nihon Box is a Japanese monthly subscription service that handpicks at least 6 items each month that are almost exclusive to Japan and ships them straight to your door. Their items are a mixture of Otaku Anime related merchandise and figures, as well as traditional Japanese items, from sweets to tableware. All of this is available to subscribe to for what I find a very affordable price each month.

Like SoKawaii, the more months you pay upfront the cheaper the price for individual boxes will be. https://www.nihonbox.com/en

Monthly is €29.99 plus shipping costs

3 Months is a single payment of €86.97, making each box €28.99, plus shipping costs.

6 Months is a single payment of €170.94, making each box €28.49, plus shipping costs.

Here is a link to their FAQ page, just in case you’re wondering if they ship to your country: https://www.nihonbox.com/en/nihonbox/faq

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Onto our first item this month, we have a very pretty looking origami set from the Studio Ghibli movie ‘Spirited Away’. This product is not only made in Japan, but the art of paper folding just screams Japanese culture. The first recorded mention of the artform comes from a reference to a paper model in a short poem by Ihara Saikaku in 1680. This particular set includes traditional origami paper and sets where you can construct various characters from the movie. Great for display purposes and even comes so well packaged, that it would also make a lovely gift.

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Our second item is for all you snack lovers, as February’s box included a rather large bag of Fugashi. The packaging for this one reminds me of a cow-print, so its rather confusing in its advertising. It’s actually a rather old snack that dates back about 150 years. It’s a wheat flour based bar that is just covered in brown sugar. Just plain and simple really, there seems to be a number of Japanese snacks like this. Either Way, seeing as the shipping took so long, this item was about a month out of date by the time I got it. So perhaps it will be included again in a future box.

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Our third item is one I don’t really don’t know what to do with yet. As it’s this beautiful blue sakura patterned plate. Its quite unique, as I don’t know if you can really tell from the picture, but it has an almost water droplet effect on the plate. As though the raindrops had frozen in the moment, to create this unique texture and pattern on the surface. It’s one I never plan on using, as it has to be for decorative purposes in my eyes. This item is also made in Japan, and includes a signature on the back of the plate, so you know it was handcrafted. I just wished the pamphlet included some information on who created this piece.

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We are now back to the anime merch, as we have a familiar bull dog clip plush and a figure. The plush clip is from the latest fan favorite show from Shonen Jump – Jujutsu Kaisen. We have gotten similar bull clips in the past from both SoKawaii and Nihon Box, when they included the Demon Slayer range. These are strong clips, unique in that its also a miniature plush but is also kind of awkward when you try to figure out how best to either use it or display the item. This particular one was available in six designs, of which I seem to have pulled the main character Yuji Itadori. On the right is our largest item in the box, and that is a Noodle Stopper figure of Hiei from Yú Yú Hakusho. Now these figures are usually in more relaxed poses, mostly with characters sitting down as they are created in such a way that they balance on top of your ‘pot noodle’ or ‘cup ramen’ as its ‘cooking’ away. Its a fairly well detailed figure, unfortunately I don’t really know much about the show other than it came out in the early 90’s and is almost as old as myself. Always nice getting figures in a box, although this one might be a bit too niche going by how old the show is.

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We are now onto our final item of the month, which brings us back to a far more recent anime hit – Demon Slayer. This time we got a decorative lamp that had several characters labeled around the side, including Tanjiro, Nezuko, Zenitsu and Inosuke. With the off/on switch positioned underneath the lamp, you will also need 3 AA batteries to power it. It gives off a fairly decent amount of light, and also projects the Kimetsu no Yaiba logo from the top onto your ceiling. The bulb also changes color slightly from time to time, so its still a rather decent lamp. More for display purposes than practicality though I say.

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There was one last piece in this box, and it was a special note from the folks over at Nihon Box. A lovely printed, decorative card with some touching words on how they have survived this long to make it to their sixth year in business. It’s really worth reading, so please take a moment to. They have also mentioned that they have several surprises coming out this year, and most certainly one of those is their new venture – Yatta Japan (https://www.yattajapan.com/en) Where you can buy many of the items that were included in previous boxes, as well as new figures, snacks, manga and more. All on the one website. Worth checking out, as they also have their own rewards scheme for every time you buy from them.

So there we have it folks, that was another Nihon Box – although it was fairly late in arriving. Nihon Box always does their best to follow the latest anime trends as well as finding items from fan favorite shows in order to always appeal to their customer base. With items from classic shows such as Spirited Away and Yú Yú Hakusho, to the newer franchises including Demon Slayer and Jujutsu Kaisen. They not only source out some decent quality figures and plushies, but also to make sure that each month their box represents another unique aspect of Japan – from its food, to its culture, art, history and beliefs. It’s a well rounded box, for both anime fans and cultural fans. This box’s theme was “Dark Birthday”, and each pamphlet in every box also includes a detailed section called “Discover Japan”. This month’s topic was about Setsubun – the demon hunting day and why it is celebrated in Japan. It’s details such as these that make this subscription box so unique and talked about.

For more information on how you can order your own box, look to the top of this review and head over to the link below so you can sign up today!

https://www.nihonbox.com/en