Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Thursday, February 22, 2018

New Release: 2018 BBM Shining Venus (Image-Heavy)

I'm still chasing two autographs from this set, but now's as good as ever to show off the base cards.

Every regular athlete in this set has three cards, which is standard for the "Venus" series. The first card is a portrait in-uniform (if they have a uniform) while the second is an in-action shot. The final card shows them in street clothes, though a couple exceptions can be found.

For the first athlete, I'll show front and back, with just the front of cards for the remaining subjects.
The set starts with baseball, and Iori Miura. I've talked about her recently. The in-uniform portrait card has a different picture on the back; the front image tends to be full-body with the back photo being a close-up. This is Miura's first appearance in the Venus series, so she has the Rookie designation on the front of her card. Backs have basic data: birthdate, hometown, height, blood type, and astrological sign. There's also a writeup detailing her career history.
The action shot photo is repeated on the back. Again, the write-up here focuses on playing accomplishments; Miura's awards and titles are outlined and a few statistics are included in the paragraph.
 Finally, the street clothes photo card has a series of questions about her personal life, including favorite foods and colors, music, personal mottos, and what she thinks of her personality. Again, the photos on front and back are repeated.
 Meguna Furuya is the other baseball player in the set, and she plays on the same team as Miura.
 Shin-ae Ahn is a golfer.
 Chiharu Shida plays badminton; I have one of her autographs from this set. She is one of the exceptions with the street clothes, as she went with a photo in a yukata (a form of summer kimono) instead.
 Miyu Kato: tennis.
 Asuka Noo: Lacrosse.
 Saori Miyazaki: basketball.
 Chinatsu Nakagawa: basketball.
 Azusa Futami: beach volleyball.
 Chisato Fukushima: sprint. She's another exception, with all of her photos being taken at events.
 Kana Ichikawa: Sprint.
 Runa Imai: Swimming.
 Satsuki Fujimaki: Fin Swimming. Why is this not an Olympic sport?
 Aya Horiguchi: Wheel Gymnastics. Why is this not an Olympic sport?
 Kanae Yagi: Weightlifting.
 Miho Kurachi: Fencing. If they showed her fencing someone else instead of posing, would we ever know who her opponent was?
 Miho Nonaka: Sports Climbing. How do you climb a sport? ...
 Akiyo Noguchi: Sports Climbing. I repeat: how do you climb a sport? (At least Noguchi is climbing a real rock instead of a rock wall in her photo. Poor Nonaka.)
 Naoko Nakatsuka: Sepak Takraw. I had to look this one up. It's best described as kick volleyball, and appears to be volleyball with some soccer rules (only feet, head, chest, and knee contact, for instance). It's been around for centuries, but this is the first I'm hearing of it. Yay for education!
 Tomoe Tamura: Ultimate. Not ultimate frisbee, I guess, just ultimate. But that is a frisbee in her hands.
 Saya Itoh: Muay Thai. I want to see her actually kicking someone else, instead of a posed shot. Just like that fencing card!
 Yuri Yasui: Bikini Fitness. I'm sorry, but is this a sport? Is it a body toning competition, like those guys coming out and flexing their muscles? I can't support that. But to each their own.
 Mayuko Morita: Darts. Sure, it's usually involves beer and a smoky, grimy bar, but this is more of a sport than bikini fitness in my eyes. I bet you Morita would kick my butt at darts, too.
 Ayaka Saitoh: Unicycling. Again, it's good exercise, but is this a sport? That said, I have her autograph from a previous set; Saitoh has been in several of the Venus issues.
 Ayaka Asahina: Bicycle Motocross. Is this BMX? Can't call it BMX?
 Shizuka Okazaki: Motor Cycle Road Racing. That's an action shot... though given the lean she couldn't have been going too fast.
 Tomoki Yamamoto: Boat Race. I'm not really into motorsports, including boat races, but that's another good action shot. And is there actually a competitor in the background? Sweet! (Sorry, I missed this one when rotating horizontal cards.)
 Aoi Kinomae: Horse Racing. Horse racing is pretty popular in Japan. I can walk about 20 minutes in one direction to get to one racetrack, and 30 minutes in the opposite direction to get to another. Not to mention all the other horse racing facilities all over the Tokyo area and Japan.
 Legend Venus highlights older athletes who have retired but still have some popularity. Sayaka Hirano retired from table tennis in 2016, after competing in several international tournaments and the 2012 Olympics. Airi Hatakeyama is a rhythmic gymnast who competed at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, with the 2016 Games being her final competition.
 Miyo Ichikawa, curling, from 2011-2014. Miki Ando, figure skating, retired in 2013. Ando participated in the 2006 and 2010 Olympics, but after failing to qualify for the 2014 games, she announced her retirement.

The first card for every athlete, including the Legend Venus cards, have gold foil signature parallels #/100 and holo-foil signature parallels #/30.

The insert set this year is titled Venus Heart, and as usual has nine cards, one per athlete, for what I suppose are supposed to be the cutest or most popular ladies, or perhaps the ones with the biggest hearts. I don't know exactly how they choose the athletes here.

As you can see, everyone is pictured in their street clothes, with a full-body shot in the foreground and a headshot behind it. The backs are nothing special:
They do give a bit more of a glimpse at the headshot photo, including the background (Miura's was taken at the baseball stadium, obviously.)

A #/100 parallel with a holofoil background can be found for the Venus Heart inserts.

Finally, the everyone signed autographs, in a whole series of sets.

  • Sportswear Autographs, using the photos from the first card for active athletes - most common, #/150 or less
  • Street Clothes Autographs, using the photos from the third card for active athletes - #/89 or less
  • Legend Autographs for the four legends #/210 (Ando has 209)
  • Rookie Autographs (#/30) for all rookies
  • four Combo Autographs (baseball, basketball, sports climbing, and darts/unicycling) #/30
  • one New Year Autograph #/30 (Miyu Kato only)
  • nine Valentine Message Autograph #/30
  • nine Special Autograph #/30
  • Cheki (polaroid photo) Autograph #/25 or less
  • one Combo Cheki Autograph #/10 (Miura and Furuya)
  • 1/1 Autograph for Shin-ae Ahn (exchange card for a paperboard autograph)