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

Want Lists are located here. NPB Baseball Want List is located here.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

TCIC Feature: 2013 BBM Real Venus

Once I started frequenting card shops in Japan, I quickly discovered several of the multi-sport and non-sport sets that weren't listed in Gary Engel's guide. One of those is the annual Real Venus set, which features women in a variety of sports, and is now in its fifth year.

The set comes out around Christmas every year, and the 2013 set has 29 "Venuses" (Venii?) plus three legends. Each of the regular subjects has three cards in the set - a posed shot in their uniform, an "action" shot (which sometimes is just posed or part of a photo shoot, called "Playing Venus"), and a street-wear image ("Venus Shot"), which again sometimes uses sports wear (Aya Terakawa's card shows her in her swimming cover-ups). The three legends are shown in action photos.

Foil signature parallels of the base set are in gold (#/100), holo (#/50), and (possibly) pink (#/25; was issued in 2012 but I haven't seen any this year).

Nine women are included in the Stylish Venus insert set, which includes two more images in street clothes on the front.

There are two different autographs for all 29 women - a uniform shot (up to 170 copies) and a plain-clothes shot (up to 100 copies). The three legends also signed 150 or 210 cards each. There are six dual-autograph cards.

Karen Iwadare has a Santa costume card (200 copies) with what appears to be a dual-relic version (20 copies) and an autographed costume version (30 copies). There is a promo card of her in the Santa outfit which was included in SCM magazine.

There are 22 different cheki (instant photo) cards (17-26 copies each), and four "original print" cards (6-8 copies each).

Each pack has five cards, for 315 yen - boxes have 20 packs each.

I haven't seen any of the costumes, photo, or print cards anywhere, but it has become an annual tradition for me to grab the base set once it's released. (2012 set is here.) 

There are some names that seem to appear every year, including gymnastics star Rie Tanaka. But I was quite happy to see Eri Yoshida on cardboard as a baseball player - she played ball in the US for a while.

Here are the regular and insert cards, in order:


  1. I could see this being a popular set. I find it interesting - and a bit refreshing - that many of the athletes show more skin in their uniforms than in their street clothes. Nobody's looking to make this a Japanese "BenchWarmers" set. Maybe that's more of a cultural thing than BBM or the athletes showing restraint, but either way it's a good thing.

  2. This set gets my "Set of the Year" vote. ;-)

  3. While this set is about beautiful women, they are athletes, and BBM makes sports cards, not idol cards. Respectable women in Japan just don't show anything above the waist. It's a style and cultural thing. Below the waist, though, skirts are quite short, as you can see.

    That said, there are lots of idol card sets with women (girls?) in skimpy clothes or no clothes at all. Most of them are in bikinis, costumes, etc for some of the cards. I should post some examples sometime. Notably, there's a set called Juicy Honey that has quite naked women, though I doubt I could show any of those cards here. So there already is a "BenchWarmers" set - or collection of sets, really. And more than that, there are probably hundreds or thousands of videos with girls "playing sports" in skimpy clothes.

    Fuji: do you want a copy of this year's set added to your pile? I'm heading to the card shops and can get one before boxing everything up for good next week.

    1. Heck yeah. Just let me know the damage.