The latest issue of Sports Card Magazine (#108) hit the newsstands in Japan this week and I got my issue from Amazon Japan via DHL today (ordered it on Wednesday, got it just over 48 hours later!).
Like last issue though, this isn't a great issue for the Japanese language illiterate like myself. The cover "story" is basically a five page promotion for this year's edition of BBM's annual Real Venus set which is dedicated to women athletes. Nothing wrong with the set itself but as it's not a baseball set, I personally am not that interested in it (although it does feature a baseball player - more about that in a minute).
The "New Card Information" section includes two page spreads on the new "Memories Of Uniform" and "Classic" sets as well as information on the "Lions Legend", "Carp Legend", "Red Samurai" and the "Achievement" box sets for the Hawks, Braves, Buffaloes and Whales. The section also includes full page promotion sheets for the "Idoling" set and the "Real Venus" set (so six of the 16 color pages in the magazine are dedicated to the "Real Venus" set).
The "newsprint" section of the magazine has a four page article related to the new "Memories Of Uniform" set - I think it talks some about uniforms that did not make the set.
Their list of "Best Cards" for the issue is:
Best Card Of This Month: Autographed Ball Card for Yulieski Gurriel from the BBM Genesis set
Best Item Of This Month: BBM Genesis
Hot Card Lists
1. 2014 BBM 1st Version Daichi Ohsera (#239)
2. 2014 BBM 1st Version Allen Kuri (#240)
3. 2014 BBM 1st Version Yuki Matsui (#019)
4. 2014 BBM 1st Version Seiji Kobayashi (#185)
5. 2007 BBM 1st Version Masahiro Tanaka (#211)
6. 2013 BBM 1st Version Shohei Ohtani (#183)
7. 2013 BBM 1st Version Shintaro Fujnami (#130)
8. 2014 Calbee Daichi Ohsera (#59)
9. 2014 Calbee Yuki Matsui (#1)
10. 2014 BBM 1st Version Daiki Tohmei (#129)
Autograph & Memorabilia:
1. 2014 BBM Genesis Yulieski Gurriel autographed ball
2. 2014 BBM Genesis Yuki Matsui autographed ball
3. 2014 BBM Rookie Edition Premium Yuki Matsui autograph exchange
4. 2014 BBM Genesis Kenta Maeda super patch
5. 2014 BBM Dragons Michihiro Ogasawara autograph
6. 2014 BBM 2nd Version Daichi Ohsera jersey
7. 2014 BBM 80th Anniversary Batters Edition Katsuya Nomura autograph
8. 2014 BBM 2nd Version Shota Dohbayashi super patch
9. 2014 BBM Rookie Edition Premium Daiki Tohmei autograph
10. 2014 Front Runner Baystars Signature Edition Yulieski Gurriel autograph
This month the rotating checklist & price guide spotlights pro wrestling cards. There's also a checklist & price guide for all the 2014 baseball issues (up to October) from BBM and Calbee (although no Front Runner sets and only the Nagashima set from Epoch). There is also a "New Card Checklist" for all the BBM issues that have been released or are scheduled to be released between October and the end of the year.
I'm a little bummed about the baseball cards included with the magazine. Like every other issue this year, the magazine included 12 cards. Six of them are the final six cards for the "Cosmic Cross" set that BBM has included in all the issues this year. The other six are all promo cards for the "Real Venus" set - baseball player Yu Katoh, footballer Yuria Obara, swimmer Hitomi Nose, fin swimmer Satsuki Fujimaki, billard player Kaori Ebe and unicycler Ayaka Satoh. As I mentioned above, I'm not all that interested in the "Real Venus" set so I would have preferred promo cards for baseball issues.
I've been trying to do a little bit of research on Yu Katoh but beyond discovering that she was a candidate for the women's Samurai Japan team, I haven't found out too much. It looks like she plays for a team called Asahitrust - I don't know what that is. Are there industrial league teams for women or are there women on industrial league teams?