(AFP) – Jul 22, 2008
TOKYO (AFP) — Hundreds of Harry Potter fans dressed up in costume Wednesday as they snapped up the Japanese translation of the seventh and final book of the series, a year after it appeared in English.
Readers gathered in costume at bookstores, some of which opened as early as 7:00 am (2200 GMT) to start selling the Japanese version of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows".
"I'm so excited I feel like crying. I'm totally enchanted," said a breathless young Japanese woman who gave her first name as Erina. She said she had waited outside the Tokyo bookstore since Tuesday afternoon.
"I feel sad that this is the end but since I've followed him throughout the years I will be seeing him out, and that comforts me," she said, wearing a blonde wig as Luna, one of the main characters.
"We believe in magic thanks to Harry," Erina said.
Bespectacled 28-year old Saori, who was dressed up as Harry, said the magic never died throughout the seven books.
"Even if this is the end, I will always have Harry Potter moving around in my head," she said.
"I have the feeling that perhaps he's somewhere in this city, and that there might be an entrance to that other magical world."
Online bookstore Amazon Japan said it received about 95,000 orders for the Japanese version of J.K. Rowling's book, the most ever for a book in the Harry Potter series, topping its bestsellers chart.
But some bookstores said the excitement for the latest book was not as much as expected, in part because readers inevitably have found out much of the plot in the year since the work was originally published in English.
Even the release of the original book last year was marred by controversy over leaks about the contents that made their way into newspapers and the Internet.
"The readership isn't so zealous, even though we thought they would get more excited over the final novel," said Shiro Nakamura, the store manager of the Yaesu bookstore near central Tokyo Station.
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