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4/30/09 ~ Thursday 9:31 pm - Tokyo ~ 8:31 am - NY
Status: happy ~ Listening to: me typing really fast
my next favorite store in Japan
I don't know why I didn't discover this sooner. I headed to Ikebekuro today to meet with Fighter so we can buy our Dream Party tickets (as I cry inside over losing 1400 yen with not going to Super Comic City. Still crying over airplane tickets too. >.<) First we browsed Mandarake and headed over to K-books 2 and 3...my numbers for them. ^.^ K-books 1 is where you go upstairs and there are lots of limited edition stuff...which we can't really buy. So we skip that. K-books 2 has the manga and discounted magazine stuff on the outside (where I bought the Kuroshitsuji cards last time.) K-books 3 is next to Animate...and it has dvds/cds on the first floor...2nd floor, MASSIVE amounts of cards and previously released merchandise and more magazine stuff. I found a stash of Loveless things in the display case that I longed for but will wait to purchase.... Most of all, I found the special cards for Loveless and Junjou Romantica! Of course, no box cards and obviously, not all the cards are there. However, I bought the 2 JR cards that they had and two Loveless ones just so I can start collecting them. *hugs them happily* I will visit that store weekly just so I can buy all the cards. Fighter also found a two poster set of a series by Odagiri Hotaru...the one with the two guys in gothic outfits. I bought that one while she picked up something else. She also found two HUGE Loveless postar boards. They're plastic and are like giant pencil boards. 2100 yen for both. ^^; I don't think I'm going to start collecting those anytime soon....
leaving for Taiwan
With Fighter's help, I bought my Narita Express ticket from Ikebekuro to the airport for tomorrow. I will leave the school before 1:30...meaning right after lunch. Might as well eat lunch and leave since I'm paying for it. ^^; Tonight is light packing. I already bought some Tokyo Banana cake and special banana-strawberry snack for my aunt and cousin, Esther-neechan. This will be my last update for the weekend. I will not bring my laptop since I am not planning to spend the day on the net when I'm there. So...I'm unreachable my e-mail. I may check on my cousin's comp but I don't know if it is still in commission. (When I was there in January, the screen was terribly cracked. ^^;) I'll be back on Monday night so that will be my next update. Ja matte ne!
4/29/09 ~ Wednesday 7:10 pm - Tokyo ~ 6:10 am - NY
Status: hungry ~ Listening to: Zettai love x love Sengen - The Children (Zettai Karen Children ED) Listen or Save
more awesomeness for published author
Harry Potter fanfic writer turned RL author, Sarah Rees Brennan will be publishing 'The Demon's Lexicon'. Already, the book is slated to be out in Japan...with Arakawa Hiromu-sensei doing the cover. O.o You can see the cover here along with the author's entry on lj. That is beyond amazing for a new novelist. If the US publishes this with the same cover (and not the not-so-awesome Finnish one, ^.^) then it's a definite buy. Fans of Brennan will boo me for this (though I don't know if any of you are fans of her HP fanfics) but yes, I'll buy the book in English just because of the cover. I don't know if I'm going to buy it in Japanese though...Kouga Yun already has another Loveless novel out for me to get.... ^^;
Central Park Media was one of the first pioneer anime/manga companies in the US...marking BeBeautiful to be one of the first yaoi manga publishers which lead to my current obsession. Alas, it's time to say goodbye to them since animevice reports they're closing up shop. I'm sad since BeBeautiful had lots of awesome events when they were still up and coming. Also, lots of titles remain unfinished in their hands. After the CPM vs. Libre debacle (why Biblos did you have to go?) there was nothing else for them to do except wait it out. *cries*
My only thoughts now is that since the US licenses under CPM will be forfeited, perhaps another company can legally take them on. Viewfinder anyone?
3:45 pm - Tokyo ~ 2:45 am - NY ~ Status: calm
posting at this time?
I'm not at work today! ^.^ Today is 'Showa no hi'...like Emperor's b-day...except Showa was the previous emperor. It marks the start of Golden week which will actually beging on Saturday. I have work tomorrow and friday. Not complaining since I like going to school and teaching. ^_^ Today is catch-up on anime day! (I'm being lazy as usual. ^^;)
slow moving plot...still pretty anime
We're up to episode 4 of Pandora Hearts and finally we reach a meaty plot point. Alice is searching for her memories which have been scattered in Oz's world. (TRC dejavu! ^.^) We finally find out a bit of our series title...what 'Pandora' means (sorta) and a few mysteries are solved as to the influence of Sharon and her 2 hotties (and the strange Emily. ^.^) Raven seems to have the hots for our Oz...and Oz keeps on mistaking him for his seme Gil. (Yes, I think the cute, clumsy Gil is seme to uke Oz. Well...I think they can take turns to see who tops that night. ^_^)
Slow moving plot as it is, this series is based on the revealing of mysterious and the answers thereof so I can understand the plot being the way it is. Also, I'm still in love with the music...so TRC-like. One last thing...having an upbeat main character is a refreshing change from the emo ones we have seen so far. ^-^
lol First Pandora Hearts alludes to Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles with scattered memories...now ep. 4 of 07 Ghost has Tuxedo Kamen on the scene. When the rose hit the ground, that is exactly what I exclaimed. ^-^ The bishie trio saves Teito from an unforeseen attack as Teito cries over his friend. 'I want to see Mikage.' *sniff* So romantic! The bonds of
friendship love are so sweet! ^.^ Poor Teito. Although he is strong with his fighting skills and powers, he seems to have taken a passive role in these episodes. Things just keep on happening to him. (A mark of a true uke.) I hope he will take a more active role in the future episodes. For now, I'm content to watch him fall into someone's arms again...and again. ^.^
Still...the last part of the episode made me headdesk alot. <.<; Overdramatic...cliche although still sweet. Still a fun series to watch. Not epic just yet...but fun. BTW, does anyone ever bother to give Teito new clothes when his old ones are ripped? Or even to take off his chains? ^^;
4/28/09 ~ Tuesday 11:59 pm - Tokyo ~ 10:59 am - NY
Status: blah ~ Listening to: my tummy grumbling
My visa will expire on May 1st so I need to leave on friday. I'm going to Taipei for a few days and returning on the 4th. That means I'm missing Super Comic City (even though I bought the book-admission-ticket for it) but will attend Dream Party on the 5th instead. Need to buy the ticket for that on Thursday. I will be meeting Fighter at our usual meeting place in Ikebekuro: Mandarake of course. ^^;
What kind of tickets are expensive? Airplane tickets. I'm tearing up inside over the amount spent on my roundtrip ticket to NY (forfeiting my previous one) and now over my short trip to Taiwan. I'm going to have to leave work early (good thing no classes to teach in the afternoon) in order to get to the airport. I'm only bringing a little bookbag and I'll be buying a small suitcase in Taiwan to bring back. Still contemplating whether I should bring my laptop or not. We'll see.... I'm already making my shopping list in Taiwan. Food, manga and suitcase are at the top. ^.^
4/27/09 ~ Monday 10:56 pm - Tokyo ~ 9:56 am - NY
Status: stressed ~ Listening to: me typing
During the commentary of Fullmetal Alchemist: Conquerer of Shambala, the director (or one of the Japanese cast/staff) made a comment about Alphonse's eyes. When he was in the armor during the tv series, the animators weren't allowed to let him blink. The pinkish-redish glow in the armor was just the personification of his spirit...but since he didn't have a body, blinking was not allowed. However, they were able to take more liberties in the movie so Alphonse actually had more eye movements and he actually blinked in the armour. Now in this current series, I noticed that they allowed Alphonse to blink. When Al was speaking with 'Nina' at the end of ep. 4, he actually closed his eyes. I didn't catch it when I was watching it on tv, but while watching the fansubs, I noticed it. I guess they changed the rules for this version of the series.
On another note, Ed's 'speech' on the steps in the rain still rings out pretty strong. Ed: 'We're only humans!' That speech is actually one of Vic Mignogna's (Ed's voice actor) favorite lines. It'll be interesting to hear his voice again as Ed and see if there will be any changes or nuances to powerful lines/moments such as these. Also, I'm still going to be very sad if Aaron won't reprise his role as Al. >.< I know it can't be helped since his voice has gotten pretty deep now...but I'll still be sad.
4/26/09 ~ Sunday 5:28 pm - Tokyo ~ 4:28 am - NY (EDIT)
Status: amused ~ Listening to: Cloudier Sky - Ayane (Ayakashi OP) Listen or Save
I booked my flight back to NY today. I'll be leaving Japan on July 18 and returning on the 29th...which means I arrive in NY on the 18th and will be leaving on the 28th.) It's still way early...but need to book early since it's the summer months and prices are skyrocketing. ^^; Bad news? I forfeit the return ticket that I booked back in December since I can't change the date. >.< Stupid discounted tickets with immovable dates....
It was fun thinking about seeing everyone again. Of course, animemiz will be coming here first. ^-^
cry of the chimera
I'm watching Fullmetal Alchemist ep. 4 as I type this. First off, Basque Gran was killed off in the first 5 minutes...which is not much of a spoiler and I totally cheered. Don't like him too much. ^^; His voice was a bit lighter then I'm used to. Scar's voice is also cleaner then the previous seasons but it's still acceptable.
The meeting between the brothers and Tucker was under a different pretext since it's set in the 'present' and not when the brothers were studying to become State Alchemists. The playtime between the bros and Nina were different...funnier. I love the little additions. Of course...I hate the latter half of the episode. Not because it was bad, but because of what happened. There were changes which I won't spoil. But the results were the same. Blood...so much blood...but the bodies were more intact this time around. ^^;
They kept the rain scene that I love so much...with the brothers on the steps. I wonder if Ed will see the 'results' in the next episode. Which version was sadder? I think the first one...or maybe I'm just more innured to this. BTW, next episode...Scar vs. Ed!
beer, yaoi and manga...not necessarily together
Here is a catch up on recent Japanime news that I like.... We have Hello Kitty endorsing Beck beer, a German brew. In the words of my Nishi-loving roomie...'Isn't Hello Kitty suppose to be for children?' lol Apparently our cute kitty has been associated with various other alcholic drinks before including sake. Mmmm...I wouldn't mind a bottle or two of those things. ^^;
More news on Minami Haruka-sensei who will be attending Yaoi-con this year. So happy to have met her last year at Comiket. ^.^ Maybe I'll see her again at Comiket in August? BTW, I smiled when I saw the Love a la Carte cover since Pearl-chan bought it for me some time ago. What a delicious story. ^.^
Yay for US mangaka! Tokyopop OEL manga comes to Japan via Softbank. I don't know if that means the manga will also be on phones, but at least the books are coming out here. ^-^ The article makes an interesting point...will the books come out flipped or unflipped? Will the Japanese be as confused about the reading directions as new otaku were in the US when confronted with 'flipped' manga? Will there be a 'Stop! You're reading from the wrong direction/side!' in the back of the book? More questions and no answers next time! (If/when I see an OEL manga in the bookstore, I'll let you guys know. ^-^)
4/24/09 ~ Friday 7:15 pm - Tokyo ~ 6:15 am - NY (EDIT)
Status: hungry ~ Listening to: my tummy grumbling
under the wisteria
The flowers of wonderful meetings. It is found in CLAMP School Detectives when Takamura meets the shy Nagisa under the wisteria blossoms. Roses, sakura and wisteria...the romantic flowers of Japan. It just so happens, there is a wisteria trellis at my school. The beautiful blue-violet flowers blowing in the wind...makes for a pretty picture. ^-^
Minami-sensei does yuri!
The wonderful BL mangaka, Minami Haruka-sensei has started publishing yuri works. I saw her book yesterday at Animate. (Forgot to mention in my previous entry. ^^;) Fighter and I picked it up and we both recognized the drawing style immediately. It's no surprise since Minami-sensei has done several Sailor Moon doujins that were yuri. Although we couldn't look through the book, we're sure the drawings are deliciously done and are characters definitely extremely cute and sexy. PWPs, moans and sighs to litter the pages...filled with sensual moments and light caresses. lol I look forward to the scanlations if any groups take on the project. ^-^
There are many mangaka that do both shoujo and BL...Higuri Yuu-sensei for one. Some shoujo mangaka that went to BL include Watase Yuu-sensei and Mayu Shinjo-sensei. Awesome works from all.
Solitary moving...some time this year
Turns out, geocities will no longer be hosting free sites. They said that more info will come out in the summer. I'm looking into free sites that don't have ads and may go to doteasy. Thinking of a domain name for myself. Ideas anyone? I want to stay as a .com and I want a name that people don't find easily in search. Afterall, I like only you guys (ppl I give the address to) to find my site. ^^; The only idea that I have is 'solitaryrai' since it's a site name that no one will encounter in a search by accident. I was going to use 'silentdeath' or 'xilentdeath' but both have been used as screen names before. (And all the .coms are used. ^^;) Comment with your ideas please! ^.^ Arigato gozaimasu!
Pizza Hut Japan...with FMA!
There is a FMA promotion going on at Pizza Hut...except I have no idea how to get anything. ^^; Going to ask my more capable Japanese-learned friends for help. I totally love the pic of Ed eating pizza. Of course, I would love the autographed pic...but I doubt I will get anywhere near that. The Al and Ed mugs are so cute! First Code Geass with C.C. munching on the stuff and now, FMA...Pizza Hut is taking over anime! ^.^
4/22/09 ~ Wednesday 9:22 pm - Tokyo ~ 8:22 am - NY
Status: busy ~ Listening to: Crossing Days - Shintani Ryouko (Kurenai ED) Listen or Save
healthy and yummy school lunches!
If only these exist in the US.... lol Actually, I liked our school lunches in the US...especially the processed fishcakes and fried chicken. (Maybe I have too wide of a palette and I'm not really a gourmet eater. ^^;) But the above is a pic of my lunch today as provided by the school. A nutritionist decides the menu and creates the meal itself. We don't have much 'packaged' stuff (except for the udon in a bag for quick cooking) and the meal is basically made at the school. For example? The pastry in the upper left corner of the pic was made by the nutritionist herself. It's made from white beans! o.O It was soooo yummy! That pic doesn't do it justice so here is another one.
*drools from memory* I was thinking it might be sweet potato or something but it was made from beans. Mame. Oishigata! BTW, I do pay for my lunch and it's under 300 yen each time. ^.^
more Japanime shopping? sure!
My BL friend, Fighter and I decided to meet at Ikebekuro today after work to buy magazines for the Super Comic City event. It's a another doujinshi event (smaller then Comiket but still at Tokyo Big Sight) that will be held on 5/3 and 5/4. However, you need to buy a magazine (1400 yen) and bring it as your entrance ticket...and there is a different magazine per day. Since all the BL are on 5/3, that is when I'll be going. ^-^
We met at Mandarake again and browsed a bit before heading to Animate. More browsing ensued as we checked out everything. So much I want to buy.... Unfortunately, I couldn't find the pink bunny-like plushie from 07 Ghost for Pearl-chan (but I won't give up!) but saw the ring from Kuroshitsuji in a display case. *drools* I want the ring. Saw pics of it before, but seeing it in front you.... *reaches out to grab it* ^^; Like the Animate in Akihabara, there were floors upon floors of stuff. We ended walking all the way to the top...to find a Natsume Yuujincho exhibit.
o.O There were sets of screenshots from each series on the walls, a tv playing an episode from the second season, layout sketches/dougas from the eyecatches (Nyanko-sensei riding a vacuum cleaner lol ^.^) as well as the dougas from my fav moment...Natsume blowing with paper in his mouth. There were merchandise for sale and...a lifesized Nyanko-sensei (that Pearl-chan ordered) on display. There was a smaller one that wasn't as nice looking in a display case for almost 4000 yen...but for close to 9000 yen, you get the original. o.O I want one too.... *thinks* Another wall had paper memos with Nyanko-sensei and a speech bubble for people to leave messages to the fat kitty. ^.^ No pics were allowed of the room, but there was a shrine to Nyanko-sensei. Pics were only allowed of the shrine. ^-^
Fighter bought a Nyanko-sensei keychain while I longed for the lifesized plush. <.<; We headed to K-books next so we could check out their discounted stuff outside. She found a box of Kuroshitsuji playing cards and of course wanted to buy it. Then she found another set which I could buy. *hugs* We also found Ouran playing cards so I bought that too. That's it! No more shopping until the con! ^^;
4/21/09 ~ Tuesday 7:08 pm - Tokyo ~ 6:08 am - NY
Status: hungry ~ Listening to: me busy typing
when Pioneer was still making anime in the US and it was on the sci-fi channel
I spent the last two days watching Armitage III ova and Armitage III: Polymatrix the movie sequel. I watched the movie version of the ova titled Armitage III: Dual Matrix many, many years ago on the sci-fi channel. *points at subject title* Pioneer had one of the best voice actors (for that time) with Viz coming in a close second with the Ranma 1/2 cast. The anime is action based, with a political driven plot about android rights and what it means to be a woman. Basically, it's about android having babies to increase the population on the colony Mars. (Why is everyone trying to populate Mars?) Of course, Earth (feminist as it is now) declares the rights to make babies as a woman's thing and conspiracy starts killing off androids. ^^; Atypical, sci-fi plot that has lots of guns, blood and a badass girl in a red bra as her police uniform. I never got to see the sequel and finally decided to watch it last night. For an anime of the '90s, it's pretty good in terms of animation (though I don't think there was any real bad animation...Japan always make everything smooth and pretty! ^^;) The most surprising thing? Hearing Shion Uzuki's voice in one of the background characters. We have a Sailor Moon/Tsukino Usagi-lookalike android (odangos, blond hair and all,) obviously a sex doll (though given the position 'secretary')...and Lia Sargent's voice (Shion from Xenosaga episode 1 and 3 VGs) coming out. lol
Spring 2009 anime I'm deep into now
For those that want to know (and my own records,) I'm watching Fullmetal Alchemist which airs Sundays, 07 Ghost and Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica Crimson S which airs Saturday late nights, Pandora Hearts and Higashi no Eden which airs Thursday late nights and Detective Conan which airs Saturdays. Since I like to sleep at a reasonable hour (as I'm working,) there won't be much live updates (updates as I'm watching it) since I'm recording most of them and watching them when I return the next day. You probably got that already due to my delayed comments and thoughts. ^^;
Dropped Valkyrie Chronicles from my must-see list since it didn't draw me in as much. Probably will catch up on it at a later time. Of course, Hanasakeru Seishounen and Ristorante Paradiso will be something I'll watch when it finishes.
Still waiting for the fansubs of the last episode of Jigoku Shoujo and the rest of Mouryou no Hako! ^^; The former not so much since I know what happens, but the latter totally lost me being a mystery/murder/deductions/Detective Conan-like plot. ^^;
a new story...another life
I have a friend (whom I met several years ago at an Asian party thing in Stony) who recced the 'Melusine' novels (actually, the the 'Doctrine of Labyrinths' series) and is a manga artist (contender in the Tokyopop OEL contest every year.) She has started her webcomic, 'Danse Macabre'. She is a BL fan (like me ^-^) so BL will certainly (if not already) make their way into the story. I'm not sure on which day she updates, but she has a page out at least once a week. I love her colored pages...and especially the colored panels since it's a nice surprise that draws you in. Ganbarre, Tristin! ^.^
4/19/09 ~ Sunday 6:18 pm - Tokyo ~ 5:18 am - NY
Status: busy ~ Listening to: Disarm Dreamer - Misato Aki (Genshiken OP) Listen or Save
back to the original...and not really
The 3rd episode of Fullmetal Alchemist gave me more of a feel of how this new series is going. There were some changes that I didn't really note in my first entry concerning this series. I noted that hair color of the Elric brothers (Ed mainly...since Al is in armor) was done differently. Then I realized, the entire color scheme of the anime was definitely brighter then before. The range of colors went on a lighter side. The drawings have softened a bit...curvier (and I don't mean curvy bodies ^^;) around the faces and expressions. Not bad...just different. For those that are notice skin tone, Rose's skin color and the Ishbalans were white like the other characters. I wonder why that is the case. Concerning that they were dessert people, I expected darker skin from them like before. (Except of course, Quatre Winner from Gundam Wing...he is the whitest Arabian I know. ^^;)
Beyond character designs and colors, the atmosphere of the series seemed to have lightened. More humor and 'straight-from-manga' type scenes. The super deformity that the characters fall into are more frequent...but it could be to put more humor into this episode in particular. For a series that is suppose to be sticking with the manga, there have been several changes. Father Cornello asking Rose to shoot the brothers, his reactions after the rebound, how the brothers met Cornello...everything was a bit different. I think it's because that its to give something new to the returning fans. Afterall, the first series stuck pretty close to the manga at this moment. (Though I was looking forward to Edward being chained up again which didn't happen this time.) One thing I'm happy that they kept was the moment when Ed threw off his jacket to reveal his automail...and supple arms. *drools* ^.^ Awesome shot and they kept it from the first series and the manga. Yay for trademark scenes! I'm not sure if they kept the line about 'walking on your own two feet' and I'll have to check the fansubs for this one. I think they would...since it's also a trademark line that was memorable through all the FMA incarnations.
I know for sure now that they're going through the manga straight from the beginning since the next episode will be about the Sewing Life Alchemist...Nina's father. *cries* I don't wanna go through with this story. It's so sad! *grabs tissues* I don't know if they're putting it in as a flashback (since their encounter was suppose to be when Ed was studying to take the State Alchemist exam) or in the present time. We'll see next week....
The eyecatches for each episode are different! They have a different character per outro and intro (the intro accompanied by a booming narrator voice saying 'Fullmetal Alchemist' in English. Sugoi!) Episode three was Cornello and Rose. ^.^
sing the divine song
I got to stop typing such long entries. *points above* ^^;
I watched all of Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica and the first episode of the second season, Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica Crimson S which actually is a flashback season. The series is about Dantists who are humans who play the divine music that moves spirits. A spirit can create a contract with a human and utilize the music to push their powers to the full potential. The main character, Phoron Tatara has a contract with the spirit, Corti. They work in the Tsuge Divine Music Player Office...which basically dispatches dantists and spirits for various jobs. The first season is about their various jobs and the second season is about when Phoron was still at the Dantist academy. The first season did have a flashback episode from Phoron's school days so there are differences between that episode and the 2nd season.
I was obviously drawn to this series since I love the music and the use of instruments in battle. Phoron plays the organ/piano. (His bike even transforms into an organ. ^.^) The music that is played is created by the dantist himself...which amazes me since the notion of creating a different piece to prepare for the different battles/tasks is overwhelming. I love the music of the series...especially when Phoron sings. I don't think Phoron's singing voice is the same as his seiyuu. (BTW, Phoron's seiyuu is Kamiya Hiroshi-san who was Natsume from Natsume Yuujincho. I've been hearing his voice alot lately. I love his gentle voice.... ^-^) I look forward to more of the second season which just started this month.
On another note, this series is based off a visual novel and is geared towards guys. Which means...we get a lot of shots of butts and girls folding their legs. ^.^ But the main character isn't a perv so yay!
4/17/09 ~ Friday 10:38 pm - Tokyo ~ 9:20 am - NY
Status: amused ~ Listening to: Doll - Lia (Gunslinger Girl OST) Listen or Save
Kyaaaa...Oz just got kissed by a girl.... lol No other info from me! I stopped my 1am anime watching since I work so I didn't get to see Pandora Hearts on tv last night. I went the VHS route and had my episode recorded (even though I can watch the raws online. I like the tv with commercial feel. ^-^) The episode was confusing since the story is lost on me...but it was still great. I'm in love with the soundtrack, especially the violin piece during the previews. ^-^
not BL...but kinda close
The link was recced by animemiz and I totally love it since it encompassed everything gay about the series 07-Ghost...even though it isn't a BL series. ^.^ Everything the review mentioned is so true! It even noted the similarities to the start of Candidate for Goddess. Mainly a full male cast at a school and competiting to get into an army. Unlike Candidate for Goddess, this has a stronger character cast (not too sterotypical...but only kinda) as well as a deeper plot. There are other BL hints in this...especially in the 2nd episode when all Teito does is fall into a guy's arms. And it's not Mikage. lol Of course, being that this anime is done by the wonderful Studio DEEN (same one that did Junjou Romantica, you know there are definitely an abundance of pretty boys which I can fangirl over.
Beyond BL, the series is pretty interesting and it's definitely something I'm following. ^.^
7:34 pm - Tokyo ~ 6:34 am - NY ~ Status: tired
Otanjoubi omedatou, Rei-chan!
Ah...one of my fav Japanime females...Hino Rei. I would go to the Hikawa Shrine as a sort of celebration...but too tired. ^^; Even after all these years, I still relate to her kind of strength the most. The first female Japanime character I internalized as a model for myself...her presence in the Sailor Moon series has always been wonderful to watch. I'm referring to the PGSM incarnations and both the anime and the manga. (I haven't really gotten into the musicals so I have don't have a basis for her character there.) My love for archery probably stems from her as well. ^^; Grace with a bow and arrow.... Her kyudo experience shows up more in the manga then the anime/PGSM series.
On this rainy day in Tokyo, I hope her fire shines even more. ^-^
Tokyo and mini-skirts
I'm going to preface this as something found in Tokyo since I don't know the fashion in other parts of Japan yet. Remember all the Japanime that we watch and read? Schoolgirls have super short skirts that have all the fanboys drooling. Of course, we have to distinguish fantasy (wet-dreams of the perverted) and RL...but RL is not that far off. In truth, not EVERY schoolgirl has super short skirts. There IS a dresscode and dress-length code...but highschool girls are pushing their limits. Even in the winter time, many girls would go out in miniskirts. Of course, they're wearing high boots, sweaters, jackets and scarves...but they have short skirts. And referring back to those in school uniforms...girls try to shorten the length as much as possible. ^^; That's highschool though. Junior high (especially the JH that I'm at now,) girls have not yet moved into the 'how-much-leg-can-you-show' trend. So...every fanboy's dreams are walking all about Tokyo. Riding, bicycles, walking up stairs, standing.... I haven't seen any panties shots yet, but with all these skirts twirling, I won't be surprised. ^^;
fullday of teaching
School has 6 periods with 1 period of lunch. But US students (with our 8 period days) shouldn't be too jealous yet since we must remember, Japanese students have juku, club activities and entrance exams. LOTS of entrane exams. And they clean classrooms and mop floors. Remember my previous entry? ^.^ Anyway, I had taught 5 periods today which was tiring. Tiring, but still fun. I added 'Matsumoto Jun' to one of my examples during the lesson and caught the attention of the JE fans in the class. Of course, the next question from the students (girls of course) was my fav. JE group...which member do I like (Kamenashi Kazuya ^-^) and so on. lol Next week, I'll be teaching the 3rd years aka. 9th graders. The English monitors came to see me today to talk about their monday lesson...still kinda shy. Awww.... ^.^
BTW, at the end of my last period class, two girls waved and said goodbye to me as I was leaving. Their sporatic waves reminded me of 801megane since she does exactly the same thing. Kawaii! ^-^ It was an awesome first week and more lesson planning and classes next week! Ganbarremasu!
Earl and Fairy was a series that came out last year...but never got the chance to really watch it. (Even though I wanted to since the earl was Midorikawa Hikaru. *fangirls*) Finally buckled down and watched it this week. It was a good series, romantic with a light mix of action-y scenes. The ending sequence is guys-in-bed-naked...but it isn't as BL as it sounds since the guys are all in separate beds...assuming this of course. ^^; But they're naked! In bed! *drools*
Unfortunately, the series isn't complete as the bad guy is still alive at the end and the two leads are still in the throes of their possible romance...possible since the girl hasn't fully accepted him as her love (even though we all know it's going to happen. ^.^) I'm hoping for a second series but there haven't been an announcement yet...at least I don't think so. Well, it was a fall 2008 release and it's only spring 2009 (in terms of anime scheduling) so maybe it's only skipping a season. ^^;
My two favorite guys are Raven and Kelpie. Raven has the 'Lelouche's eye' thing going on...that turns bright green and glows when he is attacks people. Totally cute, skilled and a wonderful butler. Reminds me of another dark haired and totally loyal butler.... ^.^ Kelpie is a fairy that loves the main girl, Lydia. He has confessed many, many times but has always been faced with rejections. However, he doesn't give up. His strength and persistance I find quite charming...and his dislike for liver I find hilarious. ^.^
There are alot of familiar voices in this series (due to the wonderful seiyuu that were picked for their roles) but the one that striked me as most recently familiar was the character, Paul Ferman, the painter. His seiyuu is Kamiya Hiroshi who had voiced Tieria Erde (Gundam 00,) Saionji Kaoru (Gakuen Heaven) and surprisingly (since I didn't know,) Shuya Arisada (Princess Princess.) BUT, the reason why he sounded familiar was that his voice was also Natsume Takashi from Natsume Yuujincho. The soft tones were Natsume's voice. Of course, I liked Paul's sweet character even more after realizing that. ^-^
Takahashi Rumiko-sensei's new manga...in the US
Yay for simulataneous releases! Seems like the US companies are trying their best to get their hands on current releases and try to push it out as fast as possible. FMA anyone? I'm not complaining at all and it's the right idea since there have been so many problems with fan-release stuff hurting the anime industry and all...but that's another story. ^^;
Of course, there has been tons of news concerning Takahashi Rumiko-sensei's new manga, Kyoukai no Rinne which is another fantasy romance (and I predict love triangle,) with a female lead that can see ghosts. Another cliched backdrop type story that I'm sure will be another money-making hit for Takahashi-sensei. Yay! ^.^ According to Japanator, the series will be released simultaneously via Viz's new site for the mangaka, TheRumicWorld.com. Every time a chapter comes out in Japan (weekly since the manga is out in a weekly anthology...I think,) it will be out on the site which is great news. Fans don't have to scanlate it then. ^-^
On another note, I agree with the commentor on Japanator.... The ad on the site mentions Inyuasha which is Takahashi-sensei's most recent work...but I wish it would mention her other works as well. Ranma 1/2 is too awesome NOT to speak up about. Who else could think up a guy who turns into a girl and have both sexes falling for him? Takahashi-sensei is a genius! *bows*
more Hetalia? of course!
South Korea protested the series Axis Powers Hetalia since they didn't like the character 'Korea' in it...even though the anime didn't even feature him (yet.) However, a second season has been approved and we have Korea. ^.^ This series is too cute. For those that like short anime, catch this one and Chi's Sweet Home which is on it's second season now. ^.^
One last thing...paaaaastaaaaa!
4/15/09 ~ Wednesday 6:35 pm - Tokyo ~ 5:35 am - NY
Status: happy ~ Listening to: Flower of Bravery - FripSide (Koihime Muso OP) Listen or Save
Rai-sensei iz me
The students are definitely not calling me that. ^^; Instead, they're calling me by my last name with a 'sensei' attached at the end. ^^V My first day of teaching was tiring which makes me worried since I have an even more intense teaching schedule this friday. ^^; So classes....
I have alot to learn in terms of directing in a classroom. I didn't do terribly, but I could do alot better. *takes notes* I give props to all my teachers/professors...it's not an easy job. The students come to the teacher's room to pick me and my Japanese assistant teacher up. They carry materials to the classroom. (Students in Japan do everything! Clean floors, carry books, serve food.... US students...we had it easy. ^^;) The class rep say stand and bow as greeting (though we instructed one of the classes to not do that to save on time.) I went into my intro and into my lesson with alot of help from the Japanese teacher. My first class was very active and inspiring...and my other classes not so active but still good. No completely rowdy students yet, but the assistant and I note the more hyper ones. ^-^
Guys and girls in class
In junior high school (at least the one I'm at,) there are no locker rooms. When the students have gym, they wear the gym uniforms underneath their school uniforms...and take off and put on their outer uniforms in the classroom. Guys and girls together. ^^; No one is shy at this point, but....
When I asked them to shake hands...guys with girls...they're shy. I had alot of hesitation in reaching out their hands, tapping of fingers in place of shaking hands or no shaking at all. ^^; lol Ah...the cuteness of youth....
4/14/09 ~ Tuesday 9:44 pm - Tokyo ~ 8:44 am - NY
Status: amused ~ Listening to: me typing
Hetalia in the BL zone
I finally got the chance to watch episode 11 of Axis Powers Hetalia...and discovered that it has officially fallen under the BL category. Before, it was only insinuations, assumptions...fan service for the fujoshi crowd. In Chibtalia, little Italy is in a dress and is adored by the Holy Roman Empire. In the usual series, Italy is hanging onto Germany with Japan looking on as Germany and Italy have their little quips together. Nothing solid really but our usual overactive imaginations. (Though our imaginations don't have to work that hard with this. ^-^) However, in ep. 11, we have the chibi-Holy Roman Empire reaching out for chibi-Italy...hoping to form the Roman Empire...so cute! An in the regular series, Italy is asking for hugs from Germany...and kisses too. o.O GermanyxItaly FTW! French's surpise proposal at the end? We have official BL! *dances*
(BTW, 07 Ghost is BL-ish too. Afterall, it's animated by Studio DEEN, the same one that did Junjou Romantica. An all male school and uniforms with two guys in one bed? BL fodder!)
6:57 pm - Tokyo ~ 5:57 am - NY ~ Status: busy
teaching tomorrow! kyaaaaa....
*runs around the room in panic* I took over the AV room (Audio Visual and not adult video...this is a junior high afterall ^^;) today to practice speaking and going through the flow of my lessons in an empty classroom. All materials are done...and I'm just anticipating my next step as a fullfledged teacher.... ^^; BTW, the students visit teachers in the teacher's room in order to ask them, 'What do we need to bring for class tomorrow?' Two by two, the assigned students come to inquire during lunchtime. Of course, mine came today for tomorrow's classes. My students are too cute! One of them is definitely fluent in English some way since he spoke with a confident and I-don't-really-care kind of air. lol 7th grade and already bored with English. ^^; Yup, a first year student. I look forward to tomorrow!
BTW, as all schools, we have a kendo club and a judo club. This was found outside the kendo dojo....
A BBQ? Can I go too? lol Outside of my apartment, I saw students holding bows and arrows (all wrapped up of course as it's improper to brandish weapons in public.) *sigh* I miss going to archery practice. I don't think there is kyudo in my school. ^^;
another clip of Japanese ads...
Caught this on the walls of the train station.... So sexy, I want to take it home but the ad is kinda stuck to the wall.... ^^;
FMA 4 koma manga
Square Enix posts 4 panel manga online as reported by Japanator. Of course, it's in Japanese and it's like the ones found at the end of the manga and novels. Yay for more humor by Arakawa-sensei! ^.^ I wonder if there will be scanlations of them.... *goes search* This will be a series of online-only manga so I look forward to new ones. I wonder what is the release date on these? *goes search some more*
more stamps please!
With the Detective Conan movie coming out this saturday, Japan Post will be releasing stamps on friday, 4/17. As you can see from the above pic, there will be a group shot of the Detective Boys crew, Heiji and Kazuha, Conan and Gin (a BL pairing I do not support for several reasons, ^^;) Conan and Ran and lastly Kaito Kid and Conan. I only wish there was a Shinichi and Ran one to go with the Osaka couple. ^.^ In May, there will be a release of shonen manga stamps for the 50th Anniversary. On a large sheet, there will be two stamps each from many manga series including Conan, Major and GTO. I probably won't get that one, but the Detective Conan set is a definite. ^-^
4/12/09 ~ Sunday 5:35 pm - Tokyo ~ 4:35 am - NY
Status: happy ~ Listening to: Regret - Hoshimura Mai (D. Gray Man ED) Listen or Save
back to the beginning
The 2nd episode of Fullmetal Alchemist features the backstory with them as children. This time, the history is more fleshed out about their determination after their mother dies rather then the moments prior to her death. Ed's pain after the forbidden act is more apparent here then before since the visit from Roy and Riza is animated in detail. I'm happy they included this since I love Riza's convo with Winry. (Also her short hair look is cute. ^-^)
Something I didn't mention last week was that they animated the hair of the Elric brothers differently then before. Instead of using black outlines, they use gold lines to blend in with the hair. (This kind of animation is seen most prominently in the Western cartoon 'Samurai Jack'.) Pretty.... The character designs are still the same but there are subtle differences with hair and face definition. Nothing bad, I'm enjoying everything. ^.^
Since we're following the manga storyline, Ed discovers his 'no-circle-but-clap-for-alchemy' early on. Also, his appearance and act in front of Fuhrer Bradley was shown. Another 'straight-from-manga' quality is that text that usually appear around characters in the manga are also in the anime. You know...when a character smiles, the words 'ni ko' in kana are on the page. When Bradley is walking away, 'ha shi' in kana are all around him. ^^;
Next episode is about Lior. The scenes in Lior has got to be the most animated one since we have the version from the first series, the animated scenes from the video game, 'The Crimson Elixer' and now for this current series. If they're following this manga from the beginning, I fear for two stories that will remain unchanged: Nina and Hughes.... >.< The FMA fan inside of me understands that these stories need to be done...but...but...I don't want to see them die again.... >.< *grabs tissues* The first series already did a great job and the story was already very, very close to the manga. I guess I'm just going to have to buy more tissues when that episode rolls around.... ^^;
4/11/09 ~ Saturday 12:33 pm - Tokyo ~ 11:33 am - NY
Status: amused ~ Listening to: me typing
Isle of the Dead
Pearl-chan just brought up an interesting fact. The anime Kuroshitsuji incorporated many different histories and legends. Redhaired Jack the Ripper in London, the opium wars, English and Indian conflicts, angels vs. demons, etc.... One of them is a Swedish painting which some say is based on Greek mythology...Charon ferrying souls to hell. 'Isle of the Dead' by Arnold Bocklin can be seen in the ending sequence with the song 'Lacrimosa' as well as the last episode of the series. Sebastian ferrying Ciel to a lone island in dark waters.... Broken mansion in a forest.... (My fav moment is what comes after that. ^.^ "Will it hurt?")
Bocklin made 5 versions with one destroyed. One of the versions is at the MET. Definitely going there when I get the chance!
4/10/09 ~ Friday 7:35 pm - Tokyo ~ 6:35 am - NY
Status: sick ~ Listening to: Resonance - TMR (Soul Eater OP) Listen or Save
prepwork and hardworking students
Since I started working, I've been trying to prepare for next week's lessons. I'll be teaching the 1st and 2nd years next week. I have two main lesson plans set up and lots of paper cutting. Unlike when I was at the office, the paper cutter is the sliding kind so I don't cut my hair as I cut the papers. ^^;
There are no janitors at school and everything is cleaned by students. Including the teacher's room. Whichever class/team is assigned, they come to the teacher's room to clean. It was awesome watching them clean...I wanna help too! lol
BTW, the teacher's room is always open to students...unless it's exam times and then the room is offlimits. Otherwise, the students come looking for teachers all the time. In order to announce themselves, they say their class and name. It's like clockwork! *knock knock* "I'm from class X-Y. Insert-name-here desu. Is insert-name-sensei here?" ^.^
getting even more sick
My nose started running like crazy today. Good thing it's friday since I have time now to get better over the weekend. ^^;
I kept on running for the bathroom today to blow my nose. BTW, today my first school lunch and it might have been delicious...except I barely tasted it since my nose is all stuffed. ^^; Couldn't take a pic of it either since I forgot to bring my camera to the teacher's lounge and didn't want to walk back to the teacher's room to get it. Next time....
4/8/09 ~ Wednesday 9:35 pm - Tokyo ~ 8:35 am - NY
Status: happy ~ Listening to: Detective Conan on the laptop
sakura at school...
Picture this: the wind softly blowing the sakura blossoms that overlook a school. New uniforms, dreams and the gathering of students for the new school year.... My junior high isn't large but it's a good size with 241 students. I've never been to a school entrance ceremony before, but I attended one today. I introduced myself in English after the vice principal announced me as the ALT. (No talking in Japanese allowed (for me) towards students! ^-^) First it was the 2nd and 3rd years (8th and 9th grade for US) and then it was the 1st years with their parents. The exiting of the first years are sent off with the school orchestra. The song? 'One Love' by Arashi. ^^; BTW, they announced the first year students (roll call sort of way) one by one and by homeroom. Wow....
There were first years who were feeling faint. The reasons are the uniforms. As elementary school students, there were those that usually didn't wear uniforms and all of a sudden there were 3 layers of clothing in a semi-warm April day. And the gym (where the ceremonies are held) was warm. Teachers were taking the kids aside and fanning them. ^^; I salute the kids who have to put up with the heat! *applause*
Yummy school lunch starts on wednesday so I had convenience store lunch today. The principal's secretary served sakura tea for us. ^-^ I never had sakura tea before and it smells sweet...although very salty. (Might be good since the salt will disinfect my throat which is hurting. Bad start! I'm a teacher and I can't lose my voice.... ^^; Drinking jasmine tea with honey now.)
I looked over the curriculum materials today and I'll start my lesson plans tomorrow. Ganbarremasu!
Wanna meet Nobuo Uematsu?
Bid and win tickets to the Distant Worlds concert! The deadline is this evening at 5pm! (US time.) The location is of course not in NY but to fly to Michigan to meet the genius composer...dream come true! *faints* Alas, I don't have the means to go. (Uematsu will also be in Taiwan in late May...which I can't go either. ^^;)
4/7/09 ~ Tuesday 9:05 pm - Tokyo ~ 8:05 am - NY
Status: nervous ~ Listening to: Snow Tears - Nakagawa Shoko (Hakaba Kitaro OST) Listen or Save
ALT to NET
I went to the Board of Education training today with all the ALTs in Saitama. Saitama has an advanced English program that would basically require all ALTs (assistant language teachers) to become NETs (Native English Teachers. What does it mean? It means that instead of being just an assistant, I will be the main teacher. In turn, I will have a Japanese teacher (who speaks English) assisting me. o.O Suffice to say, I'm very nervous about this, but will strive to do my best. My Japanese assistant is very kind and experienced so I truly appreciate her being there with me.
Tomorrow is the opening ceremonies for the school year so all will happen is greeting the teachers and students. The second day (thursday) is a major cleaning so no actual classes are taking place. Teaching will start either on Friday or Monday. Ganbarremasu!
4/5/09 ~ Sunday 9:55 pm - Tokyo ~ 8:55 am - NY
Status: happy ~ Listening to: me typing
hail the giant penis!
I went to the famed Kanamura Matsuri today. Link is NSFW so tread with caution. ^^; (Lots of pics too....) I went with my BL loving friend and we talked about Japanime all day...among penis-related things. ^.^ We left the festival around 3:30pm in hopes to catch the Fullmetal Alchemist anime which started today. We barely made it for the second half of the episode, but it was fine since I video taped it along with the special that aired at 4am this morning. o.O (Why in the world would they air a special so early in the morning?!?) We watched the episode on tv, cooked ramen and then watched what we missed and the special via tape. Yay for oldschool VHS!
return to the manga...yay!
I loved the first episode of Fullmetal Alchemist. That is no surprise since I know I would love the entire series. The straight-from-manga scenes can be seen in the flashbacks to Ed and Al's tragedy of a transmutation. The story that begins the series is in the present time and concerns a water alchemist threatening Ed and the army at Amesteris. I don't recognize the story from the manga so I guess it's new. They have to start somewhere. ^^; The interactions between Edward and Al are so cute to watch as well as the appearance of the rest of our beloved cast.
The voices are of course a bit different, but nothing jarring. I felt the lighter tone in Roy's voice, but it still fits. Hughes is as lovable as ever and Hawkeye is still awesome. Of course, Alexander Louis Armstrong sparkled throughout the entire thing. (Did he even move his mouth when he spoke? No idea...but he shined! ^.^) We already see foreshadowing with Bradley and he is referred to as King Bradley. (We get a glimpse of 'Father' too...as well as some of the Sins. Yay! ^-^)
The second episode is going to be a flashback of the very beginning. I don't mind although it still hurts to hear Ed say, 'Give me back Al...he is the only brother I have!' *sniff* This is shaping up to be another awesome series. I hold the same hopes as before: please don't kill Hughes! ^^; Motto motto AlxEd onegaishimasu!
4/4/09 ~ Saturday 11:58 pm - Tokyo ~ 10:58 am - NY EDIT
Status: busy ~ Listening to: Sanagi - Possibility (Gintama OST) Listen or Save
girls night out
My German apartment mate went to Ise for two weeks and was back today. To celebrate her return, we went to the okonmiyaki restaurant we went for her b-day followed by Cold Stone and karaoke. I had a pork okonomiyaki which was delicious though I still want to try kimchi. ^.^ Cold Stone Creamery featured workers that actually smile as they work. Something rarely seen at the stores in NY. ^^; I don't know if it was because we were gaijin (since I spoke the least amount of Japanese among the three) or it was the next song on their list, but they sang in English about the various flavors they had. ^^; lol Since Japan don't have a tip system, they just sing at intervals which is quite lively. BTW, the Cold Stone in Japan has green tea and mango ice cream along with a few only-in-Japan mixtures. I got my usual Mudpie Mojo (replace coffee ice cream with chocolate) and will be getting the other Japanese specials next time.
Karaoke was not that expensive for two hours and I sang my usual 'Every Heart' by Boa as well as 'Kaze no Lalala' by Kuraki Mai. I find that my reading certainly improved since I was actually able to follow more during slow songs. I also sang 'Chiisaki Mono' by Hayashi Asuca and 'Everytime We Touch' by Cascada. Same songs as usual. ^^;
6:31 pm - Tokyo ~ 5:31 am - NY ~ Status: happy
something new for Conan
Detective Conan is being aired on saturdays now and today was episode 1. ^^; New episodes are going to start on 4/18. The new opening is 'Everlasting Luv' by Breakerz with the singer, Daigo (brother to Eiki Eiki-sensei. ^.^) Daigo also sings the song for the new Dectective Conan movie. ^-^ Another awesome thing about the new opening is that it's made up of clips from previous openings. It's so funny since I recognized where most of them are from.... ^^; The ending song is something by Kuraki Mai...which I'm not sure of the title yet. Yay for new season!
4/3/09 ~ Friday 2:13 am - Tokyo ~ 1:13 pm 4/2 - NY
Status: calm ~ Listening to: Pandora Hearts on tv
'payday' is slang for gay in French
According to my French apartment mate, it is not a good idea to say something like 'payday' in public in France...because it is the equivalent to 'fag'. That's good to know since I have no wish to insult anyone if and when I go to France. ^^;
Japanese bank have fees...lots of them
After going to my training today, I confirmed that I am unable to open a bank account at the post office. <.< In short, I am unable to have my own account until July when I have my work visa. I have other options which I will decid on later. I also found out that that Japanese bank charge fees after using atm certain hours...even if the atm belongs to the original bank. o.O Post office accounts don't charge fees, but they don't have open atms 24/7. Oh well...when in Rome..etc, etc, etc.... ^^;
a few thoughts on 'Pandora Hearts'
Oz, the main character to Pandora Hearts is voiced by Minagawa Junko-san, who also did Ritsuka (Loveless,) among other popular young boys. This time the character is at least 15 years ago and is actually a happy, upbeat sort of person. Until of course the story opens and we're hit with another tragedy that throws our dear main character into the chaos.
Pandora Hearts is another series found in GFantasy, an anthology that also features Kuroshitsuji. This new series is done by Square Enix and is everything as expected from the hype. The artwork is a beautiful transition from the manga and the characters are interesting...if not crazy in some way. (At least those around the main character are. ^^;)
The first episode merely sets up the story without much depth. Except for the foreshadowing in the opening and another moment when Oz fell into the hole. (The plot can take it's time since the series is already billed for 25 episodes. Yay for 2 seasons worth of anime! ^.^) Well, I can't really say that the plot hasn't progressed since Oz meets Alice and gets confusing messages. (Well, it can be confusing since I'm not following the convo very well. ^^;) The 'Alice in Wonderland' theme has always been interesting and I look forward to enjoying this twist.
If I'm incoherent that's because I'm sleepy and look forward to bed. Oyasumi! -.-Z
4/1/09 ~ Wednesday 7:40 pm - Tokyo ~ 6:40 am - NY
Status: tired ~ Listening to: Haru Hiyori - Del (Bottle Fairy OST) Listen or Save
roku getsu = 6 months
So I need to be in Japan 6 months before I can open a bank account. That is the unspoken rule and the repeated reason that I was given when I went to 2 Mizuhos, Shinsei and UFG banks. I'm going to try the post office tomorrow since you can actually open an account at the post office. If I don't open a bank account right now, I have a few options. In any case, that is my plan.... >.<
sakura, fountain and the zoo
I went to Ueno today (after my morning of failed venture during bank hopping) and located the fountain that I saw several years ago. Last time I discounted this fountain as the one featured in 'Para Para Sakura' since I couldn't locate the building that was in the backdrop of the movie. Unpon closer inspection (meaning I walked all around the thing) I concluded that it was definitely the one featured in the scene. When you're facing the fountain with the park entrance behind it, you can see a terraced building after the entrance. The shot is featured the moment Aaron waves 'Ja!' to the other characters.
After the fountain, I decided to go to the zoo after finding it in front of me. The giant panda that was the famed attraction died some time ago but there are all the other animals. There will be no pics from the zoo since I can't really capture the cuteness of all those cute animals...and my camera batteries died when I wasn't even halfway through. ^^; No giant panda, but they had penguins! *happy dance* I arrived close to 3pm which meant that I missed many of the feedings already (since they were already taking place as I came in) but I got to see them feeding fish to sea otters.
After the zoo, I headed into the midst of the sakura...but didn't stay too long since it was pretty cold. (The walk around the zoo itself was cold too. ^^;) And with my dying camera, I caught a few shots of the sakura.
Blue tarp was everywhere and I even traveled down to one of the temples in the park. The road to it was filled with stalls and stalls of food vendors (as usual) and the sakura above made for nice pics...if only my camera wasn't dead. ^^; Resigned to the cold air, I made my way back to the station and home.