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6/30/09 ~ Tuesday 7:40 pm - Tokyo ~ 6:40 am - NY
Status: calm ~ Listening to: Soup - Setsuna F. Seiei (Gundam 00 OST) Listen or Save
I left the school early so I can hit the Saitama immigration office...and for the second time, I was told to go to the Tokyo immigration office. Why was I there in the first place? To get my re-entry permit of course! I have a work visa so now I need permission from Japan to leave the country. ^^; In short, I failed since I didn't get it through my head that I live in Tokyo and hence should go to Tokyo office.
The good news is that I won't be deducted pay since I can make up the hours. Yay! (Why didn't they mention this before?) On the other hand, the bad news is that I would need to miss an entire day since Tokyo immigration office is far from Saitama.... <.< Going either this thursday or next thursday since I have no classes those days.
Since I was out early, I decided to hit up Akiba since I haven't been there in awhile. I first went to Animate and found the Burupya/Mikage clip (that Ikebekuro Animate was all sold out of) and bought one for Pearl-chan. I also found and bought Ciel's greeting card to go with the Sebastian one I got from K-books. Then I went to Mandarake and bought the other Okane ga Nai artbook that I was missing as well as the Yu Yu Hakusho character guide that I saw and longed for since I first came to Japan. (Saw it at a Book Off a looooong time ago and have been looking for a good version since. This one is like new so yay. ^.^) I ended my afternoon/early evening at Book Off where I perused the doujinshi section. (This is still the only Book Off I found with a dj section. ^^;) I found and bought the FMA doujin 'Hermaphrodite' 1 so more yay! Alas, fighter asked me to look for other FMA doujins by Idea, but I couldn't find any.
On another note, Animate in Akihabara has expanded...each floor seems to have a backroom. It's alot bigger then before allowing their stuff to be more spread out and not as cluttered. Took me a moment to find 07 Ghost and Gundam 00...turns out they're in the same area as the BL and Totoro merch. ^^;
6/29/09 ~ Monday 9:55 pm - Tokyo ~ 8:55 am - NY (EDIT)
Status: busy ~ Listening to: Special Days - Gotou Yuuko (Special A OP) Listen or Save
to buy or not buy
I headed to Ikebekuro today to get Pearl-chan the Nyanko-sensei bag since telling her about animemiz's bag prompted her to get one as well. ^.^ The question now becomes...should I get the bag too? It's a really nice tote bag, strong canvas with Nyanko-sensei at the bottom right corner. The colors are beige (for the canvas,) with orange and brownish for Nyanko-sensei's usual colors. But it's a tote which I generally do not use and it's 2100 yen.... But it's Nyanko-sensei.... ^^;
Contemplation aside, I bought another set of Gundam 00 playing cards, a 2 card set of Kuroshitsuji (from the same series as the chibi ones I bought at Animate two weeks ago,) 2 FMA postcards and 2 Pandora Hearts postcards. I got a second set of G00 playing cards since it came in a different packaging...so I'm assuming it's probably with second season pics. ^.^
back to the music
Something that I miss being here in Japan is playing the piano. The one at church is a keyboard and I don't want to practice on such an instrument. The actual piano has a different feel to it. I miss playing out my feelings, stress and just relax into the flow of the songs that I create. There are several Yamaha baby grand pianos at school, but I can only play them afterschool when there are no club activities (no band practice actually.) For that reason, I haven't been able to play piano...until now. Today, I played for 30 min.. The music teacher will be making a copy of Chopin's waltz for me so that I can practice it again. I'm so out of practice even as my fingers remembered the movements. I hope to play more from now on.
6/28/09 ~ Sunday 5:25 pm - Tokyo ~ 4:25 am - NY
Status: happy ~ Listening to: Fullmetal Alchemist on tv
the Door of Truth
The scenes from this episode of Fullmetal Alchemist are starting to look more and more like the manga. I love it. ^.^ On one side of the Amesteris, we have Ed and Izumi-sensei trying to discover more about Al's travel through the door...in East city, Roy gets promoted and goes to Central...with subordinates in tow. Roy announcements of his subordinates are more like their first appearance. With the exception of Riza, most haven't really been seen.
The second half the episode deviates from the manga only by the fact that Ed doesn't return to Central (in order to get his renewal of State Alchemist) which means that Ed gets to look for Al who has wandered off. ^^; BTW, the 'Ed is pissed' scene reminds me of Izumi-sensei's scene in the manga...so I think they did a combination of the two to make this scene. Still, Izumi getting angry is a bit cooler. But Ed vs. Greed has always been impressive in the first and even more so in the second. The best fight scene in this series thus far. Ganbarre, Edo-kun! ^.^
6/27/09 ~ Saturday 9:40 pm - Tokyo ~ 8:40 am - NY
Status: hungry ~ Listening to: tv
pricy shopping spree
After a morning of the usual weekly grocery shopping and paying my rent, I rested at home before heading to Ikebekuro to meet fighter. Actually, I went early so I can peruse K-books carefully. At K-books 2, I bought a Kuroshitsuji Sebastian clear/stainedglass greeting card (now I need to find the Ciel one, ^^;) Kyou Kara Maoh playing cards, another mini-shijitaki, 2 files and 2 shijitaki from Fullmetal Alchemist and one Setsuna (Gundam 00) cellphone dangly. It's blue and so pretty! ^-^
I met up with Fighter then at Mandarake and we headed to Animate...for the beginning of the Kuroshitusji fair. Which basically meant that whatever we bought from the series, we would get little cards. I got a bunch of paper cards when I bought 'Zero Sum' and 'G Fantasy' anthology for Pearl-chan, including a Panodra Hearts card that matched the shijitaki board (that came with the previous month's 'G Fantasy'.) This latest 'Zero Sum' came with an 07 Ghost drama cd and 'G Fantasy' came with an orange Panodra Hearts bag. Why orange? <.< I signed up and received my Animate card (with Fighter's assistance ^-^) and began my shopping spree. I bought the Nyanko-sensei bag and Xxxholic cellphone dangly for animemiz at her request. I also bought the Xxxholic cellphone thingee for myself, the Junjou Romantica cellphone mobile cleaner set, the Gundam 00 cellphone dangly and charms set and a Viewfinder book card (which is like a gift card for books...only it's meant for ppl who likes to collect cards, like me. ^^;) The card came with a Yamane Ayano freebie of a book cover. Thus completed my shopping spree...for now.
On another note, the streets were filled with girls in EGL outfits today. Well, not filled, but definitely more than usual. Such pretty outfits! *admires from afar*
EVA movie...this week
Besides my usual Ikebekuro shopping, Fighter and I will be watching the 2nd Eva movie, Evangelion 2.0: You Can Not Advance on wednesday. The movie was released today but we're going wednesday since that is ladies night with 1000 yen tickets. 1000 yen...typical for NY for considered cheaper in Japan. ^^; I can't wait!
To refresh my memory and mentally prepare for the movie, I will be watching the 1st movie again....
2:45 am - Tokyo ~ 1:45 am 6/26 - NY ~ Status: amused ~ Listening to: Pandora Hearts on the computer
a mixture of memories and pain
lol Someone has neko-phobia...and I won't mention who it is. ^.^ Of course, I'm referring to the recent Pandora Hearts episode. Alice is caught in a circle of her own memories...one that is most painful and perhaps best forgotten. She is not the only one caught in there...as Oz and Gil followed suit in hopes to secure Break and Alice. In the outside world, we learn that Vincent likes to sleep on his feet for a singular reason and the reason is soooo adorable! ^.^ I still think there is something more to his eyes and I hope to the series addresses it...which I'm sure it will. Another well-put together episode with a mixture of humor and drama...and pain. Sometimes, things are better left forgotten. Even 'I love you's'....
6/26/09 ~ Friday 10:25 pm - Tokyo ~ 9:25 am - NY
Status: hungry ~ Listening to: Style. - Nishino Kana (Soul Eater ED) Listen or Save
a pause in my shopping...only for tonight
I went to K-books 3 and bought only one thing: the Viewfinder coaster-like cards. ^^; However, it's only because tomorrow, I'm buying several things I want from Animate which is going to be close to $100 USD by the time I'm done. ^^; Sooo...I'll reveal what I bought tomorrow....
Yes, there are ulterior motives to me going back to Ikebekuro on a weekend...but that will also be revealed after the fact. ^-^ (No, I'm not watching the Eva movi which is out tomorrow since I'm going to see it on Wednesday since it's ladies' night and tickets are 1000 yen...which is normal price for the US, but cheaper here. ^.^)
*smacks the alarm*
Actually, I shouldn't smack my alarm since it's actually my cellphone. *pets lovningly* Today, I didn't wake up on time when I should've. I woke up 45 min. later which is dangerous since I have to teach the first period class. o.O It was the first time I overslept and I got ready and was out of the apartment within 10min...which is usually my track record when I'm late. ^^; I sent my Japanese assistant a text and called the office so that the school can by notified. Estimating, I would be late to the teacher's meeting, but should make it by the first bell...which is what happened. Whew! I was never late to class and wouldn't know what to do if I was. ^^; Yogata!
Lucky Star uniforms...as real uniforms...
I work in the Saitama prefecture, where they were just discussing having Lucky Star uniforms be used in schools. o.O Some locale in Lucky Star was in Saitama, so having more RL things be related to it is not surprising. My only question is when are they going to do it and which schools? I nominate my school! lol
In response to one of the comments concerning 'sickos dressed in ghilly suits doing photography', I have some clarifications to make. School uniforms are usually bought by students. Students who are not part of one school usually cannot buy a uniform from that school. Even though some uniforms are similar, there is always the difference in the logo, trim and even buttons. Simply put, sickos cannot just go to the uniforms shop to buy a school uniform. People need some notice or ID...which is why I can't buy an actual school uniform that easily here. As animemiz mentioned to me, Jlist is selling them so there is that option...but so expensive! *asks Japanese co-workers instead for their old uniforms* ^-^
6/25/09 ~ Thursday 10:30 pm - Tokyo ~ 9:30 am - NY
Status: satisfied ~ Listening to: Summer Memories - Kamiki Aya (Detective Conan ED) Listen or Save
death from sweets
I went with fighter this afternoon to Sweets^2 which is a sweets tabehodai.There was some non-sweets things like chicken nuggets, the fried dumpling-like thing (which I loved,) various pasta and salad. There was even curry, rice and soup and an array of soft drinks to be had. Their main course though, was the cake asile which boasted many different pies, cakes and jello/puddings. Everything was sliced into small pieces so one can have a bit of everything. Which we did. Click the link for an array of food (for this is another massive food posting) with some not-so-good pics of Sweets^2 at the bottom. The pics aren't good because of the bad lighting (and my mediocre skills) but the sweets were acceptable. The pics are accompanied with short descriptions of the food as well as more details about the experience...especially the humor. ^.^
I totally felt like the girls from Antique Bakery while trying the various types of cakes and puddings. Whether it is better then Milky Way...I can't say actually. It's different. I would need to discuss this over with Fighter once she and I have the sugar out of our system so we can really judge which is the better place for dessert. Pricewise, for a full meal (salty and sweet courses,) Sweets^2 is better since the tabehodai is only 1480 yen and the range of food plus dessert at Milky Way can go past 1600 yen. But Milky Way does have more fruit and hard ice cream parfaits which Sweets^2 does not.... This will take more discussing to decide. ^.^
Ponyo in Osaka...aquarium
Simply put, the Osaka aquarium has added a little 'Ponyo' to their attractions in the tanks. It swims around and is downright adorable. This is to celebrate the release of the dvd in early July. I don't know how long she will be swimming there, but I don't think I'll be able to see her at all this August which is when I'm planning to hit Osaka.
Kansai visit planning blues
I'm planning to head to Osaka in late August, giving myself amble to hang out with fighter and kumi-kun (who is coming to Japan to visit) and to hang out with my cousin, Esther-neechan who is coming from Taiwan...but I don't know when. On another note, iceblueaya is suppose to come earlier which hasn't been confirmed yet since my cousin has not confirmed when she is exactly coming. Those issues aside....
I have to coach several students for the speech contest in mid-August which is right after the obon festival. Which means between Comiket and the speeth contest, I won't be able to go to the Kansai area since I won't have enough time to hit both Osaka and Kyoto. (I'm planning to do 5 days.) That schedule out the window, I'm going to miss the Daimonji festival in Kyoto and the Osaka aquarium since the festival is on 8/16 and the aquarium is closed from 8/17 to the end. *facepalm* My few comforts are that I will not miss it next year or on the offchance that I do move back to NY by that time, I will return to Japan for another visit to Kyoto and Osaka.
My apologies for lamenting over such pains. >.<
6/24/09 ~ Wednesday 11:25 pm - Tokyo ~ 10:25 am - NY
Status: happy ~ Listening to: the AC running
Loveless pencil boards...check!
I think that I have all the Loveless pencil boards. o.o At least one part of my Loveless collection is complete.... Today at K-books 3, I got the Loveless pencil board, a 07 Ghost anime pencil board and two mini pencil boards from Kingdom Hearts. At K-books 2, I bought the Gundam 00 fanbook.
Okane ga Nai awesomeness
At Mandarake, I didn't buy anything, but I saw they had the Okane ga Nai dvd set...all 4 dvds along with a poster and a booklet...priced at 57,000 yen. O.O The individual dvds (when they were released) were close to $100 USD. They had so much stuff in each one, but now I know why they're so expensive. Those boxes were huge! Each one is a size of a giant frame...bigger then a typical board game. I don't know how to describe it, but definitely, it needs to be that big to hold all the awesome stuff. ^^; Why can't the US license and release it like that? lol The answer is simply that no BL fan in the US would pay $100 for a single dvd....
'Big brother will walk you home.'
roflol That line has got to be one of the most pervy ones...and it's even spoken out of context of BL! ^-^ Of course, I'm referring to 07 Ghost ep. 12 which continues with Teito's goal to pass the bishop exams. For one who has been through the military, Teito really gets agitated easily. ^^; I would think he is more stoic with an 'I don't care attitude' towards his peers, but his emotions are so easily read. Which makes him so much fun to tease. ^-^ The new character that appears reminds me of Mikage.... I'm starting to think everyone who is after Teito
's body will look somewhat like Mikage. What is the mangaka thinking giving such character designs? ^.^
The opening of the episode finally draws a clearer picture of how people become Kors...which is actually pretty gruesome. On another note, I just discovered a plothole in this series. (Well, there are several plotholes, but this one just came to mind. ^^;) Teito has always been in the church, but all of a sudden, we see so many people who are going to take the exams. Where did they come from? Why didn't we bump into them before?
I also wonder why Burupya went on that guy's head....
Could it be because he is Mikage too? I really don't want another Mikage.... Burupya, come back! ^.^ They took away the MikagexTeito eyecatch...which makes sense since Mikage no longer there. *sigh* But it will take some for me to get used to Hakuren.... The next arc is pretty interesting! Ganbarre, Teito!
6/23/09 ~ Tuesday 10:51 pm - Tokyo ~ 9:51 am - NY
Status: contemplative ~ Listening to: Suna no Oshiro - Wakeshima Kanon (Vampire Knight Guilty ED) Listen or Save
end of some spring anime
Out of the 5 series that I was following in the spring anime block, Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica Crimson S and Higashi no Eden has ended. As mentioned in a previous post, the ending was as expected: kinda open ended. To close this particular series, two movies are scheduled for the end of this year and the beginning of next year. However, we can wait patiently since the series ended at a good spot...even if we're left hanging as to what will happen next.
Below are my thoughts on the individual series since I didn't blog about them as I was watching them. There isn't much to the summer anime for me (which I hear is usually weakest one of the year,) except for Spice and Wolf season 2 and Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei...which I don't follow in general. Of course, we have the continuation of the new Haruhi Suzumiya episodes which is also another big one I don't really follow that closely. ^.^ In short, I can continue to concentrate on Pandora Hearts, 07 Ghost and of course, Fullmetal Alchemist.
Higashi no Eden has alot of strong points. It's pacing was very good with alot of action sequences in terms of thinking (though nothing that break brains) and a good mix of humor. Realistic in terms of people's emotions even if what happens to them is not so realistic. The anime asks the question what people do with their lives which is something everyone questions about themselves. The main character, Takizawa Akira is asking himself that question on another different level. He has to find out about himself and then decide what he must do. His practical and straight forward thinking is something that grabs attention. (Well, in the beginning, his first appearance is what grabbed attention. ^^;) The animation and art is nicely done with light tones. The storyline and plot is simple to grasp and complex enough to leave us wondering. This was a series that I followed closely but didn't blog about, since I hope people will pick it up and discover the details on your own.
sing our commandia
Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica Crimson S is alot stronger then the first series. As mentioned when the series started, the second series actually takes place in the past. Having a central antagonists in the story (rather then episodic storyline as in the first series,) really pulled the series together. Also, there is alot of character development which draws you in. The pacing of the story felt kinda slow at the beginning when the main character Phoron is trying to gather his strengths...but the interactions between him and Corti still pushes the story along. Everything tied together at the end...although the last episode went kinda Gundam 00 on me with the two of them floating in the air...naked.... ^^; But what happens after that is awesome. ^^V The art certainly noticably improved in the second series which surprised me since I didn't think the animators would change much since the series just basically continued (even if it takes place in the past) from the winter anime block.
I really, really loved the song in the last episode. I hope they have another OST for this series even if they reused alot of the music from the first. Not a complex storyline at all and a typical happy ending. (We knew it would end happily since this takes place in the past. The characters had to have survived in order for the first series to exist.) I fell into this series due to the beautiful music, but the story does draw you in. The last scene ends beautifully drawing the story in a complete circle...but still showing you the changes to Phoron and Corti.
8:25 pm - Tokyo ~ 7:25 am - NY ~ Status: geeky ~ Listening to: my tummy grumbling
and we have 82 pics out of 607
o.O I never realized I took so many pics. ^^; Fighter's friend sent me the links to the Gundam pics last night which is why I stayed up until 3am sorting out some choice pics and uploading them up to my gallery here and elsewhere. The link to my gallery here is in my usual viable page. I added more pics (of me basically ^-^) into my Miraikan/Gundam info so scroll down to my 6/21 post for the link.
want more Sailor Moon? Maybe not....
The awesome company Funimation is asking for feedback from fans to see if we want a 'Re-dub of entire Sailormoon series'. o.O I'm actually in agreement with one of the commentors: I would rather they release the old series boxsets (dubs and all,) license the Stars series with the old VAs. But realistically speaking, that is definitely not going to happen. My opinion is that although the dubs suck for unbelievable outdated reasons due to it being part of the initial wave of anime into the US (censorship was DIC-y, dialogue was Americanized) but it's a iconic thing that made it stood apart. The dubs had a feel all it's own. Funimation should do for Sailor Moon what they did for One Piece, just continue where the series left off. However, that impossibility has many reasons: main one being that the dubs belong to a company in Canada and the VAs were all Canadians. Funi is a Texas-based company and they will not fly all of them down. Anyway, they probably won't be able to get the original VAs. (Look at how the new EVA movies are going to be...they didn't even retain the VAs for that and that has an even steadier fanbase/marketing then this series.)
Realistically, what Funimation could do is license the whole series and do it from the beginning again. Movies and all. The boxsets that will come from it will probably be awesome and the VAs should be acceptable. I know definitely Caitlin Glass (Winry Rockbell, FMA) will be in this series somewhere since she is a major fan of Sailor Moon (the dubs! ^.^) and Funi will do the series right. Except whether they should take this on at all is the question of the day. Me? I'll buy the dvd sets since I've been wanting them. I wonder what they're going to do about the touchy subject of lesbians, guys turning into girls and the like. (Well, Viz tackled Ranma 1/2 with no problem....) Funimation has handled the genderbending antics of CLAMP's Tsubasa series quite well so I know there shouldn't be an issue concerning that...unless they decide to broadcast it.
So...I'm not voting on this since it's difficult to say. Is it confusing that I'm actually declining to have them take on and make a good series? Well, I'm not settled on the topic so we'll see how it goes.
6/22/09 ~ Monday 11:53 pm - Tokyo ~ 10:53 pm - NY
Status: accomplished ~ Listening to: me typing quickly
a break after the ALT meeting...
Today, I left the school early to attend the monthly ALT meeting. I was late but got there to attend at least half the thing. I met up with one of the ALTs (whom I mentioned some time ago that was also from NY) and we caught up on news. He is living in Ikebekuro and told me about it being a highly populated with manga about gay people...and I told him that I knew all about that. ^^; I headed to Ikebekuro while he went to his job.
I hit K-books 3 as usual and found two FMA shijitaki which I bought. Then I went to K-books 2 where I bought a Gundam Wing character collection book and the Junjou Romantica manga artbook. ^.^ That done, I headed home....
The 2nd year students are in Tateiwa for a few days (as opposed to their original destination of Osaka) but some students stayed behind. I met up with one who is usually at the counseling center and we made onigiri. The link shows a basic onigiri recipe which is less complicated then the okonomiyaki one I made some time ago. ^.^
I had two of the smaller onigiri before I had my lunch since I definitely wanted to eat my lunch today. We had what was labelled bibimbop...which is Korean mixture of vegetables. We also had little tako nuggets on the side. The nuggets were in the shape of the octopus they were named after. ^.^ Kinda blurry...but still cute and delicious. (To see the 'tako', note that there are 3 'tentacles' at the bottom.)
I may have found a place that is even better then Milky Way. It's an all-you-can-eat sweets restaurant. o.O There is pizza and pasta there as well, but definitely, the sweets portion will take up the most of my meal. ^.^ Fighter and I are planning to go some time this week. I'm going to try everything!
6/21/09 ~ Sunday 5:18 pm - Tokyo ~ 4:18 pm - NY
Status: amused ~ Listening to: Tabi no Tochuu - Kiyoura Natsumi (Spice and Wolf OP) Listen or Save
I think that is the first time I noticed Al (in armor) blushing like that. ^^; Kawaii! Fullmetal Alchemist ep. 12 introduces scenes of Ed and Al's past. There were some changes though...like how they 'convinced' Izumi-sensei to take them on as apprentices. (I think the first series was funnier...but then, the first series was how the manga did it. lol For a series that is from the manga, they change certain things to surprise the fans. Or for other reasons.) Izumi-sensei's seiyuu seems to be noticably different. Her voice is bit rougher then before...but the funny part is, she hasn't changed. Her seiyuu has always been Tsuda Shoko. I guess I haven't heard her voice in while so maybe I feel it's different. ^^;
How Izumi-sensei 'finds out' about Elric brother's past..is unique. Al also got to 'close' his eyes again. Another difference between this episode and that of the first series is that there doesn't seem to be a 'monster' on the island. Those changes seem quite strange, but I'll have to watch this a few more times to feel the flow of the story. For now, I'll just enjoy chibi Ed and chibi Al. ^-^
3:15 am - Tokyo ~ 2:15 pm 6/20 - NY ~ Status: sleepy
a day in the Tokyo bay area
Today, I had an amazing day at Miraikan and seeing Gundam. The link has alot of pics of today but Gundam will be getting a massive pic post once I get the pics from my friend....
over one hat
I saw Pandora Hearts ep. 12 before I left to meet fighter. As Pearl-chan mentioned, the beginning of this episode is hilariously funny. Oz proves his genius once again...though it's sort of a secret how he does things. (Kinda like how Sebastian from Kuroshitsuji making the Undertaker laugh is a trade secret. ^^;) My fav part? Raven releasing Alice's power via Oz. When he does that... *swoons* Holding him from behind while touching is head...another sexy move, though I'll never be able to explain why. ^^; Of course, the reason why Raven does it at that moment is another lol moment. The story developes a bit more with the mentioning of a new character, Chereshire Cat whom we won't really meet until the next episode. I must say, Gil's loyalty to Oz is unfettered and it shows just how much he loves him. ^.^ On another note, I love Oscar's meeting with them both since it is a sweet sight...though Oscar's words to Raven when they saw each other immediately was hilarious.
Episode 12 marks the end of this season and I look forward to continue following this series to the end and beyond. ^-^
6/20/09 ~ Saturday 1:07 pm - Tokyo ~ 12:07 am - NY
Status: busy ~ Listening to: Taiyou no Rival - Paku Romi (Suteki Tantei Labyrinth OST) Listen or Save
one more epic guest that I will miss
NYAF has proven to be getting bigger and better guests then AnimeNEXT. That stands to reason since NYAF is an industry con that is tied to NYCC and it's comic con influences. That said, it is announced that Gundam creator, Yoshiyuki Tomino-sensei will be going to NYAF. *bows before genius* It is beyond awesome that he will be attending this year since the 30th Anniversary of Gundam here and he will be in NY...where I'm not *cries* I don't suppose that I can trouble someone for an autograph?
Also, I am sad that I will be missing NYAF's masquerade which is certain to be another WCS competition. Having that as the high stakes ups the quality of the masquerade to new heights. I am going to see WCS competition here in Nagoya, but missing the US finals is still a gentle blow to me. Indeed, one of the major things I miss not being in NY are these events. ^^; I'm truly an otaku....
6/19/09 ~ Friday 11:02 pm - Tokyo ~ 10:02 am - NY
Status: hungry ~ Listening to: Take the Wave - Naifu (Golgo 13 OP) Listen or Save
no end to the pencil boards
Pearl-chan and I were just chatting about the new Kuroshitsuji pencil board collection and me wanting some of the pics. Now I have 2 of those that I want. ^.^ Ciel looks kinda weird in one of them...but I'm not going to not buy it since I'll have another bout of 'regret that I didn't get it the first time.' ^^; I picked up another mini pencil board and mouse pad from Kuroshitsuji. I got a deck of playing cards from Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles anime styled as well as 2 Princess Princess anime postcards since they were so pretty.
The best purchases at K-books 2 is a Fujimi Orchestra anniversary booklet thingee and envelope...that I have no idea what it was about. The booklet looks like it's only one page with something written on it...but I don't know what yet. It was 630 yen which is a pretty high price for something that I don't know about, but I knew I had to get it. ^^; I also found a Loveless heart case which I bought immediately. ^-^
At Animate, I bought the Gundam 00 clear file and pencil board, a 2 card set of the Kuroshitsuji chibi characters, a 07 Ghost pin and Burupya/Mikage clip. ^.^ The pin was a last minute decision...but I knew I wanted it. After watching the recent episode of Castor putting the exam pin on Teito...I was like 'I want the pin!' Although smaller then in the series (obviously,) I have the pin. ^.^
More East of Eden movies....
The above pic I took in Ikebekuro some time ago which I believe advertised the site, juiz.jp which was launched on 4/9. The movie was announced recently and is actually going to be on Novemer 28th of this year. Going to theaters to see it? Of course! But on it's heels will be a second movie out in January 2010. o.O The series will end this year so I believe that the movies will tie the ends of the plot and finish the story. Of course, going to see the 2nd movie as well...though I wonder how much I'll understand. ^^; I never heard of a second movie being announced before the first movie is even out. (Except for Eva of course.) But since it's such a strong series, it will definitely be awesome and I look forward to the ending of this game.
smallish CLAMP news
The recent news just reminds us that beyond the fact that CLAMP is an awesome team of creators of some of the best series...they're also fans themselves. Remember them starting out as doujinkas? Anyway, they created a Vocaloid amv, 'Echo of the Past' which is just simply their beautiful artwork to the song, 'Mugen no Yami'. Awesome still shots to soft music....
On the more 'violent' side, CLAMP is the costume designer of Tekken 6's character, Jin Kazama. Only him? Only his clothes? Still, the pics of the designs are cosplay worthy (as all CLAMP works are) and I have a feeling Jin will be upstaging his opponents in his fights and attire. ^-^ (I agree with giapet's comment about CLAMP's side projects...when will they continue Legal Drug? X?)
Ponyo VAs casted
As usual, Disney pulls out all the stops for the VAs for their latest Ghibli acquisition, Ponyo. Check the link for the cast list. I don't know if any of them did any voice work, but I certainly recognize the names. Especially Matt Damon as Sosuke's father. o.O For real? He barely speaks in the movie. I'm just surprised that he took such a small role. Awesome cast list though. Now to see the results.... (Knowing Disney, this should be fine. ^.^)
6/18/09 ~ Thursday 8:58 pm - Tokyo ~ 7:58 am - NY
Status: nerdy ~ Listening to: Tatta Hitotsu no Omoi - Kokia (Gunslinger Girl -Il Teatrino- OP) Listen or Save
*swimming in artbooks*
lol Not really, but I've never bought this many artbooks before. Well, before I couldn't afford them and now, I can have them all! *cue evil laugh* Today I hit Nakano Broadway and bought 'Aya' by Yamane Ayano-sensei, Junjou Romantica anime artbook, Yu Yu Hakusho artbook (same one that I bought for my godsisters last year from Taiwan,) 'Black Record' aka. Kuroshitsuji artbook, Fullmetal Alchemist manga artbook 1 and 2 and finally, Kouga Yun-sensei's Gundam 00 illustrations. 7 artbooks are incredibly heavy. ^^; I also got 3 doujins from Eiki Eiki-sensei, the 'Second Virgin' 'Cherry' and 'Scarlet' set from her Dear Myself and Unmei ni Kiss manga. Since I don't see it at any other Mandarake, so I bought the Gundam 00 doujin from Kouga Yun-sensei. *hugs djs* ^.^ Walking it all home took awhile...but I'm incredibly happy. *crosses them off to-buy list*
I can't but gaze in awe at the clip of RX-78-2 Gundam moving it's head with steam coming out. Sugoi desu ne? If it walks...lol so many possibilities. I also can't help but laugh at the comments made. "What happens when a giant robot falls?" ~Rewarp on japanator My answer? You try to get out of the way as fast as possible. ^^;
On another note, I received a gift from a student today. One of my students is in the cnsling room most of the time. I go see her there and she (and another girl) were the ones that made the felt sweets several massive food posts ago. ^^; She folded an origami crane, box and koala and the cnslr brought it up to me. Of course, I went down personally to thank her and we spoke some more.
The origami is wrapped in a plastic bag, tied with a ribbon with a kitty note on it. This will always be on my desk. ^.^
6/17/09 ~ Wednesday 10:30 pm - Tokyo ~ 9:30 am - NY
Status: amused ~ Listening to: Toki wo Kizamu Uta - Lia (Clannad ~After Story~ OP) Listen or Save
Teito = quick study
Ep. 11...and the story of 07 Ghost takes a different turn. Teito will be taking a clerk exam as easily convinced by Castor. Apparently, we have confirmation that Teito is smarter then Frau. Of course, Teito was trained in the military and things of this nature (fighting, Zaiphon and such) are second nature to him. Then there is his past that seems to be where he amassed alot of the needed knowledge for the exam. The humor stems from the training period and there are alot of encouragement from Frau. *pats Teito's head*
The cutest thing in the episode? Burupya sitting on Frau's head. Burupya rolling on the ground. Burupya saying 'burupya'.... Kawaii! Desho desho!
8:40 pm - Tokyo ~ 7:40 am - NY ~ Status: hungry
only one item today...
I went to Mandarake Ikebekuro and bought Kouga Yun's Loveless doujin, 'Mimi to Boku'. I haven't seen any scans of it even though I know they exist so I look forward to
reading staring at the pretty pictures. Tomorrow will be a major shopping day since I will be heading to Nakano Broadway to pick more artbooks that I've longed for.
Besides Mandarake, I headed to K-books 3 to sort through the usual goods but didn't find anything new. Then Fighter and I headed to Tokyu Hands (gigantic Target-type storex10) in order for her to buy a 'cheerful umbrella' for her sister's b-day. Alas, no cheerful umbrella, but we found lots of cool things. Like the unflippable umbrella there was so much hype about and even Ghibli/Disney puzzles. I couldn't find any other Kingdom Hearts one besides the 108 size ones. ^^; I did find the Totoro puzzle that I was looking for...but will buy later.
another book to buy when I return
Speaking of books that I long for, Kouga Yun's Gestalt is out via Viz. I'm still surprised that they picked up that series since Tokyopop has both Loveless and Earthian. In either case, I look forward to getting it. ^.^
most awesome kaiten sushi restaurant ever
Awesome as in hi-tech. Animevice reports on this Kansai chain restaurant, 'Kurazushi' which has lots of hi-tech stuff in the restaurant beyond the simple conveyor belt for the sushi train. Besides slot machine plates and winning prizes, the most helpful thing (to me) is the ic plated sushi having a time limit on the conveyor belt...so 'old' sushi gets dumped. That's pretty helpful since we don't know how long the thing has been riding around...although good sushi is usually snapped up pretty quickly and new ones are always being made. ^.^ Definitely looking for it when I'm in the Kansai area!
6/16/09 ~ Tuesday 8:30 pm - Tokyo ~ 7:30 am - NY
Status: happy ~ Listening to: the thunder and rain outside
one artbook down...many more to go
I headed to K-books 3 right after work today and found the Kuroshitsuji pencil board that I found and bought in Nakano Broadway. I decided to buy it for Pearl-chan since it's a magazine promo item so it's not something that easily found. Hope she likes it. ^.^ For myself, I picked up an Odagiri Hotaru clear file for one of her new series (which looks awesome btw,) and my usual range of carddass mini-pencil boards: 3 from Kuroshitsuji and 3 from Gundam 00. I headed over to K-books 2 and bought the Viewfinder artbook. I was going to buy the 'Aya' artbook as well...but I need to check out the price at another store first. ^^; *crosses bought items off to-buy list*
6/15/09 ~ Monday 10:25 pm - Tokyo ~ 9:25 pm - NY
Status: hyper ~ Listening to: Hakanaku mo Towa no Kanashi - UVERworld (Gundam 00 OP) Listen or Save
Since I can't find the Loveless artbooks in decent conditions, I decided to order it from jp amazon...and they arrived today! *dances around the room* Now I can see why I couldn't find a good one in bookstores. Even the meticulous Japanese couldn't care for the 'Your Eyes Only' artbook 100%: the cover is made like it's covered in paint...even part of the top edge of this new book has a small piece missing. ^^; I love the books though. Including the previous artbooks I got, I have most (if not all) of Kouya Yun's artbooks. Except for the Gundam 00 one which I'm going to buy some time this week. ^.^
8:32 pm - Tokyo ~ 7:32 pm - NY ~ Status: confused
Afterschool, I decided to drop in at the Home Economics club aka. the cooking club. Of course, all the members were girls. In actuality, I dropped in just as they were waiting for the cake to finish...which is perfect timing for me. ^-^ The entire hallway was filled with the scent of their baking...which was Herb Cake. The students made tea and took the cake out of the oven and sliced it up. The above pic is the recipe they followed (with two teachers supervising) and the pic below was the delicious pastry they presented me with along with hot tea. Itadakimasu!
It was so crumbly and delicious. Cooking club meets every Monday, wednesday and friday...will definitely make an effort to drop in more often. ^_^
Rumor: No more live action Akira? Hell yeah!
I was one of the people who was dreading live action anime Hollywood-style but it's inevitable that a few classics will be wrung through the wringer. Some are awesome and some are not...as all movies go. But if one less anime is off the line, I'm quite happy. Albiet this is only a rumor, Leonardo's Akira might be off that list. *cue the Hallelujah chorus* I don't know why so just check the link to find out. I'm just happily dancing in this side of the world knowing that on the other side, we might avoid another atrocity....
More Kuroshitsuji? Okay but...
*is confused* I won't spoil the obvious and inevitable ending of Kuroshitsuji...but it ended in a way that there shouldn't be any hope of a second season. (Unless they do it FMA-style with a manga-centric storyline since the anime did veer way off the manga storyline.) But animevice reports on a possible second season which confuses Kuroshitsuji fans. I would love a second season. More SebastianxCiel awesomeness please! What I don't want is another season of Sebastian with another master. Pleeeeeease don't do that. >.< Even though I know he is a demon and he needs to feed, in my head, his heart will always be with Ciel....
6/14/09 ~ Sunday 5:24 pm - Tokyo ~ 4:24 pm - NY
Status: amused ~ Listening to: FMA on tv
Rush Valley revisited
Al certainly has alot more expressions in this series then before. And true to his character, his form of alchemy is alot more detailed then Ed's. They make an awesome pair...in alchemy and romance. ^-^ But I'm getting ahead of myelf. This story was one that I was looking forward to seeing animated. The interactions and thoughts of the Elric brothers was something similar to how they were in the first series when Gracia was giving birth...but Winry saving the day is more awesome then ever. ^.^ Winry and Ed fans rejoice! There was a bit of fanservice of Ed carring Winry when her legs gave out. And it set the stage of them remembering the past.... Don't forget....
Next episode is them meeting Izumi-sensei...and more flashbacks. All is one....
FMA dvd special?
In the manga character profiles, there was a story about the Elric brothers visiting the Blind Alchemist. I believe the title of the story was 'The Blind ALchemist'. It was a pretty intense story about human transmtation. That story is animated and will be out on dvd. I can't wait to see it! ^.^
3:54 am - Tokyo ~ 2:54 pm 6/13 - NY ~ Status: sleepy ~ Listening to: me typing
nomihodai to tabehodai
I left the apartment earlier then our meeting time in order to go to the Bookoff in Takadanobaba. I found it with little difficulty and ended up going to some nearby bookstores...including Blue Parrot which is a store that sells used English books. I was the first to arrive at our meeting spot at Takadanobaba station. After everyone convened, we headed to the restaurant. It was a all-you-can-eat-and-drink, alcohol-centered restaurant and already many people was centered near the restrooms due to them getting nauseous from drinking so much. ^^;
This yakiniku-styled restaurant is different from the one I went to before. It was fire burning over coals under a grate rather then an electric grill. We were also given lettace with the Korean-styled sauce that I usually find in hibatchi...but it wasn't spicy. Everything was delicious. ^-^
We were given large pitchers filled with our drink of the moment (umeshu, cassis orange, etc) and the pitchers look like large mugs.
The above pic shows two pitchers (one of cassis orange and the other is gingerale for me) and the small glass that I drink from. The glass was not tiny but the size of the pitchers makes it look like shotglass. Sugoi!
Gifts were given over dinner and we had random bouts of singing since we were in the mood. Also, the restaurant was filled with drunkards that were singing together so it was appropriate. ^.^
Contrary to many angry drunks in NY, Japanese drunkards are usually sleepy. The collapse at the end of the meal if not before. We were seated in the partition near the front entrance and saw people leaving while leaning on their friends. The worse case was a girl being carried out by her friends. I was actully able to take a quick shot of her outside while she was being 'escorted' into a taxi.
Even though she looks like she is being manhandled, she is being gently moved to the taxi. She was one of 5 other cases I saw on the ground surrounding the restaurant we just emerged out of. ^.^
*cue 'The Little Mermaid' music* We went to karaoke after dinner. The guys bid us goodbye while us girls sang for an hour and a half. We sang 'Love Machine' by Morning Monsume, 'Seishun Amigo', I sang 'Every Heart' as usual. I also sang the opening to Eva as well as the opening, 'Moonlight Densetsu' from Sailor Moon. 'One Love' and other songs from Hana Yori Dango was sung as well as NEWS' new song, 'Koi no ABO'. It was great and gave us a chance to rest prior to walking home. (It was already late and the trains have stopped running....)
6/13/09 ~ Saturday 2:50 pm - Tokyo ~ 1:50 am - NY
Status: happy ~ Listening to: Tomodai Bitter Tune - Himemiya Milan and Chocolate Rockers (Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu OP) Listen or Save
Ep. 11 of Pandora Hearts is a flashback episode detailing Gilbert's past 10 years when Oz was in the Aybss. His conversation/pact with Break, his goal of attaining the Chain, the time spent with Vincent all stem from his longing to bring Oz back. Break mentioned that it is abnormal for Gilbert to still be longing after all this time. Why not? He is in love with him so there is no reason to wonder at it. ^.^ As Pearl-chan commented, Break with a single is creepy. His white hair covering one side of his face and one eye showing...reminds me of Ginko from Mushishi. ^^; I don't have far to wonder where the other eye is. (Hinting at plot point with vague details. ^.^)
Vincent is a really creepy person...actually moreso then Break. There is a history between them that I wonder at...and it has to do with Vincent dual colored eyes. Oscar from episode one finally makes a reappearance (for real and not in a flashback) so it's interesting to see how much he knows from what happened ten years ago. I eagerly await the next episode!
6/12/09 ~ Friday 12:45 am - Tokyo ~ 11:45 am 6/11 - NY
Status: hyper ~ Listening to: Friends - Stephanie (Gundam 00 ED) Listen or Save
loving K-books more and more
I chose Matsumoto Kiyoshi (a place that is like a shampoo/soaps/makeup-type chain store) as our meeting place since you can see it from Ikebekuro Station, Seibu exit. I met my co-worker, WL and her friend there and we headed to Mandarake to meet Fighter. Our search for DBSK djs ended unsuccessfully since we couldn't find any at Mandarake and K-books 1. However, I will continue the search on my own at other Mandarakes. I was certain I saw DBSK doujins somewhere! *is determined* (Of course, this co-worker was the one who requested for the Yuujae 2009 calendar. ^.^) After K-books 1, we headed to K-books 2 where she bought a bunch of manga that was a bit cheaper then in Mandarake. Then we headed back to Mandarake since there were some Junjou books that K-books didn't have. And Junjou Mininum was cheaper there. ^.^
Then came my super Carddass search at K-books 3. Turns out, between wednesday and today, they had a bunch of new Gundam 00, Kuroshitsuji and FMA Carddass aka. smaller clear pencil boards...and I found some of the ones I was looking for. They even had new FMA ones (that I haven't seen until now) for the new series and they looked awesome. I even bought the one with 'Father' and the Sins around him. Pretty intense looking pic. ^.^ They were priced so nicely (most of them at 105 yen) that I bought alot. 2 Kuroshitsuji, 4 Gundam 00 and 8 FMAs. The FMA ones included the famous pic of topless Ed with water sprinkling down as well as the one with Ed and Roy holding their White Day gifts. (I also saw the ladies version of Riza and Winry making cakes for Valentine's day...but decided not to get it. I like RoyxEd. ^.^) I also bought a Sebastian card and pin set. All I need is the Ciel set which I'll look for since Animate doesn't have any more. ^^; Since I spent so much at K-books, I went without buying the new stuff at Animate. But next week...I'll think it over. ^.^
BTW, the new and last volume of Viewfinder by Yamane Ayano-sensei was out this week and WL bought one. ^.^ Since the book is out already, I wonder where the extra chapter being made in BeBoy Gold going to be published...as an omake in another book? I still heart the Akihito and Asami poster. *drools*
Back to Milky Way
The dinner and dessert of the evening was at Milk Way and my choice was Taco cheese something something. It was suppose to be spicy, but I didn't think it was spicy at all. So I added tobasco sauce on it. (The sauce was the US brand that we commonly see.) It wasn't anything special, but still good. ^-^
My ice cream was blueberry something something. The others all chose the same for dessert which had mochi and dorayaki on top. Mine actually had cream cheese on a ritz cracker which was a surprisingly yummy combo with ice cream. I loved it. ^.^
A close up of the yummy ice cream....
We discussed many things over dinner, including WL's friend who visited Japan before with her female friend. They wanted to rest for a few hours at a love hotel...but when they went in, the front desk told them that they couldn't stay there thinking they were a lesbian couple. Japan...prejudice much? lol I guess Shinjuku 2-chome is the gay district so I assume the love hotels are there too. I wonder where do lesbians go.... ^^; They also mentioned about riding a ferris wheel in Osaka (since they were in Kansai this past week.) They noticed a couple in the gondola next to them...who started screaming or making sounds after few moments. Guess what...the guy was the first to start screaming. ^^; lol If they were so afraid of heights, why did they choose to ride a ferris wheel?
After dinner we said our goodbyes. WL and friend will be leaving Japan tomorrow. *hugs* WL is staying at the hotel near Sunshine 60 so Fighter and I headed to the train station and for home.
Japanese Naruto producer in NY
WL was telling me about attending one of NY Kinokuniya's events (or as she saids, she just happened to be there when there was an event. ^^;) The Japanese Naruto producer (I think it was producer) was there and it was passed the time for signings. However, WL wanted to try so she got a poster and asked him to sign. He said no to her which was fine but then he turned to someone next to him and said in Japanese (which WL understands just fine,) 'What is with this girl?' in a negative tone of voice. o.O I'm quite surprised and I wonder at that statement. He didn't need to be rude and I'm a bit shocked by his attitude. Interesting statement....
*spoilers* OtRF question: identical rings?
Diana-chan presented a very interesting question that I will quote since it's stated so clearly. ^.^ In Only the Ring Finger Knows, "Kazuki didn't know Wataru was the owner of the ring until he had returned it. He had a copy of the ring made because he was in love with Wataru, but he didn't fall in love until after he had returned it so when did he have a copy of the ring made?" I never thought about that but it's such a great question. I discussed it over with Pearl-chan and we settled on the most probable theory. Simply put, Kazuki probably remembered the details on the ring enough to describe it to his cousin so that one could be made. Also, it was a very generic ring (quite simple silver with gold circle) with a simple style. He also saw Wataru's ring in the yearbook so he could have it made from that pic as well. The problem with that theory is that the idea of the rings was hinging on it being made exactly like the one Wataru had so it's a pretty important plot hole. Everyone would think that the Wataru's ring was present when the other ring was being made. ^^; Of course, the less likely theory is that a ring was made prior to returning the ring...but Kazuki would have no reason to do that. This would be a wonderful question to ask Odagiri-sensei if I ever got to meet her.... ^^;
6/11/09 ~ Thursday 7:40 pm - Tokyo ~ 6:40 am - NY
Status: good ~ Listening to: Triangular - Sakamoto Maaya (Macross Frontier OP) Listen or Save
want some Collon?
Several years ago, one of my Japanese co-workers came back form Japan and brought green tea Collon. Collon is a snack that is cyclinder-shaped with cream filling. The ones in the US have the usual vanilla, chocolate and strawberry filling...but green tea flavored was only sold in Kyoto. I confirmed that when I came to Japan in 2006 since I couldn't find any. However...I found them today! ^.^ Of course I bought some and ate them on the way home. <3
BTW, animemiz, I found chocolate and rose flavored Kit Kats but I heard thats not new. There were a couple of other flavors including the apple and vinegar one but I thought the rose-chocolate one was pretty romantic. ^.^ I totally heart the snack store near the station of my school....
6/10/09 ~ Wednesday 10:22 pm - Tokyo ~ 9:22 am - NY
Status: amused ~ Listening to: computer whirring
bind, sleep, pain
S&M collar that Ayanami placed upon Teito in the previous 07 Ghost ep. can do three things besides hold in power: bind, sleep and pain. The master is of course Frau and now Teito is tied to him. ^.^ The mixture of seriousness and humor in this series is rivaled to the current FMA series...meaning discussions of absolute seriousness is mixed with bouts of humor. It's an interesting way of telling a story and it's definitely refreshing since I've been watching pretty angsty stuff that don't really mix humor. Like Pandora Hearts, Kuroshitsuji and the like.
Teito developes a split personality (not really, but that's what it sounds like) and it's quite handy in protecting him from others (like Castor-san about to
rape him erase his memory.) Burupya is the cutest thing in the world and he likes to knaw at Frau's head. No surprise at the bond between them...they both love Teito afterall. ^.^ It seems that the plot has returned to it's slow moving pace but Ayanami promises some action in the coming episodes. Anyway, we learn a few things like Frau can now put Teito to sleep and do naughty things to him. ^.^
BTW, the last moment about the words in the hall...that was awesome. I love that moment...makes me want to cry again. *grabs tissues*
8:42 pm - Tokyo ~ 7:42 am - NY ~ Status: hungry (EDIT)
and my latest purchase is...
I promise that someday I'll return to the old days of posting without any mention of my latest Japanime stash...but not now. This month and next month will be major buying months for since I've been in Japan long enough to gauge what I want and I want alot! ^^; Today I picked up 3 Gundam 00 regular pencil boards, the Gundam 00 schedule booklet (that I was eyeing for some time) and a Junjou Romantica telephone thingee that was an extra from a magazine (also I was eyeing for some time.) I already have some items in mind for my next Ikebekuro run on friday. That is also when I'll meet my NY co-worker again and perhaps Fighter if she wants to join us. Milk Way friday! *cheers*
tissue record: 5 packs
In one of the Junjou season 2 episodes, Misaki mentioned to Usagi-san that he got 10 packs of tissues that day. Advertising and giving away free packs of tissues is not an unccmmon thing in Asia and it's helpful to have since Japanese eateries don't always have this stuff in plain sight (if they have any at all.) While walking through Ikebekuro, I was handed a tissue with a cute dog on it. I was walking and awwing at the pack when suddenly the next 4 people I passed gave me tissues as well. That is my record thus far: 5 packs. My previous one was 4 which I received in Shinjuku. Will I ever get to 10? I don't know how Misaki did it, but it will take some time and alot more walking around to get there. ^-^
Gundam in Japan...complete!
Some more awesomeness in Japan is that the fullsized Gundam built to celebrate the 30th Anniversary is finally completed. Indeed, it is original Gundam, RX-78-2 that was piloted by Amuro Ray. *salutes* I can't wait to go to Odaiba to see it! As the comments mentions, I'm waiting for Char Aznable to come in his MS-06C Zaku II and challege it. Seig Zeon!
EDIT: Here are some night pics. Bask in it's awesomeness. *drools*
6/9/09 ~ Tuesday 10:57 pm - Tokyo ~ 9:57 am - NY
Status: satisfied ~ Listening to: me typing quickly
Tanjobi omedatou, koibito-no-Nishi-chan! ^.^
I wish you many happy Nishi-related memories, many Nishi-related dreams and all the pink, Hello Kitty stuff in Japan. Of course, that and endless glasses of umeshu. ^.^ Omedatou!
Today, is my Nishi-loving roomie's b-day and we celebrated by buying her chocolate cake from her favorite bakery, Fujiyo. We sang happy b-day as she blew out her candles. My Japanese roomie and I presented her with gifts and we cut the cake. I realized what was missing and strove to remedy it, music! I played the 'Happy Birthday' song by NEWS on my computer followed by the latest hit, 'Koi no ABO'. Our Japanese friend requested 'Seishun no Amigo' and of course I spun around to the music. ^-^ The music continued on my J-roomie's computer. Many pics and happy memories for today....
The celebration continues on saturday with nomu-hodai (all you can drink) and yakiniku followed by karaoke. It will be a French-English-Japanese kind of evening. ^.^
sports competition week
This week, all the schools have sports competition. My school has several teams that are competiting in badminton, kendo, judo, tennis among others. The kendo competition has already finished and our school is no. 1! Alas, I didn't get to seem them in their glorious moment. For that reason, school ends after 4th period which means I go without the wonderful school lunch for the week. ^^;
Monday started off with my special class...me teaching the entire 2nd year. o.O lol That's not the whole truth since many of the 2nd years were at sports competition so I taught whoever was left. Still, over a 100 students gathered in the gym for the activities. Some teachers were there too to assist which I appreciate. ^.^ It was alot of fun for me and I think the students had fun too.... Tomorrow are normal classes which is another full day of teaching since I have classes all 4 periods. Ganbarrimasu!
6/8/09 ~ Monday 8:38 pm - Tokyo ~ 7:38 am - NY
Status: hungry ~ Listening to: Trickster - Mizuki Nana (Rosario+Vampire OP) Listen or Save
*crosses off to-buy list*
At Ikebekuro K-books 3, I got several Gundam 00 carddass pencil boards and Gundam 00 playing cards. At K-books 2, I bought the Kuroshitsuji character guide as well as a manga special book that has some color pics inside. There are just a couple more pencil boards that I want to buy from various series, but I don't think I'll find them at K-books since I doubt anyone would want to part with the pics that I want. ^^; Going to keep looking though!
6/7/09 ~ Sunday 5:25 pm - Tokyo ~ 4:25 am - NY
Status: contemplative ~ Listening to: Fullmetal Alchemist on tv
*spoilers* humorous beginnings...sad endings
The first half of FMA ep. 10 is a humorous one with the visit from King Bradley as it was in the manga along with the decision to travel to Dublin to visit 'sensei'. I guess the only good thing about the change from an anime original series to an anime-based-on-manga series is the fact that Izumi-sensei will still be alive... ^^; Of course the appearance of the Chinese-based characters is nice too. I love the panda! (And the scene of Al in a towel will be awesome...but that doesn't come up until later.) But I digress....
I wonder though, Hughes didn't seem to investigating the Sins until this episode...which makes the motive for killing him not as strong as before. But the death and funeral scene was still beautifully sad...although since the episode didn't end with that, it lost a bit of the effect. I guess the series is still hurrying through the manga. The ending has a different feel then before. A stronger resolve in Roy to get to the bottom of things. Ganbarre, Roy!
Gundam 00 marathon
I have never watched the entirety of Gundam 00 due to time until now. The storyline has a completely different feel then the other series though it retained some tropes that are typical of any Gundam series. The differences include several 'behind the action' agencies, the subplot of civilians and of course, the diversity of the pilots. Their pasts are more convoluted then ever...though I enjoyed learning about them more and more.
My fav catchphrases are the ones that the pilots use before they launch and before they begin the battle. I don't know why, but those lines grew on me. ^.^ Also, the awesome designs of the mecha are just that: simply awesome. I also enjoy that the lead character doesn't always have the 'strongest' gundam. Exia doesn't have the best skills, but it requires combined efforts of the team to work together in order to pull off a battle. Each suit does have it's strong points, but Exia isn't overwhelmingly powerful like in other series. Favorite battle moment? Includes Setsuna and Tieria actually fighting together in season 1. Sumeragi-san was surprised and so was I. ^.^
Coolest non-Gundam related in the series? Takayama Minami-san (TWO-MIX) is the voice of Kati Mannequin...which I didn't notice until I looked it up. What made me look it up was a young boy in ep. 10 (season 2) was talking to Marina...and it was the voice of Conan! o.O Now that was cool. Takayama-san seems to be uncredited for the part of the nameless child...but it's no mistaking it as Conan's voice. Marina and the kid have an arbitrary convo about what people should do for peace and it was hilarious hearing Conan's voice. ^^;
I love the series and enjoy the details that I missed the first time around. Who I dislike (but understand the necessity of them) is the Trinity siblings and mostly Nena. She pissed me off with her kissing Setsuna and from that point on, everything else she did was horrendous to everyone else. It pisses me off that she was the only Trinity member to appear in the second season. >.< Her eldest brother, Johann was the only one with sense.
*spoilers* Kouga Yun-sensei and Gundam 00
I have a feeling having Kouga Yun-sensei as the character designer influnced the storyline as well. Or her style of writing impacted the story. Boys love in Gundam? Of course! I first thought it when Graham Aker actually confesses his love for Setsuna during his battle in his passion for longing to fight him. ^^; Then we have the bonds of Lockon with Tieria and Setsuna. Tieria being the more emotional one was more distraught at his death and wasn't as accepting of the new Lockon in season 2. Lockon also has a good amount of affection for Setsuna which I wholehearted support. He actually is an all around seme since all the other pilots seem to fall for him. ^^; I love his comment about Tieria: 'His heart is espescially fragile.' <3 Then we have Regene Regetta with his obsession with Tieria...and they're practically twins by this point. Tieria is practically BL bait since he dresses up like a girl and is danced around by another feminine-looking male character, Ribbon. Unbelivably sexy. That is a good look for him. ^.^ Allelujah has his share of BL hints and many of them involve his 'other half'.... Out of all the pairings, LockonxTieria is the strongest one in the canon. However, my fav is still LockonxSetsuna. In the 2nd ending song, Lockon is cutting Setsuna's hair on the beach.... What is love then allowing him to cut his hair? lol
In true Kouga fashion, the series doesn't just have BL coupling but a yuri coupling as well. Marina and Shirin in the first season seems inseparable and the second one cements it during their reunion.
I guess I can't just give all the BL credit to Kouga-sensei when Mizushima Seiji-san was the director. After his brillance in FMA, this series does have a fantastic feel to it. I'm sure he was there to precipitate the BL hints too. (Anyone remember Roy waiting for Ed in the movie? lol ^.^)
6/6/09 ~ Saturday 9:39 pm - Tokyo ~ 8:39 am - NY
Status: satisfied ~ Listening to: Pandora Hearts on the computer
My first impression of Oz stopping Alice is basically another version of 'Sit!' from Kagome to Inyasha. Don't you think so? As soon as Oz speaks, Alice falls to the ground. Even the 'on your face' posture is the same, albiet Inuyasha's a bit more exaggerated, but this is a serious anime you know. ^.^ On another note, Vincent seems to be like Break. They even have similar sounding voices and that infuriating smile that shows he is up to no good. But I'm happy that Raven wasn't the one to shoot since I would have had to slap him. Or Oz would have to slap him. Punishment games for everyone!
The interlude in the next scenes were beautiful. I'm referring to the music but the convo between Oz and Alice are beautiful too. Especially when Alice threw off her shirt. o.O lol In any case, I will be looking for the piano piece and the soundtrack...once there is a soundtrack. Raven's past...I hope he reveals it to Oz soon. I want to know too!
6/5/09 ~ Friday 8:42 pm - Tokyo ~ 7:42 am - NY
Status: hungry ~ Listening to: Trinka Trinka - Olivia (Keitai Sousakan ED) Listen or Save
more Viewfinder stuff? of course!
The rundown of today's purchases include two Gundam 00 files of Lockon and Setsuna (my fav G00 couple, ^.^) an Edward Elric clip to match the Al clip I have on my bag (long ago, I bought only one clip so now I have Ed too, ^.^) and best of all, I got my Loveless calendar. It came out in 2005 and is in a cd-type case. I've been wanting this for a long time so I'm happy to get it. These were all bought at K-books 3.... Since it was raining, I didn't feel like going far, so I headed to Animate to check out the new stuff that came out yesterday.
Some new Viewfinder things and at pretty good prices too. The highlights of new things were 2 large posters, an Asami tote bag and a couple of notepads. I bought a small pencil board of Asami and Akihito and bypassed the posters. I love the pictures and everything, but there is no way I can get away with hanging Akihito half naked on Asami's lap on my wall in NY. Also, I would need to get them laminated and okaasan would need to help me with that and the conversation about this poster will not go well. ^^; The other poster is acceptable in that it's only Asami holding a bouquet of flowers...though I dislike buying one thing without the other. So...no posters this time.
6/4/09 ~ Thursday 11:30 pm - Tokyo ~ 10:30 am - NY
Status: busy ~ Listening to: Tsumetai Rosario - Mizuki Nana, Fukuen Misato, Kugimiya Rie, Chiba Saeko (Rosario+Vampire OST) Listen or Save
I can stay in Japan...
...for 3 years. I got my 3 year working visa today! ^-^ I'm not really planning to stay for 3 years, but at least I'm allowed to. Now, I need to get permission whenever I leave the country. ^^; Re-entry permits and all that...but that comes later. I headed to the government office today and arrived a bit before 9am. As planned (and as expected,) I got my visa and was able to leave exactly at 10am which allowed me to reach Tokyo Tower by 11am. Yay for efficiency and fast walking!
acting like a true tourist
The rest of my day was quite touristy. Going to Tokyo Tower and other places and taking pics like crazy. I was especially trigger happy today and even allowed myself to be in some shots. Check the link for pics and info about today. ^.^
Kouga Yun at AnimeExpo!
*cries* Anime Expo has some of the most amazing guests. There was the Haruhi invasion several years, CLAMP and now, Kouga Yun-sensei will be there. For a second, I actually contemplated going...but realized that I couldn't due to money, job and other things. I already have an autograph by Kouga Yun-sensei from the doujinshi I got a few years ago...but meeting her in person would be epic.... Especially in my Ritsuka cosplay! *dies* BTW, I'm sure the con scene will be flooded (or higher then usual) with Loveless cosplays due to her appearance. I'm disappointed yet happy that she will be there. Perhaps with her presence there may be a push for the novels to be released in the US as well? Perhaps? I can continue to dream....
6/3/09 ~ Wednesday 11:00 pm - Tokyo ~ 10:00 am - NY
Status: sad ~ Listening to: 07 Ghost on the computer
the color of his soul
Even knowing what I know about the story, the scene when Teito runs into Mikage's arms...and the next moment, hurts my heart. The expressions on their faces are so happy, relieved, but that is not the end of it. The sadness that comes makes me feeling like crying. Pearl-chan is right in that the anime began slowly for the reason of building up the relationship between Mikage and Teito. Even though they do nothing but brood, the mere fact that they think of each other, strengthens our compassion for their feelings. We empathize and when the cry, our tears will also fall. I won't blog about the rest of this episode since doing so will reveal too much in spoilers. ^.^
10:05 pm - Tokyo ~ 9:05 am - NY ~ Status: hungry ~ Listening to: me typing quickly
I have keyboard covers...but no keyboards ^^;
My latest purchases at otome dori this evening includes 2 Kuroshitsuji regular sized shitajiki, 1 Pandora Hearts shitajiki, 1 Fullmetal Alchemist carddass shitajiki (one of the ones I was looking for so yay, ^.^) 1 Gundam 00 pencil board of my four fav guys and 2 keyboard covers from Loveless and Junjou Romantica. You can laugh now since I picked them up as soon as I found them (digging through bags and towels) and decided to buy them. It would be another 'I'll regret it' moment if I decide to buy it later so I caved. ^^; Why wouldn't I buy them? Well, I have a laptop and these are for fullsized keyboards. But they're so nice and inexpensive! *hugs them*
Besides that, I bought a chibi-Black Hayate pin since it was too cute to resist. ^.^
Tokyo Tower...here I come!
Tomorrow, I will wake later then usual, but still quite early to reach Shingawa before 9am when the office opens. I should be in and out within 2 hours, but I'm hoping on 1 hour since I want to meet my co-worker at 11am at Tokyo Tower. It will take about an hour to get from one place to the other...so I'm betting on Japanese efficiency. We'll see how that goes tomorrow. ^^; After Tokyo Tower, we're going to be hitting a museum (her idea of course) and end with Nakano Broadway. No work tomorrow but alot of running around. ^_^
all about Ghibli and Miyazaki
Studio Ghibli and sequels are unheard of since their movies are usually stand alone stories. Of course, we see hints of other movies in one movie and the usual Totoro motif appears many times. I don't need to mention (but will anyway ^.^) that the closest to a sequel is the Mai and the Catbus short shown in the Ghibli Museum which is of course connected to Totoro. However, Miyazaki seems to be entertaining the idea of a sequel to Porco Rosso aka. Crimson Pig. The only thing I think the sequel could be about is the return of Porco to Gina's side. Though the speculation of whether he is a pig or not was the heart of the ending. ^^; But more movies mean that Miyazaki is no longer thinking of retiring so yay! ^.^
Studio Ghibli is also working on the video game for the DS, Ninokuni. I have no idea what it is about, but anything with Ghibli working on it has got to be cute and heartwarming. Like giapet, I look forward to a US release. ^.^
Japanese celebs going to the US
In the first link concerning the Miyazaki sequel, there is some info about Miyazaki appearing in the US. Of course, I won't be able to attend anything or go anywhere...but this is pretty awesome for people in the US. ^^; *country envy*
As many of you know already (since I've been ranting and crying over this...somewhat ^^;) Wakeshima Kanon (who sang both endings for Vampire Knight and the recently announced Becca who did the first ending to Kuroshitsuji will be appearing at Otakon this year. Both are awesome and between them and Kalafina at Anime Boston, there have been alot of fantastic singers as guests in the East coast cons. Hopefully that will continue when I return to the states. ^.^
rape no more!
This has been going in and out of the Japanime news recently but some were conjectures and speculations. However, it's no longer a rumor but truth: Japan is banning rape games. o.O I don't have much to say about this except...are they kidding? <.< I'm not for rape or anything, but a certain amount of H-games are all about rape. The two yaoi games licensed in the US from Japan have rape in them. This...might be a problem. <.<;
6/2/09 ~ Tuesday 1:25 am - Tokyo ~ 12:25 pm 6/1 - NY
Status: amused ~ Listening to: FMA on the computer
Who will marry Winry?
I didn't mention it on sunday when I was watching the 9th episode of FMA, but when I was reading the manga, I was kinda confused about who said what during the brothers talk-on-the-roof scene. Especially the last part about the fight over who will marry Winry. Finally, (thanks to the voices,) we have a confirmation that it was Al who won that fight. ^.^ For those that follow the series, everyone knows tht nothing came of it since Winry rejected him. Although more comes from the manga...and much, much more comes from our fujoshi imaginations. For me, perhaps Winry wants to see some incestual love? ^.^
6/1/09 ~ Monday 8:25 pm - Tokyo ~ 7:25 am - NY
Status: thoughtful ~ Listening to: Vanilla Salt - Horie Yui (Toradora ED) Listen or Save
bought something new...but that isn't news
I just realized that I have never bought so much stuff before in my Japanime lifetime. That makes sense since I have always wanted to come to Japan and buy all the things (at regular and not overseas-jacked-up prices) that I wanted to buy. The drawback is of course the fact that some things don't exist anymore. But I get a few surprises occasionally (my best one is still the Gakuen Heaven bear that I didn't know even existed. ^.^) Still, my almost daily stint to Ikebekuro is now a regular in my routine and buying things is just checking things off my 'things-to-buy' list. So without further ado, I bought a few things today at Ikebekuro.
I bought a couple Fullmetal Alchemist carddass pencil boards (smaller then the usual ones and they're clear like my Kuroshitsuji ones) as well as a two Code Geass ones of Lelouch (looking as hot as ever) and two of Gundam 00. There are a couple of FMA ones that I didn't buy the first time and aren't there anymore so I'm mentally kicking myself over the head for not getting it the first time. *headdesk* I also found and bought Princess Princess postcard set which is a wonderful addition to my postcard collection. Lastly, I bought Junjou Romantica special cards to join my card collection. ^.^ I'm obesessed with cards of all sorts...can you tell? ^^; Slowly and surely, I'm going to get them all! *cue Pokemon theme song*
I can haz visa nao?
I received a notice from immigrations that I need to return to the office by 6/11 to get my visa. Between me submitting my application and that answer...that was quick! Again, why can't the US government be this efficient? ^^; Alas, I don't have any school holidays this month so I need to take a day off to go to Shinagawa. I will lose a day's wages but it can't be helped. On another note, my co-worker from my NY company is coming to Japan this thursday and I'm suppose to meet her that evening. Since I'm planning to not work, I can hang out with her after I deal with my visa thing...which shouldn't take long. ^.^ Good things and bad...now I just have to contact her....
Our plans? She mentioned Nakano Broadway so more Japanime shopping. ^___^ Hey, it was her idea not mine! (Though I agree whole heartedly.) Of course, I think it'll be a good idea to go to Tokyo Tower since it's a weekday and we might actually get in without waiting so long. Hoping that thursday is a beautiful day! *hangs teruterubozu out on my balcony* ^.^
12:40 am - Tokyo ~ 11:40 am 5/31 - NY ~ Status: happy
Just a short comment about Pandora Hearts ep. 9 since I need to sleep if I want to be awake to teach tomorrow. ^^; But simply that I love Gilbert and Oz's relationship. This episode had a mixture of flashbacks, but it blended quite well into the story with it reflecting about Oz's thoughts of 'family' and mostly 'father'. The strange hierarchy between Gilbert and Oz is unique since though they maintain a servant and master relationship, it is true that their social standings have been reversed with Oz losing his wealth and Gilbert, the adopted son of a nobleman. But still, their bonds are beyond such titles and it shows as Gilbert takes on his old name.
Also, I love the moment when Raven releases Alice's power via Oz. ^.^ The touch...is so powerful....