Thursday, October 14, 2010


So I just finished up watching Durarara!!, the show about crazy adventures in Ikebukuro. I put off work to do it, but that's not really anything worth noting, as I'd have probably put it off anyways.

So, I felt like writing about it 1. because I haven't posted on here in...forever, and 2. because that was something I haven't done often enough.

Complete and Total Spoilers Below! You HAVE been warned!

So, Durarara!! is a show about Ikebukuro. Ultimately, it's not about the people in Ikebukuro, or what happens in Ikebukuro, it's about the place itself. Of course, this version of Ikebukuro is home to a headless woman who drives a bitchin' motorcycle and commands the power of shadow, as well as a crazy freak who can use a highway sign as an axe to cleave the top of a car off, plus a crazy schoolgirl who controls people she's stabbed with a cursed sword.

Did I mention crazy? Because this series is chock-full of the crazy. The only person in the cast who isn't nuts in some way is Simon, the ...wait for it...giant black Russian man who advertises and delivers for a sushi joint and kicks the ass of anyone who causes trouble, including the aforementioned crazy freak with the highway sign.

Yeah, it's a weird show.

So, plot. Here's what you find out ultimately ended up happening in the series.

A kid from the country, Mikado, moves to Ikebukuro to go to high school with his best friend, Masaomi Kida, who moved there a while back. Kida's a veteran of the town, and he introduces Mikado to a few friends and warns him about some unsavory sorts. Seems like a relatively normal start, right?

Then the Dullahan shows up. I had never heard of a Dullahan before, but what they are is apparently a Celtic spirit that rides around headless, with a headless horse, acting like a grim reaper. Celty, the one in Ikebukuro (and it's unfair to say "shows up", she's been there 20 years), has lost her head, and drives a motorcycle instead of a horse. She does awesome stunts with it.

Anyways, there's this guy, Izaya. He's a total troll. But he also knows everything about Ikebukuro.

Oh, and there are these gangs- the Dollars, some new group, and the Yellow Scarves, leftovers from the old "Color Gangs" of yesterday. And there's a sword-wielding maniac going around slashing people.

Alright, that's the setup. So here's how it all goes down.

Celty, living with this dude Shinra, is out looking for her head. As it turns out, this head is in the posession of a crazy lady who runs some pharmaceutical company. Or, alternately, attached to a girl. This girl is the friend of Anri Sonohara, a girl whom Mikado and Kida start hanging out with. Also, people are being kidnapped by this company.

The first batch of episodes are a bunch of scene-setting, introducing just what the characters were and their relationships. Then, Celty finds out about the girl, and starts chasing her. Shit happens, one particular element of which knocked my socks off:

Mikado, a while back, created The Dollars as a sort of social engineering thing, which took off in Ikebukuro. They started getting out of control, and he eventually wrangled them together into a modicum of decency, just by suggesting things. So, when things come to a head, he declares the first meeting of the Dollars and weaponizes 4Chan. Seriously. He went to confront the crazy lady (what she did is next), who had bodyguards ready to take the kid. He says "you've got brawn, I've got numbers." He sends a text message. And the entire public square they're in erupts as everyone's cellphone goes off. The entire square was made up of Dollars members. It was epic.

I can't be bothered to summarize the rest of the series, as it is so completely and utterly crazy, on the part of absolutely everyone. Suffice to say that it is wonderful, and I have never been as truly surprised watching something as I have been watching Durarara!!.

The series is wonderfully paced, has a great, diverse cast, and is so crazy in plotting that it's just a ton of fun to watch. It also makes me miss Tokyo like crazy. The show's about Ikebukuro, and even though I was on the opposite side of Tokyo, it's still about Tokyo, and...I WANNA GO BACK!

I also need to stop spoiling myself, because being surprised by Durarara!! was wonderful, and I haven't had that chance in a while now.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Nanoha! Battle of Aces!

Well, I had planned to watch quite a bit more StrikerS tonight. Despite my raging fanboyism for all things Nanoha, I haven't finished the series, possibly because I've been spoiled rotten on it. It's still really good, and I have no excuse, but I haven't.

Well, tonight, actually, I was playing Mahou Shoujou Lyrical Nanoha A's: The Battle of Aces. That's right, bitches, I've got the Nanoha fighting game. And a PSP, provided I rolled well enough on diplomacy to convince my hallmate to keep the new PSP he bought and sell me the old one.*

And it's really kickass. The combat itself is rather simple, but it's tons of fun, and really gives a great feeling of being in the middle of a Nanoha battle. It won't win any sort of award for combat complexity or anything, but I don't give a flying fuck. It's fun, that's all that I care about.

The story mode is cool. Lots of dialogue that some industrious folks over on Animesuki are translating, which, combined with my own skills, makes me feel like I'm practicing. There's a lot of cute CGs and kickass music, and the entire thing is fully voiced, which is really cool for a PSP game.

And I read somewhere that Fate's VA, Nana Mizuki, apparently wore her thumbs out on it.

*Dude's not a bad guy, but seriously. I tell him I saw a cheap PSP and it turns out to be the one he wants, so he buys it, sells me his old one for cheap, and everyone's happy, right? Well, apparently a couple of minute defects on the screen (like, seriously, it's amazing how unnoiticeable they were to me.) were too much for him, and he wanted his old one back. So I've been spending the last day fast-talking, trying to convince him that A. He's not going to get a much better deal on this PSP- if he wants better, he'll have to buy factory new, B. Returning it may cost him some money, C. I'm willing to buy his old PSP to cut back on the actual cost, and D. I already bought this game and REALLY WANT a PSP.**

** Which is funny. If you told me six months ago (well, before I heard about P3P. I don't know how long ago that was), I'd say there's no way I'd ever buy a PSP. Go figure.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Certain Moderation Policies

As an internet denizen, I am frequently found on forums. Sites where folks post back and forth from various and sundry places all over the world. Different sites have different policies when it comes to how moderation works. Suffice to say that I have certain issues with one particular site.

I'm not going to name names here, but anyone who is reading this who knows my posting habits can probably figure out where I'm coming from.

Across the internet, standards vary in terms of what's acceptable to post. Some sites don't give a damn about what kind of language you use as long as you're polite and aren't actively insulting people. Some sites (Something Awful) don't give a flying shit about language or insulting other people so long as you're legible and not being an idiot. And even then sometimes that's cool. Some sites aren't moderated at all.

And then there are...other sites. Sites where all discussion of politics and religion are flat-out banned, and any topic so much as trending towards there are locked.* Where absolutely no foul language is tolerated. Where, apparently, you aren't so much as allowed to criticize another poster. Where my calling out of another poster for his overly negative comments (admittedly, something of an overreaction on my part) earned me a warning.

Look, this is not the way to establish a productive discussion, single moderator who oversees the whole damn board. If you're not allowed to establish an antagonistic dialogue with someone, you cut off a fuckton of options for discussion. Fundamentally, a board is supposed to be about a bunch of people getting together to shoot the shit. When people shoot the shit, they're occasionally going to disagree. If they can't at least talk about disagreeing directly, if they've got to pussyfoot around each other like bulls in a china shop for fear of offending precious mod sensibilities, they're not going to be able to have a productive dialogue. They're just going to passive-aggressively snipe at each other and build up resentment. Fortunately, that hasn't happened with me too much- most of the folks there are surprisingly nice, but it doesn't work. It's not dialogue, it's canned, sugary bullshit.

And another thing! The policy of "infractions" building up to a ban is so goddamned retarded it makes my head spin. Functionally, it's 3 moderations means they think about banning you. Now, that in and of itself seems reasonable. It's not that reasonable when the moderations stick with you for two years each. Let's take an average- I post about 3.25 posts a day on the site in question.** Which means that if roughly one out of every 900 or so posts I make gets called out for flaming, I'm going to be looking at a ban. And you know what? What I've been modded for isn't fucking flaming. Nor were the people I was arguing with! It's disagreeing! Calling someone out! Disturbing the peace of the perfect little world that the mods have set up. It's like fucking Hot Fuzz- any and all deviation from the perfect facade is wiped out in the name of "The Greater Good". It's like they can't tolerate any sort of disagreement- everything's got to be picture-perfect and happy or else...what? People's feelings will be hurt? You won't be able to brag about having the "friendliest" community on the net? It's goddamned retarded.

And you know what it means when bans build up? Prolific posters get shafted. Not for blowing up and actively going off on a bender, but for stupid things that add up over time, things that wouldn't even be fucking noticed on other sites. And since another thing that's banned there is discussing banned posters, well, it's like they just drop off the face of the earth. I've seen several quality posters get banned, and never heard a reason, nor a justification.

And the site does not appear to be looking to change anytime soon, which means I can apparently take my problem and shove it up my ass, as I have no doubt that attacking the moderation policies like I'd like to (kind of what I've got here, but more respectful and with less profanity) would get me another warning and not accomplish anything.

Seriously, this is the worst- modded site on the internet. If I didn't have this safety valve to rant in, I'd be tempted to just go suicide by mod and send the main moderator a ridiculous hate-filled invective.

So I'll just say it here.

Go fuck yourselves.

*If you didn't know what site it is before, you probably should now.
** Which I very nearly typed out just now.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

One Piece

So, I spent the weekend (and a good chunk of last weekend) reading One Piece. It was very good, and I fully see why it's the single most popular manga ever in Japan. And I mean, it's ridiculous how much One Piece crap you see here. You go into a random store, and I'll be willing to bet that there'll be at least one One Piece item. I recall hearing that One Piece tankouban are among the best-selling books in Japan, if not the best-selling. Books, not just manga. One Piece is ridiculous. One friend of mine mentioned how some people he was working with asked him what manga he liked, then (drunkenly) insisted that he read One Piece.

At its core, One Piece is a silly, lighthearted pirate drama. It's pure shonen cheese, and it revels in it. Reactions are overblown, characters suffer ludicrous punishment* and come out smiling, and the power of friendship can beat down anything. The bad guys are ludicrously evil at times, and at other times just ludicrous. I don't feel like summarizing any of the plot right now, but suffice to say that there are moments of the purest win, and distilled awesome, and no real lows like you get in Naruto and Bleach.

Saying that...the latest arc (the Whitebeard War one) didn't do it for me. And there's a prime reason for that. The crew was broken up, and we've heard exactly jack and shit about them since Kuma split them up. It was all about Luffy trying to save his brother, and a bunch of characters I really didn't care about doing stuff. Plus, I really don't feel like One Piece's power system lends itself to epic clashes. With all the individual devil-fruit powers and whatnot, fights need to be one-on-one type deals where each combatant can have attention focuses on his abilities. Mooks are there to be effortlessly swept out of the way. Previously, One Piece pretty much stuck to that formula and it worked, but with the sheer amount of unique powers being slung around in the battle, it was highly confusing and altogether not as awesome as folk squaring off one-on-one. Sure, it's probably a touch more realistic, but...well, if you're expecting realism, you clearly haven't read One Piece.

But like I said, the fact that the Straw Hat crew was broken up (really, right after Brooks joined!) bugs me. The primary appeal of One Piece was the sheer dedication of the Nakama to one another, and that's just vanished ever since the group's been split up. Luffy's been so focused on Ace that he hasn't given a spare thought to his friends, and the manga hasn't saw fit to give them much more than a couple pages.

So I hope that we'll be seeing a reunification of the crew very shortly.

P.S.- Nico Robin is smoking hot.

*For this reason and this reason alone do I think that Luffy could take Naruto in a fight. Even given Naruto's superhuman toughness and recovery, Luffy is just in another league.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Negima Spoilage and Speculation

So, I've not talked about Negima for a few months now. In the interim, we got Nodoka being ten kinds of kickass, Fate's plan revealed, Asuna's personality after memory restoral revealed, Negi proving one again he can solve any problem in the world by finding the right girl and kissing the bejeezus out of her, and he's apparently going full demon power or something.

But anyways, Fate's plan involves transporting everyone in the Magic World to a special "other place" that is apparently a paradise, but he doesn't really know. Because magic is what sustains life on mars, and eventually that magic's going to run out, and the whole thing will come crashing down. When it does, well, first off, every single "magic person" there vanishes straight-out. Second, every normal person (mostly in Megalomesambria) suddenly ends up on Mars proper...

So Fate's plan, since it would be wrong to just save the real folks in Megalomesambria, and impractical to have 1.2 billion new refugees on earth, is to just teleport everyone...well, somewhere. He doesn't really know much about the place, apparently. And he's got to use Asuna to do it. He apparently also needs to mass magic power in the world, which is why he destroyed the gateports- they apparently siphon it off, and now it's all poring through the old ostia gate, straight into....Mahora, obviously.

Now, I've seen this as a huge computer metaphor. The humans are all "ghosts in the machine" if you will, the magic folk are all sentient programs, and the entire magic world's a computer on the verge of a blackout. Fate wants to move folks over to a new hard drive, but he hasn't been there to see if it's kosher.

Now, with the world tree glowing, here's how I see this going down. Step one: Chao comes back! This time, there's a crisis, and Negi et. al. agrees that it's time to reveal magic to the masses. Then, using newly integrated magic and technology, they can adapt to the new refugees. That'd be chaos and hell, but it'd be interesting. I'd love to see the political implications.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Shibuya is Awesome.

Alcohol can be fun in reasonable quantities. That is all.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Elaborating on said Idea

So, it's rainy tonight and kind of misty. Combine that with listening to the soundtracks for 3 and 4 on my way home, and you could say that I'm in a bit of a Persona mood. Incidentally, Feinne, a Let's Player, has taken up Schildtroke (or however the crap you spell his name)'s mantle and is LP'ing Persona 4 over on Something Awful. Check it out.

So! This has given me a bit of an idea for a sort of fanfic based off of the idea I posted earlier. Here's my intro for Persona 5:


The train pulls into the station, and you hear the familiar jingle as the doors open- or you would, if you didn't have your headphones on, the music blasting. It's been about a week since you moved into the dormitory at the bottom of the hill. Since then you've gotten used to the route home. The ramen stand bustling with customers, and wafting out a scent that makes your mouth water. Unfortunately, you're on a budget and all you've got is the cheap instant shit at home. That one big house that would be sizeable even in America- here, it is monstrous. Another train, laden with weary commuters, roars by, the rattling shaking your teeth. It's cold, and your jacket is pulled around you as the rain drips past your face. You should have packed that heavier jacket, but you weren't supposed to need it and you needed the space in your suitcase. So you hurry through the rain, looking forward to your warm room and hot dinner.

An overpass spans the path, creating a narrow tunnel you must walk down. Bikes and scooters carrying tired commuters home pass you by, indifferent to one more hooded figure, moving too fast to even tell that you're a gaijin. Unlike the rest of this whole town, the lights here are in poor condition- they're dim and flickering. You're looking down at the pavement, music still blaring in your ears, trying to ignore the water still falling in front of you.

Out of the corner of your eye, you see a shape. It's not even remotely human- long, spindly arms reaching out to grasp at you, a slavering mouth gaping. You turn suddenly, and it's gone. All you see is the dirty graffiti on the wall, and all you hear is the thumping bass and screeching guitars that your headphones continue to pour into your ears. You shrug, and turn back to your walk home. Probably just a shadow on the wall caused by a passing biker.

The wind picks up as you exit the tunnel, blowing the rain horizontally in your face. This is miserable. As you walk down the street towards your dorm, you have to squeeze to the side of the road to prevent yourself from being run over by the drivers who take these narrow streets at ludicrous speeds. They splash your legs as they drive through the puddles.

As the music on your headphones fades out, the guiter making one last, haunting note, you swear you hear a faint voice emenating from them:
I am thou. Thou art I.

It is just on the edge of hearing, and quickly dismissed as the warm light of the dorm washes over you.

Your friend Brian- he's in your History of Tokyo class- comes up as you take your shoes off.

"How's it been? Cold as hell, isn't it?"

You mumble a response and head for your room, desperate to change into some dry, warm clothes.

After you've changed and eaten, the trash still sitting on your desk because it's too damn cold out to go to the trash can, you pull out your Japanese book and try to study. The teacher's got a bad habit of giving quizzes every single day, and you have several vocab words and a couple pages of kanji to memorize.

Something seems to be wrong with the light in your room. It's flickered twice now, and both times, something outside your window throws up a weird shadow on your wall. It almost looks like a gnarled, twisted tree, reaching out for your throat. But it's nothing, right?

Suddenly, from outside your window, a light flares up. It's coming from the shrine up on the hill, the one you explored over the weekend. You know, back when the weather was nice. The light doesn't seem to be dying down, and it's too steady to be from a fire.

You exit into the hall to see if anyone else has noticed, but there's no one around. Shrugging, you decide to go and investigate alone. You're not tired, even though it's kind of late, and for some reason, you're now afire with curiosity.

It's stopped raining. The stars are even out, though this close to the city, you can't see many of them. The moon doesn't hang in the sky, and you seem to recall that it's a new moon tonight. You walk up the street to the shrine, where you can still faintly see the light. It's pale and soft, not quite like anything you've ever seen before. It seems to be coming from one of the tori, the gates that overlook the entrance to this little wooded area that houses the shrine.

As you stand in front of it, you wonder why there isn't anyone else around. The light is nearly blinding here, and it's taking up the whole archway. This...isn't natural, to say the least. Is it some kind of trick the locals do? You haven't heard about anything like this, and there's no one else around. What is this?

Suddenly, a dark shape springs from the light at you. You see the glint of razor-sharp claws and talons before time seems to slow and a voice rings in your head.

I am Thou. Thou art I. The time has come. Open thine eyes and call forth what is within!



Cue kickin' guitar. Yeah, that last bit is shamelessly ripped off from the Persona-Get! scene in Persona 4. Also, aside from a few minor details, what I described is very similar to how I'm actually living here.

I don't know if I'd want to take this further. I don't have any sort of overarcing plot laid out, nor do I have any idea for characters. In fact, this whole thing is written in the second person to avoid characterization. Based on what little fiction I've written, I have a horrible habit of turning basically every main or viewpoint character into myself, as I find it really hard to come up with scenarios that don't directly involve myself. I don't want to just be mindlessly parroting my own method of thinking into text, so I deliberately went for a style that avoids getting into my protagonist's head. I don't know, I'll see what my brain comes up with.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I am a 20 year old man. I pride myself as being reasonably mature and controlled.

I fucking love Pokemon.

Now, given the other content of this blog, that really shouldn't come as much of a surprise. And I'm not one of those pokemon nuts who breeds compulsively and debates all the best strategies. I just enjoy beating shit up with my little murderbeasts.

I am disappointed with myself that I didn't buy Heart Gold before I left for Japan. I've got such a fucking awesome team in my Pearl version, I wouldn't dream of resetting, but I'd love to actually play through the games again.

When I first started up with this playthrough of Pearl (and Jesus Fucking Christ, I have like 95 hours on this one game! I grind like a motherfucker.), my roommate, who's far deeper into the actual battling and strategy aspects of Pokemon than I am, gave me a few eggs- a Sneasel, Bagon, Houndour, and Murkrow. So, in addition to my rockin' Piplup, I had some very powerful pokemon with very powerful movesets (well, except Murkrow) early on. I added to that a Crobat (first time I've raised a Crobat, he's pretty awesome), Roserade, Misimagius, Luxray, Machamp, and my roommate proceeded to trade me a Nidoking and a Skuntank just because I wanted them. I was going for something of a Dark/Poison theme- Houndoom, Weaville, Honchkrow, Roserade, Nidoking, Crobat, and Skuntank are all either one or the other. And every single one of the above creatures is awesome.

I took on the Elite 4 for the second time today. I raise so many damn Pokemon, it was with almost an entirely different team my first time around. Actually, there's an interesting story to that. The first time I went to face the Elite 4 was way back in the summer. Now, between the 8th gym and the Elite 4, there's a bit of a gap, so significant grinding is something of a good idea, or else you'll get completely destroyed. When I first got to this point, I was on vacation up in Cape Cod with my family. Most of my pokemon were mid-40's, and I needed to have them at least at level 50 if I wanted to stand a chance. So, the grind commenced. I got a lot done on our way home in the back, as we were in hella traffic (everyone else was pretty miserable) before eventually deciding to pick a good team of 6. Just because I was getting bored as shit. So I saved and started the fight with Empoleon, Misimagius, Roserade, Machamp, Sneasel (he wasn't a Weaville yet) and Salamence. That was about when the power light on my DS switched to red.

I don't remember too much of the individual battles- Salamence was sweeping through the Bug dude's team before Drapion Ice-Fang'd him into oblivion, and his Heracross was giving me some trouble before I realized that Empoleon's Drill Peck hits him for 4x weakness. The ground lady is ridiculously easy with Roserade. When we got to the Fire dude and his Infernape, I was a little worried because Empoleon's Steel, and any Fighting moves he brings out will destroy me (there was a realization that Heracross could do that as well.) And I've always hated that freaking flaming monkey for some reason. He offends me. So when Empoleon's Surf one-shotted something about 10 levels higher, I immediately threw my fist in the air. In our car, this meant I punched the cieling and totally freaked out everyone else in the car, since I'd been pretty quiet. I don't remember a thing about the psychic dude, but with Sneasel, Empoleon, and Misimagius, I'm sure it was pretty easy.

Now, on to Cynthia, the champ. She's got some ridiculous mons, including a hilariously broken Garchomp. I remember having a fairly hard battle against her, but not the specifics. However, just as my victory was DS gave up the ghost and ran out of juice. I had realized this was a possibility so my reaction was more laughter than frustration, but still. I then went back and kicked the 4's ass legitimately.

Man of the match both times went to Empoleon, who is just such a fucking awesome tank. He does not give a shit what you throw at him, and hits everything hard with Surf. I love defensive steel-types. I could use him against pretty much anything and he'd chew it up and spit it out.

After that, I didn't play very much, but last semester a friend traded me for an Eevee, Cyndaquil, and Charmander. That Eevee would become an Umbreon, and I'd have three of my all-time favorite Pokemon. I also got an Eevee in-game and got a Glaceon out of that. All 4 are destined to join the main rotation.

Now, this time around, I took some weaker mons- Empoleon for insurance, and Roserade, Honchkrow, Houndoom, Crobat and Nidoking. Well, Nidoking was higher-level, but he's awesome anyways.

This team was a bit less cohesive than my previous one, but it had some useful tricks. Honchkrow's awesome with Roost and Drill Peck. Man of the match this time went to Houndoom. He was able to get Nasty Plot off several times and just eat through half the stuff thrown at him, including that fucking Garchomp (admittedly, I got lucky when Dragon Rush missed twice). All in all, a ton of fun.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Burning Question

I have asked in several places, and still haven't been able to find an answer-

Does Fate/Stay Night and the patch for it run on Mac OS? I don't have access to a windows machine here, and I'd really prefer playing now rather than waiting until I get back home.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Just an Idea

Three posts, now! Madness!

Really, this is something I forgot to mention yesterday, so I could theoretically just edit it in, but where's the fun in that?

So before we went to Akihabara yesterday, we went just up the street from where my dorm is. There's a little wooded area up the hill, and in that area's a Shinto shrine. Really cool little thing, with a bunch of all the traditional buildings. It's really great to see, and I'll probably go visit it more once the weather warms up (it is bitchin' cold today).

But of course, my mind immediately went to how this would make for an awesome RPG. Hell, I'll go whole-hog and say that it would make an absolutely awesome Persona 5. Six strangers (In our case, we can say they're Americans, but if this was Persona 5, they'd probably be either all Japanese or have only one token foreigner. The fact that it's an all-dudes dorm is something of a detriment as well.) move into a dorm down the street from a shrine. There are a bunch of mysterious happenings that start going on around town (what, I'll leave to your imagination). Or perhaps the group starts just looking at the shrine. But either way, demons show up out of the shrine and we descend into a fairly standard plot. I haven't really thought about it any more than that. But I still think that it would make for a good intro to an adventure.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Akihabara Electric Town

Two posts in about 24 hours? Unheard of!

So, as the title mentions, a few of the guys I'm rooming with and I went into Akihabara for the day. We were originally planning to hit up a lot of Tokyo, but we ended up spending a lot of time in Akihabara, and it wiped us out.

It was...shall we say, an experience. I'm sure most of you know what Akihabara is- the anime, manga, video game, and general Otaku center of Tokyo, which, with Tokyo being the center of Japan and Japan being the center of Otaku stuff...pretty much makes it ground zero for all things to do with anime, manga and the like.

So, let's start with where we went first- a big ol' arcade right across the street from the station. In the basement were rows upon rows of fighting games that my buds dived right into. They were pretty good. We walked up and down the street, marvelling at the amount of girls in costume hawking maid cafes. We checked out some amazing stores- there was this one amazing figure shop where I would literally blow thousands of dollars if I had it (I ended up only buying a cute little Motoko figure for 100 yen, but I'll be back for some of the better stuff.) We got food from these street vendors.

There really was an awful lot of advertisements for the moe stuff, which coupled with the maid cafes, really says that yes, a lot of the otaku industry, so to speak, is about catering to dudes' fetishes. There's really no getting around that fact, despite all of the other awesome stuff that goes on.

Oh, and there was also a lot of Touhou stuff being advertised. Is there a new game out or something?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Across the Sea (Live from Chiba!)

Hello, any and all readers of this blog (If I really have any who still check after the almost 4-month absence of substantial posting, I am impressed at your dedication.

This post comes to you live from Chiba, Japan. For those of you who don't know (and why would you?), that's a little bit outside of Tokyo, similar, I think, to the more famous Yokohama. I'm here as part of a study abroad program, and I'll hopefully be learning a great deal about Japanese culture, traditions, customs, and lifestyles. But given where I post, I doubt you want to hear that. You want to hear about the wonderful land of anime and manga, the otkau's paradise, right? (I kid, I kid.)

Well, actually, there's not a great deal of anime and manga stuff around, at least right at the surface. The anime and manga subculture is, I think, only slightly more popular here than it is in the West, so you don't see a lot of it up front. There was the arcade...

Alright, I've got to correct my previous statement. We just went out to get some booze and check out this used game store.

Holy Mother of God, did they have absolutely everything in that game store. I'm talking the Nanoha A's fighting game, like, three dozen visual novels you'll never see in the States, friggin' Fate Stay Night (which I'm picking up either now or before I leave, depending on whether or not it works on my mac), a few of the weirder F/SN fighting games, tons of manga, anime. I mean EVERYTHING geeky. I'm going to have to go back now that the shock's worn off and see what I missed.

And tomorrow I'm probably bound for Akihabara. Well.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Hi. It's been well more than a month since I've posted, yeah? That happens when I'm at home a lot- I tend to be on our XBox 360 a lot more than on the computer, and when I have been on the computer, lately I've been playing a lot of Team Fortress 2. But I have something to say, and this, as the title indicates, is my safety valve to prevent me from either shouting it in the middle of my office, or just starting to run home:

Now that that's out of the way...(spoilers for the first hour or so)
Yesterday, my brother and I walked into town to pick up our preordered copy. At around 10 AM. That's rare for us, especially since I ended up walking a long way more (New York City is big, man.), and especially since my brother has midterms so we really shouldn't be playing the game until Thursday. Since it's his Xbox and he preordered the game, he got to play first. Either he was a lot faster than I was or he had a bit longer to play, since he got a lot further, and I finally got my mitts on the controller with just over an hour to play before I had to leave for the aforementioned New York City. Sped myself through things so fast that I regret it and will simply be restarting the next time I
And Holy Fucking Shit on a fucking crapstone, it was awesome to play for the first hour. But therein lies the problem. The first hit was free. And now I'm an addict. I need my fix and it is driving me mad here. My brother's been going on about how awesome this game is, everyone on the internet is going on about how this game is, I've seen how awesome this game is...can I get hit by a car and laid up so I can just sit there playing Mass Effect 2, please?