Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Meeting up with Shane in Maibara

So went I from Tokyo to Osaka, checked in at Tenmabashi, back to Shin Osaka to take the shinkansen to Maibara. Finally met up with Shane who is the second person I've met through this blog, the first being bframe.

Shane suggested we meet at Hikone but I preferred Maibara so I could get back to Tenmabashi for some drinking. Air's Clover usually closes at 1 on weekdays if there's no one.

It seemed like a bad decision as there didn't seem to be any eating places around Maibara station!

I found two, first of each was the kurobuta place pictured above. The second was a hakata ramen place called Taifuu pictured below.

I ordered the Taifuu ramen which was a tonkotsu shio ramen that only tasted ok. It was cheap but most of the damage were the beers. The girl at the ramen place really looked like she didn't want to be at work, which is a first for Japan.

We only had an hour and a half but it was great to meet an old school momusu fan who likes Nacchi and Ayaya, (damn you Shane for seeing Nacchi in person!) and talking about the perils of teaching Japanese kids.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Sambomaster 15th anniversary Live Final at Zepp Tokyo

My favourite band has turned 15!

Lining up to get some merchandise.

Finally some decent t-shirts and they overcharge like Onitsuka Chihiro.

Waiting to go inside according to ticket number.

The good thing about Zepp is that you're pretty much guaranteed a decent view as long as you don't have tall people in front of you.

There was a Scandal-like excessive amount of skits but since the show was 2 hours and 45 minutes it was ok. Scandal would have like a 2 hour show with at least half an hour of talking. Still I was expecting them to pack in more old songs in seeing as its their anniversary tour.

I will never be able to listen to Oasis sing Don't look back in Anger but at least I heard my favourite band sing it.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterunda review

Satomi recommended this to me and all you need to know is that its by the makers of AnoHana.

The Menma is this story is Naruse Jun, who as a little girl saw her father leaving a love hotel with someone and telling her mom.

Naruse's father blames her for talking too much and Naruse gets cursed by a talking egg to have stomach pain when she tries to talk.

Naruse gets involved with three other students with their own stories and it ends in an AnoHana like way woch is spoiled by the above picture.

The most interesting part for me was Naruse realising that her curse only applied to talking but not singing. They should have done a lot of comedy out of it.

AnoHana fans will love this. For others, its watchable but I don't recommend going out of your way unless you are in Japan.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Lover Seven Years Ago

I went to Shimokitazawa to watch this play by Abe Sadawo and Kudo Kankuro's comedy group Otona Keikaku. Actually its more like a skit show held loosely by a thread about two has been idols with one hit.

My problem is that a lot of the jokes are based on old pop culture references some of which I got like Wada Akiko and Shomuni but a lot flew over my head. The second half was more situational comedy but its more like Kudo Kankuro trying to get his mates to do disgusting things. Kudo Kankuro could not keep a straight face during the whole thing and was constantly looking down hiding his laughter.

I didn't find it worth my money because its sketch comedy is on tv all the time. Felt like a waste of time especially the money I payed securing the resell tickets. Mano Erina's Better Half was a lot better and I wish I could watch that again.

Now this is a play worth going to Japan for. Matsu Takako, Eita, Inoue Maou and Abe Sadao.

Suiyobi no Campanella! Thanks to bframe for introducing them to me!

I went drinking afterwards and ended my missing the last train. The other regulars were very helpful in looking up cheap places I could stay. One of the places was a nearby sauna and they made jokes about making sure the key is strap is on the correct hand or one could send the wrong signal.

We ended up going to supper with Mama, Miho-chan, Take-san and his friend. Take-san ended up paying and I found out he was the person who gave the very expensive Hyakunen no Kodoku shochu to Mama who gave it to me.

I spend a couple of hours sleeping at a manga cafe for 1200 yen before going back on the first train. Thanks to Miho-chan for making sure I got to the cafe and everything with reception went ok.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Seiryuu ramen in Shin Koiwa

Yes, I am back. Spent the weekend catching up with friends and lots of drinking. Anyways new girl at Hotaru, Miho recommended this place. The map on tabelog is easy to follow.

Its good enough to go again but not good enough to go out of my way. If only the soup were a bit thicker and the char siu juicer. Problem is the shop is only open for lunch after 12pm and supper after 12pm. I only go Shin Koiwa at night so I don't want to miss my train.

From right: ramen, half boil egg, everthing, char siu, gyoza and kaedama.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Kekkonshiki no Zenjitsu Ni Eps 1-3

Kekkonshiki no Zenjitsu Ni is basically crying porn for people who like 1 Litre of Tears. Perfect character with a family secret gets brain tumour complete with annoying mother. Boo hoo.

I never felt I was watching Karina play a character, more like a vessel for female viewers to project themselves onto. However, I must say at least it doesn't overdo the crying porn bit as hard as Beautiful Rain which probably holds the non-Korean drama record for most crying per minute.

I managed to last three episodes just for Mano-chan.

Unfortunately, her role is very minor.

 Personally, I would take Mano-chan over Karina any day.

If you enjoy watching a perfectly nice and bland character battle a fatal disease, Kekkonshiki no Zenjitsu ni is the show for you. I can't critisize Kekkonshiki no Zenjitsu ni for being what it is but it doesn't do anything well to warrant watching from non-fans of the fatal disease genre of which Konna Koi no Hanashi is probably the gold standard. (off the top of my head)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Gate Episodes 1-12

Gate is basically an jietai (SDF) in a fantasy world setting anime. Dragon vs guns! What more do you need? 

The best thing about Gate is the main character Itami, not just because he's not a bland shounen who gets mysterious powers and never gives up. Itami is the reluctant hero thrown into a world where tough decisions have to be made, like the great Yang Wenli from Legend of Galactic Heroes. When Itami actually used the knife to kill the soldier in the pic above, I knew this was the show for me. I am sick of anime with guns and swords where people don't die.

The art is very inconsistent like Arslan and I hate how big the eyes sometimes get. It feels like there are two different artstyles in the anime. I wish they had the budget of Danmachi cause there are a lot of scenes that could have been really beautiful.

 Yes, it is a harem anime (when is an anime not?) but the good news is all the characters have a purpose to the story and are not there solely to cater to every lowest denominator and the story moves at a very good pace. The harem could get way too crowded pretty quick though.

I love the political aspect of this show with lots of people using each other for their own purposes. Gate poses interesting questions like would it be best for Japan to make enemies with the rest of the world just for this world beyond the gate?

Love the Ride of the Valyries scene. Makes me want to play more MGSV.

 I wish Gate had gone for a more realistic Berserk style but its a lot more mature than most anime. The writing really explores the premise in interesting ways. Very enjoyable anime for me. I can't wait to see what happens next.