Monday, October 31, 2016
Unfortunately, NigeHaji is like a very bland version of Hasegawa Hiroki and Ann's comedic jdorama, Date. Like Date, two people do a marriage contract of convenience except the two people are boring as anything and have no chemistry. Not saying every character has to have a quirky personality but there's just something missing. Its the element of I'm happy to watch these two characters do anything. I'm starting to think Kaho carried Hoshino Gen in Blindly in Love.
Friday, October 28, 2016
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
EDIT: I've got a friend going to Japan this weekend and wants to eat this so I'm making this guide a lot more detailed. More detailed instructions are at the bottom.
To me, Fuunji in Shinjuku was like the top of the tsukemen food chain. I could not imagine a better tasting tsukemen, until I went to the new Ittou branch in Shin Koiwa.
Ittou is famous for its fish based tsukemen which is good but not worth the one hour wait. With the new shop, I haven't really encountered any queues the 4 times I went there during this trip.
I noticed something different in the menu. チャッシュ極濃厚煮干しつけ麺。The name translates to charsiu extreme thick, dried sardine tsukemen.
And it tastes as good as it looks. Super creamy soup and three layer pork that is do die for.
The standard protion is a bit too little but the larger portion chuu 中 is a just right. You need to get an extra ticket to upsize. I do not recommend the largest portion 大盛り unless you want to feel super bloated. I recommend getting the normal portion with karaage or gyoza as a side dish the soup got cold towards the end of eating the middle portion.
You can find the map here. There are two Ittous in Shin Koiwa so you want to go to the one south of the station. Its only a few minutes walk and my favourite drinking estalishment Hotaru is nearby.
This is the map from the South exit of Shin Koiwa station. Its very easy to follow.
Give your tickets to the staff member on your left. He will say because it will take some time so just nod your head and have a seat and wait patiently for your tsukemen. There will be cups on the counters and tables for you to pour water for yourself.
Monday, October 24, 2016
With Persona 5 out of the way, I can finally start catching up on movies and doramas. First up is the high school sports and triangle romance two part movie Chihayafuru about this card flicking game called karuta.
Saturday, October 22, 2016
Finally finished Persona 5 in 165 hours! I feel like a big weight has finally been lifted off my shoulders! Persona 5 is a dungeon crawling RPG about a group of high schoolers who can enter this parallel world and reform people whose desires have become warped. If I had to compare Persona 5 to any game, it would be Ryu ga Gotoku. RGG is an adult/Japan night life sim while Persona 5 is a high school simulation.
Let's get the good out of the way. The art style is great and the music is jamming, especially when they add lyrics to the main themes at the end. The relationship stories and dialogue are not far removed and do not contradict the main story like in Fire Emblem Fates. Its a huge pitfall of having an RPG where you can romance many characters.
The main story is actually pretty good. There are two very nice twists in the story and something unexpected happens near the end which says something interesting about society. The ending is really good. Morgana really grew and Ryuji is probably the most interesting among all the members because he actually behaves like teenager. With that said, Persona 5 has a huge Achilles's heel, namely pacing.
This game is super unnecessarily long. It just takes too long to progress through the co-operations/relationships and most of them are very straightforward and boring with tons and tons of text. There are some well written ones like Soujiro and Futaba most of them are just dry and not funny. I almost gave up on the game many times but as a Japanese study tool, Persona 5 has a lot more useful words and phrases compared to something like RGG so I persevered.
Don't get me started on Mementos which is this long side story dungeon that looks the same and just rehashes enemies to fight. Persona 5's greatest sin is that not one of the side stories are interesting nor funny. Most of them end up being similar to RGG in that its all about some scam. While RGG has many memorable side stories such as Be My Baby from RGG2, Persona 5 makes you sit through a mountain of dialogue to reach a predictable end fot the side stories. The writers did push themselves in a corner with the fact that you need to know someone's name in order to reform them which removes any potential who is the bad guy mysteries.
Its not all bad. The writing is a step above Sen no Kiseki series and its the first anime RPG in a long time I didn't feel like everyone was the same nice cardboard anime character with no personality.
Persona 5 is such a mixed bag for me. There are something I like and there are parts of it I really hated. If I could suggest a fix it would be to shorten and combine a lot of the co-operation stories and just and reduce the barriers for furthering co-operations. I think there's plenty of fat to cut to make it a lean and mean 100 hour game.
I should have played Tokyo Mirage Sessions (which is a similar game on the Wii U) instead because I've read that it's shorter and funnier. Persona fans will love the game and they know what they're getting into which is losing 4 weeks of your life to one game. If you value pacing like I do, I am Setsuna is a much better game.
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Tuesday, October 04, 2016
You can watch A Bride for Rip van Winkle as a movie or a dorama. They are both the same. I'd recommend watching it as a dorama because like all Iwai Shunji movies, it is slow as. Its still beautiful enough so that I didn't skip any scenes but it was a frustrating movie to watch because introduces interesting elements to the story such as the Noriko's Dinner Table like fake family substory but doesn't take them far enough. The most interesting character in the show is Ayano Gou's Amuro. I so wanted him to take centre stage in the movie but Iwai kept pushing him to the side and we got way too much Cocco.
Rip van Winkle is a movie where it takes a long time for the real story to be revealed but the journey should be a lot more fun. I kind of get in my head what Iwai Shunji wants to convey but this movie just lacks that playfulness to make it memorable. I was happiest watching this movie when two faces I know showed up for a cameo near the end. I can't say any more without spoiling the whole thing.
Iwai Shunji fans will probably eat this up. For me it was a movie that looked good but didn't entertain me. Meh.