Sunday, March 18, 2012

Japan Feb 2012 Part 10

In my final evening in Japan I witnessed what has to be the most vapid display of television.

Holy.  I just sat there with my mouth agape.  It's amazing in it's anti-entertainment.  Look at those lack of production values.  How often the camera is off doing an Eva budget thing while people talk.  How the whole show is these girls talking about nothing at all.  They build snowmen and then look at pictures of the snowmen then the episode ends.

Sambomaster - 絶望と欲望と男の子と女の子

My 100 yen nail clippers I'd been using for the past 4 years stopped working, so I had to replace them with new ones.  The new ones are not as good as my old ones   But they do have a floral design.  But this is about my final day in Tokyo!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Japan Feb 2012 Part 9

The best thing to do after flashing Microsoft Japan and having an injured knee?  Walking far too long around Tokyo.  Good job for me not doing something sensible like sit at an arcade for a few hours.

Space Harrier - Main Theme

But first I need to gain a horrible sinus headache from flash weather changes.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Japan Feb 2012 Part 8

Untold Anecdote:  While browsing The Broadway we stopped by the gallery.  The exhibition was cosplayers.  All of them were quite good an elaborate.  Between Yuri, Renfrew, U1, and myself we had a losing contest on who could identify the most.  The Japanese came out the winner, with Renfrew following, and I lost horribly.  Able to identify double the number of anyone else.  Go me.

Arrogant Sons of Bitches - So Let's Go! Nowhere!

Shibuya held a bright clear sky over my head.  I surprisingly didn't feel completely disgusting coming out of that love hotel.  I stopped by the Taito arcade opposite scramble crossing and found the delightful pikachu I'd be eyeing and trying to win this whole trip.  It even looked winnable.  Too bad Yuri and I had already sunk 1200 yen into the devil rat.

Guy didn't want to go to America.  Sorry my cousin's new baby.  We tried hard to win the adorable hate monster.  So instead I went and did some g-journ-ism.  Renfrew asked if I had played Border Break.  I said it was a gundam-counterstrike sort of thing.  I then told him I hadn't played it at all and only looked at it briefly.  I was called a horrible human being.  Now to correct that!

Border Break by SEGA for Arcades.  You're a giant robot that is more or less a person that jumps and dashes and shoots other giants robots that are more or less people.  The control scheme is an interesting fascinating combination of joystick and mouse bolted to the table.  The mouse is a little more mobile than the picture might imply, but you can't play it like you would a normal mouse.  It feels weird that it has no possible Z-axis movement, which happens more than you might realize.

My 200 yen gave me credits of time.  I played through the lengthy and too moronic tutorial (This is how you do X, watch X happen, now try and do X.)  I played a control points match against the computer which was probably a mistake.  There were 8 cabinets back to back and I'm sure the 3 dudes using the others would have liked company.  The computer ravaged me and my computer teammates.  They were merciless in making sure I died.  At the end I was getting spawnkilled.  I ran out of points before the match ran out of time which says a lot about the business model.

I have to give artificially high standards to Sega games.  This felt like a generic PC game.  It didn't have razor sharp controls I expect from Sega or arcade games.  The controls didn't feel as intuitive as they needed to be.  Switching weapons was particularly weird.  You had to hold a button and then move the mouse over to which weapon you wanted.  This is an team battle game.  Having a menu overtake the screen and then it being a strange menu to interact with is a good way to get killed.  I couldn't see why they had it like that.

Maybe I just needed to play a few more games, but the game didn't exactly make me want to play a few games.  Meanwhile Gundam Arcade whatever is by fierce and fast and even sucking at it is great.  I just wish the new PS3 release wasn't 100 dollars a copy.

 I hobbled up to the bookstore next door intent on buying the newest volume of Jojo, Jojo Lion.  I found a hell of a lot of Jojo, but not the one I wanted.  Jojo is a pretty great reason to learn Japanese.  It's one of the few things I've read in the language and immediately gone "translating this is fucking the point up."  Jojo-less I decided I'd actually try again for jeans in Harajuku, despite how difficult my knee would making trying on jeans.  First stop was LaForet to try and find a pair of Nudies I could love as my own.

2 weeks later, passing on them was the right play, probably.  I liked them but I didn't 16,800 yen like them.  That's a weirder fit the more I look at it.  Better move on.  MOVE ON.

I headed over to Oriental Bazaar the place to get your Japan Japan Japan souvenirs. I did a circle with the elevators and limping and picked up some gifts for my neighbors.  I would forget to try Kiddie Land next door for MonHun goods.  Oh well.  I went and had Lotteria for lunch.  I hoped to dine on their Tandoori Chicken Sandwich.  They no longer had it.  I settled on a burger from a korean fast food chain in Japan copying American fast food chains for burgers and fries.  An old man much like the one playing the DBZ game up there seemed upset that I was in there.

I looked like a tourist with my overstuffed backpacked (souvenirs).  I felt like a tourist.  I wished I had styled my hair.  My leg didn't like walking around all day and it was only 11:30.  I appreciated that they only gave me a small fries and I that I only ate half of them and didn't feel like I wasted money.  I got up and kept moving.

Bomb the Music Industry - Campaign for a Better Weekend

Look at that modern HRJK.  Family mart on the bottom, expensive clothing store on the second floor.  We got an old man examining the only ricer I saw the whole trip (Mitsubishi Lancer.)  I was pretty dissappointed outside of that weird ass car I didn't see any other ricers in rural mountainous Saitama.  By the way if there's a better term than ricers for "sopped up Japanese cars for illegal racing" please tell me.

I started to hobble towards Omotesando station.  I limped up the walkway to get to the other side of the street.  As I was going down the other side I heard footsteps running and then sort of stop right behind me.  I looked behind me and saw a guy just stopped in front of me.  I was continuing to go down the steps one at a time.  He still just sort of stood right behind me.  I skirted to the otherside of the three person wide staircase and he ran past me.  I asked him, "What the fuck is your problem?"  He timidly looked back and kept moving.

I passed through even more stairs and ramps to get to Omotesando station.  I don't know why going there was at all a good idea with my leg.  I got on the train that rushed me up to Suehirocho.  I decided to make one more pass at Akiba.  I was looking for a combination of things I have been looking for on this trip.  I was looking for the first Jojo Bizarre's Adventure game for the PS2.  Hobbling up and down Akiba I didn't find it.  I also checked a store I had known for years as a great place for shooters and somewhat rarer stuff.  I discovered it was actually a Trader.  It also no longer had a lot of shooters and rarer stuff.  I picked up the amazing Eschatos for a friend at a different Trader.

My limp was making me feel more and more like a sleeze.  The backpack was making me feel like a tourist. It was time to hit Don Quioxte and check out the absolute headquarters of everything AKB48, also to hopefully and successfully buy the JoJo phonestrap I had seen in the DQKWSK.  I even took a break to play Deathsmiles IIX.  On the escalator up three schoolgirls approached the AKB merchandise store and screamed like...well.   That's all I needed.  I headed back down.  Outside there was a line of about 200 people there to maybe see one of the two daily AKB shows.  Do you know those things are sold out far in advance?

Everything about me made me feel to sleazy to try and get a better picture of the line.  So settle for the back of the end of it so you can't see how long it is.  I'd say 80% of it was dudes and 20% of it was high school students.  Why do HS students wear their uniforms on their days off?  School was out that week as far as I knew.  Yes they were actual students (I think?)

It was approaching 3pm so I caught the train to Shinagawa planning on coming back to Akiba without my bookbag so I could play some arcade games.  That didn't happen.  From here on Yuri and I would be staying at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel.  I wanted something kind of fancy and with an amazing view to send off the last time I would see Tokyo for a while.

It turns out I had to pay 100 yen if I wanted to use the lobby computer for 10 minutes.  Also that my view was mostly of other buildings and the Microsoft Japan headquarters.  So I took a shower to refresh, and dried myself in full view of that illustrious corporation.  Life goals you didn't have until 30 seconds before you perform them.

NEXT TIME: That evening, the next day and to the airport maybe!? To Part 9!

Japn Feb 2012 Part 7

Persona 4 Never More Reincarnation - Heartbeat Heartbreak

I woke up with my spine being corrected from sleeping on a futon.  It felt good.  Trying to stand up to check the weather I found out my leg -surprise- was still screwed up.  I hobbled over and opened the blinds.  I sat down and enjoyed the dark mountain morning filled with fog and rain.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Japan Feb 2012 Part 6

Live A Live - Warm A Live - Live Over Again  

I originally made these into parts because I thought I could cover multiple days in one entry.  That hasn't happened yet!
Man that package looks attractive.  Tell me you wouldn't have gone in.

The result.  I ended up keeping only 4 of these games.  Which 4 would you keep?  Which 4 do you think I kept?  Stay tuned to the end of this entry for the non-exciting answer.  Until then it's time to hike a mountain.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Japan Feb 2012 Part 5

The Blue Hearts - Mayonaka no Telephone

A story from the previous day I had forgotten to mention.  While at a green crosswalk I started to cross but a white van turned and just about ran me over.  A policeman chased them down on foot.  It was a two part crosswalk passing over a highway so I got a front row view of the policeman giving the guy a ticket and frequent pointing at me to show, "Hey you nearly killed this guy."

This is by far the most photo heavy entry so far.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Japan Feb 2012 Part 4

The Flickers - White Heat

That day the girl had to go to work so I was left to my own devices.  My original plan was to go to Ushigome-kagurazaka.  I'd had her randomly point at a station on the metro line and that's what it landed on.  I never got around to checking it out, but there's a lot to do in a week in Tokyo.  Like walk all the way to Kawasaki.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Japan Feb 2012 Part 3

Hopefully I can write these a little faster.

the kimonos - No Modern Animal

  We got off the train at Shinjuku hoping to find a love hotel we had previously stayed at and been pretty happy with.  The problem is we didn't know exactly where it was.  I had a relatively good idea of where it was in Kabukicho, but having played so much of the Ryu Ga Gotoku series, my internal map of the real Kabukicho and the fictional Kamurocho kept getting mixed up.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Japan Feb 2012 Part 2

Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Like a Shotgun

After waking up we checked out of the hotel we had planned to enjoy the nice day and walk down to Ueno, all of one station away.  It was windy as hell and my Texas body wasn't adapted to such piercing hurricanes.  So we caught the train and waited inside the gates for my SBro to arrive.

I'm still stupidly proud of how that image turned out. I should maybe actually watch 48 Hours for the first time in celebration.  The title almost proved true too ho ho!