Japan Trip 2017 – Day 7

The seventh day of my Japan Trip 2017, Tokyo DisneySea adventures!

If you haven’t read Day 1 & 2 of my Japan Trip 2017 blog series, please do so before reading this post for context and continuity’s sake. Day 3Day 4 and Day 5 & 6 are also available to read.


So time for a Disney park, eh? Correct, specifically Tokyo DisneySea. If you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s basically a massive theme park that’s themed to various coastal/sea-faring regions around the world at various historical points in time. It’s less Disney branded than Disneyland (which we’ll be visiting in the Day 8 post) but its still remarkably beautiful and interesting. If you’re still confused, don’t worry it’ll all make sense soon enough.

So how’d you get there? Our hotel was just a train station away, however the hotel also provided us with a courtesy bus which was even better than the train, because it basically pulled up right outside the front gates! And it meant we got to see all the horrendous driving of people trying to get to work in Tokyo! Seriously, I don’t know why anyone drives in Tokyo considering how amazing their train system is… but I digress!

Big Earth globe outside DisneySea, representative of how ~global~ this particular parks aesthetics are.
And just a couple of nerds posing in front of the globe.

Okay, so tell me about the day then? What did you do? We walked around, rode rides, etcetera. The thing about DisneySea is that it’s a lot of waiting in cues for rides, so the time spent outside is all the more special. Hence why pretty much all of the photos in this collection are either of food of some variety or scenic shots of the park’s theming. Nobody wants to see photos of spending 80 minutes in a queue for ‘Journey To The Centre of the Earth’ only to get to the front of the queue and then have an announcement (all in Japanese) that the ride has temporarily broken down! And we’re sent on our merry way with only a Ride Pass to show for it!

Boat!
‘Journey To The Centre Of The Earth’ is an awesome ride located in and around that volcano!

Wait. That really happened?! Yes, and it’s very disappointing, it’s happened to us every time we’ve visited a Disney part in Japan (so four times on four seperate occasions). Thankfully you’re given a ‘Ride Pass’ for your troubles which basically means you get to jump into the ‘Fast Pass’ queue for any ride. It still (usually) means a 10-20 minute wait for a ride but it beats sitting in another queue for an hour plus!

There’s an American district of the park that is ~probably~ my favourite part of the park, if only because it’s about as close to America as I want to ever get. Sorry Americans, your country terrifies me.
No single photo can capture the majesty that is ‘The Tower of Tower’!

So what about this food, huh? We’ve gone 6 photos and no food, that’s unheard of for one of these posts! Disney food… it’s… well in any other country it’d be fine–but considering how amazing ~normal~ Japanese food is, well, it doesn’t really compare. It tastes rushed and artificial, even worse than fast food, but it at least makes up for it in being gimmicky and “interesting”. What follows is all the food we ate at Tokyo DisneySea (minus snacks).

It’s that tiger from that movie I haven’t watched, and his tail is a steamed bun filled with meat. It was ok. Accompanied with fried dough balls and ice cream, also ok.
Some weird rolled chicken thing which was actually the tastiest thing at either park despite being a mess to eat. With a beer with a frozen head, that was literally the gimmick of that beer it had a ‘frozen’ head.
Sneaky early afternoon beer. It was pretty average, even with the ‘frozen head’.
Queen of Hearts steamed bun, filled with some sort of meat. Yes this photo is intentionally sexually suggestive, yes it was totally her idea.

Seems like a lot of Disney food is phallic? No? Oh, we’ve only scratched the surface my friend, just wait til the Day 8 Disneyland post!

Oh dear… so what happened the rest of the day? More rides, more queues. If you want a quick rundown on what rides are worth riding and how long you should wait for them here is my (incomplete) list:

Raging Spirits, great roller coaster, worth waiting up to an hour for.
Tower of Terror, drop ride, phenomenal atmosphere, one of my favourites, I’d wait 2 hours to ride it if need be.
Journey to the Centre of the Earth, unique, fast, thrilling and immaculately detailed in theming. 90 minute wait or less is worth it.
Indiana Jones Adventure, it’s fun but it’s not the most noteworthy experience in the park. 45 minutes is all I’d ever wait for this one.
Nemo and Friends SeaRider, it’s new so it’s crazy busy, but the hype isn’t worth the time spent queuing, don’t spend more than 30 minutes in the queue if you can.
Aquatopia is a really cool and fun family ride, I’d happily wait 15 minutes to ride but every time I visited it was a walk-on.
Toy Story Mania… I’ve visited Tokyo DisneySea twice now and both times I’ve missed out on this ride, either because the queue is 2+ hours long or it’s closed. One day I will experience it!

The venetian gondolas were also closed. For whatever reason.
Yes, this park has recreated Venice, too!

Anything else to add? DisneySea by night is an absolute must! The park just looks unbelievably gorgeous in every conceivable way by night. Yes, it was so cold me and Sharon (theirlwaifu) spent literally ~hours~ trying to find a hoodie to buy that was not only in my size but something I’d feel comfortable wearing in public. But, it’s worth it because, well, these photos might not capture it properly but the park is amazing looking after dark!

Classic, ‘trying to get the moon to photograph nicely in a photo’ pic.
The Tower of Terror is foreboding by night!
Also this thing.
The Arabian Coast was especially evocative by night.

And is that the end? That is indeed the end of our DisneySea escapades! But stay tuned because in our next part we’re going to the ‘Happiest Place On EarthTM’, Disneyland! And I promise not to be at all jaded about the place, lol!


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Japan Trip 2017 – Day 5 and 6

The fifth and sixth day of my Japan Trip 2017, I hope my parents never read this

If you haven’t read Day 1 & 2 of my Japan Trip 2017 blog series, please do so before reading this post for context and continuity’s sake. Day 3 and Day 4 are also available to read.

Also, some of this post contains very NSFW imagery and descriptions.


Two days in one post, huh? Sometimes the days spent travelling between destinations don’t offer much in the way of content. Also it rained a lot these days so outdoor activites were limited–least that’s my lazy-ass’s excuse!

So what’s first then for Day 5? Breakfast as Japan’s favourite fake French place ‘Vie De France’, I don’t remember what these particular ‘noms’ were, but I’m sure they were adequate… probably?!

I remember that double decker sandwich thing up front was decent AF.

Uh-huh, anything else? Yes, this was lunch! Again, not sure what it was or where it was from… haha these posts are deteriorating fast, but I promise I pick up my game again soon!

Pork thing maybe?

Tch. Did you do anything other than food this day? You’re going to regret saying that, things are about to get super uncomfortable and personal in here! Don’t say I didn’t warn you! That goes for you too readers, things are about to get very NSFW for the next two pictures and 5 paragraphs. If you want to skip this section, click here to jump past the NSFW stuff.

Uh-oh, what have I walked into? So I was in an adult store in Akihabara, and I saw an onahole I wanted… for those of you who don’t know what an ‘onahole’ is, well its a masturbatory aid, sort of like a fleshlight (if you don’t know what that is–then, well I don’t know what else to say). It’s a Rem and Ram (from Re:Zero) double onahole, one side is meant to be a mould of Rem’s vagina the other side Ram’s.

Cross-section view from the back of the box, apparently they aren’t identical after all…

No comment. Continue. Anyway, at this stage I felt like I should get something for Sharon, the irlwaifu, since she was elsewhere (probably resting in the hotel) so I was looking through a random assortment of dojinishi (that’s fan-made porn if you haven’t heard of the term) and I found one of Levi from Attack on Titan, “perfect!” I thought, “she loves Levi!” But then my painfully obnoxious heterosexual insecurities began kicking in… “what if the clerk thinks I’m gay?” I thought… as if it even mattered I can say in hindsight, like I’d ever see this person again in my life… but I am ashamed to say I was concerned enough about a stranger’s opinions of my sexuality.

So what’d you do? I did what any sane and rational person would do in the situation, I bought a pair of “panties with younger sister’s smell” to balance it all out.

All 3 items in question.

Okay, you’re going to have to explain what the hell that is before I call the police! Calm down, it’s considered a joke gift (even though it’s totally not), and the “smell” in question is artificially created, the Akihabara police cracked down on selling real used panties like 10 years ago so this is 100% ethical, no little sister’s were exploited in the making of this product.

That aside, how exactly does adding that to the proverbial shopping basket balance things out? Couldn’t you have just bought a heterosexual doujin to “balance it out” as you say? Hindsight’s a funny thing, in the moment it seemed like the smart play plus I thought it was way too unique a thing to pass up buying. But yeah, looking back I think adding that to the purchase only made me seem more problematic than I intended.

END NSFW

You are one weird individual. Is that all from that particular shop can we move on to ~normal~ holiday photographs? Dinner was yakitori (skewers of various meets and veg) accompanied with large drinks. It was very delicious.

There’s probably some Freudian thought process considering what I purchased that day and choosing ‘skewered meats’ for dinner.

Oh good another food post. And then after that Day 6? Yes, Day 6 had us moving on from Akihabara and on to Maihama, where we stayed at the very swanky (and yet surprisingly affordable) 4-star hotel The Oriental Bay Maihama. The hotel’s lobby had a gorgeous atrium that actually held a wedding on one of the day’s we were there. It was also Halloween so there were some decorations up for that. Being that it was just a single train-stop from Tokyo Disneyland the place was a lot more ~family~ oriented than expected so that was certainly a change from Akihabara’s antics!

Yay for blurry photo :/
2spooky4me

Oh, so I take it Disneyland photos are coming soon? We arrived at the hotel after 2pm, so DisneySea and Disneyland are planned for the next two days. (We stayed in Maihama for 3 nights) However we did go pay a visit to Ikspiari which is kind of a fanciful looking shopping complex just outside the theme park.

Average weather made for average photography, that’s my excuse at least!

It looked very pretty at night.

What, no food pictures? Apparently not, and if there’s no food pictures from a particular day it usually means we slummed it and had something safe and Western–a mistake I intend not to make on my trip next year! Although there was one food item that warranted a picture just because of how amazing it was, from the convenience store in the hotel (yes this hotel had a Lawson’s convenience store inside the building!) I found an ice-cream that ranks among my favourite of all time, not just for taste but ease of eating too! It’s basically a wafer brick, with ice-cream inside. Amazing. Why don’t we have anything like this in Australia?!

It may look basic on the outside…
But inside is a world of goodness!

And that’s how we’re ending this post on a picture of a convenience store ice-cream, huh? Just be thankful I didn’t end with something lewd! Stay tuned because it’s only Disney-style wholesomeness from here as Day 7 takes us to Tokyo DisneySea! Just kidding, we manage to find a way to be lewd at a Disney park too.


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Japan Trip 2017 – Day 4

The fourth day of my Japan Trip 2017, it’s all nice and (relatively) wholesome until the end

If you haven’t read Day 1 & 2 of my Japan Trip 2017 blog series, please do so before reading this post for context and continuity’s sake. Day 3 is also available to read.


So you mentioned something about a theme park for Day 4? Yes! One in the heart of Tokyo, in fact it’s so close to other buildings that one of it’s main attractions–a roller coaster, skirts along the rooftops of nearby skyscrapers! But I’m jumping ahead a bit, first off breakfast and a little bit of anime shop exploring.

What’s for breakfast? There’s a chain of casual breakfast/lunch style eateries/bakeries called ‘Vie De France’, very good quality and quite affordable if you’re looking for a break from Japanese food!

From left to right: Croque madame (first time having one, pretty good) fried chicken sandwich (delicious) and some weird salad that was pretty mediocre.
I continue my contemplation of ‘fine art’.

And then after that? We headed to ‘Tokyo Dome City Attractions’ just a 5ish minute train trip from Akihabara! I’ve probably not had the chance to mention it before but I love theme parks and amusement parks, I used to be ~obsessed~ with them, and while that obsessive streak has transferred wholly over to anime I still geek out over them whenever I’m at one!

The view approaching from the station.

So Mister Theme Park expert, how does it ranks among the theme parks you’ve visited? It’s unique in that it’s right in the middle of Tokyo, and it’s not a cramped place either it takes up a fair ol’ chunk of real estate which makes me wonder how they stay profitable. Especially as the day we were there was very quiet. Though I guess with Tokyo’s population plus tourist numbers it probably manages to scrape by. As for the park’s quality itself, it’s above average. With the exception of the roller coaster (which we’ll get to) the rides are pretty standard amusement park fare, drop rides, dark rides, swinging pirate ships, etc.

There’s also this log flume which is actually located inside amongst all the eating establishments and beside a shopping mall. It was pretty fun, but more of a novelty.

But that roller coaster though, that’s gotta be some experience, huh? Yes, that’s “Thunder Dolphin” a 130km/h beast of a roller coaster that not only travels across rooftops and through the side of a building, but also goes right through the middle of the world’s first hubless Ferris Wheel! It’s fast and intense but a smooth ride, even the irlwaifu who can sometimes feel the effects of these types of rides a lot harder than I did found it to be an enjoyable (if terrifying) experience!

I’m actually in this photo (the irlwaifu took it) I’m back right on the third carriage from the back with my arms up. Dude in front of me has his arms up too.

How many times did you ride it? Three times I think. Unlike the other rides in the park which were a less than 5 minute wait, the first time we queued took 40 minutes so clearly it’s a drawcard for the park. Though the subsequent times were less than 15 minutes each.

Was such a nice day for photos like this too!

And after that? Lunch of course! Amongst all the fast-food options and incredibly busy restaurants that were in the indoor food court area of the park we found a small and relatively quiet (no wait) place that served Sundubu. It’s a Korean dish I’d never even heard of but the risk paid off as it was delicious!

It was spicy and delicious! Mine was Pork and Mushroom Sundubu.

And after lunch? More rides! Though ones a bit more relaxed this time… The big Ferris Wheel, suggestively named “The Big O” had some incredible views of the city, just shame the glass on the windows were so dirty.

This was the best photo from the bunch I took on the wheel.

Before we got on the Ferris Wheel they take your photo, and of course we had no intention of buying it because I mean, what kind of rube buys theme park photos?! But when we got off the ride we noticed they’d already printed it, plus I really liked how my shirt looked in the photo…

Halloween-y stuff too!

Complimenting your own shirt, huh? How vain can you get… Hey! Out of all the anime shirts I wore while in Japan this ‘Froppy’ shirt got the most unsolicited nods and smiles from random people, I mean it’s probably the most well-known character on all of my shirts too so that probably was a reason too.

Enough about the shirt! What’d you do after that? After a couple more low-key rides we went for a walk to some places nearby, unfortunately Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens was near to closing time but the gardens outside the actual gardens were quite photogenic too!

I love photos of gardens next to skyscrapers.

And then let me guess, after that… dinner? Correct! There’s a ‘Carl’s Jr’ in Akihabara and seeing as we don’t have them in Melbourne we decided to give it a try and man, probably one of the best fast-food burgers I’ve ~ever~ had!

Hard to take a good looking photo of fast food…

Well this day seemed mostly without weirdness, congratulations on that I suppose! Hey, we ain’t done yet! While browsing Akihabara, on the ground floor of department store ‘Don Quixote’ we found what I like to refer to as a “waifu vending machine”! I don’t know why but all I knew was that I had to get me some bottled water with a cute anime girl on it! Enjoy the below video of the process! If anybody knows who this girl is, what she’s from or why I can buy water of her feel free to leave an enlightening comment! Otherwise this is just another Akihabara mystery.

Well I admit that’s pretty strange, but at least you didn’t do anything perverted! And then I went to the nearby convenience store to buy beer and porn. Thank you all for reading, I hope you enjoyed Day 4 of my Japan Trip–stay tuned for more soon!

I mean by now you’ve just gotta expect the worst from me, right?

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Kakuriyo -Bed & Breakfast For Spirits- – Full Season QandA Rundown

Kakuriyo -Bed & Breakfast For Spirits- – Full Season QandA Rundown

What’s the important information? Kakuriyo –Bed & Breakfast for Spirits- is a Spring 2018 supernatural romance anime that aired 26 episodes between April and September. It is based on a Light Novel series by Midori Yuma and has been adapted into a Josei manga series too.

What’s it about? Aoi Tsubaki is a lonely college student who has the ability to Ayakshi in the world, a trait she inherited from her now deceased grandfather. One day while walking past a shrine she meets an Ogre god named Odanna. After offering him some food she kidnaps her to the ‘Hidden Realm’, the spiritual home for all Ayakashi. There she learns her grandfather owed Odanna a great debt and in order to repay it she offered Aoi’s hand in marriage. But rather than succumb to his wishes Aoi negotiates with the Ogre god and decides to pay off the debt at Tenjin’ya an inn for Ayakashi.

Such handsome, much mystery, wow.

Why did you watch it? Every season I watch one or two shows that I have little-to-no interest in but that would be of interest to the irlwaifu—lots of hot Ayakashi boys vying for one woman’s attention—this was the one for Spring, other than that there was no other reason for me to watch it.

Did you enjoy the show? I reviewed about 6 episodes before deciding I couldn’t review it episodically but that’s not to speak of the show’s quality—just that I didn’t have anything to talk about! The show is pretty casual and light-hearted but at times it feels like too little actually happens in the show, it certainly didn’t need to be 26 episodes. As much as I complained about the ~creepy~ aspect of framing a love-story against kidnapping and arranged marriage, Aoi is a strong enough character that she’s never taken advantage of by the “good” characters.

Why is the only thing I can think of what kind of damage those nails would do “in the bedroom”…

What was your favourite episode? The episode that had the most emotional gravitas for me was the finale—Episode 26, with the revelation about the Umi-bouzo’s true nature being particularly touching.

What were your most favourite things about the show? Despite seeming at first glance to be as a show about hot boys and one girl amongst it, there’s actually a lot of other female characters and while Aoi’s interactions with these characters are never ~quite~ as deep as they are with the men they are still interesting character with differing levels of friendship (or rivalry) with Aoi.

You know it’s a show “for women” when the man in the scene has bigger and brighter eyes than the two girls.

What were your least favourite things about the show? Aside from the aforementioned pacing issues the animation can vary in quality at time, never to horrendous levels but it does come off as a little rushed sometimes. Also the stakes in any given episode never really feel all that high—even towards the finale it feels like nobody in the show is taking anything too serious.

Who was your favourite character? While it would be easy (and expected) of me to pick Aoi as I did praise her earlier on in this review she isn’t my favourite character. I’m tossing up between Ginji the white haired wolf-boy who’s just an all-round “good boy” and a lot more likable as a potential love-interest than Odanna. But my love of waifu’s is wanting me to pick the shy, dark-haired beauty of the bath-houses Shizuna, but because of how little screen-time she has I probably should just leave it as Ginji being favourite.

I like how Shizuna’s character design emphasises the fact she works all day in a hot springs, that’s the hair of someone who works in a wet and humid environment!

Thoughts on the OP (opening) and ED (ending) and the soundtrack in general? The first OP “Tomoshibi no Manimani” is a gorgeous and moving song and is actually sung by Aoi’s voice actress Nao Toyama, and when they announced a new song for the second cour I thought nothing could compare but rather than trying to replicate the emotional power and sweeping beauty of the first one they went for a straight up banger; “Utsushiyo no Yume” by Nano. As for the ED’s, well there’s way too many to go through them all as nearly every character gets a character song during the end credits but they’re all fairly decent.

Beast mode, activate!

What’s something unique about this show? This show has a large emphasis on food—which is nothing new for anime considering the Japanese people’s obsession with it, what is interesting is how it permeates every aspect of the narrative—at first seemingly like a hobby for Aoi (one she’s very skilled at mind you) but then becoming intrinsic to the overarching plot-line of the final arc of the anime. It doesn’t make the earlier episodes dedicated to it feel less ~slight~ of content but it does justify the existence of it throughout the story as being something other than just a hobby.

What other anime are most like it for the sake of comparison? I don’t have a great basis for comparison with this genre. However while I haven’t watched the show, I actually own Kamisama Kiss on blu-ray (it was cheap, so I bought it) and that show looks very much like Kakuriyo.

Ah, the classic love triangle.

Who would you recommend it to? There’s a certain demographic for this show and they’ve probably already watched this show—or at the very least have it on their watch list. That’s not to say people who aren’t a part of that demographic won’t find things to enjoy about the show like I did but the effect will be greatly lessened.

Sum up the season in one sentence: ‘Much like vanilla ice-cream its sweet but kind of ordinary, pleasant but nothing bold and more or less delivers the expected experience.’

Final score? 72 out of 100.

Just so damn mysterious and handsome…

Previous Kakuriyo -Bed & Breakfast For Spirits- Reviews:

Episode 1 Review
Episode 2 Review
Episode 3 Review
(No Review For Episode 4)
Episode 5 & 6 Review
Episode 7 Review
(Stopped Reviewing Weekly After Episode 7)


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Japan Trip 2017 – Day 3

The third day of my Japan Trip 2017, expect maid cafes and general silliness

If you haven’t read Day 1 & 2 of my Japan Trip 2017 blog series, please do so before reading this post for context and continuity’s sake.


Okay, so Day 3 of the Japan Trip 2017, still in Akihabara I presume? Indeed. And for once we actually had something resembling ‘plans’ as opposed to just wandering around. aimlessly. But we got up early so time for some aimless wandering!

Some scenic shots I see. So what about these “plans”? Well, we had booked a ‘Maid Tour’ of Akihabara which is basically just aimless wandering around but with someone who knows lots about Akiba showing you around and talking about history and stuff! Also with the added bonus of being with someone who spoke fluent Japanese and thus were able to go to places we might feel intimidated to go to otherwise.

I shudder to think where you of all people would be intimidated to go in Akihabara… Why a maid cafe of course! I’ll spend a little bit of time talking about this because it truly was a unique experience. So this was the ‘@home cafe’, among the more reputable of establishments in the area. The place was extremely busy with a queue outside the door (which thankfully we skipped because our tour-guide made a reservation ahead of time).

From left to right: the irlwaifu, a.k.a Sharon, me (+ Rem shirt), our serving maid from @home cafe, our delightful Akiba tour guide Emi and the only other person who was in our tour group, a lovely gentleman from China whose name I’ve sadly forgotten.

We were seated at a table near the back and handed menus which had all manner of cute items to eat and drink. Because we were on a fixed time schedule for our tour we opted for just a drink rather than a meal, after we ordered and received our drink the maid serving us asked what we’d like drawn on top. At the time my Japanese vocabulary was rather limited so I simply said “neko”.

This photo was taken 5 mins after it was drawn so sadly it sunk into the foam a bit by then. It was actually quite good before that!

Right. Anything else happen at the maid cafe? Only the most silly thing I’ve probably ever done in public! So after the drink the maid comes to us with a list of the maids that are working and ask us which one we want to have a photo with. Then one-by-one we are called to the stage (yes there was a stage at the front of the cafe) where we pick a cosplay item, then a pose to make and get a polaroid taken!

I went for the bunny ears because nobody else was going for the bunny ears + obligatory rabbit pose.

Wow, I’m surprised you shared that with us… that’s… uniquely embarrassing! I think the word your looking for is “kawaii!” Honestly the whole experience was surprisingly wholesome considering, not to mention just a lot of fun. I don’t know how much fun it would have been without our fluent Japanese tour guide, I mean you could probably muddle your way through it but it was just so easy with her. Anyway, afterwards we were given a souvenir booklet as well as the ‘License of Your Majesty’ which works as a loyalty card, yes they have a loyalty card which upgrades and gets better rewards the more times you visit. While we were there a patron was having an ‘upgrade ceremony’ where he was ranking up from ‘Platinum’ card to ‘Black’ card which we were told by our tour guide meant he had visited the place 2000(!) times! Talk about customer loyalty!

I still keep that card in my wallet even though it’ll likely never get used again.

I don’t even know what to say to that. All in all it was a truly unique and unforgettable experience made better and more ‘relaxed’ because of our tour guide, Emi. I doubt I’ll go back there though, I’m not into real life maid cafes anyway, I’ll stick to the 2D anime equivalent! Anyway after a couple of extra stops to places like Super Potato (a retro game store) and Kotobukiya (a figurine/merch store off the main strip) we had to bid farewell to our tour guide. All in all I’d recommend taking the tour, even if you’re pretty clued up on Akihabara, its history and its various hot spots it was just a pleasant and fun experience!

My face is too large for this selfie.

Okay, well glad you had fun! What happened after the tour? What do you think? More aimless wandering of course!

Oh and of course the obligatory photo in front of something lewd, because of course I did!

Nothing can keep me out!

Geez, what did your ‘irlwaifu’ think of you taking all these photos? Who do you think was the one with the camera?! Besides she had her own husbandos to pose beside…

Halloween Colonel Sanders ftw!

Well that’s… certainly something. Anything else you did on Day 3? Gachapon!

Gesunheit. No, gachapon, they’re capsule toy machines and they’re everywhere in Akiba! Here’s a picture of a whole bunch of them in the side alley beside the Toranoana building.

So many toys so little luck.

Right. So what kind of toys do these machines dispense? Oh you know just anime merch like keyrings and rubber stamps and mini figurines for various anime, also taps.

Huh? Yes, literal taps.

Your guess is as good as mine!

I, uhh… huh? Yeah that was pretty much my reaction too. I tried to buy one but it wasn’t working, guess taps are too hot for this site! But while we’re on the subject of gachapon machines we were exploring a shop of ill repute under the streets of Akiba when I found this particular dispensary. Yes, that’s right, it’s a panty vending machine!

Only 500 yen? Sign me up!

Good god, so the legends were true?! Well first of all let’s get one thing straight, this isn’t one of those “used panty” vending machines that circulates urban legend websites about Akiba, this was just a regular, wholesome gachapon machine underpants, brand new, never been worn, except in your imagination by the anime girl of your chosing… I mean I assume that’s what this is for? Women aren’t certainly going to underwear shopping from a gachapon machine are they?!

I was hoping for the striped ones…

This was weird, just sayin’… Don’t worry, next comes Day 4 and we’re going to a theme park! Nothing but wholesome family fun at a theme park!


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Japan Trip 2017 – Day 1 and 2

Hello everyone! So, in case it wasn’t abundantly clear by my sheer existence I love Japan–the country, it’s people, it’s food and especially the anime/otaku culture! In October and November of 2017 myself and the irlwaifu visited Japan for 21 days and ~roughly~ documented our travels through photography and daily instagram posts. Why is this important? Well because in February of 2019 we’ll be heading back to Japan for 21 days again and in anticipation of that upcoming trip I thought it’d be fun to share some travel stories and photos from the previous trip–sort of like a countdown to the next trip in blog form! I didn’t take ~nearly~ as many photos as I should have but that’s a lesson learned for next time! From here on out the rest of these posts will be styled in my QandA style, enjoy!


So uh, what’s all this then? Didn’t you read the blurb above?

Blurb? More like wall of text, give me the bullet points, man! Going on a trip to Japan in 2019, thought I’d share some pictures and anecdotes of my trip from 2017.

Oh great, so basically you’re subjecting me to a slide show of your travel photos… how exciting. Shut it!

Fine, so let’s get this over with, where do we begin? Well of course we begin how any trip begins, with a way too early alarm. (Actually that’s not strictly true, our flight for the 2019 trip leaves at Midnight so no early alarms for that one!) Why did I take a photo of my alarm time? Well because my usual daily wake-up time is around 10:00am so this was particularly painful!

An evil time of day to be sure!

And who did you fly with? Qantas, which was my first time flying with them in like 15 years, and they’re very good. All you can drink alcohol included in the price of an Economy seat? Win!

And the arrival? Yes, we arrived at Narita Airport quite late, some time after dark and because Narita Airport is like over an hour from Tokyo itself and we didn’t want to bother with that much extra travel that late at night we stayed in a hotel one train stop from the airport. It was the APA Hotel Keisei Narita Ekimae and for those of you who don’t know the APA Hotel Chain is basically a 3-star business hotel with small rooms with massive beds that take up almost the entire room. They’re always extremely well maintained and very new-looking and are a personal favourite for the price to quality ratio. Me and the irlwaifu got lost for about 15 minutes trying to find the hotel from the train station, something of a tradition apparently as the same thing happened on our first ever trip to Japan in 2015!

Let me guess, you were leading the way? Well, uh, yeah! Of course my male ego presumed to know the way from having glanced at a Google map once the night before!

Tsk tsk… Anyway, the hotel itself had a Lawson’s convenience store attached and for those who aren’t aware Japanese convenience store food is such high quality and so cheap too! Also, fair warning a lot of these posts will contain pictures of food because as mentioned in the prologue I ~adore~ Japanese cuisine.

Pork butadon (even though it’s not in a bowl so not technically a ‘don’) with a Calpis soda and Suntory whiskey nightcap. All purchased from Lawson’s for under 1300 yen (~$13USD)

So that was the first night in Japan, any jet lag? No, but Japan despite being a 10 hour flight from Australia is only an hour behind in timezones, so that’s a big win, never yet have I had to experience the dreaded ‘lag’. Anyway, next morning and here’s a picture of the view from the hotel, nothing terribly interesting but a room with a view is always better than none (we’ll get to that in a minute).

I sat for at least an hour just happily people watching, I think I was just blissed out by the fact I was in Japan.

So this is what you’re calling Day 2 now, yeah? From here onto the first destination I presume? Well, not before some obligatory Japanese TV weirdness.

I have no idea what was going on here and that made it even better!

Why do I have a feeling this won’t be the last time I see a picture of something weird you saw on TV… Heh… So afterwards we headed to Tokyo, having to change trains at Ueno which–again–thanks to my flawless directions and map-reading skills got us lost for a minute or 30, but we did at least have some fine food at an eatery near the station! (I promise next time to actually take notes of the names of these places for those interested).

It was my first ever Unadon (eel rice bowl), it was ~pretty~ good but eel isn’t my preferred meat.

So after Ueno you headed to…? Why, only the greatest place on Earth… Akihabara! I didn’t take any daytime photos on this day but don’t worry there’s some nice night time photos, also we stayed in Akihabara for 8 days! So you’ll see plenty of daytime pictures in later blogs. Anyway, the hotel–the Akihabara Washington Hotel was kinda disappointing and it wasn’t so much the room but the view–or lack thereof. I wish I’d taken a photo but basically we had an interior facing room which meant our view was of a dimly lit emergency escape staircase and a dripping pipe… Anyway after a brief rest we ventured into some Akiba anime stores and so began a trend of me posing in front of “inappropriate” wall art.

But is it art?

I was wondering how long and til you posted something lewd and anime, not long as it turns out! Oh trust me, it only gets worse (better!) from here!

I shudder at the thought… so next I presume is dinner? Correct! We found a hot pot place on the seventh floor of one of these anime buildings, if I remember correctly the irlwaifu found a cheap K-On! Nendoroid figure in a second-hand store on the fifth floor. Anyway, I’d say this was the only ~awkward~ dining experience we had at least in relation to the language barrier. We ordered easy enough by pointing at the menu, and the food was delicious, but little did we know that the particular set-menu we ordered required multiple steps that required one of us summoning the waiter to do additional steps (basically to add rice to the hot pot liquid after the ‘main’ course to turn the “soup” into “risotto”) and so we waited for over an hour presuming they’d get to use eventually and they never did. So we just awkwardly paid and left.

So delicious though. Not pictured, heaps of equally delicious appetisers that came with the ‘set’.

Ah, the old ‘language barrier’ issues. Indeed, thankfully they were limited this trip! So on our way back to the hotel, walking down the main street of Akihabara we came across a woman advertising an owl cafe, with a real life owl accompanying! It was very cute, but, well, not to be too much of a wet blanket but I’m not really a fan of animal cafes that use ‘undomesticated’ species’ as the attractions. Cat Cafe? Fine, they probably don’t care anyway. But owls? Well that’s open to debate.

owlcafestreet.jpg
She was very nice even and the owl was pretty chill all things considered.

Anything else before we wrap up your second day in Japan? Just this beautiful shot of Akihabara by night. Man, I love this city so much.

Akihabara by night, what else needs to be said?

Very nice. So, uh… do the pictures and things you do get more interesting from here, because, well no offense but this was a bit… low-key? “Low-key” is a nice way of saying dull and yeah, fair enough. And yes, things get more interesting from here on out! We wanted to ease into the trip and that’s exactly what we did!

Stay tuned for Day 3 of Japan Trip 2017 where we participate in a guided trip around Akiba with a maid as our tour guide, we find halloween Colonel Sanders, I buy panties from a machine and we visit a genuine maid cafe!


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Isekai Izakaya: Japanese Food From Another World – Full Season QandA Rundown

A Full Season QandA Rundown of Isekai Izakaya: Japanese Food From Another World

This blog is something of a test to see if this ‘Full Season QandA Rundown’-style post is a better approach for the end-of-season reviews. Please leave your feedback in the comments on this more structured approach.


What’s the important information? ‘Isekai Izakaya: Japanese Food From Another World’ is a Spring 2018 anime that aired for 24 episodes from April through September. It’s based on a Light Novel series by Natsuya Semikawa called ‘Isekai Izakaya “Nobu”’ and was also adapted into an ongoing manga series of the same name.

What’s it about? The series is about a traditional Japanese ‘Izakaya’ (that’s a pub that serves high-quality food) called ‘Nobu’ whose front door opens to ‘another world’. In this particular instance it opens to the pre-industrial Germanic inspired world of ‘Aitheria’. The series begins more or less as a showcase for animated food porn, but over the course of the 24 episodes introduces more characters and further develops the relationship between its staff and its patrons.

Is that a euphemism? (Spoiler alert, it’s not, this show is wholesome).

Why did you watch it? The series’ premise was initially familiar to that of ‘Restaurant To Another World’—a series I adored and was keen for more of the same. Though aside from the aspect of people eating unfamiliar food from our world (specifically Japanese food) and the fact that it’s got a magic front door—the similarities stop there. Every 15 minute episode spends 10 minutes with the ‘plot’ of the episode and 5 minutes with a live-action segment, which alternate between a cooking/recipe segment in the odd numbered episodes and a travel-style segment involving visiting different Japanese eating establishments in the even numbered episodes. My thoughts on Episode 1 & 2 specifically can be found here.

Be prepared for a lot of dorky dad jokes from this guy as he eats his way ’round Japan!

Did you enjoy the show? The first two episodes suffered from some technical teething problems—the screen was so inundated with text it was almost impossible to read at times—thankfully Episode 3 onward resolved these issues. The show is light entertainment and occasionally comedic with smatterings of character and world building throughout, and yes I did enjoy the show even if it wasn’t a substantial experience it still delivered a reliable good time every episode.

Thankfully this overload on subtitles is only for the first two episodes.

What was your favourite episode? It’s hard to pick because individual moments of greatness a scattered across quite a few episodes, Episode 7 “The Burglar” introduces the adorable homeless girl Olivia who ends up working as a dishwasher at ‘Nobu’, Episode 19 “The Female Merc” touches on some interesting gender issues in this other world. But for the episode that felt the most different and therefore most interesting it’d be Episode 12 “Beauty and the Abura-age” which has the only scene of the whole series that doesn’t takes place either in Aitheria or the Izakaya and also introduces a bit of Japanese mysticism which was kind of touching.

Drama! (That lasts about 30 seconds)

What were your most favourite things about the show? It may seem obvious to say the food, but the attention to detail on the food was incredible. Also the slowly growing connections between the patrons and the staff at Nobu was endearing.

Wbat were your least favourite things about the show? The show can feel very repetitive at times, which sometimes felt comforting and other times felt annoying. The episodes were released two at a time every fortnight and that absolutely worked in its favour as it gave enough time to miss the show but not too little of the show to feel like you weren’t leaving satisfied. I can’t imagine binge watching this show as I imagine it would grow tiresome quickly except for the most patient of viewers.

Anyone else hungry?

Who was your favourite character? While Nobuyuki, the owner and head chef of ‘Nobu’ serves as strong grounding figure there’s no denying that Shinobu, the head waitress is the undoubted highlight—not only my favourite characters but one of my favourite Waifu’s of the Spring 2018 anime season!

And best of all, at 23 years old, she’s a legal waifu too!

What’s something unique about this show? While the live-action segments were indeed a surprise, similar things have been done with other shows and so I’d hazard to say it was unique. The fact that these live-action segments were actually interesting however is probably something unique in of itself. Personally though the most unique thing about the show was the fact it was in part sponsored by the Japanese Tourism board which seems both inspired and odd; “inspired” because food is such a big thing about Japan that why not showcase it in an anime but “odd” because the show showcases nothing of actual Japan the place.

I picked up some good recipes from these segments!

What other anime are most like it for the sake of comparison? As mentioned before ‘Restaurant To Another World’ shares some DNA with this show but rather than being a sibling series it’s more like an estranged cousin. Tonally the show is reminiscent of the café set scenes in ‘Is The Order A Rabbit?’ just with less CGDCT shenanigans. It’s also at least passingly similar to ‘Today’s Menu For The Emiya Family’—though I’ve only seen a couple of episodes of that show so bare that in mind.

Pretty fancy for pub food! But that’s Japan for you!

Who would you recommend it to? Anybody who enjoys good food and watching people and eat and get happy about good food, and that kind of endearing food-culture that Japan has should enjoy this show. It’s certainly not a remarkable or life-changing anime but it does fill me with a warm familiarity and nostalgia that’s wholesome and appreciated. If you’re looking for plot or drama or heavy character development you won’t find it here, but if you’re looking for casual entertainment with personality and food porn you can’t go astray.

Protect little Eva-chan!

Sum up the season in one sentence: ‘Like your favourite comfort food, it might not seem anything special on the surface but it makes you feel good all the same’.

Final score? 74 out of 100.


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Men Love Their Cockpits – A 20 Question Review of Space Battleship Tiramisu

Men Love Their Cockpits – A 20 Question Review of Space Battleship Tiramisu

What’s the show? Space Battleship Tiramisu (2018).

And what’s it about? I don’t know if you know this about me but I’m a bit of a clean freak. But only about some things, and only once I’ve noticed that they’re untidy… but once I do notice you bet I’m going to obsess about it until I’m able to clean it or put it back the way it’s supposed to be!

Uh… okay, what’s that got to do with this show? Everything! Space Battleship Tiramisu is about one man’s unending efforts to keep his cockpit clean—it’s his sanctuary, his home—and if anything gets in the way of his ~ideal~ he loses his damn mind!

Right. And who is this obsessive man? Subaru Ichinose, a top mech pilot who on more than one occasion strips down to his birthday suit in pursuit of zen in his cockpit.

Don’t piss him off!

Wait, why is he naked?! I think the more important question is, why aren’t we all naked…

No but seriously. Well in the first episode it’s because his shirt was on inside out and back-to-front and it was causing him such distress that he ripped the clothes from his body so as not to feel like he was suffocating!

Okay then… sounds like Subaru has some issues…I wouldn’t go that far, I find his unique brand of obsessiveness and reactionary behaviour kind of relatable. Like in the final episode of the first season where he’s applying a clear protective cover to his brand new helmet and is trying his hardest to get it on the curved surface perfectly only to lose his shit when he gets distracted and ends up with three air bubbles under the protective coating! I feel his pain!

Wait, isn’t this a series about mech’s in space? It’s a series with mech’s set in space but no this show’s just about Subaru dealing with everyday struggles—some relatable, some completely and utterly ludicrous like when he starts having a conversation with a rogue pubic-hair that’s floating ‘round his cockpit.

And what language did you expect it to speak? Pubeish?

That sounds… kinda stupid. Some of it is, yeah. And some of it’s pretty clever, it’s pretty much a lucky dip of what kind of comedy you’re going to get on any given episode—but since the episodes are only ten minutes each it never feels like you’re wasting your time by watching a ‘lesser’ episode.

And are there many “lesser” episodes? I’d say it’s about 70/30 in favour of ‘good and funny’ episodes, though even the least of the lesser ones still manage a chuckle or two.

Is there any plot to speak of? Not so much as plot as there is character development, either to do with his estranged brother who shows up round the midway point—and who turns out is just as ‘obsessive’ about things as Subaru. Also I know this’ll be controversial because a few fellow reviewers were annoyed by this but I loved the fact that the show ~almost~ had a semblance of a serious plot going on in the middle episodes only for it to be thrown away for the sake of a bunch of silly jokes. I wouldn’t expect anything less from this show!

The eyepatch is just for looks.

And what about the other characters? There’s the other inhabitants of the Tiramisu like the brash and appropriately named ‘Vulgar’, the buxom beauty ‘Ligier’, matronly and interfering ‘Shigeruko’ and of course the evil robot who tries to frame Subaru for stealing it’s wallet only for Subaru to switch the robot’s settings from ‘evil’ to ‘motorbike’ and then mount its head in his cockpit to act as a sort of GPS navigation system.

…What? You heard me…

Not to disparage this clearly perfectly sane anime, but it does kind of seem like its approach to comedy is a bit “throw everything at it and see what sticks.”Absolutely—and while that’s invariably going to turn off a lot of people I was fine with it. Though I’m not going to pretend like it’s some sort of comedic masterpiece, there’s a few key things they could have tweaked to make it better.

Oh yeah, mister smarty writer guy? Like what? In my opinion the best episodes were the first episode and the thirteenth episode (season finale). They were much more focused on the minutiae of everyday life and the stress that can be caused by seemingly insignificant things going wrong—and the comedy that results for the viewer. If they’d focused solely on that style of comedy we could have had the anime equivalent of Seinfeld in space!

There’s always a line when you’re busting for the toilet!

‘A show about nothing—in space’? Pretty much!

But now? Nada. (editors note: that’s a deep cut Seinfeld reference right there!)

Wait a minute… you don’t have an editor! Shhh~

So is there anything else you wanted to talk about regarding this show? For a short anime it sure does have a great OP and ED song! Both were under a minute so they were ineligible for my Top 10 list’s for the season but they both were worthy of a sport, very catchy songs and both of them sung by the voice actor for Subaru! “BREAK THROUGH!”

Surprisingly not a scene from a yaoi anime.

Right, so final score and recommendation for Space Battleship Tiramisu? The best thing to do when approaching this show is don’t expect anything because week-to-week the comedy can be so varied both in quality and quantity—that aside the short run-time at least makes it so that even the weakest episode passes before you have the time to dwell on it too much. Subaru makes for an endearing, charismatic and appropriately bonkers lead character and not only does the season end on a interesting cliff-hanger, a second season is scheduled for Fall 2018 so the wait won’t even be that long! By no means perfect, but still perfectly good fun; 75 out of 100.


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Food Wars! The Third Plate Episode 24 – Anime QandA Review

An Anime QandA review for Food Wars! The Third Plate Episode 24

What’s the show? Food Wars! The Third Plate, Episode 24.

The season finale of Food Wars, yeah? You made a few predictions about what this episode might contain, were you correct in any of them? Well, as it turns out… all of them! I’m not going to be smug about it though, they were fairly safe predictions.

Let’s see last review you predicted that the episode would be entirely the battle between Soma and Nene. Yup, that happened. Though I felt like the episode was intentionally drawn out so that it was neatly just that rather than half-start a new battle. That’s not to say the episode didn’t have other things happening—but more in a ‘wrapping things up/looking back montage’ kind of way—rather than starting anything new. There’s even an end credit montage of every time Erina got flustered by Soma in some way or another!

*blush*

So is that a negative against the episode? I mean if you were viewing this show as a whole, some time from now once it’s all completed an episode like this would feel padded and even repetitive—when shown against what’s come before. But as a season finale, I still really liked it!

I get the reference!

You also predicted that Nene would lose to Soma to teach her to be less rigid about her cooking style? Okay, I guess I was ~mostly~ correct with that one, while she does learn a lesson it’s less about being rigid in her cooking style and more about learning to adapt to a cooking venue. Soma won the soba battle against her because he was cooking for a cold climate and a cold cooking/serving venue; therefore the aromatics of her noodles were more muted, whereas Soma—by stir-frying his noodles bought the aromas to the forefront! Practiced and perfected methods versus clever cooking and adaptability in any environment, that’s the difference and that’s why he won.

Nene can glower at me any day.

And it wouldn’t be an episode of Food Wars without talking about fan-service, right? I’m surprised you brought it up! You’re always so ~aghast~ at the mere mention of oppai.

Well I’ve got a role to fulfil here too… Well since you asked, it’s pretty good, but on the whole I feel like it’s been a bit lacking this season in general—with the exception of the blonde twins from a few episodes ago. Wait should we be talking about this or saving this for a season long review?

Don’t underestimate the power of a good noodle.

That depends if you’re even doing one for this show? I guess there’s no need, I’ve already said on several occasions that I sometimes find it difficult to talk about the show because I end up just endlessly complementing it so I might as well give my full season thoughts here.

Let’s not be that negative. Also, that face… my god.

Right, so what did you think of Season 3 of Food Wars? The first cour (half) of Season 3, which aired in the Fall 2017 anime season was an exceptionally strong experience, perhaps the best the show had been! The second cour, was a bit more of an uneven experience—though finished well with some much needed character development, fleshing out of backstories through flashbacks and a return to form with regard to the Shokugeki format. Hopefully next season (whenever it may appear) will have more of an added focus on relationships—of a romantic kind—because I just can’t help shipping Soma and Erina and neither can the show if that ending credit montage was anything to go by!

I’ll give you some love Rindo-sempai!

Previous Food Wars! Reviews:

Season 1 Review
Season 3, Episode 13 Review
Season 3, Episode 14 & 15 Review
Season 3, Episode 16 & 17 Review
Season 3, Episode 18-22 Review
Season 3, Episode 23 Review


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