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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PERSONA 5 the Animation – Full Season QandA Rundown

PERSONA 5 the Animation – Full Season QandA Rundown

What’s the important information? Persona 5: The Animation is a Spring 2018 anime that aired 26 episodes between April and September. It is based on the Persona 5 video game released by Atlus.

What’s it about? Ren Amamiya is a high school student, who, after being in the wrong place at the wrong time ends up on probation. He moves to Shibuya to start a new life under the roof of a family friend but soon finds himself caught up in something bigger and more important than he could possibly imagine. He has unlocked the supernatural power of ‘Personas’ and with it the ability to change the hearts of wrong-doers, with the help of his new friends they become the ‘Phantom Thieves of Hearts’ a group of vigilantes intent on saving innocents from those who abuse power. But things aren’t ever just that simple…

Where are your eyes looking…

Why did you watch it? I played the Persona 5 game so naturally I’m going to see how much the stuff it up, uh, err, I mean faithfully adapt it for television…

Did you enjoy the show? For the most part, yes I did. It simultaneously made me fondly remember the best parts of the game (the story and the character development) while glossing over the infuriating parts of it (the back-tracking, the repetitive battles) while also wonder why it so faithfully adapted things that could have easily been cut for the sake of a more streamlined experience. Ultimately though it’s interesting and entertaining even for someone who’s played the game so that’s got to be a recommendation of sorts!

Ren’s pretty cool for a video game protagonist.

What was your favourite episode? With so many episodes and none of them specifically distinct the whole series kind of blends together into an amorphous blob but the most faithful episode (at least as far as I’m concerned) was the first beach episode (Episode 18) where Futaba starts coming out of her proverbial shell so I’ll pick that one!

Futaba’s expression is me whenever I see people outside having fun.

What were your most favourite things about the show? Despite the fact that I played the game with English dubs but watched the show with original Japanese voices I still think they perfectly captured the essence of every character (with the exception perhaps being Ryuji who I still prefer in English). Also, unlike Persona 4 the Animation this series feels less like a video game adaptation and more its own thing—which for newcomers is a very important thing.

Don’t mess with these heroes!

What were your least favourite things about the show? This show tries too hard to squeeze every little thing that was even ~vaguely~ significant about the game into the show which adds to the narrative bloat and ends up with a lot of pointless asides that while ostensibly ‘fan-service’ for players of the game fall flat for everyone else. Characters like Hifumi Togo the Shogi player and Chihaya Mifune the psychic are introduced and ~vaguely~ returned to, but never in the same substantial way that they are in the game so their inclusion feels like pointless padding in a show already stuffed to bursting.

Who was your favourite character? In the game it was Futaba, she was best girl—but without the adaptation of her romantic plot line the connection feels lost. The character who came across the best in this adaptation was surprisingly Sojiro, the surrogate father figure to our protagonist and all around good guy—bet you didn’t expect me to pick an old dude over a waifu!

Sojiro’s about as deep as side-characters come, so much backstory and complexity.

Thoughts on the OP (opening) and ED (ending) and the soundtrack in general? Not to keep referencing the game too much but its soundtrack was a definite highlight and thankfully most of it remains for the adaptation, the various OP’s and ED’s are all sung by Lyn as they were in the game but in serving as OP’s and ED’s they draw ~more~ attention to themselves and thus highlight the quality of the soundtrack overall.

What’s something unique about this show? It seems weird to say but the fact that we got 26 episodes of a video game adaptation and we’re still not done with the completed adaptation! Yes, that’s right, a ‘special’ episode will air in late 2018 to wrap up the story proper! Maybe this isn’t especially unique but it kind of felt like it for me!

Makoto is great too!

What other anime are most like it for the sake of comparison? It should go without saying that it’s somewhat similar to Persona 4 but this show carries more style and panache than that show ever could muster. There have been plenty of shows throughout the years that focus on the struggle between oppressed and oppressor but none have felt more nascent and timely than Persona 5.

Who would you recommend it to? If you’ve played the game, then obviously this series comes recommended. Just don’t expect a 1:1 retelling of events nor anything that expands upon the universe. If you haven’t played the game the series is still worth watching for those interested in a compelling drama with interesting and charismatic characters.

Sum up the season in one sentence: ‘Social Justice Warriors; the anime!’

Final score? 83 out of 100.

Go team!

Previous PERSONA5 the Animation Reviews:

Episode 1 Review
Episode 2 Review
Episode 3 Review
Episode 4 Review
Episode 5 Review
(Stopped reviewing weekly after Episode 5)


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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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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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Tokyo Ghoul:re Episode 12 – Anime QandA Review

An Anime QandA review for Tokyo Ghoul:re Episode 12

What’s the show? Tokyo Ghoul:re, Episode 12.

Season finale? Season finale!

So what kind of epic scenes and dramatic moments does the finale hold? It should go without saying that if you’ve read this far in these reviews you must know they have spoilers, but all the same spoiler warning–we’re talking about character deaths!

Deaths? As in multiple? Yes, although most of the deaths are named but seldom scene characters but we do get a death in the main cast of characters!

You sound so excited? Meaningful character deaths are great dramatic material, meaningful character deaths that actually elicit an emotion reaction from me–even better!

RIP.

So who dies then? Everyone’s favourite blonde haired, sharp toothed CCG ghoul Shirazu gets a big piece ripped out of his side while taking down an SS-class rated ghoul and damn is it a well-paced, well-voice acted and altogether just plain beautifully sad scene… I’m not ashamed to admit that I shed a tear or two during it! And what’s more it’s not some neat and tidy heroic death, yes he dies taking out a massively threatening and dangerous ghoul but he dies with unfinished business with his terminally ill sister in need of an operation–but lacking the funs, he dies without getting to see ‘Mr. Sass’ again (Haisie) and he dies with genuine terror and regret in his heart. It’s very real and raw and gives an emotional core to an otherwise kind of silly episode.

No! Please don’t cry Saiko!

Oh? Does the episode have issues? A few–though nothing catastrophic or episode breaking. Early in the episode when  Like I found ‘The Owl’s’ “final form” kind of absurd looking to the point where it wasn’t even a bit intimidating. Like Eto–the girl inside ‘The Owl’–is far more scary in her human form! Also, I don’t usually like to comment on the animation quality but it’s quite a bit choppier here, like it’s missing some key-frames–seems like they could have benefited from taking a week hiatus to polish it up a bit.

Creepy AF.

Other than the death scene is there anything else good about the episode? Despite the uptake in action–specifically between Haisie and The Owl, it’s a very introspective episode–at least towards the start, which was something I really appreciated. The scene between Haisie and his younger self in his mind was very well done and led into arguably this episode’s most important development–the return of Ken Kaneki! Yup, that’s right our sweet little Haisie is now hard assed jerk Ken Kanieki!

Burn!

And that’s important? Probably. There’s still another season of this to come starting in October 2018 and now that a lot of things from this season are resolved and we’ll no doubt see the return of some briefly shown but important Season 1 characters–like Touka, Yomo and Chie Hori–who rescue Tsukiyama (The Gourmet) after he’s thrown off the family skyscraper by Ken.

Right. So how does this finale rank among the rest of the season? I’ll save my thoughts on the season as a whole for a proper 20 Question Review some time down the track, but my specific thoughts on this final episode are–it’s good, very good in fact. I think with a bit more time and polish this could have been even better but ultimately it serves as a satisfying conclusion to some things as well as a promise of even more interesting things to come in the future.

Harsh, but fair.

Previous Tokyo Ghoul:re Episodes:
Episode 1 Review
Episode 2 Review
Episode 3 Review
Episode 4 Review
Episode 5 Review
Episode 6 Review
Episode 7 Review
Episode 8 Review
Episode 9 Review
Episode 10 Review
Episode 11 Review


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Tokyo Ghoul:re Episode 11 – Anime QandA Review

An Anime QandA review for Tokyo Ghoul:re Episode 11

What’s the show? Tokyo Ghoul:re, Episode 11.

The last episode ended on a cliffhanger did it not? Indeed, The Gourmet was holed up in his father’s company’s skyscraper as the CCG approached with a more ‘scorched earth’ approach as opposed to ‘subdue and arrest’.

Ah… so safe to say there’s a lot of casualties as a result of this episode? I could be wrong—and I’ll probably be proven wrong next episode— but this episode appears to have the highest body count of any episode this season!

These fucking guys…

Anyone important? Probably… but there’s so many damn characters in this episode and I can’t remember most of their names and to be honest I can’t be bothered looking it up.

Wow. And you want to do this blogging thing professional, huh? Shush you. Besides, the only really meaningful ones are creepy sadistic fuck Kijima and creepy sadistic (and beautiful) fuck Hariu and while the latter I’m kind of sad to see die, the other one totally got what was coming to him!

I mean I wouldn’t mind poking a hole in her myself, just not the lethal kind…

Right and what about our main cast? What do they get up to this episode? Nobody is exempt from the carnage—that said none of Haisie’s team suffers any significant damage. Ginshi finally works up the courage to use The Nutcracker’s quique and Saiko gets a chance to shine!—except it’s all kind of presented in an underwhelming fashion and is very rushed, like the events of this episode feel more important and need way more time to breath than the brief 20~ish minutes allows.

Oh that sounds disappointing… so what about the central point of this arc Haisie and The Gourmet? It’s really really good… except…

Sick burn, bro.

Except what? It suffers from the same problems the rest of the episode does, its hurried and that in turn effects everything from the dialogue to the quality of the flashbacks and the action scenes. It could have been truly amazing but in this truncated format it’s just kind of a shadow of what could have been.

Kind of poetic.

That’s just an assumption though. You don’t actually know if it’s rushed—you haven’t read the manga after all. That’s true, but if I’m wrong I’d happily retract these statements but I really don’t think I am. The point of an anime adaptation is to animate a manga’s story and art, but things move so quickly here it’s like watching someone flip through the pages rather than meaningfully elaborate on the content.

This flashback was kinda amazing, more of this please!
I actually really loved this ‘flashback’, very stylish!

This reviews kinda negative, huh? You always seemed to defend this show but has it finally worn out it’s welcome? I wouldn’t go that far, I still really enjoy this show and it’s characters and the setting and this arc is really satisfying in a lot of different ways but the execution is significantly lacking—something that gets harder and harder to defend week-by-week.


Previous Tokyo Ghoul:re Episodes:
Episode 1 Review
Episode 2 Review
Episode 3 Review
Episode 4 Review
Episode 5 Review
Episode 6 Review
Episode 7 Review
Episode 8 Review
Episode 9 Review
Episode 10 Review


If you liked my post and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!

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Tokyo Ghoul:re Episode 10 – Anime QandA Review

An Anime QandA review for Tokyo Ghoul:re Episode 10

What’s the show? Tokyo Ghoul:re, Episode 10.

And how’s the show this week? Top quality entertainment with a minimal of confusion—which is always a plus!

So no ~new~ characters introduced then? Come now, this is Tokyo Ghoul:re we’re talking about! Of course they introduced a “new” character, by which I mean an awesomely creepy girl who is probably someone I should know but because this show has like a thousand characters and I’ve only seen the first season of course I don’t know who she is. But I’m glad whoever she is is here, her scene at the start of the episode would have been the highlight were this episode not packed to the brim with great scenes!

I’ve heard about ‘strangers with candy’ but loli’s with apples is a new one…

So what happened this episode? A lot, and seemingly a lot of important stuff too! To succinctly surmise it, Kanae wants to kill Haisie, Haisie and his team play dress-up as ‘masked’ ghouls, Haisie has more ~flashbacks~ about what he was like in his past life, The Gourmet struggles with his feelings for Haisie while Haisie presses him for information. The CCG authorises an attack on The Gourmet’s estate and are ruthless about it, while The Gourmet is saved by his father’s sacrifice and he retreats to a hideout.

Simple times…

Yeah… that is a lot of stuff. Indeed, and you’d think with so much going on it would feel confusing or rushed but I found it to be perfectly paced throughout. I got a sense of everything they wanted to say and there was even time for more contemplative character moments like with Ginshi reminiscing about his poor sister and her ‘medical condition’ and how that ties to his apprehension about using Nutcracker’s Quinque.

Hello stranger.

And what else? This episode also perfectly highlights the divide between the ruthless CCG—who if you’d not been paying attention you might mistake for the ‘good guys’—and the ghouls. But it’s abundantly clear here from the actions of some of them—especially the lunatic Kijima—that just being on the side of ‘the law’ doesn’t make a person in any way ‘good’ or ‘right’. This is Tokyo Ghoul firing on all cylinders; when it’s emotional and complicated and visceral.

“Visceral”? Poor ghoul girl gets chopped in half with a chainsaw by Kijima, that bastard! Also the episode is perfectly bookended by having the creepy bandage girl from the beginning doing a number on Kanae’s everything, she’s one twisted little girl…

Kawaii???

Yikes! So uh, a very good episode then, all things considered? Probably among the best Tokyo Ghoul:re episodes this season, though it goes without saying… still needs more Saiko!


Previous Tokyo Ghoul:re Episodes:
Episode 1 Review
Episode 2 Review
Episode 3 Review
Episode 4 Review
Episode 5 Review
Episode 6 Review
Episode 7 Review
Episode 8 Review


If you liked my post and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!

patreon

kofi2