I am thankful to the gods of curry for bringing a second Go Go Curry location to Akiba, far more conveniently located to all the action. Maybe now I can actually manage to sit down next to a friend when I go there for lunch?!
Archive for November, 2008
It’s been a while since I’ve been in the states – I think I’m doing this right
Oh my, this is going to get quite a line. Day 2, West hall あ-43 a+b
If you don’t know what Touhou M-1 GP is, it’s Touhou manzai sketches. I think some people on the internet translated some of them if you’re into that kind of thing.
My busy schedule of sleeping/possibly studying/marathoning Tales of Vesperia doesn’t leave me much time to do much other nerdy things, so I have a queue of three or five visual novels I’ve been meaning to play someday. It looks like I’ll have to stick another one on now, maybe after FSN (if kransom ever finds me a copy of that), because Shikkoku no Sharnoth has the greatest character list ever:
- Goth Heterochromia Agatha Christie – the main character
- Baron Münchhausen
- Bram Stoker
- Winston Churchill
- Sherlock Holmes
- Charlotte Brontë
- Genderswap August Derleth
- Josef Čapek
I went through a scene or two in the trial and the narration is doing its best to pretend to be Nasu, with everyone repeating everything six times for effect. I stopped after they spent half an hour of reading time drinking tea, but I’m sure optional gameplay and HP Lovecraft event CG await. No, not like that.
edit: i can’t spell
So you’ve finally saved up and made your pilgrimage to Japan, and figured you’d go to Kyoto so that you’d at least have something about “culture” to talk to your friends and family at home about. After two straight days of visiting temples, cafes, and shrines, you start to realize that you need a break from all these old things. Well hoo boy, have I got a place for you!
Smack dab in the middle of Kyoto (about 1km west of city hall, North on Karasume and Oike) is the Kyoto International Manga Museum, some of the most fun you can have in Kyoto on just 500 yen, possibly excluding the pair of Idolm@ster machines in Teramachi. While it might be hard for some of you to think of the point of having an entire museum just about manga (to which my counter-argument would probably include something like this link), the place is full of things to do that anyone who is seriously interested in manga or cartooning would likely find interesting. There’s a huge number of manga (all pre-2005, I believe) available for you to read anywhere on the premises, including the huge lawn they have out in front, so if you want to treat it as a cheap manga cafe, then you are more than welcome to. The shelves are separated into shonen on the first floor, shojo on the second, and seinen on the third floor, but there are also machines you can use to figure out where what is. However, there’s also a good number of permanent and special exhibits on topics like manga history (check the giant case of 70s Shonen Jumps and kashibon behind a giant wall of glass!) and artist/series exhibits, like the Takemiya Keiko exhibit that just replaced the giant Anpanman exhibit. They’re into international cartooning as well, and they have a shelf of foreign-language manga near the entrance, as well as a special exhibit on French BDs, complete with Jiro Taniguchi appearance next week! There’s also a huge archive downstairs, but I believe you have to be a member of the research room on the third floor to get access to that stuff, so it doesn’t seem very economical to do if you’re only in the area for a short time. In terms of pictures of the place, this guy has (semi-legally!) posted a good number of them, though some of the exhibits aren’t around anymore. There’s also a fairly standard (food and drink-wise) Japanese cafe attached to the place that’ll give you 10% off with your ticket stub that has big portraits that famous manga-ka have done of their big-name characters, including a really stunning Joe done by Chiba Tetsuya.
Non-Japanese speakers might be a little confused by what to do at the place, since it’s full of those crazy runes, but there is a fair amount of English on the signs (some translated/checked by a native speaker!). Also, I’ve just recently started doing a small bit of volunteer work there, so if you happen to be thinking of going there on a Friday or Sunday afternoon, let me know (comment in the entry) and I can get a break from book preservation work to give you a tour! I bathe nearly daily, I promise! Free awesome guided tour or not, if you’re in the area, I really suggest you check the place out if you’re in any way interested in learning more about manga at an incredibly good price, which you really should be before you even consider calling yourself a true otaku!
Looks like this year’s Winter Comiket paper catalogue is coming out on Dec 6, and the CD-ROM version coming out as usual a week later on the 13th. Toranoana has already announced their purchase bonuses, which don’t require that you preorder to get but are limited in quantity. Actually, they say this, but last time I was at Nippombashi I saw them selling limited edition c69 umbrellas for like 200 yen a piece. Anyway, Tora’s extra this time around is a B5-sized clutch bag with Hashimoto Takashi art for the paper catalogue, Eretto art for the cd catalogue (NYORO~N), or this dude who I’ve never heard of if you’re a girl. Messe Sanoh has announced their bonuses as well, and they’re doing an original Nanao Naru paper bag + postcard set for the paper catalogue for the galgers out there (click the outline of a bag for a better sample picture) and a Takanae Keirei set for all you, um, Ninomiya-kun fans out there. There’s no bonus at all other than 2400 yen of saved but dirty money if you get the catalogue via fileshare, so get buyin’!
I’m sure most of the readers of this blog have already been exposed to Akiba Days, the illustrated guide to Akiba featuring the cast of School Days. I didn’t pick it up at first since I figured that knowing about where stores are and which places are interesting was one of those things you could just do on the internet. I was humbled a few weeks later as I got embarrassingly lost trying to find an out of the way maid cafe and the guy I was with whipped out Akiba Days, flipped to the index and found the place in about 15 seconds. I ended up buying a copy later that day, though for full disclosure, half of the reason I bought it was so that I could hit 6000 Toranoana points so I could get some Touhou vinyl figures.
So anyway, Akiba Days is a fairly comprehensive index of all the various stores in Akiba. Each store entry has a short, generally 2-4 sentence entry describing the place, a sentence commenting on the place by someone from School Days, maybe a few pictures, and address/map/hours/phone#. The stores are broken down into 4 categories, Eat, Play, Relax, and Buy, and they’re each broken down into subsections (ie curry, ramen, maids; video games, karaoke, maids; net cafes, massage parlors, maids; pc parts, video games, maid outfits, respectively). There’s also a 15-page map section in the front with an index of all the stores in the back, which is really handy when you’re trying to find stores hidden in the basement of a back street alley software store. There’s also a few small articles and infoboxes spread out through the book, like where the cheapest net cafe to spend the night at is in Akiba (1080jpy for 6 hours!), where to park your car (hah), or good date courses (HAH), though the book gives fairly ridiculous advice on these date courses like “Cure Maid Cafe -> Cos-Cha -> Mailish”.
Of course there’s the issue of stores lasting for an average of like 18 months in Akiba, especially with the mass maid cafe extinction thats going on right now, so I’m hoping for periodical revisions, since this thing is honestly a great guide to have, even if you do fancy yourself as somewhat of an Akiba vet. However, the book has only been out for a little more than 3 months now, so I think it still has quite a bit of time left on its shelf life, and after that it’ll always be a nice reference to have to see what Akiba looked like in its early post-Kato days. I’m not sure if this is much of a must-buy if you’re a School Days fan, since the characters really do seem to be not a whole lot more than semi-bland window dressing, but I’m not terribly familiar with the game’s characters, so for all I know it’s chock full of hilarious School Days jokes. All I noticed was the part where Sekai seems a little too interested in Akiba’s various sword shops. :x Anyway, it’s pretty reasonably priced at a little over 1300 yen, subsidized I’m sure in part by the back cover Toranoana ad, so if you’re planning on doing Tokyo and Akiba this winter or even as late as next Summer, pick a copy up if you can do the Japanese thing and impress all your other gaijin friends with your newly-found encyclopedic knowledge of Akiba!
So yeah, all in all,
So basically forever ago, we got permission from the author of this clever webcomic, Morimura Yuji, to translate NERV COMIC STRIP, or as we have been calling it, Evanuts. After various delays that basically every fansub group run by college students runs into, it has finally been released. If you’re too lazy to click that first link, the comic is basically Evangelion but written like Charles Schultz’s Peanuts. While I don’t have the utterly encyclopedic knowledge of Eva scripts which is required to do the comic complete justice in terms of translation, I tried my hardest to find English analogues for various quoted lines, though I’m sure I missed a large number. Anyway, just thought it’d be nice to let you folks on the internet web-log-o-sphere know about more (semi-)legit translation projects out there.