Japan Jumble: Journey Through the Decade
ON THE ROAD...dare mo wa tabi no tochuu. Okay, bad Kamen Rider jokes aside, the Japan Jumble is back and it wants blood...and mochi.
So I've been sick and busy with the holidays, thus haven't been focusing my love and attention on this column the way I normally do. However, now instead of putting things on Flickr, I am free to upload to my own FTP space with impunity.
In any case, for the first column of the New Year, what better thing to cover than New Year's Day? In Japan, New Year's is like bigger than Jesus. Really. While Christmas is slowly gaining traction beyond just a couples' holiday and excuse to eat KFC, the real focal point is in staying up late and watching the ball drop. Add a comment
Spaceship Battleship Yamato Warps Into Third Dimension
In yet another reminder that I have to use my pre-bought tickets for the Space Battleship Yamato Rebirth anime, a trailer of the live-action debut of the franchise has come out.
Fan anticipation has been cautiously optimistic. Japan does have a robust entertainment industry and a reputation in Asia for flashy, expensive movies, but not so much for serious sci-fi in the vein of Star Trek. Let's not forget the mixed reactions to previous live-action adaptations like 2004's Casshern and Cutie Honey.
Further complicating matters is the decision to cast boyband heartthrob Takuya Kimura in the starring role. While having a big name like Kimura is a guarantee that the movie will make money, can his hairspray-drenched hands take on the manly stoicism that defines the series? Add a comment
Japan Jumble: Things That Shouldn't Be: Jumbo-sized
Because not everything is microsized....
After a year and change here, you get used to seeing things. People in yukata on trains? Quirky but whatever, what with the grabs at fading national pride and the like. Girls with quarter-inch hemlines in the dead of winter? Daily routine.
A jumbo-sized version of Tetris with massive controllers?
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Japan Jumble: The Great Game Center in the Sky
After a brief haitus, Japan Jumble is back. Hooray. Last time, we introduced you to the Tokyo Tower. Normally this would include countless pictures of the Tokyo Skyline followed by gushing paragraphs about the beauty and magnificence of the city. We're Japan Jumble though and we don't buy any of that crap.
Tokyo is an overrated crowded mess. While astoundingly clean for a metropolis of its magnitude, it is just a depressing place to go alone and seeing that skyline from up high does little to challenge the perception. Plus, again, not a single magical warrior fight in sight.
However, what often goes neglected is that there is much more to the Tower besides a mere up-high view of grey buildings. After what kind of tourist trap would this place be if it didn't have all sorts of random crap stuffed inside?
Onto the Jumble: Add a comment
Japan Jumble: Towering Over All
The Tokyo Tower. Surprisingly, there were no psychics dueling for the fate for the world or magical princesses here.
Ah yes, the Tokyo Tower. In essence a jumbo-sized knock-off of the Eiffel Tower, it transmits TV and radio signals to all of Tokyo for the major TV networks: Fuji TV, TBS and the ubiquitous NHK.
What is most interesting about the Tower is not just it's height, but how ignored it is by Tokyo residents. Namely, my girlfriend (who may or may not pop up in some photos here) has lived in Tokyo her entire life and before these photos were taken has not once been inside. Considering how prominent the Tower is in both the skyline and Japan's pop culture, it's a little surprising. Add a comment
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