October 14, 2013

October 12th Was the Best Day Ever

Japanese keychains with animated children characters and a cell phone

My Phone

Before I get into why October 12th was probably the best day in my entire life (ever), I am going to try and keep it cool and maybe talk about some other things I like about Japan first.  Honestly these next two weeks will be uneventful with midterms and what not, so I wont be doing anything interesting….

Anyways.  I always wanted to talk about this because it’s actually a hobby of my own: Keychains.  Keychains in Japan are such a strange thing.  I always found in America that if you have keychains (or phone charms) it would be really, really girl, right?  If anyone knows me, they know that my keys are CRAZY.  I have about 38 different keychains on my keys that have maybe….5 keys total.  My friends at Lafayette know exactly what I am talking about.  In Japan, you see everyone–Old ladies, men, high school boys, body builders, etc. have all sorts of cute keychains and phone accessories.  It’s pretty awesome!  I think my favorite was when I saw this old man on the subway, dressed head to toe in pink with a pink backpack and all these cute Hello Kitty keychains on his backpack.  I wish I took a picture but I felt it would be rude to just snap a picture of him.

Ansatsu Kyoushitsu billboard announcing 1 million copies in circulation

Ansatsu Kyoushitsu billboard announcing 1 million copies in circulation

Another fun thing for me here is looking out for billboards.  I live in the suburbs of New York so I don’t really see billboards too often.  I take the train when I go to Manhattan and even then the ads are scarce or just plain boring.  But in Japan, a lot of the animation and manga companies will put up billboards for just about everything.

I think my favorite place to watch the ads change is Takadanobaba station.  I think half of it is owned by Kodansha and the other half is Shueisha (with some Bushiroad mixed in) because on one side I’ve seen the billboards change from Shingeki no Kyoujin to Diamond no Ace and on the other side you see Shueisha advertising their new hit JUMP series (like Ansatsu Kyoushitsu).  I’ve also seen one ad bounce back and forth between Monster Hunter IV and Cardfight Vanguard.

Oh, and just a random note.  Pokémon X and Y came out here and the trains are now full of it.  It’s CRAZY.  Same with the upcoming Saint Seiya game.  For some reason companies will rent an entire train on the Yamanote Line and just run their own ads on the entire train.  I was lucky enough to catch the Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure train by accident a few weeks ago.  That train was full of manly Jojo spirit.

Marlene First and Onitsuka-san both given the "peace" sign

Me and Onitsuka-san


So onto why October 12th was probably the best day of my life ever.  I am going to start with the night before when I had made plans to meet Onitsuka-san at Kodaira station, the station where our two sides of the Seibu Shinjuku Line meet.  He was a little sick but he still showed up and we had coffee for an hour.  It’s really great hanging out with him because I have someone who I have to speak in Japanese to or else he doesn’t understand me at all.  Excuse me while I go into “fangirl/idiot” mode but as someone who is pretty anti-social, hanging out with him has been great so far!  It’s kind of funny because I sort of feel like the main character in a shoujo manga when I am with him. Especially when he tries to help me up the stairs, offering me his hand because it’s dangerous that I am wearing heels (and I am totally okay in heels and then he ends up tripping on a flat surface).  It’s really interesting hearing about his work as a seiyuu too.  This brings me to the second part of why this was the best day ever!

Marlene's view of the stage during the seiyuu event

My view from my seat at the event.

Over the summer, Tiger & Bunny producer, Ozaki Masayuki, invited me and my friend to a seiyuu event promoting the upcoming movie Gekijō-ban Tiger & Bunny -The Rising-.  A seiyuu event is a live event where the cast, as well as the producers, character designers, and sometimes a musical guest, put on a stage event in honor of an upcoming series, movie, or game.  It’s kind of like that Shingeki no Kyoujin event I went to but on a MUCH bigger scale…especially since this event was funded by Sunrise, the company that created Gundam.

So I meet up with my friend and we head to Chiba where we get our tickets and are greeted by the Producer.  He gave us hugs (surprising, I know) and we spoke briefly, and then my friend and I headed to our seats.   We were both like “We either have really good, or really bad seats.”  Our seats were AMAZING.  We had a good view of the stage and a screen in case we didn’t want to look down.  I got to see a ton of my favorite seiyuu live as well as a live performance from Unison Square Garden!  It was actually difficult to have “fan fun” once my friend and I realized we were seated with all of Sunrise’s industry people though.  But honestly, it was the best thing ever!  (here is a Link to an article I wrote on Anime News Network about the event).

Anyways, I am sill a student here obviously, so I am also really busy with school.  I am aware my blogs are mostly about what happens to me on the weekends because honestly nothing happens to me during the week.  A little side note though, I have noticed my spoken Japanese has gotten a lot better.  I can actually read and write just fine, but I get pretty nervous when I speak…But I have gotten over it mostly I think.  I am going to end this soon but I’d like to point out that I think it’s funny that it’s so easy to write over 1000 words for this blog and I have so much trouble doing it for my screening reports for my silent film class.

Anyways, if you are wondering how I am doing after my hospital visit last week, I am alright.  I spent most of the week with a fever, etc.  But I am doing better now and this weekend really made up for the bad ending to last weekend.  Monday was a Holiday and I have school tomorrow….so until next week~

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