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19 November 2005 @ 20:05
 
Cheer up, K. It's not like you traded half the month's grocery bill for a ticket to see Midorikawa Hikaru-san live.

...

Oh. Well, shit.

^_^

The plane flight was better than expected. I watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, switching randomly from English to Japanese dub. Johnny Depp is much better, actually. ^^ I also watched Densha Otoko (Train Man), of which I've heard lots of positive reviews. It's quite good if you don't think about it too much and the subtitles are particularly helpful for navigating the GRAMMAR HELL that is 2ch. :P The subtitles weren't always great though and I would honestly think it a Hong Kong sub if it weren't for the fact that it was presumably an official release. What you shouldn't think about too much is the 'otaku' culture where women are something to be scared of, worshipped and feared. And yet it's difficult not to feel upbeat when Densha-kun is encouraged by all his net friends to go back and try again.

Anyway, the flight was fine, but the first night there was not. We headed for somewhere to eat and just picked the first thing there. We sat down and the waitress gestured to a huge machine by the door. We were so jetlagged that we'd missed this very obvious point. James went up to it and pushed the wrong kanji button (which I noticed after he'd done so) which meant the first lot of ten-don was actually a takeout order. He started again, ordering two for eating in. We took the tickets to the counter, ignoring the first one. A short while later, the waitress asked us how many we wanted, since presumably they had a printout of orders elsewhere. I just... didn't understand anything, could not form a single sentence, and I'm pretty sure she was laughing at us. It was incredibly depressing, since it required the question as to whether I could deal with this every single day for the next year and the answer then was 'no'.

The next day, our luggage was delivered. I said 'thank you' to the delivery man and he responded politely. Very simple Japanese, but it made me feel a little better. We had to get to the alien registration building next and I asked the women at the counter in the station how to get to the station. You can't always rely on maps in the train station, since different lines are run by different companies and they only display the lines they run. She wrote it down for me in kana and didn't treat me like an idiot, which felt like a first. I felt a little better, although by now it's probably obvious that my happiness is pathetically tied to how well I'm understood. *sigh* We struggled to find the place for alien registration, which is surprising located in an unmarked building with signs pointing the way entirely in kanji. Although, on this particular day we started off on the wrong route and didn't even get the signs. It turns out James was quite happy to wander all over the place and get us lost because it was 'interesting'. The specific office is marked only 'registration', with all the real information in kanji. You can see how this country spawned a manga with the concept of a bureaucracy in the after-life...

In the evening, I joined a karaoke-kan! I sang Velvet Underworld, which made me stupidly happy. Also Chichi wo Moge, which rather embarrassed kuroe.

Next day, we realised we had only receipts for our registration, not actual certificates, so we went back. It was a lot easier finding the building this time around, especially since we took the route with the signs. After that, we went into Tokyo!

First we went into Akihabara, hoping to find an alarm clock. Akihabara is famed for its high-tech games and electrical goods. We'd given up when we saw a stand of regular battery-operated alarms. After sushi, we went to Jinbouchou, also known as the the musical instrument district. James got some role-playing goods and I found the latest edition of Zero Sum. At Suidoubashi, we also found the official JUMP shop, so I bought a copy of weekly Shounen Jump, although there were many tempting things.

Next Ikebukuro, where I went to Animate.

Oh dear.

The first time I went there, there were no Loveless character goods. The second and third, maybe a couple of things. Now, Loveless gets almost half a shelf, most of it utterly useless. I got two wristbands and a mobile phone thingy, although I haven't actually got a mobile yet. I plan to sign up for Vodafone at orientation.

James and I had also planned to get a statue to decorate our flat. We chose Advent Children Sephiroth! ^-^ Next to it, in the display case, I saw the most amazing thing ever! Shinra business card case! I went up to the desk, asked for it by name, no gesturing required. I was so happy! It seemed like a completely successful trip!

Until I got to the event floor. ^_~

In big letters, a PAPA TO KISS IN THE DARK seiyuu event was announced!! With Midorikawa Hikaru-san!! On Sunday!! All you had to do was to buy the (insanely expensive) second DVD! I looked at it and walked away, then walked back, then away again, then borrowed James' notebook to write down the details. Then I walked away and then steeled myself up to try and talk to someone. I... was completely successful. It was so, so, SO nerve-wracking and I wrote my katakana very shakily. I thought I wouldn't be able to go at first, since they wanted either my regular phone or keitai number, neither of which I possess. This state of being is very difficult for people to understand in Japan. But I persisted, checked out the right details and I think I'm going to a BL seiyuu event in Harajuku tomorrow! There's a preview showing, a talk show and a mini-live with Midorikawa Hikaru-san, Chiba Susumu-san, Terashima Takuma-san, 'SHUN' and 'it's'.

My whole body was shaking when I got out of that Animate!

Today, we explored the town a little more and did some more karaoke. We've also had lots of people knocking on our door asking if we want to buy this and that, which is really common here. I handle them really well and they're surprisingly polite to us. :) I'm feeling a lot more positive about the whole experience since the first night -- very happy indeed, in fact!

(Sorry I haven't replied to everyone, I've got two minutes left online!)
 
 
 
sardiussardius on 19th November 2005 11:56 (UTC)
It's very exciting and also I can imagine how stressful it is for you at the same time! All the best for the rest of your trip, and have a great time. I'm so proud you're taking the initiative to speak to someone. :)))) It may be scary at first, but very rewarding when you know they understand what you're saying! :P

I'm going to be staying at Ikebukuro during Christmas. ^___^ Take care. Hope to hear from you again. *hugs*
Williamgenkischuldich on 21st November 2005 13:07 (UTC)
Taking the initiative to speak to someone...? Well, I just told my new favourite seiyuu he was really cute (he was flattered)! Does that count? :P

You are!? Great! We'll have to meet up! How does karaoke sound?
h_whungry_worm on 21st November 2005 18:46 (UTC)
I totally missed this post before.
Man, I'm so happy you were able to do this. And to successfully fight yourself through to getting the DVD - of course you had to be successful, you had a good motivation! XD

And you even sang Karaoke, I'm envious! I could probably not muster the nerves to do that. ^^;; But Velvet Underworld is a great song, I really like it. Hope there's more happiness for you to come, enjoy the exciting things and please share with us boring at-home-stayers. ^_~ *huggles*

I wonder, did the PAPA TO KISS IN THE DARK seiyuu event take place because it's still ongoing, or just because of a DVD release? I really have no clue how things run in the BL world, I just notice that sometimes new dramas come out, or novels, but I rarely know what is old or TBC.

I thought about posting the link to your other entry to hikarus_bar, seeing that you already crossposted to seiyuu... I hope you don't mind, but feel free to tell me if you do have objections. ^_^
Williamgenkischuldich on 22nd November 2005 12:56 (UTC)
It'll be quite strange watching the DVD again and remembering all of that! :)

You don't need any courage to do karaoke. It's not like Western-style karaoke when you stand up in front of strangers; you have your own room and are among friends. Come over here and I'll show you! :)

The PapaKiss event presumably took place as an incentive/reward for buying the DVD, but it isn't yet released just yet.

And sure, go ahead and post! I don't mind. :)