On Wednesday, I went out with kurayamihimitsu who very kindly tried to show me to the Shibuya Animate. Let's just say the map on their website does not reflect reality at all. In the end, we managed to get there by going to a completely different station exit than suggested by the map.
If you want to preorder something at Animate, you just take a small card off the wall to the till. However, they didn't have one for the Velvet Under World single! I managed to preorder it anyway. Yeah, that was my sole reason for going.
After that we did some karaoke (and I was forcibly lent the first three Harry Potter books). I haven't sung in ages though and I was terrible.
Today I went to Kichijouji and bought some trousers and some boxers. The designs are crap though... I got three of one design just because that was the only decent one available.
kuroe and I rented some DVDs this week. We got a third of the latest Wrestlemania, the extended DVD of Lord of the Rings, Cutie Honey TV volume one, Ghost In The Shell: Innocence, Gintama volume two and Tennis no Oujisama: Futari no Samurai.
However, after watching the first Wrestlemania DVD (it had to go back the next day), we started to watch Cutie Honey and Lord of the Rings. Before we knew it, it was the day to return them! kuroe has ripped them though and I'm sure we'll watch them eventually.
Cutie Honey was interesting, although I thought the film was better since it got fairly repetitive after a while. Every week she encounters a new demon, changes outfits a lot and then kills it with her sword. The backgrounds are bizarrely dream-like and the fights pretty cool with her theme music playing in the background. I didn't know that in canon she's a Catholic schoolgirl whose teacher has a crush on her. Good to know!
I also finished reading another one of the books I "rescued" from my workplace.
"Along Came A Spider" is a book of mixed quality. kuroe asked me how it was about a third of the way in and I told him that the woman the main character was seeing either did it or was going to get killed. That's the level of the portrayal of female characters. Oh, the book TRIES more than most, talking about how she has to work harder than her male colleagues. What it does with her still reveals the basic sexism behind the plot. The most disturbing scene is when the main character waves goodbye to her as she's given the lethal injection while an epilogue reveals that the real murderer has an escape plan. Yes, she was part of the kidnapping plot, but you can't help but feel that her real crime to the intended reader was cheating on her man.
The book also tries a little too hard to keep the action going. For example, there's a scene where the main character is on the beach and the murderer leaps out to attack him... except he's just dreaming.
And, of course, I also finished the first Harry Potter (in English this time). Wow, the Japanese translation is RUBBISH! Anyway, I liked it a lot. I'd tell you whether I would read the second book based on this, but no one's giving me any choice in the matter! What I liked about it was that it glorified my experiences of school life rather than life in an American or Japanese school. The nearest I've seen up until now is Grange Hill(!). So, it's shamelessly British and I love it for that.
I was getting a bit tired of hearing about Dudley though. He's fat, he looks like a pig, he's fat, he's spoilt and did I mention fat? I think it was Hagrid that said that Harry didn't stand a chance with the Dursleys, but I think that may have been better said about Dudley. At least Harry's a glorious wizard that gets "saved" when he's eleven.
Oh, and the man at Diagon Alley who's obsessed with "wand" sizes. I'm not the only one snickering at that point, right? Right?
...Voldemort's is thirteen and a half inches.
One thing that bothered me was the disdain for the muggle world. I mean, anyone over eleven who's reading the book is going to be part of that world and it makes you feel just a little left out. With most media, you can imagine yourself fitting in somewhere. In Weiss Kreuz, if my life is bad enough, I could always join the team. In Tennis no Oujisama, all I have to do is play tennis. Harry Potter rules out participation, since you get one chance only at the age of ten-point-nine. I can certainly see why people would write Mary Sues.
My favourite line?
"Where's the can
I feel a mixture of idiocy and gleefulness at writing a spoiler post for the first book when everyone is talking very, very seriously about the final book.