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12 October 2010 @ 00:04
 
China searches for the Yeren, a kind of Chinese Yeti

X Japan's Yoshiki, Stan Lee to Create Comic Series

Getting around China's censorship laws to talk about Liu Xiaobo -- and how to pronounce his name




I watched the first episode of Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls... there are certainly some good things about the series. The animation is smooth, with non-distracting stylised backgrounds and the character designs are superb. The setting is also pretty exciting - as far as I can tell, Japan (and Germany?) won the war and so Japan has continued into the present with its pre-War glamour and culture, with the addition of the latest technology, like digital cameras and scanning equipment hidden in glasses. The main character is attending a special academy run by the Tokugawa shogunate.

These details are presented jingoistically -- and elite academies that are only open to certain sections of the populace (in this case, those in the warrior castes) make me shake my head. Also, since it's an ecchi series, there is also way too much time devoted to the size of characters' breasts. There are inkblots popping up all over the place to hide various naked body parts and even just randomly during action sequences -- I didn't mind, because it gave it an overall sense of style, but I'm sure other people will end up screaming at the screen going, "WTF!? WHYYY!?"

Probably my biggest annoyance is that the one man in the series is better than all the other samurai girls. They're clumsy and dumb and need him to rescue them. A man should never be the star of the show in a pseudo-hentai series!




Day 15 - Weirdest food item you've seen, and weirdest food item you've actually eaten.

These are pretty much the same thing -- if I see something weird (and it's not too expensive or unhealthy), I'll probably try it.

Many months ago, I went to an izakaya with Lindsay and she ordered a salad. Salads in Japan are a little different from the ones in the UK -- mainly because they aren't necessarily thought of as the 'healthy' or 'vegetarian' option. In short, you can find pretty much anything in a Japanese salad. In this case, it was cornflakes. I had to try it and it tasted just as you might expect lettuce and cornflakes to taste. I've also tried shiokara (squid entrails?), just because everyone was telling me how bad it was and offered it to me. Wasn't too bad, but I'd never try it again.

On the flipside, I've never bought strawberry sandwiches (they're more common than ham and cheese here!) and I've seen gouya ice-cream and walked on by, mainly because I wasn't in the mood. The shop closed before I could go again. For what it's worth, I'd love to go to Namja Town, but I don't have anyone to go with.

The one thing I'd probably actively avoid is the live sushi.

The Japan 30-day Meme:

Day 01 - A picture of you "in Japan". (doing or wearing something "Japanese")
Day 02 - Describe your neighborhood in Japan.
Day 03 - Most interesting person you've met.
Day 04 - What's your favorite place that's not in any of the guidebooks/lists of places to visit?
Day 05 - Which, if any, Japanese mannerisms or expressions have you adopted?
Day 06 - Food that you swore you would never eat but now love (or tolerate).
Day 07 - Which Japanese words do you use in English? (hanami, shinkansen, etc.)
Day 08 - Are you a Herbivore or Carnivore? S or M?
Day 09 - Favorite stores/shopping centers.
Day 10 - Something about Japan that sets it apart from anywhere else.
Day 11 - What did you find most overrated and underrated about Japan?
Day 12 - Describe a fail!gaijin moment, where you did something wrong or completely misunderstood because you couldn't ~read the air~ or just plain had no idea what you were supposed to do because you weren't born and raised here. Describe a gaijin!smash moment, where your foreignness was to your benefit.
Day 13 - CHANGED: What's your favourite live event you've attended in Japan?
Day 14 - What is the hardest thing about living in Japan versus your home country?
Day 15 - Weirdest food item you've seen, and weirdest food item you've actually eaten.

Day 16 - How you realised you'd acclimated to Japan. (if you have)
Day 17 - Your karaoke top 5, your sushi top 5, your conbini top 5.
Day 18 - Post some amusing/cute/faily purikura.
Day 19 - Your favorite Japanese character(s) and Gachapon/UFO Catcher toys
Day 20 - Favorite Japanese festival or folklore.
Day 21 - Favorite and least favorite Japanese fashion trends.
Day 22 - Your favorite Japanese saying or kotowaza (proverb).
Day 23 - What is something you have/do in Japan that you wish you had/could do in your home country?
Day 24 - Your favorite Japanese slang or borrow-word (外来語), e.g. セフレ "sex friend"
Day 25 - Most interesting vending machine find.
Day 26 - What's your favorite/least favorite train line.
Day 27 - Place you avoid going to if at all possible.
Day 28 - A picture of you looking like a weaboo/A picture of you trying to blend in and failing.
Day 29 - What's the thing you [will] miss most about Japan when you leave (either on vacation, or move away)?
Day 30 - Did Japan meet your expectations, both good and bad? What has been the most surprising thing about Japan for you, or the thing you least expected?
 
 
 
ext_254817 on 11th October 2010 11:45 (UTC)
Time misspent watching Taiwanese pop idol dramas (and Chinese PoT) is also very useful in arriving at a correct pronounciation of Liu Xiaobo, it turns out!
Williamgenkischuldich on 12th October 2010 08:43 (UTC)
I had a vague idea about the consonants because I researched Chinese names and pinyin for a piece of fiction.
golden_bastetgolden_bastet on 11th October 2010 20:15 (UTC)
gouya ice-cream

...I'm afraid to ask. :^o

And I saw a variation of the live sushi in Korea, although I don't know Korean (and was mostly alone) so trying it wasn't an option for 80% of the trip.
Williamgenkischuldich on 12th October 2010 08:58 (UTC)
Probably exactly what it sounds like. I kind of wished I tried it -- still, there are supposed to be many more strange combinations at Namja Town.

Would you have tried it if you were able?
golden_bastetgolden_bastet on 12th October 2010 23:08 (UTC)
You know,... I'm really not sure.

I might've been able to work up to it with the right crowd. Because it would be cruel (and that would bother me), but nature is nothing if not cruel at times.
Linstarrbeam on 11th October 2010 21:30 (UTC)
yea!!! corn flake salada!! XD
Williamgenkischuldich on 12th October 2010 09:20 (UTC)
It's funny that it would be the first thing I thought of, really.