There are a lot of differences between going to the movies in Japan and going in the United States. For starters, tickets cost a heck of a lot more, usually upwards of $20, and the seats are assigned. Many theaters also have deluxe seats that offer anything from increased leg room to full-on private suites. The theater near me even has a private waiting area for premium members where champagne and chocolate are served. It all combines to create a feeling that turns going to the movies into more of an event, much like going to a live stage show or a concert.
And just like a live event, in Japan, movies often get their own specially made programs.
And they’re dope. Continue reading
For the first seven or so months I was in Japan I really didn’t focus that much on buying video games. For the most part this was because I had a real shit TV with horrendous input lag, but I don’t know, I also had a general disinterest in playing games for a while. I think it went back to my depression/anxiety that I wrote about earlier. Whenever I feel down or out of it I make an active effort to get the hell out of my head and outside of my place.
But a return to a somewhat normal mental state + a new TV + HELLACIOUS SUMMER HEAT really made me dive back into gaming the past few months. I had bought a Retron 5, so that covered my basic needs. But with my Japanese skills more than severely limited, I soon found myself wanting to branch out into newer “retro” consoles.
This was around the time that I bought my Hanshin Tigers Gamecube, which also led me to make another decision; if I was going to buy any more old game consoles, I was only going to buy really weird/stupid/amazing variants.
Because any asshole can by a PS2 – it takes a special kind of person to buy a pink one.
Japan has this chain of second-hand stores called Book-Off. Like it’s name suggests, it started as a second-hand bookstore, but over the years its morphed into a general secondhand media store. At Book-Off you can buy DVDs, CDs, video games, and even VHS tapes and laserdiscs at some locations.
Book-Offs are dope, and have become my go to spots for finding the weird and unusual, usually at cut-rate prices. Thanks to my crate-digging at Book-Off I’ve found countless game music CDs on the cheap, a few weird movies, and even some great classic GBA titles. But last week’s score has to be a crowning achievement.
BEHOLD THE HANSHIN TIGERS GAMECUBE.
I don’t know why. Continue reading