Thursday, April 22, 2010

Osaka and Akiba

Well what more is there to do in Osaka? Not that much really – but the same streets are just as good to wander during the day as they are at night!

This time the Disney store was open, and all the characters were jumping off the wall. I also heard music for a Lilo and Stitch music video, and wondered if it was by The Pillows. It was! My most favourite of all Japanese bands – they did the soundtrack for FLCL. They're quite fantastic. I'll have to track down the source of this music video song in the future.

After the Disney store was wandered, and cooed over, we headed out to the streets once more and came across a music shop. I'm not sure who suggested we go in, but when we got to the piano section, I saw a song book of Final Fantasy songs displayed. Alan had picked it up and put it down.

What better way to combine the hobbies of Mike and Tonia than through this book? She likes piano – he digs Final Fantasy. Snatching it up, Mike went and bought it. Apparently they were going to the FF Symphony back in Toronto. What a coming together.

On the shelves I saw the music book for Chrono Trigger and claimed, picking it up, that it was gone forever never to be put down. And I too made my purchase. This would become the greatest thing I bought in the entire country. I passed up buying the FF7 song book however.

[authors note: I have tried to find it in other cities, and stores since – no luck. Lesson learned – you see something unique? Buy the bloody thing.]

This music store had made coming to Osaka worth it (not that the ball game didn't... but that wasn't really IN Osaka was it? It wasn't.)

After our shopping we hightailed it back to the station, where we caught a train back to Tokyo. We missed our train. But through the magic of the JR Pass we were on the next one without any penalty. It's also good that Japan runs trains twice an hour from most cities to Tokyo.

Back in the big city it was time to show Tonia Akihabara. She left before we got to the – unique – shops last time. This would be different.

Smut, smut, smut.

Eight levels of items ranging from anime costumes used for purposes other than Halloween, to figres of characters doing all sorts of terrible things to themselves, and to others. Rule 34 comes to life in this part of the world. Business men search through boxes of hentai with each other, perhaps finding the latest Phoenix Wright porn comic, because – of course – those exist here.

There is a floor of video games in which you do the most terrible of things. And movies where you can watch it all play out, if you're too lazy to click yourself.

You know, I thought I could describe these locations, but I can not. Not in a public forum. Just know that rule 34 is all alive and well here. And just about the only thing lacking was tentacles (strange they should be missing.)

With that out of the way, and Tonia starting to understand that mysteries of the country, we headed to Super Potato – the greatest video game store of them all. They sell just about every game every made for every system. Just be prepared to pay for the rarer ones.

Luckily if you're into RPGs you can grab Chrono Trigger or FF[anything] for about five bucks each. While you'd pay hundreds back home, here they're nothing. It was just a shame that they were sold out of Mother (Earthbound) carts.

Also, you know, you'd need a system to play them on. And knowing how to read Japanese would help out a lot too.

Without getting into it too much – another smut building showed Yoai to the masses. “Are those boys?” / “Yes.” / “Both of them?” / “Yes.” / “But look at them? Are you sure.” / “Yes!” / “O.K. but that's girl right?” / “THEY'RE ALL BOYS!”

It takes some people a while to get used to the idea.

The best line of the night: “Used panties?! Why would anyone pay for used panties? I've already got used panties!”

In cases like these it's probably best not to press the explanation.

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