Sunday, September 30, 2007

Evil Tower [Epic Japanese Cat Flash]

Thanks for sending this in Jent.

Japanese TV: Portapotty Prank

Can't remember if I had posted this or not. Thanks for sending this in THC!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Eehh!! *Anime-gasm*

Don't you love people with too much time on their hands?!

New PM Takes Office & Mental Condition of Japan: Part II

As you already know, it has been two weeks since, Shinzo Abe, left his position of Prime Minister of Japan.
A day afterward he checked into the hospital for fatigue and insomnia, essentially "psychological exhaustion".

His resignation and subsequent treatment for stress-induced illness is only a drop in a big bucket of all of Japan facing the same pressures from work and daily life, even if it doesn't mean running a country and reading about your problems in the newspaper everyday.

There has been a rise in the trend of hikikomori, or Japanese who do not leave their homes, as well as the similar NEET, meaning Not in Employment Education or Training. Part of this problem, it is suggested, is a result of the demanding conditions of the workplace in Japan. Stress from entrance exams to college have also been attributed to this growing factor.

"That's my life -- fatigue and stress. All I have to look forward to is a beer at the end of the day," said Hiroyuki Okuda, an administrator at a Tokyo steel maker in an article written for the Mainichi Daily.

Naoki Otaka of the Academy of Counselors of Japan furthers this inference: "Part of [the stresses] is because hard work has long been seen as a virtue here, as has suffering in silence, and people often let the stress just build up."

Stress on students and workers is also said to be a result of repudiation from workers who don't conform to standards or the act of conforming to standards thereof.

Somewhere along the way my post got a little boring, so I'll end it here. ^_^;;

Here is a link to the article where I found a lot of my information.
For more information about "ostracism in the workplace", click here.
For an anime about hikikomori, see Welcome to the NHK.
How about that? All three of my last posts tied-in.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Anime Kip is Watching: Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei

Okay. If you know my brother THC Triton at all, recently all he has been able to talk about is this new series Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (So Long, Mr. Despair).
Typically, THC and I don't agree on each others' anime choices.
I didn't like LuckyStar, Negima!, or Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro Chan. And he still can't find many redeeming qualities about SHnY (I know, that's just crazy!!)!

So you can imagine my skepticism about watching his latest pursuit of animedom.
But like all other anime he raves about, I give in and say, "Okay, let me see it."


...It was good.

The visuals are stunning.
The characters are lovable.
The in-jokes are multitudinous!
Good opening and closing theme song.
And the story-- the plot surrounding these two unlikely main characters is hilarious and smart.

The series, though reminding me so much of NHK ni Youkoso and SHnY, simply isn't a combination of the two, even though all the elements that made Haruhi a success seem to be there.
But it would be unfair to even compare this anime to anything popular in modern anime.

Though the stories seem to get a little drawn out and run-on-ish in some episodes, as well as some of the jokes, including parodies of names, may go over some viewers' heads, this is still an excellent series!

The dark humor, most often given by the title character, Nozomu "Despair Sensei" Itoshiki, is chock with his little rants about Japanese trends and the media, politics, and sometimes nothing at all, such as when he rants about a certain corporate baseball team.

Director and manga-ka Kōji Kumeta (whom I have come to respect so much that I will include the little accent mark in his name) hasn't had any of his manga become animated before, but I anticipate many more titles from his studio. He has some pretty funny manga already including the romance/hockey/comedy series, Yuke!! Nangoku Ice Hockey Bu (Southern Ice Hockey Club).

Season one of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei has just wrapped up broadcast in Japan.

This is definitely one to watch!
Was I wrong about L*S? You liked it! xP

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

New PM Takes Office & Mental Condition of Japan

President of the Liberal Democratic Party, Yasuo Fukuda (left), has been elected to serve as Japan's Prime Minister since Shinzo Abe stepped down earlier this month.

Fukuda has announced he would like to have most of Abe's cabinet remain in his constituency despite many of them leaving after Abe already.

Fukuda, it would seem, was an easy choice for PM on such short notice (even though his victory was de facto after the House of Representatives failed to come to an agreement on a new PM); he has spent several years in Japanese government aside from being the LDP chair, and his father, Takeo Fukuda, was a past PM as well.

Abe (right) is recovering from health issues which caused him to resign, but Mainichi Daily News reports that many Japanese celebrities have been having health issues related to their careers, like Abe, on top of a record three million Japanese seeking help for their mental illness and stress in 2005 ranging from insomnia to depression, in addition to Japan having "one of the highest suicide rates in the industrialized world".
Generally, seeking mental illness treatment is not looked upon favorably in Japan.

Some say Abe's "sickness" is a part of a trend that suggests many of Japan's leaders tend to develop a sickness when they are facing inquires from the Diet.

(Part one in a two part series.)

Japanese TV: KFC Ad

Funny xD I like how the girl says "Biscuitoooo!"

Monday, September 24, 2007

Testing new sketching system~

Want to be a tester? Watch the video below!
Click here to see if any of the testers have drawn anything!

Update: Our first doodle by IchigoStars!

Click here to see the rest as they get drawn!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Want an email account?

Hey all! Want an email address?

All Ani-Pock Webmail accounts feature an amazing 2GB+ of mail storage! Webmail is powered by Google's Gmail. So want that address? 

Leave a comment below with the following information:
1. Your Ani-Pock name
2. Your current email address (so I can email you the activation link)

Anyone can leave a comment on this post, just choose the "anonymous" option!

Lucky☆Star Full Dance!

Lucky Star now also has a full dance version of their opening song! It came out in the final episode of the series.

Also, check this video for the comparison:


Friday, September 21, 2007

[800th POST] Japanese Bread in a Can!

(Via Tokyo Times): "As far as convenient food to go with a cup of coffee is concerned, the Japanese introduction of bread in a can a few years ago seemed to cover all bases, being little, light and long-lasting."

And now to congratulate all the contributors to the Ani-Pock Weblog! 800 posts! Thank you to all writers, readers and commentaries. Without you, the weblog would be nothing! It'd be boring! Arigatou !! -Pocky

Congratulations everyone!!

Hare Hare Yukai full Spanish version

Someone rewrote the Hare Hare song in Spanish, with a new slower sound + acoustic goodness!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Japanese TV: Egg drop!

Remember when you were in elementary school, and you had to build a contraption to keep an egg safe when throwing it off the building? Well here is the high tech Japanese version!

That mat is made of a special gel called Beta gel. Via

"Beta Gel is a soft silicone gel developed by Tokyo-based Geltec Corporation. It is an improvement of Alpha Gel, a shock absorbing Geltec gel that is currently being put to use in products such as shoe soles and the protective lining of portable radio equipment. "

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Private Lesson on Otakuology

No, its not another Harui dance! This clip is actually pretty funny. Its about explaining Otaku culture to another Japanese person. I like how he speaks into the trash can xD

More from the Hello Kitty catalog!

This is a Hello Kitty fire extinguisher. An actual product of Sanrio.
Please note, that although it looks like one, the Hello Kitty Fire Extinguisher is not a toy.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Big Head Hello Kitty Fan

(Via Gizmodo) Don't let her cute, innocent demeanor fool you, Hello Kitty fan is one tough cookie. Constantly scanning back and forth with her giant black eyes. One false move and she'll gnaw your digits off with her variable speed swirling vortex of doom, that or keep your room 5-10 adorable degrees cooler. [TokyoTimes]

Former Japanese Town Celebrates Anneversary in Luxury

The Russian town of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk celebrated its 125th anniversary this past week. And just how did they ring in the celebration?

With, "a 15-square-metre sandwich with salmon caviar... [about] ninety kilogrammes of caviar!"

Each of the residents participating in the celebration will get a section of the red, heart-shaped sandwich.

Recently Russia has been looking to establish a monopoly on the caviar market demanding that only Russian-owned corporate trawlers be able to fish in Russian lakes, and that the sale should only take place in certain specialty shops. Part of the reason for this requested monopoly is the result of overfishing in Russia in which the fish industry "plummeted forty-fold since the breakup of the Soviet Union." Caviar harvesting is an industry Russia prides.

So just what does any of this have to do with Japan? Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, formerly Toyohara, used to be the capital of the Karafuto Prefecture.
Stay with me, this gets confusing....

Initially this became a Japanese-controlled colony just before the end of the Meji era (1912) when Japan won a part of the island (on land, below 50° N) just off the east coast of mainland Russia (pictured right, highlighted red) which is the closest territory of Russia "bordering" Japan. Up until 1945 Japan maintained control of the forfeited island, but after WWII, Russia fought a weakened Japanese nation over the territory, in which case Japan relinquished control of the land. In either case the land was either lost or gained by either side as a result of war.

Controversy still surrounds the island since Japan didn't necessarily return control to Russia after Russia formally reclaimed it in 1947 and Japan was made to relinquish it in the 1952 Treaty of San Fransisco, the infamous peace treaty signed by 49 nations to officially end complications of WWII, in which Japan ultimately had to return the land in full among other territories, despite not renouncing territorial sovereignty of any.
Today this territory battle has strained Japanese-Russian relations, particularly because no peace treaty has been designated on this matter.

Read more about the anniversary celebration here.
Read more about the caviar monopoly here.
Read more about the confusing battle of territories here and here and here.
Whew, thanks Wikipedia!
This is a neat article encompassing nearly all of the issues, caviar, territorial, and otherwise, here.

If you read my article from beginning to end, leave a comment here about the color of the caviar along with your preferred email address, and I'll give you some sort of special prize of anime nature, as a reward. You do not have to be registered with Blogger to leave a comment, but if you do leave an anonymous comment, please include your screen name. Thanks!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Ramen Noodle Clogs Control Panel on Space Shuttle, JAXA Decides to Fly Rocket Pilotless

In a news post you read here first on Ani-Pock, I reported that Japan planned to send a probe into outer space to orbit the moon.
Yesterday morning, the rocket containing the probe was launched successfully from the JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) after the project was put on hold from a number of setbacks.

The rocket will orbit the earth a number of times before the moon is in just the right position for it to go straight into orbit with the probe and accessory satellites.

The probe, named "Kaguya" after a tenth century tale about a princess from the moon, will collect data about the moon and hopefully help scientists discover its origins.
Though, Japan isn't admitting this to be a space race, China has plans to reach for the moon as well, while both are planning a manned mission to the moon once again.

Read more from the Japan Times.
Thanks, Kami, for notifying about this article.

Edit: Well, wouldn't you know it. Kami and I had the same idea. I read that the launch was streamed live online and I forgot to post the video I found.

As Kami would say, "EnjoY!"

Update 2: I couldn't resist mixing in some Evangelion sound effects and music to this launch... so check out my version below!!! xD -Pocky

Friday, September 14, 2007


This'll make Kami dissapointed again, but, I just can't help it.

I literally just found this video about 3 minutes ago and I felt the insane need to post it, so here you go.
I have no clue what it's about or what they are saying ._.

Polysics-I My Me Mine

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Cat Mouse?

Ok this could get a bit confusing. Do you call this a cat or a mouse, because its a mouse, but its a cat!

Well, either way it's cute. And its cheap! $8 (includes the shipping!!)

One Film Per Blog

One of the great films of this summer was Byōsoku 5 Cm (5 Cm Per Second). The director, Shinkai Makoto, has produced a number of infamous works including Voices of a Distant Star and The Place Promised in our Early Days.

If you haven't seen some of Shinkai's earlier short films, take a look. Here's one, the award winning, She and Her Cat, that transformed his career from voice actor to director and animator:

This was Shinkai's first animated short, which he completed on his home computer!

Shinkai is a fan of Miyazaki Hayao, and, in fact, has been called the new Miyazaki, a term which he dislikes thoroughly. If you have seen any of Shinkai's work, you know he is a fantastic artist and his avant-garde films are always clever and thought-provoking.

Some other works of interest include:
Other Worlds

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Abe to resign as Japanese Prime Minister

Developing story!

(CNN): Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his resignation at a Wednesday news conference.

Since reshuffling his cabinet two weeks ago, Abe has lost four party members to scandals.

There have been very few bright days for Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) since they lost control of the upper house of Japan's parliament to the opposition in July's elections.

Since reshuffling his cabinet two weeks ago, Abe has lost four party members to scandals: his new agricultural minister (the second in a month); a deputy foreign minister; a mid-ranking parliamentarian; and a newly elected member of Japan's upper house have all resigned over allegations of financial or electoral misconduct.

Continued on CNN >>

China and Japan Trade Birds: Not as Boring as it Sounds!

In 1981 a program was started to bring the avian species, the Japanese crested ibis, back from near extinction. After the last known crested ibis of Japan died in captivity China offered to help with the repopulation effort with....
GENETIC ENGINEERING! In order to make a super-intelligent, combatant bird, capable of fighting crime.
But if you are unwilling to believe that piece of fiction, there is a very true story behind the reemergence of a species as fostered by two compassionate nations.

Let's move ahead to 1999. Japanese environmentalists and Chinese ambassadors are meeting on Sado island to discuss the repop of the species. China is able to offer one pair, a male and female, to breed in captivity in Japan. Yu Yu and Mei Mei, the first pair mate and produce several offspring.
Today, the animals are flourishing nicely and the mortality rate has decreased as well. One of the most recent clutches hatched five eggs in a season.
Unfortunately, when the birds were initially given to Japan, early bird flu epedemic problems began occuring in China and the bird trade, as well as the project was suspended. This was becoming an ever increasing problem as many of the birds were starting to have some close genetic ties.

With much of the bird flu scare subsiding now, China wishes to offer new birds to the conservancy effort. They have announced that as soon as October, they would like to send another two birds in exchange for one of the earlier pairs.

While the species is repopulating, they are not yet removed from the endangered list, but have, since about 1981, been removed from the extinct list, since the last of the species was thought to have been spotted no later than the 1960s. Before that, the numbers of this animal were dwindling mostly because of over hunting of the bird, especially during the Meji era.

To find out more about the species go to the threatened species list.
To find out more about the crested ibis trade, go to the recent article in the Yomiuri Shimbun.

Interesting fact: this species' scientific name is the
Nipponia nippon.
Of course, that name isn't
quite correct since these birds are from China now. So what would that make them? Hmm...

Also, don't forget about Kami's (BoxBox) genealogy project. Click the link to visit his post in the community blog.

Sony "Rolly"

Seems nifty gadgets for playing music is becoming a bit of a craze lately.
The Sony "Rolly" gives a new spin on "Rock and Roll".
The $354 USD egg is small enough to fit in your palm and weighing in at 312grams.
This cute little egg is set to compete against another Japanese egg, ZMP's Miuro.

The Miuro is an iPod docking station that rolls around and follows you from room to room to make sure you don't miss a beat.
The Miuro is priced around $930 USD and weighs in around 9lbs.

Which egg do you want rolling into your home?

More on the "Rolly" can be found here
and more on the Miuro can be found here.

Update: Great find Kami! I found a video of it. -Pocky

Sunday, September 09, 2007

New Evangelion trailer sung by Utada Hikaru

Rebuild of Evangelion Theme "Beautiful World" by Hikaru Utada!

(Wikipedia) Utada Hikaru also known by her fan-nickname of Hikki, is a third culture Japanese pop singer-songwriter, arranger and record producer.

She has been hailed as one of the most successful, influential and acclaimed musicians in Japanese music history.

With the release of her seven studio albums, including one compilation and two all-English, 24 solo singles (18 Japanese and 6 English) and several VHS/DVD releases, she has sold a combined estimated total of some 36,000,000 records in Japan as of 2007, making her the 9th most successful musical act ever in Japan.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Is this the right audience to be advertising to?

I think I like NASCAR now!
O_O !

The EVA 00 Charger simply wins, though!

Click the images for bigger pics!

That's when you may notice these cars actually aren't real.

Honestly, no one could really like NASCAR anyway...

Friday, September 07, 2007

ANIPLEX: Life After Alchemy?

So, what's the creative direction of Aniplex, the Japanese anime production company, after the conclusion of their highly successful series, Fullmetal Alchemist?
More alchemy!

Baccano!, the newest anime from Aniplex to broadcast in Japan, explores life in early 1930s America during a time when
liquor is prohibited and many rum runners and gangsters make a living by supplying it. Anime Insider Magazine writes on the series:
"While in many ways Baccano! is a study of anarchy in gangland, its denizens use not just machine guns, moonshine, and knives, but also alchemy, the occasional loyal homunculus, and assassins, all in the search for eternal life."
Yep, eternal life.

Essentially, the cast -of what appears to be three dozen or so characters- will go looking for the
Philosopher's Sto-, er, I mean, a bottle of the most sacred and sought-after of elixirs, that was, quite unfortunately passed off as an illegal liquor and thrown in a pile of other such illegal liquor during a raid. However, this bottle contains the potion that gives the partaker eternal life! Now several groups of people who are 'in-the-know' about this certain elixir, are on the search for the lost bottle. It all depends on who reaches it first, and, like Baccano! director, Takahiro Omori says to AI magazine, "There is no way that you'll be able to guess the outcome!"

The series, which combines CG animation and well-animated scenery and backgrounds, is sure to please, even if it is a vaguely reminiscent of another series (is anyone else getting a Maes Hughes vibe from this Maiza Avaro character? It took me a while to find a good comparison photo, so say it does, darn it!). Plenty of gratuitous violence and blood as well! Mark my words, I feel that in a year from now, this series will be licensed for DVD or Television for some English speaking production company.

Edit: Also, I'm testing this feature:
Now playing:
L'Arc~en~Ciel - Ready, Steady, Go!
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Tanjoubi omedetou!

Look who's one! The prince of Japan!

His birth came amidst a time in Japan where it was uncertain whether the next heir to the Chrysanthemum throne would be a man, where as much of the country was hoping it would be.
As the first male heir in over forty years, he is continuing the tradition that men tend to be the royal figurehead of the island nation.

Before his birth lengthy discussions were held to determine if it would be right for a female to take the throne, he seems to have settled this issue, for now.

From the BBC article:

Prince Hisahito is the son of Prince Akishino, the emperor's younger son. The little boy has two older sisters, Princess Mako and Princess Kako.

"His Highness Prince Hisahito is walking with support and crawling on stairs, and his activity has grown vigorous particularly in the past month," the agency said in a statement.
"He likes picture books and turns the pages himself," it said.

Happy birthday, Prince!
I got you baby Air Jordans! XD

"Kids Float! Adults Swim!"

I really owe the blog some actual news, or some sort of Japanese culture piece, but... naaah!

I was really surprised to see how many people were not aware of Sci-Fi Channel's new Ani-Monday block. Yes that's right, yet another anime venue that ingeniously uses the "Ani-" prefix. Honestly, Pocky, you should have trademarked that.

Each week starting at 11:00 PM EST, Ani-Monday plays two hours worth of new and classic anime. Noein, the new(ish) anime licensed by Manga Entertainment (responsible for bringing Ghost in the Shell and Evangelion an english dub) featuring stunning visuals and a deeply intelligent plot with loads of quantum theory dialog, usually* comes on first, followed by Tokko, a series about a young man seeking answers about his parents' death by joining a secret police organization. Macross Plus just wrapped up showing, but Street Fighter II has replaced it to round out the block.

*This week the regular series lineup takes a break to show the original Ghost in the Shell movie.

Ani-Monday airs on Sci-Fi USA. Sci-Fi Australia offers a similar block with anime showing at different times. Australian Digital Channel ABC2 already airs Noein as well.
Note: The GitS: SSS movie is not playing despite the pic.
Edit: Lucy adds that the UK just got Anime Network. That's good to know because I couldn't find anything about their anime TV scene. Congrats UK! Most of the US doesn't have that channel!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Techno Insert

Aw man. Not another mp3 player... OMG! NO IT'S NOT!

Look! It plays CDs too! How incredible is that?
Mostly hardly incredible... seeing as how CDs will be technology of a distant time in some few years. Maybe this will make the transition a little easier.

Also great for traveling, just drape the cord around your neck and go. It makes quite a fashion statement to wear a rapidly spinning disc of silicon at chest height. Maybe your old CDs can become a new trend. Like Flav and his clocks, but instead of passer-bys knowing what time it is, they will see that you like Rush and stay away.
See also:
(Not technically Japanese, but cool music players anyway)

Awesome Anime Bike?

Your title
Would you ride one?
No... pinku is not my colour...
Depends if it comes with a lifetime supply of Pocky chocolate


By CG artist Takeo Hatai

Japanese TV: Baseball Catching Game Show

(Via Contenstants have to catch balls and throw them into correct slots for points, while on a 45 degree hill. Oh and some of the balls are bigger than normal... XD

Monday, September 03, 2007

Story Time With Ichigo Stars

Once upon a time way back when Ani-Pock had a different face. A different address, and different members. It was a new site, like a pop can that just gotten opened. It’s all CO2’ed and tasty. But, slowly people started to use the site for nasty, disgusting things. Like cybering, flaming, spamming and the horrible thing called complaining. Pocky had planned to take down that chat that made all those nasty things to happen, but something happened! THERE WAS DISCUSSIONS! THERE WAS TALKING! NO MORE SPAM! Yes, people started to talk literately which caught more people’s attention and more people came on and off. This is where we start our story. This is where you get to hear the stories of way back Ani-pock, the drama, the stupidness, funnies and even the secrets! Let us begin:
Since Ichigo has such a horrible memory, this story can be incorrect and far fetched. Even with information it can still be wrong since this has happened long time ago and people’s memories suck like mine own. BUT! I can tell you these facts are right this time.
This was three years ago back on ani-pock’s first site. We used to have the beloved cBox where the chatting first began. But it was also a dangerous times if you weren’t careful. The mods weren’t around often to watch the cBox which caused spamming and name stealing. But, even with this hanging around there still was talking, role playing (that was me. XD) and discussion. There was also romance in the air at Ani-Pock. But this romance soon became dramatic and deadly. Yes, deadly.
There was once a time when Phil was going out with Sakura, TenTen’s twin sister. It was going all so well. You could say there were two pockies in a coconut Pocky Box. But then, something came slithering about. It was something so horrible that it spread all around the site. Cheating. It was known that Phil was cheating on Sakura with PC. Yes, girls and boys, PC. Everyone gasped so violently that the site was down for a few hours, but it was back up before anyone noticed. When the news came to Sakura she was in tears. She could not believe he had cheated on her with another women! She wasn’t heard from ever again claiming she was going to kill herself. Of course all of you must be thinking she is a emo teenager that will get over it in a week after cutting herself. Nope. She ran away from her home. How do we know this? I hope you didn’t forget Sakura’s twin sister TenTen. She was angry at Phil for making her sister run away, but it wasn’t till a few days later that we find out Sakura had been killed. Some say she was killed during Hurricane Katrina and others say she hung herself in the closet, suicide. People in Ani-Pock were mixed in feelings. Some believed what TenTen said was true and other thought she was lying. Where did I side? Guess. Where would you believe I would be in this mess? Of course, I didn’t believe her. Who in the world would kill themselves over a internet relationship?! Apparently she did. I voiced out my opinion to the girl saying I didn’t believe her along with some others, and got myself banned. Yes, we got banned from that beloved cBox for not believing that TenTen’s sister died. Though we got ourselves unbanned by Pocky himself with the help of the draw board. After a day or two since this explosion of messy hair and blood we got ourselves some more information. It turns out that Sakura and TenTen weren’t twin sisters! They were the same person! WOW! What a horrible soup opera. So from what the few people that remember this story we have made this wonderful drama tale of Ani-Pock. Some of you will laugh at the remembrance of this story and others will be horrified or still be laughing. I hope it makes you laugh. xD

“When I think about it. Ani-pock is so dramatic. Like High School. Online. Without the Homework of course.” -PuckChickula

So You Want To Learn Japanese

(Note: This is long, NOT MINE, and for joking purposes only)

You've eaten at a few Japanese restaurants, seen some anime, hosted an exchange student, and had a Japanese girlfriend. And now, somewhere in the back of your tiny brain, you think that Japanese would be a good language to learn. Hey, you could translate video games! Or Manga! Or even Anime! Pick up Japanese girls, impress your friends! Maybe you'll even go to Japan and become an anime artist! Yeah! Sounds like a great idea!

So you head down to the library, pick up some books with titles like "How To Teach Yourself Japanes In Just 5 Seconds A Day While Driving Your Car To And From The Post Office" and "Japanese For Complete And Total, Utter Fools Who Should Never Procreate". Hey, you already know a few words from your manga collection/girlfriend/anime. Excited and impressed with your new knowledge, you begin to think: "Hey. Maybe, just maybe, i could do this for a living! Or even major in Japanese! Great Idea, Right?

I don't care how many anime tapes you've watched, how many Japanese girlfriends you've had, or books you've read, You don't know Japanese. Not only that, majoring in the godforsaken language is NOT fun or even remotely sensible. Iraqi war prisoners are often forced to major in Japanese. The term "Holocaust" comes from the Latin roots "Holi" and "Causm", meaning "to major in Japanese". You get the idea.

And so, sick of seeing so many lambs run eagerly to the slaughter, I have created This Guide to REAL TIPS for Studying Japanese. Or, as is actually the case, NOT studying it.

This should be an obvious.

Despite what many language books, friends, or online tutorials may have told you, Japanese is NOT simple, easy, or even sensical (Japanese vocabulary is determined by throwing tiny pieces of sushi at a dart board with several random syllables attatched to it). TheJapanese spread these rumours to draw foolish Gaijin into their clutches.

Not only is it not simple, it's probably one of the hardest language you could ever want to learn. With THREE completely different written languages (none of which make sense), multitude of useless, confusing politeness levels, and absolutely insane grammatical structure, Japanese has been crushing the souls of the pathetic Gaijin since it's conception. Let's go over some of these elements mentioned above so you can get a better idea of what I mean.
The Japanese Writing System

The Japanese writing system is broken down into three separate, complete, and insane, parts: Hiragana ("those squiggily letters"), Katakana ("those boxy letters") and Kanji ("roughly 4 million embodiments of your worst nightmares").

Hiragana is used to spell out Japanese words using syllables. It consist of many letters, all of which look completely different and bear absolutely no resemblance to each other whatsoever. Hiragana were devloped by having a bunch of completely blind, deaf, and dumb Japanese people scribble things on pieces of paper while having no idea why they were doing so. The resulting designs were then called "hiaragana". The prince who invented these characters, Yorimushi("stinking monkey-bush-donkey") was promptly bludgeoned to death. But don't worry, because you'll hardly use Hiragana in "real life".

Katakana are used only to spell out foreign words in a thick, crippling japanese accent, so that you'll have no idea what you're saying even though it's in English. However, if you remember one simple rule for Katakana, you'll find reading Japanese much easier: Whenever something is written in Katakana, it's an English word! (note: Katakana is also used for non-english foreign words. And sound effects, and Japanese words). Katakana all look exactly the same, and it's impossible, even for Japanese people, to tell them apart. No need to worry, because you'll hardly ever have to read Katakana in "real life".

Kanji are letters that were stolen from China. Every time the Japanese invaded China (which was very often) they'd just take a few more letters, so now they have an estimated 400 gazillion of them. Kanji each consist of several "strokes", which must be written in a specific order, and convey a specific meaning, like "horse", or "girl". Not only that, but Kanji can combined to form new words. For example, if you combine the Kanji for "small", and "woman", you get the word "carbeurator". Kanji also have different pronounciations depending on where they are in the word, how old you are, and what day it is. When European settlers first came upon Japan, the Japanese scholars suggested that Europse adopt the Japanese written language as a "universal" language understood by all parties. This was the cause of World War 2 several years later. Don't worry, however, since you'll never have to use kanji in "real life", since most Japanese gave up on reading a long, long time ago, and now spend most of their time playing Pokemon.
Politeness Levels

Politness Levels have their root in an ancient Japanese tradition of absolute obedience and conformity, a social caste system, and complete respect for arbitrary heirarchical authority, which many American companies believe will be very helpful when applied as magaerial techniques. They're right, of course, but no one is very happy about it.

Depending on who you are speaking to your politeness level will be very different. Politeness depends on many things, such as age of the speaker, age of the person being spoken Prepare to be laughed at to, time of day, zodiac sign, blood type, sex, whether they are Grass or Rock Pokemon type, color of pants, and so on. For an example of Politness Levels in action, see the example below.
Japanese Teacher: Good morning, Harry.
Harry: Good Morning.
Japanese Classmates: (gasps of horror and shock)

The bottom line is that Politeness Levels are completely beyond your understanding, so don't even try. Just resign yourself to talking like a little girl for the rest of your life and hope to God that no one beats you up.

Grammatical Structure

The Japanese have what could be called an "interesting" grammatical structure, but could also be called "confusing", "random", "bogus" or "evil". To truly understand this, let's examine the differences between Japanese and English grammar.
English Sentence:
Jane went to the school.

Same Sentence In Japanese:
School Jane To Went Monkey Apple Carbeurator.

Japanese grammar is not for the faint of heart or weak of mind. What's more, the Japanese also do not have any words for "me", "them", "him, or "her" that anyone could use without being incredibly insulting (the Japanese word for "you", for example, when written in kanji, translates to"I hope a monkey scratches your face off"). Because of this, the sentence "He just killed her!" and "I just killed her!" sound exactly the same, meaning that most people in Japan have no idea what is going on around them at any given moment. You are supposed to figure these things out from the "context", which is a German word meaning "you're screwed".

When most Americans think of Japanese people, they think: polite, respectful, accomadating. (They could also possibly think: Chinese). However, it is important to learn where the truth ends and our Western stereotyping begins.

Of course, it would be irresponsible of me to make any sweeping generalizations about such alarge group of people, but ALL Japanese people have three characteristics: they "speak" English, they dress very nicely, and they're short.

The Japanese school system is controlled by Japan's central government, which, of course, is not biased in any way (recent Japanese history textbook title: "White Demons Attempt To Take Aaway our Holy Motherland, But Great And Powerful Father-Emperor Deflects Them With Winds From God: The Story Of WW2"). Because of this, all Japanese have been taught the same English-language course, which consists of reading The Canterbury Tales, watching several episodes of M*A*S*H, and reading the English dictionary from cover to cover. Armed with this extensive language knowledge, the children of Japan emerge from school ready to take part in international business and affairs, uttering such remarkable and memorable sentences as "You have no chance to survive make your time", and adding to their own products by inscribing english slogans, such as "Just give this a Paul. It may be the Paul of your life" on the side of a slot machine.

Secondly, all Japanese people dress extremely well. This fits in with the larger Japanese attitude of neatness and order. Everything has to be in it's correct place with the Japanese, or a small section in the right lobe of their brain begins to have seizures and they exhibit erratic violent behavior until the messiness is eradicated. The Japanese even FOLD THEIR DIRTY CLOTHES. Sloppiness is not tolerated in Japanese society, and someone with a small wrinkle in their shirt, which they thought they could hide by wearing a hooded sweatshirt over it (possibly emblazoned with a catchy english phrase like "Spread Beaver, Violence Jack-Off!"), will be promptly beaten to death with tiny cellular phones.

Lastly, the Japanese are all short. Really, really short. It's kind of funny. Not ones to leave being tall to the Europeans or Africans, however, the Japanese have singlehandedly brought shoes with incredibly gigantic soles into style, so that they can finally appear to be of actual human height, when in reality their height suggests that they may indeed be closer in relation to the race of dwarves or Hobbits.

Japanese culture is also very "interesting", by which we mean "confusing" and in several cases "dangerous". Their culture is based on the concept of "In Group/Out Group", in which all Japanese people are one big "In" group, and YOU are the "Out" group. Besides this sense of alienation, Japan also produces cartoons, and a wide variety of other consumer products which are crammed into your face 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Japanese also like cock fighting monsters that live in your pants, taking baths with the elderly, and killing themselves.

Japanese food is what some people would call "exotic", but what most people call "disgusting", or perhaps, in some areas, "whack". Japanese food evolved in ancient days, when the main staple of the diet was rice. People got so sick and tired of eating rice, in fact, that they ate just about anything else they could find, from seaweed to other Japanese people. This has led to the creation of such wonderful foods as "Natto", which I believe is a kind of bean but tastes like battery acid, and "Pocky", which is a stick with different frostings on it, the flavors of which include Sawdust and Strawberry.

Despite this variety of foods, however, the Japanese have succeeded in making every single thing they eat, from tea to plums, taste like smokey beef.

As if learning the language wasn't hard enough, Japanese classes in America tend to attract the kind of student who makes you wish that a large comet would strike the earth. There are a few basic type of students that you'll always find yourself running into. These include The Anime Freak, The Know It All, and the Deer Caught In Headlights.

The Anime Freak is probably the most common, and one of the most annoying. You can usually spot a few warning signs to let you identify them before it's too late: they wear the same exact Evangelion shirt every day, they have more than one anime key chain on their person, they wear glasses, they say phrases in Japanese that hey obviously don't understand (such as "Yes! I will never forgive you!"), they refer to you as "-chan", make obscure Japanese culture references during class, and usually fail class. You have to be extremely careful not to let them smell pity or fear on you, because if they do they will immeadiately latch onto you and suck up both your time and patience, leaving only a lifeless husk.Your Classmates Desperate for human companionship, they will invite you to club meetings, anime showings, conventions, and all other sorts of various things you don't care about.

The Know It All typically has a Japanese girlfriend or boyfriend, and because of this "inside source" on Japanese culture, has suddenly become an academic expert on all things Japanese, without ever having read a single book on japan in their entire lives. You can usually spot Know It All's by keeping an eye out for these warning signs: a cocky smile, answering more than their share of questions, getting most questions wrong, questioning the teacher on various subjects and then arguing about the answers (a typical exchange: Student: What does "ohayoo" mean?,Teacher: It means "good morning", Student: That's not what my girlfriend said...), being wrong, talking alot about Japanese food and being wrong, giving long, unnecessarily detailed answers which are wrong, and failing class.

The Deer Caught In headlights are those students who took Japanese because either a.) they thought it sounded like fun, b.) they thought it would be easy, or c.) they just need a couple more credits to graduate. These students wear a mask of terror and panic form the moment they walk into class till the moment they leave, because all they can hear inside their head is the high pitched scream their future is making as it is flushed down the toilet. They are usually failing.

Although many of Japanese-language students are smart, funny, hard working people, none of them will be in your class.

If you can get past the difficulty, society, and classmates, you will probably find Japanese to be a fun, rewarding language to learn. We wouldn't know, however, since no one has ever gotten that far. But hey, I'm sure You're different.

Author's Note:This whole essay, although sprinkled with truisms here and there, is a joke and should be taken like one. I'm actually a Japanese major myself, and even if I've given it a bit of a hard time, I love the Japanese language, and I think everyone should give it a try.

You should just be ready for a whole lot of pain.


Anime Summer 2007 Breif

Well, it was a busy summer for me personally, and a GREAT summer for those paying attention to the anime community. I haven't been around to give an update on a lot of the big news that has happened this past season, but you may have heard about some of these exciting headlines:

Evangelion movie trailers are available to view now, but I'll be darned if I can find a good one (though Bart Howard's infamous song never sounded so good). In addition, the first movie has very recently screened in Japan; it had a great attendance.

The first live-action Death Note is being considered by a Hollywood studio for liscencing (via Warner Brothers USA) or a remake (like what happpened to The Ring and The Grudge) as demands for an English release ensues.

Satoshi Kon's Paprika screened at dozens of summer indie film fests worldwide.

Anime news sources were imbued by critics raving for the release of, yet another, Witchblade series. This one promising to be as good as the rest (geez, look at this trailer). Volume one due out this month.

And, of course, a second season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is in production now, and will be ready to air this fall or early winter.

And there's the news! If you think I missed anything of importance, please let me know.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Perpetual Mario Machine

A custom Mario level where the only way to win is to not press anything. Amazing what time some people have!!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

RabuTan Giftart~!

For my dear friend Remi-chan, who I met on, I drew a picture of her cutest EVER character: RabuTan. The finished product can be found on

Hopefully this'll entertain you for abit, and maybe you'll learn some new techniques~!

EDIT: Now with SOUND!

Update - Rabutan Color!

Lots more cool stuff here!! Continue browsing...

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