Tokyo 11/2018: Animate Girls Festival

So a quick year and a half went by from the first half of this trip report–there actually were other things I thought about writing in the meantime, but I couldn’t face not finishing this one thing and didn’t have time to revisit it.  But that’s ok!  Virtually nothing happened in the meantime, except a virulent pandemic and the decay of civilization as we knew it.

How I’ve spent the last six months.

Anyway, when we last left Past!Jeanine who was still in a reality where people could go places and do things, it was finally Animate Girl Festival day!

Day 3:  AGF Time

Started off the day with the 7-11 across the street getting a coffee and onigiri for the road, since I figured time was going to be a little tight.

Breakfast of Champions

Having seen the horrific line that covered the entire huge entry staircase to the Sunshine City Mall yesterday, I showed up around 10am to get in line for the 1pm admission time.  For a brief second I thought that was early enough as none of the line that I saw yesterday had gathered yet, but going further along the queue, the end of the line came pretty quickly.

At least I made it past the staircase to the side of the mall building.

At this point we just sat and waited for a couple hours.  This wasn’t as terrible as you’d think, since I had my salmon onigiri and finally figured out how to connect to the internet.  I also brought a little stadium cushion to sit on, so really, this was about as restful as it gets for me in Tokyo.  Eventually, this phenomenon happened that completely baffles me when I experience it in Japan:  Everyone is waiting for something and nothing happens, and nothing happens, and then ALL OF A SUDDEN everyone rises to their feet and starts dashing forward like there was some high frequency sound announcement that my gaijin ears can’t hear.  I swear, I never catch anything signaling the start of this sprint, but I see it happen like this repeatedly at Tokyo Disney Resort particularly.  It’s like some hive mind thing.

Anyway, the line starts moving, and it rapidly becomes evident that not only did I not get there early enough to miss the whole line into the building, but I may not have even missed the bulk of the line.  This thing went around like two sides of the building and switchbacked several times and took forever even though we were walking the whole time.

Oh please, make it end.

As we passed 1pm, I started sweating it a little, but eventually I managed to check in and get inside with no problems.  At THAT point, the line split off to go to about five different color-coded areas inside.  I wanted to go to Yellow, where most of the mobile Japanese games I play had booths, and this involved going up roughly a thousand flights of stairs in some back stairwell (who knows what part of the mall/convention center we were in by now.)  One thing I’ve noticed about touring Japan:  There aren’t many concessions for the weak, and there weren’t here, either.  I assume if you left this area you could find an elevator somewhere in the mall, but without being able to read or understand anything anyone was saying, you’d risk having to figure out how to get back in the convention area again, and that seemed like a worse alternative than sucking up the aerobic exercise.

Finally made it into the Yellow area by around 1:45pm, and it was just as much of a madhouse as you’d expect, but a jubilant madhouse, because people finally made it!  Photos were kind of crappy because on the one hand, there were people crammed in everywhere, and on the other hand, some booths didn’t allow photos, so you didn’t want to miss a NO PHOTO sign and be offensive.

The first booth I visited was the Cybird booth, whose Ikemen series I play semi-religiously.  Of course a lot of the more popular merch was sold out for the day already, as I assume was the case for a lot of the really desirable things across the board, but having an afternoon ticket for the second day, I had expected that.

Hope you wanted IkeVamp or Ikemen Live stuff.

This year they were doing a casino theme, where you could take a turn at a game of roulette and then pull scratch-off tickets depending on how you placed in your group.  I actually managed to win $5 on Amazon Japan, which I thought was pretty good for not understanding anything that anyone said.

I don’t know why they don’t bring more Ikemen Sengoku merch when that’s always the first to sell out.
$5! Of course I don’t know when I’ll be buying from Amazon.jp again…

Nearby was the Arithmetic booth.  I played a lot of their games at the time, but just in the last year they basically stopped updating any of their English games, so they’ve been off my radar for awhile.

Where did you go Arithmetic? “Wicked Wolves” wasn’t even that old!

The other big company I was familiar with was Voltage who had their usual good-sized booth full of merchandise that also sold out pretty fast.  They and Cybird usually have a big presence at Anime Expo (AX) along with Shall We Date.  Interestingly, Shall We Date was not here, probably because they stopped doing merch altogether after one AX where they took a lot of flack from people who, I guess wanted their favorite games better represented.

Bring more chibis!

The other interesting thing was that you couldn’t just depend on looking at the company booths for merchandise, as third-party vendors also had items connected to various franchises as well.  SEGA had a big Cybird tie-in where not only did they have a boothful of product to sell, but various SEGA arcades throughout Ikebukuro had special claw machines where you could win Ikemen badges.

Ugh, I wanted a tote bag.

Most of the items were blind box, which was annoying because I traditionally have the worst luck at blind box purchases.  This booth compounded the issue as you had to buy a raffle ticket which then determined from what category of merch you got to pick.  At one point, I wound up just buying a complete set of chibi acrylic stands because I knew I would never get the ones I wanted otherwise.  I also discovered another element of difficulty, which I really should have expected, in that most of these booths did not take credit cards.  Most smaller sellers around Japan do not, but for some reason I couldn’t believe that they would be in a venue where people were buying hundreds of dollars of merchandise and not take credit cards.  Cue a trip to the ATM.

So many cute things to buy.

At this point, I had gotten to most of the booths I really wanted to see and now was able to wander around looking at everything else in all the other areas.  The amount of space was HUGE and kind of spread out around the convention center.  Three of the areas were kind of clustered together, but two of the others seemed to be on a completely different floor and side of the mall building, so it wasn’t an entirely small matter to go between them.  I think there might have been one color I didn’t even get to, because it closed a little earlier than I had expected.  Most of the booths were full of standee photo ops from games and anime that haven’t been localized or brought over to the US yet (at least at that time.)  Looking back now, it’s funny how many franchises I’ve seen/played now, that I was clueless about then.

A3!
I’m not entirely sure what this is from, but so cute.
Little bread squishies of the A3! guys.
There was a lot of Idolish7 stuff, but not as much as Uta Pri, of course.
These guys look so cheerful you would never know how gruesome the actual story of “Black Butler” is.

Mostly it was me going around admiring everything and then having to show people my phone where I had PLEASE LOCALIZE THIS AND BRING IT TO AMERICA translated.

Can you imagine something even having this many characters?
I heard this game didn’t do that well over there, so good luck seeing it here.

One booth actually had all their voice actors out in front greeting people and handing out business cards for their characters.  This was at the end of the day and no one was stopping much so the booth people encouraged me to meet them, despite my gesturing that I would not have a lot to say.  They were super nice.

Sorry people I met that I didn’t speak Japanese! My education clearly had gaps.

Eventually, the time ran out and they shooed us away.  In Japan, everything ends pretty promptly–none of the usual convention endings where people straggle around doing last minute buys for another 20 minutes or so.  In Japan, everything closes about 15 minutes to the hour, and when it’s done, it’s done.  You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay there.  I celebrated surviving AGF by getting a sundae in the mall in a coffee shop that had the virtue of being the only place that didn’t have a line to sit down.

Mostly cornflakes, as oddly enough, most of the sundaes in Japan are.

Later, I staggered back to the hotel through Ikebukuro, stopping at the SEGA arcade to throw money into some claw machines.  I was predictably bad at them so eventually the workers took pity on me and basically put the pins I wanted right at the edge for me to knock off.

There apparently is a whole floor of the arcade that is mostly claw games that change seasonally to different franchises.
I probably would have spent a lot of money trying to get the plush dolls if I that game had been available before this trip.

Even long into the night, every park-like area of Ikebukuro was filled with people trading and chatting and cosplaying their hearts out, which is always nice to see.  I particularly liked the prevalence of older women at AGF which is a population I don’t see as much in the usual conventions I attend.

Nice that everyone was out at night. Also, I lost the hotel again.

So to sum up:  I found AGF super fun but incredibly exhausting.  If you don’t know Japanese and aren’t that familiar with being there, the level of difficulty of attending is pretty high because you really can’t depend on anyone being able to understand English at all.  Once I was able to get cellular data and could use a translating app again, it became a lot easier, but before that it was pretty frustrating.  Having said that, it’s an experience that I really think you could not get in the US, because here there is just too much disdain for women and their entertainment in general for any game companies to put any money into even games aimed towards women, much less big events about the games.  The amount of merchandise was staggering, very limited edition, and again, rarely brought out of Japan…so if you want something for a niche game this is really your only chance before paying marked-up secondary market prices.

Things I would consider if I were going again:

  • Staying at one of the hotels adjacent or preferably attached to the mall for faster access
  • Buying a ticket for both afternoons
  • Getting in line 4-5 hours in advance (but probably wouldn’t because that’s a long time)
  • Taking as much cash as I could carry.

I think after it was over, I thought I was glad I went, but wasn’t anxious to race back to do it again, mostly because I felt like I missed so much by not being able to understand all the outside events that were happening throughout the town.  Having had every event cancelled for this whole year however, I would say that if the conditions were safe, I’d go again now.

[TBH:  I would probably go just about anywhere now.]

Tokyo 11/18: Namja Town and Preparing for Animate Girls Festival

Day 2: Sunshine City and no Wi-Fi.

One of the glitches of the trip came when the mobile Wi-Fi I had ordered from Global Communications had not arrived at the hotel when I checked in. This was not completely unexpected as I had forgotten to confirm it initially, and then after I remembered to put in my payment, noticed it was after the cancellation point. It took my payment though, so I was hoping it would take, but no dice–after I emailed them about it, they just refunded me and I had to place another order for a couple days later. This meant that I had no Wi-Fi but I figured it would be ok since I have free roaming with T-Mobile and would be spending a lot of time in a big mall which would surely have free Wi-Fi. Right? Right?

Wrong. Although it looked like I had a pretty good docomo cell signal, it never registered any data connection. Also, the Sunshine City Mall is not so much for Wi-Fi unless you have a particular app that helps connect you, and it’s hard to download an app without already having Wi-Fi.  Also I couldn’t get my roaming cell service to kick in for anything, until the next day when I suddenly thought of restarting my phone after it updated its connection…things.  In any case, the moral is that you should probably not forget to pay for your mobile Wi-Fi router in a timely fashion.

On the off-chance that there are people out there interested in going to Animate Girls Festival (AGF) I’ll go into a little detail about it, since when I was planning to go I couldn’t find any practical information in English about it at all.  (This information was correct as of 11/2018, when I went, and is, of course, subject to change.) AGF is a yearly event put on by Animate, a huge chain of stores specializing in anime-related merchandise in Japan.  It takes place in Sunshine City, a reasonably large mall connected to a convention center space in Ikebukuro–what’s known as the Akihabara for women, as the stores and cafes there lean more towards properties geared towards girls.

Gacha as far as the eye can see.

AGF is basically a two day merchandising event where a large number of companies who produce anime, video games, visual novels, manga, etc. can buy booth space and sell merch related to their various properties.  Because of its specificity of focus, it attracts a lot of companies who don’t typically make or sell merch, so for the audience that’s really into that one obscure character in that one free-to-play mobile game, this is your big chance to get something with him on it.

Utano-PrinceSama merch at the Animate store in Ikebukuro

As is the case with a lot of things in Japan, the way to buy into something like this is somewhat complicated if you a) don’t live in Japan, and b) don’t speak or read Japanese.  It could be argued that no one in their right mind would want to go to such a thing if they didn’t either live in Japan or speak Japanese, but honestly, people in their right minds miss out on an awful lot.

I basically had to run all the Animate sites through Google Translate which is sometimes more helpful and sometimes less.  From what I could figure out, it seems that there are three types of tickets:  An early entry ticket, an all-day ticket, and an afternoon-only ticket.  The process of getting an early entry or all-day ticket involved entering a lottery that was only held once, for about a week.  After the lottery, winners were notified and could then purchase their tickets–any leftovers were dispensed in a secondary lottery some months later.  The problem I had was that from the erratic translation I had, I gathered that both types of tickets needed to be picked up onsite with a photo ID…and it wasn’t clear to me whether they would accept a passport with information that wasn’t in kana.  What was pretty clear was that if you didn’t have the right ID, they weren’t going to give you the ticket at all.  The afternoon tickets, in contrast, were available as just a straight online purchase so that seemed like a safer bet.

What made even that transaction difficult is that in order to buy anything from the AGF website, it appeared that you had to register for the Animate Club website, and then use that login to purchase the tickets.  Unfortunately, you could only register for the website with a Japan address.  What to do?

Sunshine City has some pretty cute stores.

I imagine there are many different ways to deal with this, however I used a website called Tenso which provides you with a free Japanese mailing address for the purposes of buying stuff.  I believe the way it’s supposed to work is that you buy stuff there, have it shipped domestically to whatever specific Japanese address they give you, and then they take it from there and ship it to you internationally for a service fee.  I have never used it in that fashion–only to register for online things.

Having figured out how to register, I was a little concerned as to whether I would need to have them mail the tickets to the address and get them sent by proxy to me which seemed like a huge hassle, but then realized you could arrange to print them out and pick them up at any 7-11, which are ubiquitous and multi-purpose there.  By this time, the only tickets left were for Sunday afternoon, but I figured without knowing how much of a madhouse it was going to be, that might be all I needed.  From this point it was pretty easy, since they took international credit cards online and the pickup at the 7-11 across the street from my hotel was a breeze thanks to the helpful employees there.

Since I didn’t have a ticket for the first day, I figured I would head over and do a trial run to the mall, scoping it out for the second day.  After walking around all of Ikebukuro cursing my lack of Wi-Fi for about 45 minutes, I finally found it.  Sunshine City is a large mall that seems to be connected to a convention center-like area on one end where AGF was taking place.  By the time I arrived, which was around noon, the huge staircase that leads up to that side’s entrance seemed totally covered with people in line or trading things or trying to muscle their way into the mall between them.  I tried to figure out where the line started so I could get in position fast the next day, when I discovered that there was no English written or spoken in AGF except for the letters “AGF.”  Eventually I wandered around enough where I felt like I knew how the line was going, and actually ended up seeing Hiro and Diana from Cybird in line.

Hiro and Diana at the Cybird panel at Anime Expo 2018

Having found out about as much as I could concerning the line up process (which looked frighteningly long even an hour before the afternoon tickets were supposed to be let in,) I just wandered the mall looking at the cute things and watched one of the few programming events that took place on the mall stage and didn’t require a ticket.  Because this is a bizarro situation where the performances didn’t need a ticket, but buying the merch did.

An appearance by the voice actors of Ikemen Live Koi no Uta o Kimi ni
There were a LOT of people at AGF. I think the people in chairs bought the early/fast entry tickets.
It was a talk-show format, I think, with parts where they did improv and read scripts from the visual novel. It was entertaining even without understanding much of it.

Afterwards, I walked around Ikebukuro and visited the big Animate store where they were having a big K7 Stories display (one of the few current animes I’ve seen.)

Afterwards visited Namja Town–a mini amusement park inside the mall that is part arcade and part themed food court.

Namja Town

The games there looked interesting (additional fee) but most seemed to require a pretty high degree of Japanese to play them, so I contented myself with just walking around and triggering the various effects placed around the themed areas.

Some areas have little windows you can peek into to see scenes, or areas you touch that move or make a noise.
There are of course scary haunted areas because Japanese stories are always mad scary.
They were having some sort of special event on these guys from a game I did not know.

The main reason I was there however, was for the Gyoza Stadium.  In Japan, they frequently advertise things like ramen or takoyaki museums that are really just food courts, and this wasn’t too much more than that, except for the great post-war theming.

It was pretty good gyoza. Not too cheap after awhile, but you’re not going to go every day.
All the different booths had different gyoza from different locations around Japan, presumably renowned for their gyoza.

They were supposed to also be known for having a dessert area where you could get ice cream in a bunch of wacky flavors, but I only saw one place open in that spot and I think it was selling pastries, mostly.

They even played period-appropriate music which I thought was a nice touch.
Most of these corridors opened up into little areas where people could sit and eat their gyoza.

Anyway, after that closed for the night, it was time to find my way back to the hotel and rest up for the next day of actually attending AGF.

The hotel was reasonably close to both the train station and Sunshine City, if you are not terminally lost, as I am.

 

 

Tokyo, 11/18: Flying Over

After managing to put off nailing down mileage flights until the week before, I flew LAX-HND on JAL in F, which is a pretty good way to start off your trip. Unfortunately it used enough miles (80k) to make it prudent for me to return in steerage, but I figured that would be Future!Jeanine’s problem.

The first leg over was on AA in economy which was actually pretty fabulous as I was able to move up to their “slightly less miserable” class of coach and no one sat next to me.

The first meal of the trip.

Next was a 5-6 hour layover at SFO where I figured I’d try out the different One World Lounges. I had heard that the JAL Sakura Lounge wasn’t much and it actually turned out to be less than that, as although the piece of paper taped to the door said it would be open from 11pm to 2:30pm, it was pretty definitely closed. I went to Cathay Pacific’s lounge which was nearby and they said they thought the JAL lounge only opened up shortly before they had flights coming in/out. ‘This turned out to be a blessing because the Cathay Pacific Lounge was pretty nice with plenty of seating and a noodle bar making won ton or dan dan noodles.

Cathay Pacific SFO Lounge
Lots of seating that inexplicably doesn’t have much of a runway view.
Won Ton Noodles

I later went to check in at the JAL lounge when it was open, and wow, it looked shabby in comparison. It had all the charm of a waiting room at the doctor’s, with a little closet (looked like it might have been a smoking room once) set aside for the first class passengers.  There were only about as many chairs in the closet as there are seats in first class, and they were arranged in almost a Tetris-style fashion to make them all fit without people having to sit knee-to-knee. Virtually every seat was full, and I beat it back to the Cathay lounge as soon as possible.

Once on the plane however, everything was gorgeous. The stewards cannot do enough for you and the seating pods are great. They give you complementary Wi-Fi for the flight so I actually didn’t use any of the entertainment, although the offerings looked pretty standard.

First class pod on JAL from LAX-HND.
Ok, maybe not all that standard.

The food was very good—I went with the Western menu—and really, the eating never stops if you play your cards right. At about 7 hours into the flight, I think everyone in our compartment was sleeping except the guy across the aisle and myself, who kept ordering food for snacks throughout the flight.

The menu. There were other snacks on the back for a la carte dining.
Your amuse-bouche. “Very amoosing.”–Chandler Bing
Cold mushroom soup was kind of different. I didn’t taste the foie gras much in the mousse.
Virtually the only time I have caviar is on airplanes.

One thing I loved about this flight is the bathroom which turned out to probably be larger than the one in my hotel room. It came complete with linen hand towels and a platform you lowered to stand on when you changed into their lounge wear so you didn’t have to step directly on the restroom floor.

The worst part actually was the free Wi-Fi that wasn’t fast enough to even load instagram half the time, although I guess that’s a pretty petty complaint when you’re up in the sky eating a filet.

Sadly, the flight had to end sometime, and although I offered to just spend the rest of the trip flying back and forth with them throwing caviar in my mouth like an indolent seal, they made me get off. They did gift me one of their styling coffee mugs that I had admired, so that was some nice parting magic.

After a relatively painless trip through HND customs, I caught the next Airport Limo bus to Ikebukuro. It was supposed to be a quick 5 minute walk from the station to the hotel, however the bus dropped us off at the station’s West entrance and the hotel was by the East entrance, and as anyone who has traveled much in Japan can attest, that can add on roughly six days to your walk. In this case, it ended up being more like 45 minutes as I dragged my suitcases up and down staircases, borking the handle mechanism again, in the process. It would probably have been longer, except a random dude couldn’t take watching me almost fall down the stairs several times and just picked up my bag and carried it down for me. Thank you random dude! My blessings on your house!

The b tokyo ikebukuro is a perfectly pleasant hotel with all the amenities and petite rooms you’d expect of a mid-range hotel in Tokyo. Probably the oddest part of the room was that it seemed to come with AC but no heater. I found this out, after I left the AC blasting the first day (it was hot!) and then a cold snap set in the second evening and all I could do to warm up was turn it off. Weird for a town that typically likes all its indoor temperatures around 90 degrees.

The b tokyo ikebukuro hotel. See that coat hanger on the right hand wall? That’s the closet.

The best part was that it was across the street from a 7-11 where I was able to pick up my Animate Girls Festival ticket that I wasn’t sure I had bought online correctly, given their labyrinthine rules for doing so, and the obligatory melon soda and onigiri. If I lived in Tokyo, that would pretty much be my diet, since I probably wouldn’t be able to afford luxuries like dining out, or a kitchen.

Next time: A Trip to Animate Girls Festival

 

“Liar! Uncover the Truth: Sequel Chapter Four” Playthrough Thoughts

SPOILERS

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—Ok, here we go again. At least we don’t get Kunio this time.

—Yuri is the best. I never get why she’s hanging around someone as lousy as Lady Sachi.

Lady Sachi on Keima’s turnaround, and the only time I’ve ever agreed with her.

—Man, what is the deal with putting your bffs that are all comatose drunk into cabs by themselves and hoping for the best? Particularly after one of you almost got abducted and raped that way?

—The landlord roping them into running the booth for free rent sounds implausible until I remember the time in school the ceiling of our rental house caved in, and the landlord got us to clean it all up for a month’s rent.

—MC is stone cold, making dates right in front of two guys who like her.

—Wow, harsh that MC picked up the special Nanyami doll even though she didn’t give a crap about it compared to everyone else.

—Oh nice of MC to totally lie to Itaru about Toya being a nutcase so she doesn’t have to be indebted to him for saving her…LIKE HE DID.

Itaru speaks for me.

—Basically MC can forgive and forget anything you’ve done to her unless your name rhymes with “bitaru.”

—GDI, I cant believe I screwed up the data hunt AGAIN.

—Ok, at this point, I might just go ahead and bag getting the early clear bonuses and just try to redo it the next time there’s a data hunt for me to botch.

Itaru’s expression at having the fortune teller glom onto him kills me.

—Well Joe is a nutcase, but at least the Nanyami doll went to someone who really appreciates it.

Or maybe he’d just think you have shockingly bad judgement LIKE THE REST OF US.

—Awesome that she’s now going around pulling cold hot dogs out of people’s hands so she can get the special love fortune.

—Oh Well, Kota was kind of grumpy anyway. I bet he’ll get a route someday.

—Ok, on to the specific routes. As usual, we’ll start with our least favorite and work up.

Oh honey, you are about eight short.

—Holy mackerel, she stole Sotaro’s breakfast! MC is like your nightmare roommate.

—Now she’s giving Sotaro’s breakfast to Keima and I just can’t anymore.

BUT HE…AND YOU…HUMAN TRAFFICKING…oh, forget it.

Oh good. Off to Germany with Keima and Lady Sachi. What could possibly go wrong.

—Ok, the fact that MC is letting this dude who probably stole her wallet front her money for gambling his so bad.

—The fact that he now wants her to sex off her debts to him is a surprise to only MC.

If there was any justice, MC’s first female slap would be now.

—Wow, I took so long with this, they actually started up another data hunt already.

—Ugh, can’t decide whether I like Joe or Toya least.

—Joe in whatever backwater village MC is from feels like it should turn out like Eva Gabor’s character in “Green Acres.”

—Well he acquitted himself like a normal person, but now he just seems like a totally different guy, since Joe’s always been marked by weirdly extravagant speech and actions.

—On to Toya. Maybe it’s just me, but if you JUST got frightened by a guy thinking that he was so mad he might let loose and beat you, maybe you don’t go along with it when he says he won’t let you go home and now you have to live with him.

—I always wonder if this is an actual Japanese thing or just a mechanism of fiction that people can decide to go stay at someone’s house or a hotel that same night with no preparation or anything.

—Like, I can’t stay somewhere overnight without about two hours of packing and a 30” duffel bag.

—Again, It seems like she went with him almost 30% because she really likes cake.

—I like that her big confession to him is “I love you…r cakes.”

—Wow, just read that getting the early clear data for both halves requires like 48 extra tickets, which I don’t have.

—Guess we’re letting this data hunt slide by as well.

—Back with Haruichi and his perpetual Yakuza girlfriend-threatening rivals.

—I feel like MC is, in the hysteria of the moment, overlooking the part where Haruichi said he had his henchmen investigate and report back on her living situation.

—Now he wants her to not go to work and just stay and sleep in his room for some indeterminate amount of time while he hunts down some threatening guys she hasn’t seen for herself yet, and now it’s sounding like HE’s kidnapped her.

—Asako has just told MC that she’s been living with the Mamiyas for forty years now, and I’m expecting her to say she was just staying until they hunted down their rivals too.

—Ok, I get that Haruichi is used to faction fighting within his own clan, but he seems pretty blasé about the fact that his MOM practically put a hit out on him.

—Ok Itaru. Try not to make me sad about MC’s treatment of you this time.

—Wow, she got all mad at him and I don’t even know why. Because the server dropped a glass? And he was nice about it?

—Maybe MC has been around so many of these nutbars, she forgot what a reasonable response was.

—Oh good. Now she got him maimed because she ran out into traffic upset for reasons unknown to either Itaru or me.

—Oh my God, he got amnesia, which is really the only way any of this can end happily for Itaru.

—If Yuri got divorced and then married Itaru, I would feel like they had a chance for a good life.

—Now I have no idea why she’s moping around so much. When she was all he thought about, she found him repulsive, and now that he doesn’t remember her, she’s bummed.

—Maybe make up your mind next time, MC.

—Notice that at no time does she tell him or anyone else that he got hit by the car because SHE darted in front of it like a dummy.

—No thank you or anything, plus she acts all sullen at him like it’s his fault he got brain damage saving her. He really is better off this way.

—Now she is so concerned about him, she’s letting Sotaro buy her cake, like she’s the one who got hit by a car.

DING DING DING DING
We have a wiiiiinner…

—Oh so now after she lied to him about him ever caring about her, he has decided to accept his memory loss and live a fruitful life. Clearly, she can’t tolerate that and is going to run after him like a banshee to ruin his life some more.

—Oh my God, she gave him ANOTHER concussion.

—Dude is going to die before she figures out what she wants.

—So it ends with her having beaten Itaru’s obsessive love for her (and probably a subdural hematoma) back into him again, so she can be happy wielding complete power over him while continuing to deny him the slightest signs of affection.

—In the life of MC, we call this “Tuesday.”

Hakuoki Festival Edo Blossoms 2018

Attended the Hakuoki Festival last week—it was pretty fun, although a little weird to go to a festival about a game I haven’t played yet. (I was waiting until the second half came out!) It was taking place pretty close to where I live and had free parking tho, so I figured I’d give it a shot.

It was pretty fun! They had some games that ran the gamut from easy (Plinko) to hard (rubber band shooting) to impossible-for-me (game trivia.)

Besides that, there was a cosplay contest and photo ops with character stand ups that were auctioned off at the end.

Along with that, they provided respectable refreshments like crackers and cheese and hummus and cookies which was nice since their location wasn’t around any eating places. Merch was also available for purchase—I didn’t get any of the single character charms/pins/badges since I didn’t know their in-game specifics and didn’t want to be the person getting all the Hans merchandise during intermission for “Frozen.”

Voting for Best Boy was held (Saito won) and a Wall for people to draw cartoons or write messages was provided. People are both talented and relatable.

The thing I thought was the most entertaining was probably trying to collect all the different coasters you could win from the various games. It was tricky since, having not played the game yet, I couldn’t do the trivia and I proved to totes suck at rubber band guns, but people were super nice and traded/gave me some and I finally succeeded.

In all it was a fun day and certainly helped increase my anticipation for playing Hakuoki!

Teen Wolf, S6E16: “triggers”

Are you watching this show? Do you wish someone would watch along with you because everyone else you know thinks it’s dumb?  Here is what I was saying while I was watching it–I WILL WATCH WITH YOU.

Spoiler Thoughts:

  • Wow, just when you thought it couldn’t get worse to go to Beacon Hills High.
  • Ugggh.  Spiders again.
  • Nolan, beginning to wonder if he backed the wrong horse.
  • One thing about Beacon Hills students, everyone but Scott and Stiles drives pretty decent cars.
  • Nolan, not so good at the tailing.
  • Nolan apparently stopped off at the hairdressers on the way over?
  • Theo loves punching Liam.
  • Lydia is never ok.
  • (Ron Howard voice over) “Scott did not have a plan.”
  • If Counselor Girl doesn’t know by now that Gerard doesn’t care who gets killed besides him, she has not been paying attention.
  • This plan is not going to go well at all.
  • Scott, you goober.
  • Liam seems to be having some problems.
  • This Scott-Malia scene is getting a little cringeworthy.
  • (Ron Howard voice over) “Malia did not got this.”
  • Hm.  Wondering if maybe this might not be the end of Argent.
  • Theo is making a hobby of saving Liam.
  • I’m not totally sure why the Anuk-Ite only affects Liam.
  • Lol that Counselor girl thinks that Gerard wouldn’t break her neck as look at her.
  • Honey, after Gerard kills all the supernatural people, you know he’s going after the minorities.
  • It’s not like a hunter stops hunting.
  • I don’t know if I totally buy Scott and Malia.  It just seems too fast.
  • I think this commercial break would have been more suspenseful if all the trailers hadn’t shown Melissa in the hospital.
  • GIDEON EMERY.

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Teen Wolf, S6E15: “pressure test”

Are you watching this show? Do you wish someone would watch along with you because everyone else you know thinks it’s dumb?  Here is what I was saying while I was watching it–I WILL WATCH WITH YOU.

Spoiler Thoughts:

  • Oh man, Theo’s memory is better than mine.  I didn’t even remember this dude from Eichen House.
  • Everybody comes home to Scott McCall.
  • Oh, our favorite veterinarian!
  • Why in God’s Name would you want to stay even 3 seconds in the presence of Mr. Fear?
  • Malia, queen of the inappropriate laughter.
  • “If there’s a problem…”  Oh look Sheriff–I think there’s a problem.
  • There is a lot of information for Scott to process right now.
  • Lol that at this point in the series, no one wants to get into makeup more than their fingernails.
  • Poor Theo still getting beat up for being the Witch vs. the World.
  • “You think any of them are more innocent than us?”  Well, if they didn’t actually kill people, then YES.
  • There’s kind of getting to be a lot of deputy attrition here.
  • Apparently America is infested with Anuk-ite.
  • Oh wow.  Look who’s coming to dinner.
  • I’m not sure how this deal worked.  Like, why would that whole mob just let everyone walk away?  Dad McCall didn’t look like he came with enough firepower to intimidate them.
  • These two are not going to make it.
  • Like no one noticed that everyone only drove as far as the animal clinic?

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Teen Wolf, S6E14: “face to faceless”

Are you watching this show? Do you wish someone would watch along with you because everyone else you know thinks it’s dumb?  Here is what I was saying while I was watching it–I WILL WATCH WITH YOU.

Spoiler Thoughts:

  • Oh nooooooo
  • Nothing worse than a flayed body except a spider-absorbing flayed body.
  • Oh good, it’s the deputy that wanted to shoot Scott.  This will go well.
  • Whatever happened to Liam’s parents?  Why does Scott gotta come to his house to get him out of bed and into school?
  • Well it is true that they’d probably be alive if you had listened to Scott, Liam.
  • It is, of course, true to life that no one hates anyone so much as someone who’s done them a huge service.
  • Yes Argent, it is your fault.  You needed to lock that dude down.
  • Oh My God, the pack has become basically everything non-functional about today’s society.
  • “These people want to kill us.  I think everything would be solved if we just peacefully met with them and tried to figure out what they want.”
  • You KNOW what they want.  THEY WANT YOU DEAD.
  • If you peacefully meet with them, that will help them achieve that goal real fast.
  • Argent, you know your dad would kill you in a heartbeat.  And not even your heartbeat.
  • Coach has maybe taken his medication today.
  • Wow, between Nolan and the Counselor, Liam is just full of bad options today.
  • The Counselor won’t condone bullying.  Murder is okey dokey, tho.
  • Scott, if finding out the ID of one new hunter suddenly solves everything, I’m not seeing it.
  • This seems like a bad idea, Scott.
  • Oh hey, Scott.  Turns out it was a bad idea.
  • Maybe Scott should remind her that he was one of her kind of people?
  • I don’t know.  I think if Counselor was with it enough to know that Scott and the Deputy were there at the Beast attack, she was with it enough to see that they were trying to save people from it.
  • Liam maybe needs to learn how to dodge.
  • Gerard is all “you’re going to die if you don’t fight.”  Then when Malia starts fighting “she’s going to get you killed.”
  • This might be when people should start suspecting that Gerard isn’t all that trustworthy.
  • Beacon Hills High has the worst teacher supervision ever.  Half the student body takes over a classroom to beat a dude to death and no one notices.
  • Wow, that Chemistry teacher is actually the worst ever.
  • Coach turns out to be the actual hero of Beacon Hills.
  • Deputy Deus Ex Machina in the nick of time again.
  • …And we’ve suddenly turned into every X-Men plot ever.

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Teen Wolf, S6E13: “after images”

Are you watching this show? Do you wish someone would watch along with you because everyone else you know thinks it’s dumb?  Here is what I was saying while I was watching it–I WILL WATCH WITH YOU.

Spoiler Thoughts:

  • Ugh, Brett, no.
  • Totemo itai, Brett.
  • Counselor is finding out what everyone in Beacon Hills knows, Gerard is a pain in the ass.
  • Maybe it’s not a good idea to take on two people who are armed when you’re already wounded and you have a total of one arrow.
  • Mason sees dead people.  Or, I guess, just one particular dead person.
  • Cory is not so sure he signed up for this mission.
  • I feel like maybe Brett should just get out of the forest and flag down a car to town instead of trying to play Hunger Games?
  • Meanwhile, Argent is looking at Melissa all “do I call you to the forest to kill stuff?”
  • If the way to be sure is to get eaten by spiders, I think I’m ok with uncertainty.
  • Liam, you goober.
  • Argent, how is shooting a dead guy going to do anything?
  • Ok, Lori and Liam might not be total assets on this one.
  • I feel like we would care more about Lori’s bro-angst if we actually knew Lori at all.
  • Did we know Cory has healing powers?
  • Looking like we might be saying goodby to Lori or Brett or both soon.
  • I feel like Melissa and Argent are no longer talking about calling about the no DNA body.
  • Man, wouldn’t it suck if people became so disaffected and fearful that they started turning on anyone different
  • Weird that Lori seems like sometimes a werewolf and sometimes not.
  • Liam, the car that hit them is right there still.  Maybe you check that out?
  • Liam is maybe not ready to be an alpha.
  • Ok, this was not my favorite episode.  Too much emphasis on characters we barely know, too many poor decisions made by people who should know better, and tests taking too long for nothing to show for it.

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Teen Wolf, S6E12: “raw talent”

Are you watching this show? Do you wish someone would watch along with you because everyone else you know thinks it’s dumb?  Here is what I was saying while I was watching it–I WILL WATCH WITH YOU.

Spoiler Thoughts:

  • Ok, a trip to Walt Disney World has us a couple weeks behind, but surely we can catch up.
  • [Notices it’s a two-hour show tonight.]  Sigh.
  • Theo is homeless, and still has a nicer car than Scott or Stiles.
  • Theo, letting any spider crawl all over you is a bad idea, even if it wasn’t an evil Hell-spider.
  • Itai, Theo.  And on the other hand, wow, that was some good aim.
  • Not a good day for Theo.
  • I guess it’s not so surprising that Scott has PTSD by now, as that it’s just manifesting now.
  • Vargas is totes ready to shoot Scott.
  • Mason is starting up the “Brett 8-pack Fan Club.”
  • “Yay sports!”  Mason is all of us.
  • No Liam.  Full confession to the supernatural murderer is a bad move.
  • Lydia should probably stop going back to Eichen House.
  • Poor Parrish.  Lost out to the waves of Stydia shippers.
  • Parrish, maybe you shouldn’t show your Hellhound eyes to every obviously shady character in Beacon Hills.
  • Why in God’s Name would Corey even want to play lacrosse.  His one talent is turning invisible at the first signs of peril.
  • Nothing good has ever happened in a Beacon Hills shower room.
  • You’d think Argent would at least have been in contact with Scott’s Mom, since they looked like they were starting a thing back in the haunted train station.
  • Look Dr. Fenris, it’s not Parrish’s fault that you haven’t been able to get a better job than paranormal control at Eichen House.
  • I’ll miss a lot about Teen Wolf, but not these creepy Old Spice Mom commercials.
  • This counselor is pretty unsympathetic.
  • No one ever turns the lights on in Beacon Hills High.  I wouldn’t step foot in that place without a Kleig light on me at all times.
  • Lydia, maybe your first response to someone getting murdered in Eichen House shouldn’t be going over there without having contacted anyone or told anyone where you’re going.
  • Dr. Fenris, the thing where we don’t kill people isn’t really a “faith” issue.  It’s more of an “evil” issue.
  • Of course, if Lydia packed a gun, she wouldn’t need to blow out her vocal cords all the time.
  • I don’t know if I get behind Malia-Scott (Scalia?)  He seems so earnest for her.
  • Argent loves spooking these kids.
  • Why on Earth would they think Aaron is ok, when he’s just sitting in an empty classroom by himself at night with the lights off?
  • Man, who would have thought that curing and resuscitating the worst human alive would come back to bite you on the butt?

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