Thursday, July 16, 1998

Greetings from J-List July 16, 1998

Hello to all. This week so far has seen an interesting change in the weather here in Japan -- it's actually gotten cold. It's currently around 15 degrees Celsius, quite uncomfortable to be outside in a T-shirt and shorts. It's late Wednesday night in Japan as I type this, and I've just reached the end of my current Allie McBiel tape. Remember, if you're in the U.S. or get American TV and don't watch this great show, give it a shot.

Japan's big news right now is that the prime minister, Hashimoto, has resigned to take responsibility for losses the Liberal Democratic Party (Jiminto in Japanese) suffered in Sunday's election. Losing a head of state in this fashion is nothing for Japan, indeed there have been eight prime minsters in the short eight years I've lived in Japan. I don't claim to understand the process by which the country moves forward at times like this, but apparently it happens all the time. Personally, I'd like to see a prime minister young enough to have ever used a computer come into power.

We've got a nice mid-week update for you. First, there are about 20 "one shot" magazines on the list, great items ranging from "way back when" issues of Dela Beppin and Video Boy to great recent amateur magazines. Also, on the manga page, there are a dozen or so "wide edition" adult mangas that we're offering -- some are quite good. and all are cheap, so check out the new items. Also, the April Urecco is really wonderful -- I have posted new scans showing some of the highlights.

Response to the J-List Summer Video Sale has been excellent so far. Remember, you get $1 off for one in-stock video, $2 each for two (i.e., $4), $3 each for three, and so on, up to five videos. Considering that many of the items are reduced and/or come with free SAL shipping already, you are basically getting some great stuff for almost free while helping us out. We're moving the videos out so that we'll have less stock to move over for our upcoming move. Kaori would appreciate it if you'd check out the great videos we have in stock -- thanks!

Tuesday, July 14, 1998

Greetings from J-List July 14, 1998

Hi from Japan. The big news from this side of the ocean is that Godzilla has finally hit here -- to monster-sized yawn, according to most accounts. My wife and I were quite disappointed with the the film, not just because they turned one of the major film genres of the 20th century into Jurassic Park III, but also because of the lack of respect for the original work they showed. Except for Godzilla's piercing screech and the flashing Toho picture before the start of the movie, nothing survived the transition -- not the uplifting and unique original's musical score, not the themes of Godzilla as a protector of Japan, not the slow-moving campiness. All had been sacrificed for flashy CG and a love interest between Ferris Beuler and a blonde Betty Boop that was apparently inspired by the movie "Twister." (Japanese director Shusuke Kaneko pointed out in a Jiji Press article that it was interesting that the Japanese Godzilla "stoically braves missile attacks" which cannot harm him, but the American film-makers "seem unable to accept a creature that cannot be put down by their weapons.")

The film is really one of the best examples of how different Japan and America are. My wife, with all her wisdom, once observed that "if an American has a choice between a small, delicious piece of cake, and a big one that tastes awful, he'll take the big one every time." (Apologies to anyone who's offended by any of this...but my wife and I were up til dawn after watching the American Godzilla, so I wanted to pass on some of her thoughts to the list...) In Japan, a major aesthetic theme is that of wabi and sabi, which can be summed up as "less is more" or "simple is best." This can be explained best by a scene I saw in Hideyoshi, a great samurai drama that was on NHK a couple of years ago about the life of Hideyoshi Toyotomi

Announcing the J-List Summer Video Sale

Because we've got to clear our large stock of videos out in time for our forthcoming move, we're having a Big Sale on all in-stock videos. In addition to current prices and free-shipping offers. J-List will give you

$1 off if you order one video
$2 off per video if you order two videos
$3 off per video if you order three videos
$4 off per video if you order four videos
and $5 off per video if you order five or more videos!

This means you can get $25 off an order of five already-reduced videos, or $500 off if you order just 100 videos (well, that's getting a little carried away, but you know what we mean). You'll be happy, since you'll get some great Japanese AV and save a bunch of money, Kaori will be happy because it will free up the stock room -- everyone wins! Considering that there are some close-outs on the Video Warehouse pages as low as $25, with free SAL shipping included, this offer brings the prices to ridiculously low levels. Now is the time to stock up on all the Ozawa Madoka and Yoshino Sari videos you need to get you through the summer...

The sale only applies to in-stock Japanese AV videos, and only until the end of July.