Thursday, November 18, 1999

Greetings from J-List November 18, 1999

It's a cold Thursday evening in Japan now, as I finish up today's update. I would have been finished hours ago, but I got the sudden urge to take the afternoon off and hit my favorite sauna for some relaxation, Japan-style.

The Leonid Meteor Shower, which peaked over Israel and Europe twelve or so hours ago, was watched quite closely by the evening Japanese news shows, who had teams of reporters all over the world. It was a great show, if you happened to live near the peak area and didn't have cloud cover to block your view. The footage taken by a special NASA plane, flying above the clouds, recorded hundreds of beautiful meteors falling like raindrops. Unfortunately, Japan completely missed the show. Cheers to everyone who caught some meteors.

There's no such thing as Thanksgiving in Japan, so Japan has started its Christmas Season officially. Everywhere you go, the music played in coffee shops and department stores has changed to bouncy Christmas songs -- every store seems to be selling the "Jitterbug" Santa, that moves his waist from side to side to music. Convenience stores such as Seven Eleven, Lawson and Sun Every have all started reservations for this year's "Christmas Cake" -- a unique (?) Japanese tradition that was likely created by retailers.

Tonight's update is a nice one. First of all, we've got a huge bunch of all-new adult "wide" manga posted to manga page 2. Some of the new books are truly excellent. There are some interesting "one-shot" magazines posted to magazine page 2, including some special and older magazines, for fans of girls who have retired. There are some interesting new items on the anime toys page, and some some new in-stock videos on the video page. Many of our dojinshi (both on the dojinshi and yaoi pages) have been reduced in price, too, so please check out the great bargains. We've got fresh stock of the very popular Bejean and Crystal Card AV idol cards, too (although they may go out of print soon).

Remember that J-List has a huge variety of monthly magazines available by subscription, including magazines for fans of anime, hobby modeling, JPOP, photography, Sony Playstation and Sega Dreamcast, yaoi comic art, and more. These magazines are valuable windows into contemporary Japanese life and culture, and are a great way to see a little piece of Japan every month. Each magazine has been chosen partially on the basis of its value to readers who can't read the Japanese text -- lots of color pictures and artwork, for example. Check out the great "reserve subscription" magazines

Monday, November 15, 1999

Greetings from J-List November 15, 1999

Hello again from Japan. Sorry for the pictures on the "about us" page all being dead -- the problem is fixed now. What a difference a search/replace can make...

And now for an update on Chuyan and Manaka, hitchhiking across the world in 80 days: they got a message on their pager that a friend in Des Moines had some Japanese friends and would help them. It turned out he was a pilot with a small plane, and he offered to fly them all the way to New York -- so they've crossed the rest of the U.S. in one fell swoop! At the end of the show, where they tell you what help they need now, they requested that anyone with helpful information on Europe (where they can go for food or shelter, etc.) send it to them at DENPA80@iridium.co.jp . (Since they're in Europe, they must have found a way across the Atlantic for free.) Remember, you can see their progress (in Japanese) at http://www.ntv.co.jp/denpa/sekai/index.html (although last night's broadcast isn't up yet).

Japan has a few new laws in the books. Starting next April (Japanese start everything in April, by the way), they're finally getting a child car-seat law. I can't help but thinking that this has come about partially from foreigners living here like me, who were horrified to see children jumping around unrestrained in a moving car. Also, starting this month, it's now illegal to use a portible phone in a moving vehicle, due to the high incidence of traffic accidents that result from this. (At a street near J-List, where a Mr. Doughnuts stood before it went out of business, there are several wreaths of flowers left in memory of a sixteen-year-old girl who was killed by a driver using his "keitai denwa" (portible phone).)

In a way, Japan is sensitive to criticism from both the foreign community living in Japan, and from other countries, since Japanese aways want to look good in the eyes of people of other nations as a matter of its national pride. issues such as the child seat law and occasional loopholes and poor

tell them about how the japanese are always lookingforaffirmation from overseas, hence they're rebuilding narita airport

We've got some nice items on the J-List site for you this evening. First, there is a big cache of both new and back-in-stock adult dojinshi, for fans of Japanese parody manga. Included on the list are some rare items, so check them out fast. (Remember that you can enter alternate items in the "extra order information" field of the order form.) We've got new magazines on the list, including the new Gal's Dee. Final Fantasy VIII fans will enjoy the excellent new action figures posted to the anime page -- we've also got several items available as special order on the anime page, including Sentimental Graffiti soft vinyl figures and a really cool Great Mazinger die-cast metal toy.

Christmas is right around the corner, and J-List has some unique items that would brighten the day of anyone on your Christmas list. If you've got Pokemon fans in your family, J-List has several interested in "authentic" (read: written in Japanese) Pokemon items, including some snacks that come with collectible cards and toys. If they love Japanese animation, we have some unique and special anime cards, puzzles and toys -- including new cool Gundam and FF8 items. For over-18 friends, why not give a 6 or 12 month subscription to Urecco, or a DVD they'd never expect, to go with their new DVD player? And while calendar pre-orders have closed, we've got quite a few Kusanagi Jun calendars coming in