Saturday, December 18, 1999

Greetings from J-List December 18, 1999

Hello again from Japan, home of the Dango Sankyoudai, or the three singing sweet dumplings on a stock.

On Dec 22nd, the Earth and the Moon will be at their closest point, and this will happen during a full moon, making this a rare astronomical event (so get out your telescopes of binoculars). The occurrances of earthquakes is higher during this time, as the Moon's movement stretches the Earth. Sure enough, we had three pretty scary medium-sized quakes all in one day, the other day, and it was enough to start me worrying about an end-of-the-century "Big One" hitting Japan. Kind of frightening.

The dancing baby that was made famous by its appearance in season one of Ally McBiel continues to show up in Japan, now appearing as the star in a Nissan car commercial (he ice-skates now). Soon, we'll be launching a site that will allow you to see Japan's best commercials in Quicktime format -- and there are so many here in Japan, everything from Meg Ryan speaking Japanese (shudder) to commercials for hopelessly cute Japanese household products with little chirping birds. Just one of the many improvements we'll be offering in 2000.

We've got a bunch of nice products for you today. First, there's another cache of new magazines, including "Ike Ike" "DD Toppers" and several others, as well as a healthy addition of popular hardcover photobooks that had sold out in the past. Fans of J-List excellent adult manga pages will enjoy the additions we've posted, including more copies of many items that had sold out in the past, as well as three excllent "how to draw in manga style" theme books (on the hentai manga page) that are very good. If you love JPOP, we've got some nice new "maxi-singles" posted to the JPOP page. There are a few more calendars posted to the calendars page, including the lovely Ayane Sayaka (swimsuit model) and more. And finally

Remember that J-List is closing out our stock of US-release adult anime videos. Our prices are great -- below our cost on most of the items -- so please check out our selection. All items on the US Anime Videos are in stock and ready to go out to you right away. And don't forget we've got great snacks like Poke-Pachi, a Pokemon lollypop combined with pop rocks.

Thursday, December 16, 1999

Greetings from J-List December 16, 1999

It's another quiet evening here at the J-List World Headquarters. Kaori, who left early to get her eyebrows permed (don't ask), is staying late today helping me get the update finished on time.

In Japan, it's year-end gift giving season again. Companies give gifts to each other to show feelings of thanks for services rendered in the past, and to say "yoroshiku onegai shimasu" (a very hard phrase to translate -- it sort of means "please continue to be of service to me in the future") for the coming half year. The two gift-giving periods (called Chugen in the summer, and Oseibo in the winter) is a big part of the Japanese economy, and companies compete to make the most interesting gifts available. This year J-List sent a traditional Gunma gift -- a boxed set of Japanese-style sweets, chocolates, and rice crackers.

It's also time for planning bounenkai (year-end parties) and shin-nenkai (new-year parties). In Japan, you never have a New Year's party before the new year actually arrives, you have year-end parties (or more accurately forget the past year parties). Nearly everyone is busy in late December/early January, scheduling the various parties, and they're great fun. As you can imagine, bars and restaurants raise their prices during this time. This year's J-List year-end party will be at our favorite sushi restaurant.

We've got some nice new items for you today. First of all, several new magazines are in, including the new issues of Dela Beppin, Video Boy and Best Video, all featuring a great selection of some of Japan's most beautiful AV idols. Fans of the beautiful Kusanagi Jun (also known as Kano Mizuho) will enjoy the additional copies of her popular Kubire and Kubire 2 photobooks. We've gotten in a selection of other great photobooks that had sold out before, too, so check these pages. If you love J-List's unique anime page, check out the page, for more stock of the popular Santa Girl soft vinyl figure (a timeless classic), as well as the popular Pikachu ANA Airport set (an entire airport of Pikachu toys, all die cast metal). If you're looking for Pokemon, we've also got several new children's puzzles including a really cool Kitty-chan (Hello Kitty) that Kaori wanted for herself. There is a nice selection of new special-order videos on the special order video pages (as always, new items go on page 1), and more.

We've also gotten in one last shipment of calendars, which we've posted to the in-stock calendars page. Since the new year is nearly upon us, we're frankly eager to blow our stock of calendars out the door, so we've cut the prices on ALL our in-stock calendars. We've got two huge boxes left, with something for everyone: the four cute members of Speed, the great members of JPOP bands like Every Little Thing and Morning Musume, great anime calendars like Slayers and Trigun, and of course, the only authentic Japanese Pokemon calendars you're going to find anywhere. If you've got room left on your walls for some unique, special Japanese calendars, please check out the stock we have available for immediate shipment. Yoko and Kaori will thank you!

Monday, December 13, 1999

Greetings from J-List December 13, 1999

Good evening from Japan, the country with cars with names like "Sprinter" Soarer "Silvia" and "Super Saloon."

The Princess of Japan, Masako-sama, is "showing signs of being pregnant" with her first child, which has caused a frenzy of news reports and speculation, as well as documentaries on the life of Michiko, the current Empress, and how happy the nation greeted news of her children. It is funny to note that there is no confirmation that Masako-sama (who was educated at Harvard and spent years in the U.S. and U.K. -- although it's interesting to note that she only speaks Queen's English in public) is pregnant at all -- she is scheduled to see a doctor next week -- but this hasn't stopped the media from their reporting frenzy.

Chuyan and Manaka are doing well in their attempts to get around the world in 80 days. Hitchhiking to Brussels to meet a Japanese man who ran a restaurant ("Samurai") there, who offered to help them. He let Manaka work for a week to earn money. Meanwhile, they met up with Japanese man, a man who trades in jewelry, who made them a great offer: if Chuyan (who is quite a talented artist) would design some jewelry for him, he'd pay for them to accompany him to the next stop on his business trip, India. Now they're in India, much closer to their goal than they were before.