Saturday, April 01, 2000

Greetings from J-List April 1, 2000

Greetings from Japan, where red is the opposite of white.

I had great fun at my friend's wedding in Iwate Prefecture. It wasn't the snowy wasteland I was expecting, although it was cold. Fortunately for me, Hanamaki is a famous onsen (hot springs) town, so I got to enjoy the best onsen in Japan (according to the hotel employee). Getting naked in front of other men has never been so good... (See pictures of the happy couple at http://www.myjapan.net/peter/wedding3.html.)

The Tohoku area (the northern part of the main Japanese island of Honshu) is a great area, and I did some hitchhiking when in my days as a single gaijin. What it lacks in castles and battlegrounds and shrines it makes up in charm. Known for enka, the eerily beautiful music of rural Japan, it's interesting because all the place names are very un-Japanese, being derived from original Ainu names. One place I enjoyed going to in the past was Aizu-Wakamatsu, the scene of one of the last battles of the conflict between the feudal samurai and the pro-reform Restorationists, who were trying to modernize Japan. Rather than submit to becoming "modernized, the last remaining group of samurai chose to commit seppuku. It's a grim but fascinating place to visit.

For tonight's update, we have some great new items:

  • Famed photographer Akira Gomi's Last Loose Socks" -- a great multimedia documentary of the lives and loves of Japan's high school girls (on the photobook and CD ROM pages), for Mac and Windows
  • For photobook fans, we've got a bunch of popular photobooks, including Sendo Emi's "Tomadoi", the Nama-Ashi, and an item that is destined to sell out quickly, three copies of Fubuki Akira's "Impressive"
  • A lovely new photobook by the sweet and charming Uehara Rinka, Minet
  • More copies of the popular CG artbooks, Find Love 2 and Renkin Jutsu no Musume, on the anime page
  • For Pokemon fans, we're closing out our inventory of delicious Pokemon cookies and choco snacks, as well as those cool Hello Kitty phone strap & heart-shaped carmel treat sets
  • Finally, for our loyal hentai manga fans, we're happy to announce that Paradise Lost, the excellent series of Evangelion hentai dojinshi anthologies, is *back in print* and available on our site now!

We're moving right along with the two upcoming Milky House hentai games, Legend of Fairies and Fairy Nights, and expect them to ship by May 1. You can pre-order them from J-List and get the games sent to you as soon as they're released, and get free shipping to boot. See them on Hentai Games page 2, or the CD ROM page.

Friday, March 31, 2000

Greetings from J-List March 31, 2000

Hello again from Japan, where the Three Little Pigs' chant "not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin" has a different meaning entirely.

The end of March is upon us, and with it, the break-up of the four-girl band Speed. They've been an incredible force in the pop world in the last three years, and Japan is currently awash with little "mini-Speeds, second-rate pop singing/dancing groups that aspire to take Speed's vacant #1 slot in the music world. It won't really be vacant, of course, since Takako, Hiroko, Eriko and Hitoe all plan to pursue solo careers. (If you like Hiro, see her cute by ditzy shampoo commercial on http://www.cm-watch.com).

My son Kazuki is tickled that last year's five-team show, Go Go Five, is living on as part of the footage of Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue. While many elements of the American version are the same -- the irrefutable coolness to a four-year-old boy of a train that flies and transforms into a robot -- I of course noted the differences so I could report them to all of you. For one thing, the original Go Go Five is a family -- four brothers and their little sister, Matsuri-chan, and contain themes like families always stick up for each other" or "even if brothers have a falling out, they're family, so they always make up in the end." The American show choose totally unrelated characters to interact with each other, and of course the need to reflect all the mosaic groups that make up the U.S. -- token black, token Asian, token female who's smarter than all the men and knows UNIX -- is reflected in the end product. Kazuki and I both agree that Red's "Ladder Punch" (extending ladders that "punch" out of the fire engine mech) are totally stupid

In tonight's update, we've got some nice new items:

  • A nice magazine & dual-Video CD item, with a focus on the lovely Miura Aika (although the clips on the VCDs seem to be mostly Indies)
    Great photobooks, including new items (Yamauchi Mihoko's Brilliant and Asakura Megumi's "M") as well as back-in-stock items that had sold out before
  • On the gouka-bon book, some extremely wonderful high-end S&M and fetish books (most of which are single issues and will sell out quickly, so hurry if you're interested in these)
  • New manga on the hentai manga page, along with more copies of some old favorites (December's Girl and others)
  • Twenty or so new dojinshi on the dojinshi page, including some of the very lovely Nozui Magic volumes
  • New puzzles -- a great tribute to the Toei Godzilla movies, and a large-size brilliant Red Fuji with Flying Cranes, on the puzzle page
  • One of the baddest mechs ever to come out of Gainax -- Gunbuster, on the Anime & Toys page
  • The lovely swimsuit idol Ms. Shaku Yumiko, in her very popular idol video, on the idol video page
  • New stock of Himo-Q, one of my favorite Japanese snacks (think long gummi string)
  • Close-out prices on all our Pokemon stickers -- see the cool metallic and embossed stickers on the cards & puzzles page.

I've got an adventure tomorrow -- I'm off to a tiny town in rural Iwate Prefecture, near the top of Japan, for a wedding. Northern Japan is still a frozen wasteland in March, or at least it seems that way to my San Diegan-mind set. Until I get back, see you on the web!

Tuesday, March 28, 2000

Greetings from J-List March 28, 2000

Hello again from Japan, home of the American Dog (someone must have thought a Corn Dog would sell better with this name).

Grand Master Takatoriki has won the latest sumo tournament, taking the sumo world utterly by surprise. A less well-known rikishi, he's been wrestling for 18 years, and has never won a tournament in his life. In a TV interview, he broke the normal rules sumo wrestlers have against showing emotion openly by crying tears of joy over winning. In other sumo news, Wakanohana, one of the most famous of all the current crop of wrestlers, announced his retirement due to poor emotional and physical health. Wakanohana and his younger brother, Takanohana, are well known and popular in the sumo world. Both achieved the rank of Grand Master (Yokozuna)

My wife and son are in the U.S., enjoying a much-deserved dose of American culture -- everything they can't get here in rural Japan, from Starbucks to Taco Bell to good old American shopping malls. We all like living in Japan of course, but there's nothing like going to California and speeding down the wide, straight freeways, eating Hawaiian-style shave ice on the beach in Mission Bay... Since we both can't leave J-List along, we take turns, taking one kid at a time to make sure they get enough exposure to their "other" country, America. With my wife gone, I'm free to putter around (only married men know the fun of "puttering around")

Tonight's update features some good new items, including:

  • A fistful of new magazines, including several excellent rare and "one shot" items, on all magazine pages (but most of the new single-issues are on page 2)
  • The new "Aishite ageru" (I'll Love You), a nice "wet"-themed magazine from Million Publishing
  • Several lovely new photobooks, including some excellent leg, skirt and high-heel shoe fetish items
  • And on the gouka-bon page, several nice new S&M-themed all-color photobooks
  • For dojinshi fan types, more copies of the popular "Effecter" and "Limit Break" dojinshi
  • New hentai "wide" manga on the manga pages, and lower prices for all our stock of the excellent Colorful Moon & Electric Fighting Daughters manga series
  • New adult videos in-stock, including some rare one-shot videos (see pages 1 and 4 for the new items)
  • For our idol video fans, we've got a rare Kahala Tomomi gravure video, and a lovely new Race Queen offering from Pony Canyon (on the idol page)
  • New JPOP "maxi-singles" (long-playing singles with several tracks), including new CDs by Suzuki Ami, Hide, and more
  • Finally, for that young Pokemon fan with a birthday coming up, some new Pikachu children's puzzles (on the cards & puzzles page)

Hope you're having a good start of your week -- see you on the web!