Saturday, May 26, 2001

Greetings from J-List May 26, 2001

Hello and greetings from J-List on this lovely Saturday afternoon.

Today was the summer Sports Day at my kids' kindergarten, and all the kids and parents spent the morning running relays and three-legged races, doing tug-of-war, and watching the kids show off their athletic skills. At the end of the day, the kids thanked their parents for working hard and gave their fathers framed pictures the kids had drawn. Rina, my daughter, must have been influenced by the pictures the other kids in her class were drawing, because I came out looking pretty Japanese, complete with black hair...

When you live in Japan, you learn to "adjust" your language so that the people you interact with will understand you. A "fan" in Japanese could be an electric fan, but the kind you hold in your hand is, to the Japanese mind, a completely different concept. A tissue is always a tissue, never a "Kleenex," although Kleenex is a popular brand here -- "milk" is the powdered stuff you put in your coffee, not what comes out of a cow. In a similar vein, there are several words that just "work" differently from word s in English, and it causes some confusion to the English-speaking mind. For example, there are two words for "cold" in Japanese: samui (for the air around you) and tsumetai (for anything that is cold to the touch, like ice cream). Gaijin invariably use th e wrong word when speaking Japanese. Also, the concepts of cold water (mizu) and hot water (yu or o-yu) are completely separate words, something that takes more than a bit of getting used to.

Yasu and Tomo are enjoying an Evangelion renaissance. Having missed the classical anime series when it was on the air in 1995, they're watching the series now, renting the episodes at the local Family Book. Every day at work we discuss the new psychologica l elements that come up in the show. If you like Eva and bishoujo games, I recommend you take a look at Season of the Sakura, which is basically a game based on the last 5 minutes of the Eva series (right down to several of the characters)

We're happy to announce that Borderline 3 ~Frozen Beach~ is shipping (and early, too!). This is an excellent work of hentai CG by illustrator Sakaki Naomoto, which we think is just wonderful. He's taken, ah, extra care with the detail of the 100% uncensore d graphics, too, and the result is a very erotic collection of "doujin" anime computer images -- something unavailable even to Japanese fans of this artist's work. The "click to zoom" feature on the images is great, too.

We've got a special announcement for the weekend: announcing the J-List 10% off sale. During the changeover from our current site, we're going to give 10% all magazine, photobook, anime art book and manga items on our site. This is our way of thanking you for your understanding while we work on the changeover. The temporary order form we've got up and running is working well, by the way, but if you find entering the items you want to buy into the form is cumbersome, we can accept orders either through our s ecure email form at https://rook.axnet.net/pages/virtual/jlist/orderjlist_secure.html or else directly via email. This is an excellent chance to pick up on some fantastic magazine, photobook and manga items from Japan!

Also, we've permanently lowered the price of one of our most popular video series, the Stark Nakedness Sports Series. This is a great and wacky video series from Soft on Demand that puts "zenra" (all-nude) Japanese girls in various athletic settings, from snow sports to nude underwater sports, "stealing into the room at night" and more. The #1 "Zenra" series video, though, is the classic "64 Zenra Girls in Rock-Paper-Scissors." 64 girls play jan-ken-pon with each other; the loser has to take off an article of clothing. Repeat. (The Zenra videos can be found on the SOD Main videos page.) In the last update, we talked about Morishita Kurumi's newest video release in which she actually performs with director TOHJIRO. Unfortunately, the item wasn't posted to the SOD video pages. We've corrected this now, sorry for the confusion ^_^

One of our most popular games over the past couple of years has been Nocturnal Illusion. One of the first bishoujo games ported to Windows 95, it features many nice characters and is popular with bishoujo gamers. Unfortunately, we had just sold out of the game -- or so we thought. The Gods of Pretty Girl Games smiled, and we found another 20 or so copies of this game in San Diego. If you're interested in this nice game, we suggest you get it before it sells out again.

We're glad to hear feedback from CM-Watch (http://www.cm-watch.com). This is a nice site (IMHO) where you can download a slice of Japan, in the form of Japanese TV commercials. There are many commercials we'll be showing you, from Brad Pitt's "Roots" coffee commercials to the infamous Simpsons CC Lemon ads. You can subscribe yourself to the CM-Watch updates mailing list to receive emails when the page is updated -- or if you like, just reply to this email and ask us to add you to the CM-Watch list. You need Quicktime 4 or 5 installed to view the movies on the site.

Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Greetings from J-List May 22, 2001

Hello again from J-List, your neighborhood friend in Japan.

Have you ever spoken to a Japanese person and wondered why they make agreeing noises while you're talking? This is aspect of Japanese speech called "aizuchi," basically "agreeing sounds" that speakers make when having a conversation. In Japanese, I could be explaining something that happened to me, and the person I'm speaking to would say things like "ee" (yes), "so" (that's true), and "ne" (a general word of agreement). It may sound funny, but in Japanese, it's necessary to show that you're listening to the other person -- not making these noises shows you're not paying attention, and the person you're talking with is likely to ask you what's wrong. The trouble is when you carry aizuchi into English, and butt into what the other person is saying with "that's right" and "yes."

Well, I'm sorry to say that Sachiko (who worked at J-List two years ago) hasn't had much luck getting a career as a "talent" since she moved to Tokyo. She's working at a company that provides Internet telephony services, and is doing well. However, Kaori and I were surprised to learn that the daughter of our old boss (the owner of the school we used to work for, which has since gone bankrupt) has debuted as a singer and is now famous all over Japan. It floored us to learn that Yumiko-chan, the half-Japanese, half-American girl who was a silly 13-year-old when I last saw her (I remember playing Nintendo with her at her house) is now Fukuhara Yumiko, and is being managed by the same company that manages Max and Speed's Uehara Takako. She's even singing the title song to a Japanese drama. See her picture at http://www.rising.ne.jp/web/release/fukuhara_what.html . It just goes to show, you never know.

Do you detect the scent of minty freshness? There's something new in the air, and I'm happy to report that it's.....CM-Watch! CM-Watch (http://www.cm-watch.com) is a site we launched where you could download Japanese TV commercials (called "CMs" in Japanese), but the site had been on hiatus while I grapled with being too busy to update the page. Thanks to the hard work of my good friend James, the new webmaster, CM-Watch lives, and with new Japanese TV commercials for you to check out. CM-Watch is a little service we make available to you, the Japanophiles of the world, because we think Japan is such a nifty place. Enjoy! (Requires Quicktime, available at http://www.quicktime.com/.)

For this evening's update, we've got a nice volley of cool things from Japan for you, including:

  • First, some excellent new magazines, including the new Gal's Dee (featuring the slender but busty Yoshizawa Nanako), a new issue of the always-popular and never-enough-in-stock OK, and more
  • For magazine/CD-ROM combo lovers, we've got a rare item -- Live Gal's Shower, which features both a full-color magazine as well as 2 CD-ROMs (Mac&PC Compatible) filled with excellent "bukkake" fun for you
  • If you love Japan's beautiful photobooks, we've got several all-new hardcover photobooks, including the lovely nude photobook of the Cherry Bombers (the "anti" Mini-suka Police). We also have fresh stock of several of the "Bishoujo Memorial" photobooks.
  • We've gotten in more stock of the very nice Cho Very Good photobook vol. 2, featuring a slew of Japan's most lovely AV idols
  • We have a major update to our manga pages, with fresh stock of dozens of excellent manga, including some of our most popular manga and items that had been backordered for many weeks (and which might not be available once our current stock runs out). Remember to check both page 1 and page 2 for new items
  • For doujinshi fans, we have fresh stock of the Great Work of Alchemy erotic doujiinshi, featuring great erotic themes
  • We've got fresh stock of the popular Crystal Card 2000 vol. 2 series, featuring beautiful collectible cards of Japan's most lovely AV idols
  • For hentai fans, see vol. 3 & 4 of Ohno Tetsuya's very lovely Mei King bishoujo anime DVD -- we'll be the first to admit it's a pricey series, but the beauty of these characters makes it worth it
  • If you love SOD's daring brand of "Indies" AV, we've got another nice item for you -- a new "teasing the penis" series video, featuring four "kogal" types who have great fun with some lucky cocks
  • Also for SOD, a great item for "chikan" (pervert on a train) fans: a super DVD featuring two complete hours of train-touching play and more
  • For fans of Love Hina and Card Captor Sakura, we're happy to announce that our order of these "bilingual" comics has come in, and we've posted the items to the anime & toys page. These great manga include both English and the original Japanese, and are great for collectors or students
  • For fans of Japan's lovely idols, we've got a daring DVD directed by the famous AV director TOHJIRO of Soft on Demand, who films the lovely Matsumoto Miku in ways that are far more erotic than filming her nude would be -- a truly amazing "hybrid" idol DVD (it's region-2 unfortunately)
  • We have fresh stock of our silly "Looking for a beautiful woman" sticker on the Signs, Stickers and Headbands page
  • We've got a bunch of new items on our Wacky Things from Japan pages, too, including the ultimate belt clip for your portable phone (go ahead, be Japanese), cute little "Hello Kitty" bottles that you can use to carry shampoo, contact lens solution, and other things, and more!

The link to the Anime categories was broken during the weekend, making those pages inaccessible. The link has been fixed -- sorry about that. Other than this hiccup, the "cartless" shopping cart is working well, and there have been no more problems with orders at all. The new J-List page is coming along nicely, and will include all the features that have been requested for so long, including full product search. Thanks for your patience while we work on the new site.