Monday, June 17, 2002

Greetings from J-List June 17, 2002

Greetings from the J-List team!

We enjoyed out last days in Germany, taking the train to see the bustling city of Frankfurt, which is a very nice place, an interesting mixture of commerce, history and greenery. We also got to see some real soccer hooligans, driving through the street, mostly Turks boasting of their victory over Japan, and later and Koreans who were happy at defeating Italy. The hooligans were loud and surprising to us -- the only people who drive through the streets making noise in Japan are street gangs with bikes modified to be extra annoying, and right-wingers who play war songs about how great the Emperor is -- but it all seemed harmless for the most part. We had the bad luck to be in Germany on the hottest day in 15 years. Because it's not normally so hot, German air conditioning is far weaker what we're used to in Japan. We had fun in Frankfurt, but we did not solve the nagging Frankfurt/Frankfurter question (in Japan, a frankfurter without bread is a "frankfurt" and a hamburger without a bun is a "hamburg").

So now we're back in Japan, and find ourselves experiencing subtle instances of "reverse culture shock." Since my wife and I discovered the Joy of Beer in Germany, we got some from our shop (remember that, among the other blessings of my life, the first floor of our house in Japan is a liquor shop that my wife's parents run) and drank it...but it wasn't quite the same. Although Japan has a very developed beer industry, with some of the largest beer producing companies in the world such as Asahi, Sapporo and Suntory, nearly all Japanese beers contain rice in their ingredients (even Budweiser, which is sold by Asahi here). Perhaps the rice, or some other factor, gives Japan's beers a certain taste which is good, but not anything compared to what we had in Germany. Incidentally, the beer we decided suited us the best was Schneider Weiss, a semi-dark, slightly cloudy beer that is supposedly of Bavarian style. If you can ever lay your hands on some of this, we heartily recommend it!

We're glad to see our funny Japanese T-shirts are such a consistent hit, and to help you choose the shirt that's right for you, we've added a much-requested feature: the ability to choose your shirt color! Now you can choose most of our shirts in one of two colors (for example, the "I'm a strange foreigner" shirt now comes in dark blue or attractive brown, and the "American Devil" shirt now comes in orange or black). Of course you know that we now stock a huge range of sizes for you, from size S up through 3XL. As before, our funny Japanese T-shirts are 6.1 lb weight 100% cotton T-shirts printed right in the USA, so you never need to worry about Japanese shirt sizes ^_^ Remember that all our J-List shirts are 'signed' on the sleeves with our slogan ("Do you love Japan?") and our website logo.

This update is going out a little later than normal, since I had to go home and watch the World Cup game. Sadly, the U.S. was defeated by the excellent German team. It was a good game though, and we salute the German players. Good luck with the rest of the games!

For the new update, we've got a bunch of cool items for you. Our anime, snack, "wacky" and other items include:

  • We've got some nice new anime and toy items in, including new Love Hina "SkyLuv Project" figures that are just too cool
  • The "The Dog" collectors, a very cute plush Welsh Corgi that is soft and very cuddly
  • For fans of our Japanese snacks, try our new items, including Bisco, a popular cookie for kids that's been made for nearly 100 years
  • Also, stock of delicious "soba meshi fried noodle" snacks, Strawberry Milky candy, tart ume (OO-meh) candy, and more
  • New and back-in-stock idol photobooks, including the sweet and sexy May Iikubo's hardcover "Secret" swimsuit photobook
  • More Japanese food erasers
  • New bento boxes, including a deluxe set we've posted
  • A super item for Ultraman fans (you must see it to believe it)
  • A great way to massage your feet and maintain health
  • Several new Hello Kitty items, including Hello Kitty & Felix the Cat gum, Kitty wet tissues for use in many situations, and other items
  • Cute rice bowls for children, and much more!

For our adult customers, we've got many new 18+ products, including:

  • First, some new adult magazines, including the new issues of Video Boy and Best Video, the great "all purpose adult video magazines" of Japan
  • Also, new amateur magazines for fans of amateur girls and "kogals"
  • Many new and back-in-stock photobooks, including the lovely Rika Uesugi's "Female" hardcover photobook, the excellent Cherry Bombers nude photobook and more
  • For manga collectors, a great update of new and restocked manga volumes, including new ones from Angel Comics, Kyun Comics and World Special Comics
  • Also: fresh stock of some nice yaoi manga for fans of Japan's homosexual comics
  • We've got a boatload of great adult DVDs for you today, starting with a great Gachinko Cat Fight from Soft on Demand, featuring tough girls who don't mind fighting (includes the lovely Nanami Nanase) (region free)
  • We love Megumi Osawa, and now that she's a popular adult actress we're all the more interested in her -- see her newest erotic release from Kuki (region free)
  • Atlas has had an incredible run of adult video releases in its eight years, and now you can enjoy the best of those eight years, in a new 2 DVD release featuring 48 actresses and 6 hours of footage! (region free)
  • The "Do Lesbian" and "Do the Lesbian Act" DVDs from Soft on Demand and Dogma are always some of our most popular releases, and now you can enjoy one of the best lesbian performances ever (region free)
  • For region 2 DVD collectors, Mayu Koizumi performs in one of the most incredible DVDs we've ever seen -- she has sex with 100 horny amateur men, one after another, as a digital counter counts them off (region 2)
  • Maiko Yuki is one of the most popular AV idols of the past ten years, and now you can see her perform in an excellent new DVD release from Moodyz (region 2)
  • Go on an erotic "Black Date" with Mirai Hoshizaki, and spend your time having your way with the lovely AV queen who will do whatever you say (region 2)
  • Finally, a huge restocking of our best DVDs, including fresh stock of soft porn DVDs by Mai Hagiwara, Kaori Kuraishi and Maiko Kazano, Lesbian Maniax, Super Violent Shoot, The Kageki (subtitled in English!) and No Cut!! with Arisa Maki.

Well, that's all for now. The steady weight of jet lag is pulling be slowly downward, so I'll sign off. Hope to see you on the site!

Greetings from J-List June 17, 2002

Hello and guten tag from Germany!

The convention is over, and as usual, we are dog-tired after hours and hours of standing, talking to anime fans and explaining about J-List. We brought a few thousand of our popular Japanese pocket tissues, with our J-List URL and information on it, but many fans who received it had no idea what we were pressing into their hands. Pocket tissue is a staple of life in Japan -- when you walk down the street in Tokyo, you see girls handing out huge boxes of advertising tissue with company's messages on them. Japanese pocket tissue weren't very well known to fans in Germany, but thanks to us, the "tissue awareness" bar in Europe has been raised a notch. (Incidentally, every order from J-List comes with a free package of our tissue.)

We continue to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Old Country. Last night we had a delicious dinner in restaurant located in a famous 19th century Prussian fort with my sister and her husband, who live in Germany (we're a very international family). I'm typing this update from my iBook while cruising up the Rhine with Chiharu. Germany is a beautiful place, and the Koblenz and Rhine area especially lovely, with a great mixture of Roman ruins, beautiful castles, beautifully designed streets and parks, and more.

We continue to notice "little differences" (to use a Pulp Fiction phrase) between our home countries and Germany. All shops seem to close too early, and practically nothing is open on Sunday at all (just restaurants), which is quite different from the States, with its Super Walmarts that are open 24 hours. Taxis are nearly all Mercedez Benz, and are beautifully maintained by their drivers. We have yet to see a single McDonald's (so I can't have a "Royale with Cheese" experience), and we've yet to see a single policeman in any capacity, at least that we've recognized. There appears to be very little German music (apart from folk music), and all the radio we've heard has been American, mostly oldies and eighties hits. The food is very good here, and of course the beer is absolutely delicious. You never seem to get enough ice in your drink, though.

Happily, the J-List server shift is going well. The bug which kept new customers from checking out has been clipped (we think, anyway), and the problem with images not displaying was also fixed as well. The new server is much faster, and there are many "under the hood" improvements which will make things much easier for you and us. For starters, it's now easy for you to update your on-file shipping and billing addresses, and credit card on file too.

And we have a new update for you, too, a whole slew of new products from Japan, courtesy of our staff in Japan. There are many newly posted items, including magazines, photobooks, several new volumes of manga (along with fresh stock of previous posted issues), a large number of new and back-in-stock DVDs, and more. We've also got new anime and toy items, several new Japanese snack and gum items, fresh stock of snacks, new "wacky things from Japan," and more. We hope you'll check out the site -- thanks in advance!

Well, we're off to Frankfurt tomorrow, after a wine tasting tour in the morning. We'll be back in Japan by Thursday -- we'll see you then!