Friday, September 12, 2003

Greetings from J-List September 12, 2003

Hello again from all of us in Japan!

The second anniversary of the September 11 tragedy was marked in Japan as well as around the world. The Japanese have a great respect for America and the city of New York, and it was the highest point of pride for a Japanese company or bank to have its offices in the famous World Trade Center buildings. Japanese trained for years, hoping for the chance to be assigned to such a prestigeous post. There were 31 Japanese firms in the two buildings, including some of the most famous banks and trading companies such as Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank and Fuji Bank. Although it was a terrible tragedy for many, happily all but 24 of the estimated 500 Japanese nationals who had been working in the buildings were able to escape safely.

"You've been in Japan too long when NHK warnings about landslides and other natural disasters make you feel reassured that someone is benevolently watching over you." NHK, short for "Nippon Housou Kyokai" or the Japan Broadcasting Association, is the government-run broadcasting network in Japan, roughly equivalent to the BBC in Britain. Creating a wide variety of programming, from samurai dramas that teach Japanese classical history, to educational programs for kids, to some well-known anime shows like Cardcaptor Sakura and Nadia of the Mysterious Sea. Sumo wrestling, the national sport of Japan, is covered on TV and radio by NHK, and they show many TV shows from overseas (like Ally McBiel and Sesame Street). But NHK is most famous for news, and the calm, droning voices of the newscasters provide a warm security blanket that covers all Japan, from Hokkaido in the north to Kyushu in the south. As with the BBC, the Japanese spoken by NHK's newscasters is considered the absolute base for standard Japanese.

Magazine Sale! J-List carries many adult magazines from Japan like Urecco, Gal's Dee and many more. We've been doing some spring cleaning around here and have uncovered several dozen magazines which were thought long sold out -- but which are available once again. The best news is that most of these rare items are available at great prices, most at $5. To see these magazines, which often feature girls who have retired and won't be available again, see magazine pages 2 & 3, or view all J-List products and keep scrolling down. But do it fast -- most of these bargain-priced magazines will go fast!

For the new update, we've got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:

  • First, for those curious about Japan's famous interactive anime games, we've got a great item for you: Phantom of Inferno, a beautiful interactive game with great art, music and story, which you play on any standard DVD player, or DVD software on your computer -- fully translated into English
  • For Domo-kun fans, we've got a special item: a deluxe set of plush keychains that include all the fun and bizarre characters of the Domo-kun universe
  • For Gundam fans, a cool set of dioramas recreating famous scenes from the history of the Gundam universe -- with full sets available (no need to buy duplicates)
  • Also very cool, we have the just-released Alien Kubrick toy line from Medicom Toy, which includes incredibly detailed replicas of characters from Ridley Scott's classic film -- the detail of the Alien and Nostromo spacesuit are especially cool, and we have full sets in stock
  • We love to carry wacky things from Japan, and parody condoms are part of that fun -- find Pokemon and Superman joke condoms on our site today
  • JPOP fans won't want to miss the limited edition photobook box set for fans of Maki Gotoh, the former Morning Musume who put the group on top of Japan's charts -- it's a really special item for Gomaki fans!
  • Harumi Nemoto is an incredibly popular swimsuit model in Japan, a model of a new kind of Japanese woman who is self assured in her beauty and sexiness -- see her newest photobook in stock for you
  • For fans of Hello Kitty goods sold only in Japan, we've got some cool new items, including a leather coin purse and a plush Kitty tissue cover
  • Also, if you've wanted to get some of the super-cute Usacolle toys, featuring the super cute Usako Friends characters, we have really cool magnets in stock for you -- for now at least
  • Then for fans of delicious Japanese snacks, enjoy unique Japanese potato chips, tomato-flavored stick snacks, wakame soup, hashed potato treats and more
  • For Macross fans, a real treat: a limited edition recreation of the orange training mech from the Macross 1984 movie, complete with full transformability and replica figures of Hikaru and Minmei in the cockpit
  • Then, for fans of traditional Japanese images, we have some beautiful hand-created stickers featuring Lucky Cat, cherry blossoms and other images, a really unique item from Japan
  • Keep cold drinks cold with a handy 500 ml PET bottle holder from Japan
  • We've restocked the popular Harry Potter bento boxes from Japan, a great way to mix your Japanese and British culture
  • For fans of wacky Japanese erasers, which are very popular here, we've got more Japanese traditional sweets erasers in stock, with full sets included
  • Also, we've got fresh stock of the miniature "ekiben," or train station bento lunches, including full sets of this great item from Japan
  • We've also restocked most flavors of gum from Japan, including Black Black caffeine gum, delicious Ume (Japanese plum) gum, Dakara ("Pocari Sweat" gum) and more
  • For fans of Shirow Masamune, we've added stock of the great bilingual Ghost in the Shell manga, which features a totally new translation from the original English release
  • Also, for Japan Hot Wheels fans, see fresh stock of the K.I.T.T. and Airwolf vehicles
  • For fans of Blythe, the beautiful doll series from Takara, we have fresh stock of several popular items
  • Finally, we've got a great 2004 schedule book that is of great use to any Japanophile, more delicious Mill Make, a milk drink enjoyed by all Japanese children for decades, more useful chopsticks for adults, and other great items!

For our adult customers, we've got many new 18+ products. They include:

  • For fans of beautiful, busty Japanese ladies, we've got the new Gal's Dee in stock for you -- and it's a lovely one, with all of Japan's top busty idols as well as sexy Tokyo amateurs
  • For photobook lovers, we've got some nice items, including Maria Takagi's super sexy nude photobook, erotic and beautiful to behold
  • Also, fresh stock of some popular photobooks, including ones by Bunko Kanazawa, Nao Oikawa, Aoi Sora and more, as well as more high school uniform mini photobook
  • Then enjoy fresh stock of some great magazines like Deka Melon and One-X, just for you
  • For our hentai manga customers, we have some excellent new works for you, including Gekka Saeki's "Sexy and Charming Wife's Apron," the erotic "Delusion Mania Girls" by MD Comics and more
  • We've also got a great big restocking of classic hentai manga for you, including Sinful Days 1 & 2, After S, the Chobits hentai anthology, and great works from Fujio Okamoto
  • Also, a rare treat for fans of Youhei Kozou's Punky Knights manga art -- a special edition erotic CG collection sold only through J-List, which features *uncensored* artwork by the famous artist
  • Also, for yaoi fans, a great issue of Gush Mania, featuring compilations of erotic yaoi stories from 13 artists, with 320 pages of content for you
  • We've also restocked several issues of AG, the magazines of "art, sex and CG culture" which presents great Japanese manga translated into English
  • For fans of hentai animation, we've got a cool treat for you: two bargain-priced hentai anime featuring classic animated erotica by semi-pro and amateur animators in Japan -- great fun for hentai fans, 100+ mins each (region free)
  • Then enjoy Japan's fetish for beautiful girls from Eastern Europe, in Hame Hame Prague, Czech Girls, featuring drop-dead beautiful girls from the Czech Republic, performing Japanese-style adult video (region free)
  • Then from Soft on Demand, the lovely Ai Kurosawa, who is an indies performer now, shows you some of her best sex and soapland erotica, including her first lesbian experience (region free)
  • Then see the dynamite Mai Haruna as she fulfills your erotic anime cosplay fantasies, with parodies of Cutey Honey, Urusei Yatsura, and The Matrix Reloaded -- it's cool (region free)
  • For fans of the sultry, sexy Ran Asakawa, enjoy her super-erotic new release "Continuation of Merciless Sexual Language" (region 2)
  • Finally, see freshly restocked DVD titles, including Leg Fetish Best Selection (both volumes), Dream Woman with Asuka Sawaguchi ("gorgeous actress and semen shower"), Miyuki Kasuga's popular The Idol release, and Sakura Sena's top-quality Sexy Boing! DVD -- also, see many reduced priced DVDs on the site as well!

Remember that J-List makes dozens of magazines available through our "reserve subscription" system. Basically, we'll pre-reserve the current issue of each month's magazine for you and have it in the mail to you by the time it's in bookstores here in Japan -- a few days earlier, since we get our stock earlier than most bookstores. Some magazines we recommend including Gothic & Lolita and FRUiTS (for those who want to keep their finger on the leading edge of Japanese fashion), Megami Magazine (a great anime magazine filled with posters and free stuff), and Figure King (superb toy magazine -- follow the hottest action figure trends from Japan). See the magazine subscription pages or search for "subscription" from any J-List page.

The top 5 lists have been updated so you can browse the most popular manga, toy, magazine, photobook and other items on J-List over the past week.

J-List customers tell us that the #1 way they hear about J-List is through word-of-mouth. We're very glad to hear this, and we're always happy to accept referrals! If you've got a friend who might be interested in our unique brand of Japanese pop culture, why not tell them about J-List, or ask them to sign up to our J-List updates? Thanks!

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Greetings from J-List September 10, 2003

Hello again from Japan, where the municipal employment office is called Hello Work.

As in most countries in the world, modern Japanese culture has been changed by the arrival of the "keitai denwa" or portable phone, which virtually all Japanese seem to own. The Japanese market for cellular phones is red-hot, with companies like NTT Docomo and J-Phone (bought by Vodaphone and recently rebranded with the Vodaphone name) and Au competing to bring the best products to consumers. Being the Microsoft of Japan, NTT's Docomo is a gorilla that beats up the competition pretty badly, and their pioneering iMode, the first system to let you surf web pages on your phone, is a category-killer. Their 3-G FOMA system is going head-to-head with Au's CDMA-1, which has a good edge both in Japan and worldwide. (We like CDMA because it was designed in San Diego.) Some Au phones can also be used outside of Japan, although the extra charges are still quite high. Phones that take pictures have been popular in Japan for a long time, and newer phones offer the ability to record MPEG-4 movies, play Java games, find yourself on a GPS map, and so on. Phones that have an LCD screen on the outside of the phone, so you can see the face of the person calling you, are popular now, too. Japanese are quite adept at sending email with portable phones, and it's funny to see high school girls typing at a very high speed using just their thumbs on the tiny keypad.

What color are your eyes? All Japanese people have brown eyes, although if you ever ask them what color their eyes are, they'll tell you "black" (because the center of the eyes are black, as opposed to the iris). Japanese are often interested in the eyes of foreigners, since they come in different colors, something totally unknown in Japan (although they do sell color contact lenses here). Yet when I tell them that my eyes change color depending on what I'm wearing, changing from green to hazel to blue (they do), they usually don't believe it's possible. Once, we were asked by our Spanish teacher, a Japanese who grew up in Peru, if I saw the world through a blue or green tint because of the color of my eyes. It was kind of a weird experience...

One of the social elements at work in Japanese daily life is the "myth of Japanese uniformity." Just as Westerners who haven't had much experience with Japanese people might say "they all look alike" to them (don't worry, it's a natural reaction, especially when you come here for the first time), Japanese have a tendency to act as if the Japanese race was completely pure and unified, with everyone looking pretty much the same as everyone else. Japanese all have the same color eyes, it's true, but their other features can be extremely varied -- hair color and texture, skin shade, shape of the nose and face, height, facial and body hair, and so on. Inside the "unified" Japanese gene pool there are genes from the Ainu, the original inhabitants of Northern Japan, as well as Korea, China, Mongolian, South America, and increasingly, America and Europe (like my kids). All of the genes create more and more variation in what Japanese people look like, yet Japanese tend not to "see" these differences, and go on believing that Japanese are all pretty much exactly the same as each other. This can be quite a useful thing, since it removes internal strife inside Japan based on perceived differences, although it's an odd concept to get used to, but for the most part, Japan is one big happy in-group. Tokyo mayor Shintaro "The Japan That Can Say No" Ishihara, whose politics are sometimes a bit to the right of Atilla the Hun, recently admitted that Japanese do indeed have blood from a variety of regions in their veins.

At J-List, as love all forms of Japanese pop culture, including the wacky adult and hentai, which is not in short supply in Japan. Today we're happy to announce Casual Romance Club, a bold new kind of total dating simulator released by Libido. Suddenly without reason, love takes you by surprise. Do you want to have a serious romance? Keep it simple at first by joining the Casual Romance Club. Not only is the game released in Japan with a full English translation (including a first for bishoujo games, voice actors who speak English as well as Japanese), it comes with a deluxe 48 page hardcover data book on the characters and gaming system. Since Casual Romance Club is a Japan release, it's stocked and shipped out of J-List's Japan office. Requires Windows 98/Me/2000/XP and a DVD-ROM drive.

For the new update, we've got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:

  • First, for fans of Japanese pretty idols -- check out the "Monthly Yuko Itoh" dedicated magazine/photobook, just lovely
  • Also, a nice hardcover mini-photobook featuring Minako Komukai, a beautiful girl who wears a kimono, yukata, and bikini of the camera
  • Then enjoy a great short movie and "gravure image" (Japanese parlance for sexy photos and video of in bikini) featuring the lovely Fumina Hara, a truly beautiful Japanese lady (region 2)
  • For fans of unique Japanese toys from Japan, we've got a really cool Dragonball Z series of figures, Gokuh, Piccolo and Vegeta, rendered in beautiful soft vinyl
  • Also, fresh stock of the very cool Amazing Weapons series, miniature recreations of the bizarre weapons invented during World War II as only the Japanese could create them
  • If you love Naruto, we've got some really cool "detail stickers" for you
  • For fans of Japanese Hot Wheels, which are sold exclusively in Japan, we have some cool new items, vehicles from bizarre TV shows of the 1970's
  • For fans of our Japanese food items, we've got several unique delicacies from Japan, delicious "butter caramel," tasty bread sticks from japan, and more
  • We have more chopsticks from Japan, too, which are extra-easy for adults to use
  • For those interested in Buddhism, we've got some beautiful Buddhist beads for use as decoration or as an accessory, very nice
  • If you want to keep your car looking nice, get a cute canvas trash bag for the back -- it's got wacky English on it too!
  • For Hello Kitty fans, we have a cute toy vacuum cleaner -- wind it up and watch it go -- as well as fresh stock of various other from-Japan Kitty items
  • We've gotten in a major restocking of miniature toys w/ ramune candy, including the Chinatown and miniature sushi sets -- with full sets restocked and ready for you to order
  • Also, look for various new Domo-kun items, including several popular items which had sold out (including the "really big Domo-kun plush")
  • Finally, look for Japanese train pass holders, a great way to scoop rice, more mosquito incense to kill the pesky bugs, sushi molds for making sushi, more minty eyedrops from Japan, and more!
  • For our adult customers, we've got many new 18+ products. They include:
  • For fans of high-quality Japanese adult magazines, we've got the new issue of Urecco, and it's a great one, with dozens of ripe, beautiful girls for you to check out
  • Also, we've got the great new issue of Photo Shot, featuring a host of superb erotic cosplay photos and top stars, like Alice Ogura, Sora Aoi, Ryoko Mitake, Hitomi Hayasaka, and Yuko Ogura
  • Then enjoy the first issue of Ryu-gu ("Dragon Shrine"), featuring superb hardcore sex by Japanese bad girls, a real treat
  • Also, for fans of magazines with a focus on kogals, we've got a great new issue of Yes!! featuring dozens of loose Japanese girls in love hotels
  • For photobook fans, don't miss the super sexy nurse fetish photobook of Yoko Kumada, fast becoming one of the top sexy idols in all Japan, as well as fresh stock of Manami Suzuki's superb erotic photobook
  • Also, a great issue of DVD Sand, featuring a full color hardcore magazine and a DVD with great cosplay "quickies" (region 2), along with fresh stock of the superb Ran Asakawa "More and More" magazine + DVD set
  • For our hentai manga customers, we've got some great new books for you, including The Campus Legend Love Affair by Mujin Comics, sweet sex in everyday situations with Lovely Girl by female hentai artist Moe Kirara, and exploration of sex-on-train themes in Piko no Season as well as other works
  • In addition to the excellent Casual Romance Club, we're happy to announce that X-Change 2 is back in stock after selling out for a week (more copies were being pressed) -- so be sure and check out this fabulous dating-sim game if you don't own it yet
  • For our DVD customers, we've got some great titles for you, starting with a new bargain-priced "Masterpiece Concentration" release featuring the lovely sex of Ai Nagase (region free)
  • Then enjoy some real sex of authentic soap girls in Tokyo, in a special look at this interesting world of Japanese soaplands, image clubs and lingerie pubs (region free)
  • A bargain release on our SOD Outlet, we've got stock of the very cool Lovers Pop, a "sex magazine" on DVD featuring erotic content that's of interest to both men and women (region free)
  • Explore the world of slutty women and lesbian sex in a new release from Dash, "A molester's woman is a lesbian" -- love those funny English titles (region free)
  • Finally, Tomo has added fresh stock of several popular DVD titles, including Wet & See Through with Mirai Hoshizaki, Female Masturbation Study (Lesbian Version), the erotic Chikan Report, Deep's 2003 Masterpiece, erotic Gymnastics girls, and more -- see all the great new items!

J-List carries AG, the excellent manga magazine of "art, sex and CG culture," bringing superb English-translated hentai manga and more to adult readers. We love the format of the excellent magazine, which comes out every 2-3 months, and we offer reserve subscriptions for fans who want to make sure they don't miss an issue. We hope you'll support this great magazine by picking up all the issues. For your ordering convenience, it's stocked in our San Diego warehouse.

Like Star Trek or the Lord of the Rings? Then logic dictates that you see the video of Mr. Spock singing the Ballad of Bilbo Baggins if you haven't yet. I found a link here: http://www.game-revolution.com/download/trickyl/goodies/Video/baggins.mov (not sure if it will stay up when everyone on the list accesses it, but search Google if it stops working). Quicktime required.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Greetings from J-List September 8, 2003

Hello again from your friends at J-List!

When foreigners visit Japan, there are many things that stand out as odd to them. Using coins for the equivalent of $1 and $5 bills, which Americans aren't used to. Horizontally oriented stoplights versus vertical, as they have in the States (except in Northern Japan, where they get a lot of snow). Stores which let you know they're about to close by playing Auld Lang Sine through store speakers. Kit Kat bars with three thick levels of wrapping to them. Drinks with names like Pocari Sweat and Calpis. Vending machines selling rice, eggs, adult products. High school girls all wearing those outrageous bulky socks. Toilets without seats. It's all very odd, but then again, that's the fun of traveling to another country, seeing what it has to offer and comparing it with what you're familiar with back home.

Convenience stores ("conbini" in Japanese) are another fun thing to check out when you come to Japan. There are dozens of convenient store chains here, dominated by Seven Eleven Japan, which created the category in 1974 by adapting an American concept with Japanese-style distribution practices. Some other popular convenience stores are Lawson, MiniStop, Circle K Japan, Sunkus (the name is a merging of "sun" and "thanks"), and Yamazaki Daily Store. Convenience stores offer many products, including Japanese-style food (bento and onigiri/rice balls), various bread products (both sliced white bread and various specialty breads, including a current hit, the ham & cheese on french toast sandwich), drinks like canned coffee, candy and gum, batteries and film, umbrellas, ice cream, and inexpensive toys for kids. The concept of personal checks doesn't exist in Japan at all, and most people pay their monthly bills by taking them to their local convenience store where they can be read by the cash register. In the winter, I love to go to a convenience store and get niku-man, a Chinese bun which is basically meat inside steamed white bread -- yum. There are microwave burritos to be had here, but be warned: with ingredients scrambled egg & ham or pizza and sausage, they might surprise you. Like Japanese banks, convenience stores here compete by trying to appear as similar to each other as possible, and by and large, you won't find something that available in one chain that's not available everywhere.

For the new update, we've got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:

  • For bento fans, we've got a new variation on our popular bento box, a two-level version with chopsticks, cup and cloth bag to carry it all in
  • For fans of Japan's very popular swimsuit idols, we've got a great perfect-bound photobook featuring the lovely Yuka Hirata
  • Also, look for other great photobooks, such as the delightful and popular Eriko Satoh's new hardcover offering, and the cute cut-off shorts of Natsuki Nakazawa
  • For Hello Kitty fans, we've got some really cool canvas Kitty all-purpose holders, which are a great way to store things on your desk
  • Also, see a great set of Kitty toothbrushes in stock, and fresh stock of the cool Hello Kitty soy sauce bottles, Kitty rice bowls and coffee cups, and more
  • For fans of Usako Friends, the uber-cute character series in the Thunder Bunny universe, we have a great new Usako Friends character stationary/origami set that you can fold into a 3-D model too
  • The Kubrick line of block toys from Medicom Toy is known for its great quality -- see the excellent new Nightmare Before Christmas figures that we've got in stock!
  • For fans of Japanese snacks, enjoy vegetable-flavored pretzel snacks, more delicious canned fish stewed in miso, big Japanese rice crackers and Kamen Rider ramen -- yum!
  • We've restocked our popular loose socks, the bulky socks that high school girls wear (in 70 and 120 cm sizes)
  • For Totoro fans, we've got a great new PVC keychain as well as a major restocking stock of several Totoro plush toys (including the "really big Jiji")
  • Got a keitai (portable phone)? Get a cool Velcro keitai holder that's very cool
  • Finally, some cool new authentic chopsticks from Japan, a spiffy light from Japan,

For our adult customers, we've got many new 18+ products. They include:

  • For fans of beautiful women all around the world, we've got the new issue of the "No. 1 Glamour Magazine" Bachelor, which features beautiful nude models and AV stars from America, Europe and Russia
  • Also, we've got the new issue of one of our favorite magazines: Smart Girls, which features fabulous photos of pro and amateur Japanese gals which are so pretty and sexy, the magazine is purchased by women in Japan as well as men
  • We've got a great issue of DVD Binkan ("DVD Sensitivity") which features a full color magazine and a 2 hour DVD filled with great samples and quickies (region free)
  • For photobook lovers, don't miss the sweet photobook of Yukari, whose erotic body surpasses mere nudity in photographs expertly taken by Takayuki Kozuka
  • Then see fresh stock of several photobook items, including Toko Ushikawa's "Gentle Sex" and Yoko Matsugane's oh-so-sexy "Genkai DNA"
  • We've got some great new items for hentai manga collectors, including the excellent big-bust "Party of Release," bunny girl fetish manga by Belle Comics, Yoki Amano's "Melty Feeling"
  • Also, fresh stock of some great sold-out works like dick-girl Colors Anthology, Onesama to Pururun, Slave As Flesh Hole and more
  • For doujinshi lovers, we've got a great item: for you: a new issue of Gorippa, featuring fabulous hentai artwork of Evangelion, Love Hina, Bebop Cowboy, and more
  • For DVD collectors, we've got some great new adult titles for you, starting with the Sakurako Kaoru's 180 minute Re-Mix, featuring her best busty sex ever (region free)
  • Cocolo is a fresh and wonderful pro adult video idol from Japan, and you'll love her in her new Cocolo'X release, very erotic and enjoyable (region free)
  • From Soft on Demand's IEnergy label, a bold release for Ran Asakawa fans: a complete sci-fi story in which Ran transforms into an erotic super-heroine to deal out justice to perverted men (region free)
  • For fans of Ai Nagase, see her very best hardcore performances ever with SOD, in a new compilation release (region free)
  • Bondage fans will love to see the lovely Jun Nada being tied up all pretty, in a new erotic work from Wanz Factory (region 2)
  • Then see three extremely beautiful "chijo" (Japanese "slut fetish") take on a team of lucky gaijin men from countries like America, Canada, Australia and Brazil, in "Lecherous Ladies vs. Foreign Sex Fight" (region 2)
  • Finally, we've got fresh stock of the popular I.K.U. Project, a bold and futuristic sci-fi erotic film that features both Japanese and Chinese actors to paint a picture of an erotic future Blade Runner-type world (region 2).

Want to see the faces of J-List? We've updated our "About J-List" page (http://www.jlist.com/aboutjlist.html) with the newest faces: Laura, Daisuke, Dennis and Guadalupe. See the faces behind the people who make J-List work!

J-List has many fun T-shits with messages like "Dirty American Devil" and "Beware of Perverts on Trains." All shirts are 100% 6.1 lb cotton and all sizes are full U.S. sizes -- and J-List goes the extra mile for you, stocking size S all the way up to size 2XL (and 3XL depending for some colors). To make room for new designs, we're always closing out some of our older shirts, which you can get at a great bargain price. Check out our shirt pages for all available shirts!