Speaking of seasons, Japan's warmest winter in living memory continues, with many a balmy afternoon -- I was even able to put the top down on my Miata a few times last month, usually unthinkable in February. It's been so warm that the kaika or first blooming of the sakura trees, which is reported on as a point of national pride by the news media here, happened a full month earlier than usual. Except for the strong winds called kara-kaze that blow down from the Japan Alps every few days -- which sound so similar to the F/A-18 jets that race over our house in San Diego from the former "Top Gun" airbase that I sometimes forget whether I'm in Japan or the States -- it's been really turn-off-the-computer-and-go-play-catch-with-my-son weather.
As Japan's general fascination with otaku culture continues to grow, one word you hear a lot is Akiba-kei, which literally means "related to Akihabara," the region of Tokyo traditionally known for its electronics stores but increasingly coming to serve as a center for anime, manga and cosplay culture. There are dozens of "Maid Cafe" establishments where you can go and have cake and coffee served to you by a beautiful girl in a maid outfit, and this category is always morphing into sub-genres, such as Imoto Cafe where all the girls pretend to be your younger sister and call you Oniichan, and Tsundere Cafe where the girls act like stereotypical bitchy-but-cute characters found in most every anime series these days. The latest potential boom in Akihabara might be the Mimikaki Cafe, where a beautiful woman will lay your weary head on her lap and spend thirty minutes with a traditional bamboo ear pick, gently scraping the ear wax out and taking all your cares away. If you're not lucky enough to be in the Akihabara area this week, we've got some substitutes available at J-List that might help you experience this fun side of Japan.
J-List carries PC dating-sim games, fun anime games, all carefully translated into English and compatible with English Windows computers, with stories for all tastes and genres. Today we're happy to announce that the latest title from Hirameki International, Pieces of Wonder, is in stock and shipping. A bold and interesting game in which you must guide three girls -- Amane, Syouko and Taki -- as they battle an alien race intent on taking over our world. A great RPG+ADV with real combat as well as adventures to resolve with each of the girls. Get it now!
This month's Japanese adult video actress is the delicious Arisa Kanno, the elegant and stylish actress performing exclusively with Soft on Demand and their related companies. Arisa-chan was born December 9, 1984, in Tokyo. She's 160 (5'2"), and her "three sizes" are 82 (B), 56 (W) and 82 (H), making for a fabulous hourglass shape that's incidentally called kubire (koo-BI-reh) in Japanese. Her hobbies are running and playing volleyball, her favorite type of man is the strong, self-confident type, and her dream is to run in the Honolulu Marathon someday and study abroad in America.
Also, we've picked the new "H-Game of the Month" and it's a really fun title, Gibo: Stepmother's Sin, a dark exploration of some great themes from Guilty and Peach Princess. You grew up a happy boy, until the day you came home and found your mother in the arms of a man who wasn't your father. Her unfaithfulness destroyed your happy home, and now you are mistrustful of the very word "mother." But one day your father announces that he's getting remarried, but instead of being old, your new stepmother is young and beautiful. How will you test her to see if she's any different from the rest? Available this month only at a special price!
Moseying around the kids' desks while shopping for a new chair for myself. A cute little girl came up to me and said "Hello!" then ran back to her parents. This desk is for little fans of One Piece.
Here's a Super Mario desk for studious gamers.
This being Japan, there's silly English all over the place.
When my son was smaller, he was a Mushi King type, definitely. In case you don't know it, all Japanese kids just love beetles of all types.