Friday, December 10, 2010

Keeping Warm in Japan: Kotasu Edition

Keeping warm in Japan is not the easiest thing in the world, especially when you're from San Diego, a city two two seasons, "nice" and "slightly less nice." Last night I filled up my "fan heater" for the first time this season, and when the kerosene fumes hit me they brought back memories of the last 19 years of freezing winters. In addition to using kerosene heaters in individual rooms, a popular way to get warm in Japan is to use a kotatsu, essentially a low table with a removable tabletop and a heater inside. Put a futon (a square thick blanket) over the table and put the top over the blanket and you've got a very efficient traditional way to keep warm, which is not only energy efficient, but a fun social place to gather, too (dishes like sukiyaki are always eaten around a kotatsu). J-List customers have regularly asked us to carry these kotatsu tables but we've been unable to due to the difficulty in shipping them. However we're happy to announce that we have a good kotatsu table on the site for the many readers who asked for them. Shipping is still difficult -- we recommend seamail since EMS is so pricey, but the option is there for you.
There's nothing like a warm kotatsu in the winter, for humans or cats.

Kanji of the Year for 2010: "Hot"

Each year the organization that publishes the Standardized Kanji Test announces the "kanji of the year," the single character that best sums up the events of the past twelve months. The kanji character is announced at a ceremony at the beautiful Kiyomizu Dera temple in Kyoto, one of Japan's most famous places, and the head Buddhist priest of the temple draws the character on a large sheet of paper while everyone watches. The character for 2010 has been announced, and it's....atsui (暑), meaning "hot." 2010 was definitely an incredibly hot year in Japan, which unfortunately saw the deaths of many hundreds of elderly due to heat stroke. The kanji for previous years have included shin (new) in 2009, a year of renewal; hen (change) in 2008, covering the many changes that happened that year; inochi (life) in 2006, a year so many young people committed suicide; ai (love), after the birth of Princess Masako's daughter Ai in 2005; sai (disaster), in tragedy-laden 2004; and tora (tiger), celebrating the rare Hanshin Tigers victory in the Japan Series in 2003.
The kanji of the year for 2010 is "hot."

Strong Emotions in Anime

Without a doubt, one of the more interesting aspects of anime is the way it uses strong emotions to heighten the enjoyment of viewers. The best anime series imprint themselves on on the fabric of Japan's popular culture, and even Japanese who don't have a single otaku bone in their body can wax natsukashii (nostalgic) when reminiscing about the final boxing match between Ashita no Joe and Jose Mendoza, or the iconic scene where Nello and his faithful dog Patrasche are carried up to heaven by angels at the end of A Dog of Flanders, or the ghost of Tatsuya's dead twin brother Kazuya appearing on the baseball mound with him in Touch. Modern anime is as good as ever at pushing our emotional buttons, as any fan of Clannad or Air know well. I enjoyed the "Yet Another School Festival!" episode of K-On!!, in which the girls talk about all the fun things they were going to do for next year's school festival, despite the fact that their high school life is coming to an end. Then Ritsu says, "Are you planning on not graduating? There are no more high school festivals for us, remember?" and it's impossible not to get really choked up.
Anime is at its best when it conveys strong emotions.

More Christmas Gift Suggestions from J-List

J-List is locked and loaded to get your order out to you this Christmas. We've got an incredible selection of wonderful products, including the gorgeous Hello Kitty products from Japan, a super lineup of original T-shirts, hoodies and hata, plus this year's special "samurai surprise," the samurai sword umbrellas we have in stock in San Diego, ready for you to order. Remember you can browse our J-List Christmas Guide to get some good ideas, too.

Cool Products Friday, December 10, 2010

Here are today's "really cool products" that I've picked out for you, out of the 30+ new items we've added to the J-List and JBOX.com sites today. Note that some products may be "not safe for work" but that all links will allow you to redirect yourself either to the J-List or JBOX.com websites. To see all the J-List products, check out J-List or the JBOX.com updated products link.
GeMaga  Game Magazine Jan 2011
GeMaga ~ Game Magazine Jan 2011 The magazine Japanese fans turn to for the latest scoops on bishoujo console games, Dream Club Zero is featured in the first issue of 2011!
Gothic Lolita Bible 2010 Winter vol. 38
Gothic Lolita Bible 2010 Winter vol. 38 All the latest trends and fashion advice from this winter in Japan's ornate gosurori culture are packed into this definitive magazine!
The Japanese KOTATSU
A warm, cozy central fixture of Japanese life is the kotatsu, or low table with a heating element embedded in the middle to sit around on cold winter nights, a futon blanket sandwiched between the tabletop and the table framework, legs kept toasty warm as you eat mikan oranges, drink tea, study or relax. You've seen it in countless anime, manga, games and movies from Japan, and now J-List is proud to be able to bring the authentic Japanese Kotatsu experience to you!
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Gakken Otona no Kagaku vol. 28  Science Projects for Adult -- Wa Tokei (Japanese Traditional Clock)
Otona no Kagaku vol. 28 ~ Traditional Clock Another edition of the magazine that brings you fun science projects you can do at home, unleash your tinkering skills to craft a traditional Japanese clock!
Solar Samurai
Solar Samurai, Other Toys Restocked Solar powered relaxation toys from Japan are awesome to display in your room or office. We have a Solar Samrai, Lucky Cat, Ninja and more!
One Piece SHARK  Color Walk 5
One Piece SHARK ~ Color Walk 5 The latest One Piece artbook explodes with color and epic art taken from years of the manga as well as original pieces and special extras. Sweet!
One Piece Playing Card -- Marine Ford Battle
One Piece Playing Card ~ Marine Ford Battle Another item to tickle your One Piece fancy is this epic set of playing cards featuring illustrations of 53 one piece characters.
Ninokuni: The Jet-Black Mage  Nintendo DS
Japan's most famous animation production house Studio Ghibli unites forces with innovative RPG creator Level Five and composer Jo Hisaishi to present an epic tale of adventure in the rich, mystical land of Ninokuni. Join Oliver and his sidekick Shizuku on his quest to reunite with his mother, learn spells from the 350-page hardcover companion 'spellbook' that comes with each game, nurture your own 'Imagine' combat avatar and more -- all in simple Japanese that's perfect for language learners. One of the most ground-breaking RPGs ever seen on the Nintendo DS.
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MONSTER HUNTER PORTABLE 3rd
MONSTER HUNTER PORTABLE 3rd Not to be outdone, the PSP brings what's becoming the best selling PSP game in Japan ever, the newest Monster Hunter - see why it's so popular inside!
Criminal Girls
Other Restocked PSP Games, Too Enjoy more PSP anime games, including ToraDora Portable, To LOVE-Ru, the otome game Hakuouki plus Criminal Girls...!
Headphones Catalogue  Guide book  Shin Moeru Headphone Dokuhon
Restocked Artbooks Today we've restocked the Headphone Catalog and Guide Book, a moe moe artbook for music fans. We also carry many interesting headphones.
iTunes Japan Music Card
Having an iTunes Japan account lets you get access to cool free Japan-only apps, like the new OreImo virtual Kirino app for iPhone, an interactive Kirino who talks with you, tells you the time and reacts in interesting ways if you touch her -- it's awesome! So buy at least one card to make an account so you can get these cool free apps when they come along.
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Angel Beats! 2011 Desktop Calendar **Preorder**
Huge Number of 2011 Calendars J-List is well stocked with awesome 2001 anime, traditional, JPOP and other calendars from Japan. They're selling really fast this year, so don't miss yours!
Totoro Scenery Music Box -- Neko Bus and Totoro
Restocked Totoro Products Huge restocking of popular Totoro items, including the super ceramic music boxes, the plush Ghibli keychain set, and more.
Hello Kitty Bowl Face -- Colorful Pink
Hello Kitty face Bowls ~ Kawaii! Our job is to find fantastic Hello Kitty products from Japan for you, and today we've got two amazingly cute Kitty-chan bowls...
Hello Kitty Muffin Mold
Hello Kitty Muffin Mold Also, when life gives you lemons, make Hello Kitty muffins. The muffin molds are restocked, along with the kawaii sandwich shapers.
Bakumatsu Sword Umbrella -- Ryoma Sakamoto (RED)
Life is too short to carry boring umbrellas, and J-List is happy to serve your need for stylish rain protection gear with our stock of unique Japanese umbrellas. We've just completed a restocking of our Samurai Sword umbrellas in San Diego so they're ready to go with extra fast shipping if you order now - these are extra cool because they look just like a traditional katana or shinai (practice sword) when held in the included black casing. A great holiday gift!
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Evangelion Dust Box -- NERV Type
Evangelion Dust Box ~ NERV Type It says NERV on the side, not NERD, but nevermind: this cool trash can will add just the right amount of geek cred to our home, office or car. Restocked today!
Itazura Cat Coin Bank -- Calico Cat
Itazura Cat & Dog Coin Banks, Restocked Saving is made easy with the cute, mischievous antics of the cat or dog who takes your coins away for safekeeping inside its snug mikan box.
Socks Glue
Authentic 'Socks Glue' From Japan We love selling wacky things like "socks glue" which hold up high over-knee socks. Also, the Red Ribbon School Uniform for cosplay is restocked.
Black Bar Censor Sun Glasses
'Wacky Things from Japan™' Restocked The "anonymous" eye bar sunglasses, Parody Milk Chocolate Mirror, Sushi Magnets, Miso Soup Bowl w/Lid, Ramen Microwave Bowl, Cup Noodle Mug and more!
Building Word Power in Japanese: Using Kanji Prefixes and Suffixes
Building Word Power in Japanese We always have good tools to help you learn Japanese, no matter what your level. See the new Kanji Word Power Builder book in stock!
Cherry Boy (Yamagata Limited)  Japanese Food Drops
Restocked Traditional Japanese Food Drops Today's restocked flavors include Japanese Sake, Potato Chips, Chocolate banana Crepe, "Moe" (Akihabara Limited) and the wacky "Cherry Boy" flavor.
Lotte PIe no Mi -- Strawberry Custard Pie
Today's New Japanese Snacks Wow...Lotte's Strawberry Pie no Mi....Charlotte caramel-filled chocolate...Meiji Copan in Cocoa flavor. Yum!
Meiji Meltykiss -- Green Tea Chocolate
Big Restocking of Japanese Snacks Popular Miso Ramen, Royal Milk Tea Milky Candy, Lotte "No Time" Gum, Meltykiss (all flavors), Mont Blank Pepsi, Rich Winter Toppo, more!
Hello KITTY Candy Pink Compact Bento Box  Chopsticks  Elastic Band
Hello KITTY Pink Compact Bento w/ Chopsticks A cute, compact two-tier bento box that's just the perfect size for your meal, coming complete with chopsticks and elastic band to keep everything tidy.
Jiji Thermal Bento Box Set -- Kiki's Delivery Service
Totoro & Kiki's Delivery Service Bento One of my favorite bento boxes is back in stock, the Kiki's Delivery Service Thermal Bento, for Jiji the Cat fans. Enjoy!
Hello Kitty DECO Bento Set  Onigiri Shaper  Mayonnaise Cup  Furikake Stencil
Hello Kitty Bento Accessories & More Everything you need to 'Kittify' your meal is here, from egg and sandwich shapers to Kitty carrying cases, bottles and much more. So cute!
Super Triangle  ONIGIRI Maker
Onigiri, Egg & Sandwich Shapers Also, make perfectly shaped onigiri every time with the rice ball shapers we're restocking. Also, 2 Ways Egg Shaper and Sandwich Shapers!
Year of the Rabbit Traditional Pair Display  2011
Year of the Rabbit Traditional Display ~ 2011 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit, and that means there'll be lots of awesome rabbit-themed items on J-List. Restocked today!
Lucky Cat Tea Pot
Lucky Cat Tea Pot ~ Why Not? Making some tea? Why not do it in our awesome Lucky Cat Tea Pot, which we've restocked today. Click to see all our Lucky Cat items!
High School of the Dead Secret Box **Preorder**
High School of the Dead Secret Box *Preorder* Amazing box of stuff for High School of the Dead fans, including an artbook, an 'oppai' mousepad, pillowcase and more. Re-posted for preorder!
Yuri 1/8 Figure  Angel Beats! **Preorder**
Evangelion, Angel Beats! Preorder Figures A brand new Ayanami Rei figure looking sexier than ever, plus Yuri from Angel Beats and maker Goodsmile that's sure to put a smile on your face.
Dizzy 1/8 Figure  Guilty Gear XX Core **Preorder**
Dizzy 1/8 Figure ~ Guilty Gear *Preorder* Also, Alter presents this magnificent Dizzy complete with good and evil spirit wings, for the Guilty Gear fans. Preorders are open now.
Airu Daruma Coin Bank  Monster Hunter Portable 3rd **Preorder**
Airu Daruma Coin Bank ~ *Preorder* Cross a good luck daruma doll with an Airu companion mascot from Monster Hunter and you get the most adorable coin bank we've seen!
2011 Fuku-Bukuro Japanese Adult/Sexy Items  (Lucky Bag)
You can get lucky in more ways than one this holiday season with our adult/sexy edition fukubukuro lucky grab bags! Packed with items assembled to be worth more than the bag cost you can be sure you're getting a great deal on the hot contents of these bags, but act soon since they'll only be around for a limited time!
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Kaitai Jingai Makyo Concept Works
Awesome Artbooks Restocked The popular Jingai Makyou artbook from Nitroplus is restocked, and it's a gorgeous one. Also: the borderline NSFW Queen's Blade artbooks are back!
SOD Mobile Denma  Black
SOD Mobile Denma ~ Black or Pink A portable "electric massager" from the ever-inventive minds at SOD -- we can think of plenty of good uses for this power in the palm of your hand!
Bible Black Memorial -- Kaori Saeki
Restocked Bible Black Stress Toys & More Then enjoy fresh stock of the Bible Black Memorial Hole toys, awesomely created to feel like the real thing. Which girl will you choose?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Design Features and Visual Memes in Anime

Anime as a whole has proved remarkably adept at insinuating itself in the hearts and minds of fans all over the world, and when Crayon Shin-chan creator Yoshito Usui died I was amazed at the range of anguished comments I saw on Twitter from fans in all corners of the world, writing in any language you can imagine. Still, it's not uncommon for certain character design features or sight-gags employed in anime to be difficult for fans outside of Japan to comprehend. The female otaku Saori Bajina (the last name is a Zeta Gundam reference) in "My Little Sister Can't Be This Cute" has super-thick "swirly glasses" that show how excellently geeky she is, but I'm sure the visual message isn't always understood by everyone the first time. The unruly patch of hair that sticks up on some anime characters is called ahoge (ah-HO-gay), from aho or "stupid" in Osaka-ben plus ke meaning hair, and it's used to indicate a somewhat ditzy personality, or to soften bad-ass female characters. Some visual jokes have always seemed a little on the gross side to me, such as characters with inexplicably large "big fat anime lips" or characters who sleep so peacefully they have a little bubble of snot coming out of their nose, or jokes involving poop. Other potentially confusing visual jokes may include the classic nosebleed (done when someone gets aroused), characters who fall down on the ground when they're surprised (a staple of comedians on variety shows), or the strange chibi "super deformed" mode that characters sometimes enter for no reason.

Then there's moe (mo-EH), a word that that's come to define a large chunk of anime and manga today, which can best be defined as "the warm, fuzzy feeling you get when contemplating your favorite anime character." Written with characters that mean "to sprout," it has the same pronunciation as the word moeru meaning "to burn" which makes it similar to the idea of "burning with passion" despite having a different kanji. No one is quite sure where the slang word came from -- one theory is that a character from a 1993 NHK anime called Dinosaur Planet whose nickname was Moe started the ball rolling, with another theory attributing the rise of moe to the popularity of Hotaru Tomoe, aka Sailor Saturn. The gestalt of moe has become quite developed, and animators have a large store-room of memes like meganekko (glasses girl) and dojikko (clumsy girl) with which to catch the hearts of anime fans -- or a twin-tail childhood friend in a wheelchair who works as a blind robot maid and who's secretly the ghost of a fox-spririt, if you like. Incidentally, we've got a new J-List T-shirt for you, hot on the heels of our popular Giga Pudding shirt (pudi pudi pudi). The new shirt features two of our favorite moe characters, Yui and Mio, along with the iconic moe kanji. Because too much of a good thing is always bad, the shirt carries a funny warning message in kanji, just like on cigarettes. On the front (with Yui), the message translates as, "Obsession with moe anime characters can lead to awkwardness in social situations," and on the back, "Overdosing on moe can lead to romantic relationships becoming limited to two dimensions." See the shirt here.

Saori Bajina wears super-thick "otaku glasses," but what happens when the glasses come off?

Things I Learned Teaching ESL in Japan

One of the good things about teaching ESL in Japan was learning my own language. Languages are based on rules which are internalized by speakers of that language, and part of the reason why New Jersey English or Osaka Japanese sounds odd to people who aren't from those places is, speakers from those areas are using a slightly different set of internal rules. Although we all learn some grammar in school (does everyone remember creating sentence diagrams?), the only way to really learn something is to teach it, to stand in the middle of a classroom with students who are struggling for answers. After letting my students down by saying "uh, sure, I guess that sounds right" a few times (Japanese students hate teachers who do that), I buckled down and learned how to teach grammar. Did you know the difference between "the" (rhyming with "three") and "the" (rhyming with "uh")? The first is used before words starting with vowels ("thee end") and the latter before all other words ("thuh dog"), although it was news to me at the time. What do you do when a student asks why you have to say "a piece of chalk" when it's clearly something you could count like a pen or pencil. Or why pants and glasses are "pairs" when you can't separate them? Or why can we count fish individually, but the meat of a fish is non-count? Or why words like "sky" and "sea" appear plural sometimes (e.g. "the Friendly Skies" or "the seven seas")? One rule of English that threw me at the time was the long list of words with different intonations depending on whether they're being used as nouns or verbs (e.g. research the research, permit the fishing permit, present a present to someone, or rebel against the rebel base). Surprisingly, living in a foreign country has put me more in touch with my native language.
If you want to learn something really well, teach it.

J-List is the Home of Kawaii

Here are today's "really cool products" that I've picked out for you, out of the 30+ new items we've added to the J-List and JBOX.com sites today. Note that some products may be "not safe for work" but that all links will allow you to redirect yourself either to the J-List or JBOX.com websites. To see all the J-List products, check out J-List or the JBOX.com updated products link.
Young Ace Jan 2011
The latest issue of Young Ace is here, and it's got us super excited: not only is it packed to overflowing with easily readable manga (furigana phonetics included with the kanji) from some of the most popular artists and franchises in the business (Haruhi, Evangelion, Panty & Stocking), but this issue also features the brand new Aim for the Top! (Gunbuster) manga, a retelling of the original classic Gainax OVA story. A super-cute Yuki Nagato phone strap is included too!
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Comptiq Sep 2010
Comptiq Sep 2010 Catch up with the latest bishoujo game and anime news with Comptiq! This month's cover story is Mahou Tsukai no Yoru, the new game from Type Moon.
Dragon Age Reserve subscription
Dragon Age Reserve subscription Read all your favorite manga in the flagship shonen magazine from Fujimi Shobo. Includes Highschool of the Dead, Otaku no Musume-san, Kanon, much more!
Japanese T-Shirt 'Moe Warning'
A brand new J-List original Japanese T-shirt is here for you! The boom of the infectious, adorable art and culture wave of moe has swept around the world like a fever, and this shirt warns of the potential hazards of too much exposure while simultaneously showing off two of the most moe characters of the recent K-On! anime craze, Mio Akiyama and Yui Hirasawa. Styled like a Japanese surgeon general's warning for yet another inside reference, check out the full description for a translation of this fun and wacky shirt.
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Evangelion Air Freshener -- Rei Ayanami
Evangelion Air Fresheners for your Car "Fly me to the moon, and let me play among the stars. Let me see how fresh your car smells with an Evangelion air freshener..."
Haruhi Suzumiya Nendoroid Figure 'Shoushitsu' ver.
Haruhi Suzumiya Nendoroid Figure I love the Disappearance of Haruhi movie, and think this new Nendoroid of her is super awesome. In stock now -- comes with many different parts.
Queen's Blade Rebellion  -- Pirate Captain Liliana **Preorder**
New Queen's Blade Rebellion Artbooks *Preorder* We love Queen's Blade, and have two new artbooks for you to check out. Enjoy Pirate Captain Liliana plus the gorgeous warrior Branwen.
Miku Hatsune Graphics 2
Miku Hatsune Graphics 2 The design of cute virtual singing idol Hatsune Miku and her Vocaloid companions have inspired dozens of artists, whose beautiful work is collected here!
Sound Fit Muff  Pink
Sound Fit Muff Headphones J-List customers gobbled up our stock of these stylish earmuffs that are also functional earphones for music players, so we got more. Enjoy!
Moe Moe Cthulhu Encyclopedia
Moe Moe Cthulhu Encyclopedia, More Fun artbooks restocked today, including the Moe Moe Cthulhu Encyclopedia, Queen's Blade and Queen's Gate books, and more.
Domokun 4' Flocked Vinyl Figure: Classic Brown
Domokun 4' Flocked Vinyl Figure: Classic Brown Domo-kun fans, we've got a treat for you: a fun new Domo figure you can display on your desk or wherever you display your toys and figure. Rawwr!
Totoro 2011 Calendar 'Sign Board'
Remember, 2011 Calendars are Selling Out! Just a warning: our 2011 calendars are selling out faster than normal, and already several have started to disappear. Don't let yours slip away!
Macross the First vol. 2
Do you remember love? Whether you've been a Macross fan for years or just discovered the epic generational SF saga with the new Frontier series, this manga will be one of the most beloved and significant additions to the Macross canon in years. Drawn by legendary character designer Haruhiko Mikimoto, this is a fresh re-imagining of the original series featuring Lynn Minmei, Misa Hayase, Hikaru Ichijo and the rest of the unforgettable cast reborn.
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Hello Kitty Face Pass Case Pouch
Hello Kitty Face Pass Case Pouch She's not just a passing fancy! This cute Kitty case is a handy Japanese-style pouch that will hold your cards, money, train/bus passes, and more.
Hello Kitty Die Casting Glasses Stand  Megane Stand
Hello Kitty Glasses Stand ~ Megane The most popular Hello Kitty product this year is back in stock, and she's ready to hold your glasses for you. But they're going quick...
Gakken Otona no Kagaku vol. 29  Science Projects for Adult -- AKARI Origami
The engaging adult science project magazine Otona no Kagaku returns with yet another ingenious gadget for you to build: a LED-lit origami masterpiece, complete with variable light controls and automated presets for you to enjoy. Get your papercraft groove on with an electrical twist in these brilliantly glowing paper-art creations, all fully diagrammed for straightforward creation and assembly.
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S Cawaii Nov 2010
S Cawaii Nov 2010 Dive into the glamorous world of Japanese Cute fashions, for the young woman who wants a bit more chic in her look. Ayumi Hamasaki special!
Gothic Lola Armcover
Gothic Lolita Complete Dress, Arm covers Then, restocked Gothic Lolita arm covers for all your cosplay needs, plus authentic high school uniform cosplay and more.
Fluffy Long Room Shoes  Dot Pink
Fluffy Long Room Shoes from Japan Japanese "room shoes" are like slippers, only dozens of times warmer and comfier -- and, in this case, cuter! Keep your feet toasty warm this winter.
Charcoal Hair Shampoo   200mL (Sumi)
Charcoal Hair Shampoo & Treatment On our new Health -> Hair Care page we've got some cool Japanese shampoo & treatment that uses sumi (black charcoal) to clean really well.
Totoro Backpack Large
Awesome Totoro Products Restocked From Totoro nap pillows to alarm clocks, from backpacks to cushions and the DX cuckoo clock, see many Totoro goods restocked!
Totoro Season Plate -- March  April (4660-2)
Totoro China Plates by Noritake Then: a restocking of the Totoro China Plates from Noritake, made in Japan and featuring Totoro in all seasons.
My Neighbor Totoro  Tonari no Totoro (region 2)
Big Restocking of Studio Ghibli DVDs Also see fresh stock of the official Studio Ghibli DVD releases of Totoro, Howl's Moving Castle, Spirited Away and more.
Nikyoro Fluffy Banana Mini Hug Pillow
Nikyoro Fluffy Banana Mini Hug Pillow You know what it's time for, and it's time for a banana. This one will smile at you while you cuddle its adorably fluffy soft plushness!
Glico Winter Pocky White
Today's Delicious Snacks The amazing winter limited White Pocky is in, plus a new flavor of Hi-Chew soft candies, Strawberries with Condensed Milk -- wow! Also, spicy Pote Long.
Nestle Kit Kat Pack -- Caramel Pudding
Restocked Japan Kit Kat, Much More Delicious Japan Kit Kat in Caramel Pudding flavor (!), Black Black caffeine gum, Calorie Mate, Meiji Mini Assortment, My Cube Ramune Gum, and more!
Nisshin Donbei -- Tenpura Soba
Delicious Soba, Udon & Ramen Dec. 31st is near, and if you want to celebrate it Japanese-style, try these soba noodles, which the Japanese say give you long life.
Pudding (Kobe)  Japanese Food Drops
The Great Pudding Boom of 2010 If you're curious about purin, aka caramel creme or flan, we've got delicious Food Drops plus Hello Kitty pudding cups, pudding mix and more.
Hello Kitty Wagara 3-Tier Celebration Bento Box -- Black
Hello Kitty Wagara 3-Tier Celebration Bento Box New Years is coming up, and in Japan that means it's time for delicious multi-tier bento meals! Here are two awesome ones for Hello Kitty fans.
Rilakkuma Brown 2-Tier Bento Box
Today's Restocked Bento Boxes Super bento boxes, including the popular Pokemon bento that's loved by many of our customers, the Metal Mode Bento for men, and more!
ONIGIRI /Rice Ball Maker  ---  Ball Shape
Fun Bento Accessories Restocked Make awesome onigiri rice balls of most any shape, cut your sandwiches in any shape, cook shaped eggs in the microwave! Click to see today's restocked items.
Japanese Funny Sign Plate  COMMIT NO NUISANCE
'It Is Forbidden To Urinate Here' Sign Plate For those special locations you need to emphasize just how improper it is to do your business there, this wacky sign will do just the trick!
Japonica Kanji Practice Notebook (84 squares)
Japanese Erasers, Study Notebooks The super-fun Let's Make Eraser with Microwave is restocked, plus Japonica notebooks for memorizing hiragana and kanji, pens and more.
Super Mario Taste Baby Milo Hoodie  Red (Select Sizes) **Preorder**
Super Mario Taste Baby Milo Hoodie *Preorder* You too can leap from mushroom to mushroom in your quest to save the princess in this stylish hoodie with a unique full frontal zipping Mario design!
Mirai Suenaga figma Action Figure **Preorder**
The adorable mascot character from Japan culture and otaku blogger Danny Choo's website, Mirai Suenaga, is here! Created as a figma action figure in cooperation with Goodsmile and Max Factory, she'll charm you with her own arm-held Mirai doll included along with plenty of other exchangeable parts. It's a popular item, so preorder today!
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Airu Long Cushion  Monster Hunter **Preorder**
Monster Hunter Plush Toys *Preorder* Monster Hunter is all the rage again in Japan, and the cute Airu mascots have made their way out of the game and into your arms as these cuddly plushes.
Hitagi Senjogahara figma Action Figure
Today's Preorder Anime Figures *Preorder* See Senjogahara Hitagi from Bakemonogatari wielding her stapler in fine figma style, sexy Super Sonico from Nitroplus, Hetalia straps, and more!
Flog Pillow  Tsun Ero Mix
Flog Pillow, Other Items Restocked We've restocked the Flog Pillow, which lets you become one with our favorite tsundere Kagami, plus Maria Ozawa Hole and epic vibrator DENMA.
Love, Election  Chocolate.
One of the most beautiful eroge we've ever seen,which combines an innovative story with fabulous art and "event" scenes (which is a euphemism for the "H" parts). Click to see images from the game and see the trailer.
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CLANNAD  Memorial Edition
Other Restocked Visual Novels, Too Then enjoy the special new Memorial Edition of Clannad (!) and Tomoyo After, plus Sengoku Rance and Those Who Are Sung ~ Utawarerumono.