Friday, June 01, 2012

Amaze Your Friends with Fun Japanese Adverbs

Last time I wrote about an interesting feature of the Japanese language, a class of four-character kanji phrases that are used to add a touch of flavor to the language in much the same way we use Latin phrases in English ad nauseum. There's another group of highly descriptive Japanese adverbs which are fun to learn because they're so unlike anything we have in English, and Japanese people are always surprised when we know them. The phrase soro soro adds the idea that the time for something has come, for example soro soro ikimasho, "Let's go [because it's time we should be going]." A similar phrase is waza waza, meaning "to go to all the trouble," as in waza waza arigato, "Thanks for going out of your way to do that for me." If you have a sparkling new car, it's pika pika (gleaming with newness), but if you don't take care of it, it'll be boro boro (old and rusty). (The pika sound does double duty as the sound of electricity, but Pokemon fans already knew that.) Some other random examples of these fun phrases include tama tama (by chance), bara bara (something that's been scattered around, like a dismembered toy), and pera pera (the "sound" of someone speaking a foreign language fluently).


That awkward moment when you kill all the other characters by using your power in the water.

Why Do the Japanese Live So Long?

Japan is blessed in many ways, including having the longest life expectancy in the world. Today the Japanese Health Ministry published revised figures on the longevity of its citizens, an amazing 79.5 years for men and 86.3 for women. There are many reasons why the Japanese live so long, including a healthier diet with smaller portions, a competent national health care system, and a preference for refreshing Asian teas over sweetened soft drinks. One difference between the U.S. and Japan is the custom of the oldest son or daughter remaining at home with the parents, taking over the family home and/or business while starting a family of their own, and I'm sure the joy of helping raise the grandkids gives a lot of older Japanese reason to live longer. Another big factor is what's known as kizuna, the social bonds that conenct all of us. My mother-in-law has a huge network of friends, women she's known all her life, and I'm amazed at the way they've all support each other, making sure no one ever feels alone.


Hayao Miyazaki, one of my favorite Japanese old dudes.

Exploring The Nature of Moe...Zombies?

One of the major themes of the past three decades of animation in Japan has been the movement away from stories about larger-than-life machines -- Space Battleship Yamato, traveling 148,000 light years to Iscandar so the Earth can be saved from radiation, or Amuro Ray stealing the Gundam RX-78 prototype to fight for Earth during the One Year War -- towards a focus on characters. A big part of this has been the trend in moe, pronounced MO-eh, which is a system of self-reinforcing memes that constantly redefines cuteness in anime girls. Moe is about creating characters that fans will want to be protective of, like Tomoe Hotaru/Sailor Saturn, where the term comes from according to one theory, and it's made up of many sub-elements, for example moe characters usually have charming idiosyncrasies like Mio's shyness or the dojikko clumsiness of Mikuru Asahina. The definition of moe is constantly evolving with each new generation of shows, and the newest is Sankarea, the story of a horror film otaku named Chihiro and the girl he accidentally turns into a zombie.


Sankarea explores the moe elements of zombies.

Cosplay and Fashion Sale on J-List This Month!

J-List is famous for our Japanese cosplay and fashion products, and we love finding wacky and fun products to post on the site, from the "spats" bicycle shorts seen in your favorite anime to "Absolute Zone" socks to our trademark shimapan that everyone can wear. This month we're having a sale on all of these great products, giving 2x J-List points for the month of June only. All our great fashions for women as well as accessories are included in the sale too. Click to see J-List's Summer Cosplay and Fashion sale products now!!

School Days goes Golden Master! English Site Up!

We have some great news for fans of English eroge today: the outstanding animated visual novel School Days has gone "Golden Master" and is currently in duplication, and will be shipping in the coming weeks, most likely around the end of June. There's still time for you to preorder the game -- either the Japan-style Collector's Edition release or the very cool normal version -- and get free or half price shipping when the game ships. Best of all, we're releasing this game with no DRM protection, since our customers told us they didn't want anything coming between them and their enjoyment of the game. See the new official School Days English site at SchoolDays.us, too, go there and read about the game! (The form to upgrade to the Collector's Edition if you already preoredered is here.)

Cool Products Friday, June 1, 2012

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.
Nyantype July 2012
A new issue of Nyantype is here, with 18 pinup posters of the cutest girls from shows like Accel World, Nanoha, Strike Witches, and more! In addition, you also get the latest anime news and more great omake you can't find anywhere else! Grab an issue to see why NyanType is one of our favorite anime magazines ever!
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Dengeki Hime July 2012
Dengeki Hime July 2012 The July issue of the magazine for Japan's eroge world is here -- Dengeki Hime. Please see it on the J-List side of the site.
Hardware Girls Magazine vol. 1
Lots of Restocked Photobooks There are dozens of gorgeous photobooks back in stock on the site, including many books that are out of stock and impossible to find. Browse the awesomeness now.
Nyanpire Punk Add-on / Hip Bag
Nyanpire Punk Add-on / Hip Bag Add some Nyanpire fashion to your wardrobe with this cool pouch that is perfect for carrying along all your gear.
Touhou Keychain Figure -- Nazrin
Even More Touhou Figures & Keychains And we've even got some new Touhou Keychains that any collector will want to snap up. Nazrin, Ran Flandre, Alice and more.
Choco-Oki No.003 Super Sonico Collection Set of 3 **Preorder**
Sonico Figure, Plush Toys & More The super cute Super Sonico has some new figures that are being released together as a set, plus toys and figures from many other anime series.
Sci-Fi Revoltech No.038 Bumble Bee  Transformers *Preorder*
Transformers Revoltech and More We also have this awesome Revoltech action figure of transforming robot Bumblebee. You won't believe the level of detail! Also, Hanasaku Iroha Nendoroid!
Usakoro Kyubey Powder Plushy  White
Random Items Restocked While doing inventory, we found some fun and wacky items that you may have missed, like Kyubey heads, bath ginger, Hello Kitty film, and more.
Totoro Baby Rattle
Totoro Baby Rattle, Other Plush Toys Restocked We love Hayao Miyazaki around here, and today we've restocked some wonderful Totoro products including our awesome baby rattle. Start them off right!
Youkai 100 Stories  Shigeru Mizuki Youkai Hyaku Monogatari
Youkai 100 Stories ~ Shigeru Mizuki From the creator of the very famous GeGeGe no Kitaru series, this is another amazing book for those who like Japanese monsters and ghosts.
Illustrator huke Art Book BLK w/Figma BRSB **Preorder**
Gorgeous Huke Artbook w/ Figure Restocked We love Huke, the artist who created Steins;Gate as well as the genius behind Black Rock Shooter. Artbook w/figure restocked!
Smart July 2012
Smart July 2012 Smart is the highly visual magazine of gadget, gear, tech and fashion trends from Japan. Remember all these items are on sale this month, too!
Knee-High Striped Stocking Socks  Light Blue
Striped Stockings, Other Fashions Restocked More than just shimapan (striped underwear) we also carry a wide selection of similar styled stockings and socks to match, and all on sale in June.
2ch Kaomoji Pop-Up Toaster  Pink (Kore ii , Shobon)
Wake up in the morning and feel like something is missing... something fun and entertaining to help wake you up? These super fun, super kawaii kaomoji toasters will give you happy start to your day that puts two Japanese emoticon faces on your toast. It's a meme-tastic way to start your day, Japan style.
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FUDEGOKOCHI Beginner's Fude Pen
Restocked Fude Pens, Erasers and More Our popular Calligraphy Brush Pen for Beginners is restocked, along with several other amazing fude pens. We also posted our favorite erasers.
Black Rock Shooter Can Pen Case
Black Rock Shooter Can Pen Case  The perfect place to hold your valuable study materials, like pens, pencils, erasers, and Pocky(always important to have with you at school).
Rilakkuma Flash Cards
Rilakkuma Flash Cards Study with the cutest bear around thanks to these cute Rilakkuma flash cards. A great way to learn Japanese.
Hetalia Conversation Book  English for Traveling All About USA
Fun Manga, Hetalia Conversation Book Restocked We've also restocked some of our most popular books, like the Madoka Magika spinoff manga, Ghost in the Shell and learning English with Hetalia.
Weeping Cherry Tree Purple Women's Kimono
Weeping Cherry Tree Purple Women's Kimono Get into the spirit of summer in Japan with our great selection of Japanese Kimonos and Yukatas, like this new sakura on purple design.
Shichirin Grilled Saury KATORI  Ceramic Mosquito Coil Server
Grilled Fish Ceramic Mosquito Coil Holder A fun way to keep the bugs away. This holder for repellant coils looks like a Japanese fish BBQ. A great joke that keeps away mosquitos.
UHA e-ma Candy -- Acerola
Awesome New Japanese Snacks There is always a new candy to be found in Japan, like these Acerola juice candies, fruit gummies with collagen, and more.
Kyoto Deluxe Matcha Powdered Tea  8 package
Delicious Tea from Japan Enjoy the cultured taste of authentic Japanese tea with our deluxe tea sets straight from Kyoto, the capital of old Japan.
Mountain Dew Grape Flavor Japan limited **Preorder**
Mountain Dew Grape Japan limited *Preorder* We've been on a roll lately, bringing out popular drinks from Japan like Pepsi Salty Watermelon. Now you can score some Japan-only Mountain Dew Grape!
Popin' Cookin' DIY Cake Shop Candy
Awesome Restocked Snacks from Japan Enjoy March of Koala in Creamy Cafe Latte flavor, Kracie's incredible Popin' Cookin' Cake Shop and Insect Making Gummy, Chocolate Banana Soft Candy + Kompeito!
Red LEGO-Style Stackable Bento w/ Elastic Band  Refrigerant
LEGO-Style Stackable Bento Boxes We restocked our popular LEGO-style bento boxes, fully functional Japanese lunchboxes that look like LEGO blocks, and they're even stackable.
Hello Kitty Boiled Egg Shaper
Kawaii Boiled Egg Shapers Why are you still eating normal hard boiled eggs when yo could enjoy awesome 3D eggs? We've restocked several egg shapers, which you should snap up.
Hello Kitty Cooler Bento Bag
Hello Kitty Cooler Bento Bag Keep your food safe and protected in this thermal bag with a unique Hello Kitty style. Super fun and super nice.
Jeune Fille Kinchaku Style Bento Bag  North  Central Europe Style Series
Other Kawaii Bento Bags Posted, Too We restocked some of our best-selling bento bag, too, including the Jeune Fille Kinchaku Style and that cute one with cat ears.
New SAND de PANDA -- Clover  Push Style Easy Sandwich Maker
We Love Japanese Sandwich Cutters Enjoy a great restocking of the Japanese sandwich shapers which "seal" the contents of your sandwich while they remove the crusts. Tons of fun to eat!
Ema Shaped Omamori Key Chain for Study  Healt
false Get some extra luck for the upcoming school year with this very special Ema for getting better grades (we hope it works).
Cup Noodle Mug
Other Fun Restocked Products See our Cup Noodle coffee cup, great for enjoying coffee or noodles, plus the wacky harisen fan for hitting people in a comedic way.
Lucky Cat Maneki Neko Coin Bank  Black
Lucky Cat Coin Bank ~ White or Black Give your lucky coins an extra boost with these lucky cat coin banks, available in white or black. Yes we Nyan! Enjoy fresh stock of these fun items.
Saber Motored Cuirassier ex:ride - SPride.05 Fate/Zero *Preorder*
Awesome Fate/Zero Products Posted If you're a fan of Fate/Stay Night and Fate:Zero, we've got the mother lode of great prerder products posted to the site now. Browse them all now!
Fireball Charming Joseph ex:ride - SPride.04 *Preorder*
Fireball Charming Joseph ex:ride - SPride.04 *Preorder* We also have this futuristic vehicle from the Disney Japan CG movie Fireball Charming. Too cool.
Accelerator 1/8 Figure  Toaru Majutsu no Index II *Preorder*
Accelerator 1/8 Figure ~ *Preorder* The top figure designers at Alter are coming out with a fabulous figure of Index's Accelerator. Preorder today!
Sankarea Micro Fiber Mini Towel *Preorder*
Fun Sankarea Products Posted We love zombies at J-List, especially moe zombies. Preorder some cute accessories for fans of the new zombie anime Sankarea.
Otonyan vol. 6  Joso Boy Special Magazine
Popular Artbooks Restocked Several artbooks and manga are restocked today, including something special for fans of "traps" plus Under the Starlight visual fanbook.
Multi-Angle Pose Collection: A Nude Field Guide for Anime vol.2
Multi-Angle Pose Collection for Artists A photobook featuring nude shots of Cocomi and Ayumu cosplaying your favorite characters. Comes with a CD-ROM of super highres cuts.
School Girls Fragrance Lotion
Japanese Girls Fragrance Lotion Tamatoys Japan delivers again with this new bottle of skin lubricant lotion, capturing the sweet fragrance and pheromones of a Japanese Girl.
Shakuhachi Musume Oral Pump
Shakuhachi Simulator, Other Amazing Toys Restocked There are as many different ways to relieve your stress as there are anime in Japan, these to these cool parody toys.
UNICORN  Pink
Amazing Massagers Restocked Get in touch with yourself and learn to let go and relax, thanks to these great personal massagers of high quality Japanese design.
My Girl Yuria  DX Love Doll
Restocked Love Dolls, Onahole Toys Got other restocked items too, including the My Girl Yuria doll, the most realistic anime doll we've seen yet, and several other products.
Illusion Best Collection  Midara
Super Awesome Import Eroge Restocked falseEnjoy the compilation of the Best of Illusion, the Futari wa My Angel magical girl eroge, Venus Blood Frontier, Le Labyrinthine de la Grisaia and more.
Kana  Little Sister
Legendary Visual Novels in English One of the most famous PC dating-sim games ever brought out, this beautiful game has touched many gamers. We've dropped the price too!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Random Late-Night TV Report

The other night I found myself randomly surfing Japanese late-night TV to see what was on. First was a TV show called in which an extremely girthful writer/columnist named Matsuko Deluxe gives scathing advice to the guests who come on the show asking how they can become famous. Then there was a show in which several commedians were walking around Tokyo visiting random ramen shops, using an Evangelion-themed GPS in which the voice of Shinji told them when to turn next. I stopped for a few minutes to watch Asa Made Nama Terebi, in interesting program in which leading politicians sit at a table and debate the issues of the day on live TV until the early hours of the morning, a nice idea in a world where so much is boiled down into 3-second sound bites. Next I found myself watching a fascinating program that just showed images of New Yorkers going about their day while classical music played in the background -- what a genius idea. While late-night TV commercials don't quite approach the cheesiness of the "1-900" chat and fortune-telling, there are quite a lot of awful American infomercials being broadcast with dubbed Japanese voice-over.


Lock politicians in a room and make them discuss things intelligently until morning. Great idea!