Pixilated comments

Posted in: Fans interact with holographic superstar Hatsune Miku See in context

Miku's rise in popularity often makes me think back on the 1996 novel "Idoru" by William Gibson. It's probably only a matter of time before some big J-Pop star, actor, talent, or someone else who has a ton of money to throw at Crypton Future Media decides he wants to marry Miku.

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Posted in: Will 'en-daka' economics drive yakuza abroad? See in context

“Freedom of belief is guaranteed by the Constitution of Japan,” one remarked to Mizoguchi. “Consequently, the church affords sanctuary that’s almost the equivalent of extraterritorial law. I bet we could operate a casino on the grounds, for example, and the cops wouldn’t do anything to about it. Or what do you think of tht idea of us a buying a big cruise ship with a casino that sails outside Japan’s territorial limits? We could hold parties—- limited only to wealthy guests—- where the customers could openly partake women, narcotics and amphetamines. If the cops tried to intervene, it would set off a diplomatic incident.”

It's interesting how open some of these gang members can be by expressing their possible criminal intentions and prospects in interviews.

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Posted in: Muppets, baseball, penguins, vampires, 'Mission: Impossible' lead end-of-year films See in context

I for one am looking forward to several of these releases.

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Posted in: F-bombs dropping by the cluster in PG-13 movies See in context

Granted that I'm not a parent, but I personally think there's a lot worse things going on in the world than to worry about kids hearing words in movies that they're probably hearing their friends at school or in their neighborhood saying anyway (and probably already themselves use when parents and teachers aren't around), and probably hear their parents use at home as well.

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Posted in: Kan resigns; says he did all he could, given difficulties he faced See in context

I've lost track now of the number of Prime Ministers who've come and gone in the years that I've been here. It seems that just when I start to remember one's name, he's already gone and it's someone new.

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Posted in: Man arrested for making fraudulent reservations on airport limousine bus See in context

A happy ending to the story would be if the guy was made to drive said airport limousine bus to work off his debt. If he's been riding that route very often then he probably knows it well, and could get to see his beloved planes each day while paying off what he owes. Which could then lead to a more permanent job with Haneda.

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Posted in: A movie date? No thank you See in context

Personally, I love "movie dates." Then again, I really love movies, and the movie theater experience is one that I've enjoyed since childhood. I have a good friend who is Japanese, and for almost five years straight we've been going to see American movies together and we both enjoy it. Granted we're just friends rather than a couple, but she has similar tastes in movies as I do so we always look forward to the new releases and have a good time discussing how good or how bad the movie was afterwards, and what made it so.

This however won't work for everyone of course. If the two people have very different tastes in movies, or activities in general, then movie dates won't work. I love watching American action, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, animated, thriller, slasher, and suspense movies but I wouldn't be able to stand sitting through a romance or drama from any country. As a result, me and my actual partner (who is Japanese) rarely watch movies together anymore, since we have very different tastes in films.

I think the important thing in a relationship, is before one even begins to start dating, is to find out if you have the same interests in activities. And I don't mean just one-time activities. Sure, many people like going to museums once or twice a year or so. But a lot of people wouldn't want to go every weekend. So before even considering if this person would be good for you in a long-term relationship, you should find out what they like doing on a regular basis. What activities do they usually prefer to do each weekend if given the opportunity. To me, dating is just a trial run, like a probation type of thing. It's not until you've run out of the usual date activities (restaurants, movies, amusement parks, museums, beaches, parks, etc.) that you start to find what a person's real routine is. And if your usual free-time routine doesn't match your partners (or at least you or your partner don't want to bend to match the other person's routine) then problems will arise.

The most common complaint I hear from women is that after being with their boyfriend for a while, he never wants to go on dates anymore like they did in the beginning. And a more common complaint I hear from guys is that their girlfriends expect to go somewhere new after several years of being together as if they were still newly dating when the guy would rather just do something more relaxed and casual. These kinds of issues should have been looked at early on.

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Posted in: Pros and cons of Internet dating See in context

Personally, I had nothing against the material, if all it was meant to be was an essay on a guy's experiences during his last six months in Tokyo seeking out Asian women to hook up with via the Internet.

But if it was supposed to be about the pros and cons of Internet dating rather than a purely personal account, the article could have at least mentioned what the specific advantages and disadvantages were, or at least how exactly he used the Internet for such "dating:" was it an actual dating website like Asia Friend Finder, or a magazine website that has a classified section like Metropolis, or just a general SNS site like Facebook, or not ever a website at all but an instant messaging program like Skype using the search functions? Such details might have made the article more objective rather than just an essay.

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Posted in: Comedian Shimada quits show business over reported ties to yakuza See in context

I think I recall last year he went nuts during a commercial break of a live show or something because three of the younger comedians weren't acting respectful enough in his opinion (in the way they were sitting, or their talking to each other during the breaks, or maybe that they didn't greet him properly enough backstage), and started grabbing or strangling them. I was surprised that it was the comedians who had to apologize to him rather than vice versa. I never liked Shimada after that.

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Posted in: Pros and cons of Internet dating See in context

Yeah, I found this article to be a bit misleading. Rather than being about the advantages and disadvantages of Internet dating, it just sounded like the experiences of a guy searching out hot East Asian women for short-term, non-committed sex-friends and "booty-calls" rather than true love or dating, or at least that's all I got from reading it.

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Posted in: The freefall of Japan’s anime industry See in context

Back in the mid-90s when I first got into anime, I really enjoyed OAV/OVA series because they were short, and usually began and ended within about six or seven episodes or so, and some of the shorter TV series that only ran for maybe one or two seasons (so about 26 to 52 episodes give or take). But a lot of the most popular anime now is just too long, and has been running for a decade or more. Way too long for my tastes. Especially since most of the shows that are targeted towards the shonen demographic (pre-teen to mid-teen boys) use the same basic formula.

This usually consists of an enthusiastically energetic, happy-go-lucky, childish, innocent-minded hero with a big appetite and a lot of heart and determination (despite a lack of brains), who may be naive and idiotic but never gives up and always tries hard to become the very best at something. He is often paired up with a foil to be his rival, someone who is cool and unemotional, intelligent and calculating, cynical and jaded, often the silent loner-type, and who usually thinks strength is everything and that friendship just holds him back, and will likely either be a villain-turned-ally or a rival who later betrays the hero and becomes a villain. Then there's a female love interest, who will either have a crush on the hero, or the hero will have a crush on her, but since it's a shonen anime there won't be much focus on romance so usually the relationship never goes much further than having an unrequited crush (generally if it's the female who has a crush on the male hero, he will be the type of hero who has no interest in love or romance or is just totally oblivious; if it is a case of the hero having a crush on the female, then usually she's either equally oblivious or is actually in love with someone else, usually the hero's rival).

Other characters then join up, usually worthy opponents who are defeated during the course of the series. Then each season or arc follows the same basic format: the characters have to collect a bunch of items, fight in a tournament, rescue a kidnapped friend/relative/love interest, or get involved in some big war between two or more factions, all part of the overall goal of striving to become the very best in the world at whatever it is the series is focused on (sports, card games, spinning tops, board games, martial arts, ninjustsu, piracy, training monsters, etc), which usually comes with an elite title once obtained. Then to prepare for the challenges of the current season/arc, the characters usually will one-by-one receive new "powerups" by finding some old master and/or going about some kind of over-the-top training that grants them new techniques, or teaches them new ways to use old techniques, or they'll somehow obtain new and better weapons or equipment, or whatever it is. Finally, by the end of the season/arc, the main villain's minions are defeated one by one in a face-off between the heroes and the bad guys, resulting in the climactic final fight in which usually only the main protagonist is able to defeat the final villain (but with the emotional support and encouragement of his friends, since despite being strong in their own right the hero's allies are never strong enough to take down the final villain because that's the hero's job), thus proving him one of the strongest guys around. In some cases though the villain won't be killed off, but instead will be inspired by the hero and join him (if the fans like him a lot, though villains becoming good guys usually results in them becoming a lot weaker than when they were villains it seems).

And then, inevitably, the next season/arc begins, in which a new villain/opponent appears who is even more powerful than the last, and the formula of training and questing to receive powerups or new allies begins all over again.

This formula isn't necessarily a bad one; it just becomes very predictable and repetitive when a series runs for a long, long time. It would be nice if they changed things up a bit to keep some aspects fresh, instead of always assuming what all pre-teen and mid-teen boys want or don't want to see.

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Posted in: The pros and cons of May-December marriages See in context

It would have been more interesting if the article discussed the other side of the coin as well: May-December marriages involving younger men and older women.

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Posted in: Honey, do you mind going back to work? See in context

Many women here, especially the generation in their forties and up, are really spoiled and old-fashioned. They think everything should be handed to them without any effort on their part, on the sheer virtue that they are females and thus everything should just be given to them by a male (either father or husband). It's really annoying.

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Posted in: Revised money lending law creating desperate housewives See in context

Десу ГрачкинJul. 13, 2011 - 08:34PM JST

I can't think of a situation, when a breadwinner does not know, how much he earns and the amount his family spends. No doubt the husband of Kazuko was aware of her debts. Otherwise he was uninformed about the famlily's financial plight. BTW, has anyone seen that MLBL? I don't think it was such a severe law as they say. Perhaps that's just another hit on the current gov't to show it deserves no credit?

It's quite easy, really. Traditionally men in Japan turn over their entire salary each month to their wife, and she gives him an allowance for snacks, drinking, etc. And the rest of the money she budgets towards all the household expenses. If the wife doesn't state that there's a problem, the husband just assumes all is going well.

It probably wasn't a situation that the husband wasn't earning enough money to be aware that they should be having financial problems. What was likely the case is wifey was a shopoholic or had a gambling problem, and was taking out the loans to make up for the money she was squandering that was supposed to be going towards the household.

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Posted in: Revised money lending law creating desperate housewives See in context

All the effort she and these other housewives put into taking out loans to supplement her husband's income, she could have just put the energy into getting a full-time or part-time job of her own so as to have more extra spending money. But for some women in Japan, after they get married the idea of having to actually work to earn some money of their own rather than having it just handed to them is unheard of and unacceptable.

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Posted in: Assistant prosecutor arrested for allegedly groping woman on train See in context

The two most common excuses I read in these kinds of stories are "I was drunk" and/or "I don't remember."

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Posted in: More movies pulled, delayed following earthquake disaster See in context

It may be off topic, but last Sunday I was able to catch the new CGI Disney film "Tangled" at the HUMAX theater in Ikebukuro's Sunshine City (the one right next to Tokyu Hands), which just opened in theaters last Saturday. Such a movie was great escapism for a little while given all that's happening, so I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good animated romantic comedy.

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Posted in: Mystery solved in death of legendary Japanese dog Hachiko See in context

The idea of the dog returning to that station to loyally wait for his master to come is a great story of devotion. But the truth is, the dog was simply a stray dog that hung around the station because the locals of the area were feeding him. Animals will stick around anyplace where the humans aren't a threat and the food is plentiful.

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Posted in: Starbucks customer, told to stop hitting on girls, assaults worker See in context

Persistently chasing the females, becoming aggressively violent when challenged by an alpha male: sounds like this would make a good study on testosterone and the animal that is man.

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Posted in: Shoken’s fifth bride is model Rika Tomita See in context

Do celebrities ever marry anyone within 10 years of their own age?

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Posted in: What do you think of school uniforms in Japan? See in context

I don't think it makes any objective sense to have girls and boys wear different uniforms. However, I doubt they would ever change. Nowadays, I think the main reasons for keeping the girl's uniforms the way they are is because men find them to be a fetishy sexual symbol; women envy the uniforms as symbols of youth that bring back wistful memories of their own school days; and girls like them because they enjoy the cute and desirable status that said uniform bestows upon them. In short, nobody in Japan wants to change the uniforms because everybody loves them. Heck, the image of the "genki" and "kawaii" sailor-suited school uniform high school girl has become a symbol of Japan.

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Posted in: Mini ninjas See in context

"Mininjas" are no laughing matter.

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Posted in: Tokyo man arrested for paying schoolgirls 30,000 yen to pose nude for photos See in context

As it's not the first time reading about a guy who worked or used to work at a school being involved in some sex crime with underage girls, I wonder if these guys seek out jobs in schools because they had already liked young girls, or if it's because they worked in schools that they later developed a liking to young girls.

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Posted in: A journey into the world of movies See in context

Never liked Universal Studios Japan. Most of the rides are really outdated, being based on movies that are now too old for most young people to recognize.

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Posted in: Groupon CEO apologizes to Japan customers for 'osechi' mess-up See in context

It may be off-topic, but I just have to say that osechi is the worst holiday food ever.

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Posted in: Two heads are better than one See in context

"Nobody wins with a headbutt."

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Posted in: 52-year-old man tricks high school girl into sending naked photos of herself See in context

The funny thing is, the article says that this guy posed as a younger man online, but doesn't say exactly how much younger. Everyone seems to be assuming that he was acting as if he was a teenager or in his twenties, but for all we know, he could have simply been pretending that he was 32 instead of 52. In any event, though the article doesn't say, I am guessing the girl probably believed him to be over 18 and probably over 20.

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Posted in: 52-year-old man tricks high school girl into sending naked photos of herself See in context

MeanRingo at 12:22 PM JST - 13th January:

A 16 year old on a dating site is looking to make one thing, and I'm not talking about friends.

I agree with this statement. Almost every case that you see in the news of a high school girl prostituting herself to older men involves meeting them over these online (usually cell phone) dating sites. I seriously doubt she was a completely innocent girl "tricked" into sending nude photos. More likely she was looking for a potential customer who happened to be older than she originally thought (but probably wouldn't have stopped her from doing "business" with him anyway). High school girls in Japan are always in high demand as a valued commodity, and these girls know it and take advantage of those three years they have as actual high school girls to live it up as the ideal image of Japanese male fantasies (and the envy of wistful older women).

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Posted in: Annoying habits by train commuters, hot trends for 2011 and other survey results See in context

I find putting on makeup annoying. For one it is not the powder-room, ditto for guys eating on the train. Some of those makeup tools look scary(Torquemada would be proud) what what gets me is the smell.

I never understood what's the hang up over women putting on make up while on the train. Mind you, I'm a man and I'm not interested in make up. In fact, I think women don't need it at all and I'm completely against the idea of it. But to be perfectly fair I don't see any difference in someone putting on make than anyone else doing something on the train like listening to music, talking to someone next to them, playing a video game, reading a book, etc. If you don't like to see it, then simply close your eyes or look elsewhere.

Same goes for public displays of affection. If you don't like to see it, just don't stare at the couple.

Anyway, some of my own train station annoyances are people who stand right in front of the ticket machines while looking up at the signs above to find out how much it will cost to go to the station they want. It's fine if other ticket machines are open, but when all of them are taken and people are waiting to go, it's annoying when people stand in front of the machines if they're not ready to use them.

Similarly I hate when people stand with their kids next to them at the ticket machines, and while the parent is using the ticket machine their kids black the adjacent machines to the left and/or right.

In response to the thing about people rushing onto the train before people have gotten off, I respond with the fact that I find people take TOO long getting off the train which annoys the heck out of me. Especially those folks who wait until the last minute to even get out of their seat, and don't even go to exit the train until people are already boarding.

Blocking the door without any intention of moving aside i'll move if you say sumimasen but if you just push i think your being rude and will push back.

I hate when I want to exit or enter the train, and there's one jerk standing right in the middle of the doorway obliviously looking at their phone or something who doesn't budge at all. I figure if they're too distracted to step aside while people enter or exit, then I'm too busy to say excuse me and just bump 'em out of the way.

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Posted in: Hotel's safety policy under fire after woman employee molested See in context

No mention of police arresting the unruly guest? Is sexual molestation a crime in Japan?

I also find it odd that the victim's outrage seems to be focused on the hotel chain itself, rather than the actual guest who molested her.

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