[Wednesday, December 31, 2008]

 
So it's the new year here (and I am awake past midnight for once), so it's time for resolutions!

- Stop procrastinating.
- Get moving on plans for 2010.
- Buy less doujinshi. Okay, strike that--I already started 2009 buying doujinshi.
- Exercise more.
- Don't put back the 16 kilos I lost in 2008.

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The cat left something in the box at [9:05 AM] 0 comments

[Tuesday, December 30, 2008]

 
Fandom: Code Geass
Title: Saikyou deko deko boko keikaku (actually, I don't know exactly how to read the middle three kanji, but it's illustrated inside the cover to show that it is a very graphic pun)
Circle: KSM/Mikou
Genre: 3P. Suzaku/Lelouch/C.C. sandwich.
Porn?: Hell yes. Of the non-con/dub-con variety.
Spoilers?: Nope.

In order to avoid looking at Yahoo!Japan Auctions and the heinous prices of Comiket 75 doujinshi, I read my favourite porn. Utterly irredeemable porn, yay!

Asides from the fact that this is the Unholy Trinity in Season 1(!), the disclaimer and warning notes on the first page are hilarious. And the three kanji in the title are helpfully illustrated/drawn over with the respective naughty bits in case anyone doesn't get that it's an m/m/f.

The set-up: Suzaku is completely plastered (being a PWP, no one is going to ask why) and his good friend has to help him back to . . . his own room for some reason. C.C. is there, of course, and she jumps Lelouch, ties him up and rapes him right next to Suzaku, who is supposed to be too drunk to wake up (but everyone knows where this is going by the second page).

Failprince fails and flails like anything as C.C. has her wicked way with him. In several positions.

In the middle of all this, Suzaku wakes up, thinks that hes having a dream and completes the sandwich (largely due to C.C. egging him on). Porn is porny. At the end, C.C. knocks Suzaku out while Lelouch fails to retain consciousness--obviously C.C. has many skills we don't know about. (Asides from having her way with failprinces, she can get the drop on someone while involved in a graphic 3p. Amazing.)

By the time Suzaku wakes up again the next day, C.C. has made herself scarce. And failprince wants to kill Suzaku. Good luck there . . .

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The cat left something in the box at [8:14 AM] 2 comments

[Sunday, December 28, 2008]

 
Finally watched the last episode of Merlin. (It's not as gay as it is subtextual. And pretty because the cast is cute.)

Casshern SINS finally has an inkling of a plot and back-story. Lyuze is inching, ever so slowly, towards the "potential love interest" bracket. (There was, in fact, an entire dysfunctional family structure shown in Episode 13. Father/mother, step-father, prodigal sons and daughter, grandaughter and the potential girl-friend.)

*cautiously checks Yahoo!Japan auctions* Argh, Rock'n'Dolless' latest release from Comiket 75 and the Messiah compilation are up for sale already.

Resolution about buying less doujinshi is going out the window . . . very soon.

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The cat left something in the box at [7:22 AM] 0 comments

[Thursday, December 25, 2008]

 
Back home.

Happy holidays.

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[Tuesday, December 23, 2008]

 
Day 10: 23/12/2008
Back in Ikebukuro after the 3 hour ride from Osaka.

An explanation of the things with the cows:
My aunt is born in the Year of the Cow. As CNY is early next year, the ceramic zodiac animals the Japanese use for ornaments make a good gift.

So that's 28 small toothpick-holder cows and 1 small cow for my aunt's friend, 2 pairs of cows for my uncle and aunt on the paternal side, 1 pair of celadon-hued cows for my aunt herself.

Moo.

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The cat left something in the box at [3:22 AM] 0 comments

 
Day 8: 21/12/2008
A-Bomb Dome and Museum in the morning. Should set aside an entire morning for this as the museum was informative, fairly objective and very, very depressing. Especially about how mankind is probably going to kill itself off if the arms race goes on.

Day 9: 22/12/2008
Himeiji Castle for most of the day. My aunt gets cranky when she gets tired.

We did, however, score more cows for her.

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The cat left something in the box at [3:15 AM] 0 comments

[Saturday, December 20, 2008]

 
Day 7: 20/12/2008
Kyoto to Hiroshima by the Shinkansen.

Miyajima and Itsukushima shrime were beautiful, but not as panoramic as Amanohashidate. Or perhaps I should see the view from Mt. Misen. My aunt was tired, so we went back to Hiroshima to check-in.

The cow-hunt, it continues.

Or not. We stayed in for dinner and an early night. Tomorrow, the A-Bomb Dome.

The speciality of Miyajima is oysters. Baked, raw, grilled, bbq-ed oysters. In rice, in soup, in noodles. Shame I don't eat them. The manjuu here are called momiji and are shaped like momiji. I didn't get any as gifts as they expire too fast. I did eat one--dipped in batter and deep-fried--on a stick. Mmm . . . battered and deep-fried cheese-manjuu--it's the local version of the deep-fried Mars Bar with a choice of cream, red bean paste and cheese.

May not have Internet for a while. Withdrawl might set in.

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[Friday, December 19, 2008]

 
Day 6: 19/12/2008
We went to Amanohashidate today by direct train. It was an extra 1480yen for the line not covered by the JR Pass.

Even my Aunt admitted that the view from the hillside at Ichinomiya was spectacular. It just was. And I did the looking-at-the-sand-bar-between-your legs. Because everyone and their grandmother was doing it and it's a thing you do while on vacation. Like eating soft-serve vanilla ice-cream while looking at one of the three most scenic views.

And going to onsen! Chie-no-yu by the station is okay for a nice soak before getting on the train back to Kyoto. I just like soaking in lots of hot water . . . because the bath-tub at home has not worked since I was 15 and was converted into a shower.

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The cat left something in the box at [5:20 AM] 0 comments

[Thursday, December 18, 2008]

 
Day 5: 18/12/2008

Went to Hikone to see Hikone-jo. As castles go, it does great job of making sure any foes who try to attack it would have a very hard time getting anywhere near the main keep. Which might be why it was never attacked between 1600-something to 1860.

Went back to Kyoto earlier than expected. A bit disappointing that I didn't get to see the Castle Road.

I must have screwed up when I booked the tix for Amanohashidate as I got the second train instead of the first. I think my kyuu-ji sounded like jyu-ji--argh, cannot even get the pronunciation right! But fortunately, the tix were changeable. Thank you JR Rail Pass!

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Apparently, there is a poll (about the importance of the internet in our daily lives) that shows that 46% of women would give up sex for two weeks rather than give up internet access.

Hmmm . . .

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The cat left something in the box at [4:13 AM] 0 comments

[Wednesday, December 17, 2008]

 
Day 4: 17/12/2008
Made it to Kyoto in good time. (There was no snow over Nagoya like back in 2006.)

Nishiki Market before lunch at the Teramachi Arcade. Kyoto confections are so cute and pretty. Must resist until I get the green tea cakes with soy powder.

Gion and Ponchoto are still nice in the evening. It's the kind of thing that has to be experienced. Plus my aunt doesn't drink and I hate cigarette smoke, so going to a bar is out of the question. Had a long walk down Shijo, but not without stopping at Takashimaya to get more cows. I am beginning to think my aunt does it on purpose to see the salespeople wrap them up.

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The cat left something in the box at [6:03 AM] 0 comments

[Tuesday, December 16, 2008]

 
Day 3: 16/12/2008
Did the Imperial Palace tour in the morning. There is not much to see as most areas are out of bounds, but the commentary is interesting.

Lunch at Tsukiji. Edogin has great lunch sets. Ikura sushi--nomnomnom. I knew my aunt would want to go see it despite her grumpiness. Instant expresso coffee and zodiac place mats make her day. As do ceramic cows. We found a new variant at Matsukaya in Ginza and she was over the moon again.

Did a very tai tai thing and had tea and coffee at Cafe le Doutor at Ginza. Very relaxed Tokyo visit this time around with no running around. One of the better holidays when I don't have to run around like a nutter.

I went to Bic Camera in the evening to find a camera battery charger and the Choro-Qs (toy cars) my colleague wanted. No Fuji chargers, but a Pentax one works just fine and the salesperson was nice enough to let me try it out first. None of the Choro-Qs my colleague wanted were there, but it was a terrible thing to walk into the toy department there and see airbrushes on display. Double-action gravity-feed airbrushes. And compressors. Argh. Want so bad.

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The cat left something in the box at [3:51 AM] 0 comments

[Monday, December 15, 2008]

 
Day 2: 15/12/2008

News in the morning: No more gawking at the tuna auctions at Tsukiji. Tourists are disappointed. (Have not gone to the tuna auctions. Too early even for the likes of me. I just like to eat raw tuna.)

Ueno Park in the morning and Ameya-yokocho after that. Ameyoko is like Tsukiji Market with more clothing, shoe and bargain drug stores. Crowded, bright and noisy--good for bargains on seaweed, seafood, clothes, etc.

Lunch was salmon don eaten on the street at a hot-chair diner (you have to eat and be done in 30 minutes) in Ameyoko, which was reasonable for the price.

Aunt did not want to go to Odaiba as the one-day ticket was pricy. (Objectively speaking, it was pricy.) So we headed for Shinjuku where my aunt goes gaga over the service at Takashimaya. Yes, they do quality wrapping and give great service even when you buy ceramic cows. We are going to have a whole herd of them by the end of this trip.

Skyscraper distract in Shinjuku. View from the 45th floor of Tower 1 of the Tokyo Metropolitan Building (aka Civil Servant Centre in Tokyo) was very nice, but shame about the glass windows--it's hard to get a shot with the reflection. Probably left camera battery charger at home--darn it. Wonder how much it costs to get another one here?

I confess--I went out doujinshi shopping again after getting back to Ikebukuro. And I brought all of them in my knapsack to the post office behind Sunshine City to mail them back by SAL. I don't usually sneak around like that, but my aunt bitches about mailing stuff home all the time. So for my piece of mind, thank goodness for the later closing hours at the Toshima-ku main post office. (On the other hand, would I have gotten printed matter rate if they were not in a box?)

And on a side note, cannot see Mutuality by CLAMP in bookstores--wow, it sold out fast.

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The cat left something in the box at [4:31 AM] 0 comments

[Sunday, December 14, 2008]

 
In Ikebukuro.

Did the Otome Dori trawl and bought 4 kilos of doujinshi already. Oh dear.

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Edit the first: Day 1 in Detail

Landed at Narita. First thing I saw after coming out of customs was the police cordon at the men's room outside. If the crime scene tape wasn't enough, the presence of large police dogs proved that this was probably something serious. Scary.

Got to Tokyo via the Keisei Line--which tries to grill your buttocks slowly on the way via its under-the-seat heating system--and got to Ikebukuro to check into the hotel. Crowds here are still intense on a Sunday. Quick dinner followed by shopping. Found the cows for my aunt and she is over the moon.

Doujinshi hunting on Otome Dori after my aunt was safely deposited in Sunshine City. In terms of second-hand doujinshi, most ex to cheapest: K-Books > Meikidou > Mandarake

But Toranoana has new books at good prices. Have not checked out the secondhand books yet. Eyes hurt from dryness.

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The cat left something in the box at [4:26 AM] 0 comments

[Friday, December 12, 2008]

 
Hooray for 20% discounts at Kino.

I am not a fan of CLAMP, having only read RG Veda and watched the XXXholic anime. Mutuality is probably going to be the only CLAMP artbook in my collection. The cover was quite frankly a tease, but no big surprise to anyone who has seen artwork by CLAMP. Also spoilers for R2 here and in the book.

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Nothing new in terms of colour art except for three pictures. The sketches show why CLAMP gets top billing for character design as they pretty much covered everything. Favourite picture is still C.C. in the red and black kimono.

Short story by Ohkouchi Ichiro in Chapter VIII: First part had OT3 chilling in Baghdad after the events in the World of C as Lelouch thinks up what would be soon be known as Zero Requiem. Second part is about swords (yes, that one) and very gay as the boys talk about killing off their identities/personas. Suzaku is Ore!Suzaku and the sword was specially made. (Of course it was. No self-respecting weapons-maker would willing make anything like that.) It sounds like double suicide/lovers' suicide when put like that. Only they're talking about it flippantly despite the angsty subject matter. It's also hard to T__T when That Hat is on the opposite page. Anime had the passing of the mask, the short story has the super-gay handing over of the sword. Fanfic and fanart has the alteration of the Zero outfit covered. Yeah, CG has everything.

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Reading A Distant Soil. Which I should have picked up earlier except that I did not know it was available in Kino. Seren and D'mer are growing on me.

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Casshern Sins Ep 10 was a whole episode without Casshern angsting in it. But it made up for that by having someone else do the angsting for a change. Dune has issues. Dio has a huge rage-on for Casshern. Leda has a huge . . . well, she's rather obsessed with Dio and their new utopia. In the background, the plot inches forwards.

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[Wednesday, December 10, 2008]

 

Fandom: Code Geass
Title: Lair
Circle: Rock'n'Dolless
Genre: BL.
Porn?: Yep. A very good illustration of the species known as "dub-con".
Spoilers?: Yes, for the first season.

It's funny how some doujinshi have "no auction" notices on their back pages. Actually, that's ironic. It's funny to the one who bought it off an auction and finds the "no auction" on the back page after reading it.

But I digress. I'm here to talk about the pretty pictures. And the doujinshi, which is pretty good in terms of a picture being worth a thousand words. (I recommend Rock'n'Dolless doujinshi. Not just because the art is beautiful, the layouts creative and the covers gorgeous.)

It's one of the circle's first CG doujinshi and sets the precedence for psycho-bonkers-special-snowflake!Suzaku. (Which isn't really that far off considering R2.) First page is "Ikiro", which sets this after the events of Kaminejima and makes certain things easier to understand.

Our scene is in Ashford, where Lelouch observes Suzaku trying to wash racist slurs off his clothes. What's really disturbing is Suzaku's expression.

Another day and Suzaku is a) being a doormat or b) being civic-minded as he picks up after less civic-minded students. (Such a good boy!) He spots one-and-only-best-friend, who is having his drink mooched off him by Rivalz (score another doujinshi appearance for Rivalz). Lelouch tells Rivalz off for being a cheapskate and there's a nice slow pan to him sipping from the straw curtesy of the Suzaku-stalker-cam.

Suzaku gets spotted by Rivalz and Lelouch invites him for dinner with Nunnally. It's time for class and no-one notices that Suzaku has his hand behind his back as he clutches the crushed remains of his drink cup. And failprince also fails at being civic-minded as Suzaku watches him litter.

Back home, C.C. askes Lelouch why he used the Geass (on Suzaku I assume). Lelouch did not intend to do it, but he did anyhow, C.C. counters. Lelouch just says that he wasn't able to prevent it. He can't believe that Suzaku has a deathwish. If he puts it that way, "Do you like him? Do you hate him?" C.C. asks. "He's important," Lelouch states and tells C.C. to buzz off to another room for that day. To which C.C. says, "Sounds like you have a crush on him . . . You're really cruel . . ." with an extremely knowing look (probably because she's been inside Suzaku's head).

Over dinner, Suzaku has a minor internal freakout over his steak-knife--which is momentarily arrested when he recalls boyhood!Lelouch. Nunnally notices that he's not quite there and Lelouch wonders if they should have had Japanese food (instead of Western, with all the pointy knives involved). They'll be having Japanese food next time.

Later, Lelouch finds Rivalz's notebook amongst his things. Suzaku says that his circle of friends has increased and then casually asks about the phone call Lelouch made yesterday. Lelouch lies like a rug and says it was about stopping his habit of gambling. Suzaku knows that Lelouch is lying but goes along with it.

Somehow, this results in Suzaku raping Lelouch's mouth and it all heads bed-wards. Button-popping dub-con occurs. Hot, but disturbing. "Your're so stubborn . . . Lulu, does that feel good? Lulu, do you want me to put it in? Lulu, do you like me?"

Actually, very disturbing.

Not sure if Lelouch is agreeing because there's a psycho in his bed or it really is love (the crazy, twisted angsty version of it). As this is doujinshi, it's probably the latter.

C.C.: In the end, you just couldn't lose it/something/him, couldn't you, Lelouch . . .

Suzaku is out of bed and . . . he's disposing of Rivalz notebook (just to show that he's not quite there). When Lelouch gets up, Suzaku is smiling and it is like the sun coming up. "I'm happy you're here."

Yay, happiness.

Like this, I cannot even die.

Only not because Suzaku is an M-type with a deathwish.

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The cat left something in the box at [5:31 PM] 0 comments

[Monday, December 08, 2008]

 
*looks at exchange rates*

*dies a little inside*

No more online shopping / auction doujinshi for me then . . .

Comiket doujinshi . . . T___T

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The cat left something in the box at [12:56 AM] 0 comments

[Sunday, December 07, 2008]

 
Argh, forgot about road closures today. I hate spending that long on a bus while being stuck in traffic.

Picked up Fables: War and Pieces the other day. Very epic.

Passed on hardcover book of James Jean's Fables covers. Gorgeous, glorious stuff. *waits for 20% discount to roll around again*

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The cat left something in the box at [5:08 AM] 0 comments

[Saturday, December 06, 2008]

 
I got a call from Ad which I missed because my phone is permanently on silent mode. He's in Japan and was wondering if I was there.

Not for another week, former travel-buddy, not for another week.

Speaking of which . . .
- Air tix: check
- Travel insurance: check
- Rail passes: check
- Money: check
- Hotel reservations: check
- Maps: check
- Itinerary: check
- Pack suitcase: not yet . . . only 30% done.

Though I wish I was going with Ad and Ed / any of my other travel-buddies. My aunt . . . is my aunt. It's hard to go doujinshi shopping with your aunt.

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The cat left something in the box at [7:15 AM] 0 comments

[Thursday, December 04, 2008]

 
After a marathon of Jigoku Shoujo (first season, Futakomori and whatever's released of Mitsuganae), it's safe to say that I love how dark and relentlessly twisted it is. It even twisted the Magic Girl Transformation into something truly ominous. Not so fond of the sequence in Mitsuganae (now with extra lesbian subtext), but it's got its merits.

The lessons within the show are simple: there are consequences for everything you do and human beings are petty, mean, small-minded and cruel. It's saying something when the nicest people on the show are Ai's demonic servants who cheerfully send people to Hell every show.

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Casshern SINS is a scenario in which the plot doesn't matter. The plot is just a background and filler to pack around the angst that the protagonist is going through every episode. Which is poignant and pretty impressive considering it's a bunch of robots doing the emoting for most of the show. And there's inherent classism/racism/speciesism(?) in the system when the grunts are robots that look like robots and the more fleshed-out (ha ha) characters look like humans. Or maybe they're cyborgs. There isn't enough plot to tell at the moment.

(And if Lyuze ends up just as a love-interest along the way, score one for sexism in a show about robots that technically should not have gender. Or cyborgs.)

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