Picked up the latest issue of GIANT ROBOT today, mostly because it featured a cover and interview with Japanese artist 326 (click here to see the cover, as the image I had linked to doesn’t seem to be loading anymore). I really like his artwork, even have a few postcards bought years ago, but I’ve never been able to find any info on him in English.
Also picked up the new issue of WEST EAST (can’t believe that such a beautiful magazine has such a lame website), and I was probably in part sucked in by the absolutely gorgeous Zhang Ziyi cover. The theme for the issue is “new China,” and it’s jam packed with interesting articles and images dealing with all aspects of this. I was quite impressed with a particular article that takes a look at some new Chinese artists that are creating some very original works (and esthetically quite appealing). My next trip to Beijing (which will not be happening in December) will have to include some visits to galleries or studios of these artists. As for the magazine itself, it’s a bit pricey (reason I’ve never bought an issue before, contenting myself with a look-through at Junkudo), but well worth the price as it’s gigantic and thick. One of the most eye catching things out there (the fashion spreads are amazing). It’s a Hong Kong based magazine with full English text, and Chinese translations at the back.
EXPOSURE 32 is also out, and I was lucky enough to find it free at Planet 3rd (most other stores charge for it, even though it’s supposed to be a free magazine).
Spent the afternoon in Shibuya, doing a lot of window shopping, checking out magazines. I spent a lot of time in the basement of Parco 3, mostly listening to stuff at the Apres-midi Selecao shop (where I spotted the Julie Doiron CD I mention in Tokyo Boy), and grabbing a couple of neat little objects at a shop called A2 Collection (a tiny blue pen and a lighter – I don’t smoke, but I can’t help myself from buying nice-looking things, no matter what they are). I checked out the new J.Point shop, which has a beautiful selection of traditional Japanese objects with a modern flair, and did a quick in-out at Fran Fran (there’s a cube shaped calendar that I simply must have). Had a latte at the Beams Time Cafe, enjoying my just-purchased magazines, and then had dinner at Planet 3rd (I still have the taste of that delicious apple and cinamon pizza in my mouth).
The Apple Store in Ginza opens today, and here is a gallery of pics. I think I’ll go tomorrow morning.
Edit: Glad I didn’t go today, as Mr. Antipixel shows us in his nice little photo essay. I’m even wondering if it’s worth trying to go tomorrow morning. There’s no way I’m waiting a couple of hours in line to get in. But I’m anxious to go not just to check out the new store, but also to have them take a look at my dead iBook, and to be able to talk about it with someone in English.
Got some news on the Satoshi Kon series from AICN. It will be a 13 episode series (the norm) called PARANOIA AGENT. There’s already an official site up for the series, including a trailer (there will be 3 links in the middle of the screen, click on the one to the right). The trailer, although brief, definitely makes this look good.
I would love to see this WARATTE IITOMO, (the comma is part of the title) video mentioned in this week’s OUT OF TOKYO column by Tetsuya Ozaki over at REALTOKYO, that won the Kirin Art Award 2003. The original show it remixes, WARATTE IITOMO, is something we usually have on TV everyday at lunch time.
THE JAPAN TIMES has an article on the Japanese all-girl garage-rock band that was featured in KILL BILL’s House of Blue Leaves scene, The 220.127.116.11’s.
The new Apple Store opens in Ginza this Sunday, and now comes news that they’ll also be opening a store in Osaka next year. A look at the event schedule for the store shows tons of things happening every month, and the press release mentions the presence of “Mac specialists who speak 10 different languages including Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Thai, Korean, Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese and English.” Don’t know if I’ll go on Sunday, but at the very least I’ll be there next week for a visit. I’ll also bring my dead iBook to see if there’s anything affordable that can be done to it.
Edit: Plus this news about the iTunes Music Store: “Steve Jobs is presently visiting Japan to celebrate the opening of the Apple Store Ginza and announced that Apple will be launching the iTunes Music Store for the Japanese market in 2004. Napster has reportedly made a similar announcement as well, with both companies currently in negotiations with Japanese record labels.”
There’s a new game out called ONIMUSHA BURAIDEN, part of the Onimusha samurai fighting series, where you can fight 4-player battles. The CM they’re showing on TV is hilarious. It simply shows a battle taking place, with a pro-wrestling Spanish announcer calling the action. Priceless.
METROID PRIME for the Nintendo Gamecube has taken over my life these past few days. I found it cheap (only 2500 yen) in a used game shop last week, and now I can’t get enough of it. Such a beautiful game to play. Scanning things (important part of the game) is a bit annoying as the kanji are giving me trouble, but it doesn’t take anything away from the gameplay. Brilliant.
This week’s Asian edition of TIME has a nice article on Satoshi Kon, director of PERFECT BLUE, MILLENNIUM ACTRESS, and the new TOKYO GODFATHERS. I can’t wait to see his TV series next year.