Pics from this year’s penis festival. These are not joke pictures, it’s a real annual festival. I forget where in Japan it takes place though.
More news from the latest Japan report at AICN (read the whole thing here). The SKY HIGH movie, which is based on a late-night drama that was on earlier this year (I know of it because Yuko watched a few episodes) is to be directed by Ryuhei Kitamura, who did the yakuza versus zombie flick VERSUS. I finally got around to seeing VERSUS a few weeks ago, and it definitely needs to be seen. The production values are pretty low, but the editing shows immense talent and imagination. Crazy, crazy fight scenes throughout. I also need to see his second film, ALIVE, which is based on a manga that I enjoyed.
BATTLE ROYALE 2 hasn’t opened yet (first week of July) and it’s already causing problems. Seems like the distributor, Toei, had to remove posters that were near schools because of protests from the PTA. They didn’t like the following line on the poster:
“All persons killed in war, junior high school students…”
Found on AICN.
Hayao Miyazaki has directed some beautiful new TV commercials for House Foods, and you can view them online here.
Geez, great news today (from Japan Today):
Tokyo replaced Hong Kong as the world’s most expensive city in terms of the cost of living, according to a survey released by a U.S. consulting firm on Monday.
The survey, conducted in March by Mercer Human Resource Consulting, compared 144 cities around the world on the cost of more than 200 items, including housing and transportation. It showed Moscow as the second most expensive city in the world, followed by Osaka, which was in the sixth place last year. Hong Kong fell to fourth place. (Kyodo News)
When I was talking about Patrick’s Tokyo Recohan yesterday, I forgot to mention that he now also puts up MP3 samples of selected releases. The links for these are only in his weekly newsletter (in which he announces all the new additions to the site for the week), so subscribe to it and get to hear some stuff that you’re probably not familar with, but might end up really enjoying.
I was back in Ebisu tonight after work because Charlie had some more comics for me (gotta love getting stacks of free comics, thanks again Charlie). While I was there, he brought me to one of his favorite ramen shops in the area (yeah, I know, this is getting ridiculous, I have to stop talking about ramen on a daily basis). Ippudou’s tonkotsu ramen was absolutely delicious. I had the white style, while Charlie had the red style, which is supposed to be very spicy. I’m now two for two when it comes to ramen shops in the Ebisu area. I imagine that next time we’re in the area we’ll check out the original Santouka, since the Ikebukuro branch is Yuko’s favorite ramen shop, and the original shop in Ebisu is supposedly much, much tastier.
I wanted to mention this a few weeks ago, but it slipped my mind. I was surfing the music channels and I fell on a video that featured the characters from the upcoming videogame VIEWTIFUL JOE. The game (coming out on GameCube this month in Japan, and soon in America) is what looks like a very fun old-school side-scrolling action game with 3D graphics, and the music video featured characters (and baddies) from the game, all rendered as they are in the game. They’re all playing in a band, and the song was punk-rockish. I mention this because I’ve never seen anything like it. The song, called “Viewtiful World,” was just credited to Viewtiful Joe, so I don’t know who the real band behind it is.
Today I saw episode 39 of the series SAMURAI JACK, which featured a definite homage to Monkey Punch’s Lupin the 3rd character. People outside of Japan might not know much about the excellent Lupin III series, since the only thing that has been released in North America (I think) is the Hayao Miyazaki directed film from the eighties (which is great by the way), but I recently read that American publisher Tokyopop has just released at least 2 volumes of the original manga. Also, a Hollywood live-action adaptation is in the works, which I don’t know if I should be happy or sad about. I’m not expecting much from this, especially since word first came out that they were thinking of casting Rob Schneider as Lupin. Burn, Hollywood, burn.
This is the picture I was talking about yesterday that was taken at Frey with no flash using Elsbeth’s tripod. I now have the same kind of tripod.