TV Gets it Wrong

I’m watching this week’s series of ATTACK OF THE SHOW episodes that were taped in Tokyo, and they mention that the Starbucks that overlooks Shibuya crossing is the biggest one in the world. Is this true?

Oh, and while on the topic of western shows covering Japan, I watched the first episode of HEROES, which I liked, but the Japan/Tokyo-related stuff just killed me. It’s good that the main Japanese character is really Japanese, but you’re telling me that in all of Hollywood they couldn’t find even one more native Japanese speaker to play his buddy? And the sets… Oh my, probably some of the worst I’ve seen. The street scene was just laughable. What I can’t understand is that they must realize that the show will probably get a big DVD release in Japan — like the huge hit that LOST is on DVD here — and you’d think they’d keep that in mind while making the show, especially since one of the main characters is Japanese.

Cafes Gridskipper

This Week at Gridskipper


You can read all of my Gridskipper posts here (or even subscribe to a feed).

Design Technology

New Mobile Phones from Softbank

Softbank will be launching 13 new mobile phone models in October (as they officially make the change from the Vodafone brand name), but they already have info on all of them on their website. Some of them are looking quite nice!

Oh, and let me go on record as saying that I’m one of the few who thinks that the Softbank logo looks fine — everyone I know seems to hate it.


This Week in Magazines

Let me start off by saying that I went through all of these issues a couple of weeks ago, and just never got around to writing this post. Better late than never, I says!

  • PEN (184) devotes an issue to “Sensationeel! Nederland,” which, you know, means they offer up a beautiful guide to all things Holland in the way that only PEN can do — exhaustive and catalogue-like. They also include an insert on Dutch graphics.
  • BRUTUS (602) has its annual Autumn/Winter stylebook, with the theme “Fashion, Evergreen, My Classic.” Yeah, right. As with all their fashion-heavy issues, it’s oversized and low on text.
  • I don’t think I really need to add anything to the recent re-launch of TOKION JAPAN (53 — it’s interesting that they’ve kept the old numbering). “The First Glocal Magazine” is bigger, with a nice cover stock, and personally, I really like what they’ve done with it. It includes 2 inserts, one with content (in English and Japanese) from the US edition of TOKION, and the other for the latest projects from ROCKET.
  • KING (1) is a new men’s magazine that presents itself in a thick cheap format (think Japanese tabloids or weekly comics magazine), and I must say that I found it interesting to the sort of traditional men’s magazine format get re-mixed in this way, with lots of content that feels slapped together and a bit messy.
  • This month’s issue of REAL DESIGN (5) includes a large round-up of new mobile phones, including a 2-page look at Nendo’s DoCoMo N702iS (which I also included in this week’s edition of my “On Design” column).
  • I said I liked recent issues of EYESCREAM, and then with their October issue they go and do a Fuji Rock issue, even trying to sell it as “Fuji Rock as Lifestyle.” Boring.
  • STUDIO VOICE (370) knows where to find the “Ultimate Motion Graphics,” and it would have been so nice for them to have been able to include a DVD with samples of the works they mention. They also include a guide to YouTube, and a “DVD Must See List.”
  • This month’s CASA BRUTUS (79) is pretty much devoted to Tadao Ando, and so fans of the man will want to take a look (too bad it’s not a bilingual issue).

Muji Cylindrical Coffee Maker

Industrial Facility is behind the new Muji cylindrical coffee maker (go to the news section for images). Link via

UpdateHere is the product page from the Muji online store.


MAM Will Get a New Director

Mori Art Museum director David Elliott is leaving Tokyo and taking a new position at the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art in Turkey. More here.

Events Games TB.Grafico

Rockstar Games Table Tennis Party


To promote their new table tennis game for the Xbox 360, Rockstar Games has been having these private play party tournaments in a swank penthouse apartment in Ebisu throughout the month, and I was lucky enough to get invited to one. It was an absolute blast — I now love the game — and it was so nice to be able to play on all the huge HDTV sets they had set up. I wrote a proper post about the event for Kotaku, which you can read here, and Brad (one of the friends I brought along) also posted about it (and he has some better pics of the pad, including this one of me in action). I posted a few more pics to my Flickr account as well — unfortunately, I didn’t take many pictures because I was enjoying the game too much, as well as a great many drinks…


LushRush Out

A while back I posted about Midori Hirano‘s upcoming album, LUSHRUSH, featuring a cover illustration by OK FRED‘s Audrey Fondecave, and since yesterday you can now get your hands on it. She also has a new site up, where you’ll find links to some stuff you can listen to online.

Photography Web

Yuki in London


Yuki is now in London, and she’s still blogging a storm (with lots of beautiful photography) about her new life there (for the next year).

Design Stores

Tokujin Yoshioka + Maison Hermes


Pictured here is a new window installation from designer Tokujin Yoshioka for Maison Hermes in Tokyo, made up of 300 000 transparent straws. Via Designboom.