Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Finding a place to eat at Rikkyo

One thing I hate about the schedule setup at Rikkyo is how it is organized into periods--much like in high school or middle school.

I specifically don't like it because it means that EVERYONE has a break at the SAME time. Therefore, everyone has lunch at the SAME time. This makes the campus and cafeterias very crowded. It reminds me of the Baltimore Room at UMD, which would be very crowded at times. But at least if you were lucky, there would be a place to sit.

Not at the main cafeteria at Rikkyo. It's terribly full there, and pretty much doesn't clear up until lunch is about to end. Last semester I never had an issue with the crowding because I didn't have class second period, which is right before the break. I would usually go to the cafeteria right away, eat, and then leave right around lunch time.

But on Thursdays, I don't have a chance unless I were to leave my class RIGHT away. So right now I'm in the computer lab, blogging about how I have to wait until lunch break is almost over so I can go and get food...if they're still serving food after that time. I think they do...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Comments and Update

I've gotten a few comments recently from some random viewers, so I'd like to thank them for reading. It's nice to know that people learn from my blog, as I try to make it as insightful as I can.

I'm still busy with school, and as my stay here has been winding down, I admit that I'm starting to get a little lazy. I haven't had time to enjoy things that I haven't done in a long time, like watching anime. So over the past few days I've been watching Rose of Versailles, an anime from 1979 that I can easily say is a classic. My professor in my Japanese Society class recommended the historical series (specifically the manga) to the girls in the class. Not only did I get a good romance story out of it (romance is my favorite anime genre), but I learned a lot about the French Revolution as well. It easily became one of my favorite anime series. After finishing the last episode yesterday, I decided to move onto Jigoku Shoujo Mitsuganae, the third season of the Jigoku Shoujo series. I kind of drifted away from anime for a while, but it feels nice to get back into it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Was it the cold medicine?

I had an interesting day.

It started around 4:00 this morning, when I woke up because of this cold that I caught one or two days before. I was feeling miserable. I had this Japanese cold medicine that I picked out of this trash that some people in the dorm had thrown out a few months ago. Don't worry--this medicine was perfectly sealed, the expiration date is July 2010, and there was no strange gunk on the box. It was probably thrown out because the person was moving out and didn't want to keep every little thing.

So I took this medicine and decided I would go back to sleep. While I was sleeping, I had a strange dream...

I was with Kenisha in this large toy store...I wasn't sure if it was in the U.S. or Japan. I was looking at Rilakkuma products, when Kenisha pointed out something that I would like. I turned around and gasped--there was a huge section of Sailor Moon stuff! Everything was so different that I wanted to buy it all...I had this nostalgic feeling of when my parents and I were always on the lookout for Sailor Moon stuff.

I then looked on the top shelf, and there was a huge collection of Dynasty Warriors plushies. I got even more excited! I immediately wanted to find a Zhang He plushie and take it home with me.

Then I woke up and realized it was a dream. But it made me think of how, in the U.S., finding anime products during my childhood was so difficult. Even now you have to go to special shops to find goods for anime that isn't widely popular. In Japan, it's simple. Which leads me to my next adventure...

When I woke up, I still had a cold but I was feeling much better than before I went back to sleep. I decided to do a Google search on Dynasty Warriors plush dolls, but unfortunately none seemed to exist. Then somehow I started looking for Phoenix Wright stuff. I happened to find this page announcing new Gyakuten Saiban cellphone charms. Apparently these items went on sale in the capsule machines in late May, and it's now close to the middle of June. How did I not know about this?

I'm sure you all know what a capsule machine is, but in case you don't, I'll explain. It's the machines at the supermarket that you always stared at in wonder...and then you'd go back and tug at your mom's shirt, asking if you could have a quarter to get one of those rainbow-colored bouncy balls out of the machine. When she finally gave you one, you put the quarter into the slot, turned the knob, and when you opened the door, out came the rubber ball, sometimes bouncing right onto the floor and away so you had to go catch it. (For me personally, it was those 10 cent machines that carried those cheap rings...the plastic jewels always fell out.) In Japan they have these machines, most of them carrying anime goods. They're not really found at the supermarket, but at game centers, anime goods shops such as Animate, and I even saw some at Wendy's today. The price range of the toys is usually from 100 yen to 300 yen.

So anyway, when I found out about these Phoenix Wright charms, I got excited. I HAD to figure out how to get them. I'm usually not the kind who likes to spend all this money collecting stuff. If I could, I would buy a complete set online to avoid the trouble. But before I resorted to doing that, I just wanted to go and look for this particular machine. Like the way I felt in my dream, I thought it was going to be hard and discouraging while looking all over for this machine. It was kind of like going to Toy's R Us with my dad, hoping that they would have the Sailor Moon collectable card machine waiting at the store exit.

So I checked out Animate in Ikebukuro, and there it was. That was easy. I got out my pocketbook and started popping coins in. The very first time, I popped the coins in, turned the crank, and nothing came out. Figures, I thought. I didn't want to put in another two coins and not get anything, and I also didn't want to just walk away. So I found one of the employees and explained to her that, when I put the coins in, nothing came out. She immediately went over to examine the machine, and gave me the Apollo Justice charm out of the container.

I tried it three more times. Miles Edgeworth, Phoenix Wright, and then...another Apollo Justice. Great. There are four in all, so of course I had to get three and an extra. I exchanged a 1000 yen bill so I could try a few more times.

I put the coins in, and then tried to turn the crank...and it was stuck. Stuck as if I hadn't put anything in. I didn't want to have to get the employee again, so I put in another two coins and tried again. Still wouldn't turn. I went over to the employee again, explaining to her what happened and feeling a little guilty of putting her through the trouble of having to fix the machine. In the back of my mind, I also felt a little nervous that she would think I was trying to get free prizes. But without hesitation, she went over to the machine again and opened it up.

First she gave me the Klavier Gavin charm, which was the last one I needed. Then she checked the machine, and it turns out that something was indeed stuck. Out came the four coins I had put in. She further examined the machine, messed around with a few things, and then gave me another Edgeworth charm for the second 200 yen I had spent. She explained the machine was indeed faulty, and then asked me to try one more time to make sure it operated properly. I put in another 200 yen, and out came another Apollo. I was hoping for an extra Phoenix, but oh well. I thanked the employee and went on my merry way.

1600 yen and eight charms: One Phoenix, one Gavin, three Apollos and three Edgeworths...but had I ordered them online, I would have paid the same amount for only four charms, because of shipping costs. I guess I can give the extras to friends, or do some trading. I really just want an extra Phoenix for my cell phone...the other is a collectable.

Now I should probably get some rest...I skipped my morning class but I went to my afternoon class...which was probably not a good idea in regards to my physical condition. If I'm lucky--I mean, still sick in the morning, I'll have to stay home tomorrow as well.

For a look at all the different kinds of capsule toys that are sold in Japan, here's the Gashapon official website.