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Topics - 68neko

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General Discussion / Another trip to Japan
« on: December 05, 2019, 03:35:16 pm »
I went on a 2-week trip to Japan recently and really enjoyed it. The main purpose of traveling at this time of year was to see the fall colors, and they were brilliant! Mostly maples (momiji) that ranged in color from green to yellow, orange, various shades of red, and almost purple. Ginko and cherry trees also added to the color with their own leaves turning yellow and red. Cities visited included Tokyo, Kawaguchiko, Kyoto, Uji, Nara, Hiroshima, Miyajima, Osaka. The most spectacular show of color was on the island of Miyajima, which was somewhat of a surprise since it is the furthest south and theoretically should be changing later than places more north.

I visited two pet cafes, a cat cafe in Akihabara, Tokyo and a Shiba Inu cafe in Kyoto. Interestingly, they had different pricing models. The cat cafe had a base fee plus a charge for every 15 minutes spent in the room. The dog cafe had a set price for 30 minutes in the room, after which time you were asked to leave. Both offered unlimited drinks that were available from vending machines; coffee, tea, beer, sodas, water, juice drinks. I only had one coffee at each place, so clearly the drinks were secondary to the experience. But those cats and dogs were certainly adorable and live luxurious and spoiled lives!

Another interesting place I'd highly recommend is the machiya Starbucks (yes, Starbucks) at Ninenzaka, Kyoto. It is located in a renovated machiya wooden building on a narrow street between Kiyomizudera and Yasaka Shrine. They have an inner garden and tatami mat rooms for enjoying your coffee in a traditional Japanese setting.

I was going to post some photos, but I noticed that my "free" Photobucket account no longer allows free photo sharing! Anyway, I would encourage everybody to visit Japan, and if you need an excuse, go for the Olympics in 2020.

General Discussion / KyoAni attacked by arsonist
« on: July 18, 2019, 10:23:38 am »
My favorite studio! And I was considering going to visit it when I’m in Japan later this year. Guess not now. What a tragedy!


Adults who played Pokémon videogames extensively as children have a brain region that responds preferentially to images of Pikachu and other characters from the series.

Reviews / Movie Review: Uchiage Hanabi (Fireworks)
« on: July 06, 2018, 02:39:00 am »

Over the July 4th holiday, there was a one-day showing of Uchiage Hanabi, directed by Shinbo Akiyuki and originally released in Japan in August 2017. The storyline includes a seaside location, summer romance, and time travel, all elements that pique my excitement when watching an anime movie.

Shimada Norimichi and his friend Yusuke are on pool cleaning duty where they encounter Oikawa Nazuna sunbathing by the pool. Both have a crush on her, and after she challenges them to a 50 meter race (she is on the swimming team), she invites the winner Yusuke to go watch the fireworks that evening with her. As fate would have it, Nazuna ends up with Norimichi that evening, and he discovers that she is being forced to move away and is determined to run away from home and elope with Norimichi instead. When her mother interrupts their conversation and drags her screaming daughter away, Nazuna drops her suitcase and a mysterious glass marble that she had found in the ocean earlier in the day. Norimichi watches helplessly as Nazuna calls for help, and after she is gone, he hurls the marble in frustration. This action causes a time shift, and Norimichi finds himself once again at the pool in a position to make changes to the timeline.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

The various cycles through time keep moving forward, so it’s not painfully repetitious to watch, especially with the beautiful scenery and the bright sunlight typical of the Sanyō region along the Seto Naikai. The character designs and tight focus on eyes are classic Shinbo, and I nearly groaned when Nazuna exhibited the Shaft head tilt in the opening scene. The movie has the normal dose of the usual schoolboy lecherousness, but other than the guy sitting next to me laughing loudly at these juvenile hijinks, it was not overly annoying. Some things that were probably meant to be subtle features were so obvious that I wasn’t sure how to react to them. For example, the resetting of the timeline clearly allows new possibilities to be reopened, and the “what if” theme was present in the filaments of a light bulb that glowed each time the marble was activated, and in the town’s name of Moshimo that is the Japanese word for “if.”

The anime was pleasant to watch and has nothing to complain about from a visual standpoint. But in the short 90 minute length, there wasn’t enough time to develop the characters or their relationships enough, and I left feeling something was lacking. I would recommend watching it, but don’t expect greatness. I would rate it 3/5.

Latest Releases / [New] Osomatsu-san S2 - 01
« on: November 03, 2017, 04:33:16 am »
Second season of Osomatsu-san.

[HorribleSubs] Osomatsu-san S2 - 01 [1080p].mkv

Latest Releases / [New] Mahoutsukai no Yome - 01
« on: November 03, 2017, 04:30:08 am »
Hatori Chise is only 16, but she has lost far more than most. With neither family nor hope, it seems all doors are closed to her. But, a chance encounter began to turn the rusted wheels of fate. In her darkest hour, a mysterious magus appears before Chise, offering a chance she couldn't turn down. This magus who seems closer to demon than human, will he bring her the light she desperately seeks, or drown her in ever deeper shadows?

[HorribleSubs] Mahoutsukai no Yome - 01 [1080p].mkv

Latest Releases / [New] Inuyashiki - 01
« on: November 03, 2017, 04:26:22 am »
Inuyashiki Ichirou is down on his luck. While only 58 years old, his geriatric looks often have him written off as a pathetic old man by the world around him and he's constantly ignored and disrespected by his family despite all that he's done to support them. On top of everything else, his doctor has revealed that he has cancer and it appears that he has little time left in this world. But just when it seems things couldn't get any worse, a blinding light in the night sky strikes the earth where Ichirou stands. He later wakes up to find himself unscathed, but he soon starts to notice that there's something... different about himself. However, it turns out that these strange, new changes are just what Ichirou needs to take a new lease on life and now it seems like there's nothing to stop him from being a hero worthy of the respect that he never had before... unless, that is, there was someone else out there with these same changes...
[HorribleSubs] Inuyashiki - 01 [1080p].mkv

Kind of a vague summary. Let's just spoil that the blinding light was an alien spaceship that crash landed and killed him, but the aliens restored him with a weapons grade robotic body that he didn't realize at first and now must figure out how to use.

Latest Releases / [New] Tenshi no 3P! - 01
« on: July 11, 2017, 03:38:33 am »
Kyou Nukui is a first year high school student hikikomori. His hobby is making Vocaloid songs and uploading them online. One day, he receives a message from a fan asking if they could meet up with him. At the meeting place, three elementary school girls were waiting for him. The three of them want to form a band and ask for Kyou's help.

[HorribleSubs] Tenshi no 3P! - 01 [1080p].mkv

Latest Releases / [New] Jikan no Shihaisha - 01
« on: July 10, 2017, 04:17:58 am »
The story centers on "Chronos Rulers," those who fight the time-eating demons that appear when people wish they could turn back time. The Chronos Rulers fight a time-manipulation battle against these demons.

[HorribleSubs] Jikan no Shihaisha - 01 [1080p].mkv

Latest Releases / [New] Princess Principal - 01
« on: July 10, 2017, 04:14:53 am »
The stage is set during the 19th century London, in its capital where a wall divides the east and west of the Kingdom of Albion. Five high school girls, who enrolled in the prestigious Queens May Fair School, are involved in spy activities that involve disguise, infiltration, car chase, and more. These girls take advantage of their special abilities and fly around the shadow world.

[HorribleSubs] Princess Principal - 01 [1080p].mkv

Latest Releases / [New] Centaur no Nayami - 01
« on: July 10, 2017, 04:12:18 am »
Himeno is a sweet, shy little centaur girl. In her world, everyone seems to be a supernatural creature, and all her classmates have some kind of horns, wings, tails, halos, or other visible supernatural body part. Despite their supernatural elements, Himeno and her best friends, Nozomi and Kyouko, have a fun and mostly normal daily school life!

[HorribleSubs] Centaur no Nayami - 01 [1080p].mkv

Latest Releases / [New] Action Heroine Cheer Fruits - 01
« on: July 10, 2017, 04:09:44 am »
The "local heroine fighter" of a certain city became popular and a national star. Because of this, "local heroines" debuted in various other places, and their action live events became a hit trend nationally. In Hinano City, high school girl Misaki Shirogane and other girls become local heroines (at the urging of Misaki's aunt, the prefectural governor) and vow to produce action live events.

[HorribleSubs] Action Heroine Cheer Fruits - 01 [720p].mkv

Latest Releases / [New] Hitorijime My Hero - 01
« on: July 09, 2017, 03:38:59 am »
High schooler Masahiro Setagawa is a fairly helpless delinquent, so much so that the neighborhood bullies use him to run their errands. His life changes when he meets high school teacher Kousuke Oshiba, a man whose fighting abilities have earned him a powerful reputation on the streets. Oshiba finds himself with a desire to protect Setagawa, and despite swearing that he's not interested in men, Setagawa finds himself getting more involved in Oshiba's affairs...

[HorribleSubs] Hitorijime My Hero - 01 [1080p].mkv

Latest Releases / [New] Shoukoku no Altair - 01
« on: July 09, 2017, 03:28:14 am »
Tughril Mahmut is a young pasha serving on the Divan of the Türkiye Stratocracy. The clouds of war are gathering over his country due to the threat of an aggressive Empire. With the Divan split between warmongers and the pacifists, Mahmut begins his quest to keep the peace at any cost. As he finds himself deeper and deeper in the politics of the ancient world, new enemies and allies surface. Who will prevail? What will Mahmut do if war proves to be inevitable?

[HorribleSubs] Shoukoku no Altair - 01 [1080p].mkv

Latest Releases / [New] Vatican Kiseki Chousakan - 01
« on: July 09, 2017, 03:25:18 am »
Vatican City—Holy Land of the Catholics. Amidst the land, there is an organization that conducts rigorous investigations on "claims of miracles" from all over the world to ascertain their credibility. The organization is referred to as "Seito no Za" (Assembly of Saints) and the priests that belong there are called miracle investigators. Robert Nicholas, an ancient archive and cryptanalysis expert is partnered and good friends with Hiraga Josef Kou, a genius scientist. Together, the brilliant duo investigates the "miracles" and uncovers the incidents and conspiracies hidden behind them.

[HorribleSubs] Vatican Kiseki Chousakan - 01 [1080p].mkv

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