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Taking it Easy

April 1, 2010

Yesterday was so slow that I’m having a hard time remembering how it began.

Well, first off, we needed to go to the bank. So we went to Shinjuku for that. We also stopped to get Shinkansen tickets for Tokyo to Kyoto. In between, we hit up a couple arcades along the way. We finally decided that it was a nice enough day out that we should do something outside.

In the end, we decided to look at the Imperial Palace. When we walked outside of Tokyo station, the wind just about pushed us into the streets, it was so blustery. Greg at one point lost his hat and had to go running to chase it down. We finally made it up to the Imperial Palace, where it was very pretty, very atmospheric. There were cherry blossoms in bloom across the grounds, and it seemed very tranquil. We walked up to the front gate and were lucky enough to catch the changing of the guard. The guards are a lot like the British royal guards, except they’re behind a fence and no one can touch them. Otherwise, they stand perfectly at attention for hours. I’m not sure if I would love or hate a job like that. I wonder if it’s just part of a much bigger job, like a desk job, or something.

We had some food, then came back to the hostel. I was excited, because HEROMAN was about to come on! It’s an anime collaboration between Stan Lee of Marvel Comics’ fame and the Japanese animation studio BONES. I had purchased the manga a few days ago, which had only just barely come out that week. The anime thus far has it’s big enough differences from the manga, but the idea is still generally the same. It stars a middle schooler named Joey Jones (gee, clever one, Stan Lee), who works at a restaurant (how? He’s under 16.) and really wants a Heybo robot toy. Which, for some reason, is being advertised on morning television and is aimed at kids, but it’s friggin’ $350. Well, he manages to get one when this other dumb rich kid is playing with it and he and his friends manage to screw it up and walk it out into the street to get hit by a car. He throws it away and thinks nothing of it. Well, Joey takes it and fixes it up. Granted, you never see him actually USE it… but it LOOKS fixed up. Well, his girlfriend Lina (or, would-be girlfriend, if he’d just stop being so nervous, ’cause she totally already wants him) gets in a car accident with her dad, and then suddenly through the magic of an alien electrical storm (Yes. Aliens.) the little Heybo toy becomes the giant HEROMAN robot, and the Heybo remote control becomes this… big… arm… thing. It really ends up looking like Giant Robo / Tetsujin 28 because it’s not a person piloting a mech per se, it’s a kid controlling a robot with a wrist device. Thankfully, HEROMAN doesn’t speak at all. Instead, his face gives some of the best reaction images I’ve ever seen. So, together, with some hardcore rock-techno music in the background, Joey rides on HEROMAN’s shoulders and together they save Lina and her dad.

The music in the show is really pretty cool. And the anime is ridiculously AMERICAN!!! It’s hard to forget, when HEROMAN’s color scheme is the friggin’ American flag. It takes place in Center City, West Coast, USA. But, you can tell, it’s totally Los Angeles. And then Stan Lee even friggin’ cameos in the restaurant where Joey works, because he has to put himself into everything he touches. What’s cool is that Crunchyroll is simulcast streaming this show, which is great, because I really want to keep up with it when I come back States-side.

After HEROMAN, we went out karaoke-ing for about an hour. Nothing too special there, just a lot of singing.

We planned on going to the Tsukiji fish market early this morning, but I don’t think that’s gonna happen. Everyone else is still passed out in their beds, and it’s super windy outside, so it could get really miserable really fast. Maybe some other time.

That’s it for now. Later days.

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