Saturday, 22 November 2008

Speed Pokemon

Not strictly something to do with Japan, but certainly something to do with Pokemon and that's just as good. There's a group of gamers in America who call themselves 'The Speed Gamers', and the idea is that they play marathon sessions of games to raise money for charity. From the 19th of December they'll spend 72 straight hours attempting to catch every Pokemon available and transer them all to one cartridge. Since Shaymin and Arceus can't be accessed yet, they only have to catch 491, not all 493 Pokemon. At least that's what they say, but I don't know how they intend to get Deoxys.

Because a lot of Legendaries can only be accessed through particular games, this means that they're going to have to start new games of: FireRed, LeafGreen, Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Diamond, Pearl, XD: Gale of Darkness, Colosseum, and its bonus discs, Pokémon Ranger and My Pokémon Ranch.

The group will be hosting a live web-cast of the games being played, and will also have an online checklist so you can see their progress. Should be interesting.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Another Thought About The Economy

"Negative growth" is not a thing! It doesn't exist! If you mean "the economy is shrinking" then bloody say so. This sort of bullshit is why no-one in the world understands why they and everyone around them are in massive debt.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

The Real Victims Of The Credit Crunch

In these dark days of economic turmoil everyone just thinks about themselves. No one's thinking about the real victims. No one except the Yano Research Institute.

Sales of... computer games with adult sexual themes were down 2.8 percent.

What happened to the love?

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Roundup: Inventions!

Japan has a talent for coming up with inventions that you had no idea you didn't need. The harvest over the last few weeks has been varied, both in quality and unexpectedness, but therein lies the beauty.

Umbrella speakers!

Yes, umbrella speakers. Developed by Keio University and Toa Engineering, they look just like traditional umbrellas of bamboo and oiled paper. But when you plug your mp3 player into one, four motors on the edge of the umbrella will turn the canopy into a big speaker-cone. Like in this picture I've stolen:

The umbrellas are going on sale next year for just under £50.

NTT are Japan's biggest telecommunications company, and they've invented shoes that generate electricity when you walk. They haven't been named yet, but I'm already calling them "ThunderShoes".

The ThunderShoes generate enough electricity to power an iPod, but you need to keep walking because the Shoes don't store their Thunder. It works using some kind of liquid in the sole that powers a mini turbine generator. We're now one inch closer to an Iron-Man suit.

The last invention today is Bandai's new Curry Bath Powder. Do you have small children that don't like bathtime? Just use Curry Bath Powder, and you can properly scar them for life!

The four types are "sweet", "hot", "very hot", and "white stew", and not only do they smell like the real thing, they also turn your bathwater the corresponding colour just to really freak you the fuck out. It isn't nearly as good as Bandai's Bubble Money bath product, which has unfortunately sold out.

Monday, 10 November 2008


So, in the last month in which I've shown an unprecedented blogging-laziness, what's been happening in Japan?

Well the Western economy is sinking further into the steaming heap of shit that it created over the past few decades, and dragging Japan with it. But I probably wouldn't have blogged about that even if I had been blogging.

Everyone's been going nuts for about a month over a Japanese man called Nocchi who dressed up as Barack Obama and was flown out to America by a JTV network to try to meet him - his attempts were hampered by the fact that Obama was still campaigning at the time, Nocchi's English isn't very good, and he doesn't look that much like Obama. It would have been a pretty interesting thing to blog about at the time. The results were aired as an hour-long special, but you can see the programme condensed to about 6 minutes here (watch it to the end, it's absolutely amazing):

See? Fucking spectacular. No one ever seems to believe me when I tell them that Japanese TV shits all over British TV. But it clearly does.

Despite the economic meltdown, it seems like some people were still willing to spend absolutely terrifying amounts of money on tat.

This is Ueto Aya, my future wife, promoting a limited edition line of mobile phones. Only ten of these phones were made, each of them encrusted with 400 diamonds and each going on sale for 13 million yen. Well, nine of them were sold, one was given to Aya by Softbank as thanks for advertising for them for the past four years. I'm sure she would have preferred money.

Takara Tomy invented the karaoke-cube, or Hi-Kara, so that you can embarrass yourself on the go. It measures 5.5" by 5.5", and displays lyrics on the lcd screen.

You download songs from their website onto a cartridge which then goes in the side of the cube. The cube has two headphone jacks, and can be plugged into speakers or your television.

That's all for now, another update will come later. Honest.