Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Misadventures of Rob#ReloadFULL ep 23 - SCIIIAE tourney + more Blazblue

Ok last I left off it was last week…Wed? Thurs? Friday? I don’t really remember. Either way, boring stuff during the weekdays as usual. The only exciting thing that happened is that one of my bike’s brakes broke. I went to the bike store and got it fixed. Guy working there said 2100 yen, so I waited, but right when he was about to finish, some old lady came and was pretty much dawdling and being suuuuuuper slow, and took like, 10 minutes to pay one bill and buy nothing. Finally, he finishes after that, and he was like “I know I said 2100 yen earlier, but since you had to wait a long time, is 1890 yen ok?” I was like “Of course it’s ok”. So I paid him and headed out. They pumped my tires, too. They have this air pump from the ceiling where it just instantly inflates the tires, so it was quick. And now, my new left brake is SUPER good, while my used-to-be-good right brake feels super weak. Either way, got my bike fixed, which is nice. It could have been way more expensive, but it was less than 2000 yen, so no worries there.

Anyways, Friday, since it was finals, I got out of work at 12:15. After that, I headed back home, went to the ramen place to get food, did a bit of shopping at Saty and then came back home. I got lazy and turned on the kotatsu and took a nap for a couple of hours. Felt really good. After I woke up, we went to the sentou and took a hot bath there. We came back home and watched Battle Royale 2 (very bad movie), and then just played games or whatever until like, 3AM. I went to sleep at around 3:30, but couldn’t sleep past 8:30 because I think my internal clock is all messed up and can’t sleep late. I laid in bed for a couple of hours until I finally got up. Showered, played some video game. Dan woke up around noon, and by 1:00 we were on the train to the Den.

We got to Umeda around 3ish. Ate some subway and I decided to go to Monte Carlo to check out their Blazblue setup. I went there, and they had 5 cabs of BB, 50 yen 3/5 rounds. Pretty sweet. When I got there, there were a couple of empty spots, so I went and played. I played this Taokaka player, and we did like, 5 matches and I won 4 of them I think before he got all sadfaced and left. Then I played a few other players before I lost again. I played there for an hour or so. Then I went upstairs to play AH2. There was a couple of players, and my partner from the team tourney where I got 2nd. I played this one guy who got top 8 at SBO (Saki player, forgot his name, I think it starts with a Z), and he was using Mei Fang. I beasted him and then played against the Kira. He owned me the first match, so I switched to time. I ended up getting 2 rounds the next match, but still losing. I lost 0-3 the next match, but the match after that, I managed to win. Then a Zenia player played me, and I accidently picked ice instead of time (stick moved right as I was selecting my arcana). Thankfully, I used ice a bit before so I was still able to beat him. He was one of those players who will suck but then hit you once and do zenia’s gier loop for a ton of damage. After that, a Fiona player played me for like, 6 matches. Toshi texted me saying he can meet up in the den, so I lost on purpose and headed out.

Me and Dan made it to the den and hung out at Namba hills. We were gonna play AAA, but there’s only 2 machines, and this one guy who’s a huge douche just sits at the machine for HOURS on end and never gets up. So we never got a chance to play each other that day. We had to take turns with single player mode online. Toshi showed up, and we headed out after that. We stopped by Mr Donuts and hung out there for a while, and then we walked over to the new-but-destined-to-fail Taito Station arcade, cause they have 4 song JuBeat for 100 yen, but there was a big line to play, so we just left. We went to Sega Avion to see what time the SCIII:AE tourney starts on Sunday.

We left and headed over to Athena for some Blazblue action. I played this one Rachel player who was beasting everyone, got like, 15 wins. Doing all this crazy stuff and instant overheads all the time and everything, so I had a hard time against all that. Finally, I was able to take him down by playing super safe. Nao, the arcana player, who’s kind of a douchebag played against me. He used Noel. He got her hard combos down already and was super safe and punished a lot. It took like, 5 games, but eventually I started learning and adapted and beat him. I really don’t like that guy. If he was better than me, whatever. But the fact that he’s a douchebag too (like, if I say GGs, he just kinda stares and like, doesn’t look at me and acts all elitist and stuff) makes it not enjoyable to lose, lol. But beating him gives me a greater satisfaction than beating most people, so it’s a tradeoff. I’m really a bit jealous that he can go to Athena so much. He prolly lives close enough to go there whenever. I went there on weekdays before when I had days off and stuff, and he’s there everytime. Not that I’m complaining in any way, because of free rent with nice paying job for not a lot of work and all, but I do get the itch to play on weeknights sometimes, so having to wait till the weekend only makes me a bit sad, haha.

After that, it was like, 11 something. Deguchi, a Konoha player, and one of the guys who got 2nd place in the SBO MB 2v2 tourney showed up. He used Jin. Was very basic, but he kept getting me to flinch at the wrong times and I would get frozen and get hit and stuff. Very turtley playstyle as well, but he was getting wins. I beat him a couple times, but I know what I did wrong, so now I gotta work on playing a bit smarter. Didn’t mind losing to him tho cause he’s actually a nice guy. I said bye to him and headed out after it was about midnite (time the arcade closes). We went to Matsuya and got some beef bowls and then looked for a manga café to stay the night at.

We went to check the usuals, but they didn’t have mat rooms or reclining chair rooms, only open spaces and a double. Last time we got a double, Dan said it sucked, so we wanted to find somewhere else. We went to another place, same thing. Only open seats. We walked a half hour to the other end of denden town, near spa world, and checked the manga café there. However, no rooms there either. We walked BACK and just decided to go to the double room. It was about 2AM by the time we got there, and I was so tired so I just passed out immediately. Dan used the computer for an hour or so, and then he went to sleep too. I woke up around 9:30, and then we got ready and headed out of there. It was about 10ish when we woke up, so stuff was open already unlike when it’s like, 8AM when we get out of there. We walked over to Namba Hills and played a couple of games of AAA against each other. Then we went over to shop the Den. We went to a couple of stores, then as we were walking, Dan got hungry, so we walked all the way back to the Matsuya and ate there. By that time, it was like, 1:00, so we just decided to head to Athena and play there until we went to the tourney at like, 2:15. I end up getting a 15 game winstreak until this arakune player beats me at 2:15. I head out to the tourney. Here’s my writeup from caliburforum.com:
“So I get there 10 min before it starts and I'm the 2nd person to sign up, lol. A third guy signs up, and the tourney began! Yes, a 3 person round robin! The other two guys were Karunoa, a Zas player who I played the first tourney I went to for SC3:AE back a couple years ago. The other guy is Kyuushoku, who is a Sophie player who I played in the finals of that last tourney. I go Cassie again.So I go first against Karunoa. First round he RO's me with Zas's mid then pull back move. I end up taking the next 3 rounds tho with many 236AB's.Next is Kyuushoku vs Karunoa. Kyuushoku wins, meaning that the finals come down to me vs him.First round he almost perfects me. 2nd round, I play much safer and just BB a lot and play safe while punishing his whiffs and unsafe stuff. I take the 2nd round. 3rd round, I do everything right and end up perfecting him. 4th round, he plays more aggressive and manages to take me down.Now it's all down to the last round. He starts off with a Sophie throw. I get a couple BB's in, but nothing spectacular. He gets Sophie's neck slicer side throw in, which takes off a huge chunk of life. I punish a couple whiffs and stuff. Now, it's down to about 30% life for him and about 15% life for me. Up to this point, everytime I did BB on hit, i would do 3AK, so if he stepped or tried to hit me, he would get CH and take a buncha damage. So I get another BB against him, and i take a huge risk and 6B him cause he backdashed to try to punish the 3A that I threw out everytime...except that once. The 6B Counter Hits him and I take the round, and the tourney.Twas fun, didn't play any warm up matches (or any matches after the tourney), just went straight into the tourney after not touching SC3AE cassie in over 4 months and was still able to win. Yay for BB and 236AB.Granted only 3 people entered, but I still won, thus giving me my 3rd Sega Avion victory. "

Afterwards, I didn’t stick around to play any more matches, as me and Dan wanted to shop the Den. I say bye to those guys and head out. We go shop around the den. I get a couple of cheap doujin from the Toranoano store. We go to Melonbooks and the touhou store, but we don’t see anything. Then we stop by the morning musume store. I look for more Mitsui Aika pics (Aka Miss Smiles <3), but I don’t see any. As Dan comes in and says “find anything?” and I say “nah, I’m not seeing anything, let’s head out”, the owner was like “this came in this week” and pulls out a new pic of Mitsui. I was like, o snap, how much? He said 200 yen, so I paid him and got my new pic, haha. I guess going in there the past 3 weeks and only buying pics of Mitsui made him remember me. Now I can just go in next week and ask him if any new pics came in, and I won’t have to waste my time looking around.

After that, we walked over to Scot. We played some AAA, and as we were there, the two other guys in the SCIII tourney showed up, too. I said hi again, and they went off and played some Quiz Magic Academy, while me and Dan played some AAA. Dan got the first round of this one match, and it was really close, but I still ended up beating him by being cheap. We looked around at a few more stores, I picked up a magazine that had a Nanoha StrikerS poster for cheap, and some 50 yen manga to read before I go to bed.

After that, I wanted to go to Monte Carlo, so we leave the Den and head out to Umeda (which is on the way home anyways, my route is Ono -> Shinkaichi, transfer to another train that goes from Kobe to Osaka -> Umeda, transfer to one of the Osaka subway lines -> Namba, which is pretty much Denden town.) So because it’s a separate fare at Umeda, it doesn’t cost any different to leave. We walk like, 5 minutes and get to Monte Carlo. I play a game of Blazblue and get 5 wins against a Litchi (came down to like, the last hit, but I got it), a Rachel, another Noel, and two more Litchis until the first Litchi player beats me on the final round. On the machine next to me, there was a Tager player with an 18 win streak. He loses to a Rachel player. I play the Rachel. First round, I end up winning. 2nd round and 3rd round, he does all this crazy Rachel stuff and takes me out. 4th round and 5th round, I play super safe and very careful and I ended up beating that guy. One of the hardest matches I’ve ever had to win, haha. Next, 4 more guys play me and I win until I lose to a ranga player. I got 2 5-game winstreaks and got to play for a while for only 100 yen, not too shabby. Then I went and played Arcana. There was that same scrubby Fiona from Kobe at Monte Carlo. I play him and he scrubs me out at first. Then I step it up and actually start beating him. I would get like, 3 games in a row before he gets one match. After doing the 3-1 thing a few times, it was already 8PM so we had to leave. We stopped by 7-11 and Dan got a curry-man (little bread roll thing with curry inside). We barely made it to the train.

We take the train back, and right when we get to Shinkaichi station, the other train to Ono has like, 2 minutes before it’s gonna leave, but we make that train too. We played Bleach DS2 on the train ride back and get to Ono before 10PM. We stop by the family mart and get some food and then we headed back to the Apt and hung out under the Kotatsu till we went to sleep. Overall a good weekend.

Today, I’m meeting up with Yumiko, the girl who’s English grad school thesis I’m correcting, and then we’re going to a restaurant afterwards or something. It’s still finals, so I’m prolly getting out of here around noon, which is good tho. I can get a haircut at Saty, do my laundry and maybe take a nap before I have to meet up at 6. This Saturday is our school’s culture festival, so I have to be here. I get Monday off, but it’s still a 6 day week. Shouldn’t be too bad if I get a half day today tho…

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Misadventures of Rob #ReloadFULL EP 22 - 3 day weekends of BlazBlue

Ok, last I left off was after my really long blog post.

Later on that week, not much happened except for the fact that I got a cold, and that kinda sucked. It wasn’t too bad tho, I still went to work and did everything as normal. I think a big part is that my room is freezing, and even with my heater on 28 all night, it only heats the top half of the room, so the bottom half is still freezing. Sucks.

HOWEVER, I did manage to FINALLY get internet at my place! They came on Monday, but we couldn’t get it to work, cause the boot CD to setup the router wouldn’t work with my computer. Dan ended up fixing it by using his computer. Thank goodness he was there or I’d have been pretty screwed. So because of that, I played some SCIV on XBL, and my DL speed is way faster than it was when I was using wireless.

Thursday was another Enkai, which is where the teachers all go to a restaurant and eat food and drink and stuff. This time, unlike being fish that I don’t like, like usual, we went to a Yakiniku place. Yakiniku is like, my favorite food ever. You get some seasoned meat, throw it on a grill on the table, after it’s cooked, you dip it in this sauce, and eat it with lettuce or something, and it’s the most delicious thing ever. It was a bit expensive but totally worth it, and it was fun talking to the other teachers. It was a 1st year teachers thing only, so only about 1/3 of the teachers were there, and no principal/office lady etc. Twas fun times, got some good Japanese practice in, as usual.

Anywho, last Saturday, as usual, we headed out to the Den for a 3 day weekend of Osaka fun. We finally got there and we headed over to subway and met up with Bill and Maria. We ate our food, and then we headed over to Namba Hills. The reason why I wanted to go to an arcade this time wasn’t for arcana. I wanted to try out the new fighting game Blazblue. Namba Hills had it, 100 yen a credit 3/5 rounds. It was on the absolute best looking machines I’ve ever seen. Right when we got there, some Litchi (Chinese stereotype girl) player was playing, so I played against him with Noel (blonde gun girl with a beret). I lost like, 5 matches in a row, finally won two after I figured out what I was doing a bit, then lost a bunch more. It was really fun, though, and I took a quick liking to the game and to my character. Me and Dan played a few games of Aquarian and then I played Blazblue again after one game since I was itching for it. After that, we headed out and walked around the Den.

We went to a buncha different stores. I found the im@s haruka character CD I was looking for. We mostly went to game stores and stuff though. After we made it to this Big Tiger store, I ended up finding the Usagi Majhong game that I play in the arcades for the PS2 for only 1000 yen. In addition, at that store I found an idolm@ster Microsoft point card, 3500 points for 4400 yen. It was cheaper to buy that one than it was to actually buy them using my credit card. Afterwards, we headed over to the other game stores, Bill found a Wii arcade stick for like, 4000 yen, which isn’t too bad at all. Then we headed over to SCOT to play more games. I went straight for Blazblue and just played that for a couple hours. Bill and Maria headed out around that time. When playing Blazblue, I was losing at first, but I started to get the hang of what I could do combo-wise, and how Noel worked. After that, I started getting wins, and I ended up getting like, a 13 win streak against a couple Rachel players and a few random people. After that, a Jin player played me and won a couple with tricks, and then I took 7 in a row from him before he stopped playing. I just ended up beating the game and that was that.

After that beatfest, me and Dan went to the McDonalds across the street to get some food. I stopped back at SCOT after that, and played a bit more BB. I was beating this Litchi player for a bit, then I finally lost after like, 9 wins or so. There was a ranga player who also had a winstreak. I went and played against him. We went even for a 4 matches or so, and then I started to get used to his tricks and started to beat him. I ended up beating him 2 matches in a row. On the 3rd match, I won the first round with almost a perfect, and then the next round, he just kept doing Ranga’s anti-air punch over and over, which I of course, avoided and punished. Halfway through the round, he just literally left from being so angry I assume. Good times. I played the cpu for a while, and then another Noel player came and played me. He was doing these overhead combos that I didn’t know how to do at that point. He beat me like, 5 in a row, but then I started kinda learning what he was doing and using it on him, as well as my own strats. I ended up beating him 2x in a row, and he went and played on the other machine. I beat a few other guys, and then that guy came back. The next was a close match, but I ended up winning a third time in a row against him, and he left after that, and nobody was playing, so I just went and beat the game.

Afterwards, me and Dan decided to head out to Toshi’s place. He wasn’t able to meet up with us in the Den, but said we could crash at his place and play majhong. We got to his place, and went to the Sentou that was there. We had an awesome bath, and then we headed back. I picked up a bottle of generic 100 yen 1 liter bottle of Lemon Soda to keep me energized for the night. After that bath, tho, I was exhausted, so I took a nap for about an hour and a half until Akiko and Purple Shirt Guy got back. It was about 1:10 at that point. I woke up, but I still felt like crap. I wanted to stay sleeping but I knew I had to get up cause I had to go play the Majhong, haha. I gave PSG the Majin Buu plush I won from the tournament, and he was super happy. He really liked it, so that’s good. I owe him for always giving me rides and stuff, and teaching us majhong and everything.

So finally we started playing some Majhong. PSG was on a roll or something, cause he kept Ron-ing and Tsumo-ing and stuff (ron and tsumo = win). After a while, I finally got one match that went my way. Dan got one too, I believe, and got really close a few times. At like, 4:30 tho, I was barely able to stay awake, so I had to call it and I just straight up passed out in the other room. I woke up last at like, 11:30 and everyone else was awake and playing bomberman. Akiko cooked us some rice egg breakfast thing, which was really good. We ate that, and played bomberman for a while, and then me, Dan, and Toshi headed out. We went to the Den, and first stop was Namba Hills. I played Blazblue there against the same Litchi player who beat me day 1, and I destroyed him this time 3 games in a row, very convincingly. He stopped playing me after that. Toshi played me for a buncha matches, and this other noel player also played me. Dude came close to winning with parlor tricks, but I got around it every match and won. I ended up getting like, 23 wins in a row before I finally beat the game. After that, we headed out and walked around the den. We stopped by some game stores and stuff, and made our way over to SCOT eventually. Toshi headed out at that point, and Dan went to get some fresh air.

So there was this one ranga player with 33 wins in a row when I got there. My turn came and it was at 35. I played him and it came down to the last hit, but he won. He got to 38 wins and I played again. This time, I finished the deed and beat him. Then I proceeded to get like, 10 wins in a row before I lost to a jin player. I don’t really remember how the 2nd day went, it’s all a blur of blazblue, but I remember just beating some people, and losing to others, and so on. Now that I think about it, the Noel player who was better than me was prolly from the 2nd day, but whatever, you get the idea.

Anyways, I ended up beating people until I beat the game AGAIN. After that, it was around 11ish or so. I headed over to the tekken arcade to play. Played some tekken for a bit, but wasn’t really feeling it after the BB, so I stayed for 45 minutes or so. We headed over to the Manga café and got there around 12;05 or so. We got the 8 hour deal, grabbed some ice cream and drinks and surfed the internet before going to bed. I woke up in the middle of the night once in a sneezing fit. Went back to sleep. Woke up at 6 something and had to pee really bad, so I did that, but I was so disoriented, I couldn’t even walk straight. Then, I woke up at 7:30 to my alarm and I felt like crap. We got out of the café and shopped at the Tsutaya for a bit. Then we headed over to McDonalds, got some breakfast food and hung out there till like, 8:50. Namba Hills opens around 9, so we went there first. We played some AAA against each other, and then I saw that SAME Litchi player playing Blazblue again. I played him, and I just destroyed him pretty much without effort, and of course, he went over to the other machine and beat on some scrub. A couple random people played me, but I soon beat the game. We headed out and shopped the Den after that. We looked at all the doujin stores and whatnot. Then I played a bit more at Scot. Not too many people there, got a small winstreak and people stopped playing me, so I beat the game (see the theme here?). We headed out to Athena after that. Athena had the nice cabinets, 3/5 rounds for only 50 yen, making it the best place to play Blazblue. When I got there, this Jin player had 10 wins. I played him and every match came down to like, the last hit, and he won 5 times in a row that way (tho one match I think he beat me by a decent margin). Finally I took him down after the 6th match, but it was soooooooo close every time. I got a small winstreak and overall was doing really well. After a while, people stopped playing me again after I kept winning, so I just purposely lost to the computer and me and dan headed back home.

We got back to Ono, I played the Majhong game until like, 11:30 and went to sleep. Tuesday, not much happened. Wed, yesterday, I went to school, came back home, met up with Yumiko, the grad student who’s English thesis I’m correcting. We worked for about an hour, and she then told me she wanted to take me out to dinner as thanks for helping her out. We decided on Monday, so I’ll meet up with her at the community center, and then we’re going out for a date afterwards (as she said). After that, I went to a restaurant with Dan, Rai, Bill/Maria, and Sarah + family to celebrate Bill and Maria getting married. They’re doing it so he can stay in the states and live with Maria problem free, as they were planning it anyways. We went to Gochisomura (traditional JP restaurant) and ate a great meal to celebrate the newly married couple. After that, I headed back and played some games and stuff and headed off to bed.

Smaller update than usual, but BB is pretty much the funnest ever. I plan on playing it a bunch this weekend as well. Later all! LEAVE COMMENTS <3<3<3

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Misadventures of Rob #ReloadFULL EP 21 - Three Weeks of Fun

Hey all, it’s been a while since I wrote last. Having the swede over means I have less bored time and more fun time, haha.

I don’t quite remember where I last left off…

A couple weeks ago was a normal work week where pretty much, it boiled down to me going to work, coming home, and playing video games and stuff.

However, last weekend was a 3 day weekend. The plan was to go to Osaka for all 3 days. We started off leaving Saturday morning to get to Osaka around 1ish. They had an arcana 2 suggoi tournament that day around 5. So I went to Namba Hills first just to see what changes were made and whatnot. Nothing huge, nothing exciting, it was about what I expected. After some Aquarian there also, we walked around the Den. We went to some doujin stores and whatnot. At the KBooks store, I found the Chihaya (from idolm@ster) CD I was looking for, and while there, I also found a Chihaya pillow for cheap! It was “official” im@s merchandise, so that was pretty cool. We checked out some figures store and game stores before we decided to head back to Athena for the tournament. We made it over to Athena around 5:30 or so, and I registered for the tournament. It was a random 2v2, where your partner was picked at random. I got partnered up with a Mei Fang player. It was done in a round robin format with pools. There were 13 teams, so 3 pools of 3 teams and one pool of 4 teams. We were in one of the 3 team pools. Our first match was against a Kamui/Saki team. My partner beat the Kamui player, but I lost to the Saki player by just a little. The Saki player also beat my partner, so we ended up losing that. However, the 2nd place team still made it, so we played another team of an Akane/Clarice. The clarice used Time, cept he was only so-so, so I couldn’t be all “WHO IS ANDRE?” since Andre might be better than that guy, lol. My partner beat him, but I got scraped by the Akane player, Nao. Nao used to use Heart in AH2, but switched to Akane for Suggoi. He also beat my partner. And as quick as that, we were out of the tourney. I was doing ok in casuals until then end when I just couldn’t think, and I KNEW I was playing bad. It’s the opposite of being “on”. You know when you’re on, and at the same time, you know when you’re doing bad. After that, I figured it was best to head out and play something else.

So I went to the Hills and played some Aquarian. I think I stopped by the Tekken arcade too and played there. At that point, it was getting late, so we got some food and then hung out at this small arcade open until 1am. After that, we went to a manga café to sleep. We got the 8 hour deal, which gives free drinks and free ice cream. Not only do they have vending machine stuff, but they have pitchers of like, juice, milk, etc. They didn’t have mat rooms, sadly. They did have reclining chair rooms so we just went to those. I saw the latest Tanaka Reina photobook, so I grabbed that and used the internet. After a bit, I got tired and attempted to sleep. Obviously it’s hard to sleep well on just reclining chairs (that don’t recline enough). Thankfully, I had my pillow, so that made it a bit easier.

After about 4-5 hours of sleep, it was time to get up. I got some juice, brushed my teeth etc, and we headed out of there. It was now like, 8:30 in the morning or so. There’s a 24 hour Tsutaya (barnes and noble like store, with video game stuff in the basement), so we went there. We went to the basement and checked out the game stuff. Didn’t really see anything, but it’s still worth checking out anyways. We spent some time in there to kill time. We decided to head over to the Mr Donuts in Shinsaibashi, cause there’s a book-off near there, and it might be open before 10, we thought. We get to the Mr Donuts, hang out there for a bit, and then we check out the book-off. It doesn’t open until 11, and it was only 9:45 at the time. Obviously we weren’t gonna wait an hour, so we walk back to Namba and decide to head to Athena. There’s a few people there, but not really anyone playing Arcana. I decided to see how Lilica is in AH2. Her timing for her 5B into heel kick is extremely hard now (as far as im concerned). I used to suck at it anyways, and now it’s even harder, so that makes me drop even MORE combos as her. We stay until about 11, when everything opens up. After that, we head to the stores we weren’t able to check out the previous day due to lack of time. So we head on over to a buncha different stores and by the time we walk through the den, it’s only like, 12:30. Normally, we GET THERE at 12:30, so we now have like, a bunch of free time. We go eat a beef bowl at Yoshinoya and head back to the other arcades.

I don’t really remember what we did between 12:30 and like, 7-8pm, but we just went around to a buncha stores, doujinshi stores, taking even more time this time to look around. We want to rest our legs so we head to Namba Hills. People are playing aquarian at all the stations and the table is full. We then head to this other arcade that has AAA, too, but it’s 200-300 yen a play (unlike the usual 100 yen), so we know nobody will be playing it. We just pull out our cards and make it look like we’re gonna start playing as we relax for a while. We got a phone call from Toshi saying to leave around 10PM to his place from the station. After messing around with my decks, I want to try them out, so we walk over to the other end of den-den, to the arcade SCOT, where they changed the price of AAA to 100 yen a play. Plus both screens work on their two machines. We play for a while and then head up to the third floor, where all the retro games and such are. I play some mahjhong and kill some time. Then its about 8:30 at this point. I see this Yoriko player who I call Nelson (cause he has a huge overbite that looks like Nelson’s from the simpsons), and so I decide to play him. We go even for a bit, I start winning a little, then I just start getting annoyed at his turtle-like playstyle and start losing, I lost like, 7 or 8 in a row before it was 9:45 and we had to head out. I figured I needed to just step my game up. We head over to the train station and I give Toshi a call saying we’re about to leave. We get to Nagai station, and Toshi is there, as well as Akiko and PSG (purple shirt guy), which is good since PSG is the one with the car. He was super surprised at how tall Dan was, but they took us back to Toshi’s place.

After we got back, I was feeling kinda icky from not showering the day before, so I wanted to know if there was a place we could go for that. Toshi said that there’s a sento (public bath) nearby, so me, him, and Dan went off to the sento. Thankfully, Akiko had spare towels and stuff, so it worked out well. It was a REALLY nice sento also, it was like, 400 yen or so to get in, everything was clean, new, etc. We got washed up, which felt REALLY good. They had a few different types of baths there. A normal one, which we went in first, then they had an electric one, where they send little shockwaves through the water and it massages you or something. It feels weird, and if it hits the wrong spot (such as male body parts) it tends to hurt. I sat in it for a bit, which was fine, but getting out, it got me in a weird spot, and I was like AAAH. After that, they had another bath with a small waterfall, but it was even HOTTER than the other bath. I sat in there for a while until I started feeling really hot. At that point, I went over to the cold water bath and sat in that for a bit. Then I went BACK in the hot water bath. After that, I washed up again, and we all headed on outta there.

We got back to Toshi’s place and it was time for some Majhong. Toshi had work to do, so he was on his computer in the other room, while me, Dan, Akiko, and PSG played. After having played the arcade versions a bunch, I got a way better idea of what I needed to do. It was Dan’s first time playing, but PSG explained it really well in simple Japanese. I won a decent amount of the games, and overall it was a lot of fun. So much fun that we played until 4:30AM without even knowing it. I was completely falling asleep during the last game, but I managed to stay awake enough to do a Ron for the win. (Ron is when you win from someone else putting down a tile).

I immediately passed out, and was out until about 10:30. Akiko and PSG were playing this Wii game when I woke up, it’s on WiiPlay, it’s the one where you find the Mii’s and stuff. They beat the game through level 100, which was pretty amazing to watch. They played a couple more times. I eventually woke Dan up so we could get going. Me and Toshi played some Wii Ping Pong in the meantime, and I barely won by like, one point, lol. We stopped by McDonalds on the way to get some food. We spent most of the time wondering what the name of this character is:
http://img529.imageshack.us/my.php?image=11110055az5.jpg
I thought it was Sergeant something, but I wasn’t really sure. It ended up being Officer Big Mac. Oh well, none of us knew.

After McDonalds, we headed out to the station, where PSG dropped us off. We took the train to Namba and got some food when we got there. After that, we went Karaoke for an hour and a half, and it was only like, 5 bucks per person. After that, we pretty much just went around to some arcades until it was time for Toshi to head out, at which point we headed out too.

The next week following was pretty uneventful. It was pretty much me and Dan playing Soul Calibur IV after I got back home from work, in addition to watching things like yu-gi-oh the abridged series, all under my warm warm kotatsu (table with a lamp underneath that you put a blanket over, so your legs stay warm). On Friday, however, we decided to head out to find a sentou near us. Dan ended up finding one like, 5 minutes walking from where my place is, and I asked the other teachers if they knew of one, and they helped me find the same one. We went Friday night. It’s a really isolated place, and you wouldn’t know if there wasn’t a small flag that said “Sentou” in Japanese. You then walk through a gangway and it’s in this old building. Before we went there, we picked up some body soap and shampoo (travel size stuff is really hard to find, sadly). Then we headed over to the sentou. We got inside, put our shoes in a locker. The charge was only 320 yen, which is nothing. We put our stuff in lockers, took our shampoo and mini-towels inside and got washed up. It was a lot smaller than the one we went to with Toshi, but it was still really good. They had the hot/cold water faucets and plenty of those little tubs to put the water in. They had one big bath that was 2 parts. One part was warm water, one part was hot water. After I washed up, I opted for the hot water bath, and I just hung out there for a while. After we were done, we got some fried chicken from the convenience store and just played games for the rest of the night and stuff.

Saturday we decided to change things up a bit. Toshi was supposed to come to Ono and hang out and play games with us, but his schedule doesn’t really allow it. Therefore, me and Dan decided to head out to Osaka since Toshi said he could hang out on Sunday. I tossed out the idea that we should stop by Kobe first and check out their stores and then head to Osaka after that. Dan was in agreement, so that was the plan. I woke up around 9ish, but since we weren’t in a hurry, I let Dan sleep in, and I just went on the computer and listened to music and watched Nana DVDs and whatnot. At around 11:30, he woke up and stuff. He got ready and we headed out around noon. We played bleach DS on the train all the way to Sannomiya in Kobe. Once there, we just went to the Kobe versions of the anime stores that Denden has. After going to their stores, me and Dan picked up a few cheap 200 yen doujinshis and that was it. After like, 2 hours or so of going to a buncha different stores, we headed over to the arcades there. At the Magical Land arcade, they just got Suggoi, so I played this Fiona player. He was super scrubby and doing a ton of goofy tricks and random Excaliburs, so he was getting some wins, which made me kinda annoyed. I kept playing him until I got a couple in a row against him. Then after he got like, 2 or 3 against me with random excaliburs, some other guy wanted to play. Me, not wanting to wait, decided that we should head out.

After about 40 minutes, we made it to Umeda. There, we stopped by Subway and got some food. I used my subway card which had 8 stamps, so I got a drink and a sub for only like, 200 yen. We headed over to the Monte Carlo arcade after that. It’s a big arcade with a buncha games that are all 50 yen. They had MvC2 and someone was playing it, so I went and played against him. We went back and forth a few times, but after a while, he started playing a Cyclops, Gambit, Captain America team where he just turtled, so I got bored and went to play Arcana. I played a match or two but the lines were too long, so I headed out after only a couple matches. We stopped by the Tsutaya there to check for used stuff for cheap but didn’t find anything. We headed out after that over to Namba.

At Namba, since all the stores were closed, we just settled for arcades only for the night. I went over to Namba Hills and stayed there for a while. I saw some people playing Arcana, which is new for Namba Hills! Normally nobody plays there. Anyways, I played the guy, lost the first match to goofy stuff and waited for my turn again. After that, I played him and won. Then, I got a beastly 16 win streak against that guy, and an Akane player. After a while tho, they stopped playing me, so I just beat the computer and headed upstairs to play some AAA.

I played a match of AAA! I barely won the first round, ended up losing the 2nd round (completely due to my own negligence) and then the third round I was kinda losing, but then I busted out a card that looks like Fate from Nanoha, and she proceeded to kill his creatures, and his lifebar. I ended up winning, thankfully! The thing is, while I was playing, this weird Japanese guy was trying to talk to me, and I was kinda ignoring him and focusing on the match. Afterwards, Dan played, but the guy tried talking to me and giving me “advice” on the game and cards and stuff. He was obviously a little out of his mind, in a completely non-sarcastic serious way, but I was being friendly and whatnot. However, I didn’t want to hang around and talk to him, so we headed out of there.

We went over to the arcade where the Tekken players were at. It was about 11:30 at this point. The arcade is open until 12:45 so we had plenty of time. I started playing and me and this guy were going at it. I ended up getting like, 4 wins in a row on him. Afterwards, the guy ScatroVageena went and played me, his Zafina vs my Asuka, as usual. We went back and forth. However, near the end, people were just not playing and watching the two of us play. There was this one guy cheering for me (or cheering against him) and it was pretty funny. Eventually, it came down to the last match (because the server where we could use our cards was gonna shut down). We each had 2 rounds, and it was the final round. I got him in a combo, he got me in a combo. He poked me until I had like, no life left and was in rage mode. He had about 50% of his bar left. He ended up whiffing Zafina’s long range low poke, and I quickly f+2ed him, and juggled him for the match win. The crowd got pretty hype. After that, everyone else left so I just beat the computer, but there was still a credit in the machine after that, so I just told Dan to play cause I didn’t want to. He played a credit as Leo against the computer and after he was done, we headed out and over to the manga café. Unlike last time, we didn’t get 2 separate rooms, we shared a “deluxe flat room”. We each got computers and stuff, and we grabbed a tray and got a buncha ice cream and free drinks. However, when it came time to sleep, it was kind of a problem. The room wasn’t big enough for us to be able to extend our legs all the way. Even for me, it was a bit cramped, but for Dan, who’s like, a head taller than me, it was even more uncomfortable and cramped. 8:45 rolled around and we had to get out of there.

Sunday we went around Denden, stopping by some doujin stores and whatnot. We pretty much just went around and hit whatever stores we didn’t go to. At about 2:50, we wandered on over to Athena for some Arcana after all the stores. We went up to the 6th floor and there happened to be a tourney for it at 3! I signed up and entered. It was a 2v2, so I had a partner. I got teamed up with a Kira player who entered with a really long name. I wrote out what happened already on SRK, but I’m gonna copy it here:
There were 16 teams. They did 5 pools of 3 teams and one pool of 4 teams. The first place from each pool got a bye to the single elim 8 team tourney, while the 5 2nd place teams duked it out for the 3 other spots after the pools were all finished. We were in one of the 3 team pools, pool C. First round we fought another singles team. One of the guys was the time Saki that i usually beat. I tried using Ice, but i ended up failing miserably and losing 2 rounds really quickly. I switch to Fire for the rest of the tournament from this point. My partner beat both him and his teammate. The other team beat them also, so we were for sure advancing. Next, we played the other team. My partner beat a Kamui player on the opponent's team, and I played the Saki player. The Saki player turned out to be one of the guys who got top 8 at SBO. Not Tanukichi, the other guy, Zabieru. I almost beat him both rounds, but ended up losing. It was down to less than 10% health both times, but i couldn't finish him off. Oh well. My partner lost, too. So we were 2nd place in our pool.The other pools finished. We got drawn to see which 3 teams advance. They do a 3 team round robin (two teams advance) and the winner of the other two teams is the last advancing team. We were in the round robin. C-TYPE (catherine player) beats a Lilica/Clarice team. We then play that Lilica Clarice team. If we win, we advance without having to play C-TYPE's team. Clarice plays my partner. Rapes him. Clarice vs Kira is a stupid matchup. I play the Lilica player. Take 2 rounds easy. Then I play the Clarice player, and i end up beating that guy, too. So because I took both of them out, we automatically advance!Now it's time for the 8 team tourney. The teams/brackets were:(1st in pool B) Iki (Nazuna (used to be the top Osaka player with Yoriko, but switched to Nazuna), and this one Heart player whose name i don't remember.vs(2nd in pool C)Me and my partner(1st in pool C) The guys who beat us, Zabieru's Saki and Kamuivs(2nd in Pool B)Another Petra player whose name I don't know, but he's mad good, and Disu, a Clarice player who's also really good.(1st in pool D) - Nao (Akane)/Kamei aka Guy-girl (Mei Fang)vs(1st in pool E) - Elsa player and Zenia player, dunno names(1st in Pool A) - Akane player, didn't have a partner, still won his poolvs(2nd in pool A) - C-TYPE (Catherine) and his partner, a Kamui player.So we're up first. My partner asks me if i want Heart or Nazuna. I say Heart. So i play first. I beat the guy two rounds in a row. Now is the hard part, Iki. He perfects my partner first round with Nazuna tricks. Then in the 2nd round, my partner is down on health, but lands some clutch Kira 720's and manages to take the 2nd round. He just adapts and then ends up winning that last round. So we advance, and we're now top 4 at this point.Next, the Clarice/Petra team beats the Saki/Kamui team that beat us. Those are our next opponents.Guy Girl's team scrapes the other teamAkane player ends up losing to the Kamui player, and since he didnt have a partner, he was out. Next was us vs Petra/Clarice. They throw Petra against my partner, but he handles her accordingly. A lot of shots, but Kira started landing throws and really well placed 2Bs and stuff, so it was awesome. I played the Clarice player and got scraped. Then it was Clarice vs Kira. Clarice wins round 1. Kira is about to lose round 2. Has a pixel left, and about 70% life left on Clarice. He hits a couple critical combos and ends up, at the very end, guard cancelling through a claw in the air and getting a kira piledriver and winning the round. SOOOOOO clutch. Then he wins the next round, and that was HELLA close also, down to the last 5% for each character. We're now in the finals!Next, guy girl's team scrapes the other team.The Petra/Clarice team almost loses to C-Type's Catherine, but they take him down in the end. So they get third.Now its time for us to play Guy-Girl and Nao.My partner goes up against Guy-Girl and wins the first round! But Guy-girl is too strong and ends up taking him down.I play Nao, and he uses Poison with his Akane. I ended up playing safe and shooting a lot of bullets and hitting him out of the air with Petra's high priority pokes. Safety ends up prevailing because I end up beating him! Everyone is cheering like hell when I won, which was cool.Now it's me vs Guy-girl. Final match of the tourney. Round 1 is going in my favor, i'm just about to end it, but guy-girl Mei-Fangs me and takes a ton of life (even tho mei fang had just a bit left). I play super safe in round 2 and just out poke him, do some successful dodge shots and get some clashing in my favor. I end up winning that, and the room goes BALLISTIC (they all want Guy-girl to lose cause he wins too much). Sadly, the last round was a rapefest and guy-girl just railed on me. But the fact that it came down to the last round of the tourney for the win ain't too bad.Overall it was awesome to finally do well in a tourney for once here. In other tourneys, i've been too reliant on my partner, or i've just lost to stuff im better than. This time, while that did happen, I managed to save my partner once, and do my fair share of work. I was pretty close to winning the whole thing, and if I did, it would have truly been a team effort, tho we worked well together. For my prize, I got a big majin buu plush, a "little busters" (dating sim type game) figure, and a gundam phone strap, as well as free credit tickets. Nice to finally get acknowledgment from the JP players also, as Ive been kind of ignored for the most part here, but being in the finals and having everyone watch, and having me do well, i heard people going "Heartnana-san tsuyoi!" (tsuyoi means strong), so people were indeed impressed. Petra may have got nerfed, but we worked really well together, and it's good that something nice like this happened to restore my "Heart" for Arcana. :D

Toshi happened to show up partyway through the tourney, so I talked to him and Dan a lot in between matches. After the tourney finished, we headed over to Wendys and got some food there. After we ate, we went over to Namba Hills and played some Aquarian. I watched Dan and Toshi go at it, with Toshi winning yet agan. After that, we headed out and went back to Ono, playing a lot of Bleach DS on the way back.

Not much happened over the week. Dan had an interview Wednesday morning, so he left Tuesday night for Osaka, and stayed there until Thursday. I pretty much just tried to catch up on my sleep and did laundry and other chores. Wed night, I met with this one grad student who comes to our school and does some English stuff. She’s doing a thesis paper for grad school and wants me to check it. So we met up and talked about that. It was pretty hard because she’s talking about really complicated stuff, and using long sentences, but the longer the sentence, the harder it is to correct, and the more likely chance that a mistake is there. After we met up, I headed back home and Maria and Bill came over and we played some games. Thursday, Dan came back so we played games Thursday night. Friday, me and Dan wanted to go to the Sentou, so we wanted to see if Maria and Bill wanted to go. They said no, but we met up and got some food at a restaurant in Saty. After that, we bought some drinks and they went back to their place and me and Dan went over to the Sentou. We took our bath, and then headed over to Maria and Bill’s place after that. We ended up watching funny vids and hanging out and playing a buncha games and stuff. I got 2 cans of these cocktail drinks with 4% alcohol. They weren’t too bad. I had both of them, but didn’t really feel much different. At about midnite, we headed off cause I was friggin tired due to lack of sleep during the week (getting up early does that). We went to bed and got ready for the weekend that was coming.

As usual, I wasn’t able to sleep late on the one day that it’s ok for me to sleep late. I got up around 8:30ish. I woke up Dan around 9:45. The plan for today was also a bit different from normal. Normally, we would just go to Den-den. However, instead, we decided to hit up the Osaka Game Show, which was going on for this weekend only. It’s like the Tokyo Game Show (TGS), but with less panels, no announcements, and way less people. We found our way to the station that we have to get off at, and as we were walking there, another foreigner stopped us, and asked us if we were going to the show. I said that I was, and he was like “Are you Rob?” I was like “Yeah?” Turns out he posts on Shoryuken also under the screenname AdverseSolutions. So we walked over to the show, which didn’t seem nearly the same cause there were so few people there. We got in and walked around for a bit. I saw they had Street Fighter IV, and had Sakura playable, so I got in the line and played a couple matches against Dan’s Ryu. After that, we kinda walked around a little and watched a few games. I played Ninja Blade, which was ok. I was never a huge fan of the ninja gaiden series, but it was only so-so imo. I tried Phantasy Star 0, which was pretty fun for a DS game. Dunno if it’s fun enough to want to play through in Japanese, but we’ll see. Then I tried the PS3 version of SFIV, which was 3/5 rounds instead of 2/3 rounds like the 360. They were using these sweet SFIV sticks, too. I played Sakura and got a 4 winstreak before I just let two other guys take over. Afterwards, we got some SFIV pins, which was pretty neat. We got these Hokuto no Ken clear files, too just walking around. After we got our sheets stamped, we were able to enter a raffle (you needed 5 stamps to enter, 1 game = 1 stamp). We entered, I didn’t win anything, but Dan got a small PSP screen cleaner as a prize. Pretty cool, lol. After that, John left, and we headed over to Denden after stopping at a nearby Subway.

Once at the Den, it was about 6. This means we had 2 hours before the stores closed. So we headed over to the other end of Denden and went to the stores there. We took our time and stuff. Sadly, we were tired cause our legs hurt so much from walking all day, so we weren’t in the mood to sift through a ton of doujin and stuff. Stopped by the Morning Musume store, and got a couple pictures of Aika. At the RASHOUMEN store, I got a ritsuko from im@s figure. It was cheap (200 yen) and I didn’t have her.

We then went over to SCOT at about 8. We played a few games of AAA. Dan ended up losing online, and I won the two games I played online. One was weird and it was a dude using like, 4 cards (when your max is 7) and not moving his mindbreaker (avatar), so it was really easy to hit him and kill him. After that, it was like, 8:40 and there ended up being a couple more stores open, so we checked them really quickly, but didn’t see anything of interest.

We went over to Athena after that. I played against Nao and couldn’t beat his Akane. He’s super good tho and I learned a lot, but it was rough. We got some Wendys in between for nourishment. After that, I headed over to the Tekken arcade. I played a buncha Tekken against ScatroVageena until we couldn’t use our cards anymore. It was about 12:15 at that time, so we just headed over to the manga café. I went to sleep at about 1, after eating like, 2 cups of ice cream and drinking like, 4 glasses of oj. I slept decently, considering it was a reclining chair and not the flat rooms like I like. 8:20 rolled around and after some breakfast ice cream and OJ, we headed out.

We stopped by the Tsutaya first thing. I got this one PS2 game called Unison for 180 yen. I remember playing it with my friend Dave, but forgot how to play it. I wanted to remember what it was again, so that’s why I decided to pick it up. I also got this one PS1 game called MATRIMELEE for like, 500 yen. It’s part of the Power Instinct series, so it’ll be a good time killer when me and dan or bill are sifting through crappy fighting games to play.

Next we go to mcdonalds and get some shakashaka chicken, which is a fried chicken piece with a packet of either black pepper, chili, or cheese, you pour it on the chicken, and shake it in this bag that it comes in, and then you eat it. After that, it was like, 9 something, so we headed over to Namba Hills. I tried this one random Aquarian deck against the computer, and it wasn’t fun, so I just decided to stick with what works. I gave Dan a bunch of cards for a new deck that I suggested he try and he ended up really enjoying it. I played a couple matches online but sadly, I wasn’t able to win, tho I got a lot better and got a round on a guy who was really good. I got a lot of practice moving my mindbreaker around while doing other things, so that was good at least. After that, we headed over to some of the stores. It was like, 10:45 so some stores were open, others not. We stopped by the Toranoano doujin stores, didn’t see anything in the big one, in the small one, we picked up some cheap doujin. Then we walked to a buncha other stores. I didn’t get much. At about 1:50, we got to Athena to play some games after walking around a bunch. Apparently, there was ANOTHER tourney. Here’s my post from SRK:
Hey guys, they had ANOTHER tourney this past weekend. It started at 2 and I showed up at 1:50 without even knowing a tourney was going on. I signed up and got in. 35 people. I got paired up against the other really good Petra player first round. When they called out who he was playing against and pulled my name, everyone was all OOOH, PETRA vs PETRA!Anyways, we played, he won the first round, it was close. I got hit by bouncy bullets at the end after thinking they would disappear. I won the 2nd round. And he just owned me up that 3rd round. And quick as that, i was out. I played a good match, so I'm not at all disappointed in my performance.I played against Nao a bunch in casuals Sat night. his Akane was destroying me. If i clashed his j.B in the air with j.A, and i mashed j.A again to hit him, he doesnt even have to do anything and his j.B will go through it. Also, if he clashes me and im in the air, of course ill get him. I tried to do the same to him, and his air attack beat out my ground standing A. WTF. Plus shes so fast, shes EVERYWHERE, she's super safe, has an overhead, and an unblockable air move. She's crazy good. I fear her really badly.Anyways, Akane was the most played character in the 2v2 tourney. People who used to use other characters are just going straight for Akane. It's kind of a shame that she's so good. BTW White was at the tournament randomly, and he got paired up against Guy-Girl first round. Guy girl beat White's Nazuna with his beastly Mei Fang. My old Kira partner lost first round to Akane BS. Oh well. Any Nazuna player I saw lost, and most of the Akane players won. I didn't stick around to see who won the tourney tho. Prolly guy-girl, lol.

Anyways, after the tourney, I didn’t feel like waiting around, so we headed over to the Tekken arcade. I sat down and played some not-so-good players and got a 12 win streak. Then I played this one Devil Jin who I’ve played against before. We went even for the most part. He usually got me because of DJ’s stupid good wall game. 112 against a wall = 50% life + wakes is sooooooo dumb to me. Oh well. After about an hour of that, we headed out to Namba Hills. Dan played aquarian with his new deck and won his first online match! He said it was really fun. I played a game. Ended up winning it pretty easily. Played another guy, it was also kinda easy, mostly due to the practice I had earlier of moving my characters around while focusing on what to do. Played a third match, it was going bad at first, but I managed to make a good comeback and win the first round. I ended up just overpowering him the 2nd round for a very good comeback win considering how bad it started. After that, we headed out to get some food. We went to Subway and then headed back home to Ono after that.

Yeah, sorry this is so long, I was never able to finish one entry, and by the time I did, it was time for the next week’s entry also. It didn’t occur to me to just release it in pieces, but whatever. Leave comments and stuff. Hope things are going well with everyone back home!

-Rob