Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Misadventures of Rob #ReloadFULL EP 25 - 4 days of Gaming

Hey all. Last I left off was over a week ago Monday. I won’t detail my school week because it was kinda boring. A lot of relaxing tho. Thursday night, I went karaoke with Dan, Maria, and Rai. That was fun, me and Dan dueted a bunch of idolm@ster songs, and it was pretty loltastic. Friday, everyone else had their bonenkai (year end party), but mine is on the Monday, so me and Dan just kinda relaxed and played games and stuff all night.

Saturday morning, I waited for my package. 2 brand new Hori PS2 Fate/Unlimited Codes joysticks showed up. They’re super nice. Afterwards, me and Dan headed off to the Den. There’s an arcana tourney at 3 at Athena, so we had time to go get food, and register. I figured it would be a small casual one, but I got to Athena and there were like, a TON of people crammed into a small floor. Turns out this tourney is pretty big, and it’s a 3v3. I showed up kinda late-ish, so I signed up under the single entry sheet. There weren’t enough people to make another 3 man team, so I signed up with another guy who was helping run the tourney as a 2 man team. There was pretty much all the kansai players that I recognized as well as some Tokyo players. Our turn finally came up and me and my partner got owned by this lieselotte player. So after 2 rounds of that, I was out. It was way too crowded so I left after I lost. Dan left way earlier and met up with Toshi, so I just waited at Athena for them to show up. They came and we kinda walked around the den a bit. I don’t really remember exactly what happened afterwards, but we made our way over to the AXE tower (as it’s now gonna be referred to since that’s the name, formerly Amusement Tower formerly craphole arcade). I played some MvC2 and some Tekken, but Asuka wasn’t going to well. I decided to try using Alisa, the new robot girl. She was pretty fun and somewhat easy, so I just started using her there. It ended up turning out decently, so I figured that it would be fun to use her.

Toshi left after we got some Chinese food, so me and dan were kind of on our own after that. We went back to Athena Turns out the winning team was Tanukichi (sbo saki player, used Akane), Kasumi love (sbo kamui player, used Akane), and this one Konoha player, who was the very first sbo qualifier. Guy girl wasn’t even in top 8 teams from what I saw. Yikes. So yeah, Tokyo players came and destroyed our tourney with 2 akane’s. No surprise there. I played some BB and Arcana, as I’m leveling up in BB, I feel like I’m leveling down in AH2 due to not playing it, lol. After that, we went to the manga café for the night.

Next morning, it’s like, 8AM when we get out of there. As usual, we go to McDonalds and get some breakfast and play Bleach DS until stuff opens. At 9, Namba Hills opens, so I went to that. They had a KOFXII loc-test. I tried it out against this other guy. I picked the three girl-team, Ash, Leona, Athena. I did ok, but the guy used Chin and killed like, two of my characters the first match. The game was ok, nothing special to me, tho I’m not really a KOF player. I played him again, almost won, but lost. I was done after that, didn’t strike me as something I really wanna play, but I gave it a shot at least. Afterwards, we headed to Athena. I tried out more Alisa and did OK. I played until about 11ish, when stuff opened. We got some food and then headed to the den. I looked around for a gamecube memory card and stuff, but didn’t really see much. Eventually, I made it over to my “dealer” and asked him if he had more Aika photos. Turns out, unlike the last 2 weeks, he got a shipment in. I picked up a bunch of the new ones, and then we continued. Dan picked up Final Fantasy Dissedia or whatever it’s called for the PSP the day before, so he was already done shopping. I went over to the ACMM (apt complex Morning Musume) store. I picked up 1000 yen worth of more pictures for my wall of cuteness and then I headed over to SCOT. We hung out there and I played a ton of Tekken and BB. After a while, we decided to go head out. I went to the first sofmap store and found the memory card for 1100 yen. I also saw GC Tales of Symphonia JP version for like, 1300 yen, so I picked that up, too. Afterwards, we headed back to Athena after getting food. Dan got a message from Toshi saying he could come over, so Dan went over there to stay there for the night, while I played more. After a bit more playing, I headed back home, since I had work the next morning.

Monday rolls around, it’s the closing ceremony day. I get up, go to work as usual. I do absolutely nothing there until about 11:15 when I head back home. I go home, get changed etc and head out to Kobe, where my bonenkai (year end party) is that night. I get there, and decide to play at arcades first. I played a buncha Tekken and did pretty well considering I just started playing Alisa. I then decided I should go get my multiple re-entry permit. I find my way to the local immigration office like, 20 minutes away. I fill out the form and pay for it, after waiting a bit, I got approved and there’s now a sticker in my passport that lets me leave the country as many times as I want to (before Monday, if I left the country, I wouldn’t have been able to return since I didn’t have the stamp). Now in case there’s an emergency, I can go back home or whatever, or if I just want to take a trip back home, I can do it. After that, I went to a diff arcade and played some MvC2, BB, and AH2 before the party.

It gets close to 6, so I head over to the restaurant. It’s all you can eat/all you can drink. I get a Chu-hi (alcoholic wine cooler type drink). We had Shabu Shabu, which is essentially a stew. You boil your food in this small tub of hot water on your table and dip it in this sauce they give you. It was interesting, but truthfully, it was kinda bland. They did a “top 5 moments of the year” thing, and then we all played bingo and they gave away prizes. I got this game where there’s a pirate in a barrel and you stick knives into it, and the person who makes him pop up is the loser or something like that. After that, I headed back to Osaka and met up with Dan and Toshi. We ate at a Chinese Resturant and then headed back to the AXE tower. Toshi left, and me and Dan stayed there playing BB and Tekken, with a bit of MvC2. At about 11:50, we headed over to the manga café and stayed for the night.

Pretty much, Tuesday morning was a repeat of Sunday morning. Cept there wasn’t anyone playing Tekken or anything. I played the computer and was done after that. Then Dan played BB against this one Taokaka player. He almost won once or twice but lost like, 6 in a row. I played him and lost the first match, won the 2nd, lost the 3rd, won the 4th and then he stopped playing. At about 10:30ish, we headed out and got some Donuts at Mr Donuts. We stayed there until about 11, and I headed back to the ACMM store and got more pics of Aika. Dan went to a doujin store. We met up at Athena, I played AH2 against this one guy, beat him, and then beat the computer till the super cheap final boss owned me, haha. Nobody was playing Tekken or BB really, so we just left and stopped by Namba Hills. They had a “Yukkirisumasu”. Pretty much, starting at noon at Namba Hills, they were selling Yukkiri stuff for 3 days. So I bought a Yukkuri Reimu and Marisa cushion set, to go with the Yukkiri heads that I have.

There, way too many people were playing Tekken, and it wasn’t even 3/5 rounds. I played a TON of BB, got like, a 20 win streak, and then lost to a really good Jin. I played him a few more times, and after 2 more tries, I beat him. He didn’t play me after that. I got like, 7 more wins before I lost. I played some VS Usagi majhong but I lost twice in a row, still fun tho. We got some food at McDonalds. They were advertising the quarter pounder, but we got there and the dude said it wasn’t released yet, wtf. So I just got a mega mac. After we ate, I wanted to play Tekken, so we headed over to the Namco arcade. I played some Tekken there and got a small winstreak with Alisa. Some guy kept playing me and scrubbed me out with Hwo crap. After losing twice, I got annoyed and switched to Asuka and beat him like, 5X in a row, and then a couple more guys before I beat the game. After that, I was beat from playing for 4 days in a row, so we headed back a bit early (left at like, 6). We got home around 8 and just relaxed for a while. At about Midnite, after taking a shower, I went to bed and here I am. I have 3 days of work, today, tomorrow, and Friday, and then I have a full week off for the first time since summer! W00t!

My plans for winter break are to pretty much just play games in Osaka or relax at home. Pretty much what I do anyways, but with no working in between, lol.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Misadventures of Rob #ReloadFULL EP24 – Fixing Essays and a great new discovery

Last I left off was last Tuesday. Last wed was also pretty tame. Both of those days consisted of playing the new Tales of Symphonia for the Wii. Last week Thursday, a few things happened tho:

A bit of a backstory – I covered most of it already, but I’m helping a girl that I met at work with her English final paper. I’m doing a native check. However, the thing is a TON of pages. Final page count is 39 pages. Imagine 39 pages of mostly incorrect English and having to fix all of it, many which involve no possible way to salvage the sentence, so it must be rewritten in order for it to not be a train wreck. It takes a lot out of you. Anyways, the first time, she sends me some drafts and asks me to correct her drafts. I do that. Then she wants to meet up and literally sit there and watch me correct her paper in the community center. We do that a couple of times. Then she asks me to “go out” in order to say thanks, after which she talks a bit about her boyfriend in Korea. Right…anyways, she keeps wanting to send me more drafts to correct before I’m even finished with one, and she wants to meet up like, multiple times a week so she can sit there and watch me do her homework.

Anyways, to the people who know me, what’s one thing I hate? That’s right, waiting; especially if it’s an appointment and I’m there on time. What’s even worse than being late and not saying anything? Yep, not showing up at all. So Thursday, at this point, I’m sick of meeting up because it essentially makes my night suck. I just spent 8 and a half hours at work, not including the 20 minute commute each way on my bike. I wake up early, so I’m tired when I get home. I don’t want to have to leave 20 minutes after I get home to go out on my bike again and into the cold in order to do someone else’s homework, especially not when I could just as easily do what she wants to meet up for in my own time. So I was gonna tell her that it’s really inconvenient for us to meet up so often, and that she should just send me the final draft because I don’t want to read her paper more than once, much less, the 4-5 times she wanted me to. Pretty much, I’m helping out HER, and it’s almost like she’s going out of her way to inconvenience me. So I’m at the community center, waiting to meet up. She sent me an email that morning at 6:00AM saying “Can you meet up at 5?” I sent her an email back after I woke up at 7 saying “Sure, I’ll meet you at 5.”

I get to the community center, and I get an email from her saying “What time do you want to meet up?” I said (in Japanese) “I’m waiting at the community center now because you said 5PM in your email”. Then, after about 10-15 minutes, I got no response. I sent another message saying (English) “I got tired of waiting, so I left” followed by (Japanese) “its best we don’t meet up.”

I sent her an email all in Japanese explaining how I don’t want to meet up because I can do whatever we do when we meet up alone. In addition, I said I didn’t like how she kept sending drafts, and to just send the final thing when it’s complete and I’ll check that and that’s it. She then sends me an email back saying “Sorry if I annoyed you, but can you check chapters 1, 2, and 3, and then I’ll send you the final paper when I finish it Sunday night?”

I hate women sometimes.

So instead, on Thursday, I went over to Maria’s place because she bought Tatsunoko vs Capcom for the Wii, so we played that all night until I went home.

Friday, after work, me, Dan, Maria, and Rai were gonna meet up for Karaoke that night. I get a call from Maria saying that she had a bad day and “Didn’t feel like going.” I was like whateva and so me, Dan, and Rai still went. We had a lot of fun. Me and Dan dueted a bunch of idolm@ster songs, and Rai ordered the wrong drink, and then she re-ordered a drink, and then THEY brought the wrong one, and then she got the one she wanted after that. Because of the mixup, we got two free drinks tho (they gave the two wrong ones on the house) so instead of paying for expensive drinks, we got them for free! Woo! After that, we went back home and just hung out relaxing and stuff. I went to bed around 12:45.

Saturday morning, I got out of bed around 9:50. I showered and played some Soul Calibur online. We left at about 11 or 12ish. We went straight to Monte Carlo because I wanted my blazblue fix. I was doing pretty good. Toshi, finally being able to have some free time, was able to meet up with us. At one point, there was a Japanese girl there playing (didn’t talk to her), but she was pretty good, and was beating down Dan and Toshi pretty hard. I played a buncha different people, and after a while, we headed out. We ate at Matsuya and after that, we didn’t know what to do, so we ended up walking from Umeda to Namba. Normally, when I go to Namba, I take a train from Umeda, and it takes like, 10 minutes. So walking, it took about an hour or so. It was a nice walk tho, went by really fast cause we were just talking and stuff. We stopped by Mr Donuts and Book-off and stuff.

We finally got to Namba, and went to the craphole arcade (I need a name for the arcade, I think it’s called Amusement Tower or something, so I’m gonna stick with that, but I’m not sure) and Dan and Toshi were able to session in Blazblue. They played for a while, with Dan winning all the matches. After that, Toshi had to head out, so me and Dan just headed to Athena and played Blazblue there until it was like, 11:50. At that point, we decided there wasn’t anything else to do, so we headed to the Manga/internet café. Because we got there early, I was able to get a mat room, which to me, is waaaaay more comfortable than a reclining chair. I was also able to get a blanket, and we each got a free Nikuman (meat bun). I had some free chocolate ice cream and like, 4 cups of Orange Juice before I headed off to sleep. I slept super well, and had some vanilla ice cream and some OJ after I woke up.

We headed out of there, but there’s not much to do at 8:15 AM, so we headed to Tsutaya for a bit. I had to use the bathroom, so we got out of there after like, 3 minutes. We went to the McDonalds and Dan got some breakfast. I used the bathroom there and we played Bleach DS until it was about 9AM. We headed to Namba Hills and played a game of AAA. Next, we went over to Athena and played some Blazblue until like, 10:00. However, none of the stores opened until like, 11, so we kinda wandered around for a bit. We decided to try out Taiko 12, the new Taiko game to see what new songs (particularly, what new im@s songs) are in it. Sadly, it’s my least favorite of the originals (The Agent song) and my least favorite of the new songs (Do-Dai). I was kinda disappointed, but whatever. They had the Caramel Dannsen song or whatever, I don’t know the spelling. It was the Swedish version, too.
Next, we went over to the Taito station. There, we played some JuBeat. By the time we were done playing, it was about 11ish, and the stores were all open.

First store we stopped at was the Sofmap Gigo store. There wasn’t really that much there, but on the first floor, they had the new Tatsunoko vs Capcom Wii sticks. They were like, 5600 yen. I saw the other Wii Hori for 3950, so I figured I would just get the cheaper one. Not wanting to carry it around, I decided to wait before picking it up. Next, we stop at some doujinshi stores, and don’t really see much. I saw this one 1 player sidescrolling action game that has a girl with a gun, but figured I wouldn’t play it enough to make it worth it. Next, we stopped by the Touhou store and Dan picked up a yukkuri Marisa head. We now have the pair of yukkuri heads. We stopped by the morning musume store and no new Aika photos. We stopped by 7-11 so I could get some chicken for lunch. I was standing outside eating it, and this Japanese homeless bum was sitting there and with his hands going “2” or “peace” or “V” or whatever you want to call it, and then the hand signal for “ok”. I was like, umm ok. Then he asked were we were from. I said Chicago. After I finished, him and his other homeless buddy were all “bye” and waving and stuff. A bit weird, but bums are a lot nicer here, haha.

After that, we went over to the RASHOUMEN, but they were shut down. Apparantly, they’re moving to a way more convenient location (because the previous location is in a back alley on the side of the Den that’s somewhat lacking). We checked out the other sofmap, but nothing. Dan is hungry, so he decides to go get some food, I figure I’ll just go to SCOT and play some Blazblue or something for a bit. While I’m walking, I see a small sign for a store. It’s called “Aidoru wo sagase!” (Search for idols). Normally, I would think it’s talking about AV idols, meaning an adult entertainment store. However, under the sign it says Morning Musume, Hello Project etc. I’m like, whoa, so I go to check it out.

I go in the building, and it’s like one of those apartment complexes - just a hallway, with doors and numbers on the wall. However, a poorly drawn sign states that the fifth floor does indeed have a store. However, it’s eerily quiet, it’s like I’m in someone else’s apartment complex. Finally, I get up to the fifth floor. I hear some faint music, and I turn the corner, and sure enough, there’s a store there. But it’s not like it’s a separate looking floor, the floor itself looks the same, but the room 503 or whatever door was propped open and there was a sign pointing inside. I’ve seen weirder things in Japan, so I’m not too surprised about having a store in an apartment complex. Anyways, I head in and wow. I thought the other store was a morning musume store. That store is nothing compared to this one. So from this point on, the other store will be the “Back Alley Morning Musume” (BAMM) store, and this one will be called the “Apartment Complex Morning Musume” (ACMM) store. This store had a buncha stuff, tons of photos all sorted by name, tons of dvds, photobooks, etc. I searched around and just grabbed all the Aika photos I could find. They were all really cheap, too. I got a buncha photos, even some big ones, for like, 100 yen each. My wall of cuteness is sure to grow more now that I know about this store. I didn’t stay too long cause I figured Dan might be waiting. I didn’t have reception on my phone either. So I go down and head over to SCOT and Dan is waiting outside. Said he was only waiting for a minute or so, thankfully.

We head back toward the Den. On the way back, there’s a new “arcade”. It’s literally just a buncha UFO machines (Claw machines are called UFO machines here) and stuff, but there’s a buncha tables and chairs set up around, and some women dressed up as Maids, and one dressed up as a butler. You just go there, hang out and look at the maids and occasionally play a UFO game. Pretty crazy. Only in Japan. We don’t hang out there long. We head out and back to Sofmap. I pick up the 3950 yen Wii stick, fit it in my bag somehow, and then we go to Athena. I get like, a 10 win streak, and we decide to head to Monte Carlo again.

I said I was gonna meet up with some SRK people at Monte, but most of them didn’t show. Oh well. One guy, a high schooler from Sweden (whats with this country?) showed up and we talked a bit and played a match of BB. I won, and he headed out after that. I played some Arcana, didn’t do too bad, but there’s either not enough people playing, or too many people playing whenever I want to play recently. I played a buncha BlazBlue. This time, TWO TIMES, the buttons while I was playing weren’t working. First time, I called a guy and he fixed it. 2nd time, I was like whatever. After that happened almost twice in a row, I got kinda unhype for blazblue for a bit, so I ended up playing some Usagi the arcade Majhong! I did pretty well, but unfortunately on stage 3, I got pretty much destroyed and there was nothing I could have done about it. It was fun overall tho. After that, we ate at subway and then took the train back home. We got home around 9:45 or so, and just relaxed until I went to bed around 11ish.

Today, I finished Yumiko’s final check, so I’m done with that paper. This week is my last full week for a while, so it’ll be nice to finish this week up. Not that I’m doing anything hard anyways, but yeah…

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Misadventures of Rob #ReloadFULL - BlazBlue Tourney + Kansai Gaidai re-visit

Ok last I left off, it was Monday. Monday, because it was finals, I got out at like, 12:30. I did like, 2-3 weeks worth of laundry, and took a nap and did some shopping and stuff. Dan was out with Rai for the day in Kobe, so I had the day to myself. Then around 6ish, I went to the community center and met up with Yumiko. We worked on her research paper for a little over an hour and then we went to a Tonkatsu place for like, an hour and a half or so. Just hung out there talking and whatnot. Then I headed back home.

Tuesday, nothing special happened. It was just a lazy day. Wed and Thurs were also “do nothing in particular” days. Friday, Dan, Maria, Rai and myself went over to the ramen place and ate dinner there. After that, we went over to the Taiyaki place and got some Taiyaki (pretty much, a crème filled waffle shaped like a fish). After that, I headed back home and relaxed till I went to bed. Saturday, I had “work”. It was a special day that was a “festival” of sorts. This festival, however, involved sitting in a freezing cold gym for many hours watching powerpoint presentations and each of the classes doing a song. From like, 9-3 with a lunch break, I had to be there in that freezing gym…I also had to be there at 8 so I could do nothing for that hour before. They had homeroom AFTER the festival for some reason, so I just took a nap in the teacher’s room where the couches are. I left at 4 and hurried back home.

I got home, changed, grab my bag and stuff, grabbed my bike and headed for the station. Dan and Maria went together (since Bill had to fly back to America temporarily for some Visa crap or something) earlier in the day, and I was just gonna meet them in Osaka. I had a Blazblue tourney at Athena at 7PM, so if everything went according to plan, I could get there with like, 5-15 minutes to spare, and meet Dan and Maria there. I got to the station at 4:28. I put my money in the ticket machine. It ate my 1000 yen. I got a buzz from the train guy, and he was like “uhh…did anything come out?” And I was like “no, nothing came out”. After a couple minutes of waiting (and being really worried about whether I would miss the 4:35 train that’s right downstairs), he came out and was like “so what happened?” I told him that I put 1000 yen in, and nothing came out. He went and got it, and took another minute or so to come around with the 1000 yen. I used the other machine, got my ticket, and got on the 4:35 train. It would have sucked if I missed it.

I took the train and got to Shinkaichi (where I change trains) around 5:40. The next train, on another platform closeby was set to leave at 5:42. I get on that train with about a minute to spare, and then I arrive in Umeda (where I change trains for the 2nd time) at 6:18. It took exactly 1 hour and 48 minutes. Then I walked over to the next station and got on the next train there. I got to Namba around 6:40, and by 6:50 I was at Athena and signed up for the tourney.

The tourney was a random 2v2 tourney. You get partnered with a random person. There were 15 teams total. Thankfully, I was in the first bracket (round robin pools, so I would play at least 3 matches at worst), so I didn’t have to wait. I only got a round and a half of warmup before they called my name. My partner was a Ragna player who was decent. Our first opponent is a Tager player. My partner wins the first round, BARELY loses the 2nd round (huge comeback by tager) and then loses the third round. I play the guy and I get smoked. Too much new stuff I’ve never seen. Next, we play against a Carl. I go first, and since that’s my first time playing against a Carl who wasn’t mashing, I got hit with a buncha random stuff I’ve never seen before and I lost that match really quickly. My opponent, again, was really close to winning, but lost at the last round with very little life left on the opponent. Our next opponent is Nao (aka Douchebag from this point on), who’s an Arcana player. Douchebag also plays Noel, and when we played in casuals the week before, he beat me like, 6-7 times in a row before I took him out. His opponent was also a Ragna player. (BTW I know I spelled Ragna wrong in my blog before, oops. Was gonna edit it, but got lazy).

My partner goes first. He plays Douchebag. Same as last two times, he comes REALLY close, but wasn’t able to finish the other guy off. I play Douchebag. I win the first round just by being super safe and ending with a j.236236D air super. 2nd round, at some critical moments I got him with CH2C twice, which leads to Noel’s giganto huge damage combo. The 2nd time I hit it, he bursted with a decent amount of life left. Without a barrier for him, I was able to rush him down and punish his mistakes. I took him down and won my first tourney match for Blazblue! Next, I had to play his partner. I just kept doing air pokes into j.236C. Since I land first, I just jumped up again and did the same thing. He must have got counter-hit by my air pokes like, 4 times in a row the first round, so I was already up a ton of life, and I got him to burst. He knocked me down, and I didn’t tech, just got up straight and did Noel’s ground super. Since he was trying to poke, it hit him. The cabinets were side by side, not back to back, so I got to see his reaction for me hitting that super, and it was pretty awesome. 2nd round, I just played super safe and won.

After that, the way our bracket looked was there was one team 3-0 against the other teams (tager team), and the other 3 teams were 1-2. Since we went 0-2 against the first two teams we played, we were 4th place in our pool, so we didn’t advance (only top 2 advance). Oh well, it was still a lot of fun, and I got to beat Douchebag in a tourney match and his partner too.

After that, we went to get some Wendys for dinner. Tatsunoko vs Capcom came out earlier in the week, so Maria wanted to go play that. We went over to Sega Avion and saw one machine for it there. Some guy had like, 13 wins. I played it, but Saki (the character I wanna use) wasn’t unlocked, so I used Chun/Morrigan. I somehow won the first match, but the game still feels weird to me. Same guy played me and beat me with samurai dude. I tried one more time but failed again, so I was kinda done with that game until I get a chance to get used to it at home. However, they had a blazblue machine there, and while it was 100 yen, it was on super nice cabinets (the screens make a difference), and people were playing. Some Jin player was there with two of his buddies, one of them being Nelson (cause he looks like Nelson from the simpsons, huge overbite and always smiling for no reason) with like, 15 wins. I play him, and get scrubbed out one match. Play him again and I beat him. Then this Arakune player goes against me like, a ton of games in a row. I get like, 10 in a row against him. I play him again, and get like, 3 more wins and he beats me again. Then I play again, 2 more or something and he beats me. I play again and get like, 3-4 more against him and he heads out. I play a couple of other people, and then nobody plays me after that, so I beat the game. At that point, it was like, 11:30, so the arcade closes in like, a half hour. Maria wanted to play TvC, so she played that for a bit, and lost to the stupid giant robot or whatever.

After that, we headed over to the crappy looking, but surprisingly decent 50 yen arcade that’s open till 1AM. I played this one arcade game where you play card games against some CPU opponents, which are usually loli anime girls, and sometimes guys. I like to play this one called “Daifugo”. It’s called Chinese Poker where I’m from. It’s super easy, just give it a search on the internet if you care enough. I ended up beating the game by going through all 3 stages, meaning I was playing card games for like, a half hour on one credit. Dan and Maria were playing Puyo Puyo or something. After that, we headed over to the 8 hour manga café. We all got reclining seats. We got some drinks and then went into our cubicles and did our thing. I went to sleep after browsing the internet for a bit, but I had a hard time sleeping because those chairs don’t recline nearly enough.

7:50 rolled around, a half hour before we had to go. We got washed up and whatnot and got out of there before 8:20, so we didn’t get charged extra. We headed to Tsutaya since it’s open 24/7. Not much there, tho, it’s just a kind of a place to go before things open. Then we went to Starbucks because Maria wanted some Chai Tea or something. We walked to McDonalds and they told her she couldn’t bring her drink. So she went outside for a bit and Dan pretty much took her coffee and put the cup in his big pocket. We got our food and headed to the downstairs area. There were people sleeping and stuff, and the manager came down and woke them up and stuff. Maria kept her drink out of sight so they couldn’t see. We got our food and at around 9ish, we headed over to Namba Hills. Me and Dan played a game of Aquarian. Then, we walked over to Athena (the only other arcade besides Namba Hills to be open at 9) to play some Blazblue.

At Athena, both Blazblue machines were empty, so Maria and Dan both played on each machine. I saw some random scrub playing Fate Unlimited codes, so about 2 seconds before he was gonna lose to the computer, I played him. A couple other guys played me and I somehow beat them both. After that, I played the computer to the last boss and lost. Would help if I knew decent combos, but oh well. After that, a couple guys were playing Blazblue, so I played them, but they left after losing like, 1 game or so. After playing the computer more, we left and headed out to walk around the Den. It was around 11, so things were open. We went to a buncha different stores, but didn’t take too long cause Maria was there, too and we didn’t want to keep her bored. I stopped by the Touhou store, and they had these giant Reimu (from Touhou) plush “Yukkuri Douzo” heads. I picked up one and we headed off. We walked over to SCOT and played some random games on the third floor. I played the majhong game, but got owned by a 2nd turn Ron in the last match, so before I even got a chance to do anything, I lost. Me and Dan played Aquarian, and Maria played some random games. There was nobody playing Blazblue so I didn’t bother. We walked back to the other end of Denden town, stopped in a couple of stores and made our way over to the Subway. I was really hungry so I got a footlong cheese roasted chicken with a tuna topping. It was sooooo good and I ate the whole thing. We chilled there for a bit, and headed out. Maria wanted to get back, so we walked her to the station, which was like, next door. After that, me and Dan were back in the Den alone.

We decided to head to Amerika Mura (America town). They have a giganto Mandarake there, which is a big various goods store. We looked around, they had a buncha cheap figures, but I refrained from buying anything. We headed back to the Den area after that.

It was about 3PM, and there was some special event or whatever on at Namba Hills. It was from 3-6. I wanted to check it out, but Dan wanted to go get some new doujinshi. We split up and I went to Namba Hills. The event or whatever was just a couple of dudes with microphones explaining how to play the game. I thought it would actually be something good. Oh well. I played a game of Tekken, but nobody played against me after that, so I just left my credit and headed to Athena after finding Dan at the doujin store. I played Blazblue for a while there. After that, we decided to go get some food. We went to this one Chinese Resturant. I got some meat that was really good. He got some gyouza and fried rice. We finished that meal and then I kinda wanted to walk around somewhere else and not play games for a bit. So we walked down Shinsaibashi, which is this one shopping district with a ton of stores. In Shinsaibashi, there’s a Book-off, which is a used book store. I saw that they had the new Tales of Symphonia for the Wii for only 1950 yen, so I picked that up. I also found some 100 yen Boys Be manga, so I bought those as well.

We walked back and I felt like playing JuBeat, so we went to the Taito station, where you get 4 songs for 100 yen. There was a pretty cute girl playing, too, which was kinda cool. After she played on the other machine, she waited for it to open up again, so after I finished, she went and played. Me and Dan played some Taiko also. After that, I went to Athena and played Blazblue there until it closed. I played against Douchebag, and he won a few games, but then I got used to his style and beat him after another game. He didn’t play after that. I started getting more winstreaks and stuff, and midnite rolled around, so we headed outta there. I was pretty tired, so I suggested we go straight to the manga café. We went to a 10 hour one for 1500 yen (1700 yen on fri nite/sat nite). Because I had work on Sat, I had Monday off, so it counted as a weekday. I finally got a mat room, where I can sleep flat and comfortably. I went on the internet for a bit there and went to sleep. I slept pretty well and we got outta the manga café.

Since it’s a Monday, I figured I would head to Hirakatashi and go get some Sandoru. Before that, I figured it would be best to meet up with the Japanese girls that studied abroad at DePaul. It was about 10:15 when we got outta the manga café. We went to the craphole arcade across the street and played some 50 yen 3/5 round blazblue. Dan was practicing combos, so he went played the computer. An arakune player challenged him after that. He beat Dan, so I played him. I beat him pretty easily, he played me again and I won again. I played against the computer for a bit, and it was already 11 at that time, so I just left my game and we headed out. We walked all the way to Yodoyabashi, which was about 45 minutes from where we were. We took the train about 25 minutes to Hirakata-shi. Dan lost his ticket, so he had to go tell the girls working there that he lost his ticket, and they told him to be careful next time and not lose it, and he got through without having to pay for another ticket (which is the norm). We got out of the station and walked like, 15 minutes and got to the Kansai Gaidai campus. It was around 12:30ish by the time we got to the campus. We decided to just wait for the girls, since I said we would meet up at 1. I got an email from Mayumi saying “I’m gonna show up at 2:25, OK?” And I was like “We’re already here, but we’ll wait.”

We went to the lounge where the foreigners hang out The craziest thing happened. There was some Japanese guy who I remember from like, 2 years ago. He looks a bit socially awkward, and he walks around talking to himself and stuff. Well, two girls were sitting on this couch, and he walks up to them and kinda tries getting their attention, but they just ignore him. He then just straight up looks at their papers or whatever without like, saying anything. He doesn’t like, glance at them, he’s like, leaning over and seeing them. The thing is, these two foreign girls are just completely ignoring him. Not a hello, nothing. Just pretending he’s not there. It was truly a sight to see.

Me and Dan just played Bleach DS2 against each other. After 1:15 rolled around and no sign of the other girl, Yuri, who hasn’t contacted me, we headed to the convenience store on campus. I got a message from Mayumi saying that Yuri would show up around 2:30 also. We get a little bit to eat, a candy bar or whatever. We go back to the lounge and play some Bleach against each other. Mayumi shows up around 2:10, so we talk to her for a while. Yuri is running a bit late, so she showed up around 2:45. Thing is, they have class at like, 4:10. It takes about a half hour from the campus to walk to Sandoru. Then the eating time, then the half hour back. We decide to just eat at the on-campus cafeteria. We just hang out and talk to them for a while until it’s time for their class. We say goodbye and stuff, and we head out. They opened up a new book-off right near the station, so I go there. I see another cheap Boys Be volume I didn’t have, so I pick that up. We get on the train and head back to Yodoyabashi.

Yodoyabashi station is one stop away from Umeda (it’s along the way to Denden). Since it’s only one stop away, we decide to just walk it. We walk to Umeda, and partway along the route, there’s this underground mall area or whatever, so we walked through that. They had a couple of arcades, but we only stopped by to watch and check them out for a bit (I have a hard time walking by an arcade without at least checking it out). Eventually, we made our way to Monte Carlo. It was around 5:30 at that point. I sit down and play some Blazblue. They have 5 setups, so 10 back-to-back machines, 3/5 rounds for 50 yen. I sit down at this one cabinet, play some guy and win. I get like, 5 wins in a row against a buncha diff characters. I lose a match to a decent Tager player. Nobody plays him for a bit, so I play again. I end up beating him 2 matches in a row. I play a few more guys until I lose a match to a really scrubby Litchi. Nobody plays again, so I sit BACK down and not only do I beat the guy twice in a row, both matches were 3-0 my favor. After that, I get a beastly 13 win streak against a buncha different people. At the end, I played this one Taokaka player. Came to the last round, I was way up in life, but I messed up a couple things, and before I know it, I lost on the last pixel. Oh well. It was about 8PM at that point, so it was a good time to head back. We got on our trains and I made it home around 10:15. Chilled for a while, watched some Morning Musume vids and stuff before going to bed.

Ok, that's all for this week. I got a LOT better at Blazblue from playing it a lot. It's a 4 day week this week, so I'll be able to play this weekend sooner than normal! Hope everyone is doing fine back home!