Monday, May 25, 2009

The Misadventures of Rob #ReloadFULL Season 2 - Observing SBO qual tournies

Hello, all. As usual, I don’t remember where I last left off. I remember that on Thursday night, me, Bill, and Maria went to get some ramen and then went to the used store and hung out there for a while. It was getting late, so I decidedto head home. Earlier in the day, somewhere along the line, I must have jerked my neck or something because it was kind of aching, and by the time I got home, it got to the point where it would randomly hurt REALLY badly. It only got worse as time progressed, and even laying down in certain ways caused it to hurt badly. I finally found a position that was comfortable, but then I forgot to get my cell phone for my alarm. It took a while, but then I got back up, layed back down. Then I realized I should take some pain medicine. I repeated the process and finally got in bed and slept for about 9 and a half hours. I woke up in the morning and while I could still feel my neck ache, it wasn’t the paralyzing pain that it was before, so that’s good. I went to work as usual and just relaxed Friday night.

Saturday, I went with Bill and Maria to Kobe. Game in Coo had an AH2 tourney at 3, so I figured it would be cool to go to that. We got to Kobe around 1:30ish or so, and we went to Coco’s for some curry. As usual, I had my cheese curry. After that, Bill and Maria went shopping for a bit, and I went to Game in Coo. I got there, and the guy said to wait until 2:45 because if nobody shows, then the tourney is getting cancelled. I went upstairs but nobody was playing BB or AH2, so I figured I would go to Magical Space for a bit and kill time until 2:45. On the way there, I saw people playing BB at the Sanx across the street, so I stopped there. It turns out that there’s a BB tourney at 3. I played some casuals there and was dominating for the most part. The tournament started and 8 people showed up. The format was a bit weird. It had two 4 person round robin brackets, with top 3 going onto a single elim bracket (with first place getting a bye first round). I had a hakumen player, kanimiso or something in my bracket, and a Jin player, as well as another Noel who didn’t know combos. Since I can’t ever beat Jin, I lost to that guy in the RR, but beat Kanimiso 2-0. The guys in the other bracket were all scrubs pretty much. The single elim tourney started, and we got to choose where we want to be put on the bracket based off number order from cards we drew. I picked #1 because I like going first. Kanimiso wanted revenge, so he put himself against me first. He ends up actually barely beating me by like, a pixel in the last round. I have trouble with Hakumen, too sometimes. And so I was out first round. Oh well. The Jin player ended up winning the tournament. It’s kind of disappointing that if I can’t even win an 8 person tourney in the middle of Kobe, then how can I expect to do well at SBO, but I’ve still got a few months to train.

After that, I met up with Bill and Maria again, and we went to this foreign food store. I got 2 jars of extra crunchy skippy peanut butter and a can of American cherry coke (saving for a rainy day). After that, we walked around some stores for a bit. We didn’t really see much of anything. We stopped by this store that had a buncha stuff for like, 400 yen each. It was a lot of goofy novelty stuff, and there were a buncha old sweatshirts there. There was a loony toons one that I could swear my Dad had when I was a kid. Seriously, this one rack looked like my dads closet. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it kinda gives you the feel of what sort of stuff this place had. They had a buncha other goofy things. Bill ended up picking up some yellow and blue belt. We were getting hungry again, so we down this ghetto looking back alley, where there were a buncha really small resturants (some were just a counter, you couldn’t even sit down). We stopped by this donburi place, which had big bowls of donburi for pretty cheap. It was decent. After that, they headed back to Ono, and I headed to Osaka. I went to Athena and played for a while there. I don’t really remember what I played or how I did, so whateva. I remember stopping by the Axe Tower and playing some Tekken before I went to the manga café to sleep.

Sunday was the day of the Athena tournament. I got out of the manga café and after grabbing some donuts for breakfast, I headed to Namba Hills to see if they have any more location test games. They had Higurashi majhong. It was 1v1 majhong, but you pick a Higurashi character to go against another character in majhong. I picked Rena because she’s cute and I like her hat. I picked some green haired girl to go against. The graphics were really good. It was done all anime style, of course. They had a chibi version of Rena on the screen, and of course, the view was of the opposing character sitting at a table or whatever. Anytime I would get a pon or a chi or anything, the opponent would be like “oh no!” And if the opp did it to me, Rena would be like OH NO. And when I got a pon or a chi, Rena would be like “Yay!” and stuff like that. Pretty cute. I lost the first hand, but I ended up winning the next 3-4, so I won the match overall. At the end, there was this anime scene, where it was the other girl running. She was in like, a bikini, and was saying stuff like “oh, I’m so hot, there’s so much sweat coming out!” stuff like that. The screen was kind of blurring, as if you had just run a long time and couldn’t see straight or something. It was super fan-servicey and since it was a location test, it was not only on my screen, it was on the screen that’s hooked up to the cabinet too, so everyone there was able to see it, haha. After that, I went to Athena. I was playing some BB, and after I lost, I sat down at one of the benches there. A guy who was sitting there watching ended up talking to me and asking me some Noel questions. I talked with him for a bit. He was all “Are you gonna enter the tournament today?” I was like “No, I’m not gonna enter.” He was like “Why not? You seem pretty strong at the game.” I then pointed to the blue blazblue SBO ticket on the wall and told him that I already qualified. He looked at that, then looked at me and went “EEEH?” It was pretty cool. At that time, I decided to go around the Den. I went to the morning musume store, and picked up their new single for 100 yen, as well as a few pics of BerryZ’s Captain. I went to the sofmap right there and saw that they had a couple 360 sticks. It looks like Hori reprinted a few. I called up Dan and asked if he needed one, and told him I would pick it up if he did and he can pay me back later because I knew if I didn’t get it, that they would be gone by the next week. I picked it up, and then headed back to Athena. The tourney was gonna start soon, and they were getting brackets ready. As everyone was waiting to see their name get picked, I played some people in BB until the tourney started.

The tourney started, and I sat down at the bench and watched from behind. A buncha good players were there. They had four 8 man brackets. The winner of each was Tall Litchi Man, Kouji (Tager), a Nu player, and the bang that’s always at Athena. Tall Litchi man was doing well against Kouji but barely lost round 2 and 3 after taking round 1. Oh well. Since Athena Bang has close to no Nu experience, he got owned bad. Finals were Kouji vs the Nu. Kouji keeps the pressure on and wins round 1. The Nu keeps him away and wins round 2. Kouji was able to get in on round 3, and that was it. Everyone was mad hype to see Tager win. Afterwards, the machines were on freeplay for an hour and a half or so, so I stayed there and played some freeplay games. I played a few more matches after the tournament, and headed out after that.

The week that follows was pretty boring. Because of swine flu scare, schools got shut down for a week, so I was at work bored with nothing to do, but my allergies were bad, so I just ended up feeling like crap for the week. Thursday night, Bill came over and we played some doujin games, like the Azumanga fighter and the Hello Project fighter. It was pretty fun. Friday, I slept late, did laundry and headed over to Bill’s and we played some more donjon games. We played some E’s Laf, Akatsuki Blitzkampfh, and like, a couple games of Gleam of Force (I didn’t like it at all, so we stopped after a couple matches), and like, one game of this really bad fighter called like, Hinokera or something like that. It was definitely a “Webster” game, it was THAT bad. E’s Laf was at least fun, but Hino whatever wasn’t even fun. After that, I went to the ramen place (so many cute girls working there) and then went back home and just chilled there for the rest of the night.

Saturday morning I went straight to Osaka cause the SCOT sbo qual started at like, 1PM, which is mad early for a tourney. I got there and watched it. There were again 4 brackets of 8 people. Tall Litchi Man won his bracket, but lost to Tsukasa. Tsujikawa (A GG player) who uses Taokaka lost to this carl player who I just started seeing more and more recently. Tsukasa beat the Carl player and then was set to play Kouji at 4PM. So with a couple hours to relax, I went to the morning musume store. I didn’t see anything new, but since it’s a small place, I hate walking in there and not buying SOMETHING, so I picked up a 300 yen set of Captain pics, which I ended up not regretting purchasing. I went back to SCOT and played some AH2. Nelson (I call him nelson because he has a large overbite that makes him look like Nelson from the simpsons) was there. His Yoriko is extremely annoying to play against, and he beat me like, 5-1. I got annoyed playing him after that cause his character is just not fun to play against, so I played some Blazblue, which was on freeplay.

At 4PM the final match started. Kouji won the first round. Tsukasa won the 2nd. Tsukasa dropped a combo in the last round (those sticks weren’t that great, to be completely honest) and Kouji ended up getting him in the corner. Tsukasa did a burst to get tager off of him, but Kouji saw the burst and did Tager’s spin super and won the match. It was mad hype. I was hoping Tsukasa would win, but I gotta give props to Kouji for winning with Tager, of all characters. After that, they left the machines on freeplay. I just played for a while and used Taokaka against scrubs and Noel against good people. Naaga was there, too (he lost to Tsukasa in the tourney 3rd round or so), he said he had no Nu vs Nu experience cause nobody plays her in Kobe. He wanted to get revenge on me for beating him at Game in Coo, he said, so we played at SCOT. I ended up beating him 2-0 pretty easily this time around. I guess all my Nu practice is starting to pay off cause I feel like I’m doing a lot better against her, even tho I still think she’s an unfair character. Taoshizu (Taokaka player) was there too, as well as a few other guys, Akamesu (Tager), another Taokaka player, etc. Eventually, only 6-7 people were there on two machines with freeplay. It was fun to be able to sit there and just keep on playing without having to pay. After a while Taoshizu was like “I wonder if they forgot that the machines are on freeplay” It makes me wonder too, because today would be like, the only day that a lot of people would play BB at SCOT, since it’s normally dead, but the machines are on freeplay, so they’re not even getting any money…strange…oh well, not my problem. Nothing that I’m gonna be worrying about, that’s for sure. Around 8:15, I got REALLY hungry, so I went to my cheese curry place.

While I was eating, some woman comes in and starts speaking English to the guy who works there. As someone who understands both English and Japanese (partially), it was interesting to watch. She got an English menu, and of course, was ordering in English, but the guy working there knew like, not very much English, and was trying to speak it to the woman. I felt kind of bad for him, but I was more entertained than anything. She wanted eggplant on one of them, but the guy didn’t know what eggplant was, so he came over and asked me what Eggplant was, so I told him it was “Nasu” and pointed to the kanji for it on the Japanese menu. I’m honestly more surprised he didn’t just look at me and go PLEASE TRANSLATE, but I give him effort for dealing with it. She wanted like, take out, and wanted to like, custom order her curry, which is fine and all, but doing it in a language that the guy working there doesn’t speak makes for an interesting interaction. I paid and left after that. I stopped by Taito station and used the bathroom there. Nothing interesting there. Checked Avion, too, and they had 2 credits for 100 yen day because it’s the 23rd, which I guess is a special day each month. Nobody was playing anything I would play tho, so I just left and went back to Athena. Tsukasa and Tall Litchi man were there. I played Tsukasa’s Nu. I was doing ok, he got a 3 winstreak and a 5 winstreak at one point, but aside from that, we were pretty much going even. He left after a while, and I headed downstairs and watched some Tekken. This one Baek player was there, and when he would win a round, he would sometimes do a move with baek where he busts out a cup of coffee or tea and drinks it. After the baek player did that and won a close round, I heard the other guy hit the machine. I thought it was pretty funny. I wanted to play Tekken after watching, so I went to the Axe tower and played there. I was doing ok, except I was losing to this one guy’s Kuma, who was just doing tricks for the most part. I hate when people play like that, but whatever. I finally won. ScatroVageena showed up, and played me for a bit. It was around midnite, so I went to the manga café. I tried to log into IRC there, but mibbit wouldn’t let me because it said that the computer had a Trojan or something. Oh well. I just posted on SRK and stuff, and watched youtube videos until I fell asleep.

After I got up, I headed to the import food store. I got a jar of smuckers concord grape jam. They don’t actually have grape jam/jelly in this country, so now I can make PBJs and confuse my coworkers (America is like, the only country in the world that does PBJs apparently). At the new arcade the opened next to it, they had the majhong fight club game for 100 yen/2 credits. That’s cheaper than anywhere else, so I played a game of it while listening to my ipod. It was surprisingly relaxing. I went to Athena after that, and Athena Bang was there. I played some AH2 first tho against the Yellow Petra player that qualified for SBO, Karate Kenji. He beat me 5 games in a row before I decided to go play Blazblue. Athena Bang was using Carl, so I tried Taokaka, but that didn’t go too well, so I used Noel. I beat his carl twice in a row, his hakumen twice in a row, then he switched to Bang. I completely destroyed his bang, badly. I won like, 8 games in a row before he barely got one. It felt good. I remember the day I lost to that guy 7 times in a row or something when I first played him, so it felt good to beat him.

I just played BB all day pretty much. I got another small winstreak (15 wins or so) but a good ragna player beat me. I haven’t seen him before, but he was really solid. I beat him once, but he beat me the 2nd time he played me. Kechan was there too, but used only Nu against me, and I didn’t lose a round to his Nu all 3 times he played me. I played his Rachel after he played Rachel against Ragna man, and I wasn’t able to get a round. I need more practice against Rachel, I haven’t played a good Rachel recently, so I’m getting rusty against her, I think. Ragna man beat me again, but then I played him again and beat him. I played a buncha people after that, and ended up losing to this one scrubby tager after beating him 5 times in a row or something. Tager is the kind of character that even if you do the “scrubby” option, it might work, especially against Noel because she has no choice. He has invul on his backdash, and whatever that doesn’t beat, his super armor will beat. It’s a really annoying battle because of how much damage he can do, and how little damage I can do to him. Oh well. I played some AH2 after that, all the good players were there. I played against some not-Kouya/guy girl players, but still lost everytime. I’ve either gotten really bad or everyone else has gotten really good. Or both. Not a big deal cause I don’t play it much anymore, but I’m surprised at HOW bad I was getting beat. There were a few other guys like me there who also couldn’t win. Eventually, one of them one a match, so I played him, and won. I got like, an 8 winstreak against the other scrubs, thus making me KING SCRUB for AH2 at Athena that day, haha. I eventually lost and played a few more matches before leaving. I went to subway and got some food. It was still a bit early, so I went back to the majhong place and played another couple games worth. After that, I headed home. Not much else to say. Dan is in Kyoto now, so if all goes well, we can meet up this weekend or something. Good times. LEAVE COMMENTS.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Misadventures of Rob #ReloadFULL Season 2 - Reimu Plush

Ok so I left off last week Wednesday. Last Thursday and Friday I just went home and relaxed. Got some ramen with Bill on Friday night, that was really good, but after that, I just hung out at home. Saturday, I went back to Osaka. Before heading there tho, I decided to stop at Kobe first. I got some cheese curry and checked out the stores in the area. I saw that they had a set of the touhou plushies (Reimu and Marisa) for 8000 yen. I had a $5 off coupon for the place, and if I bought the dolls, I would have just about enough points to fill up my NEXT point card for another $5 off. I figured that I could probably sell the Marisa in Denden and just get the Reimu for cheap. I played some Tekken to contemplate this for a bit. After I lost, I went and decided to go for it (and not make the same mistake as last time of passing up on them). After I picked them up, I headed to Game in Coo for a bit. I played Blazblue there against someone, but after one game, they stopped. Someone else played me, but they were obviously new to the game, so they stopped after one try. While I was in the middle of playing, the game in coo staff came around with baskets of snacks and a basket of drinks. They were giving out 3 snacks and one can of like, coke, coffee, sports drinks etc for free to everyone there. I was like “sweet!” Such an awesome arcade. I got a Petra mug for 2nd place in a 4 man tourney (with 100 yen entry fee), and now im getting free snacks? Too good. They were having a F/UC tourney when I was there. I would have stuck around to watch it, but I had to head to Osaka to go to the Ko-hatsu tourney.

I took the train to Osaka, pretty uneventful. I walked to Ko-hatsu from Umeda and got there around 4:40, 20 minutes before the tourney started. A bunch of the regulars were there, Tsukasa, Tall Litchi Man, Taoshizu, Ribaia, etc. I played a bit of casuals beforehand, but not too much. The format for today’s tourney is 2v2 random partner. I got partnered up with Tsukasa. Ribaia got partnered with this Tager player that I beat at the SBO qual that I won. Tall Litchi Man got partnered with Nyamo’s bang. This purple color Bang got partnered with Black Carl, Taoshizu got partnered with a Blue Arakune player, and the announcer dude was on a team of his own and used Tager and Nu.

First round, we played the Tager/Ribaia team. I lost the first round to Tager, won the 2nd, and screwed up a juggle in the third round which lead to my doom. I was pretty bummed about that cause I felt like I should have beat the guy. He ended up beating Tsukasa’s Nu also! WTF!

Tsukasa went first against 3 of the other teams and OCVd them, so I didn’t play. I do better against Carl, so I played the carl/bang team and 2-0d them.

The only thing we had to worry about was tager/ribaia. In the final match, it was Taoshizu’s team vs Tager team. Because they got 2-1d a couple times, if the Tager player lost ONE MATCH, then we would get a re-match. First up was the arakune player. He knew a few juggles, but his defense was pretty bad. He got one round, but lost the match. Taoshizu went. He looked like he was gonna win, but then the tager made a huge comeback and ended up winning the 2nd round. Tager then barely won the third round too. Thus, Tager/Ribaia team wins the tourney. Pretty much, the tager player didn’t lose a SINGLE MATCH in the whole tourney. Not much else to say about that. It would have been nice to get a rematch, but the dude didn’t lose at ALL, so he deserved to win the tourney. Afterwards, I stayed there and played against random people until everyone left but me and the announcer. We just played a ton of Noel vs Nu matches until like, 11PM. I generally won, but there were random times he would get like, 3 winstreaks against me. It would be like, I get 3 wins, he gets one, ill get 5 wins, he gets 3, I get 4 wins, he gets one. I didn’t keep track, but it was prolly around a 4-1 ratio for me. I still hate Nu tho, I think that match is awful for Noel.

I got a beef bowl after that at Matsuya and headed to Toshi’s place after that. We stopped by the 100 yen store, and I got a big bottle of generic cola. We got back to Toshi’s place, and played some random XBL arcade games for a while before Toshi’s wife and Purple Shirt Guy got there. After a bit, we played some Majhong. I won a lot of the hands, surprisingly. I got really lucky a few times, but it still felt good. I think we all won at least once, which was cool. At about 4 something, I headed to bed.

I woke up around noon, hung out for a bit with Toshi and then headed to Denden. I got to denden and played at Athena Only scrubs were there, so I got a winstreak, but wanted to leave, so I let this one tager player win. He didn’t notice that I let him win, which was good, cause he was really happy to get that match, and his buddies were cheering for him. That’s my good deed for the day. I wanted to sell back the Marisa plush, so I went to the Rashabang/RASHOUMEN/HOUSES store. I waited around a bit, but I finally got to sell it, they gave me 3500 yen for it, meaning the reimu I bought was 4000, which is fine by me. I went to the Morning Musume store, and I got a couple pictures, Mano Erina’s first single (she’s the new main solo-ist of HELLO PROJECT, the idol company that owns MM, Buono etc), and some stickers for the bottom of my joysticks, lolz.

After that, I took the train to Challenger Ababa, where the SBO qual was taking place. However, I forgot the exact station to get off at. I ended up overshooting it by a station, wandering around for about 15 minutes before figuring out the way to go. I got there around 4:30, and it JUST finshed. Meka-sue’s Carl beat Ribaia’s Nu in the block finals. I like Ribaia, but I’m glad Mekasue made it in. The machines were on freeplay for a while. I played a buncha games against random people. I was doing ok. I played Tsuaka’s Nu a bunch, and couldn’t get rounds for a while. I got close another time, and then finally I won 3-0. It’s still a stupid matchup. I played Ribaia’s Nu. I got close one match, and lost the other. It’s a dumb fight where Nu can just lock Noel down from far away. Noel really needs Petra’s bouncy shots, lol. I played against the tager guy, too. I won a few but he was beasting pretty bad. It feels like when I’m in the corner, it’s auto-win for him. The red Noel player who usually shows up to tournaments (I think he goes by Ashibe or something, I forgot) was there. He knows counter matchups better than I do, but his basics aren’t as good. I played him twice and beat him 3-0 both times, but when he played against the Tager player, he knew the fight better, so he did better. I picked up some stuff tho, and I think I can beat Tager the next time I play him. I didn’t feel like I did all that great, but I learned a lot about fighting Nu, Tager, and a few more. I’m started to get really annoyed at the game tho. Hopefully a revision that balances it comes soon after SBO. I’m not holding my breath, of course, but I can hope.

After that, I didn’t want to leave, but I had to, so I walked back to Umeda and took the train from there. I stayed up way too late (1AM), so yesterday at work, I was falling asleep like mad. I ended up going home yesterday, going on the internet for a bit, falling asleep around 6:30, waking up around 10:20, staying up till about 1:30, then sleeping till 7. I’m a bit tired today, but I’m def not falling asleep in my chair or anything.

I opened up the reimu plush and put it on my bed. She’s so awesome. I love the expression. Plushes are so much cooler than figures in the sense that you can kinda just put them wherever, and you don’t have to stand them up on a shelf or anything.

That’s about it. Not an exciting week, but now that I’m in SBO, I feel like I have to level up like crazy because the level of play of the Tokyo players is never something to be underestimated. As for next weekend, there’s an arcana tourney at game in coo saturday. Maybe 4 people will show up for that one, too, and I’ll get another prize lol. After that, the SBO regional qual is at Athena, so I’ll be there for that tourney to watch.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Misadventures of Rob #ReloadFULL Season 2 - MORNING MUSUME CONCERT

Ok, this is gonna be a long entry:

I had the day off, so I was debating whether to go to Kobe for a day trip, or to just stay home and get stuff done. I decided on staying home. After I woke up, I did laundry, bought some stuff for cleaning, cleaned out my apt, played some games and relaxed. I downloaded the championship thing for SFIV online, so I was playing that for a while. I lost to 3 random boxer players in a row, so I just stopped after that. I played some Demon’s Blade for a while, too. That game is fun. I bought it a while ago, but I haven’t really had time to play it that much. I don’t know what’s going on storywise, but I just know I mash buttons and cool stuff happens. So overall, I got a lot done, and I had a lot of fun just relaxing. Not that I don’t enjoy it, but going out every weekend makes it seem like I rarely have any days to just sit at home and relax, tho I’ll admit, near the end of the night, I was getting kinda bored and anxious. But it was cool tho.

I don’t remember Thursday or Friday much. I’m pretty sure both days consisted of going to work and coming home and relaxing.

I went to Osaka. Knowing that I would be gone for quite a while (GOLDEN WEEK! For those who don't know, 3 holidays in a row, so MTW off of work), I packed some clothes and stuff. Made sure not to forget my concert ticket, and headed off. I went to Namba, of course. First stop was Athena. I played a bit of BB, but not many people were there yet. I went to the cheese curry place right after that. Went back to Athena for a bit. Hatsune Piku showed up. He was the best Kansai player (uses Rachel), but he was gone for a couple months for job training or something. He finally came back and was like “Hey, it’s been a while! Has anything changed?” I was like, “Nah, everything is pretty much the same”. He was a bit rusty, but he was still doing pretty good. I headed out soon after that to head over to the Morning Musume store. I picked up 2 Berryz Koubou singles, and the new Buono single. All 3 of them for 500 yen. So cheap.

After that, I went back to Athena for the night. I played a buncha BB and AH2. There was a Fate Unlimited Codes tourney that same day. FUC players are REALLY loud. Like, they’ll be screaming when they get comboed. I enjoy hype, but like, it was really really annoying. Athena is already loud enough, I don’t need people who make it even LOUDER. It was just obnoxious to everyone else there. There was this other Noel player there who was pretty much playing exactly how I play. Having never played against it, I was getting owned for a bit. Once I figured out a few things, I was able to start winning, but he owned me for a bit before I could figure out his pattern, and what to do where. A good learning experience tho.
I also went to play AH2, but guy-girl and Kouya were on the two machines and I didn’t feel like getting owned for too long, so I played a couple of matches and headed out soon after that.

I got some food at Subway, and then took the train to Tennoji. I remember Toshi showing me a couple of arcades in the area. I went to them, but nobody was playing anything, so I just watched some SFIV matches for a bit, then I headed out to Toshi’s place. I got there around 10:40 or so. We took a couple of trips to the 100 yen store, but they ran out of the Hershey’s Cream Cocoa that I usually get! I was so sad, I need my girly drinks to function! After that, we played some SFIV for a while, Toshi did pretty good, better than last week. It was fun times. Then his wife and Purple Shirt Guy came back, and we played some Majhong. We all won at least one hand, so that was cool.

Apparantly, Toshi had a meeting at 8AM or so, but didn’t know about it until I got there. So we spent some time deciding what to do. Toshi was saying I should just stay up all night and not sleep, but I wasn’t feeling that. I know him, his wife, and purple shirt guy don’t sleep, but I’m def a fan of sleeping in. Toshi was counting on his wife and PSG driving him or something, and dropping me off somewhere else, but they were leaving right then. It was a bit of a problem, but Toshi ended up working on the project, sending it to the customer, so he didn’t need to do a meeting or something, his wife and PSG got to leave then, and I got to sleep in, so it all worked out. I felt bad tho, like I was screwing stuff up by wanting to sleep. Oh well. Anyways, Toshi took me to the station after that, and I headed to Umeda.

I met up with Bill and Maria there, and we headed out to a place called “Game Plaza Oka 3” or something for a TvC SBO qualifier. It was halfway between Kyoto and Osaka on the “Hankyuu line”. We took a slow local train out there (we should have waited for the quick one, but whatever), and we got there around 2:30. The tourney started at 3, so we were ok. There was some sort of jazz concert going on, so the whole area was pretty rockin and pretty lively. We got some convenience store food and then went in the arcade. It was a nice place, kinda small, no arcana, but it was nice enough. I would be happy if I had an arcade like that near me.

Anyways, Kubo was there, as well as a few other good TvC players. There was this one guy who used Chun/Ryu, and did infinites and stuff with Chun. It was cool. Anyways, Bill played this one Karas/Ryu team, and got infinited. I played the Chun guy, and I got infinited. I didn’t really care about my loss, but Bill seemed a bit bummed out. Anyways, finals were Kubo vs Chun Li guy. Kubo ended up winning! So now Kubo gets to go to SBO! Awesome! Since there’s no Melty this year, I’m glad he is still able to find a way to go. Anyways, I played a bit of MvC2 after that, but I got owned, and the buttons weren’t working all that well, so we just headed out after that. We went to a Coco’s that we found nearby, and I was able to get my cheese curry! Yay! We sat there chilling for a while.

After that, we headed back to Umeda. Bill wanted to show Maria the Sega Arcade in Shinsaibashi that had the big puyopuyo machine. They had no money, however, and so we went to a couple convenience stores. They ended up not being able to give us money! WTF. If they didn’t get money by 8PM, they were totally screwed for getting money for the next 3 days. We ended up going to a few different convience stores until we finally tried a 7-11, and then the ATM worked there, thankfully. I took out a bit of extra money just to be safe, too.

Once we got the money, we went to the sega arcade and played some Puyo Puyo for a bit. After that, we went to the 3rd floor and Bill played KOF12. However, the joystick was really bad, so nothing was working for him. We headed out after that and went to the Taito Station. Bill played KOF12 there, too, but lost to some guy twice in a row. It was kinda close tho, iirc. There was nothing else to do there, so we went to Sega Avion. Bill watched these guys play KOFXII for a while. I played against one guy in BB, and he left after I beat him. Some Jin player tried to play against me, but he left after I won, too. I beat the game and then we headed out after that. We went to Mr Donuts and got some donuts. We sat there talking for a while trying to kill some time. Bill and Maria just went to the Manga Café (it was around 9:30PM), and they didn’t want to get screwed out of a room, so they ended up going early. I stopped by the Axe tower and played a bit of tekken before heading out. After that, I headed to the Capsule Hotel. I had reservations for 10PM. I got there around 10:05, got there, signed in no prob. I went to the bath area, took a nice hot bath and washed up. Felt nice to get clean. After that, I went on the computer for a bit to find out where the concert actually was. Turns out it was walking distance from Athena! (About 40 minutes or so). I thought I might have to take a train to get there, but nope, I can just use my own two legs! Awesome!

After that, I headed to my capsule, brought my earplugs, and watched a bit of TV in the capsule. They had a show about a buncha people working on a horse farm in winter, and then the horse was pregnant, so I got to watch people watching a horse give birth. It was touching…kinda…I put in my earplugs and went to bed after that. I woke up a couple times from random people being loud, but overall, it was a nice sleep, I wish I got to sleep a little later, but not a big deal. As I was getting out of my capsule, I saw the capsule across from me, the dude already left, and it was empty, but with the blanket all crumpled. I saw a little circle thing there, so I checked it out, and sure enough it was 100 yen! I guess the dude dropped 100 yen when getting out of the capsule, so I took advantage of the situation and grabbed it. I went back to the bath area, and washed up and sat in the bath for a bit. I got out of there around 9:45. I went to Athena and played some AH2 for a bit. Bill called me and him and Maria met up with me there.

After that, we walked around the Den looking for a cheap copy of MIRA for the PS2, and for some figures and stuff. We had fun looking around for a while, and Bill/Maria bought a few things. A chiyo keychain from Azumanga. They wanted this one Fujiko figure from Lupin, but the one they wanted was 2300 at super position, which is a complete rip-off, of course for a gashapon figure. They ended up not picking it up (I don’t blame them). It was still fun to look around, tho. We went to subway and got some food, and then they headed back to Ono. I went to the concert venue to make sure I knew how to get there (better to get lost the day before, or take a long time finding it the day before, than the actual day of the concert). There was a Berryz Koubou concert going on. I would have bought some stuff, but I got there too late to buy stuff without needing a ticket. After a certain time, you can buy stuff once you get a ticket and go inside the venue. Not a big deal. I saw a couple of scalpers there, and I was kinda thinking it would be cool to go to the concert, but I decided against it. First, I don’t trust scalpers, so the ticket might be fake. Second, I don’t like supporting them. Third, I didn’t know how they were getting a lot of tickets, nor did I know what the tickets looked like ENOUGH to see if they were legit. Overall, I decided against it, plus I would save money that way. I was walking home and I decided to stop by the official Hello Project store. I picked up an Aika Mitsui baseball cap (from Morning Musume), and a Saki Shimizu small photo album (from BerryZ). Like, everything is always out of stock at the store. It’s almost a joke. Why have a store when you won’t sell stuff cause there’s nothing to sell? Oh well, nevermind, lol.

I went to Athena afterwards and just played BB and AH2 the rest of the night. Guy-girl and Kouya were there, yet again, with large winstreaks on the two machines. The worst was after someone beat guy-girl after a 50 winstreak, guy-girl immediately puts in another 50 yen and plays again. It’s like, yeah, you’re going to SBO, but like, wtf, you don’t own the machine. Oh well, I played like, once or twice, but I really don’t like playing against guy-girl, and the lines were too long. I already know I’m gonna lose, I don’t like waiting forever to play 3 rounds of getting owned. Not guy-girl’s fault, I just don’t care for it.

For BB, there was this one Jin player, who was just poking and doing j.A and j.B a lot. His j.A and j.B TOTALLY outprioritize Noel’s by a LOT. He would win every single air battle. It was really dumb. I figured out how to beat it after a while (dude turtled a lot too, so I just rushed him down), but Jin’s offense is SOOOO hard to get out of. It felt like I got combo’d once, and it would just lead to another combo every single time with absolutely nothing I could do about it. I still beat him after a while, but it was just a really annoying playstyle in general to go against. The guy was losing to a buncha people, but I had a hard time with him. I think it’s just character matchups or playstyle or whatever because it seemed to directly counter everything I do. I feel like I had to think and work waaaay harder than I should just to get one hit in. But whatever, I was still able to win, but it didn’t feel like he was a great player, it just felt like cheap stuff was beating whatever my character does. Oh well.

Around 11ish, I went to the manga café. I got the 10 hour deal, so I stayed there until about 9 something. I slept pretty well, and like usual, I just wish I had more time to sleep.

I got up and went to Mr Donuts, got a few donuts for breakfast and then headed to Athena. Obviously, being like, 9:30 on a Tuesday meant that NOBODY was there. I just played single player games or a while until like, anyone worth playing against showed up. I played against a few guys, and then around 12:30, I left to go to the concert. It started to drizzle, so I bought a 100 yen umbrella from the dollar store. I walked to the concert venue, and got there in time to buy stuff before the concert. I bought an Aika T-shirt, a Reina T-shirt, a concert T-shirt, an Aika Towel, an Eri muffler Towel, and a green glowstick for the concert. They also thought I asked for an Eri phone strap thing even tho I didn’t, but I didn’t complain, and decided that my phone could use a new phone strap anyways, haha. It’s kinda heavy, but it’s awesome.

I went to the local convenience store, used the bathroom and changed shirts to my Aika shirt that I just bought. After that, there wasn’t much to do, so I just waited in line to get in. Everyone else was waiting in line because they got there too late to buy stuff beforehand. I had nothing better to do, so I just waited too. After we got in, I went to the 2nd floor and just chilled there. I went back to the first floor, and somewhere along those lines, I lost my ticket stub! I saw some dudes saying you needed a ticket stub to go to your seat. I was like “O CRAP” I talked to them, they were able to confirm that it was me based off my name, phone number, day I bought it, seat # etc. Turns out my seat didn’t need one, oops. I went to my seat, which was on the 3rd floor all the way in the back. Even tho it was all the way in the back, it didn’t seem nearly as far away as previous concerts I’ve been to.

When I got to my seat, there was already a dude sitting next to me. He had the aisle seat, and I was one seat from the aisle. The dude kept talking to himself like, the whole time. I KNOW he wasn’t talking to me, but he was totally talking to himself. Like, I talk to myself when I’m home alone or have gone without real English conversations for too long, but I tend to not talk to myself in public. He always kind of smelled bad. However, I wasn’t gonna let him get me down. The guy on the other side of me was a dude who was prolly at least 40. He was in normal clothes.

I took off my sweatshirt and wore my aika shirt with the aika wristband, I had my Aika hat, and I had the Aika towel + my glowstick. I told people that I was gonna get into it, so I figured why not, lol. Anyways, the concert itself started and it was awesome. The guy next to me on the right didn’t have a glowstick or anything, but he got really into it, he was doing the hand wave thing, but without a glowstick. I did it for the songs I knew, you can kinda tell cause it goes along with the beats. But for songs I didn’t know, I either followed the crowd or just did whatever I wanted cause nobody cares anyways. I could have just been waving pretty much the entire time and it wouldn’t have mattered. Anyways, as far as the concert goes, everything was PERFECT. There wasn’t a single mistake, everyone sang really well, I could hear just fine (except for when everyone around me was yelling a girl’s name during the bridge), and I could tell which girl was which without too much difficulty. Even songs I didn’t like were great because they were good performers. The whole thing went really well. Also, unlike the Nana concert, there weren’t a lot of MCs, and it didn’t take forever to finish the concert. MCs usually bore me, and I just want to get on with the songs, but the few they did were short and sweet. So the concert was long enough where I was satisfied, but not too long to the point where I was bored. The girls looked good in their costumes, and they didn’t ruin any of their songs. They all looked good as a whole. It was great when they called out to the third floor and waved to us, lol. They def didn’t forget about us all the way up there. One of the girls (Koharu) was even like “wow, I can see so clearly all the way in the back, I can even see that guy all the way in the back that has my name written on his shirt!” Normally, I don’t like Koharu, and I find her annoying, but I thought that was really cool. Heck, even before that, I thought she performed really well, so even if I don’t care for her, I thought she did great in the concert. Def changes my views on all the girls a bit…Tho next time, I’m gonna try to get a closer seat somehow.

After the concert, I saw another foreigner there, and I remember reading on the Hello Project forums I visit that a guy said he was gonna be there, and to look for a large Scandinavian guy. I went up and was like “hey, are you Gordo?” and he was like “Yeah”, I told him that I saw his post on the forums. Turns out he’s from Sweden (seriously, what’s with this country?). He was a nice guy. He’s super hardcore into Hello Project. Like, he went to both BerryZ concerts yesterday, and he went to the afternoon one I was at as well as the evening one (going to the same concert 2x in a row). He also saw them before coming here I think, and then he said that he’s taking the shinkansen (bullet train) to Nagoya in order to see another BerryZ concert there. Very very hardcore. His friend from Australia showed up, too. He bought a ticket from a scalper for the MM concert (decided to go last minute). We talked about Hello Project stuff for a while, and then they headed back to the concert, and I headed out. I stopped by McDonalds for dinner, big macs are only 200 yen until wed, so I got one. I was walking to Athena, and I stopped by this one store because something caught my eye: Skippy extra crunchy peanut butter! Peanut butter isn't too big in this country, so for them to have not only peanut butter, but REAL AMERICAN peanut butter was awesome! It was a small food import store in Namba. They had smuckers jelly, too, but I didn't need that (yet). They had a buncha candy and stuff, but since my teeth are getting bad, I didn't want to get any. But yeah, a nice normal size thing of peanut butter for 500 yen. It's SOOOOO worth it. I can just throw some on some ritz and i'm good to go! Or just some bread, anything! I also noticed right next door they opened a brand new arcade. It was mostly UFO machines on one floor, and like "music/majhong/misc" on the bottom floor. They had tekken, but it was 100 yen a credit. It's cool that there's another arcade tho, just cause I like seeing them and going around to them. After that, I went back to Athena and played for a bit. I was losing to that one turtle jin for a bit, but then I rethunk my strat and I ended up playing him once more and winning 3-0. I played this one bang player that just does super armor stuff over and over and was beating him for a bit, but he got matches in every once in a while. It was getting late, so I headed back home.

On the train ride home, I ran into one of my former students. He was getting back late because he was at baseball practice, then went out with friends to dinner, then karaoke, then to another food place or something. He said he likes high school a lot, which is cool. They seem so sad to be leaving middle school, but like, they don’t realize how much it really does suck to be a middle schooler until they become a high schooler. He was trying to speak a bit of English, but couldn’t really do more than 4 word sentences. He’s trying tho, so I appreciate that. I got home and I stayed up late on the computer.

Today, wed, I woke up around 11:30. I relaxed and stuff, and then I went to Saty to get a haircut. I waited around a while, and a few of the 1st year girls from the basketball team spotted me when I was waiting for the haircut. Ugh. Normally I don’t mind seeing my students, but I was unshaven, wearing clothes that I just kinda threw on, with like, my long messy hair. I just looked not very presentable, that’s all. I got the haircut, and yeah…I don’t think it looks that good. I think it’ll look fine in a couple weeks once it grows out a bit, but it’s too short in certain spots and just looks goofy imo. Whatever. I got some McDonalds after that (big mac FTW), and of COURSE, two more of my students were there, this time a couple third years. Ugh. This is what happens when you live in a small town where there’s only one place to even hang out at…Being from Chicago, I’m SOOOOOOO not used to just going out and running into people I know randomly. Heck, like, even at the local mall, I would see the same guys in the arcade, but aside from that, I never really saw people I knew there. Even when I worked at Target, I didn’t really see people I knew TOO often. Every once in a while yeah, but this is the first time I’ve been to Saty in a WHILE, and of course, I see students there. It’s not really a bad thing, it’s just…different, haha. It’s prolly weird for them, tho. I remember I like, NEVER saw my teachers outside of class. It would have been super weird, and I’m kinda glad I never really experienced that, but like, I wonder what they’re thinking. Then again, I’m not really a “teacher” teacher, as in, I’m not the one who gives grades or yells at them, and I’m closer in age to most of them than I am to most of my co-workers anyways, so they prolly put me in a diff category than the rest of the teachers. I dunno. I’m overthinking it.

Anyways, I spent the rest of the day writing this long entry, and I’m prolly gonna hit up the ramen store tonight if it’s not raining. If it’s raining, I’ll just get some food closeby.