Thursday, February 25, 2010

Aki Goodsmile takes aim. Definitely militia. The glasses is definitely a giveaway that he's hiding something grim. Glasses in the day, militia at night. Below is Black Rock Shooter Huke who's definitely dangerous. When it came time to shoot the assault weapon, he started laughing like a mad man. In Japan, it's only co2 cartridges so shooting something real is the way to go.

You'll be seeing Huke art on the cover of Giant Robot 64. It's a little different than what you may expect, but that's what we wanted to do.

Estevan Oriol is a nice practical guy. He doesn't look like it, but I swear he is. Yeah I botched the focus on the shot below, but it's ok. He shot at the target point blank with an elephant gun type of thing and it made a huge rip.



That's how dumb we all look. Estevan is the only one to worry about.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Additional for you Maywa Denki fans.


Exhibition "Gadget OK! Artworks and Gadgets from Japan" includes the whole series of gadgets by Maywa Denki, including YUREX that visitors can try. A wide variety of latest Japanese gadgets are also shown.

The exhibition is until Feb. 24 on the ground floor of Broad Art Center, UCLA.

This link has plenty of other photos of near objects. But get there, it's ending soon!

Exhibition "D|MA2 – Device | Machine Arts X Design | Media Arts" features works by young UCLA artists in "Device Art" style. The exhibition is a part of Gadget OK! and is open until March 4, at CNSI (California Nano Science Institute), UCLA.

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Otamatone - GR2 demo!

Tosa Novmichi From Maywa Denki demo's his Otamatone. It was fun and exciting to see the creator of this toy instrument give a fun demo to the folks at GR2. We've been carrying the other products like Knockman, Coron, and the rest of their products practically since we opened and then here he was in the flesh rockin' out. I took him to drink beer and eat a burger afterwards. I'll see him in Japan probably soon.

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Friday, February 19, 2010

The Crepe Nazi of Sawtelle is closed

I didn't get to know the Crepe Nazi too well, but his shop on Sawtelle is tiny and recently, it closed down. He's a character, and known to be harsh, not care about customers, but for some reason, people loved the crepes. These are just some of the signs from his shop. Imagine the guy behind these signs.

Ok, I won't!

I guess that's me.

Now we cater!? Only if they bring these signs!

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ben's Jewelry GR2 Sawtelle

Ben's Jewelry! This is the front of GR2. Believe it or not, it was a jewelry store way way back when I was little. I actually remember the place. The facade got removed today and we found out, there's actually really nice architecture to the building. We got columns! So now it's up to figuring out a design for our space. What will we do? How will we not mess it up? Are you a designer with ideas? Hit me up quick. We have a cat and dog adoption about to get underway!


So the dudes are ripping stuff down and then this cans falls out of the front facade. Why is a beer can even in there? Look how old it is. 88 Olympics - Seoul - which Bud commemorated. Check out the Budweiser font. Classic.


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Friday, February 12, 2010

Last day Japan

I didn't quite finish telling my trip story. The last day, it's a day when my plane is taking off. Luckily it's at 6:30pm, but the train takes off at 3:30pm. So what do you do? I tweeted it, and I got some condolences. Yeah it's a tough thing to figure out. You don't want to waste a day, but at the same time, it's not quite enough time to do a lot of things. Some of you said, have a good meal, or get stuff for the plane ride. Here's what I did. The shrine you see above. I went there. But that was quick and a diversion.

I met with the king of turtles. Dr Koieyama. This man knows how to operate on turtles! I asked if he went to school for it and he said no, he learned it on his own and is the only doctor of his kind in Japan. That's amazing! See the turtle in the tank? So rad. If you bring a turtle in, he puts on that metal tray and gets busy.

We're at a little sweets shop next to the shrine. That's Kohei again. Yes, he and my friend Nao, ditched their work to hang out with me for just a bit. This shop is quite old and cool. I liked how Nao said, "I'm going to use it." Meaning he's going to use the spot to take a companion friend as a cool gesture and to look cool.

That's Nao eating some mochi balls in red bean.

This is amazake. It's non alcoholic and it's a sweet rice drink that's fermented, and sweet but without the use of sugar! Amazing. The bad thing about the last day is getting into a rush. So doing all these cool things, and then going to a camera shop made the time fly by. We weren't in the right area where my train was taking off to the airport. We had to get on a train, then transfer and then I had to retrieve my luggage from the locker! We were scared. Luckily the Rapid Express came and it stopped only once. We were timing that fact that I literally needed to run to the locker then run to the platform, and I might make it within literally a minute. Trains aren't late in Japan unless there's a suicide on the tracks.

The quick ending. The train pulls up, Nao flies out with the key to the locker and Kohei meanwhile figures out where the platform is at. I'm trailing behind running. By the time I catch up, Nao is already being a Samsonite monkey and is ripping by barely fitting bags out of the locker. Lightning fast and a funny sight! Kohei is helping and then we all run to the platform. We get there with three minutes to spare. I get on my train and my trip comes to a close. Not so exciting, but it was stressful at the time. Lesson? Don't pack too much fun on that last day.

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When I take the train ride from Tokyo to Narita, I always think these things: I'd like to live in a place like the above photo. A rural place, with rice fields, that looks hundreds of years old, not too many people around, a river, and a river bank to walk on. Ironically, there's a dude in the photo perhaps walking his dog doing and living the exact thing I just mentioned.

I want to live in a little hamlet village adjacent to this rural place. It's 15 houses deep. We might know each other, but that's how it is. To survive, we have to be good and fair to each other. We might need to share things. There might be a tiny shrine in the area. A store might be sort of far away, but not too far. There are other hamlets like ours and we know them, and are courteous. Once in a while, we all hang out together, perhaps at a festival. The train that flies by, those are the people who have places to go and are super busy. We're not like that. We have a rice field and it gets us by.

Not too far away is this temple. It's big and sticks out among the tall trees on a hill. Everyone in the bigger town is shadowed by it. It's as if it's a beacon watching over everyone and keep people in check.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

cosplay wonderfest

Yeah Cosplay at the Wonderfest happened. But I guess I got tired or something. The photo below tells it all. The girl though looks tired too. Compared to the rest of the folks who wear mostly black on black, I stand out. I really should pay attention to blend in better. Maybe for next time.


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Here's a bunch of tweets in support of GR.

processrecess: Giant Robot needs help! Support this indie icon: http://www.giantrobot.com/donate

spankystokes: NEW POST: Giant Robot Magazine Needs Your help. http://bit.ly/d5wm9v PLS RT :-)

contrastmag: Giant Robot mag needs help. Support indie media! They been in the game for 15 years http://www.giantrobot.com/donate/

tydesign: The Asian American pop culture influencer, Giant Robot, needs help! Don't let another great pop institution fall. http://tinyurl.com/ybgfcfb

andreagin: Giant Robot needs support: http://www.giantrobot.com/donate

kimonostereo: Giant Robot needs help! Support this indie icon:http://www.giantrobot.com/donate [Lots of great incentives for donations too!]

urbanARTOPEDIA: Show Giant Robot some love and give what you can.http://www.giantrobot.com/donate

hyphenmagazine Giant Robot mag need help. Publishing is brutal. Support indie Asian American media! http://bit.ly/bkiTgv

popejephei: Sign of the times... Giant Robot Magazine Needs Youhttp://ow.ly/1366Z

driph: Giant Robot needs food, badly. http://www.giantrobot.com/donate

jasonzada: Help keep Giant Robot alive. http://www.giantrobot.com/donate (via@annzo) Such a great, inspiring magazine.

Vidalia: I'm super broke, but i still donated to @giant_robot so that GIANT ROBOTMAGAZINE doesn't go the way of SPY mag: http://bit.ly/9CIIFZ

GoRamen: Please support Giant Robot Magazine! @giant_robot and@giantroboteric have been fans of my blog since I started.www.giantrobot.com/donate

lantis_base: Giant Robot needs help! Support this indie icon:http://www.giantrobot.com/donate I don't wanna lose one of my favorite rags.

PhilipArsenault: Giant Robot, a very good indie magazine that I subscribe to, needs your help. Please donate. http://www.giantrobot.com/donate/

AtonalAsterisk: Seriously, guys, please donate some money to Giant Robot if you have a bit of spare cash. They're one of the best magazines around today.

haraya: Love this mag. Let's all support them! RT @processrecess: Giant Robotneeds help! Support this indie icon: http://www.giantrobot.com/donate

chiatdaynight: Fun Store, too! RT @jasonzada: Help keep Giant Robot alive.http://www.giantrobot.com/donate (via @annzo) Such a great, inspiring magazine.

dogenpunk: I'll be donating what about you? RT: @GreatDismal: Save GIANT ROBOT! http://bit.ly/cbWQTQ

liamflaherty: http://www.giantrobot.com/donate -- Giant Robot could use some help.

douglassherwood: If you're tired of donating money to Haiti or kickstarters for privileged white people, give some cash to Giant Robot: http://bit.ly/chMOrm

marcehughes: GIANT ROBOT needs your help to keep giving you awesome Chinese secrets! http://www.giantrobot.com/donate (via @plasticchapel)

mochistudios: @milkandeggsco Yes, definitely save Giant Robot! They've inspired me so much over the years.

pinguino: Oh no! Help save Giant Robot! http://www.giantrobot.com/donate (via@pakbuzz)

jefbot: if you dig asian pop culture, consider: RT @kyubikitsy Giant Robot needs help! Support this indie icon: http://www.giantrobot.com/donate

spankystokes: NEW POST: Giant Robot Magazine Needs Your help.http://bit.ly/d5wm9v PLS RT :-)

vannenwatches: Please RT @giant_robot needs our help. Head over to http://www.giantrobot.com/donate and make a donation. Great magazine. Great people.

somebadideas: As a contributor to Giant Robot, I can say firsthand that Martin & Eric make each issue on a shoestring, miracles, volunteers & family.

flavorpill_nyc: RT @giantroboteric: Giant Robot Magazine needs your help. Tough times in general for print. See video and read text. Thanks.www.giantrobot.com/donate

amyblue_theband: Help save GIANT ROBOT magazine.. the most awesome mag out there. http://www.giantrobot.com/donate

GreatDismal: Save GIANT ROBOT! http://bit.ly/cbWQTQ Unique, superb, wonderfully inspiring magazine, needs your help now.

fduncan: What he said: RT @GreatDismal: Save GIANT ROBOT!http://bit.ly/cbWQTQ Unique, superb, wonderfully inspiring magazine, needs your help now.

albotas: Giant Robot was a huge inspiration to me when I first started Albotas. DONATE!!! RT @AttractMode www.giantrobot.com/donate

squiddie: Giant Robot magazine could use some help. Covering cool stuff for 15 years. http://bit.ly/chMOrm (RT as necessary.)

hypebeast: Help Giant Robot Magazine Out with Donationshttp://bit.ly/dsj11v via@BobbyHundreds

noshwell: We think Giant Robot is the only magazine left worth reading. And they need your help. #giantrobot. giantrobot.com/donate

Videogamegirl: @giant_robot I love me some Giant Robot, both store and mag. The store is right by me!

onokinegrindz: Iconic Asian pop culture magazine, Giant Robot, needs your help.www.giantrobot.com/donate Pls RT. cc: @giantroboteric @giant_robot

evanseriously: giant robot needs some love http://www.giantrobot.com/donate

polaroidteam: help save Giant Robot (@giant_robot)!! http://www.giantrobot.com/donate

animevice: #AnimeVice: First Date: Giant Robot Magazine: Click To Watch Video... http://dlvr.it/1Y4g

jennwong: GIANT ROBOT needs your help! have loved this magazine for years - click & watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwXu6ixAPM0

animevice: @aicnanime Here's that Giant Robot video I promised :) http://www.animevice.com/first-date-giant-robot-magazine/113-2234/

kenwong: Well, Giant Robot, I've been reading you since the 90s and many times I've wished I lived on the US West Coast. I'll donate when I get paid.

Serviceburo: Help save Giant Robot: http://www.giantrobot.com/donate

jennwong: GIANT ROBOT needs your help! have loved this magazine for years - click & watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwXu6ixAPM0

kenzolee: support Giant Robot Magazine http://www.aintitcool.com/node/43917 http://bit.ly/cPleWb

jayang: Giant Robot Magazine needs you! http://tinyurl.com/yetr8q

parenthood21: Giant Robot Magazine - zine about Asian pop culture has fallen on hard times. Here's a link to help save GR http://www.giantrobot.com/donate

jamesleung0: Yea! Even mentioned my anime reviews RT @animevice #AnimeVice: First Date: Giant Robot Magazine: Click To Watch Video... http://dlvr.it/1Y4g

AnimeVideo: Anime news: First Date: Giant Robot Magazine http://bit.ly/cIOxCD

marksarmel: I know its tough for most people out there, but Giant Robot could use a hand http://www.giantrobot.com/donate

animevice: #AnimeVice: First Date: Giant Robot Magazine: Click To Watch Video... http://dlvr.it/1Y4g

nuart09 Support Giant Robot, http://bit.ly/bAIrYM (expand) #GR #Streetart #culture #curator

@KeriLuna: Long live @giant_robot magazine! Please check out my latest article for the examiner and support Giant Robot! http://tinyurl.com/y9rbt2q

bdicrescenzo: Help save Giant Robot magazine: http://www.giantrobot.com/donate My favorite rag. Aside from the one that pays me.

jamesleung0: Awesome interview with @giantroboteric on the Vans Blog. http://tinyurl.com/yz7dz6a (expand) - - Support Giant Robot http://tinyurl.com/ybgfcfb

aicnanime: Great, impassioned response to AICN Giant Robot fundraiser post http://is.gd/7Y3Je

infectiousart: Help keep Giant Robot in print! (And fuel your Junko Mizuno obsession simultaneously...) http://bit.ly/cHaU1Y

RichTuArt: Giant Robot needs our help: http://bit.ly/ah2EQ6

NiaNaia: HELP!!! Giant Robot Magazine Needs You: http://www.giantrobot.com/donate (via @iblala RT @HIFF @ShakaTalk)

HIFF: Giant Robot Magazine Needs You: http://www.giantrobot.com/donate

HELP!!! RT @HIFF Giant Robot Magazine Needs You: http://www.giantrobot.com/donate

amyblue_theband: @giant_robot donation rally..http://www.giantrobot.com/donate

animeresearch: @giant_robot Which helps you guys out more - buying the issues in stores or subscriptions?

Videogamegirl: @giant_robot I love me some Giant Robot, both store and mag. The store is right by me!

TadCarpenter: @GIANT_ROBOT great folks & great magazine need ur helphttp://bit.ly/97WwNj via @SuperTouchArt

aleloop: @giant_robot needs our help. If u've been inspired by it, time to give a hand http://bit.ly/9JVA8O

radiomaru: Awesome Scott Pilgrim art on ebay, 24 hour auction, proceeds to @giant_robot, bid now!http://bit.ly/dCLQ5A

clairerauscher: @mikegikal mira q fino, pero ta caro RT @radiomaru: Awesome Scott Pilgrim art on ebay, proceed to @giant_robotbid now! http://bit.ly/dCLQ5

bryoz: Ok guys, @giant_robot needs our help! Details here:http://www.giantrobot.com/donate/

TheCookiesMob: Help Giant Robot http://short.to/15mwh @giant_robot@giantroboteric

AttractMode: Get it together and bid! RT @radiomaru Scott Pilgrim art on ebay, 24 hour auction, proceeds to @giant_robot, bid now!http://bit.ly/dCLQ5A

liabulaong: fan of scott pilgrim? @radiomaru himself is auctioning off sp original art to help raise money for @giant_robot:http://is.gd/7Dehz


davidmackkabuki: Giant Robot Mag- one of the first to review Kabuki in 1995-96 RT @giant_robot "An Asian 'Zine is Still Playing it Cool"http://bit.ly/cuqFFq

danootz: Finally got a @giant_robot mag subscription. I hope it helps the cause. I may donate or stop by the store too. #fb

channelAPA: Giant Robot Magazine (@giant_robot) needs your helphttp://bit.ly/ad6iv1

ohmgee: .@giant_robot magazine needs you! http://bit.ly/cSUXPeby @giantroboteric / we need giant robot! http://url4.eu/1JFfR by @disgrasian

CKShaw: I love @giant_robot its like getting 3 or 4 mags in every issue!! RT @disgrasian WE NEED GIANT ROBOT!http://url4.eu/1JFfR

danootz: @radiomaru Doing a great thing. Ebaying original Scott Pilgrim art. 100% proceeds go to @giant_robothttp://bit.ly/bNXkeS #fb

mochipark: @giant_robot Magazine needs your help. Tough times in general for print. See video and read text. Thanks. www.giantrobot.com/donate pleez RT

CriminalRecords: Oooh, want! Scott Pilgrim art by @radiomaru for the @Giant_Robot fundraiser http://bit.ly/cAHNQH (via@giantroboteric)

lillianchan: help @giant_robot magazine! it's the only magazine I actually subscribe to http://giantrobot.com/donate

jess_lum: 3 ways to help save Asian American magazines like@giant_robot and @hyphenmagazine - http://bit.ly/aUOykg

mrphilbot: @giant_robot needs your help! http://bit.ly/cbQfN3

radiomaru: Congrats to Ben Read of England who landed the Scott Pilgrim art for $2550 USD (for@giant_robot!)

pakbuzz: @radiomaru Dude, you've just singlehandedly delivered 4% of @giant_robot 's 2010 fundraising goals.

joetron2030: Happy to find out my sub to @giant_robot magazine (via GR Foundation) is a lifetime one!

mumbot: Short blog on why I want to help save this great magazine:http://ow.ly/13WQ9 @giant_robot

thymaihair: Give pls @giant_robot Magazine needs ur help. Tough times in general for print. See video and read text. Thanks! www.giantrobot.com/donate

aeyee: he 'zine that let the world know how cool it is to be asian & asian pop-culture is needs your help! http://bit.ly/cv2Jxj@giant_robot #fb

dartprogram: DART hearts GR!! RT @giant_robot: The stand (and why Giant Robot needs your help) http://bit.ly/bN0MRG

pudgym29: @giant_robot magazine needs donations =http://www.giantrobot.com/donate #Japan

letsugo: my funemployment paid for a donation. how 'bout you? RT@giant_robot: The stand (and why Giant Robot needs your help) http://bit.ly/bN0MRG

woejilliams: Just put in my $110 to secure another great year@giant_robot Now it's your turn! http://bit.ly/bN0MRG for more details on how to help.

pixelvale: A great magazine that I have been reading for almost 15yrs needs help to keep printing. Pass along. http://bit.ly/bN0MRG

letsugo: Don't wanna see @giant_robot go under like other print mags as of late. Help spread the word!http://ow.ly/14081

DandQ: andQ Without GIANT ROBOT, there won't be any more REGGIE-12 fighting, um, giant robots!!!!

RoBeastSlaya: Follow Friday follow @giant_robot, subscribe, donate, spread the word!

Chrysaora: @giant_robot Awww! You're welcome!! Thanks for all those years of repping Asian American culture!

roddovlin: FOLLOW AND SUPPORT @giant_robot !!! SUBSCRIBE TODAY AND BE COOL(ER) TOMORROW ;) #ff #geek #toys#comics #music #asian #nowplaying #tgif

letsugo: @giant_robot thanks & right back atcha! everyone, please follow & support Giant Robot! #FF #FollowFriday

followyourwhim: Support @giant_robot, who made our 2009 tour possible. Read: http://bit.ly/bN0MRG Donate: http://bit.ly/aRVr7S/cc @giantroboteric

debaoki: because it bears repeatin' @comics212 reminds ya that@giant_robot needs you:http://comics212.net/2010/02/05/giant-robot-needs-your-help/

gcsf: upport @giant_robot, who made our 2009 tour possible. Read: http://bit.ly/bN0MRG Donate: http://bit.ly/aRVr7S(via @followyourwhim)

FollowKari: Feed the @giant_robot now at http://bit.ly/bB0vnU or@disgrasian will kick your butt: http://bit.ly/bZErLn. Really. I heart my GR.

dariane: Took the bus in the rain to the @giant_robot Store on Sawtelle and got some awesome GR merch. Just doing my part to keep it alive! :)

MLIAsian: #FollowFriday Amazing Asians: @disgrasian @giant_robot@hyphenmagazine @angryasianman @giantroboteric

paperhaus: @Giant_Robot Magazine asks for - and deserves! - your help. http://bit.ly/9ww2IA

richandcreamy: Huge #followfriday for @giant_robot because if I did not read them in high school I would not be who I am now. #justsayin

samblottE: @giant_robot good luck! & high hopes for more GR =)

wecandoubleyou : @giant_robot Magazine needs our help! please donate to keep asian american pop culture on newstands!http://giantrobot.com/donate

reelpolitik: The folks at @giant_robot need our help! If you know their magazine, you'll want to step up. http://bit.ly/cNv95o

tompappalardo : @giant_robot - always good stuff. Give 'em some dough. -http://www.giantrobot.com/donate #print #magazines#illustration #design

jkhwang: Please donate to @giant_robot, they do good things. Even for HI! @HIFF Giant Robot Magazine Needs You:http://www.giantrobot.com/donate

HIFF: Giant Robot Magazine Needs You: http://www.giantrobot.com/donate

feistyelle: One of my favorite zines, @giant_robot, is seeking donations to keep doing what it's doing. Let's help! http://ow.ly/15eD4

hihicaro: please #rt! i'm selling my junko mizuno to help @giant_robot!!http://bit.ly/9pDAKL xo

KeriLuna: Long live @giant_robot magazine! Please check out my latest article for the examiner and support Giant Robot!http://tinyurl.com/y9rbt2q

variancefilms: Hey all- @giant_robot is one of the good guys, and they're in need of a little boost. Will you help? http://is.gd/7Zd7T

strangepuppets: Just donated to support @giant_robot ... They need some help! Go here to find out morehttp://www.giantrobot.com/donate and support the arts

boygirlparty: please help support fabulous @giant_robot magazine! my friends + a favorite always: http://bit.ly/bdySIn

dreamlogicnet: Help out @giant_robot !! http://www.giantrobot.com/donate One of the most Awesome mags ever. They got us into Puffy AmiYumi! :D

chrisbettig: @giant_robot magazine needs help! they've supported me & my art for years and are amazing friends.. please help:http://bit.ly/bdySIn

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The last

Poor shrimp! Ahhhh. They were on their last legs anyway. I swear I do more than eat when I go to Japan, this is just what happens at the end of the day, after running around, meetings, and so on. There's this place in Nakameguro that's sort of a new seafood type of place. It's built to resemble a fish market, and I swear it would go up in flames in a minute if something went wrong. It's all raw wood and there's tons of it. This spot is close to the station and amazing. I went with the ladies from Dicokick jewelry.

Crab miso. Tasty with that quail egg.

That's a tuna collar. It's huge and might be the best part. Notice is cross over?

I'd like to see if anyone can make this pass in LA.

3 floors cavernous and cool.

This is the poo looking part of a sea snail. Look at the bling!

People in Japan can drink a lot! We were debating from where her outfit comes from.

Ping Pong Playas... There's a secret underground spot in Nakameguro. It's way off the street, and you have to know it's there to know about it. Even the locals don't know. The people who work there shred.

I've been hearing a bit about this place called Afuri. It's a ramen place in Ebisu which is a great food town. It's open until 4am, so it's obviously a dry

That's the simple kitchen. The cool thing is that they make great ramen and their clientele ranges from the dirty and drunk to the fashionable. They make shio (salt) ramen so it's easy for anyone to eat.

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Monday, February 08, 2010

From Eel to Chinatown again

That's Nao below, he's been here and there on this blog. But he took me to a place that has perhaps the most celebrated eel dish ever. It's a small spot and they specialize in just eel. Nishimura... It's well known. It even comes in a lacquer box. It's amazing and not as sweet as what you'd get in the US, which makes it a lot more delicate and fresh. In the US, we get eel in a vacuum pack.

We're a temple close by

That's what the front looks like of Nishimura.

This is Kohei and he's got a car. We took a nice drive to Yokohama - Chukagai

We walked by Fukken Ro. The greatest street ever. It's name is to the point.

Then ate at a tiny Chinese place. I want to say tiny and dirty, but Chinatown in Japan is clean as can be.



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Friday, February 05, 2010

I am food otaku

No really I'm doing more than that here. Tons of running around for meetings etc. The food stuff happens when it happens. But it happened yesterday. Cheaper yakiniku. Look at the mini grill. I want one of those at home. This spot was in Matsudo, near the Goodsmile offices. That's Junko and Aki, two of my favorite people in Japan. Although it is of universal consequence, depending on what you believe, my ride home was stalled by a suicide on the tracks. I fell asleep on the train like a local. Somehow I woke up and the train was at my stop. The ride home took well over an hour.

I see red. This place gets packed.

I am a nerd at Goodsmile. I accidentally am flashing a gang sign.

Ramen. Hakata style, yes, oil and tasty in Matsudo.

This is Chinese style Japanese made ramen. Also great. This is green onion but with tororo, which is a mountain yam. It was chopped, not grated, and super good.

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Muji x Lego Yurakucho

Muji Lego collaboration. The rumors are true. But at over $30+ for the larger set. Is it worth it? There's a few types, but in the end, I'll put the coolest Lego Muji thing in the magazine GR64. Yes, it's near done, and yes, we will get to press. The Muji in Yurakucho area is gigantic. Two floors, and it has everything. I've heard about this shop in the past and it's huge. You can even eat real meals there along with tons of fresh baked goods. You can almost live at this Muji. There's Ikea, which is quite different, and there are other great shops that are one step in this direction already in the US. So can a Muji make it in the US on this type of scale? I'd think so. Maybe not right now, but it can work.


Meal Muji! Behind the glass is the eating area.

Yoshi Kawasaki / ex-2k. There he is. The man the myth at the Tokyo Gift Fair. I was happy to see him. I also ran into a few others I knew there. It wasn't like old times though, so you won't be reading that from me.

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Monjatown again


Anyone into monjayaki? It's a Tokyo thing and completely strange, but it's quite great. The "town" is in tsukishima. A bit out of the typical Tokyo visiting areas, but it's an interesting "dish". Check it all out. It's a sequence photo set.

Chop up and create a volcano!

Full the volcano with the liquid leftover in the bowl.

This looks not so appetizing, and you eat it with a tiny metal spatula.

some even have cheese. I'm not a dairy king, but I handled it. You take a piece of it with a tiny spatula, not pictured and you drag it towards you so it cooks even more while you drag it your way.

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Some great comments about the donations...

I've been a huge fan of the magazine since I picked up the June 2006 issue, but I have to wonder if the choice to open up storefronts as an extension of the GR brand was a wise move, since those were/are resources that could have been put to better use towards the magazine itself and seriously ramping up your web presence to attract more readers outside of Asian culture enthusiasts.

-Yes, the storefronts kept the print going. It was definitely the right thing to do. If there were Oscars for publishers who've done more than just print a mag, I deserve a few gold mofos sitting on my mantle. And look at what it's done for popular culture and boutique culture around the world.


" I don't normally go for this kind of thing. I feel like if you can't run your business with an actual business model, I shouldn't be responsible for propping you up...but in this case, it's actually a really cool magazine and I'd like to support it. "

-Thanks but you're not responsible for it. We are. Thanks for the support.


I don't mean to brag about our growth, but honestly shouldn't a business move to a model that works?

-And tell me, what business model works today? Oh the internet?


Any magazine that uses Impact as a title face needs more help than just cash.

-We've had Impact as the title font before it came with Apple computers. Seriously.


Yikes this sucks! I wonder if the Hyphen crew ever worked with them. Wonder why these two magazines didn’t merge as one. Seems like same style and audience. I’m not sure if I’ve been to the SF store but I’ve been to the LA one and it’s super neat. Would hate to see it go out of business.

-The stores are one thing, the mag is another. How do we merge with another magazine? And no, our audiences are different!

You are a company and magazine that I hope to one day aspire to and this announcement broke my heart.
I will only donate my two cents.
The quality of your work and the image of your company was not reflected in your video. Boo! In this economy and in a country that felt cheated by a bank bailout, I think companies asking for handouts is really anti-America. You are in the creativity industry. The best you could do was sit in chairs and demand money? That was your best pitch? If you fail, you fail because you weren't trying hard enough, not because you didn't receive enough HELP. That's capitalism. If the entire print industry is failing, then do SOMETHING DIFFERENT. You do have a loyal fan base so dare to be creative.

-I've replied to this one in the comments from the donation post. I suppose we could have been more creative and stood up and forced you to send us money as an even better pitch. USA USA!

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Tonkatsu and Tonki in Meguro

Epic tonkatsu at a spot called Tonki near Meguro station. You walk in and the space is decorated with raw wood everywhere. There's a wide open kitchen where you see about 6 people working on service, cooking, cutting, and it's amazing. The katsu is cooked per order so once you sit, you'll be waiting, but the wait is worth it. It's perfect all around. You put just a tiny bit of sauce at a time instead of just pouring it all over. I guess it's no secret, I'm in Tokyo at the moment.

It looks like this and below is how the outside looks. It's amazing.

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Giant Robot Needs You - www.giantrobot.com/donate

Some of you astute followers of Giant Robot may have seen this already. What is it and why is it important? Imagine, the same problems that are affecting so many magazines are now affecting us. We held out for the longest time, but we are in a situation that's making print publishing incredibly difficult. If you see the video I cut up, it'll tell the story in under three minutes.

The difference between us and some of the other magazines? We're working hard and trying to find new advertisers, even if it's friends, family friends, or old acquaintances - we can do this. We have our core of loyal advertisers, great readers, and a bunch of fine shops who sell us, but we're still coming up short. We're not asking for help to make just one issue, we're actually asking for a whole year and then some. Your help goes a long way.

Our printer has stepped up to offer us some help for the next year, and we've been able to reach out for support from a few new advertisers. But for the balance, we will need your help. Take a look, tell us what you think, or help us out.

Here's the link to http://www.giantrobot.com/donate

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