K-ON! PV Outfit figures

K-ON! has been one of those series that one gets obsessed about. For me I heard about the series in passing but never checked it out. It wasn't until i won the PV Yui figure from a UFO catcher, posted my winnings on twitter and then had people chime in how awesome the show…

Read more

Rilakkuma 7th anniversary Bento

We recently had a chance to play a new demo of Mafia II–an open-world action game set against the backdrop of organized crime families vying for power in the 1950s. At the beginning of the demo, we saw Vito Scaletta–the game’s lead character–inside of his home just as he receives…

Read more

Evangelion Movie figure UFO GETO!

The gameplay mechanics for Rising were made known initially at E3 2010, and are based around a concept known as “zan-datsu”, literally “cut and take.” Matsumaya and Kimura explained in Konami’s press conference that the “take” part revolves around Raiden literally taking power from enemies, a concept shown in the…

Read more

Interview: Gengoroh Tagame on his new manga series

Posted by atomicboyx On Sunday, October 5, 2014 1 comments

 For manga artists in Japan, many hope to debut in one of the national manga magazines, but Gengoroh Tagame has already had his work published for over 30 years, in multiple languages, around the world. Tagame has had an international impact, with the help of the internet over the last two decades, to become Japan's most known prolific gay erotic artist. This month he has his most notable manga debut. In "Monthly Action" magazine, the new series Otou no Otto (My Brother's Husband), kicksoff into the mainstream bookstores and newsstands across Japan. I was able to speak with Tagame-sensei to get some more background on this new series.

Cover art to the first chapter of "My brother's husband"

This month you have a new monthly comic in a mainstream magazine, what is this story about?
The story is about a man named Yaichi and his daughter Kana, who are visited by Mike, the Canadian husband of Yaichi’s twin brother. I'd like to write a story about
modern day gay issues for straight readers.
This is a gay story in a mainstream, all genre magazine, was it hard to get it approved by the publisher? What were the difficulties, if any?
I tried to do it once, several years ago. I was asked by an editor of well-known all genre magazine to draw manga them, and I proposed a story about modern day gay issues. The editor who called me pushed the story to his boss very hard. Finally, his boss, the chief editor of the magazine reject it. But several months ago, they started a new manga about a gay couple by female author who is a best selling Yaoi manga artist in their magazine. I felt I learned many things from this experience, but for now, I'll keep shut my mouth. Maybe you can imagine feeling. Anyway, from this experience, last year, when I was called from the editor of "Monthly Action" magazine, I did not propose a gay story at first. But through the many meetings with him, I felt a possibility to write a gay themed story in their magazine. Then I plotted the story very carefully, especially to think of the good readability for non-gay readers, and proposed it. They were in favor of my proposal very much, so this new story 弟の夫 (My Brother's Husband) started.

The awkward time between the straight twin brother and his brother's gay foreign husband.

You have been mainly creating gay adult themed comics for over 30 years, why did you decide to release this non-adult comic work now?
Actually, I've already released some non-adult comics this past decade. As I said before, I tried the same thing several years ago. But frankly speaking, when I finished writing 君よ知るや南の獄 (Do You Remember The South Island's P.O.W. Camp?), 外道の家 (The House Of Brutes) and 雄心〜ウィルトゥース (Virtus), I felt some kind of a period of my works. And on same time, I experienced trouble with G-men magazine too. Their betrayal hurt my love and trust for gay magazines and the Japanese gay industry, very much. So I started to look for new opportunities for myself. I've already done enough things for gay adult comics, so wanted to do some more new things for myself. To release non-adult comics is one of them. But I haven't thought to quit to drawing gay adult comics.

Many comic publishers release BL (yaoi) manga, what makes yours unique?
Because I'm an openly gay author who has had a very long career. Some of my books were released under a BL comic label, but I always have been thinking that my comic is a gay comic [not boys love]. There are many talented gay comic authors now, but there is no one who has had a long career and released dozens books as I have. 

Newsstand the day this issue of "Monthly Action" magazine was released.

You have many female fans in Japan, is this story targeted for them?
As I told before, the main target of the story is straight people who don't know about gay issues well. But of course, I'm coming up with various ideas to make the story interesting for female fans and gay fans too.

“Monthly Action” comic magazine is a mixed genre magazine, how do you feel the general audience will react to this story in Japan?
I wish that they will find something new from what they've never known before.

Do you think readers from outside Japan could relate to this story?
Yes. At least, I wish they do.

Do you have any other stories in other genres (fantasy, sci-fi) that you would like to create?
I'd like to create a historical story, especially one about ancient Greece.

Tagame's website: http://www.tagame.org/home.html
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tagagen
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gengoroh.tagame
Mothly Action publisher: http://webaction.jp/monthly_action/

This issue available on amazon.com: Japanese Manga Monthly Action Nov/2014
The lucky day that I was able to meet Tagame-sensei. He has an extremely busy schedule.

I bought my copy the day it was released!

[The interview is has been edited for some grammar/vocabulary errors.]

Japanese bread scanner ?!?

Posted by atomicboyx On Sunday, July 6, 2014 0 comments

New bread scanning register in Japan!

I stopped by the bakery located within Nakano station ( I wanted bread items for dinner, and I don't have to pay extra for leaving the station). I basically have stopped by here once a week for the last month and a half. Today, to my surprise at the register was this strange board of light. It looked similar to what artist used
as a light board for drawing. 

At first I thought what is this, then the display panel my right shows the tray of food products I wanted to eat immediately. The panel then highlighted the shapes of the items and priced them accordingly. 

At this point the only thing needed of the staff is to just package the breads. Have any of you seen this type of technology in your area or is this special?

 Me what you think of this type of tech?

Interviewed for Japanese tv!

Posted by atomicboyx On 0 comments

I have been living in Japan for over 5 and a half years. In this time I think everyone I know has been on Japanese tv for one reason or another. But still in all this time I had never been approached, until now! I finally (maybe) will get my 5 seconds of foreigner glory to be on tv! The show is called sekaibanzuku and it usually features foreigners who are asked questions about Japan and their own country. We were asked to reply in Japanese, so I did my best ask to I'm still hey shakey at best.

Some of the questions I was able to answer unaided but a few I had to turn to my friend for the simplified version of the question in English. At that point I was able to answer in Japanese. Some of the topics were, how are the train systems in your home city, how do the compare to Japan. Compare doctors in Japan and ones home country and finally, the most importantant one of all... Which is your favorite type of ramen.

So to potentially see me on tv check out the Japanese site http://www.ntv.co.jp/banduke/ if I can get the video I'll eventually post it.

Limited edition cola float soda.

Posted by atomicboyx On 0 comments

Limited edition cola float soda. 

I'm always excited to try limited edition unique flavored  drinks and with each season change comes those drinks.

I very much love my ice creams floats, as they are also commonly found on family restaurants or karaoke drink menus. As per my usuall purchase of special drinks I took this one home with high expectations. This company had previously released some really good special flavored drinks, such as the sakuranbo (cherry) soda. 

When I opened this bottle you could smell a creamy flavor to the soda, which if it's a float I would hope had the smell. The smell was just right, not to powerful and natural (enough). 

Now for the taste, the first gulp seemed a tad sweet, but after seemed to become neutral. For the cola float flavor, it came out not bad but not good. It was a very non-memorable drinking experience. I was hoping for more of a creamy icecream tast but it wasn't there. Other float style sodas like the 'melon' float were quite tasty. For this cola float soda, if it were a take it or leave it, I'd just leave it.

WTF - Japanese Cronuts!!

Posted by atomicboyx On Wednesday, April 2, 2014 0 comments

I am with @shiverz https://www.youtube.com/user/ShiverZ66 today with another episode of WTF Japanese snacks. We take on the release of the store bought Japanese CRONUT!! See if its a hit or miss.

WTF: Japanese Fried Chicken Cheetos

Posted by atomicboyx On Thursday, February 27, 2014 0 comments

PHOTO: take a step back

Posted by atomicboyx On Sunday, February 2, 2014 0 comments

Just taking a moment to step back and take in your surroundings is key to keeping your sanity in japan, Tokyo in particular. 

This shot was taken in Shinjuku, west of the station. I was having lunch with some friends and while waiting for our food I looked out of the window and saw all 3 train lines arriving at the same time. For some reason this moment gave me that 'wow' factor, reminding me why I love living in Tokyo so much. It's all this craziness of Tokyo converging into a managed frenzy. 

Many tourists have this wow factor going on throughout their trip in Japan, but as a long term resident I feel many people forget the amazing city they live in. If you happen to move anywhere, I'd say no matter where you are you should always take a moment and remember the good reasons as to why you moved there in the first place.

ONLY IN JAPAN: drunk in public

Posted by atomicboyx On 0 comments

Public drunkeness, it's an interesting think in Japan. Drinking and driving are extremely strict on the laws, but being drunk out and about is ok. It's quite common to see people in public, on the train to have an open container of alcohol. Even though it's ok, it still doesn't mean the average person is giving the drinker the stink eye. 

In this picture, an obvious staggering drunk at about 3pm wandered across the intersection direct to the police box across from Kichijoji station. If this were America, the man would be asked to step back and would probably be held in the drunk tank. But here the drunk man starts chatting it up with the police, patting the officer on the shoulder and even leaning on him. Officers reaction? Just chat back with the drunkard. Gotta love Japan!


Posted by atomicboyx On 0 comments

FASHION: Nazi design

Posted by atomicboyx On Friday, January 31, 2014 0 comments

Here is another example of cultural ignorance that plagues Japanese culture. In Japan most people of course know about World War II but the average person does not know the stigma that comes with Nazi emblems. 

This photo is for a door mat to a used clothing shop located in Koenji, a station west of Shinjuku station.   

OTAKU MOMENT: power ranger for hire

Posted by atomicboyx On 0 comments

In Japan many shop workers are required to hand out flyers to promote the company. Usually it is promotions for contact lenses or cell phones. 

Often it is difficult to get people to actually take these flyers as they usually end up as garbage in your bag. For this guy he is dressed as a power ranger. He actually had people coming up to him for his flyers because they thought it was very funny because he was dressed as a power ranger. 

One might think this would be common in Japan but actually not quite. It's more than say, America but this stunt in the end did get the flyers in the hands of more people than the traditional way.

TRAVEL: kamakura

Posted by atomicboyx On 0 comments

I had my father visit Japan for about two weeks. In that time we got to visit kamakura and saw the giant Buddha. I also introduced him to okonimiyaki, and he really enjoyed it. But every restaurant we went to, he always asked if they had sushi available. SMH... 


FOOD: strawberry overload

Posted by atomicboyx On Wednesday, January 29, 2014 0 comments

This time if the year in Japan everything is all about strawberries (苺/いちご). As seen in this photo you have kit kats, cake, corn puffs and chocolates galore are all enhanced with strawberry flavoring. It's kind if nice that it's only seasonal, as after a while you get sick of them, suddenly a year later they pop up again and you have the craving for all things strawberry. 

I'm not sure if there is the same strawberry like season in America, I'm from Miami so it's like a foreign fruit that we can only get in the supermarket.

ENGRISH: fried salad

Posted by atomicboyx On Tuesday, January 28, 2014 0 comments

I didn't know that fried salad was a thing! But in Japan how can one be shocked anymore, right? Before coming to Japan I though healthy food was prevalent across Japan, as it hold the crown of highest life expectancy. But that does not had true to the generation after. The generation in their 50-60s have a much higher rate of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and have more westernized oversized diets. 

Now many would like to call me out as this being untrue, but approx 32% of men are overweight, which is several points higher than just a few years prior. On the opposite about 1 in 4 women are considered too under weight. But due to bad starvation eating habits.

Getting back to the fried salad, of course this is misuse of English here in Japan, as they wanted to say they have many fried items and separate salads available. A simple mistake that could have avoided if they just asked a native English speaker before throwing the text up on the wall.

But if it had not been done, this post would not have been made... Cuts both ways...

Peanut butter?! How dare you!!

Posted by atomicboyx On 0 comments

I didn't have a chance to capture the reaction shot, but this tv cooking personality was preparing a dish using peanut butter! Shocking right?! No?? 

Well in Japan peanut butter only recently (3years ago?) became available IN supermarkets. Prior to this you had to buy very overpriced peanut butter at import shops. For me a foreigner who has been living in Japan for over 5 years now I think it's surprising he used this as ingredient. 

For most Japanese, they are used to eating "peanut cream". I feel thus invention of "cream substance" and "peanut flavor" is a terrible thing for ones pallet. But anyways this is about peanut butter in cooking on Japanese tv. 

After when the 'talento' got their dish to try, they were all quite surprised how good food could taste with peanut butter in it. But I can never see Japanese taking peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to work as an alternative to a bento anytime soon.

Cheap meat

Posted by atomicboyx On 0 comments

In this photo I was trying not to be so obvious I was taking a photo, thus the poor quality. The awning above is of the meat shop called Jump. In the first hour or so they have huge sales on the meat. I'd assume it's on the meat that had been cut the day before. If one has studied Japanese culture, one would know freshness is very important in Japan.

The average Japanese person buys food from a supermarket or convenience store virtually everyday, I included. The meat on sale here is super fresh, compared to America where it can be sitting there for days before it's put on sale.

So for this shop, almost every morning there is a line of 20-30 people waiting to get cheap meat.

Would you line up at 10am just to buy meat? Please leave comments below.

Not so wintery

Posted by atomicboyx On 0 comments

Tokyo winters are not as cold per se as North America but Tokyo is a very draw winter every year. I've had Canadian friends who say it feels colder in Tokyo! The coldness likes to bury itself in your bones, that is how the cold is here. 

But as of the last week it's been oddly warm, more like spring weather, that of April during the day time. As for snow we haven't had any that stuck, just some wet flurries as pictured in this photo. And this was about 30 minutes at 3am in west tokyo.

I love winter fashion but I'll be happy again once the warm sun returns. And of course I'll be complaining when the summer heat creeps on in!

It's been a long time!

Posted by atomicboyx On 0 comments

Ive neglected this blog for a long time but I just checked the stats and I appear to still get many hits to this dead site. So I think I'll try to post more here.