More Penguins!

I haven't had any penguins for a while so I was fortunate enough today complete the set. I don't get out to the Onsen/Hot Springs often enough to emulate what these penguins are getting up to, but do they really hang out at places where the temperature soars?

Remember my woodland creatures named こびとづかん or


Trailer Trash!

When I was in the theatre last night, I noticed that there was a distinct lack of posters for Green Lantern, a movie that had several only a month before. Wha' Happened? Was it postponed? Released, then whithered away at the box office and was removed? I may never know.

Here are some movies that I don't want to slip away.
カウボーイ^エイリアン which is Cowboy and Alien (I'm fairly certain there is more than one Cowboy and more than one Alien but they aren't big on plurals in Japan.) Release date: 10月22日.

Case in point: スマーフ. I'm pretty sure there is more than one Smurf in this movie. Release date: 9月9日.

猿の惑星:創世記 or Rise of the Planet of the Apes! I definitely don't want to miss this one! Though the Burton version wasn't well received, it did have very cool merchandising. I can only hope this movie gets similar treatment. Release date: 10月7日.

Any movie with creepy kids and blood soaked stuffed bunnies gets my vote, which is why I'll hopefully see ラビットホラー Rabbit Horror! Release date: 9月17日.

Speaking of bunnies, I was intrigued to find that the Easter bomb, Hop has made it here entitled, "イースターラビットのキャンディ工場" (Easter Rabbit & Candyland?), in theatres now. (Also at the cinema is Harry Potter 17 & Cars II if you're interested.)

It doesn't come out until next January but I rather liked the "Magic Treehouse" books. I read one with a student last year and we enjoyed it. It appears to have been anime-ted.

This looks intriguing as well, Friends. I wonder if they can get Monica, Rachel & Phoebe to do voices? Due Date: 12月17日.

Finally, I was definitely intrigued by this poster for 怪物くん (Kaibutsu-kun) as a live action movie, until I saw the trailer that is. It looks kind of dopey, but you be the judge. Granted, Dracula looks spot-on but the make-up on the Franken is not gruesome enough for my taste. You'd think it'd be a natural for Halloween but it won't be released until mid-November. Btw, I featured him for a "Countdown to Halloween" two years ago. I hope he can make a return appearance this year.


Ghibli Surprises Me!

I finally got around to seeing コクリコ坂から (From up on Poppy Hill) and based on the ads, I expected a sweet touching story about first love in a small sea-faring town. Instead, much to my surprise, I got a tale of incest, young lust and horny sailors! But then my companion explained the film to me and it turned out to be a sweet touching story about first love in a small sea-faring town.

Thanks to Yvonne for accompanying me and acting as translator for the tougher parts of the dialogue. In appreciation, I gave her a pair of Okinawa lions which you can grab for yourself if you head up to the fourth floor of Parco.

Even with my bare-bones understanding of the Japanese language, I was able to follow the tale fairly well thanks to the wonderful colourful visuals of the storyteller, Hayao Miyazaki's son Gorō Miyazaki.

I was incredibly impressed with the Soundtrack. It was very Jazzy and before I even knew when the movie took place, I could guess it was early 60s thanks to the tunes, "上を向いて歩こう" (Ue o Muite Arukō or Sukiyaki) and one to the theme of "Red River Valley" (I think.)

After we parted ways, I had some time to kill before the last train from Rifu, so I quaffed a beer and had some Yakiniku at ヤキトリとまれ next to the station.

Impressively, From up on Poppy Hill will be showcased as one of the Japanese films being showcased at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, which will be held from 8 to 18 September 2011. I'm not sure if it'll be subtitled or not, so you'd better review the Wiki page before you go.


Doki-Doki, Uki-Uki!

Which I'm told is an onomatopoeic term for excitement and could be used to describe last night's event (but I'd be stretching the truth if I did so.) It was a terrific night with some pretty good music, fun goodies for sale and a herd of people of both genders in attendance.

Unfortunately, the chosen DJs were a tad repetitive and that led to some dissatisfaction on the part of the gaijin-crowd (myself included.) Not this guy though...he rocked!

That was resolved by a slight diversion (more on that later.)
Anywho, the evening started out slowly with a half-dozen ladies and myself, soon doubling and trebling as the hours ticked by. Since the gals got in for 500¥ (1 drink) the place was well represented by the fairer sex and by 10:00 there were about 35 people, 90% female.

The guys must have heard about the odds and the population of the place increased exponentially. It doubled in about 40 minutes, with several guys starting to traipse in. Good news though, there two guys there who were older than me. Now someone else can wear the "Creepy old guy ogling young chicks" cap.

Then some of my former co-workers wandered in and I finally had someone to bitch to.

One of the gang was ready to leave, so we convinced her to go out to Karaoke for a bit. This was a welcome respite to the smoky dance floor, so we trekked over to Liga for a bit of warbling.
I debuted my "Lady is a Tramp" which went over well and, as usual, I had to bail others out when the songs they chose were beyond their capability. (Case in point: Be My Baby by the Ronettes (which is way out of my range, La Bamba in which I sounded like Speedy Gonzales, but I refuse to sing YMCA.)
Tony did a great duet with one of the barflies, John & Adam sang Caterwaul Wonderwall Ed taught Yvonne the rhumba.

Speaking of Yvonne, she was the break-out talent of the night. She blew everyone away with her rendition of Dolly Parton's "I'll Always Love You" and later "Cry for me Argentina"! I'm almost ready to hand over the Karaoke crown! (Almost.)

Oops, that wasn't Yvonne, this is:

Back to Shaft where Julian had set up a live uplink with a guy in Bolton, Ontario who would donate a buck for every shot that he toasted. At last count, he donated 45$! (He took a sip, we downed the shot.)

Another half-hour of watching people enjoy themselves and then I called it a night.

Ya know what? I only had 4 drinks and two shots last night but I didn't pay for a single one! Thanks Julian & Ed!
I'm looking forward to the next Fundraiser, only this time I hope we can recruit some other DJs (Cough, Mokugohan, Cough!)


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