I just returned from seeing Kaguya Hime no Monagatori and my initial thought was Beautiful but Boring. It is stunningly lovely with extremely lush colours and intriguing visuals ranging from simplistic to complex scenes within a single frame. The soundtrack is also amazing with lots of classical Japanese music throughout, some cute kids' tunes and a wonderful song during the end credits.

 Unless you are a fan of animation (which I am), a lover of Japanese Folk Tales (which I am) or love stories (which I'm not), you won't find this movie very exciting. It is very long which will keep the kiddies from remaining still for 2 1/2 hours. There is almost NO action whatsoever except for one pheasant chase, a few dream sequences and a cool battle between a warrior and a dragon at sea. BUT IT IS BEAUTIFUL and that is enough to keep me captivated throughout.

If and when it gets transported to America (I think Canada will be more forgiving), there will have to be some editing to put diapers on the kiddies and there is one scene of spontaneous lactation and breast-feeding (hence this post's title.) They'll need a darn good translator for (North) American to understand what's going on for it is a very complex storyline for a fairy tale and my friend, Yvonne, who is quite fluent in Japanese had a hard time following some of the archaic Japanese used. (You'd be advised to check a previous post of mine to get some history of the story.) Guys will get dragged to it by their spouses and hate it, ladies will love it and kids will be bored to tears.

I guess though that I am not exactly the target audience for this movie. I'm not sure who is the target for there were only 5 other people in the theatre and we saw it on the biggest screen in the Rifu Cinema. Of the 5 gals there, four of them were in tears and one was sobbing throughout the end of the movie and even in the lobby afterwards. And these were young ladies in their early 20s so I guess that is who the target audience is.

In summation, don't let me dissuade you from seeing it, it is Beautiful but be forewarned, it is also Boring. Of course that didn't stop me from buying a pair of Clear-files and a pen.

I have a few more Ghibli goodies to show off and I'll do so another time...


What's The Catch?

I have recently discovered a UFO catch machine at the Game Centre beside the Disney Store that coughs up a prize every time I put in a coin. And not just any prize, some big ticket items like last week's Mickey Frying Pan and Gatchapin Carry-on Bag. I had some time to kill on Saturday and went back and sure enough, I won another Gatchapin Carry-on Bag, a C3PO Light, a Jack figure and two Mickey Mouse watches for under a 1000 yen!

I sorely wish that this item were at the same machine but I had to go across the lane to obtain it and it cost me more to catch than all the above items combined. Regardless I do like my pose-able Titan!

Even if I could win another one, I wouldn't pose it in the fashion that the blokes in the Game Centre did. Rather cheeky, I must say...


The Drums Are Calling.

I was lucky enough to be invited to a semi-private Drum Cafe event last night and got to beat some bongos.
I was greeted by one of Sendai's more famous dishes, the かまぼこ kamaboko. Surprisingly, this guy wore the costume throughout the entire evening. I don't mind fish cakes, but not the sweaty ones.

The dinner was fine, though not very well organized. The appetizers were set out but people were putting 2 or 3 or sometimes 5! of each on their plate thus some had to go without! Do the math people...and maybe everyone will get some. So I got some salad...Yum.

Then we began to drum! Cool setup, everyone gets their own private taiko and the Drum Cafe dudes lead the way.

I know that video didn't reveal too much but, believe me, it's a ton of fun. Here are some of the members of the troupe and some of the guests. This is the main organizer of the gigs (Mariko) as well as the lead drummer. I last met him at an 89ers Basketball game.

There was a draw and I won a Princettia (some kind of gay Poinsettia, I suppose.) I am notoriously bad at keeping plants alive, so this one will be given to a friend.

At the end of the evening the guys did an encore and everyone got in on the revelry. Woohoo!

What was my favourite part of the night though? I got my own private cheer!

A good time was had by all...


Lofty Kaiju.

I am SO impressed by the latest display at LOFT. Every time I see an Ultraman display, it features all the Ultramen and maybe the odd token villain. This time, they've done it right! All villains and NO heroes! Woohoo!!

There's a trio of baddies in the lobby, and they have a "Cameras are allowed" sign. Yay.

As you can see, they are taller than me (then again, what isn't?) Those pictures on the wall in the background are unphotographable. They are original drawings/paintings of the kaiju and sell for 500-600 bucks!

Other photogenic figures are the guys in the window display. Several tons of vintage monster mayhem showing off their wares for passersby to witness. I'll take this display over a Christmas scene in a Department store any day.

Also in the window are these ginormous posters of two of our buddies, Red King and Gomora.

Watch them pit against each other in a battle royale!

There's also a sweet poster of Kanegon and the elevator has been covered with the event's promo.

 Of course, there were tons of items for sale and considering the price, you'd expect these to be vintage figures. But I strongly suspect (thanks to the modern packaging) that they are reproductions and hardly worth a tenth of the price asked.

But I couldn't leave empty-handed so I picked up a couple of clear files and some postcards.

These two are quite nice featuring several of the characters from Ultra Q.

These two clear files have Kaiju guts on the front and obverse. I love the idea of showing off the internal workings of the monsters.

I got two sets of postcards, one set featuring the UltraVillains, one set featuring Gamera and a cutie.

The only big ticket item I picked up is a t-shirt. Very funky design by Kotaro Kita.

I may head back there before December 8th and peruse the display when I have more time. Any fan of the big U-man's nemeses should go as well.


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