Japan 1993

Comiket Shoujo Day - Sailor Moon cosplayers
Comiket Shoujo Day
This was a two-week trip with some other anime fans, principally to visit Comiket and an anime convention in Osaka.

1993 Diary
Thur 12 Aug Got 7.18 train, ticket cost £25. Departed Heathrow 1.00pm. 3hr flight & quick transfer. 9hr flight over cloud. To Narita, surrounded by woodland – saw big mountains with snow. We flew with Aeroflot – the seats were cramped and uncomfortable.

Fri 13 Aug If I remember correctly, we were met by Mineo M. , Nana (daughter) and his wife, who offered us lunch. As the menu prices were around Y50,000 I think we declined the first over-generous offer. Arrived Tokyo and got lift to Shinjuku, and got train to our apartment address (we lost the directions). Took number 1 bus and found our flat above a barbershop. IIRC, this was when one of our party (Darren) , who was wearing a leather jacket, collapsed from heat stroke. No difficulty in finding the key in (unreadable). This evening Peter E. came over (If I remember correctly, this was Peter’s old flat, which he was vacating.) I remember the flat had a small kitchen, a smaller bathroom, and a main room with an air conditioner and a big Japanese style light fitting. No cosy communal meals – I got bad attitude when I suggested this, so went out and foraged in local convenience store myself.

Sat 14 Aug Trip into town around shops, saw 2nd hand/discount anime. Lots of LDs (unreadable) Looked for vols of K.O.R. I wanted but no got. Ranma ½ 3900Y is probably music clips. Bought manga titles inc To-Y, 3×3 Eyes, K.O.R, Ranma ½ #1.
Denzil lost the key!! Somwwhere. We had to go to Peter E. to get the other – fortunately he had a spare! Took ages to find his house 5.5.3. not 5.5.5. Even after phone call Denzil did not spot the error. (I think we alarmed some harmless Japanese by wandering around their suburban estate and calling on door intercoms)
Evening at Peter’s with sore feet and CD’s and loud sound tracks. I remember his room was large, with a bare polished wooden floor. We had English and Japanese beers courtesy of Peter also free posters.

Sun 15 Aug Went to Shoujo day of Comic Market (Comiket) no 44, via train to Ginza then bus. Venue in Tokyo docks area. Long hike to entrance. Short wait as queues enter in sections. Attendance about 100,000 cuties! Thousands of tables with several titles on each. Cuties in costume posing for photos. Looked in several halls, each very large, all full of girls. David R. was surly because I found a free copy of the catalogue in a dumper and didn’t pick up one for him (well he could have done what I did). I still have that catalogue. Bought 1 manga as sample – some others might be embarrassing at customs. Lots of pretty boy covers. Whole hall for professionals (?) Sailor Moon mostly.

Comiket Shoujo Day
Comiket Shoujo Day
Comiket Shoujo Day
Comiket Shoujo Day
Comiket Shoujo Day
Comiket Shoujo Day
Comiket Shoujo Day
Comiket Shoujo Day
Comiket Shoujo Day - cosplayers
Comiket Shoujo Day
Comiket Shoujo Day - from above
Comiket Shoujo Day
Comiket Shoujo Day - cosplayers
Comiket Shoujo Day
Comiket Shoujo Day - cosplayer
Comiket Shoujo Day
Comiket Shoujo Day - cosplayers
Comiket Shoujo Day
Comiket Shoujo Day - Sailor Moon cosplayers
Comiket Shoujo Day



Mon 16 Aug Went to Shounen day of Comic Market (Comiket) no 44. Actually a mixed day – half girls at least. Arrived 10.00am, got in 11.20am. I hour just to go round 1 hall. This day there were also computer games, and a couple of fan-made videos which I bought. Weather was misty and rainy. Returned to flat 6.00pm after buying an umbrella. Again, masses of Sailor Moon titles. Bought several titles. The following pics are from a diferent reel of film from the previous lot so I’ve attached them to this day:

Comiket scene
Comiket
Cosplayers at Comiket
Comiket
Comiket cosplayers
Comiket

Comiket  girl with long hair
Comiket

Comiket  cosplayers
Comiket



Tue 17 Aug Went shopping in Akhiabara. The addresses and maps for shops are in Newtype and other anime mags. Vast numbers of electronics shops. Anime was a little harder to find though there are signs for “LD” in the street. Found a KOR box set, various LD volume and OAV discs. Bought 3x LD volumes, nos 6,7,9, and half a dozen discounted tapes. Looked for electronic translators. There seem to be a variety from £25-£100.
Went to Peter Evans’ in the evening. Showed my University student tapes (presumably those I bought at Comiket) which are variable. He showed Dragon Half, which is very warped!

Wed 18 Aug Went to park of antique buildings near the flat (Nihon-Minkaen, Kawasaki city, see its’ website) Took photos. Nice park surrounding. It also has a railway engine and carriage, and a small historical museum.
The old building park has an exhibition hall, which had interesting exhibits of life in old Japan. Also an animated hologram diorama!
One of those days we were standing by a bus-stop in Kawasaki, when a young Japanese wandered up, dropped his bag beside us, and wandered round the corner to a shop about 100 yards away. It wouldn’t happen in Britain.

Nihon-Minkaen park, Kawasaki - old buildings
Nihon-Minkaen park
Nihon-Minkaen park, Kawasaki - old buildings
Nihon Minkaen park
Nihon-Minkaen park, Kawasaki - old buildings
Nihon Minkaen park

Thurs 19 Aug Looked at shops (manga) around Shinjuku, after arranging tickets to Osaka. It turned out that the express was impractical as 3 or 4 changes were involved. Decided on bus but could only book outward. Tried train arrangements but only Shinkansen available and Y9000 discount seats were full. So booked Shinkan sen for return – Y13,000.
In the afternoon we returned to pack overnight bags for Osaka. Bus from Tokyo station (also Shinjuku etc?) Indicator board shows departure bay about 15 mins before departure. Buses arrive about 10 mins before departure.

Shopping area
Shopping area



Fri 20 Aug I don’t remember much about the overnight bus journey from Tokyo but it was probably unpleasant. We visited Osaka Castle (a ferro-concrete replica) before check-in to hotel room about 2.45. Rested. (I don’t recall what the hotel was like.)

Sat 21 Aug Daicon programme registration – got standard bag + watch + English programme. Saw some anime (Moldiver, Tenchimuyo), some fan films – one with hundreds of tiny puppets – very good. Others just odd
Went out for lunch with Keith J. who showed us his apartment. Also a couple of Australians, and another Gaijin, Japan resident and his Japanese wife.
Saw Fan art show, some very good.
I still have a Daicon 6 SF programe book from 1993 – in Japanese.

Custom car
Custom car at Daicon
Godzilla and cars at Daicon, Osaka
At Daicon, Osaka
Geoff & Godzilla at Daicon, Osaka
Geoff & Godzilla



Sun 22 Aug Checked out of hotel. Saw computer animation presentation. Looked in conference rooms (see programme). I remember making embarrassing efforts to find a Japanese person to swap tapes with by mail, at the suggestion of the others, but without lasting success.
Looked for Den Den town, but it was shut. (Probably because it was a Sunday). Den Den, or Nipponbashi, is a famous geek shopping area, latterly a centre for anime and mangs shops, often compared with Tokyo’s Akhiabara.
Returned to Tokyo via Shinkanshen. Luxury travel! We had very soft seats, and the journey took about 2 and a half hours. I remember the carriage seemed very wide, with a digital speed display on the forward bulkhead. There was urban sprawl on all the flat land between Osaka and Kyoto with patches of bright green right up to buildings. There were mountains in the distance. The train passed through a long tunnel.

Mon 23 Aug We went to a bank in Shinjuku. Denzil had trouble getting his money out. Went shopping in Akhiabara. Got two Miyazaki-style videoa and a digital translator kit.
The evening was occupied by eating and trying out the translator.

Street in Shinjuku, Tokyo
Street in Shinjuku



Tue 24 Aug We went shopping in a Shinjuku model shop (Yellow Submarine). I didn’t buy anything. I separated from the others, did small Shinjuku park to east (Y160), then by Yamanote line to Ueno park. Visited Tokyo national museum. The swords and armour and modern art were the most interesting. Also visited the archaeology wing. In the park outside afterwards I saw gaijin busking and others selling knicknacks. There were homeless persons camping in the park – saw lots of laundry!
Lunch was meat curry, Y500 in the Shinjuku Gyden park
In the evening, we went to Peter’s again.

Park scene, near Shinjuku
Park scene
Park scene near Shinjuku, Tokyo
Park near Shinjuku
Park scene near Shinjuku, Tokyo
Park near Shinjuku



Wed 25 Aug Went alone to Tokyo Metropolitan Building no 1 South Observation. The view was impressive but I could not see Mt Fuji. Saw air conditioner outlets of new tower block nearby, looking big enough to swallow a bus. Visited Yoyogi park, Meiji shrine and inner (Y300) garden, and had lamb noodle lunch (Y450). Took the loop line train (Yamanote) to Tokyo Station. Got map and went to Imperial Palace gardens. The Inner gardens were closed alas (at 3.30!) Walked to Ginza, looked at shops. Saw some galleries with one having Japanese dolls in traditional costume. Lovely, but very expensive – up to Y1200000.
In the evening we weighed the luggage and went to Peter’s to arrange despatch of any excess weight. I don’t recall that I had any excess weight, but the 2 bags were still a *** to carry around.

View from Tokyo Metropolitan Building no 1 South Observation
View from Tokyo Met. Bldg.
View from Tokyo Metropolitan Building no 1 South Observation
View from Tokyo Met. Bldg.
View from Tokyo Metropolitan Building no 1 South Observation
View from Tokyo Met. Bldg.
Shrine building near Imperial Palace, Tokyo
Shrine near Imp. Palace
Imperial Palace, Tokyo
Imperial Palace
Japanese watch motorcade near Imperial Palace
Motorcade near Imperial Palace



Thur 26 Aug Took train to Ueno for Mito. Denzil left his bag on the Yamanote loop line train! He reported it missing, but found it when the train returned after 1 hr. We were met by Mineo. It was raining. Typhoon reported over Okinawa. Had Japanese bath and Japanese dinner with fish, salad, rice rolls, marinated fish etc, with Japanese beer. Watched live action Japanese SF movie on 8mm. Video. It was a Jupiter Project/ Black Hole kind of thing and quite good. Mineo’s house was modern and quite spacious – he must be earning a lot.

Fri 27 Aug Still raining in the morning. Our flight was leaving, but with a slight delay. It was a 1 and a half hour drive to Narita. Rivers were high with the wide channels full of water. The van, which IIRC was driven by Mrs Mineo, ran out of petrol a few miles from the airport. The tropical downpour drenched those who ventured out to get fuel. The check-in was very quick. We waited to board, then waited to take off 2 hours late.
Then views of very empty Siberia with meandering rivers, lakes, hills looking much the same for hours and hours and little sign of habitation. Suffered Russian incompetence at the Moscow re-fuelling stop. We waited in a queue just to get into the transit lounge, and another delay just to get out of the duty free area.
I slept on the Moscow-Heathrow leg. Declared all the LDs and tapes and translator at Customs – cost £58 in VAT.
Just caught a disappearing David R. to hand over 3x LDs for transfer (I eventually sold the LDs to Anime Projects for a good price). Darren J. A. (the leather jacket guy) vanished at Heathrow. I heard he later lived in Japan for a while. Guy of same name shows up on Google with various academic honours.
Denzil stayed in Japan that weekend.

Anime souvenirs bought in Japan
Souvenirs

2 thoughts on “Japan 1993”

  1. Come on Patches, the work was long enough. I’m not going to name every sglnie major voice actor, and I was making a point with how individuals like Rie Kugimiya actually effected their animation studio. Of course, Aya Hirano leads in Lucky Star and Haruhi but she didn’t do anything that wound up effecting how the studio went about business (like Rie Kugimiya’s effect on starring as Nagi, and Hayate winding up in J.C. staffs hands.) And Yui Horie she’s done a lot of questionable things, I didn’t find her a fitting example (especially when you consider the rumours about what she did to get the main starring role in Kanon).I know you’re an avid J.C staff fan, but that studio is fucking huge. I’ve had about a dozen people come up to me in the last few hours and say along the lines of you didn’t mention series xxx for studio yyy . The point of those animes there was just to give you an idea of what the studio did, and what they’re famous for. When I think J.C. Staff I don’t think Nodame, I think Shakugan no Shana. The point of the animes mentioned were so someone could think Oh that studio. . Given I left out Production IG and Madhouse, who are fairly stable notable studios, but I have my gripes with each studio and for the most part I didn’t feel comfortable writing a brief summary for them. I also don’t believe either studio has a large presence or capability to change anytime soon.As for Bones, I might edit in Full Metal Alchemist brotherhood, but honestly I wanted to leave out a franchise such as FMA from the report to avoid drawing negative weaboo attention. Yes, I recognize brotherhood is of course not the FMA that was dubbed and ever so popular in America, but I was considering audience in leaving it out. The same reasoning also led to my choice to leave out Studio Pierrot.Frankly, before continuing with the feedback I want everyone to know (this is in response to everyone, not just you Patches, about my initial feedback lash back, not necessarily part of comments to date) you don’t need to hawk me about every little anime/studio/va tidbit that’s not in here. That’s not the overall point of the work.Too many people freaking out going YOU LEFT OUT XXXXXX ABOUT YYYYYYYYYY, THAT WAS A HUGE PART OF RAWRRRR . Well yeah, maybe ~ef~ isn’t next to shaft when that was easily the biggest thing that season, but what do you really think of when you think Shaft . Please guys, that’s not the point of the write up, please don’t get worked up over mediocre-studio x or y or show abc not being in here. If I left out a company like Gainax or Kyoto Animations I I would) or a fact (such as my edit about Alicesoft) is completely wrong, than that’s when I would like to hear someone speak up, please.That isn’t to say it isn’t worth up to bring up other examples in your feedback, but please don’t tell me I forgot. about studio x or anime a . I needed to choose representative examples that contribute to the work as a whole.

  2. I have some things to point out 1. JC Staff has ahotner, less high-profile stream of income in the form of series like Aoi Hana, Nodame Cantabile, and Hatsukoi Limited (not to mention, the unkillable Slayers franchise). True, they’re raking in buckets of cash from the series you mentioned, but it’s gonna be what they spend it on that determines where they go from here.2. which leads me to Bones. You forgot to mention Fullmetal Alchemist (also starring Rie Kugimiya). Soul Eater, Xam’d, and Eureka Seven (as well as Sword of the Stranger), indicate that they have money to burn, but seem to refuse to make things with mainstream appeal (in this case, Heroman was a particularly bad move for them, since it looks like it cost a fortune, but is complete and utter crap).3. I find it interesting that you single out only two actors, but leave walking phenom Hirano Aya and accomplished singer Yui Horie out of the equation. Maybe because Fukuyama and Kugimiya carve out a space for themselves that seems to define the roles they get, but to ignore Haruhi/Konata/MISA AMANE any agency within the industry is silly. SHE HAS HER OWN REALITY TV SHOW.4. You COMPLETELY ignored Studio Pierrot, worth mentioning because they PRINT money and then have done VERY LITTLE with it. All those Naruto and Bleach episodes need to pay off at some point 5. Lastly, while they kind of blew it with the Eden of the East movies, Production IG has been around forever and fairly consistent (Kimi ni Todoke seemed well recieved). I’m not sure they’re not worthy of mention (but they’d need something higher profile to really be a force ).As I look back on what I’ve written, your logic seems to come out of the woodwork a touch, but I wonder if fan pandering as a focus is like the tail wagging the dog. It makes sense to argue that otaku drive industry sales, but I wonder if Haruhi S2 has fooled you (and everyone else) into thinking that we get to choose the direction of the industry. I personally wonder whether part of the trolling and the strange abstraction of Angel Beats! point to a shifting of the ground at some level. Notice that a good number of the high school shows aren’t really about high school (HSoTD, Kaichou-wa Maid-sama [surprisingly little school life when it comes down to it], Saki, The World God Only Knows)? I realize some of this is a little thin, but I felt it worth mentioning that it’s possible that change might come from a different direction.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *