Eiga chirashi – the cheapskate’s best choice for a souvenir to give his mates when coming back from Japan

Eiga Chirashi

Fukuoka, Japan. Friday, the 27th of March 2015. I popped into a cinema and plonked down 1,300 yen for a ticket to see the new live-action Ansatsu Kyōshitsu (“Assassination Classroom”) movie. Nothing more to say about that here, except that I might – or might not – bother to write a review in due course.

Before the appointed screening time, I wandered about in the cinema lobby…

…and struck gold.

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Forget the goose that laid the golden egg – bears are better at minting money

I’ve recently put the finishing touches on my plans for a six-day holiday in Kyūshū, scheduled for a couple of weeks from now. One of the stops on the list is Kumamoto, which I last visited nearly two years ago but didn’t explore quite as thoroughly as I’d have liked.

The reason I brought this up here is because I’ve just come across an article in the Asahi Shinbun which reported that sales of products plastered with the image of Kumamoto Prefecture’s official mascot, Kumamon, raked in the equivalent of over half a billion dollars last year (higher than the previous year’s figure).

Kumamon, Kumamon … now where have I heard that name before…

Interestingly, it wasn’t during my 2013 visit to the prefecture that this black lump of fur calls home – in fact I wasn’t even aware of its existence at the time. The name probably first entered my consciousness when Kumamon was drafted into last year’s marketing drive to promote the live-action Rurouni Kenshin films.

Sure, he might not be the cutest yuru-kyara I’ve come across – that honour firmly belongs to Hiko-nyan … but an anime-ish connection? That’s good enough for me.

I’ll keep my eyes peeled for this pudgy black bear when I pass through its home turf later this month. And since I’m there anyway, I may as well start adding to its 2015 merchandising haul by picking up a Kumamon souvenir or two; perhaps a plushie to befriend the stuffed Hiko-nyan I brought home years ago.

Either that or the actual Kumamon itself. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to see a man about a hunting rifle…

A place I saw in my dreams, to which my heart longs to return

neo_venezia_sunset

Writing in National Geographic, Cathy Newman once poetically described a certain Italian city as “neither land nor water, but shimmering somewhere in between”. A place where “time is measured by the breath of tides, and space bracketed by water”.

I’ve been to the real city, and I’ve been to its fictional counterpart. In the years that have passed since those visits, I’ve longed to return to both.

If one speaks of the city in our own world, it may be a while before I can once more glide through the canals and walk along the streets of that heart-achingly beautiful place…

…but where its imaginary sister is concerned, I may soon get my chance.

Yes, I am sorry to report that they’re still selling it

Remember that gut-busting, heart-massacring, quadruple-bypass-on-a-plate menu item that KFC released in the Philippines a few days ago?

Until a few hours ago, I could have laughed it off as a slightly early (or horribly late) April Fools’ Day joke…

…but that ceased to be a viable option when I saw an image of the beast on the menu of a KFC restaurant in my neighbourhood. (Yes, this is new – I snapped the picture earlier today.) It seems the, er, thing has graduated from the initial 2-day trial phase and is now seeing a much wider – perhaps longer term – release.

Double Down Dog - of death

But wait, it gets better! Or worse, depending on your sense of humour and the state of your arteries. Shift your eyes downwards just a wee bit and see what they’re advertising directly underneath that thing.

As the parody persona of a certain Eastern philosopher might say: “Man who eat double down dog is dead man.”

And in case you were wondering, I had bibimbap for lunch instead … which is why I regret to report that I’m still very much alive.

Cheerio.

Well, it’s not like ready-to-eat eringi just slide by when one needs them…

…so if one is determined to survive in the RPG universe, it pays to be flexible with one’s diet.

Thankfully, a recent manga series (tip of the hat to ANN for the news) stands ready to teach the starving dungeon-crawling masses such essential skills as preparing emergency rations out of slime and turning scorpions into a palatable dish.

I just hope the book comes with some great chocobo recipes. There’s got to be a better way of cooking those birds than instantly roasting them with a blast from a mage’s staff – tends to leave them too crispy you know…

新年明けましておめでとうございます

Diego happily wishes you all the best in the year ahead. ~(‾⌣‾~)

Et Verbum caro factum est . . .

Nativity Petrus Christus

. . . et habitávit in nobis: et vídimus glóriam eius, glóriam quasi Unigéniti a Patre, plenum grátiæ et veritátis.

DEO GRATIAS!

Diego wishes you, your family, and all your loved ones a very happy Christmas.

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