Non-management: So I went to Japan during September 2017, Tokyo specifically. I came back with photos and memories, and was asked by this fellow if I was willing to write an article about my anime nerd experience overseas for his anime fan publication Genki Life Magazine. Turns out that one of my photos (my night time shot of Akihabara) made the front page cover. Also turns out that the article ended up being the feature story.
Thanks very much to Ed Gomez for the opportunity. Below is a link to the issue with the article as well a preview of its contents. My story’s located between pages 63-71, but feel free to browse through the rest of the magazine. Ed and his staff worked pretty hard on it. Genki Life Magazine features other articles, reviews, news, and convention info relevant to any anime, manga, and video game otaku.
An Anecdote and an Introduction
Let me share with you a moment during my recent and first trip to Tokyo, Japan.
It was sunny, sweltering. Sweat was pouring down the pores of my skin as I approached the Akihabara branch of Don Quixote, the Japanese grocery and gift chain mega-shop. My mood was sullen.
I just came out of a line that the local denizens formed ranks for since early in the morning. Knowing nothing about this line before I hoped off the train to explore Akihabara, I got rather giddy when I saw the contents of the impromptu open-air shop that everyone was waiting for: official Re:Zero goods, particularly Rem ones. I promptly hopped onto this special event line to wait for hours, hoping that I was early enough to get in and out of the theme store with official goodies and cool morning air to spare. Unfortunately, what was originally an expected wait for hours until opening ended up being unanticipated wait of even more hours on top of that to get to the register.
I could tell from the system that the organizers used that they wanted to get shoppers in and out as expediently as they could. It’s just that there turned out to be over a hundred people lined up earlier in front of me. The staff managing the line handed everyone, including myself, a catalogue flyer detailing all the things that you could place an order on. You’d hand your filled-out flyer to the cashier, and they’d scramble about grabbing the goods that you wanted to purchase without the added hassle of having to explain what you wanted. By the time I was in front of the line, I was emaciated waiting for so long in such a huge crowd. The place ended up selling nothing that I especially wanted.
The official artwork on display that I was interested was just that – only on display. There were Gatchapon machines filled with toys I didn’t care for. There was a Re:Zero VR experience that had its own massive line. I bought something consolatory, and dragged myself out to do something else.
My Tokyo friend was right. Akihabara was overrated. I told my friend as much over the phone right after I staggered out to freedom.
My despondent thoughts of a paradise lost or never truly existing were interrupted by a store attendant outside Don Quixote handing out coupons for free tries at skill crane.
Skeptical as I was about winning anything at skill crane, let alone the likely unfairness and addictive potential of skill crane games in general, I gave it a go.
¥100 later, I won the one thing that I really wanted from Japan on the cheap, something I wanted ever since laid my eyes on her at a convention: A Rem Plushie.
And then I knew.
I was wrong.
My friend was wrong.
Akiba was the… READ MORE HERE