Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I'll get you next time HOS... next time...

During the week I was asked by my base school to go to a sports day on Saturday morning, which basically means no Tokyo on Friday night. So I stayed home and watched Grind House (yea George that was pretty sweet) for the first time and a couple X-files episodes on DVD until my girlfriend got off work. Just stayed in with her Friday night. Saturday morning I went to the sports day. It started at 8:30 am, and the entire gym was freezing thanks to Japan's lack of central heating. This event was organized by the PTA so there was a good ammount of parents there. There were 2 choices, you could play in the vollyball tournament or the ping pong tournament. I chose ping pong. It was a 2 on 2 format, best 2 out of 3. I was paired with one of the other teachers, he was good. I can't remember the last time I played ping pong so I was a bit rusty. Started out as round robin pools, we lost our first match to a team of 2 2nd year students, they were both pretty good. Next we played against a team of 2 parents. The one dude was very good and his partner, some mom, was pretty bad. We beat them 2-0. Then we played our final pool match against another team of 2 students and we won. We advanced to the final bracket and played another student team, winning again. We then made it to the finals against a team of 2 teachers, one of which was one of my Japanese English Teachers. These guys were all about going for the power hits and just slamming the ball hoping we wouldnt be able to return it. My strategy was the opposite, I just concentrated on getting the ball over the net and relied on them to make mistakes to get points rather than trying to get it past them. This generally worked since half the time they just power slamed the ball into the net or sometimes outright whiffed. We lost the first game won the 2nd game, and the final game was like down to the last point but in the end we failed and got 2nd place. Bummer, but whatever its not like you get anything for winning. So after the tournaments were over they served everyone Pocari Sweat (energy drink) and rice balls. Then as we were leaving everyone was like crowded around the entrance outside and they start like unloading this truck full of brooms and rakes and shit, and Im thinking.... oh shit dont tell me I have to stay longer and do something else. So I ask one of my JTEs whats going on and he says the students will now clean the streets of the town but he tells me to please go home.... i was thinking "fuck yea!" so I gladly stopped at my apartment and grabbed my stuff and headed for the train station. 3 hours later after playing the soul shrine in FFVI advance on my DS on the train, I finally arrived in Shinjuku.

Today there was going to be a tournament at Las Vegas. So arrive at Vegas and theres a few people there playing, but I notice the signs posted say 2 on 2 which I was surprised since Arcadia didnt mention it being a 2 on 2. I emailed Matt (Hintalove) and asked him if he wanted to team up, so he said he was down for it. I played casuals for a bit and eventually I went to meet Matt at the station since he forgot how to get to Vegas. So we eventually get back to the arcade and play casuals for a while, by now the place was pretty packed. Not all of the big names that I recognize were at this one but a few noteworthy players like Nakamura and Zero were there. Zero's HOS always beasts in casuals but I managed to beat him and get a perfect the last round. So we go to sign up and I tell Matt we should use a team name with Gaijin in it, so he suggest Gaijin Smash, so we just went with that (a bit unoriginal but good enough). Tournament had 12 teams, divided into 3 pools of 4 teams, round robin. Also, for some reason they didnt set the rounds on 2 our of 3, it was on 3 out of 5... I dont know if this is because they were lazy or if it was intentional but it the first time ive seen it in a tournament out here. They also allowed same character teams, one of the teams in our pool was a duel Slayer team. I guess since this isnt some major big deal of a tournament they just didnt give a shit or something. Tournament starts and our first match we fight a team of HOS/Baiken. Matt goes first and loses to HOS 3 straight rounds, then I go next and win first round, lose second round, win 3rd round, then lose the 4th and 5th round... it was damn close too, I should have won.... but I didnt so fuck it. Next match we played against a team of Chipp and Slayer. Matt goes first and loses to Chipp. Then I beat Chipp and fight slayer and once again just like vs HOS I win first round, he wins 2nd round, I win 3rd round, I lost last 2 rounds. Once again too close... fuck. At this point we were pretty much done for but we still had to play our last match and it was vs the double Slayer team. Matt goes first and almost beats the first Slayer but loses by a little bit. I go next and beat both of them. So we were out at this point so we just played a ton of casuals. I think the HOS/Baiken team that beat us first match ended up winning the whole thing. Eventually FAB showed up for casuals.

Matt left after a while to go meet up with his friend Casey because he was going to go drinking with us tonight. Casey is a friend of Matt's from back in Oregan who is now living in Yokohama, also studying Japanese, but he doesnt play fighting games. About 45 mins later Matt returns with Casey and by this time it was like maybe 10 pm, we were hungry so we left to get some food. After a good Curry meal we decided to head to Current for some drinking. When we got there the place was fairly busy and I saw some of the regulars. We did some drinking, beers, shots, etc, but after about an hour, Matt said another friend of his was going to go clubbing in Roppongi so him and Casey left. I'm much more of a bar guy than a club guy so I stayed at Current. After a while, one of the regulars there said he was going to another rock bar in the area for a bit called GODZ and asked if I wanted to come check it out. I had never gone so I figured it was worth a look. It was actually pretty close to where Las Vegas was. We go there and it was a nice atmosphere but much smaller and less people than Current. They played some great music such as Symphony X, but the drinks were like way more expensive than current and the beer wasnt even on tap.... boo. So some people there were asking me the typical questions people often ask foreigners when they are surprised to see them. We had a beer and eventually headed back to Current. I stayed till closing at 5 AM again and headed out. On the way to the Manga cafe and passed by MOS burger and decided to get a 5 AM wasted chicken sandwich.. cuz thats always the best kind of Chicken Sandwich. Some of the regulars that had left the bar a bit before I did were there so I sat with them and chilled for a bit and ate, eventually I left and passed out at the ussual Manga cafe.

Next day I woke up, got some kickass Japanese Wendy's 100 yen menu food and then I headed to Club Sega Shinjuku to see if MIU was in since it was right near the Wendy's. He wasnt working, they said he would be working the evening shift running a 3S tournament later in the day. However I did notice that there was going to be a GGAC tournament there next Saturday, so I will most likely be hitting that up next weekend. So no one was playing Guilty there so I headed go Akihabara for a nice long day of casuals. Before I entered the arcade I stopped at the sex shop which is right next to Club Sega because I ran out of US condoms and it was about time to buy some more. I never bought Japanese condoms before but I was pretty surprised to see many of the boxes had slutty naked anime chicks with orgasmic expressions on their faces, it was rather amusing. Naturally I decided to buy one of the ones with the slutty anime chick on the box. Ill try to post a picture of it since its pretty funny but I think I have to censor it because flickr will suspend my account if I post porn (even though its anime porn). I was also quite surprised that the bag they put the condoms in had a picture of puppies and little story about how they like to play on their grandpa's sofa on it. Ill post a pic of this as well.

So after that I enter the arcade. Much to my surprise, upon arriving at Club Sega there was a 3 on 3 tournament already in progress! It appearently started at 1 pm and it was just a little bit past 1:30 when I arrived. I asked if there was some way I could still play and it turned out that there were a few teams that only had 2 people, so I was put with a team of a Baiken player named Autaku, and a HOS player named Gusan. They already had won their first match which was pretty sweet. So eventually we play a match and it was against Inoue (HOS) and his team mates were a Slayer player who im not sure who it was, and a Dizzy. We lost RPS so we had to choose our first person before hey did. I vaulenteered to go first. First match I fight the Slayer player, first round I lose, 2nd round was close but I win, 3rd round I perfect him ftw. Up next is Inoue... and despite it being a close match, I once again lose to HOS... boo. I apolagize to them but they say its OK and that I did a great job vs Slayer. Gusan goes next for a HOS mirror match but Inoue proves to know the matchup better. Autaku goes last and he too falls to Inoue's HOS. Bummer. I didnt really pay attention to the rest of the tournament, I was too busy playing casuals. Eventually Ogawa showed up, he didnt play in the tournament, maybe he wanted to be nice and give other people a chance heh. I played him in a few matches but couldnt get a win, hes just too powerful. Zero was there too and had like a 45 win streak, this guy ALWAYS has huge win streaks... now that Kaqn quit HOS, I guess the best HOS title is a toss up between Zero and Inoue but I really dont know, they both have different styles of play. I also played a few casuals vs Kazuki and FAB. I beat Kazuki one time and ALMOST beat FAB. In general I did very well in casuals and at one point I had a 19 win streak. I stayed till about 8:00 and then I had to head out and catch my train. They told me there was going to be a ranbats at Tachikawa OSLO next Friday so it looks like next weekend should be pretty packed with tournament action. In addition to this, the DF2 finals are on Sunday.... however... it is from 3pm to 11pm. I have no idea why it is running so late, but if Guilty Gear goes past 8 pm I cant stay to watch it since I have to catch the last train back in order to make it to work on Monday morning. I will ask around and see if maybe Guilty will be one of the first games, if I can watch it I will go... if not... there is a tournament at alpha station near Shin Okubo on the same day that I will just go to instead. I dont know how good it will be since almost everyone will be at the DF2 tournament but I will just have to see what happens. Whatever happens, I need to stop losing to HOS, I hate losing matchups I know well.

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