Monday, March 28, 2011

Return to the Capital

The following takes place on Saturday, March 26th and Sunday, March 27th...

So I havnt had a chance to write my blog for a while but on this weekend, I finally went back to Tokyo for the first time since the quake. On Friday, March 25th, we had an enkai for work because it was the last day of the school year before spring break.

On Saturday, I woke up and headed out to Tokyo at around noon. I got there a little after 3 pm. Despite the quake, things seemed more or less the same. I didnt notice any noteworthy physical damage to roads or buildings. Trains seemed to still be running frequently enough if not just slightly reduced. The main difference I did notice were that in most places the lights were much dimmer and less lights were being used in order to save electricity. The other main difference I noticed was that bottled water was pretty much sold out everywhere. Every conbini I went to had zero water bottles and also just about every vending machine was sold out of water. This didnt really affect me at all since I brought a bit bottle with me from home in my backpack and otherwise I mostly just drank sports drinks and alcohol.

Of course, the first place I went when I got to Tokyo was Mikado. I was itching to play some GG since it had been several weeks since I last played. At first it was pretty much dead as hell with just 2 guys playing who looked like they were either just fucking around or didnt really know how to play well. I didnt really wanna play against them and be stuck playing the computer if they didnt rematch me so I decided to play a little SSFIVAE since there were more people playing it. I was a bit rusty at this game and got beat up by a T Hawk but then I rematched him and won. I also beat someone else but I forgot who. Eventually I lost to the T Hawk again and noticed a few GG players were watching for whatever reason. I think they wanted to play GG but no one else was playing so they were hesitant to play or something like that.

I was getting hungry so I got some Burger King. When I came back, there were a few more people playing GG so finally started playing that. Gradually as the day went on, more and more GG player showed up and in the end it got fairly packed. Kunihiro came and I talked with him and played him for a bit. Also, Ryan (Letbloodrun) is back in Japan currently and came to play 3S. There was a 3S tournament going on earlier actually when I arrived but he said he had stuff to do in the morning so he missed it. He came to play casuals though. We talked a bit. He asked where Emmet was and I told him he went back to New Zealand after the quake hit. I played a ton of GG casuals and had a lot of fun.

Towards the end when it was starting to get late, Ryan had to go soon so he couldnt come out drinking but wanted to have a beer with me so I drank with him for a bit while playing GG. He eventually left. I stayed a bit longer and played a little buzzed GG as I continued to sip on a little whiskey. Eventually it got pretty late so I decided to go hit up Current. Before going to Current I grabbed a kebab for the road.

Current was actually busier than I would have thought it would be and nothing seemed to have changed. As soon as I walked in, lots of people were glad to see me saying how they were wondering if I was ok and stuff. I assured them I was and quickly ordered a beer and sat at the bar. I talked with a few regulars and the staff. Eventually Sawa mailed me saying she wanted to meet up with Heidi and drink with us tonight. Heidi said she was at PSY so we said we would join her there later. Sawa didnt remember the way to PSY so I told her to come to Current and id go there with her later. She eventually showed up and we just kept getting beers at Current cuz we were having a good time there.

I dont remember exactly but probably sometime around 4 pm we headed to PSY. I dont remember much there honestly lol. From what I do remember it was a pretty typical night at PSY and I stayed passed 6 am. Manga kissa was the same as usual.

The next day I got a haircut and then I bought a new PS3 arcade stick at Yamada Denki in Shinjuku. The left direction cherry switch on my stick at home is broken and I dont have the tools to fix it here with me in Japan and im too lazy to bother finding new parts and tools here so I just decided to buy a new stick. Nothing fancy, just a 5000 yen Hori, but it does the job. After that, I went home a bit earlier to spend the rest of the evening with Ryoko at home.

Pretty typical weekend but it was good to finally go back to Tokyo after so long.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Johnny-o Cup tournament put on hold

Well, for those of you who were looking forward to the Johnny-o cup vids, unfortunately it has been delayed until an undetermined date. In all honesty, I am glad it was because I doubt I would be able to go there anyway seeing as how the regular JR trains are still not running in my town. The constant black outs in Tokyo would also make it difficult to run the event. Mikado is currently open for business but the event is being put on hold.

This weekend will be a 3 day weekend. Theres not really anything I can do. I need to conserve my gas supply and trains are not running, so I pretty much am going to sit on my couch for the next 3 days with a few bottles of whiskey and will be checking the news constantly for updates on the Fukushima reactor situation. As of now, radiation levels in Gunma are not dangerous. Many foreign embassies are advising citizens to evacuate Japan. I am going to stay until things end up extremely bad. If need be, I can drive to the Shinkansen station in about 15 minutes and flee to Osaka with Ryoko. I honestly hope it doesnt come down to that but for now they SEEM to be keeping the problem under control. I will be watching things carefully in the next few days. I hope everyone who was affected by this bullshit is doing ok and wish them the best of luck.

Monday, March 14, 2011


As I'm sure everyone already knows, Japan was hit with the largest earthquake in its recorded history on Friday, March 11th at about 2:30 pm. When it happened, I was in the staff room at work at my desk. The epicenter of the quake was in Miyagi prefecture, which is far enough away from where I live (Gunma) to where the damage in my area wasnt severe, but close enough to where I could certainly feel the quake. It was about a 5 or so on the scale where I live. When it was happening, I had no idea how powerful and devistating it was. I went outside the staff room with some other teachers and we waited for about 2 whole minutes until the quake finally stopped. Smaller quakes and after shocks continued throughout the day. Train services were suspended and high ways were shut down. As you can probably imagine, I just ended up staying home all weekend drinking with Ryoko. Currently gasoline supplies are pretty much completely out around here. Hopefully they will get more soon. I am also quite worried about the nuclear reactor in Fukushima that is having a melt down... Fukushima isnt all that far from where I live, but I live far enough so that at the moment I am not in any immediate danger.

I just figured I should type something on here to let people know that I am ok. I just hope that the people that I know who live in north eastern Japan are ok...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Tokyo 23

Friday after work I headed down to Tokyo with Emmet. I was feeling slightly stressed due to some work stuff that theres no point in getting into so I had a little extra beer than usual on the train. When we got to Tokyo, I still wanted to play fighting games for a bit but didnt really feel like going to Mikado cuz I was a bit drunk, so we went to Shinjuku Sportsland. I wasnt playing at the top of my game but still won a few GG matches but lost some that I shouldnt have. I also played some SSFIV and beat some Akuma player once who rematched me and beat me by a hair.

We didnt stay very long and decided to just go knock back some drinks outside and then hit up Current a little before 10 pm. For a Friday, I guess it wasnt decent but still not very packed. A group of people in the back consisting of Johan and some other people he knows were sitting at a table. We joined them for like an hour or 2. Some girl that Emmet met last weekend came to drink as well. Eventually they wanted to go to karaoke so we decided to join them.

We grabbed some whiskey to sneak in and got the 2 hour package. It was a pretty standard karaoke session and for some reason the songs I was requesting took forever to show up. I think people were just going nuts with requesting songs. Either way, I got pretty smashed and I think I fell asleep for just a little bit towards the end but woke up and sang more. It ended at around 4 and by this point I was already pretty smashed and tired so I just decided to go to the manga kissa and sleep so that I could get a lot of rest for tomorrows tournament.

So I woke up Saturday at around noon or something, grabbed some quick food and headed to Mikado. I got there pretty early with plenty of time to get some practice in. I was doing so-so in casuals. Today would be the very final Johnny-o cup singles ranbat to qualify for the 23 on 23 Tokyo team at Mikado. Going into the tournament, I had the highest amount of points among allt he Faust players who were trying out for the Tokyo team, so basically, even if I didnt place at all, I would still make the team as long as another Faust didnt win first place today, which would have allowed him to take the lead by one point. The only noteworthy Faust player who entered today was Nage, so as long as he didnt win first place I would be on the team.

I checked the brackets after they posted them and unfortunately my first match was against my old team mate, Gaku, the Robo-Ky player. I asked him if he checked the bracket yet and he said no. He went to go look and then after seeing it he turned around and gave me this WTF kinda laugh sorta face palm combo thingy cuz we didnt want to have to fight eachother since were friends. I just told him to do his best and wished him luck. Gaku usually beats me a bit more than I beat him in casuals. It could go either way but I didnt have a good feeling about.

So eventually they called our match and we battled it out. Gaku ended up winning. It wasnt increadibly one sided or anything but I made some stupid mistakes. I wasnt really upset or anything though. At this point, all I could do was just wait and watching, hoping that Nage wouldnt clinch the win.

Nage ended up winning his first match. I cant remember who it was against cuz I didnt see it, but I looked on the bracket and he had advanced. His 2nd match was against Satou's Johnny (the guy who fucked me up at the last qual and ended up getting 1st place). Now, I am pretty sure that Nage and Satou are friends and sometimes I get the impression that Satou might not like me very much, so I was a bit nervous that Satou might throw the match and let Nage win since Satou already has lots of points. The match ended up being really close and went down to the 3rd round. Satou was dropping some stuff and just didnt seem like he was on point with his game a little bit. In the final round, Nage had a big lead but then Satou made this really crazy comeback and won with a sick combo, eliminating Nage from the tournament. With that, I had officially qualified for the Tokyo 23 on 23 team! I am unsure exactly who else is on the final team at this time. They have a list on the Johnny-o cup website but it isnt updated yet to reflect the results of this current weekend's results. In any case, some really good players like FAB, Mitrurugi, Satou and others will be on the team, so its cool that I get to team with those guys.

After that, I pretty much just played some various casuals. I got some fun games in with Roy and Basara and beat his Testament. Had some other good matches with this one really good I-no and some good fights vs Melon's SL and ED. At some point, Johnny-o came by while I was in between matches and asked to confirm if I could make it for the Final 23 on 23 tournament on the weekend of the 19th. I told him I would be there so he checked me off the list.

I stayed and played for a bit longer but I had other plans for the rest of tonight. Normally I dont care too much about going to international parties unless I have a good reason and today was one of those days. Today, Phil, Bloodbath, and 2 other guys I know would be coming down from Gunma to go to the same international party with Emmet so I said I would go to hang out with everyone as well. The only problem was this one was at Tokyo Loose. I didnt really wanna go back there cuz I dont like the place but since the international parties are completely different than what its like normally, and I felt like drinking, I decided to go.

I grabbed a quick kebab for the road and then headed to Shinjuku. I met up with those dudes in front of Tokyo Loose and soon we went inside. We were some of the first to arrive but the place filled up pretty fast. I was the very first one to order a drink at the bar once they started serving a few minutes after we entered, lol. Normally Tokyo Loose is full of skanks and shady people blasting crappy top 40s club music but this time they kept the music lower and the people there seemed pretty cool generally. We talked to several girls (for me its just for fun), and I also ended up talking to a few pretty cool dudes there. This one guy was a pretty big metal head so we had a good chat about bands and live shows and shit.

The people at the party were cool but the thing that sucked about it was that the drink line was WAYYYYY to fucking long! First of all, they wernt serving beer for free (you had to pay 500 yen), but since they had full open bar of spirits, I didnt mind, and mostly just drank tequila cokes. The thing that sucked though was that the cups were really fucking tiny. They only had ONE guy mixing drinks at once, so the line would que up like 20 fucking people and the guy took forever to mix drinks, and it ended up being like a 15 minute wait in line every time you wanted a drink. This doesnt sound that bad but when the drink only takes like 10-15 minutes to finish when you are sipping it slowly it makes it a pain in the ass. The other thing that sucked is they didnt have all you can eat... just a few random plates of some crappy chips and stuff, but I knew this before hand (which is why I ate the kebab) so it wasnt really a big deal for me.

There was this one girl in particular who really seemed to take a liking to me. She was pretty hot, too. At the end of the night she wanted to exchange numbers with me to maybe drink somewhere else with us later (she was working as a voulenteer at the check in desk by the door for like the last hour of the party and had to stay and clean up so she couldnt leave with us). She seemed like a nice girl, and while I had no intention of actually trying to sleep with her or anything, I figured there was no harm in exchanging cellphone email.

After exchanging info I headed outside in front where a bunch of people were gathering. Emmet was with these 2 girls that wanted to go with us to Current. We were still waiting on a few other people to come out. Some of them were getting some last minute phone numbers and it was taking a while. Emmet and the girls were getting a bit impatient so I told them to just go on ahead without me and that I would wait up for Phil and whoever else wanted to come with us. Bloodbath and the other guys we were chilling with ended up going somewhere else with different girls. Eventually Phil came out and suddenly like this big crew of like 10 people (a mix of Japanese girls and some guys) decided to all go with me to Current so I lead the way and took everyone there.

Current ended up getting pretty packed, espessially with all the people we brought in. I talked with this one girl I know there named Chiho for a bit at the bar and then just mingled with various people who came with us from the party. Chris and Sachiko came later as well and I drank with them for a bit, too. We drank for several hours like this but over time, the people we all came with all eventually cleared out and left before the last train. The girl that Emmet was trying to get with had to get up early but otherwise would have stayed out.

Once it got dead, we decided to just go head to Shibuya and go to Camelot since the trains were still running and Current wasnt looking very promising. On the way to the station, we met up with Bloodbath and Li (one of the other guys we came with), as well as this one Japanese dude who was at the party. They had no girls with them saying all the girls had to go home.

When we got to Shibuya, I asked one of the staff if trains were still running when we got there since it was pretty late and some of the guys didnt believe they still were. He told me it was. Then I went to buy a ticket and went through the gates but the other guys were already like way ahead of me (they just didnt bother waiting I guess). I ran up the steps to the train and the doors were just about to close. I didnt see any of them but assumed they got on the train so I just piled in the packed train right in the knick of time.

I contacted Emmet soon after and he said they were all on the train so I told him Id just meet them outside the Hachiko exit.

I got out first and no one was around. I waited for a few minutes and then eventually a few of them came out. I asked where the rest of them were and they said that Bloodbath was like in this mode where he just decided to start hitting on like every good looking girl he passed by right ont he station platform just cuz he was drunk and didnt give a fuck lol. He eventually came outside but unfortunately his plan didnt work for the moment. From there, we all headed to Camelot. We stopped at Family Mart first to grab some whiskey to sneak in though.

We got inside and I put my stuff in a locker and split it with Bloodbath. Not long after, we all sorta get split up a bit but some of us ran into one another periodically through the night. I was with Emmet most of the time. We also ran into our friend Leo there. He rocks up to us with a 700 ml bottle of whiskey in his hand! He said that when he ordered his last drink, when the bartender wasnt looking, he just stole the whole fucking bottle from the bar counter! LOL!!! That takes some fucking BALLS! For a while we were chilling by a small table near the bar with no seats and Leo was sorta holding the bottle slightly under the table. Eventually he got a little sloppy and a staff member came by and saw the bottle. He got questioned about it but just lied and said he found it here on the table and he just gave it to the staff guy. The guy actually believed him (or at least decided not to do anything about), took the bottle, and just left us alone, lol! He got lucky as fuck, but it was still hilarious. Emmet and I were a bit smarter about our snuck in whiskey and we knocked it back in the bathroom without notice.

I also ran into that Italian chick who used to go to Current with Fracheska all the time, too. I guess she comes here all the time now. Also, Phil and Bloodbath decided to leave a bit early so I had to get his stuff out of the locker.

Other than that it was just a standard night at a club with crappy music and me dancing badly but not caring cuz I was pretty drunk. I guess overall I had fun, but I wish Current was as consistantly good as it was back in the day. Lately its just been kinda dull. My biggest regret actually was that Heidi mailed me at some point during the night asking if I was coming to PSY cuz it was Natsume's (the owners) birthday party tonight! I didnt know about it or else I would have much rather went there but I was already stuck in Shibuya so oh well.

At the point when I left the club, I had no idea where anyone I was with went so I just left alone and slept at the manga kissa. They were out of flat rooms but they had a double room with a couch that they said I could have for the same regular price so I got to sleep on a couch lol. It was fine.

The next morning I woke up at around 12:30, grabbed some quick Sbarro pizza for the ride home, and got on the train. I told Ryoko I would spend the rest of the day with her. There was no reason to go to the Saitama team qual since I had already made the Tokyo team.

So thats about it. In 2 weeks from now is the Johnny-o cup final tournament. It will be a 3 day event since its a 3 day weekend in Japan with that Monday being a national holiday. There will be a 23 on 23 just like in the past at other G3 events with one team each representing Saitama, Kanagawa, Chiba, and Tokyo. I will be the Faust player for the Tokyo team. Hopefully I can get some good wins in for my team! Im looking foward to it. There will also be a 2 on 2 which I didnt qualify for. Also, there will be other events which anyone can enter the day of the event without having to qualify for, so I will enter those as well. And of course, Mikado will be packed with all of the best players in East Japan, so there will be plenty of awsome casuals to be played on Mikados 12 GG cabs (and they probably will even have more for the event setup).

As far as next weekend goes, I have no particular plans and will probably just lay low around Gunma and try to save some money. I doubt whatever happens next weekend will be interesting enough to warrent a blog write-up, so the next one will probably be in 2 weeks. Peace.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

End of Final Roundbats 2010-11

I stayed home on Friday night and just chilled and drank with Ryoko.

Saturday I woke up and headed out to Tokyo and Emmet got on the same train. He had plans to go to another international party and I was going to the last Final Roundbats tournament so we parted ways upon arival in Tokyo.

I got off at Shingawa and headed to the skylounge. This would be the last Final Roundbats since Final round will be coming up very soon. Tokido already had enough points even before this tournament to where it didnt matter so he will be going and getting a fully paid flight to Atlanta. I mainly just went to hang out and drink and I also wanted to play some MvC3.

When I arrived it was pretty early and Abelity and Bull410 were chilling in the lobby. Soon after, they got the key and I headed up to the sky lounge to open the door while Abelity went to help Scott Popular unload his car and Bull410 got some stuff from his apartment.

Soon after people started coming. Lots of regular guys were there. Tokido showed up but he had to leave early so he didnt even enter the SSFIV tournament. As I said, it wouldnt matter anyway for him.

I was doing well in casuals and went undefeated aside from one loss until the tournament started. I think my first match was against a Juri player and I won. My 2nd match was against a Ryu player and I won that as well. There was a low turnout for SSFIV players (lots of people showed up but didnt bother entering SSFIV cuz I guess they just wanted to play Marvel. I was the same but I figured I might as well enter SSFIV anyway). My next match was already the finals. I had to go against Abelity's Abel. We played something like 4 times before the tournament and I won every match. The finals were 2/3 matches, 3/5 rounds. I won the first match 3 straight rounds. Then he answered by winning the next match 3 straight. The final match went down to each of us having 2 rounds and in the 5th round he pulled ahead and won. I guess it would have been cool to win but I wouldnt have actually gotten anything and I didnt even really care about that tournament so whatever. It was fun though I guess.

After SSFIV was over, they busted out the Marvel. At first they were talking about running a tournament for that game as well just for fun but in the end they just opted to run casuals all night. I got lots of games in against various people. My team last time I played was Lei Lei/MODOK/Ammy but I dropped MODOK cuz hes just too awkward to control right now and id rather just learn the game and have fun. I picked up Dante for the time being so I ran the team Lei Lei/Dante/Ammy. I will probably eventually replace Dante with someone else but hes fun enough for now and not too difficult to use on a basic level. I won every single match I played except for 2 matches I played against this one dude who had Phoenix on his team and killed me in the end with Dark Phoenix both times in close matches.

Of course, I was drinking the whole time (I started drinking on the train ride to Tokyo and never really stopped, lol) so I was good and buzzed and had a fun time. I ate a good ammount of pizza too.

Since this was the last Final Roundbats of the season, they will be taking a break for a couple of months and reboot it sometime in maybe May or June. They might have some other events during that gap but im not sure. Scott was talking about trying to get a drunken flag football game going in Yoyogi park. While im not too much into playing sports, if I have nothing else to do on that day I might go just to hang out and get drunk and get a little excersize for once, but its too early to say cuz I might have more important things to do whenever they run it (like GG tournaments or something).

The party lasted until 10. Jude, the Claw player, decided to go drinking with me. We headed to Current where we met up with Emmet who rolled in with a group of people from the international party. One was a girl he was trying to get with and then there were like 2 other guys or something who sorta just tagged along to come drinking I guess. A few regulars were there, too. After not too long, some other random girl who was at the same international party that Emmet and them were at came and sat with us... except she didnt even go with them. We figured she must have followed them there like some sorta weird stalker but she claims that she has been to Current before and that it was just a coincidence (though I have never seen her there before and I am there almost every weekend). We sat for a bit at the tables in the back and chilled but then Emmet's crew all left after like an hour or 2. The strange stalker girl stayed. We still had time before the trains stopped and Emmet had some discount coupons to get into Camelot in Shibuy for 2000 yen with 2 drinks, which isnt a bad deal, so we decided to go there.

When we got to Shinjuku station and were waiting on the train platform, Emmet, Jude, and I were doing most of the talking and the stalker girl just wasnt really trying to make an effort to be part of the conversation, even though I remember some of us at least saying something to her here and there to try and include her. Suddenly she just starts crying and says shes going home and just leaves. It was random as hell. Soon after, the train came and we headed to Shibuya.

I went to Camelot once a long time ago with some other people and it was pretty nice for a club. Im not much of a club guy but Current wasnt that booming and I dont mind a change of atmosphere sometimes. So Emmet, Jude, and I just drank at Camelot all night. We talked with some random girls and all that and got good and drunk cuz Emmet and I snuck in some small whiskey bottles that we slammed in the bathroom. Emmet was talking with some girl for a really long time and eventually we didnt know where they went. Im still unsure if he went home with her or just got lost somewhere else in the club. When 5 rolled around, the place closed so Jude and I just headed out. He went back home and I crashed at the manga kissa in Shibuya.

The next morning I woke up and headed to this one nice book store in Shinjuku. I wanted to buy a new Japanese study book cuz I have been a little lazy and unmotivated with studying ever since I took the JLPT N2 (which I failed as expected, btw). I found a book that looks pretty decent which is designed to help study for the JLPT N2. I havnt used it yet cuz I was pretty busy at work yesterday and today but I will start using it either after im done typing this or tomorrow. Hopefully it ends up being decent, but it wasnt very expensive so whatever. Hopefully it will motivate me and help me study for the next time I try to take the JLPT.

Anyway, after buying the book, I went to Shinjuku Sportsland to kill a little time playing GG. I decided I wanted to just go home early today and chill with Ryoko cuz there wasnt really anything special going on. I played there for about an hour while I waited for the next convenient train time. I went undefeated the hour I was there playing. It was mostly some Chipp player who kept playing me but there were a couple other guys like some Sol, a Johnny, a Testament, and a Dizzy.

After I left Sportsland, I just got on the train and headed up and spent the rest of the evening with Ryoko.

So, next weekend is the final singles ranbats for the Johnny-o cup tournament series. If I place high enough theres a decent chance I may actually be able to play in the final even but im just gonna show up and play and see what happens and have fun and maybe something cool will come of it. (At the time of writing this blog they still havnt updated the Johnny-o cup sight from last week where I got 4th but hopefully they will do it soon.)