Monday, May 30, 2011

Bloodbath #reload

It's been a while since I updated this blog. During golden week I went to Seoul, South Korea with Emmet for about 5 days. I considered writing a blog post about it but I decided not to for various reasons. I did updated my photo page with lots of pictures of it though so feel free to look at those. Other than that, the last few weekends have been fairly uneventful and I have been spending more time in Gunma, so there wasn't really much to blog about.
On Friday of last week after work, I went to Tokyo for the first time in a month (not counting when I went to the airport to go to Korea. I rode the train down with Emmet and he had other plans, so I headed to Takadanobaba by myself. I got a kebab and then went to Mikado. It was a bit dead. There was only about maybe 10-15 guys there playing GG. Among them was Kunihiro so I said hi to him. Not really much to talk about otherwise. I stayed till about 11 and then headed to Current.
Current started off sorta so-so, then some people left on the last train and it was dying down, but then it picked back up later when some regulars came in. Overall it was actually pretty good for a Friday. I saw Chip for like the first time in 2 months. For whatever reason he hasnt been around much lately. I also talked a bunch with my friend Noriko. There was this dude there that I know who was hitting on her pretty hard but she didnt really seem interested so she kept talking to me to try and get him to get the hint. Eventually she asked me to go outside with her and then I think the guy got the hint and left. After that we went back inside. I was also talking with this one German dude whos on Cirque De Soleil. Noriko left around 4 and I left at the same time because I was feeling pretty tired. She got in a cab and went home and I headed for the manga kissa. The ussual one was full so I had to go to another one. They had no flat rooms left but they had big private rooms with small chairs so there was enough room to at least sleep on the floor.
The next day I headed for Mikado. It was kinda dead at first. I went to get some food, came back, and it got pretty packed soon after. I noticed they were taking signups for a Guilty Gear tournament. Much to my surprise, it wasnt an Accent Core tournament. For whatever reason, they decided to run a #Reload tournament! LOL! Whats even more strange is that it was a singles tournament and was double elimination which is something rarely ever seen in Japan. I havnt played #Reload in years, so I knew I would be rusty as hell but I figured I might as well enter just for fun since it was only 100 yen. they had 3 #Reload cabs set up for the tournament nad one for casuals. They also still had like 7 other AC cabs running for casuals the whole time. I played a little of both AC and #Reload while I waited for the tournament to start.

I also asked the staff about Johnny-o cup. They still have not rescheduled it. Im starting to wonder if it will ever even happen anymore. I also asked when the next MvC3 tournament would be but no one seemed to know.
It felt a little awkward playing #Reload after such a long time of not having played it This is the weakest version of Faust which is one reason I didn't like #Reload as much as other versions but I still had some great memories with that game. I cought myself occasionally trying to do AC combos and force breaks out of sheer habbit which kinda messed me up a bit, but overall I guess it wasnt extremely hard to play. I think what actually threw me off more was the differences of the OTHER characters because I am not so used to playing those old matchups anymore. I still managed to do pretty well in casuals.
For my first match, I had to fight some Sol player who I dont know. I played him a few times in casuals and I think I went 2-1 with him in my favor. He was doing well against most people. He had a very aggressive play style. I sorta just choked and got rushed down and he beat me. I didnt really care though since its just some random #Reload tournament.
After losing, I played more casuals and thent hey called my next match in losers bracket which was against Satou's Johnny. I was actually doing really well against him. The first round came down to the wire but I lost. 2nd round wasnt so bad but I did a brain fart burst like out of no where and got punished for it. I lost that round as well. As I said, I didnt really care, and I hadnt played #Reload in years, so it was no big deal.
After I lost, I went back to playing AC casuals. A lot more regulars showed up later on for AC that didnt enter the #Reload tournament. My most interesting set of the night was against this one really good Eddie player. I usually go sorta even with him but this time I managed to get 7 wins in a row on him. Then he got like 3 on me, I got 2 more, then he beat me once and someone else got on the machine while I was getting change so I went to fight someone else. It was a good long session though and we just kept playing against eachother for a good while.
I also played a few games against Ain's Ky. There were some guys sitting on the benches behind me sorta rooting for me. I lost the first two games against him but they were both close as hell. I managed to beat him the 3rd try but then he moved to another cab. At least he didnt pound on the cabinet this time.
After playing for a little while I started to feel a little feverish. I checked my temperature and it was a litte bit high (37.4). I had plans to go drinking tonight but I didnt want to make it worse, so I decided to just stay at Mikado and play until it closed at midnight and to constantly monitor my temperature. It eventually started to drop slightly but was staying mostly right at exactly 37 or just below it which is still slightly high. I figured I would try a beer and see how it effected me. I noticed no difference. I played a few more games until it closed and then I decided I might as well swing by Current and play it by ear.
Tonight at Current was an event. Today in Tokyo was Finland fest, which is a concert consisting of several bands from Finland. I like tons of Finnish bands but most of the ones on the bill were relatively unknown to me. The line up was Korpiklanni, myGRAIN, Moonsorrow, Lapko, and special guests Outrage (Japanese band). The only band on there I really sometimes listen to is Korpiklanni and the tickets were like 5800 yen, so I decided to pass on the actual show. Plus, I hadnt played GG in like a month so I wanted to spend the day at Mikado. However, I was certainly down to go to Current for the afterparty. A lot of people showed up. Not even all of them went to the show but it was still pretty packed in there. I was also surprised how many regulars showed up that I hadnt seen in a while which was great. I was talking to my friend Mandi (who is Finnish) and she was disapointed to say that there were hardly any Finnish people at Finland fest and aside from her there were only a couple that came to Current. She said the show had a good turnout though.
Masami had plans to play his guitar and sing live at Current for the afterparty, but he was having technical difficulties with his computer or something and wasnt able to perform unfortunately. Later on in the night, Emmet and another ALT named Nick showed up. They went to an international party earlier and then another party after that and then came to Current. They were both already pretty wasted when they arrived. For a while there was a big group of us talking outside on the steps. I had to go inside to get another beer. Not soon after, I guess most everyone came back inside. Then Indian Guy who was out there with us came up to me and said something like "I made a comment about Jesus and then everyone just got all quiet and went inside. Are they all Christians?" And I was like "Well, Emmet certainly isnt." and hes like "No, that guys HAS to be a Christian! I refuse to believe it." and I was like "Nope, hes and athiest, you can even ask him yourself." He still wouldnt believe me so I bet him a shot that Emmet was an athiest. He tapped Emmet on the shoudler (who had no prior knowledge of our conversation) and asked him. Emmet replied that he was indeed and athiest. The dude STILL was in denial about it but he bought me the shot anyway lol. I dont get why he was so persistant. I think everyone just went inside cuz they wanted more drinks or sometihng. The dude was obviously quite wasted anyway lol.
Other than that, there was a lot of dancing going on and people generally having a good time. Emmet was taking quite a liking to one girl there who plays shogi and chess which Emmet finds to be a big plus. She didnt seem very interested in him however, but he tried to keep talking to her anyway. As the night went on, I noticed my fever was completely gone. The alcohol cured it for the time being.

When the bar closed at like 5, a huge group of us headed to PSY. On the way there, we were walking through an ally and some random massage girl came up to Emmet and said "Long time no see!" LOL!! Emmet claims he never solicited her and that she just would often see him walking passed her but that didnt change the fact that it was quite embarrasing for him in front of the girls that were walking to PSY with us LOL.

PSY got pretty packed pretty quick. I was lucky enough to get a seat at the bar since I was one of the first people to go in. At some point, Emmet went to talk to that girl again that he likes and was so wasted he just spilled his beer everywhere after going up to her before he could say a word. He tried to clean it up and then next thing he knew the girl was already gone.
I just talked to a few people and had a beer. I also requested one of the new Symphony X songs, Dehumanized, and it sounded great all loud in the bar.

At around 6:30 am they stopped selling alcohol but a lot of people were still there drinking. I didnt wanna stand around without a drink so I just headed back to the manga kissa.

I woke up the next day, took a shower, and then Emmet and I headed out. Today, our plan was to go see Bloodbath's next kickboxing match here in Japan! This would be our third time seeing him fight. He kicked ass at both of the other ones so we were looking forward to it.

We grabbed a beer and a megamac for the road and then headed to the venue which was in Omori. We showed up slightly late. We were supposed to get there at 3 to pick up our tickets in the front, but I thought we had to be there at 3:30 cuz that's when the fights would start. His girlfriend was outside with our tickets still so we were able to get inside and we apologized for being late. When we got inside, it hadn't started yet. The venue was at a huge Golds Gym. The whole 7th floor was a big ring with seating. Unfortunately they didn't sell any food or drinks there but it was ok.

We found a few more ALTs that came to watch and sat with them. There would be a total of 11 fights, and Bloodbath's fight was scheduled to go 2nd to last. To make things more interesting, Emmet and I decided to side bet 100 yen on each match (aside from Bloodbath's cuz neither of us wanted to bet against him). We took turns choosing which guy we wanted to bet on. I just had really shitty luck cuz Emmet won almost every single bet, and in the end I owed him 500 yen. Some of the fights, we both thought I was gonna win the bet but then in the end they declared the other guy the winner... lame. Either way, it was fun to watch them. Last time there were some kids matches but this time it was all adults, and most fighters seemed to be in their 20s or 30s. All the fights were standard kick boxing but the last 3 fights (including Bloodbath's) allowed the use of elbows in addition to kicking, punching, and knees.

I tried to take photos but my camera is sorta broken and wont focus well from certain distances. I was able to get a few decent ones though. Between one of the fights, I went to go use the bathroom which was on the floor below this one. When I came back, they wanted to check my ticket stub. I couldnt find it. They werent going to let me back in, so I just showed them my camera and told them I already took pictures of the event. Luckily that was good enough for them and they let me back in, heh.

Bloodbath's opponent was apparently some hardcore Japanese national who didn't like foreigners much (or so I heard) and he had no losses on his record. Right before Bloodbath stepped into the ring, his coach encouraged us to all cheer and make some noise, so we did. The first around was looking pretty close for most of the time. Both of them were getting some decent hits in. In the last few seconds of the round, Bloodbath landed a solid elbow hit to the other guys face and knocked him on his ass. The guy looked dazed but he got back up and was saved by the bell. In round 2, it sorta went the same way and looked pretty even for most of the round. Once again, in the last maybe 30 seconds of the round, Bloodbath was able to land a solid knee right to the guys stomach. The guy went down again for a second knockdown. Bloodbath told us after the fight that this knee was extremely satisfying. He described it as soft and mooshy and said he could feel the guys spine through the other side of his body lol. The 3rd round was pretty even. At the very end of the round, Bloodbath went for a lunging forward power punch and whiffed and ended up doing a flip on the mat but got right back up and then the round ended.

The judges made their decision and as no surprise to us, Bloodbath was declared the victor! So he is now 3 for 3 in the fights I have seen him in here in Japan. He did a great job and it was a good fight.

Someone recorded the entire thing, actually. You can watch it all youtube.
Round 1
Round 2
Round 3

After the fight, we took some photos with him in the ring. Then, we all went out to an izakaya to celebrate with his coach and all the people who were there to support him. We had some beers and lots of good food. Emmet and I had to take the last train back so we had to duck out a little early. We said bye to everyone, paid our fee and headed back.

That's about it for the weekend. I was glad to find out that PSN FINALLY was restored to Japan over the weekend and was able to start playing fighting games at home again this week.

Next weekend is the first Final Round Japan ranbats tournament of the 2011-12 season. I plan to go. It will be at a new venue and the format is being changed. Hopefully it ends up being fun.