4/4 (Japan Time) Howdy! Sorry about that guys, I TOTALLY LIED TO YOU about having a friend named Epuriru Furu or April Fool. Man, did I pick a bad day to say that! It was actually April Fools! I totally forgot! Anyway, here are some full color pictures of the new DB ending ^_^
4/1 (US Time) Hey everyone! Long time no see right? Okay straight to business. I am happy to reveal to the English speaking world that Dragon Ball was just given a new ending by the man himself, Akira Toriyama. I was tipped off to this by my Japanese friend Epuriru Furu who let me know that the last volume of the perfect collection manga contained a new four page ending to this series which was released here in Japan April 2nd or April 1st in the US. Not surprisingly this comes on the heels of what Mike from Daizenshuu EX broke as a continuation of the DB story in the form of the long awaited DBAF! Anyway, I'm sure what you really want to see are the scans! Sorry these are really blurry! I was just too excited to get them to you all! I also omitted all the Japanese dialogue so you can read it in English. Enjoy the NEW ending to DB which will forever be a classic series. Greg Out!
8/12 Sorry for the lack of updates, but ever since I got home from vacation I've been working like a mad man on my new site and new home of this site, The Grand Line at www.thegrandline.com Please update your bookmarks and tell your friends or whomever. This site will only be here until my ownership runs out. Until that time the site will remain here, but there will be no updates here!!!!!!!
7/18 I'm out on vacation for two weeks so no updates. I wanted to have a special feature wrapped up before I left, but instead I began breaking ground for The Grand Line, which may even be fully functional by the time I leave for Japan on August 14th. I'll see you in two weeks!
7/14 Howdy folks! Don't worry, I haven't been sluffing off, anything but!! I have another piece completed that will be a part of The Grand Line, Where is Pandaman? a guide to the history and whereabouts of Pandaman in the One Piece manga. Hopefully I'll have my other feature done THIS week before I head down to Cape May on vacation.
6/17 Just like I promised. Folks, this is the result of three months of work. I learned an awful lot about the series during the course of this 50-page (in MSWord anyway) monster's creation. One Piece is the most popular manga in Japan and fastest-selling manga of all time. I first became interested in One Piece in 2001 and have since collected all the manga and read each of them over a hundred times. And dare I say it? Yes I dare. One Piece is even better than Dragon Ball. A statement which honors both Toriyama for having inspired OP author Eiichiro Oda, and Oda himself for having surpassed the story-telling power of his idol. Very soon, I will be opening my new website The Grand Line, http://www.thegrandline.com , (I didn't make that a link because nothing is there), which was inspired by The Grand Line from One Piece, that will deal with Japanese culture from all angles. This site will become a part of it, but the site as a whole will focus on "traditional" and pop-culture, like the Battle Royale novel/film/manga review I posted a bit back. Anyway, please be sure to UPDATE YOUR LINKS because this site will probablly not be located at this address in about a year's time or less (depends how much time I spent moving things over).
And now for what you've been waiting for, tell your friends, your parents or even your grandparents about this because it doesn't get better or more comprehensive than this The Straw-Hat Luffy Pirate Crew Profile.
6/6 Hi everyone! I apologize for the down-time AND lack of updates. Down-time is unavoidable unfortunately, my dad is working on making sure everything is set so that I can update from Japan, so the server is being worked on extensively.
As for lack of updates, please don't lose faith! For the past three months I have been working on four features for my new site Grand Line (which doesn't exist because I have not designed it yet >o< ). Three of the four are MASSIVE!!!! One of them is 30 pages of text/data thus far and I'm not close to being done. Another one is about 11 pages of text and the end of that is still far in sight! Of the other two, one is complete and I could put it up soon actually. The other is a work in progress and I'm still fine-tuning it. Since it is summer and I'm working on these FEVEROUSLY each day, all four could conceivably be up within the month. And just to whet your appetite, one deals exclusively with a cultural study of Japan that will be a necessity to anyone wishing to travel there, and the other three deal with what is in my opinion the greatest manga of this era (a sentiment that is apparently shared by all of Japan by sales numbers and reader responses). I'm sure you can guess what manga that is right? I've only been ranting about how amazing it is for the last year or so ^_~ Well, can't waste any more time! Back to work!!!!!
HOLY CR@P! I just realized the site is 6 years old!!!! I've gotten used to birthdays at the site so no big deal. Another year another fan. That must mean there are 6 of you now! YOU GUYS ROCK! Hahaha! Time flies eh? Ok, back to work for real!
4/17 Hey there! Well it is a day late, but I finished the Battle Royale guide today. It doesn't fit into this site, so the only way you'll be able to reach it until I get The Grand Line working is right here!
4/15 Hi everyone! It's my Birthday, hurray! Wow, twenty years old. I get to live this long two more times! Not bad! If I don't die of cancer, heart disease, car accident, or death on the job, I might get to live this long THREE more times! Yowza!
I'm working on a Japanese Culture feature for Battle Royale. I've written it all but, I'm just going to wait until I get home (Wednesday night) to put it up so I can use my scanner to make pretty pictures and all that junk.
Don't forget, my Links got a major overhaul, and if you're in the New York area, there are some excellent opportunities to see Japanese art on display in the city this month.
4/8 HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUDDHA! April 8th was the day in the year (approximately) 563 BC on which Prince Siddhartha Guatama was born. Having gained enough positive karma in his previous life, he was destined to become the Buddha, which he accomplished after 49 days of contemplation under a Pipal (now known as Bodhi) Tree. Of course there is much to this story, but we'll cover that some other time.
So why is this important to Japan? Mahayana Buddhism is widely practiced and one of the two major religions of Japan. Depending on your definition of "organized" religion, this could possibly be considered the largest organized religion of Japan. Mahayana Buddhism was brought to Japan by China at around 500 AD. Because of Mahayana Buddhism's acceptance into Japan. From this, the practice of Shinto was given its name, to distinguish it from Buddhism. But once again, I'm sure we'll talk about this more later.
I still haven't completely answered your question! Okay, the reason this is important in Japan is because April 8th is Hanamatsuri meaning "Flower Festival". On Hanamatsuri, to celebrate Buddha's birth, houses made of flowers are prepared to house Buddha statues. Sweet tea is poured over Buddha statues, this is to preserve the story which told of nine dragons that came down from the sky and showered Buddha in purified water.
Japanese citizens bring flower offerings to the temple. Parade processions always include a white elephant constructed of paper mache. A white elephant is one of the images synonymous with Buddha, (another being the deer). On the back of this elephant resides the flower house and the Buddha statue which children will shower with the tea.
Matsuri season is just beginning folks! Just wait till O-Bon and Awa Odori!
4/6 Hey everyone! In America, it is just another day. But as I write this, people in Japan are waking up to April 7th 2003. Do you know what day this is? On April 7th 2003, Dr. Tenma created the robot, Tetsuwan Atomu! Or perhaps some of you know him better as Astro Boy! Yes, today (in Japan, it's still the 6th here in the states) was the date given by "God of Manga" Tezuka Osamu. Osamu founded Muchi Productions which in turn churned out the first serialized animated series, Tetsuwan Atomu, in 1963. The series was instantly carried over here by NBC in October of that year, (in what proved to be the first case of Japanese anime being edited for content, and not the last), but was removed from the aiwaves after two seasons when parents complained about the violence *insert irony*. But in Japan, the animation proved to be the first in the long line of serial animation from Japan. Oh, please note that Atomu was the first serial animation, there were plenty of animated films or shorts prior to this series. And we must never forget that Tezuka's contribution to the world of manga is far far faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar more important than that to his creation of the serial animation. Without his manga work, there would never have been an animated series to begin with! ^_^
If you're looking to see just how massive this celebration in Japan is, The Daily Yomiuri On-Line currently has an extensive feature on the events planned. The feature is in the Arts and Weekend section titled, "Happy Birthday, robot boy".
APRIL FOOLS! I WILL BE ABLE TO UPDATE FROM JAPAN! However,
DOUBLE APRIL FOOLS!Because I really am "ending" The Ultimate DBZ Information Site. Right now, we're working on establishing my new site Grand Line. There are some among you that may actually know what the Grand Line is, but for those of you who don't, Grand Line is a section of the world in the manga and Japanese animation One Piece. It is a chain of seemingly endless islands where powerful pirates gather to seek the One Piece. In addition to that, Grand Line is a rather....unique area. It has its own kinds of weather, its own creatures with more than its fair share of surprises.
Anyway, since I've been studying Japanese language, culture, history, etc. for so long now, I decided to devote my online work to the development of a site that will show my findings, while providing entertainment news, and staple humor.
So what is the fate of The Ultimate DBZ Information Site? Don't worry, it's not going anywhere! Technically, this is an expansion of the site. At first my idea for Grand Line will begin here. It's going to be a part of The Ultimate DBZ Info Site. I already have a domain set aside, so as I build up material on that domain, I will eventually shift all of this stuff over there, forming a mish-mash of Japanese culture study and manga/anime info. So I think my new intro, represents that quite well. Might I add, I am not stopping the addition of DBZ information, but like I promised earlier, it will be newly translated interviews, not battle guides or whatever. So, if I may fall prey to such a petty phrase, "Let's set sail for adventure! Destination: Grand Line!"
4/1 Yesterday when I contacted the program coordinator of the Japan Center for Michigan Universities to establish my information for a personal internet account, I was very saddend to discover that the system has since been abolished due to student abuse and interferrence with host family phone lines. So that essentially means, I will not be able to update the site when I spend a year in Japan.
However, I cannot say I am too dissapointed. Just last night, a friend of mine, SSJ4Kain announced the closing of his DB site because of the lack of interest. While I will always love DB, and there will never be a lack of "interest" on my behalf, there is a sense of defeat that I feel as a result of DB's embarrasing run in the United States. So in so few words, I've decided to stop working on the Ultimate DBZ Information Site. This weekend, it can't be sooner because I'm bending over backwards for a organic chemistry exam, I will post an official thank you message to fans and an official closure to this once triumphant domain.
3/28 Uhhhh.... yeah.... things have been kinda funky 'round these parts so sorry bout that. But computer work is computer work. Okay, first of all, I was accepted by my university to study abroad, which means, I will indeed be bidding farewell to the US for a year come this August. And it looks like I will be able to update the site from Japan. Hooray! I updated the "Origin of Dragon Ball" section by adding a lot more facts, so please check that out when you have a moment. Also, Links have been updated to some degree. I've added some and taken a few dead ones out. I'm telling you now, One Piece rocks.
Folks this is very important. I need your help. If you are in the process of, or even thinking about, making a Dragon Ball/Z/GT anime music video, don't. It is going to suck. It is going to be horrible video quality, with decade-old fansubs scrawled across the screen, or branded with a "CARTOON NETWORK" logo. Just stop. Don't make the video, don't waste your time. Ask yourself, "Has what I'm making already been done 5,739 times before?" Do not humiliate yourself. And furthermore, stop listening to Linkin Park. You can't see it now, but when you grow older, you'll realize that they have made a profit by selling the same song over and over again played at different speeds, with digital voice alterations. Save Dragon Ball's dignity, if it has any left after its stay in the US.
2/9 Hola pacos! Como estas? Wow, I took three years of Spanish is High School and that is all I can remember. Well speaking of languages, I was accepted into the Japan Center for Michigan Universities program. That means so long as I can convince my university to allow me to go, I'm heading off to Japan for a year this August. Huzzah!
I posted yet ANOTHER interview in the Shenron Times section. This time it is an interview that was conducted with possibly the most popular member of the JPOP group SMAP!, Shingo Katori. Katori is famous for his role as Shingo Mama, a ficticious female character he portrays that goes around Japan and does chores for a family in the morning. He made the phrase "OHHA~!" which is a shortened "Ohayou" or "Good morning." He also was the lead actor in the first Japanese sitcom HR (home room) which started airing in Japan last year and will finish up this March. Eventually I will add this data and more to the interview itself.
I've got some really excellent interviews coming out. Some are even shockers and will shut up once and for all the DBGT haters who say that Toriyama disliked GT and had nothing to do with it. I guess that's what I've mostly been focussing on. With 7 years of Japanese study under my belt, now I find it more rewarding to bring you interviews for the first time that you can read. Nowadays everyone has a summary of every manga chapter, battle, item, etc. I'll always be the first to have brought you such things in detail, but if I continued my work on those summaries, it would be like beating a dead horse. You know what happens ^0^ So my work from now on will not concern summaries. I'm going to bring you stuff you've never seen before...not like that hasn't been the case since I began this site ^_~
By the way, DB Kanzenban #3 included an interview with the author of Naruto, Kishimoto Masashi, concerning DB. The pattern seems to be with every odd numbered kanzenban, there will be artwork and an interview with a popular manga artist concerning DB. Wouldn't it be interesting if they interviewed Toriyama about DB once again? Eventually I will get around to providing all these interviews for you. Since there are 36 kanzenban planned, there should be about 13 interviews when all of the volumes are released. I just sent this image to AK of Troy so hopefully he'll get a kick out of it.
2/1 Well howdy! How is everyone doing? Hey guys I'm really excited about this update. This was a really tough project that I've been trying to work on for a very long time and I finally completed it! I finally translated the last interview with the Japanese voice actors from DB! You can check it out over in Shenron Times. This is the first time it has appeared in English anywhere.
In other news, READ ONE PIECE! I'm not sure about the US version but I keep telling you to read the manga and trust me, YOU WILL LOVE IT! Toriyama is a GENIUS but Oda's stories are fantastically thought-out. The final twists at the end of each arc are always amazing.
I sent out my application to The Japan Center for Michigan Universities today and within a week I'll know if I'll be studying in Japan come this August. So I'm crossing my fingers until they bleed.
Japanese DBZ DVDs! Missed my chance to get the first set. Since they are HIGHLY limited editions, they are making each set per reservation and the dead-line was January 15th. I just didn't have that kind of money. Oh, if any of you are interested in the second set, (and I know I am), you can get them for MUCH cheaper at Amazon Japan. And yes, they ship to the United States. You can place reservations...hmmmm...probablly in June or so. I'll let you know when I get the date.
Tocio the Angel is out! It's a picture book for "children" by Akira Toriyama. But don't be let down, Toriyama's staple humor is still present. Tocio's full name is Tocio Canalif. Now if you pronounce his name the Japanese style (last name first), in Japanese it sounds like, "kanarifu tochio", which means, "Pretty fat"! ^0^!!!! In his monthly news address, Toriyama said when he showed it to his son and daughter, they were...well....less than entertained ^_^; Toriyama has been working on Tocio for about 3 years now but only finished it a year ago because of other projects. Soon as I get my hands on it, I'll make some scans for you guys.
In some sad news, Editor-in-Chief of Japan's Shounen JUMP (the original version), 44 year-old Takahashi Toshimasa, suddenly died on January 24th. Toshimasa was at an interview concerning the new One Piece movie, when suddenly he faltered and was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Cause of death must be known by now, but I haven't been able to find out yet. Preliminary reports suggested that he was not ailing. Toshimasa was the JUMP EIC since July 2001. You may notice that is similar to the report at Anime News Service, that's because I originally translated the story and broke it. I'll let you know when I find out the cause of death.
Skitz of DB Season 3 (Which I'm sure few remember, but was a visually amazing site) is selling a complete collection of the Daizenshyuu and Perfect Files on Ebay (or at least he will be soon) If you're interested on getting your hands on an INCREDIBLY rare deal, then keep an eye out for them. (just an incentive, they're out of print remember)
1/11 Whoah....check this out....http://home.planet.nl/~verh2800/pages/orig.htm Not every day you see your work translated into a foreign language. I'm so proud T^T
Special note to Austin Norsthworthy. Dude, you constantly send me e-mails trying to prove me wrong. Each time I reply with my sage advice, shredding your opinions and theories to microscopic bits. And every time your server rejects my e-mail. Either fix your server or you'll never get to receive my guidance ^_~
Everyone, the translations (I'm working on multiple ones) are proceeding fabulously. They should all be up in less than two weeks.
1/6 FINALLY! A major update to the actual site! No news, no "Life of Greg" updates. Head over to Shenron Times for an interview between Akira Toriyama and Eiichiro Oda, author of One Piece. Enjoy folks! I've got more stuff coming! ^_^m
1/3 "Akemashita omedetou gozaimasu" everyone. How's 2003 treating you thus far? Well I'm personally more excited that I've been in a long time. Why is that? Because there's real DBZ news ladies and gentlemen. As many of you already may know, for the first time ever, Dragon Ball Z will be released on DVD in Japan....all of it. The DVDs are being released in two (yes two) sets. DBZ is being released in two enormous box sets. The first set will be released on March 19th and contain a whopping 25 DVDs. Volume one will cover episodes 1-147. For those of you keeping track, that's the first episode of DBZ to "Hurry up and train Saiya-jin!! The Room of Spirit and Time." The second box will be released on September 18th 2003. The one catch is the cost. They're roughly $850. But do a little math. At four episodes per DVD, FUNimation would release about 73 DVDs for DBZ. Now although they can be found for slightly cheaper online, if they are used, the average cost of a US DBZ DVD is $23 (of course they can be found for even more expensive, but this is just an average). If you buy the 73 DVDs at $24, that will set you back a total of $1,752. The original Japanese set would come out to $1,700. In all fairness that could be slightly higher or lower depending on the value of the dollar to yen of the day. All in all it's pretty equal. I guess the question is, do you want two awesome box sets that come with a 17 cm statue of Gokou and plenty of extras from the real creators of the Dragon Ball anime WITHOUT English sub-titles, or a plethora of cases and extras mainly from people who have no real connection to DBZ at all and are edited for dialogue? The choice is totally up to you, but I'm sure you know who I'll be giving my money to. That's right, neither. Cause I'm already going to go broke getting the new DB manga and I've got to save up for my year in Japan.
Oh that's right. I actually got a B- in Organic Chemistry. I dunno how I did it, but I did. I pulled my GPA way up and all signs point to Japan this August. So hooray for me. Anyway, speaking of the new DB manga, GET IT! It's good stuff folks! It's got Daizenshyu-like interviews with other artists and the first was actually with (be still my heart) Eiichiro Oda who I'm sure none of you know yet, but you will. He's the creator of the most popular anime and manga in Japan right now, One Piece. FUNimation owns the rights to the anime so you can count that out as being turned into a bastardized version of its former self, but Viz is handling the manga and from what I've read it is excellent, as is to be expected from a company like Viz that is loyal to all fans. ANYWAY I'll get to work on translating the interview (Boy it's tough! No furigana on this one to save me!). Eiichiro has stated many many times that he is a huge Toriyama fan so I was thrilled to see he finally did his own rendition of Gokou which you can see below.
12/28 Hey guys! Some news for you. Toriyama will be coming out with a new manga next year (as in 2003, we're close, but not there yet ya know). The main character is Tachio, a giant angel that looks like a cross-breed between Majin Buu and a very unlucky human ^o^ He is an angel that brings happiness to humans by mysterious means. Also you'll be very please to know that Shueisha is finally releasing a "Perfect" collection of the Dragon Ball manga. The new manga are in red covers, and much larger than the typical tankobon format. The cover and back feature brand new artwork by Toriyama and according to the "Jumpland" website, Toriyama is even fixing some mistakes he made in the manga pictures. If you're interested in seeing more information about these books, Tocchio, and posts from Toriyama himself, not to mention joining a DBZ world game that quizes your DBZ knowledge as well as typing skills. Seriously....the Karin Tower game is hell @_@ It will take at LEAST and hour if you are an AMAZING typist. You can find that at Jumpland.com. Enjoy! See you next update!
12/14 "Where in the Hell have you been Greg?", is what 99.9% of you are screaming at me right about now. Well I've been where I've always been, New Jersey ^0^. But you see, that's the root of all this. I had a couple things going against me this semester of college. You see I can't do Chemistry. Chemistry and I...well, let's just say we don't have good chemistry :-D Seriously, I can take anything you throw at me, EXCEPT Chemistry. Last semester I studied for literally a week straight and was able to pull off a miracle C on a test and final respectfully. Getting a C in General Chem 7 was nothing short of unbelievable considering I was close to failing it, regardless, I found out in August that my GPA was too low. I had accumulated a 2.778 when the lowest acceptable was a 2.80. It sucks when rounding up isn't a factor. So I was put on scholarship probation this semester. If I didn't get a 2.80 I would lose my scholarship and at $36,000 per year, it's not likely for me to continue my education at Drew U. without one. So all I had to do was get a 2.80, no biggie right? 'Fraid not. I'm a Biology major and FOUR semesters of Chemistry are required. I had only just completed two. And the course I would be taking next, Organic Chemistry, is feared by even Chem 7 masters. So I worked my butt off this semester. Studied all the time and almost cracked under the pressure, but I did it. I just finished my Chem Final yesterday and I'm fairly certain I'll be walking out of the course with an average B. Even if I didn't, I've done so well in my other courses (Biology and art related) that they'll pull it up enough. So I'm celebratin'!!!!
Anyway, that is hardly the only reason I worked like a madman this semester. I mentioned in the last update that things are going to be very very vacant (like more than usual) around here starting next August. Since I ended up doing well in Chem, and basically assured myself an increased GPA, (not to mention I'm not even considering the fact that I will be rejected from this), I think it's safe to tell you all now, I'll be leaving the country next August.
What country? Come on guys, do you even have to ask ^0^? I'll be going to Shiga prefecture of Japan to study abroad. I've decided to study in Shiga because although it is not incredibly secluded from high population areas, it is far different from Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto where foreigners are almost more frequent than natives ^0^ There are a lot of programs open to me in those areas, but I've always preffered areas outside the cities so I can practice my Japanese more in everyday interactions and situations. That and I've always loved the countryside of Japan, it's why I enjoy staying on Shikoku when I'm there. Anyway, that being said, I'm not sure what the internet situation will be. I'm not sure if I will have access or not, and even if it is available, I don't know if I could afford it. So, the site is not closed, and it will not be closed down. I find it funny that nowadays sites which I have either never heard of, or watched grow from the ground up are closing down. As for what I'm doing on the site? I'm working on some Toriyama interviews that have never been done before, and there's one I'm doing which is a REAL treat because it's between two manga authors whose work I'm really really into. On a side note, GTO still rules and One Piece rocks. I urge you to check out One Piece before it becomes a trend in the US a la DBZ. It's a safe bet that GTO will never become a money machine and remain a gem for those willing to seek it out on their own, so you can read or watch that manga/anime/drama/TV special/movie at your leisure. Oh, for those of you who don't know, Battle Royale 2 is being made and production begins this month. It will be out in theaters when I get to Japan this August. See you real soon with those interviews!
12/1 Hey everyone I AM alive. Finals are almost done. I apologize for no updates (this certainly doesn't count) But I AM still going to be updating. I do have a big announcement though regarding the site, and it relates to why there's been ZERO updates. Don't worry, I'm not closing the site...but things are gonna be lonely around here starting next August. We'll talk more later.
7/25 Hey everyone what's goin on? Well I finally recovered from all that scanning and photo editing. First and foremost, I got a tip on those DBZ videogames a while back from fan Mike Morin. Here's what he has to say!
7/22 ....it took me three weeks....but I FINALLY FINISHED THEM! AAAAAAAHHHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! OVER ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY OF MY BEST PICTURES FROM JAPAN!!!!!!! Please please please PLEASE enjoy them!!!!!! I would write stories and stuff now, but I'm just sick of the whole thing, I'll stick them up tommorow. NOW FOR A VERY DESERVED GOOD NIGHT'S REST!!! (There ARE spelling errors. I could care less, as long as it's done and working)
7/12 Hi everyone! I finally finished scanning my pics from Japan so they'll be up shortly! I'm here today to report some real Dragon Ball news. (In other words, it has no relation to American DBZ) Some new Dragon Ball games are being developed in Japan. I find this incredibly exciting since these will be the first real DBZ games since Final Bout. (What, you think I'm going to count the edited ones from Infogrames?? ^0^) One is a fighting game for PS2 and is called...well it has been listed as "Dragon Ball Z: Legendary Super Warriors". There's just one problem with that...(see below) There is a bit of confusion on the game's origin. here The Magic Box lists these two games as originating from Bandai Japan. Meanwhile here and here they list the game as originating from Infogrames, as does IGNPS2. However, if you look at the screenshots, everyone's name is spelled correctly. Gokou is Son Gokou not "Goku". Freeza is Freeza not "Frieza" and so on. Since Infogrames created the games to be carbon-copies of the edited US DBZ, I can only imagine someone has their facts mixed up! Since the text on the screen is also highly similar to that in Legends, personally I believe that this particular game is coming from Bandai, not Infogrames. And if it is, then it is being made specifically for the Japanese market, because Gen Fukunaga would surely die if the characters were given accurate names in America. Unfortunately, these screens look awful... However, it could be similar to Tobal games where a low polygon count yields incredibly smooth and realistic motion. I dunno though...
The second game coming out is for Game Boy Color from Banpresto. This game is called "Dragon Ball Z: Legendary Super Warriors". That's the same name as the PS2 game. Whether they both have the same name or this is an error, I have no idea. This game is going to be a real treat because it's being created in a style similar to the Dragon Ball games of yore. It's a card battle style game that will cover the series from early DBZ to the end. The card battle style of fighting was utilized in Famicom and Super Famicom DBZ RPG games. This game is coming out in multiple languages and will be released in the US in the usual awkward format. I'll be sure to get the Japanese version. You can see some pics and a summary of the game here. It will be released in Japan on August 9th.
6/29 I'M BACK!!!! Stories and pictures are on their way!!!!!
6/5 Well I'll be gone for three weeks, so you won't find much new else here, but I figured I might as well leave you some interesting stuff. I wanted to do this last year, but I got to excited and just slept a lot so I wouldn't notice time passing. Here's a map of my journey!
Stop 2 is Kouchi City. Here I'll be spending the time there with my family last year. This is the house that was next to a Shinto shrine. My host father is a priest and my host grandpa is the shrine master. I'll be here June 13th-17
Number 3 is Matsuyama. This is where I may end up teaching English when I join the JET program after college. My host family here is the Shima family again. Their daughter is away this year unfortunately in Tokyo. Their son is a big anime and videogame fan. He said he's going to have Kingdom Hearts waiting for me :-D I'll be in Matsuyama June 17th-21st.
My last original stop will be in Marugame. Marugame is the second largest city in the Kagawa prefecture. My host family here is the Ishikawa family. My host father, Masashi Ishikawa, is an orthopaedic surgeon!! Their daughter also attends Tokyo University! I will be here from June 21st-24th.
This wasn't planned until...uh...two days ago, but instead of returning directly to Kyoto, I'm gonna head back to Kouchi and meet a friend I've made via penpal exchange, Momo chan. She's in America and won't be returning to Kouchi until the 19th, but by that time, I'll be in Matsuyama. SO, I'm goin back to Kouchi for a day on June 24th.
On June 25th I'll be returning to the Nakagawa family. At that time Yu will be in Italy. On the 27th I'll be hitching a plane back to the US and I'll be arriving in the US just a few hours before I left Japan. How often is it you get to say something like that :-D
Here are some websites that will provide some info on the places I'm going. Enjoy!!!
The City of Kyoto
Kyoto Station- A f'n awesome place!
The City of Tokushima
The City of Kouchi
The City of Matsuyama
The City of Marugame (Not in English)
So that's my life for the next three weeks! See you all soon! Mata mite ne~~~~~!
6/4 Rather than revel in how wonderful I should be since I've kept a site going for so long, I'd like to address another issue. A favorite history teacher of mine held a phrase very close to his heart, it was "Excuses are for losers." Of course I hated when he applied this to me when I had a paper due, but looking back, I shouldn't have had any excuse. I had a duty to do, and I should take responsibilty and be prepared for anything. In my journey towards becoming an Eagle Scout I also learned this.
It doesn't take a regular fan to realize that updates for the past two years have been slim to none. Even if you visted my site once a month, it wasn't likely that you'd see many updates. In fact, last year I entirely forgot my site's anniversary, and would have done so again if Bejiita Daimaou didn't remind me last night through a congratulatory e-mail. I could take the route that I have for so long, and all the other web"masters" who don't make frequent updates have taken, "Sorry, I've been busy with: School/Girls/Guys/Working/Car," and so on. While it certainly isn't a lie that these things take up an AWFUL lot of time as you grow older, one who maintains a site owes it to their fans to be there for them. As fans take time out of their daily life to visit a site, the maintainer should make sure that there's something new there for them. I haven't done this and although I have really been busy as heck recently, especially since I'm preparing to leave for Japan this Friday, I have had plenty of free time where I could have added something to the site. So I'd like to formally apologize for neglecting my duties. I am proud to be a site that has been around so long and outlasted, (as far as I know), only by David Rutledge the created of Kaioshin's Webpage which is now Super Pope. Dave is one of the reasons I've become such a DBZ fan which brings me to my next thought. Before I was a Dragon Ball fan, (let's face facts, the first episode I saw the English version of Dragon Ball in 1995 and my fandom didn't begin until I saw the first english episode of DBZ in 1996), there were a series of pioneers who loved Dragon Ball and the only way they could watch or read it was by learning Japanese. They made Dragon Ball what it is today, and at this time, I'd like to thank those who are responsible.
Dave Rutledge: I remember Dave's old site. I had just gotten the Internet so that I could find out more information on the show "Dragon Ball Z" that I had just seen. I didn't know much about the Internet so I typed in "http://www.anime.com" hoping that would provide all the answers. It didn't, in fact, there was practically nothing there, as many of you know, only recently has this become completely different. So I learned about search engines and looked up "dragon ball z". You may be surprised that even though this was before the American boom, there were hundreds of different results. Image galleries not unlike the thousands of DBZ garbage sites were even there. Finding a useful site took some detective work, but eventually I stumbled upon "Kai-Oh-Shin's Planet". He had scanned a clipping from a local newspaper of a picture of himself, waiting in line for the release of Star Wars: Special Edition. Another scan he made was a short story that TV Guide printed about the release of Dragon Ball Z. Below all of this was a plethora of information on DB video games of ALL kinds. At that time, Dave's collection was incomplete but he had plenty of information on what was available to him. Not long after I found his site, he released a graphics heavy version of the site which I couldn't view at the time because my computer sucked. But eventually I was able to view it and here is where I saw some of my first pictures of unedited Dragon Ball Z. Now Dave has a son, Sidney, and still updates his site from time to time. He recently mentioned that he's going to do a review of the new GBA Dragon Ball Z game. Thanks for everything Dave, and I'm sorry about all that trouble when I won the auction for Legend of the Saiya-jin ^_~
Ian Kelley: You don't know who this is, I garauntee it. But this is a man who is responsible for some of the very first translations from the DBZ Daizenshyu. Without his work, I would never have known enough about the series to make any sense of it. Unfortunately, Ian's site, "Dragon World", was raped by thieves and his information was stolen and posted everywhere as "original" work, not unlike what happens to me, (not that I care because everyone knows I originally created the information anyway, and thieves sites never amount to anything.) I'm not sure where Ian is these days or what he is doing, but with all of his work in the study of Japanese, I wonder if he's even on the continent anymore. Thank you Ian!
Wuken: Okay, here's a name some of you might recognize. "Wuken's Homepage" was THE source for Dragon Ball news, back when there was still interesting DB-related news going on in Japan. Eventually Wuken changed this site to "Suushinchuu" and enjoyed even more popularity until his retirement. Wuken worked very hard at a time when finding news on DB was very difficult and required a lot of hard work to find out who, when and where. One of my fondest memories of Freshman year high-school was "Wuken's DB Trvia Contest". My team "The Three Super Saiya-jin" made it past everyone else to the final round that was between me and....I forget. Unfortunately, Wuken vanished after the final answers were submitted and no notice of victory or defeat was ever sent to us, nor were the promised prizes. Oh well, we won't hold that against Wuken, he did his job well. Wuken, hats off!
Brian Real AKA The Duck: "What?", you say. Why on Earth am I thanking such a person as this? The person who lied, cheated and sold-out fansubbers to FUNimation so that he could become best friends with them? (And in the end it never did a thing for him) Well, I just want to thank Brian because he taught me how to put up and deal with Class-A Assholes. And there's no better way to put that. A lot of website owners take things out on their fans or those who use harsh words about them because they don't know how to deal with being embarassed, but thanks to Brian, I learned how to control myself. Brian wrote an editorial titled, "There Goes a Sack of Crap", dedicated entirely to flaming me, I've seen Kindergarteners picking their noses with more maturity than that exhibits. I dealt with Brian appropriately, others saw him for what he was, and he dissapeared into obscurity. I hope many of you reading this are saying, "Who was Brian Real?", because that makes it all worth it.
Mr. E: Mr. E, Mr. E, Mr. E. What can I say? You never personally helped me get into Dragon Ball, and you never revealed anything I didn't already know, but to so many fans you were a hero. I still question how you treated them, saying they should all be shot with a shotgun, and how you lied about there not being any real cursing in DBZ to sell FUNimation's DVDs, among other things which I won't bother going into because I'm not about to sink to Brian's level. But you were still a hero. You deserve praise because you made DBZ popular for the "DBZ Dubbie" generation that was born after DBZ began on Cartoon Network. And now some of those kids are growing up and becoming real anime fans, which is a wonderful thing, and I can't take that away from you. As a fan of anime, thank you e.
Curtis Hoffman: Last and certainly not the least. Curtis is someone even I don't know personally. His work paved the way for many of the people I mentioned above. Curtis and Usagi North both created the first accurate and lengthy DB manga summaries, which were made available at his site, 3 Steps Over The Edge. This man's passion was DB. I can't imagine the hours and hours and hours and weeks and weeks and months and months that went into creating the summaries, not to mention the other content of the site, like the first DBGT episode summaries. Curtis Hoffman is the kind of Dragon Ball fan I'd love to be, but could never achieve. We all owe Curtis a big thanks, no matter where he is these days.
There are of course many others who also deserve a great deal of thanks for their hard work, unfortunately I can't give all of them credit because I can't track most of them down anymore. Regardless, the people mentioned above have had the biggest impact on my Dragon Ball fandom and helped make me and this site site what it is today! No more excuses, I'm here for you guys to stay! Oh uh, well maybe just one more, you know, being out of the country for three weeks without a computer and all kind of makes updates unquestionably impossible ^_~ I'll be back three weeks from Friday with a new positive outlook for the site, and several hundred pictures! See you guys later! *blows out the candles*
4/23 Woohoo!!!! Jackie Chan Interview is up in The Shenron Times section. I warned you it was short!!! I would have had it up a year ago, but I lost the transcript. In other news,
4/20 April 15th was my birthday. Yay, 19 years old. Too bad I couldn't celebrate at all! Let me assure you, you do NOT want to be a Biology major because the required Chemistry courses will make your life a living Hell! I feel sick just listening to the Japanese group's songs now, it's like shellshock. Luckily my roommate's sister is a complete genius and helped me out enormously. (I owe her a huge plug, she's creating an unbelievable Gundam Wing site) I literally studied from last Thursday until the following Wednesday morning. I took the exam on Wednesday, and hopefully I'll have the test back by Monday. It basically goes like this, if I passed, I'm going to Japan for three weeks again, but this time by myself. After that I have a few weeks at home, and then I'm going to be in Cape May, NJ for two weeks on vacation. Right after we get home from that, my family will be hosting Japanese exchange students again for a week, and after that I have about two weeks of relaxing and then it's back to school. Now, if I didn't pass the test, I'll be spending my ENTIRE SUMMER IN SCHOOL trying to pass Chemistry. So, I'm sure you'll forgive me for the lack of updates lately. And besides that, my e-mail hasn't been working for a week and a half, and the site has been on and off. Why? Well the joys of hosting your own site are few and my sound card....uh....melted. ^0^ So anyway my dad was able to fix everything after many many hours of work. You have him to thank.
I'm at home for the weekend, and I left all my DBZ transcripts at college, so, sometime next week I'm going to post the interview with Jackie Chan concerning Dragon Ball that was included in the newsletter in Daizenshyu 1. It's short and sweet. At the moment, I'm working on the interview with Japan's Dragon Ball Trivia Champions. MIGHT I ADD I UPDATED MY LINKS!!!!!
Okay uh I can tell many of you aren't too familliar with writing editorials. I've receive a number of "editorials" that were essentially a sentence or two saying, "I like Dragon Ball because it's cool." ....right. As soon as I'm done with my thesis for Research Writing on the exoticism (yes that is a word believe it or don't) of Japanese animation in the United States, I'll post it. At the moment it's about 13 pages in length, and personally I think it's a good read, but I only have a rough draft done. I will add though that I have received some really good editorials and I'll post them as soon as I can.
You're forewarned, "Chobits" is an awesome anime. If it ever comes out here, buy it. "Run=Dim" is just awful...just......awful. "Happy Lesson" is essentially Love Hina with a lemon scented twist, so it also rocks. "Tokyo Underground" is....uh...I laughed out loud a few times, and it is an action anime with comedic elements but....I dunno, it looks so typical. ".hack" rulez. The animation is jaw-dropping. There's my two-cents on new anime. If you haven't heard of them, it's because they're REALLY new. So if you know a server, get em. I'm lucky enough to have a friend who is a wiz at genetics and helped a server out with their homework, so I have access to tons of great stuff. Also, if you have Kazaa or wanna get it from me when I'm on IM, you MUST see Leon Lai's music video for "Love All Day". It's just, oh man, unbelievable. My Chinese friend, Kenny Wong, (see farrrrrr below for a pic of him at my New Year's party), and I often discuss how much money Lai must have if he can flush it all down the toilet to make a video that looks this sweet. When I get back to school and add the Jackie Chan bio, I'll show you how I released all that stress after the test on Wednesday. I didn't have time for an April Fools prank at college, (which doesn't mean I didn't here), but this more than made up for it. Later!
4/9 It's almost my birthday. "Woohoo" and all that jazz. Hey guess who I met yesterday, Dave Barry. Right now you might be saying, "Who the heck is Dave Barry?" Well, he's the most famous writer you never heard of. The old sitcom "Dave's World" was based on two of his books, and that new movie "Big Trouble" is also based on one of his books. He's a "journalist" but a comedic one. Real funny stuff. Anyway, he wrote a book about Japan back in 1992 that I've read again and again, each time laughing out loud at least twice per page. Well it used to be once, but after I came back from Japan and experienced some of the stuff he did, it was even funnier (ie. the mysteriously revolting name, but curiously delicious taste of Pocari Sweat). So anyway, long story short, we talked for a bit after his lecture and he signed my copy of his book, "To Greg, a fellow gaijin", Awwww. So, what's up with the site? Well hopefully you have noticed by now I have the DBZ By Number section up in the frames, and appearing out of thin air is the Origin of Dragon Ball section which I basically ripped from a piece for the magazine, (not published yet). There is an awful lot more that can be done with that section, but I'd need to finish Hsi Yu Chi first and that's not gonna happen for a while, however, if any of you notice Hsi Yu Chi references I didn't mention, (there are hundreds upon hundreds), by all means let me know. Ok, I've recently become fascinated in exploring exactly WHY I like Japanese anime. (FYI "Japanese anime" is not redundant) And since I have little, (if any), fan interaction at the site, (Well I did give out my screen name in Contact Me, so cut me some slack), I've decided I want to start posting editorials. I want to learn, I want to hear your opinions. These editorials have a qualifer. I don't want to read anything about who hates who, why someone hates someone, how "newbie" you are or aren't, etc. I especially don't wanna hear about any so-called "DBZ Web Community". I would love to read some well thought-through editorials on why we as Americans are fascinated with Japanese animation, the Japanese culture, (J-Pop, food, games), whatever. I'm just really really tired of people using editorials to flame others, even when it is in defense of others. Remember, love and peace. So any topic except flames and "The state of the DBZ Community". Send your work to me firstname.lastname@example.org I'll post any editorial so long as it adheres to my rules and is fairly well-written. Kay? See you later!
4/1 Well, I told you I had some big news comin' at ya. And here it is. First of all, this is my first official update to the site from my school!!! WOOHOO! Finally!!! Secondly, I have some great news for those who lost faith in the DBZ Web Community. I mentioned something that would occur of massive proportions, well here it is. I'm sure you all remember Mr. E of the unbelievably popular site Planet Namek. Well, Mister E has decided that he can't leave his fans hanging. Since he cares about them so much, he's decided to join this site and work as my first official staff member. He's incredibly excited about the opportunity. Mr. E has said, "I'm just glad...I want to thank, Greg Werner. My friend, for making websites." This was especially flattering to me. I thought Mister E was nothing but a souless shell who wanted to create a business, rather than a website. I'm just so proud of him. I want to extend my thanks to Mister E and together we're going to work to bring you a better DBZ site! I'm also pleased to announce that I'm working on translating every Akira Toriyama interview that is available and accessible. These will appear in the mag I write for, but naturally they'll be here with extra "Greg comments" that I'm not allowed to make in the mag, (sheesh, for some reason they make you proofread your work when you write for a national magazine ^_~) Viz gave us permission to print it because they said it has only appeared in less than stellar translations on some sites. So anyway, that's it for today. See you real soon. I'll get those files that I left at school up ASAP. Adios!
3/23 Well the big news on everyone's lips across the world, (I've gotten e-mail from my friends in Japan who were very excited about the news), is that 20th Century Fox recently secured the rights to a live-action DBZ movie. I'm afraid honestly. But we shall see. If it's changed from the series by just the right amount (ie. Resident Evil) then it may be decent. A strong guy in a orange gi with monumental hair works well animated, but it's a whole other story when it comes to live-action. The question is, will it be Mortal Kombat or Mortal Kombat 2: Anihiliation? But anyway, I digress. Hey in some big news, revealed to me by a truly amazing source that never ceases to amaze me (thanks Mr. F!!!), Cartoon Network has obtained Hamtarou. Don't know what it is? Don't worry, you will soon. This may be the first anime I watch, while it's on Cartoon Network, in a long time because I don't think it actually requires editing. There isn't much information available on this series in English form at the moment, but there's a massive number of Japanese sites that have info on it. It's basically about a bunch of hamsters that talk. I'm sold on that. ^0^ Seriously this is a really interesting show and it's big in Japan at the moment so check it out when the time comes. ALSO!!! I know I mentioned this over a year ago, and it hasn't happened yet, but don't count it out! Escaflowne may still come to Cartoon Network! Considering they edited only nudity and swearing from Cowboy Bebop, (hey, don't let them fool you, just because it's Adult Swim doesn't mean they don't edit stuff), Escaflowne should pass the censors unscathed. If you're just a DBZ addict and aren't familliar with Tenku no Escaflowne, you should be! It's a beautiful series and contains one of the greatest/coolest/twisted/mysterious villains in anime history! (If you know Escaflowne, you know who I'm talking about)
Alllllrighty then, why aren't those new sections up that I promised? Because I didn't just leave one file at school, I left both! >o< So I've had it with trying to be all proper and releasing a section in it's complete form. I haven't added a button to Frames yet, but I'm adding a text link on the Main frame and on the Non-Frames page. So here's my New section that isn't really new because I made it a long time ago, and isn't even complete because the file is at school and I can't update from school yet >o< !!!!!!
Heh, so anyway, I made a promise a while back to only cover Japanese DBZ news. Well in about a week, I'll announce something truly amazing, the likes of which hasn't been accomplished by any webmaster, past or present no matter how influential they may have thought they were. In fact, this is something that no one has done in published form since the release of the DB Daizenshyu, and through the help of some great industry friends, who are making this possible (THANK YOU MR. F!!!), I will be able to bring it to you. Want a hint? Too bad, I already gave out one ^_^ But this is something you will not want to miss.
3/9 Yo! What's up? Greg here! Server is working wonderfully! I still need to setup access to it from my college, and when that's in place I can update from there, not only at home. As for the moment, I'm on Spring Break! But first some sad news. The popular site Planet Namek has finally closed it's doors. I'm not sure how long they were around for, but they were certainly a great source for fans of the American version of DBZ. It had an impressive staff and a message board service that I hear was quite popular. It's always a shame to lose a valuable member of the DBZ web community. I'm sure many will miss that site and it's maintainers. Farewell and RIP Planet Namek.
e, i know you'll read this, bite me ^_^
With that said, moving on to sites that are among the living, (mine not being one of them at the moment). I'm going to add a new section and work on the Gokou Bio over break. The "new" section is the one I mentioned aeons ago, but I couldn't do my translations fast enough and it became outdated material, something I hate posting. But since that is gone now, I'll work on it again and add much more to it. Another section I will add when I get back to school, is actually very original and although some other sites covered it, I'm going into extreme detail like my old self. It coincidentally is something I wrote for the magazine, but will be expanding on for use on my site, kinda like a director's cut. I also, (wait for it), CHANGED SOMETHING ON THE ACTUAL SITE! OH MY GOD!!! Establishing good contact with fans is something every self-respecting webmaster should do, and aside from my bi-weekly showings on AIM, I haven't read a single fan-mail in...uh a year(???). So my new e-mail address has been added to the Contact Me section of the site! PLEASE feel free to e-mail me. I love reading fan, hate, and whatever mail. I'm sitting here trying to think of a new "logo-image" for the site, which is really hard because I like the one I have now so much ^0^ But it will be another standard Photoshop Greg-job, black border outline with "inner bevel" and all. Since I have nothing better to offer you at the moment, here's the latest anime and Japanese movies you MUST seek out, in no particular order.
2/9 I think right about now you and a whole lot of other people are wondering what is going on. Or maybe you're clever and had my little charade figured out. If you did figure it out, I congratulate you. That means not only do you have a good memory, but it also means you believe me. I really appreciate that! Thanks! Well either that or you just figured it was something I'd do. ^_^ Where to begin? Well I guess it can best be summed up this way, I keep my word. I've stated time and time again I would always be here for DB fans. And I intend to keep my word! Unlike some site owners, I don't see my fans as annoying pests, despite the fact that I have personal IM sessions with them deal with them in personal ways. If there are a few bad eggs, they can never hope to crush the thousands upon thousands upon thousands of words of praise I receive. So thank you guys! Secondly, I kept my word by fulfilling a goal I proposed years ago, to get my own server and host my site. It's been years in the works and has taken lots out of my wallet, not to mention an incredible amount of work and research done by my dad on the techincal end, but I now have my own server and am hosting my own site. ^_^ And finally, I never lied about stopping my site, I specifically said I was shutting down www.goes.com/~dbzinfo. Hey it's semantics, so what? At least I'm not asking what the definition of "is IS". So that said, here I am. But just a few tiny qualifers, having my own server and hosting my site now means I'm subject to bad things happening. So my site may be down from time to time, especially in the near future!!!! Bugs are still being worked out of the system, and well, the server is going to be messed with a lot so I beg your patience in this matter. Since my site is mainly text and doesn't contain site-crippling message boards or multimedia files, bandwidth should not be a problem, but it may turn out to be anyway, something's bound to go wrong. I'll deal with it ^_^ My goal is to provide info for you so I'll do my best to be available at all times. Now uh, I do want to straighten things out here. I'd like to have someone work with me that has good HTML skills and doesn't mind the boring task of revising and organizing the junk I've stashed here and there. I can't pay you. I'm not offering access to my site or files either. But you will get credit for any organizational work you do. Soon as I get my e-mail squared away, I'll ask for submissions. Hmmm what else? Oh, I've been thinking about changing the logo image. I guess I'll have to get the "moderately creative" juices flowing again. I'm not looking for a site overhaul. My ideal through the years has been a simplistic look with lots of freaking stuff to waste your time reading. I've had hundreds or people beg to work on my site and give it a new look. I'm sorry, but it's my crappy design work. Regardless of what you think, it is my creation and I'm fond of it even though it's so last century. Over Christmas I was PLANNING on adding the SSJ3 Son Gokou VS Majin Buu fight to the Ultimate Battles, but I only got halfway through the fight and left my videos in my dorm room which was LOCKED for the duration of break. Sowwy! In conclusion, I must say it's been a rather bumpy several weeks for on-line DB fans hasn't it? There's a lot of site closing and vanishings or something like that, but I wouldn't be too surprised if some come back from where they're headed, or say they are like me. At any rate, I hope this surprise brightened things up a bit for you. I told only three people about this little move of mine, and I'm happy it stayed as quiet as it did. *looks around suspiciously* To those of you who genuinely rejoiced my "retirement" you must already feel stupid enough so I'll let you be. Hey everyone, it's good to be "back"! I'll always be here for you guys! Yakusoku yubikiri ^_^
1/22 Ahhhhh a fresh new year! And what better to give you on my first update of the year than an incredibly important announcement. BUT FIRST ^_^ due to popular demand, I will explain just what the heck my Main Page image is. Many of you have asked if my spelling has become so horrid that I've simply started typing jibberish. Some of you have questioned what Yatta means. But most of you have asked me why there is a giant green leaf covering Gokou's crotch. In Japan, there is a comedy show that airs during the evening and is live, (well some of it). Sound familliar? It's not SNL, it's SGL, Silly Go Lucky. The show is very popular with kids and is very audience interactive at times. I had the pleasure of seeing this show during my time in Japan this summer after having heard about it from some friends. Anyway, these clever fellows made an incredibly popular sketch that takes groups like Morning Musume, Mini Moni, Pucchi Moni, etc; as well as singers like Utada, Ayumi, and Suzuki and tears them apart with Happatai and their hit single YATTA! The group members are all men but they're almost entirely naked except for daiper-like shorts and a big green leaf over their crotch, (symbolizing the group's name). Now keep in mind, this was merely a sketch on a comedy show, however it became a huge hit! Since then they have appeared at events as Happatai, released a CD, VHS and DVD, and as many Internet fans know, an abso-freaking-lutely hysterical music video. I never saw the Yatta song until sometime in September, but despite the fact that it stars 95% naked men couldn't stop watching it, and neither could anyone on my floor. It took videos from the Para Para Allstars to stop me from watching YATTA!, but that's another story. Wanna learn more about Happatai? Visit Nick15.com. He's been into SGL long before me and has a lot of SGL's work for download, including YATTA! Oh yeah, "yatta" means, "I did it!" It's said like every five seconds in DB/Z so you should recognize it ^_~
And now, continuing with my strain of random things. Here is stuff I do when I'm not updating.
Yeah so anyway, the important stuff. Okay well uh, this is hard to say, and I tried to give you some funny stuff to cheer you up, but there's no easy way to put this. I will soon no longer be working on this site, http://www.goes.com/~dbzinfo The Ultimate DBZ Information Site. There's a lot of reasons some of which I care to share, some which I care not to, but will share anyway ^0^ just not now. Do I have any future plans as far as sites? I can't really say, but this site will be removed from the net upon it's termination which is not for a while yet. I will update one last time here pretty soon and explain why I'm closing shop here. I'm not saying goodbye to this place, but I will be pretty soon. be sure to check out my final update. I promise to make it worth your time after breaking you this news. Kay? See you then.
11/24 I HAVE NOTHING TO UPDATE! I simply HAD to refference SGL or my head was going to explode!!!! I've wanted to add that for like 3 weeks now!!! Hope everyone had/is having a restful vacation! Believe it or not, I am working on a section of my site, (one of the most popular sections), and I should have it done in time for Christmas. Awww. Now with that said. G! R! DOUBLE E! N! LEAVES! BAI Q!
10/14 Oh wow, almost forgot I had a site ^0^ Just kiddin' I'd never forget about you guys *looks around nervously* As typical, no info updates of any kind, just letting you know I'm alive and kicking. College is...uh...I have no idea how to begin explaining it. At times it kicks seemingly infinite butt. And boy can it suck! For instance, like that time I had to study for 10 hours one Thursday evening into Friday morning, to get a decent grade of my Biology and Chemistry exams, both on the same day, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! (Oh yeah I'm a Bio Major for Pre-Med, I told you guys that right?) But then there's the times where you get off at 11:40 AM from only two classes and uh....that's it for the whole day! My school kicks an enormous amount of butt and bestowed upon each 1st Year Student a shiny new Pentium III enabled laptop with network card, and built-in CD burner *drool* Anyhoo, needless to say, with a network that is running slow when it runs at 950 kilobytes per second, my collection of anime music videos has skyrocketed. Quite interesting stuff wot wot. Uh okay about the site. Although I have plans for a bunch of new sections, I figure I'm already bogged down with enough unfinished business. (Is it just me? I think only like two or three sections of my site are actually complete *_*) Soooo although I have several new sections online (unfinished) they're going to remain cloaked for now, because I'm already blushing as is. So yeah. OH in case you were wondering, the lyrics that were on the main page are from Night of Fire, a song from Initial D. The Japanese students who were here did Para Para to it at their farewell party, so it was kinda a joke between us. However, the song does rock so download it at your convience from....somewhere. So anyway, yeah, that's all I have to say about that! Ironic Psychic Quote of the Day: "Ya messed up big time....We're comin' ta get ya. Maybe not today. Maybe not tommorow...well maybe tommorow..". Will F. as President Bush on SNL October 6th. Bombing started October 7th. Woohoo!
8/21 And thus ends my summer of Japan.... I intended to have the Japanese students we hosted write a small update, but we barely had any time to sleep, (especially me since I had to go to bed last and wake up first early every morning *_*). Oh yeah, for those of you who weren't keeping track of my schedule, (how dare you! ((jk)) ), right after I got back from Cape May, (another glorious two weeks at the Jersey Shore!! A great time was had by all as always!!!), my family hosted two incoming Japanese students for a week, Hideaki Ageta and Kunito Mima! Of course, these were only two students of the 26 who came! I travelled around with them for a bit over a week and saw old and new sites around my home state and neighboring areas. At the farewell party last night, I gave a speech in Japanese and English to the sponsoring Rotary Club Districts, the students, and the host families. After that we danced, and cried.....a lot.....okay, an AWFUL lot! In a little over a week, I bonded we these students, more than some of the people I've gone to school with my entire life. Believe me guys, there's nothing like the kindness, and friendship of a Japanese person. It is difficult to fully explain, but you'll know what I mean if you ever experience it. This morning they left and should be arriving in Osaka.....right about now! 12:30 PM our time. As for me....I'm off to college in less than a week now. What of this site? Well unfortunately, I've decided that it's time for me to KEEP DOING IT! Ha ha suckers, you should know by now. I might be on hiatus for a while, (I'm probablly going to have to change hosts or something). But technically I've been on hiatus the entire summer, (I haven't done one info update yet!), but hopefully I've been keeping you entertained in some weird Survivor-esque way with my thoughts and opinions of Japan. Speaking of which. Don't think that was the only time I'm going there! If all goes according to plan, I will be taking a year of college there, or at the least a six-week study program. I may possibly even be allowed on the STYEP again, but if not I'm grateful for the one time I was on it! If I do study there, I'll then return to America, finish up here, and then be an English teacher in Japan for a year or possibly more, (but a year is enough honestly). After that, maybe medical school, and after that...who knows.... Okay, now for the fun stuff. More pictures are in the Japan pics section! I now have a total of 600 something pictures and 11 hours of video between the trip to Japan and the students here. There will be more pics too! I just need to get them developed first! ^_^ Enjoy! Greg's Japan Photo Album!
7/27 Okie dokie. I added another batch of pics to Greg's Japan Photo Album and that'll be the last for a while. Hope these rapid-fire and fun updates made up a little for me not being around at all. Tommorow morning we're gone for another two weeks in Cape May, so have fun while I'm gone.....again. Be safe and when we come back, my family will be hosting Japanese students for a week! Hooray!
7/26 Okay um, hope you're enjoying all the Japan pics. And now I'm going to cover what was hot (and what was not) in Nihon. First of all, Dragon Ball merchandise was.....almost nowhere to be found. I expected it to be rare but not as rare as it really was. I only saw DB products at three stores I went to. Two of them were video game stores that sold old Famicom DBZ games, and the other was an antique store that had three bootleg stuffed DBZ dolls. However, the sure sign that it was/is still in everyone's hearts is the sheer fact that EVERYONE knew the series, old and young. When I gave speeches to Rotary Clubs there, when I talked about how much I loved Dragon Ball, there were always a bunch of nostalgiac, "Oooooh"'s from the members. When I spoke to an auditorium of High School students, I received applause when I talked about the website, magazine and my collection of manga and episodes. It's gone, but certainly not forgotten!
As far as the latest music, well, I already talked about groups that were popular. I did some homework and tracked down links to 3, 7 and 10 Person Festival info pages through Japanese Yahoo!. So uh, enjoy I suppose 3 Person Festival 7 Person Festival 10 Person Festival So those are currently what I listen to night and day when Two-Mix isn't in the 'ole CD player. Speaking of Shiina and Minami san, they have got some quality songs. Rythym Force and Love Formula =Freedom= are my personal favs. They even did a take on Lupin the III! As far as THE most popular music in Japan right now, that would have to be the work of Mr. Children. According to Jeff and Kevin, (two members of the trip), whenever you hit random numbers on the karaoke machine, you will always get a Mr. Children song *_*
I think babies in Nihon are given cellphones at birth. EVERYONE has them!!!!! And they're not boring and dumb like the ones here. The most expensive and hightech cell here is in the bargain bins there. Not only do they have high speed full-screen full-color Internet capabilities capabilty, but according to a commercial (and a rather amusing one at that) they now can display Java. They also look really cool and have tons of f'n cool rings! Mr. Yoshino's cell phone's ring was the Doraemon theme song! For Eva fans they even had Fly Me to the Moon! And for some disturbing reason, Disney's Electric Parade was one of the options. Honestly, how many people in the USA know how that song goes, or have even seen it, AND IT'S A CELL PHONE RING OPTION IN NIHON!!!! AHHHH!!!! I appear to have slipped into cool stuff Nihon has that we don't, so I'll jump to that.
Toilets are fun. They're not as complex as the Simpson's portrayed them, but they're not far off. They're pressure sensitive and can only be "activated" (flushed) when you're sitting on them. There's two spray options, one for women and one for men. Why men need a spray function is beyond me, so I'm not even gonna go there. Then there's another knob that adjusts the pressure of the spray. I had some fun with that while we were staying in Hotels, of course I cleaned everything up, but man, it makes Super Soakers look like nothing! The fanciest gadget I saw was a remote control toilet where you could activate the spray from across a room. Why? I dunno, seems more like a device of evil to unleash upon unsuspecting victims, but it's nice to know it's there. Here in America, we make a big deal over automatic sliding doors on vans. Well in Japan, all car doors can be automatic opening and closing! Not only that, but many of the people who drove us around had TV's in their cars. And not the cheap ceiling mounted, rear-seat garbage like here. It's a large flat screen monitor in the front with satellite guidance option. Cars themselves are VERY different!!! I mean VERY!!! They're all relatively small and of course their units are in kilometers per hour. Of course that slipped my mind and I almost messed myself the first time I saw the speedometer at 110 *_* Many cars are short and box-like in style, but with smooth rounded egedes. Our families drove luxury, cars but that's also because they are Rotary Members ie. Doctors, Company Owners, Shrine Masters, etc. Arcades have the incredibly simple and profitable option to play Playstation 2 and Dreamcasts at the arcade. Just bring your Memory Card, find a game you like, and you're set with 100 yen for a while. Nobody has central air. AC is all handled by window-style units, but they're not mounted on windows. Usually they're mounted up high on a wall. In hotels, the alarm clock, climate control and radio are all mounted on the side of desks. Convenient and stylish. Vending machines are EVERYWHERE. You cannot escape them. I solemnly swear that there is AT LEAST one on every block in a town and in cities there's AT LEAST three per block. One of the best ideas I saw that would save an absurd amount of time here was parking garages. Well actually....perhaps I should say parking room. One simply needs to drive their vehicle into a little garage, step out and walk away, at which point their car is whisked away laundromat style into the ceiling. When you come back, they cycle through the cars until the reach yours. It then descends to the floor and you drive away. Sometimes you don't even have to turn around as a rotating platform places you in the direction you need to face in order to exit. How's that for a million-dollar idea here? Of course, there was also a little game called Final Fantasy 10, but I'm sure you don't want to hear about that.
Okay in um slightly un-related news, a lot of people have been asking me which anime I own....an obscene number of people actually. So, I'll just answer your question here. These are the anime series/movies I own in no order because I'm tired. Unless specified I own the whole series so there's no mishaps.
Uh, I guess that's about it. I know it's not a huge collection, but I'm probablly forgetting a few titles and I've actually seen probablly double this amount of series. So uh yeah. Please feel free to read previous updates if this is your first time back here in a while as I've got a summary of my trip to Nihon there. I'll be leaving for vacation on Saturday, and I hope to get a few more pics up before then. Take care!
7/26 More pics added to Greg's Japan Photo Album. That is all.
7/25 Hi everyone, glad you're all enjoying my story of Japan, if you haven't read it, please do so, it's just below this update. In related news, I started making an album of pictures I took there. You can view it here Greg's Japan Photo Album. I intend to have more pics up this is just a starter. See ya all soon. Oh yeah, one more thing. Uh, I forgot to mention this, but apparently I've got Lyme's Disease *_* I got the target rash when I was in Japan and waited till I came back here to get some heavy duty medication, but thankfully my fourth host family made it possible to get some temporary medicine while I was there anyway. I'm fine and all that jazz, just as long as I take my medicine for another 16 or so days, I shouldn't even have any symptoms. Huzzah! See ya soon guys! Next time I'll talk about popular stuff in Japan, (types of anime, movies, games, etc) I'm not bothering with info updates because I'm leaving for vacation on Saturday, so ya know, just killing time now.
7/22 Tadaima mina san! I'm back from Japan! WOOHOO!!! Wow, I don't even know where to begin, or if there even is a place to. Um, WOW! I guess that sums everything up. I'm just going to dive right in and say, I would not mind living there for the rest of my life! I kept expecting to see some little thing that I would dislike, and never saw it! The people, country and culture are all perfect! Hmmm, okay perhaps that's the best way to go about this. People country and culture. I'm begging you, please ignore the spelling errors! I started at 1 AM and didn't stop until I finished at 5:20AM
Country:There aren't words to describe the unimagineable beauty of Nihon. Mountains are quite literally everywhere. Flat land in Nihon is rare, (as compared to America), so each town or sometimes prefecture is typically divided by mountains on Shikoku. On Honshu, mountains are also multifarous and fill spaces that aren't buildings or crop fields. There was no free space in Japan that I could see during my three weeks there. Unless a place is designated as a temple or historic, it is one of the following things. Mountain, building, crops. I never saw an open field with wild-life. Every inch of flat land is precious and utilized as such. I once saw a ten by five yard space that was a rice field in the middle of a traffic circle. Unreal. The mountains are just amazing. They tower over towns and one needs to strain one's neck to see the top, even from far away in some cases. All of them, (unless they're being used as a quarry), are tree-covered. There's so many that one's eyes almost hurt when looking at everything and driving by in a bus or car. The cities are almost spotless. In Hiroshima there was maybe three pieces of garbage on one street. Recycling is HUGE in Japan! It's actually hard to find garbage cans sometimes, (seriously). Malls are typically walking malls, not indoors. Indoor malls do exist of course, but to put it in perspective, I saw two indoor malls and eight outdoor malls. They usually go on for blocks and blocks at a time.
Culture: Unreal! The museums we visited were filled with beautiful art, modern and ancient. The temples were beyond imagination. It's like you're in another world. They are so ornate, that it's hard to imagine they were created by human hands. I prayed several times at Shinto shrines and visited three of the eighty-eight temples on Shikoku. The food was absolutely delicious. I will never touch seafood, egg and other unmentionable food items here, but partially to experience everything, be polite and be daring, I ate everything placed before me. I'll never regret that. Some of the more interesting things I ate included: Octopus, Eel, Boiled fish-paste, Squid, Vegetables I unfortunately don't know the names of, Snails, Rice Burgers, sweets that I don't know the name of but were always interesting including Odangos. I'm not sure why everyone says Japan is expensive. Even with the amazingly favorable exchange rate, (for us that is), the prices were fantastic! At a Japanese McDonalds I got a Double Burger, Chicken Nuggets, Medium Coke and Fries for about $5.50. I think that might actually be better than here *_* Manga was DIRT cheap at about three dollars per volume. Needless to stay I stocked up big time. The only things that were expensive were the following: some electronic entertainment devices, department stores clothing, certain film and arcades. Arcade games are all 100 yen at least. Which is typically a dollar. However, right now approximately 120 Yen equals 1 dollar. Speaking of arcades, whoah! They're everywhere, and they're huge! They have all of the standard games, but rhythm games seem to be the latest craze. I saw rows of vacant shooting and fighting games. When I say rhythm games, I don't mean stuff like Dance Dance R. either. That's old-hat, (although the console version ((YES THE PAD!!!^_^)) was used to great extent during my first home-stay). Apparently they've mastered every single dancing game there is and have moved on to bigger challenges. Among the types of beat games were drum games, (Taiko and standard set, my favorite was the Taiko game), button games, (pick a favorite tune and push buttons kinda like Parappa but approximately eleven billion times faster and more difficult, watching someone who is good at this game (ie. anyone living in Japan apparently from what I saw) is like watching a computer work. They watch the screen unblinkingly and move their hands like wildfire across the buttons. There were also DJ mixing beat games, Samba de Amigo of course course, a tambourine beat game, that was just too difficult for me to comprehend, a guitar game and a piano game. These are just off the top of my head there were dozens of them. Also, horse-betting games seem to be big with adults there. It's a room-sized betting game that seat about 15 or so people. Gundam Battle Online was also a fairly popular arcade game. I got a lot of positive reactions from people around me when I gave my characters names, (in kana of course), like Mister Satan, Son san and Chichi. Music was very interesting. I'm not a fan of solo artists but I think the groups are great. And as luck would have it, the latest and greatest craze in Japan are three group groups that are technically one group. Confused? Yeah I was at first. The group's names translate to 3 Person Festival, 7 Person Festival and 10 Person Festival. Each group has the respective number of members, (yes, those two groups have 7 and 10 members). They each have a CD out with three songs. The first song is their own. The second is the same song but that particular groups version of it. And the last song is an instrumental version of their song. I bought the 3 and 10 Person Festival CDs, I wasn't a fan of the 7 Person Festival. The songs are typically Japanese (ie. bouncy and happy). If you have time to waste, try and track down the CDs, they're a hoot. I also bought a bunch of Two Mix stuff. I'm convinced that any song titled ending with "-ion" must be a Two Mix song. As for anime, it's not as huge as we may tend to think it is. Well sorta. Let me put it this way. I'm probablly more into anime than 80% of Japanese anime fans. Half of the series I mentioned to bigtime anime fans, they didn't even know. I think maybe one adult knew what Trigun was. When I asked people if they were fans of anime the typical response was, "a little yeah". Everyone has like one or two favorites series at least, but they're usually old and manga only. One that came up a lot among girls was Rose of Versailles. This is not to say they don't know what anime is, or about series that are really really popular. Every single person knew all about Dragon Ball, Gundam, Miyazaki's films and Evangelion. Based on what I saw, anime seems to be taken more seriously here sometimes and it was quite humbling actually. I'd also like to take this opportunity and vent. I missed Miyazaki's new film by ONE day. It was released on July 20th and we left the 19th. Curses.
People: Okay, um here's where I always cry. Every single person I met was beautiful in every way a human should be. They were polite, kind, cheerful, intelligent and caring. When I spoke Japanese to them, I wish I could put their reactions in a little bag! They were so impressed and in awe of my mediocre Japanese skills. All of my families were wonderful people and parents. The kindness I saw in three weeks just about makes having lived here for so long worth it, just to have experienced it. I almost cried when I came back to the US. I never noticed how rude and crude we all are. The first words I heard out of a native's mouth were, "US CITIZENS TO THE RIGGGGGGHT!!! VISITORS TO THE LEFT!!!!! YOU, DO NOT STOP, KEEP MOVING, YOU CAN MEET YOUR PARTY LATER!!!". In Osaka International Airport, voice guides told us where to go in polite Japanese. Nothing was ever too perfect for us. We were treated like royalty. Whenever you enter any establishment, employees drop what they're doing and bow to welcome you. I almost cried in a bank when about 40 tellers said "Irrashaimase!" in unison. Perhaps this story will best illustrate the same kindness I received everywhere, every day. When I first met my second host family, the Ishikawa family, I was a bit confused at first. I greeted the father and mother and then the son walked up to me and said in perfect English with a posh English accent, "Hello I'm Koichi, pleasure to meet you.". Koichi, you're probablly going to be reading this so I think you'll find this a bit entertaining, because I never told you this. We then went outside and loaded my bags into Yumiko Ishikawa's Volkswagen Beetle, and the father's car. What I found odd, was that there were two seperate cars in the family. As we were driving back, I asked Yumiko how old her son was. She said that she didn't know because he wasn't her son. My mind then had flashes. The family must have been divorced. That came as a shock, since that's basically unheard of inside Japan. I asked her if she had any children of her own, and she said she had a daughter in college. When I asked her what college, I almost went through the ceiling of the car in shock when she responded "Todai". Todai is short for Tokyo University or Tokyo Daigakou. That school is so difficult to get into, that an anime was actually based around the idea of getting into it. (The series is Love Hina, I HIGHLY suggest it, it's like Ranma 1/2 meets Tenchi meets Ah! Megami samma). When we returned home I was amazed at the size of the place we were staying in. It was a three floor complex owned by the family. Our house was on the third floor. (Getting my luggage up 3 flights of stairs was interesting, but I had plenty of help from everyone). We entered the house and I was shocked at how Western it was, as our first house was pretty traditional. After I was settled down in my own room with an actual bed, (futons are okay, but I'll take a bed any day), I relaxed in the family room with the father and his son. I was amazed by the flat-screen TV and asked the father how much it was. He said he didn't know and Koichi said, "Oh, um we're not your host family, you know right? You're staying here with the Ishikawas.". SHOCK! The father had been divorced twice??? Something wasn't right here. The father handed me his card and introduced himself, Yoshino Takao, President of the Marugame East Rotary Club. Wow! Just as I was busy being impressed and feeling a bit odd, my father, Ishikawa Masashi came in. I felt a bit odd and I felt really really bad about bringing this broken family together. Well, later that night, I finally figured everything out, and BOY DID I FEEL STUPID!!!! It just goes to show how something like this would never ever never happen in America, that it would take me half a day to figure out after putting pieces of conversations together. Here we go. Takao san was/is indeed the President of Marugame East Rotary Club. What he is not, is divorced from Yumiko! It turns out, my father, Masashi and Yumiko have always been happily married. Mr. Takao took it upon himself as president of the club Ishikawa san belongs to, to fly his son, Koichi home from England after his final exams to spend time in Japan with his family, and to be my friend and translator! Amazing!! Not only that, but we then ate at a beautiful traditional restaurant for dinner, and I can't even begin describe the ornate dishes we were served! Now here's where it gets really amazing. As a present, Koichi san purchased me a purple instant Fuji Camera. Unfortunately, the camera was disfunctional and wouldn't close. It was already late and I was leaving for Kochi early the next morning so there was no time to return it. Koichi had an orange camera that he could have just given me, but he didn't want to. You see, he got me the purple camera, because it's my favorite color! He found out by reading the section on this site about me! So he took back the camera and two days later, drove an hour and a half with his father to Kochi just to deliver the purple camera to me. Unbelievable. Ishikawa family, Takao and Koichi your kindness will never be forgotten! It's a monument to how kind, caring, intelligent and charming the Japanese people are to everyone! Thank you all so much!!!! This is truly just one story my friends. This was exemplified everywhere we went, and with every host family. This is why I always cry when I think about Japan, it's the all the people I met that made it such a beautiful experience and memory.
I visited the following places so if you're feeling that summer-time loss of brain activity, you can track my course. This is a rough over-view of my trip there are of course tons of details and side-trips not included, that would take longer to write than the Gokou Biography *_* We landed in Osaka, Honshu. The next day we visited the Kaiyukan aquarium and travelled to Nara where we saw the largest Buddha statue in the world. Finally we stopped for the night in Kyoto. The next day we traveled a looooong time to Miyajima island and stopped in Hiroshima city. The next day we toured Hiroshima and the Peace Memorial Park and Museum. It was quite humbling and to be perfectly honest, the latter parts of the museum are not for the weak of heart or stomach and even what we saw were the nicer scenes. The whole experience in Hiroshima was humbling, but does not serve as a finger pionter of any kind! I want you all to understand that there is no bitterness there for what happened. As we approached the halfway point to the museum near a fountain, a group of Japanese students saw our group approaching and gathered together. They then sang for us, Amazing Grace in English. This was particularly touching. The monuments, remains and museums serve only the purpose of honoring those who died, NOT condemning. Later we went took a hydrofoil to Shikoku, (the smallest of the main islands), where we would spend the rest of our three weeks with host families. When landed in Matsuyama of the Ehime prefecture. Think of a prefecture as a state, but not quite. There are four prefectures on Shikoku island. We were wecolmed by the Matsuyama Rotary Club and I met my first family! Nao and Kiyoshi Shima were my first parents. Kiyoshi san is the owner of a chain of green tea shops named after him (in Ehime), and their warehouse. The daughter of the family, Reina was seventeen and just a joy to be around! She was right in the middle of important High School tests, so after 5 PM she dissapeared to her room to study, but she came home every day from testing at about noon. The son, Masahiro is a behemoth. He's roughly my height, (5' 11"), if not a bit taller and he's still in Junior High School. His mother's nickname for him is "Sleeping Bear" because of his pinched eyes and slow quiet nature. The whole family is into video games and anime. Nao san's friend was the producer of Z Gundam and also worked on Gundam Endless Waltz. Even she was shocked and a bit frightened when I related to her all the different anime series I've seen and own. Reina is a big Final Fantasy fan and at this very moment is no doubt home from school playing FF10. On the second day with the family, I met Reina's friends, Rie, Wakiko and Eri. All of them are beautiful young women and extremely talented. Mike (my roommate for the first family) and I spent the day with them singing, listening to their piano skills, watching in awe as they utterly tore up Dance Dance Revolution, eating pizza and teaching them some difficult English pronounciations. The next day we toured and visited Masahiro at Judo club. Unfortunately, he was just getting over an illness that kept him out of school, so he had to stop practice early. On the last day we visited Matsuyama Castle and did some shopping, in the evening, we attended a Rotary Farewell party which was really fun. Thank you Shima family! I had so much fun and you're such a wonderful family!!! Oh yeah, Nao san, we'll be waiting for you to visit! Please keep in touch! The next day we moved to the Kagawa prefecture and stayed in the city of Marugame or Round Turtle. I was with the Ishikawa family this time. During my time with them and Koichi we made udon at a "special udon school", participated in a tea ceremony led by Mr. Toshiharu Kawai. We visited a historic village and toured art museums and a temple on Honshu. Unforunately, during the day we toured the historic village, the daughter had to leave to return to Todai, and I never got to personally thank her. So, thank you so much for the shirt, senpai! I love it!!!!! I love it!!!! ^_^ We also visited Joypolis, which was a two story arcade. Lots of fun there :) My family only wanted the very best for me, so they were a bit shocked when I asked to eat at Mos Burger, which is basically a McDonalds, but really really really nice! Food is brought to you and there are glasses and silverware, but it's a burger joint! The next day I visited Marugame High School. I don't know if I've ever felt so sought after! Everyone at the school was amazed by me and the two girls I went with! We attended two English classes. In the second class I was actually proposed to by one student Eriko Suzuki ^_^. She was VERY energetic and had very pretty hair. She said, "She loves American guys only". Then a student of the school, Tomoko san, gave me a tour of the school. Tomoko's English is unbelievably skillful. Thank you so much Tomoko chan!!! ^_^ On the last night with the family I attended the East Marugame Rotary Club meeting and gave a speech in Japanese to everyone there. Everyone loved it and was taken by surprise so it seemed. The next prefecture was Tokushima and we stayed in Takamatsu city. Our father was Hideo Mima, a jolly fellow who spoke English very well, but since there were basically five of us together, he had a habit of calling us "All members".....a lot. Which I guess isn't funny, until you hear it for about the 40th time or so. He was a great guy, and I hate to think how absurd some of my Japanese sounded at times, but this was just one of those things that when 5 people think about and talk about, it suddenly becomes terribly funny. There were five members total: Member 1 was Rita Chen, Member 2 Was Chris Holt, Member 3 was Annie Chen, Member 4 was me and Member 5 was Mike Minetti. I had my first experience with public baths this time. Luckily I didn't feel really dumb because Chris and Mike were with me, which was also, ya know, a down-side, (no offense whatsoever guys, just, come on ya know). We visited the "most famous steel factory in Japan" which was owned by a friend of Hideo's father. Mrs. Mima was wonderful and always prepared marvelous feasts for us when we didn't eat out. Katsuko san aka Ami san was the daughter of the family. Her friends came over a few times and we hung out. They were all tons of fun! In particular, Rie Kato was a fun girl! She drew me a beautiful picture of Sailor Moon! On our last night with this family, we went to Karaoke for the first time. It was soooo much fun. I sang some anime songs, and Brittany Spears for fun. The next family was located in Kochi. We stayed just outside Kochi City. Our host family were actually Shrine owners! It was like something straight out of Tenchi, minus all the young girls. Our host grandfather was the head priest and our father was directly below him. The grandfather was 87 and was full of energy!!!! A beer at every sitting and a surprisingly strong grip of the English language! Our mother and grandmother worked all day to create unbelievable meals for us. We dined on tempura, udon, yaki niku, rice balls, pasta and all sorts of delights! The son's room in which I stayed reminded me of mine and was very comfortable. My roommate Jeff stayed in the adjacent tatami room. Unfortunately, their son was at college and it was the middle of the week, so I didn't get to meet him. But he also had all the Dragon Ball tankubon ^_~ ! We visited Sunday Market our first full day in Kochi and were guided around by Takeda and Katsura, an English teacher and her former student. We visited an Internet/Manga/DVD/PS2 Cafe. Which was rather unique. Later that day we went to an arcade where I played and beat Resident Evil: Gun Survivor Code Veronica. Trust me, you don't want to play it. Our last family we stayed with only one night before we returned to the fourth family for two days. They were an older couple than used to run a coffee shop. They had an actual museum in a vault in the inner sanctums of their house. Lots of very very old items. We were given 400 year-old Yen as gifts. The next day, we saw a paper factory responsible for 40% or so of the transistor covers or something like that, (I'm sorry to sound ignorant, it was just pretty complex), in the world. We then saw caves in the mountains. It was my first time inside caves so it was eerie and inspiring all at once. Later that night we went to a High School Sports Night event program which was so much fun I can't even begin to tell you what a blast I had! I met so many fun people. Our team came in second place, (there was questionable participation from the wining team, but I didn't care I just had fun.), but I did win MVP. The Katakana next to MVP translates to Mister Very Perfect. Thanks everyone! The last full day there was fun but sad in a way. We went shopping in Kochi city at a huge mall called Aeon. Posters, boxes, videos and ads for Final Fantasy 10, coming out the very next day taunted me. Oh yeah, fireworks are evrywhere in Japan. Department stores, toys stores, you name it, they're there. Anyhoo, we went home and I took a short nap. Later we attended the Final Farewell Party which was really great! There were traditional/modern dancers hired and they did some really energetic dances for us! We sang Piano Man for the Japanese hosts with Matt Rosen on Piano and finished the evening with "My Old Kentucky Home" in Japanese and English. The next day we left, and that was that. Of course, even the day we left was filled with stories, I actually was really good at holding back until I saw the last view of Japan from the plane and then I just gushed for about ten minutes. Not like sobbing, just tears of happiness. I finally realized a goal I'd had for over 5 years and it was everything, and I mean everything, I had hoped it would be, and much much more. My wish is granted, only to be replaced by an even stronger one to return to Japan. I had the best time of my life, and wish all of you who want to go there someday have the same remarkable experience. I can never thank the Rotary Clubs of America and Japan enough for this event of a lifetime, not to mention all the family members and friends who worked with us there. It's great to be back, but I can't wait till my next trip to JAPAN!!!!!
6/27 Well...here I am, ready to go to Japan in less than 24 hours....shiver. I'm happy sad and scared all at once. I'd like to say goodbye for the next three weeks, (not like my recent updates have been any more frequent...grrr), but I've left you a small gift, a new Interview in the Shenron Times section. I have recently completed the Interview with Jackie Chan about Dragon Ball and I'll try to post that as soon as I get back. I'd post it now, but I haven't even started packing yet and still need to make a video about myself for my host families. Anyhoo, I'd like to give a shout-out to my first host family, the Shima family! They e-mailed me a few days ago, and welcomed me. I don't know them yet, but I'd just like to say hi to, Reina, Naho, Kiyosi and Masahiro Shima! Hi guys! Can't wait to meet you! I've seriously never been THIS excited in my life...okay maybe once before on my very first trip to China Town where I saw Japanese DBZ for the first time, but hey what can I say ;) Um let's see, I've graduated High School huzzah! And the rest of this summer is very busy, I have little free time :( Don't think I'm abandoning you guys! I haven't yet and I don't plan on doing it! ^_^ You guys are the greatest! I'll take lots of pics!!!! Enjoy the Interview and I'll see you in three weeks! Oh yeah, one last thing. Hope ya like the Black Mage pic!
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