I happily received my shipment of Japanese chewing gum yesterday, including Cool Mint, which I'm chewing right now, the delicious Mint Blue, my favorite, and the uniquely Japanese Black Black. Chewing that while playing La Pucelle: Tactics (I'm currently in Chapter 11), I'll feel just like a Japanese person. All I need is a bottle of Ramune and I'll be all set!
I've become somewhat fascinated with Japan of late. It's a wonderful country, and their quirky fascination with all things American, yet inability to get our grammar correct, is a rather odd paradox. I enjoy nearly all manner of Japanese snack foods, such as Pocky and Pucca, and order them from several websites, though I've yet to find one site that has everything I'd like. I also enjoy JRPGs, and have recently discovered the wonderful Nippon-Ichi games, such as Disgaea and the aforementioned La Pucelle. I wish more great "Japanesy" games like Mr. Mosquito and the upcoming Katamari Damacy would make their ways to American shores. As someone who is not going to buy a Japanese version of a console and is not willing to break a warranty by installing a mod chip so I could just play the Japanese version, it is frustrating. But I realize that many Americans just don't "get" why certain things appeal to Japanese gamers (even I don't always understand), and won't spend the money on something that they feel may not appeal to them. There's nothing wrong with that; it's just cultural differences. And yes, 20 minutes of continuous cut scenes, with no chance to pause or save, can be very irritating as they seem to have a odd, "Murphy's Law" tendency to pop up 15 minutes before your favorite TV show starts. Oh well, I can't expect a game to come over here if a Japanese publisher can't expect a profit. For now I just have to be grateful for the games that do make it here.
I would love to visit Japan someday, perhaps even live there for a short time. The Ginza district, Mt. Fuji, or even a day in a small, non-touristy town where American visitors are rare are things I'd love to experience. And the movie Lost in Translation, besides being a great movie no matter what city it had been set in, fueled my fire even more with its beautiful imagery of Tokyo. This dream may not happen for a while, or ever. Tokyo is very expensive to visit, and it's quite expensive to even get to Japan, period. But I have a feeling it'd be worth it.
Thanks for reading everyone!