Hello from Anime Expo 2014, the premier anime convention in the U.S.! We’re all ready to have a great time here with the most epic J-List booth we’ve ever had. If you’re here in Los Angeles, swing by booth 1111 and see all the great products we’ve brought with us from Japan.
One thing you have to get used to when studying Japanese is that some linguistic concepts you’ve taken for granted all your life are suddenly split into two words with slightly different meanings. While we use the word “cold” for anything that’s cold, the Japanese have two words, 寒い samui, for coldness in the air, and 冷たい tsumetai, for describing coldness to the touch, which takes some getting used to. Another word that gets split in two separate ideas is “sister,” since the Japanese draw a strict distinction between an older sister (お姉さん onee-san) and a younger sister (妹 imouto). Recently younger sister characters have become extremely popular in anime, whether it’s the tsundere of Kirino Kosaka from Oreimo, the constant curiosity of Miyu Tachibana from Amagami or the refreshing beauty of Gou Matsuoka from Free! Some fans love the randomness of Kobato from Haganai ~ I Have Few Friends, while others enjoy contrast between the perfectionist Ui Hirasawa from K-On! and her clumsy older sister Yui. So, who’s your favorite imouto chara?
Sometimes the most mundane Japanese TV shows turn out to be interesting. Like one I caught the other day called Waratte Koraete! Darts no Tabi in which Japanese comedian Tokoro George (who provided the voice for Ponyo’s father, if you happened to see that version) threw a dart at a map of New York, then sent a cute Japanese idol there with a camera crew to see what kinds of interesting things she could find there. The girl — who was dressed as Uncle Sam, complete with fake beard — walked around the East Village area of Manhattan, asking people she met if they could point out some interesting sights. One was McSorely’s Old Ale House, a pub that’s been open since the Civil War and apparently is never cleaned. Another was the legendary Astor Hair salon, a local landmark according to the owner. Then a guy who gives people rides in a jinrikisha (er, a rickshaw) while wearing a Spider-Man suit showed up, to the great delight of the Japanese viewers who had never seen such a thing. Of course, you have to take what you see on Japanese TV with a grain of salt since they love to engage in yarase (faked TV events) that are set up in advance that suddenly “just happen” to be there.
Anime Expo going on right now in Los Angeles, and J-List is there with all our fans at our huge booth, stocked with tons of amazing plush toys, figures, Steins;Gate, “Looking for a Japanese Girlfriend” t-shirts, eroge and visual novels, and awesome Japanese snacks. This year will be our biggest ever, so come and visit us at booth 1111, which is very easy to remember — just think of four Pocky sticks. Plus, check out the awesome eroge panel JAST USA will be hosting on Thursday night, from 8:45-9:45 pm in room 502AB, where we’ll talk about all the great English-translated games we’re going to bring you, and new announcements on upcoming games too. If you’re not at the show, don’t feel bad: you can get 10% off any (non-subscription, non-iTunes) order on the site using code AX2014 at the cart screen before checking out!