Hello again from Japan, where it’s okay to make loud slurping noises when eating soba (Japanese noodles) but very rude if you’re eating spaghetti.
First of all, we apologize if anyone experienced any problems with the mailing list on Monday. The computer we send the J-List updates list choked again, and it looks like a few people got multiple copies of the mailing (although most got no copies). If you want to see my update, it’s on the front page of the J-List site.
I talked about “kokumin-sei” last time, the national personality that is a grouping of various aspects of all of us. One of the fun things about living outside of your home country is, you get to view it from the outside, as people in other countries see it. Everything from American politics to national events looks different, and I sometimes feel I’m outside a fishbowl looking in. Americans, as a general rule, value individuality and uniqueness, and everyone seems to want to find their own little niche (or their “my boom” as the Japanese would say, meaning their own personal unique little hobby). Looking back to the mid-1980’s, becoming in anime fan back when anime was really fringe and unknown, was probably some desire to “be original” on my part.
Japanese like to be original too, and the Japanese staff of J-List (Tomo, Yasu, Mayumi, Kaori, Hiromi and Chiharu) encompasses an incredibly wide range of talents and interests from the Beatles to rap and bongo drums to my wife, who for some reason has a license to operate fork lifts. But during my time in Japan, I’ve met some people who thought that the best thing in the world was to be “average” — that is to say, normal, unexceptional and above all, not different from others. When I was in college, I strove to be as different from everyone else as I could be, but my Japanese friends were actually offended if I said they were a little “kawatteru,” a word which means “different” or “odd” — they wanted others to see them as average and normal. At one of the Japanese bishoujo game companies we work with, there’s a slightly odd programmer who has legally changes his name to Reije Abe, or in Japanese name order, Abe Reiji (ah-BEH REI-ji), because he wanted his name to have the same pronunciation as the English word “average” in Japanese. As an “individual” American, sometimes I am hard pressed to understand Japan, even though I’ve lived here nearly 10 years.
One aspect of working with Japanese is that there are sometimes multiple ways to write (or transliterate, to use the correct term) a Japanese word or name in English. In Japanese, there are long and short vowels — the sounds “ko” and “koh” are two completely different phonetic concepts in Japanese, just as L and R are in English. It can be confusing when learning Japanese: ojisan means “uncle” but ojiisan (note the extra “i”) means “grandfather.” It’s challenging when writing names because there is no “official” way to write Japanese names in English. Is it best to write Maiko Yuuki (long vowel) as Yuuki, Yuhki, or just cut out the long vowel since it serve no purpose English? For the word bishoujo (“pretty girl”), should we faithfully translate the long vowel, or use the more coincide spelling of “bishojo”? It’s confusing, and particularly because of this, we had to custom-code the J-List search engine to look for alternate spellings of many words to make sure items that people search for come up.
For the mid-week update, we’ve got the following new products for you, including:
- First, we’ve got more great adult magazines for you, including a very nice ass-fetish item, more fun amateur girl in love hotel magazines, and more
- For fans of lovely girls in sailor uniforms, we’ve got a bunch of issues posted for you, just $5 each! See magazine page three for these bargain items
- If you’re a fan of our quality photobooks from Japan, check out the newly posted books by Fumika Suzuki and more
- Also: a big restock and price reduction on many of our photobooks, with great new prices across the board
- We’ve got another new volley of hentai manga for you, with new works by some of the top comic studios in Japan today
- For doujinshi fans, we’ve got stock of a very nice new erotic doujinshi dedicated to Sailor Mercury from the venerable Rose Water doujinshi circle (lots of romantic action between Ami and Minako)
- Also: newly obtained from the past winter Comic Market, we’ve got some excellent CD-ROMs of “doujin-soft,” which refers to fan-created hentai computer CG images parodying Japan’s game girls and more
- We’ve got a great new selection of erotic DVDs for you, starting off with the incredible Stark Nakedness Sports Series 5-in-1, which crams 270 minutes (4.5 hours) of all-nude aerobics, swimming, weight training and more onto a single DVD
- From SOD’s Natural High label, a killer new “Bukkake Circle in Blue Sky” offering
- From Momotaro Eizo, a killer new category of AV: country western hard core, featuring lovely Japanese girls with cowboy hats and boots on (this features Mirai Hoshizaki, one of my favorites)
- For fans of zamen themes, we’ve got a new 2-DVD Dream Shower series release, VIP Shower (featuring three famous AV idols)
- Tomo and I have long loved Minami Yoshikawa for her charming good-girl style and pretty looks, and now she’s officially made her debut in the sordid world of Indies adult video — see her new DVD and video from Moodyz
- If you love Anna Ohura, be sure to get her new soft porn DVD, which features some of the most erotic imagery we’ve ever seen from her (region 2)
- Finally, we’ve got stock of the (region 2) DVDs for several popular Indies productions, including Reversible Soap, Costume Princess and the best-selling Big Bust Lesbian Orgy DVDs (which comes with a free packet of sex lotion in each DVD)
- For fans of Skin Conscious, the incredibly lovely collection of erotic airbrush art on two CD-ROMs, we’ve got a special treat: the price has been lowered to just $9.95 for each volume, and there are over 1100 large images in the collection
- If you are studying Japanese or any other language, why not tell the world with our cute wooden signs that says “Now studying” in Japanese
- We have some great sugarless gum for Felix the Cat and Hello Kitty fans, and it’s got Xylitol in it (very cool), as well as fresh stock of the chocolate covered sunflower seeds we sold out of so quickly last time
- For those who love cute things, see our cute doorstop that’s a parent and child dragon, fresh stock of our ever-popular Hello Kitty chopsticks, and more
- For fans of Bento (boxed lunch) from Japan, we’ve gotten fresh stock of our best-selling Hamster Club lunchboxes
- Finally, for those who want to add a touch of Japan to their rooms, we’ve got several Japanese maps, including the stylish Japanese train map, a general map of the entire country of Japan. Also, cool health items, some really nice Japanese traditional bowls, and more!
Remember that J-List is the only place where you can buy the excellent Himeya Soft games from C’s Ware and get them sent from inside the U.S. We stock all the very nice bishoujo game titles from Himeya, and recommend them very highly to fans and collectors of this unique genre of game from Japan.