One fun anime I’ve been watching this season is Bakuon!!, a slice-of-life show about high school girls who form a motorcycle club at their school. It’s the latest evolution of moe-meets-[some industry in need of an economic boost from fandom] genre, like Dakashi Kashi, whose purpose was to build appreciation for the old-timey traditional sweets from Japan’s Showa Period lest they be forgotten and disappear forever someday. After K-On!, Japan experienced a huge boom in musical instrument sales — my son bought a replica of Yui’s Gibson and learned to play it pretty well — and I’m sure the motorcycle industry is hoping for a flood of new riding enthusiasts to provide a shot in the arm. I like the series because they show how fun touring through Tohoku and Hokkaido on a bike is, and also for all the passive-aggressive discussions of which motorcycle brand is best (with poor Suzuki usually getting trashed). If you like motorcycles, or just appreciate cute moe girls, you should give Bakuon!! a try.
I’ve had fun spending a few weeks with my Japanese family here in San Diego, enjoying the restaurants downtown, visiting the beach at Coronado, and pretending to be just a normal American family. But of course, when coming from Japan, there’s always the potential for cultural confusion. I went with my daughter to McDonald’s to order some breakfast, but when I asked for an Egg McMuffin set (“set” being the word used in Japan to describe a pre-defined combination of menu items, for example a “Happy Set” for kids), the girl taking my order wasn’t sure what I was talking about. My daughter said, “No, Dad, it’s not a ‘set.’ You have to call it a ‘meal.'” But while this was the correct word for Australia, where she attended high school, it didn’t seem to work here in San Diego, at least with this one cashier. We finally figured out that “combo” was the word being sought, and completed our order properly. We’ve had similar confusion before, while asking where the “toilet” was, a word which is commonly used in Japan as well as British English countries, but for some odd reason is nearly a taboo in America.
J-List is a Japanese corporation, and our fiscal year ends at the end of May, after which time the staff will have to count all our inventory. Since we’d rather sell it to you, we’re having another huge 15% flash sale, this time on in-stock anime figures, plush toys, keychains and other toy items, from now through next Thursday. Only in stock items, no preorders or backordered items. Browse now!