Happy New Year to everyone from your friend in Japan! We wish you a healthy and prosperous year, with lots of good memories with friends and family. As the year the original Evangelion takes place, 2015 promises to be an auspicious one for all anime fans! I’ve taken a few days off to bring my family to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, for some general relaxation. While I’m gone, the hardworking J-List staff will be making sure all orders are shipped out in a timely fashion.
Without a doubt, one of my favorite things about Japan is the number of talented artists here, roughly equal to the number of lawyers in the U.S., according to numbers I just made up in my head. Whether it’s contributing to the latest random art meme on Pixiv (like the recent explosion of “open chest turtleneck” pictures), sending beautiful New Year’s greetings or creating amazing doujinshi comics, Japanese artists are the best in the world. One thing I definitely love is the randomness, the playful way they create ideas you can’t see anywhere else, like sushi wearing headphones or Mami from Madoka Magica driving one of the loaders from Aliens for no reason at all. Japanese artists seem to have a fascination with Ronald McDonald and Colonel Sanders, and love to draw them as BL characters, as super-cute moe characters, and just about anything else you can think of. We hope the random spirit of Japan’s awesome artists goes on forever!
Japanese TV never fails to entertain, or to provide me with good neta, a word which means the fish part of a piece of sushi, though in this case it refers to ideas for these little updates that I write. TV around New Year’s is especially good, what with broadcasts of nostalgic anime and other interesting specials. One show I catch every year is a variety show which features the comedy duo Downtown riding a bus that has cameras set up inside. At each stop, different Japanese comedians get on the bus and perform some outrageous joke, like one who read text from a book with electric muscle massage pads stuck to his face, which caused his face to jerk this way and that while he read, which was hilarious. Laughter was forbidden on the bus, and if the comedy duo laughed at a joke, a man wearing a military uniform would appear out of nowhere and spank them violently on the buttocks. In another show the comedian duo Tunnels (two-man teams are the basic unit of Japanese comedy) played several matches of tennis against superstars like Michael Chang, Andre Agassi and Kei Nishikori, but while cheating ridiculously, using giant rackets, having 6+ members on their side and moving the net back several feet, so they only had a small area of the court to defend.
A new year has started, and what better way to celebrate than with a J-List Fuku-bukuro grab bag? We have great ones this year, filled with wonderful anime + toy items, kawaii fashion and cultural items, plus the always-popular “naughty” grab bags shipped from Japan and San Diego. The grab bags will be removed in a couple weeks so grab yours now!