OPERATION: DOWNFALL (The Invasion of Japan for Otaku Purposes [aka ODTIJOP])


Okay, back to Akiba. So Animate was really fucking awesome! Every floor was sweet, but I found that I was loving the figurine level the best. See, each geek store in Akiba Prime was tall but narrow; so each floor was usually dedicated to one or two things — like a manga level, a Blu-ray/DVD level, a music level, a uniform/clothes level, and a figurine level. Some stores we went into got even more specific with a shoujo manga level, a hentai DVD level, and a Working'!! level. Seriously, one store had an entire (expensive) floor pretty much dedicated to the second season of Working'!!. Japan is weird.

Beef Bowl!After we hit Animate, and then its neighbor Comic Toranoana, we wandered around the pedestrian-packed street for a while before Mehve and I remembered that we were hungry as all fuck. Neither of us felt like anything heavy though, and as luck would have it we noticed that just a few buildings down there was a MOS Burger restaurant! Just like the MegaPlayboy recommended! Yay! We had to check this out. The MegaPlayboy (through his coworker's recommendation) built it up to be the Asian equivalent of In-N-Out Burger — high praise indeed.

So we went in, ordered by pointing at the picture menu at the register, and sat down and waited for our freshly greased up burgers to be delivered to us. I ordered a large-u Merron Soda (because it is the awesomest green liquid invention IN FOREVER), but only got an 8oz. cup of it, filled 3/4ths up with ice. Soon our food arrived though, and the conversation went a little something like this:

Me: Hey, Mehve...

Mehve: Yeah?...

Me: Um... Does it look like a cat threw up on your burger?

Mehve: ................Yeah?...

Me: So it's not just me?

Mehve: Nope.......

Me: ........Are.... Are you actually gonna eat yours? I'm... I don't know for sure myself.

Mehve: ...Meh, fuck it. Nom nom nom.

Me: ............Shit.

I will admit that at least the fries were good. The crap on the burgers though (I'm assuming that it was a "special sauce" containing some sort of tentacle-monster ejaculation, ground up fish paste, and sweat squeezed out of old gym bloomers)... It was not yummy. In fact, it was perhaps the first burger I had in recent memory that I did not finish. I got 2/3rds done with it, and just had to set it down for good. I then got three more cups of Merron Soda, which equaled out to a combined total of 8 liquid ounces I'd guess — that at least washed the horrendous taste of MOS-sauce from my mouth. Then I found a Family Mart (thank God!) and got some Meiji Chocolate for good measure. I almost got a crepe at the cutesy crepe shop on the main Akiba street, but I just felt too manly for that at that time (that isn't to say that I always felt that manly on this trip). My stomach was rumbling for at least an hour after that attempted burgercide though.

MOS Burger gross

Quite possibly the absolute LEAST appetizing dish we had while in Japan... I'm not even sure that shitty buffet we had on that tour in Kyoto topped this in unappetizingness.


MOS Burger bad

This is me pointing my finger at The MegaPlayboy.... You LIED to me, man. That was not very nice. I shall remember this.



Meiji choco made up for a lot though. It coated my heartburn with chocolatey goodness and cut down on how much I felt I had to puke by at least 40%.... Still, there's only so much even chocolate can do against MOS Burger madness. Shit... Even just typing that place's name now makes me feel woozy.


Mehve and I kept hitting and skimming through the stores (book shops, toy stores, music shops, and figures/model kit stores), but then we came to Madarake... And then I knew there is a God, and he is good. The MegaPlayboy was so right about this place; Madarake was almost pure magic. Mehve and I walked up and down all 9 stories of the spectacular shop and stayed for about 2 hours, exploring every last square inch of the place for more and more amazing shit! We found long out-of-production figures of Lum, Kenshiro, and classic Giant Robo bots, art books we never even knew existed, and Gashapon that had no awesome right to exist because they meant that in order to balance out their extraordinariness, something equivalently sucky had to exist somewhere... and NOTHING could possibly suck that bad! It was at Mandarake that I started another quest on my trip: searching for an anime art book for Toradora!. See, I had found an amazing (and relatively cheap) Gurren Lagann, and a super-hyper-incredible Haruhi Suzumiya book (and Mehve had found a Bastard!/Combustible Campus Guardress art book for the Chief), but I was dying to get one of Taiga and Ryuji and the gang, which simply HAD to exist! I had store clerks digging through piles of tomes while Mehve and I searched for the familiar Toradora! logo on shelf after shelf of books (I was really getting used to asking Japanese clerks for help in Engrish. "Sumimasen! Uh, Toradora art-u book-u [pointing to my Haruhi book already in hand], oniigaishimas-u [head bowed, hands pressed together in a prayer-like pose]! I name-u my first-u born-u after you! Sugoi!" And off they'd go!). After tearing Mandarake (and then another 4 or 5 stores apart in the course of that afternoon) I did eventually give up on that specific (possibly nonexistent) book... at least in Akiba — but I did find so many other toys and books and shit that I never even knew were made, and I spent a small fortune in that incredible town that day. Mehve could have paid off a small country's debt to the Chinese with his purchases in Akiba though, and neither of us knew how we'd get half this shit back to the States without damaging any of it... And this was still just the first week of our trip. Ugh...

Mazinger Bazinga!

Akiba was awesome! While there I met up with my old friend Mazinger X (Z's big brother)...


Sofmap Building... i love you.

I fell in love with another inanimate object...


Crane game

and I finally found something that Mehve sucks at: crane games. It only took something like 15 years and 7,000 miles to do, but I finally proved he isn't perfect. Let's all point at Mehve and laugh! Ha ha!


Mehve and I then roved the streets of Akiba looking for strange, new things to see and take shots of, and new shops to buy things at. We learned that we weren't allowed to take pictures inside any stores (that's where my cell phone stealth photo-taking abilities shone like a sun going supernova), and I am ashamed to say that even though it happened like 50 times that day, I never once took a picture of a store clerk approaching us with urgency, his/her head down, and arms raised in front of him in an "X" formation, indication that my or Mehve's regular camera had to be put away, seeing as sensitive state secrets might get out if I were in fact allowed to take a flash photo of the pyramid of exquisite Bakemonogatari figures on the sales floor. Japan, you seriously mystify me sometimes. Though man, the hilarious image of tiny Japanese people bowing their heads and X-ing our picture-taking progress is something the old me would have taken at least 100 shots of, not to mention 10 minutes of video of... I must truly be getting old.

Oh, and did I mention that I found an actual Roy Focker figurine in a second hand toy shop? And that it has a removable helmet and guitar? And that it is the coolest goddamn thing ever made on this planet? God I want to have its baby...

Pu-ra, pu-ra-purado!

First of all, I wish I collected anime figurines, because these were fucking awesome (seriously! Toradora's Taiga in her school uniform from the final episode!!!!). Second of all I wish I was rich as hell to be able to fucking afford anime figurines. The good ones there were well over $100 (US) each (the best were easily over $200)... And the hit they would give my sex life if a woman came over to my house and saw them would be catastrophic.


Mystery anime!

More awesome scenery.... Hell, I don't even know what this show was, but this poster was 3 stories tall and awesome.


Crane game

My Mandarake purchases made me happy. I totally forgave The MegaPlayboy for his little MOS Burger recommendation after I found the 9-story nerdgasm that was Mandarake. Pure, sweet bliss.


Foxy Japan!

We were just walking down the street and we saw this. Mehve and I looked at each other, shrugged, and said, "Akiba." Then we moved on.


Ears. Funny

I love the dude on the right who had to take a picture of me doing this too. I hope it was more of a "Tsk, crazy gaijin..." photo op, and not a "Huh-huh... That's awesome... I wish I had a friend who could take MY picture doing that too..... I'm going to go home, masturbate over my newest AnoHana figurine, then cut myself..." Seriously, I do.


Crane game

Holy shit! THESE kinds of stores (the Rent-A-Cube Marts) were pretty much hit-or-miss, but when you found a good one, they were GOOD! Rent-A-Cubes are essentially just that: regular folk can rent a plastic cube from this place (and there were probably close to 100 in the bigger stores, put whatever they want to sell into it, and the shop then keeps a little of whatever is sold and pays the renter what they've earned at the end of the month. While MOST were filled with shitty K-On, or DBZ, or One Piece crap, sometimes you'd find shit like this awesome Gojira mini-figure box, or some super cheap (but very well made) figurines of A-Channel charas or Senjogahara dumping out a shit-ton of rulers, staplers, and sharpened pencils out of her cooch. Gold, Jerry! Gold, I say!


Face in hoooooole

Okay, so Mehve and I were just walking around, it was getting dark, and we came upon these Face-In-Hole cardboard standees right outside of this one crazy-lit-up building. I swear to GOD that I wasn't the one who wrote in "I'm a dirty, dirty girl! SPANK ME!" or "Mr. G-spot (heart) Akiba!" They were there before we showed up. I didn't even draw in the penis... But I had to take a picture of me in it. Then we both looked up and saw what was actually in the windows of this building, like 2 - 6 stories up....


You got me.

Well played, Japan. Well played.
"Anal Goods," though? Is anything anal ever "good"?


Mr. Fried Chicken

Then, near the end of our Akiba Experience, I met HIM face to face.... Mr. Fried Chicken. Holy goddamn shit... You people have no idea. Back in UGAnime's early days, everybody got a nickname based on either a show we were watching at the scheduled meetings, or based on a series we personally loved. Hence Captain Rugged became "The Chief" (for Giant Robo's Chief Chujo), The MegaPlayboy was known as The MegaPlayboy (from DNA^2, numbnuts), and I was known (for a little while) as Mr. Fried Chicken (who made many awesome cameos in movies [like Project A-Ko] and TV series [like KOR] through the 80s and early 90s)! This momentous occasion captured on film shows our first historic meeting, and takes place just before I sodomize him out of pure love! Seriously one of the greatest pictures I've ever taken.


Face in hooooooleAll too soon though Mehve and I found ourselves exhausted and starving. It was 8PM, and we were pretty much done for the day. Mehve had the strangest hankering for some curry though, so we dismissed the close Gundam Cafe and scarilly-packed AKB48 restaurant, and instead took the train back to Shinagawa. We then searched the station's food district for a curry house that I had sworn I had seen the previous time we were there, but nothing. So we then started walking down the non-restaurant-filled Shinagawa main street just outside the station and our hotel... And we walked, and walked some more. We were both about to give up by this point, but I then saw a restaurant with its lights on just up ahead. As we got closer I exploded with glee! "Look!" I declared, "It's an actual Indian restaurant, and holy shit! It's run by real Indianese peoples! Let's go!"

I pushed a not-too-sure of the situation Mehve into the place, and we were quickly seated before he could make his reservations known. I had already ordered my beer (as Dave Lister will tell you, the best thing to go with a chicken vindaloo is a lager!) before Mehve could tell me that he wanted JAPANESE curry, not REAL curry. Japanese curry mainly being a slightly flavored sweet sauced meal, as opposed to a spicy, burn-your-fucking-tongue-off feast of flavors that authentic curry represented. Hell though, even though my tolerance of spicy foods is down around that of a Scandinavian infant, I still like the stuff, even if it makes me sweat like I'm in a sauna, and I can't taste anything afterwards for a good 4 - 5 hours. I laughed and just said "fuck it, we're here, we're hungry, let's just do it!"

It was a fantastic meal, and I am so grateful that Mehve never took a picture of me actually eating it. It looked like I just came in from a rainstorm by the time I shoveled the last bit of vindaloo into my burning mouth... So worth it though.

We made it back to the hotel at around 9:45PM (after some more junk food shopping at the local Lawson's), watched a little bizarre TV, and then crashed hard. All in all it was a pretty fantastic day... Despite the heavy indigestion.

Oh, and one more Japanesey fashion thing I'd like to point out: You know "anime hair?" That shit is real. Like really real, on real people. I always just assumed that manga and anime artists drew the hair on their characters all frizzy and pokey because it looked more interesting than just normal bangs or a normal (yet stylish) part... Nope. Japanese men (business men, students, blue collar workers... ALL of them) use a shit-ton of pomade to make their hair all look like the average giant robot pilot. Oh, and on the trains, 99% of all the men all wear dark suits with white shirts. The other 1% are ostracized and mocked for their tan or light blue shirts under their dark suits. And I think I previously mentioned how all the women wear nothing but dark skirts with pantyhose and high heels, but I just wanted to tell you again because it's so hot!

That's a spicy curry!

That meal was the spiciest thing I've ever eaten (and not immediately thrown up)... Even with my 5 pints of lager, I lost about 2 gallons of fluids due to sweat during that meal.

Oh, and one thing I learned after coming back home to the States... It turns out that a week after we left Japan, they actually reenacted the "UFO" crash into that building in Akiba from Steins;Gate... How fucking cool is that?! And how sucky is it that we missed it by just THAT much?..... Fffffffffffffffffuck.

Mr. Fried Chicken


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