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Yes, very stylish this time, Patrick-san.

Wow, $6,000 US for a life-size figure. I guess I'll just have to mod an old mannequin someday so that I can do a project that your Tokyo Eye clip suddenly made me want to do. Damn you for giving me evil ideas like that!!!

Again, and I know I'm a broken record (or scratched CD) on this: Tokyo Eye needs a US outlet. It is simply that good of a show. I wish TechTV was still TechTV and not sucky G4, that would have been the ideal place for it.

Again, another well-done segment. More! More!

Way to distract me when I have a paper due on Akihabara tomorrow.

People are already discussing the signifigance of Mr. Peppler donning glasses. In a moe manga an entire chapter would hinge on this plot point.

I tripped and flipped on the giant-ass OH MY GODDESS! figures, which I naively thought were only available in the 15th floor lobby of Kodansha, where they stand sentinel. The GENSHIKEN pieces are also a nice bit of snake swallowing its own tail.

The Rei looked a bit taller than life, actually. People in EVANGELION are kind of short by mainstream American standards--the general slimness of Sadamoto's designs tends to conceal this. Misato, for example, is only 5' 4". Fortunately I'm one of the few people who needs to know this professionally.

I liked Peppler's EXORCIST quip--he's continuing to get into it. But even as a kid, I was outraged at the tasteless, tile-like chunk of gum they would put into trading cards--I mean, how hard is it to fuck up gum?--so I might similarly whine about the candy in the toy box.

I know this is a terribly cliched thing to say, but do you think the Japanese figure tradition, with its emphasis on minaturization, detail, and even a personal relationship with the object, bears any spiritual kinship with bonsai? Perhaps the tight quarters of Japan also plays a role? Or is that just some "ukiyo-e = anime" shit?

I thought of bonsai while I was watching this as well. I'm not sure you can say much more than that Japan seems to have a culture which appreciates small things, but it might be worth pursuing.

Oh, and I just quoted you in my paper: “the average Japanese would no more speak of being a fan of manga than the average American would of being a fan of television.”

My mom calls all my figures dolls. She probably calls me a "doll collector" behind my back, when she's talking to her friends.

Also, the girls-with-guns figure is Revy from the anime Black Lagoon. Patrick, if you get a chance you should give it try. There's lots of violence. Not so much sex, but a great amount of violence. There are tons of hilarious English swears, too. In fact, the show's tagline is: "BADDEST MOTHERFUCKERS IN ASIAN SEA", haha.

Black Lagoon was okay. I think I was entertained for about 4 episodes, but then I dropped it. The "timid Japanese business man turns pirate" thing gets old pretty fast.

I used to collect porcelin animals when I was little, but I don't actually have a figure collection. I have one gachapon that I got for free of a truly terrible harem anime, Ai Yori Aoshi, and a 300yen bondage figurine that my boyfriend got me for Christmas. It's not anime style but the semi realistic style. But you should see how tiny these vibrators are. It's absolutely amazing. And an itsy bottle of lube! I've never seen such cute sex toys.

Amazing segment Patrick. Those Seven Samurai figures look really cool. I have those Genshiken ones too. I too wish there was an outlet for this program here in the US. Thank goodness for Youtube!

Patrick, you should polish this blog up and sell it in book form, so I can use it as a source.

(Yeah I'm just speaking nonsense now to procrastinate. 4.5 hours until this monstrosity is due)

Carl, you didn't like trading card bubble gum? Wow. That's like one of the lost 'food of the gods' to me, that classic brittle slab of chewy goodness, a candy that's almost dangerous to eat because if it broke wrong when you bit into it, a sliver MIGHT stab right through the roof of your mouth and PIERCE YOUR BRAIN! Japanese 'toy candy' (usually bitter little lamune pills or horrid coffee/chocolate/something foul tabs) is not nearly as much fun....except you can shoot the lamune pill thru an Arby's straw...

Mr. Peppler is SO COOL!

Geeze Patrick, way to yank around on those poor helpless figures, dude! How many did you break and need to do a retake on? Maybe you got WAY lucky, because I've heard rumors those Revolvtech figures can snap like dried twigs.

Allow me to chime my voice in on the "there HAS to be a way to air this show in the US other than YouTube!" chorus, but that's maybe just because I want to tell the story of how a little tiny picture in a cult magazine led me to Symphonic Suite Yamato, and THAT led me on to madness.....

Actually, what I was most into in the late 70s wasn't cards, but these minature LP sleeves they used to have of real albums. I liked the one for "Kiss Unmasked" the best, as it was a comic-style cover. The gum was still terrible, though.

Marielle, I'm still not entirely used to the idea that people are writing academically on anime and manga (Japanese studies at Pomona were very no-nonsense and old-school) but I'm glad to be of assistance.

>Actually, what I was most into in the late 70s wasn't cards, but these minature LP sleeves they used to have of real albums.

Chu-Bops. I had the BOC 'Cultosaurus Erectus' one. The gum came in the shape of a 33"RPM record and was soft and delicious in the Big League Chew fashion.

Some pics and shit here:
http://www.rarebeatles.com/photopg2/chubop.htm
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/allender/chubops.htm

"Those Seven Samurai figures look really cool."

Oh man, you said it. And me just having watched the terrific new Criterion remaster of SS - might have to get me a set of those...!

"trading card bubble gum ... that classic brittle slab of ... goodness, a candy that's almost dangerous to eat because if it broke wrong when you bit into it, a sliver MIGHT stab right through the roof of your mouth and PIERCE YOUR BRAIN!"

lol...

Really like the Tokyo Eye clips, Patrick. And this being my first post, let me say how much I love, love, LOVE! your "Tokyoscope" book. I'm surprised my copy's still in one piece considering how much I've read and re-read it. One of my favorite film books. When are you gonna' do a sequel?

Hey Jim

I feel a sense of "I did all I set out to do" with TokyoScope, so I'm not rushing into doing another film book anytime soon. Also, it doesn't help that most Japanese films nowadays are unremarkable crap (Sukeban Dekka, Kamen Rider the First, Tetsujin 28, Devilman...all films that should have been great instead totally blew). Still, I'd like to think I keep the TokyoScope style alive in the liner notes I do for the Sonny Chiba films and such. So check them out.

Patrick, you mention all these remakes blowing (I assume ranging from 'nice try' to mega huge chunks), I suspect it's because it's more about 'branding' then actually setting out to make a movie that makes 8 year old kids scream and shout and run out of the theater imitating what they saw on the screen.

Which just might be worth a book on its own.

I watch a 30 second clip of Kamen Rider Amazon and it's probably got more guts and action than the entire first hour of Kamen Rider the first.

That's why you have to do the liner notes for Mediablaster's release of Latitude Zero. so they get it right. :)

Looking over those links, I now realize:

1.) it must have been in 1981 (the year I left Houston for Australia, where the Intellivision was priced beyond the dreams of youth, but the Cadbury bars were cheap), not the late 70s
2.) the Chu-Bops at my local drug store must have been Series 2, as they definitely included "British Steel" and "Parallel Lines."

Maybe we got a batch of defective gum. I can't even remember the name of it, but my favorite gum as a kid didn't come in strips, but were these little bricks with a kind of gel center. I've got to see if I can't revive the line "Hey Joe, you got chewing gum?" in some manga or other.

Quite awesome report. As someone who has slowly become addicted to these damn figures of various sizes and prices, I enjoyed it. And I think I somewhat feared seeing the mass of them just sitting there in Aki'ba. I have two friends in Japan now and one said if I ever go, I'd have to bring a suitcase just for the stuff I'd see in the figure stores.

Though I did see one or two I had, like the Mecha Masume Musume figures and the older Kaiyodo Evangelion. Though I didn't get the metalic paint ones.

I wonder if there's a market for figures of figures by American companies, like Hellboy by Mezco or McFarline toys.

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