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I started shooting cola out of my nose when I heard Patrick say, "There's a boycott on Steve Harrison jokes until the new Yamato movie comes out..."

Holy shit, it's the english version sung by Isao Sasaki. That's fucking awesome, and wouldn't you guys be astro-knights?

Full version of the English (?) Yamato theme song here:


"Hello, Space Cruiser Yamato!"

Ahem. That would be "MEN OF" Space Cruiser Yamato...

Jeeeeezus that's a stupid big box.

I would have GLADLY taken that kit off of Matt's hands, but I expect it would have been cheaper to FLY that thing home on a commercial jet than ship via the 'usual suspects'.

I cannot tell you of the seething mix of emotional turmoil that engulfed me upon entering the Akihabara Mandarake and seeing the lineup of sellers with amazing treasures in their hands waiting for appraisal and cash-out. Only the language barrier prevented me from delivering a really embarrassing speech to a total stranger about how he should totally sell ME that X-Bomber, I need it more than Mandarake does. And then you start thinking, hell, I could finance my next trip by selling junk from home to these guys.


I can't tell you the mix of emotional turmoil that gripped me when the guy in the store selling the inflatable Prince Planet flipped out and accused Matt and I of committing the heinous crime of taking pictures inside (spoilers - we weren't!). But I still like Nakano Broadway because it's still ornery and unpredictable, unlike SOME places I could mention. Ok...Akihabara,

Just out of curious nature...

Why IS it the shops get freaked out about picture taking? Do they fear that another shop might undercut them on the price of a product? is it shame for wanting 100,000 Yen for a 500 Yen toy? Do they fear that the souls of the toys will be stolen by the taking of pictures?

Now, I recall Suncoast had a no pictures policy, but that was an odd attempt to keep people from calculating the best places to stand in order to steal stuff. Thieves didn't need to take pictures to plan such things, just show up when certain workers were on shift...

So what's behind it? Has anyone actually asked the store managers? I just wonder, because that's what I do.

I was totally afraid of getting flipped out on when taking that picture - I was about to start clickin' away at that giant Gigantor they had in the doorway and then saw the big sign written in English reading NO PICTURES!! But I could not resist the inflatable Prince Planet. I guess my camera isn't big enough or something. They took pity on my pathetic ass. They could tell by the way I reverently intoned "holy shit!" that I was having a religious experience.

My guess is that they don't want somebody coming in and taking lots of pix and then publishing a book of nothing but photos of cool toys.

The best thing about that place is that they'll accuse you of taking pics no matter what the fuck you do. So you might as well pop off a few shots anyway.

>>Why IS it the shops get freaked out about picture taking?

The whole image-rights thing is incredibly twisted territory in Japan anyway, but particularly so among people who define their lives by the pop-cultural detritus they have accumulated.

Okay, confession time. It was me. I was the one busting off shots using my bionic eye.


After ACTUALLY LISTENING to the Hot Tears O' Shame I now revise my opinion of the "haul crap to Japan and sell it" plan. Mandarake was really lowballing their offers on that stuff. Also I now know not to interrupt Alt when he discusses Jumbo Machinders.

Sheeeeit....like I'd ask you to translate YJAs, Alt. Am I a phucking rookie here? You know if I send you something it's going to be worth your while. ;) Oh, and the "coming out feeling 10lbs lighter" line wasn't lost on me, Patrick. I do believe I used that, myself, last weekend in Philly!

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