Tokyo Journal 2003: Day Three, sort of and Day Four, Part 1

February 14th, 2003

My journal literally skips Day Three. It is dated 12/30 and was written on Day Four. It begins, “The reason I did not write about yesterday at all was that this time yesterday I was begging the gods to kill me now.” I’ll try and quote verbatim as much as possible, because I wrote the journal the next night and was watching TV. TV in Japan is endlessly fascinating and I want to share my thoughts as they spontaneously occurred. :-) And I promise that the misery DOES get better, so bear with me!

I woke feeling dizzy and queasy. I ate as much breakfast as I could stand (not enough to cover the cost at the hotel, of course.)

I have to break in here and say that my TV choices tonight include Sound of Music in Japanese and Beat Takeshi hosting a “Medical Horror” show.

We met Emi an hour later than yesterday at the station she switches lines at and headed to Tokyo Big Site. Most of the doujinshi was based on Role Playing Games and historical games or manga, I suppose. We didn’t buy much, and we didn’t recognize any of the cosplay costumes. We stopped for lunch at a different place than the day before (and I do remember the very lovely girl in the exceptionally nice suit at another table. I told Emi I wanted her for my birthday, which confused poor Emi. Her coat was lovely and she looked really good in it, then she took the coat off and the suit underneath was magnificent. She had clearly had it professionally tailored and she looked incredible, as long as she stood still. When she moved she, as with so many otaku, looked like a schlub. But that/s a whole other rant…the pathetic body language of otaku…) But by the time lunch was over, I was so sick and shaky that I really don’t remember the rest of the day.

I know that we went to look at Cosplay, but it was over and I was just trudging along, holding on to Pattie so I didn’t fall down. We walked a lot and *eventually* after a hellish trip, got back to the hotel. I do know that by the time we were done at Comiket that day, we were down to 1/3 the flyers for Yuricon that we had come with, which amazed me. (Especially as we didn�t buy anything Day 2!)

So, I laid down on the hotal bed – it was like 5:30 – and practically died. Pattie wouldn’t let me sleep yet, but I catnapped for a little while anyway. When One Piece came on we got a full hour of it as a New Year’s special, we got to see that last movie, “King Chopper and the Island of Animals” which was really nice. By the time it was over, I was feeling better, but still not good enough to eat anything. Pattie had a sandwich from the AM/PM. I tried to read, but my eyes were jumping and I couldn’t focus. The weirdest thing jet lag did to me, though, was make me feeling that the ground was moving all the time. Laying down I actually got seasick! I finally went to sleep at 9:30, woke up at 4:30 and fell back asleep. It was awful….

Now we’re watching a horrific “Ze Besto Ten” countdown, wherein aged idols are singing their hit songs from a decade ago. The host is a scary crone with the most AWFUL ensemble complete with breast prosthesis dress in hot pink. Sort of Hello Dolly meets lowrider. The idols are drunk off their asses to get through this miserable show…it’s absolutely terrifying. One actually just fell off her seat.

The good news is, the next morning I felt significantly better. The throb in every muscle in my body was much less – that was something right off!

Waaah! Now the idol on TV is singing, while juggling a small yippee dog…while Ultraman looms over her…

Day Four, Part 1

We arrived at Takadanobaba before Emi did again, and had a nice ride to the International Exhibition Center station on the new Rinkai line (by now, Emi had worked out a new, shorter route using the new train line.) Today was the last day of Comiket – hentai day – and the crowd control was stiff. We were walked all the way around the back end of Big Site and came in through the backside of the East Hall. We set off with a mission. I had marked a few things I wanted to check out and Emi had a load of people to visit. I bought *so* much doujinshi and had to carry it around all day!

But Emi had fun handing out our advertisement flyers and talking to people, including a fan of her artwork. (Non-manga…she’s a talented artist among other things.) We wandered around looking for cool yuri doujinshi. I found a ton of well-done Azumanga Daioh DJ, but no hentai that wasn’t just…erm, weird (Sakaki-san and the cat???) and there were so many geeky fanboys at some tables, we avoided them out of self-preservation. (At one point, Pattie saw Emi head towards a table where there was line of fanboys and she thought “she’ll get eaten alive!”)

There were so *many* fanboys at some of the tables (notably, the ones which had the hardest core hentai…lots of major objectification of women going on there) that there were lines that went outside the halls and wrapped around themselves. The longest had signs that said, “one hour wait from here.” This was the first day when it was actually difficult to get through some parts of the Halls. This was kind of how we thought it would be all weekend.

We stopped at lunch the same place we did the first day. I was feeling a lot better and ate lunch happily. We commented on the bizarre site of Nazis walking around all over the place. There was obviously some manga or other with a major WWII theme. As a lesbian, I was drooling at the hot chicks in black, silver and leather (Gestapo uniforms are really hot. They did that on purpose.) As a Jew, it was freaking me right out. LOL All day Sunday and Monday, we saw WWII German and Japanese uniforms – it was a teeny-weeny bit creepy. The weirdest thing was the Nazis from one series (it was *always* girls and they *always* looked amazingly sexy, which annoyed the hell out of us) had Jewish star armbands on with uniforms. All very bizarre and wrong.

Pattie kept busting me all weekend, because there were plenty of cross-playing women and every time a cute girl in a suit and tie walked by I felt that it would be rude not to at least admire them. She kept kidding me about drooling. But I digress.

Back to Emi and our Yuricon “commercial.” Pattie and I loved the hysterical laughter that trailed the “commercial” and the gambattes that came after the laughter. One guy was so excited at the thought of Yuricon that he *literally* began to jump up and down and scream like a girl. LOL We hit up a row of women who do yuri and I bought scads of doujinshi…amazing the women, as I’d pick one of everything. I finally met Tadeno-san, of the circle Mono, my current favorite mangaka. Her “Office Mono” is an incredible bit of yuri by women for women…good stories, good characters, great sex. I’ve done some translation of a few of those stories. I bought one of everything her circle had done, which was a fair amount – amazing the entire group. One of the women gave me her fanfic book as thanks for my support and for Yuricon. Emi and Tadeno-san spoke for a while and after we left, I went running back, because I remembered I had brought stickers to give them. They put a sticker on their price list, which made me happy. I felt good supporting them. Now I have to get them to Yuricon. :-)

Sometime that day, we had been introduced to one of Emi’s friends, Saiko. After we hit up the yuri manga section, we hooked back up with Saiko and her friend Ishida-san (a very nice, soft-spoken young man, with excellent manners and polite English.) We all went to see the Cosplay.

Next Time: Fanservice, Ferris Wheels and Fuji TV

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