あきやすみ 2 - けっこん

Aki yasumi pt. 2 - Kekkon (Autumn Vacation part 2 - wedding)

I'm very happy to announce that the marriage of Rinko and Chris is now 100% official! The two of us became husband and wife early in the afternoon of the 30th day of the 10th month in the 20th year of Heisei at Ōsakihachiman Shrine in Rinko's home-city, Sendai.

Our ceremony was wonderfully beautiful, spiritual and moving and we're so very happy to be enjoying our life as newlyweds.

After our ceremony was finished we all got together at the first-class French restaurant, "Serenity" in the Hotel Metropolitan Sendai. Together we enjoyed a fantastic meal featuring Sendai beef as well as many other high-quality local ingredients native to Miyagi prefecture.

Yesterday was a very special and joyous day, full of wonderful family, great friends, strong tradition and delicious food and drink. Our wedding was so much more than I could ever have expected. I hope my readers will wish good luck upon my new wife and I. よろしくおねいがいします。


あきやすみ 1

Aki yasumi pt. 1 (Autumn Vacation part 1)

09:15 on 24-Oct was our official departure for this year's trip to Japan. We had a limousine waiting for us outside our condo and we loaded up and moved out pretty quickly and smoothly. This happened easily because we had everything prepared and ready to go the previous night (first time that's ever happened!).

After leaving home at 09:15, our flight was leaving its O'Hare Airport runway at 12:50, arriving at Narita Airport at 15:55 local time (or 00:55 Chicago-time). After clearing immigration, picking up our luggage and then clearing customs, we needed to take care of some business at the airport, like picking up our rented mobile phone and depositing money in our local bank account. At 18:30 we set off for Tokyo (東京) on the Skyliner Airport Express train which arrived in Ueno (上野) at about 19:15. In Ueno we took just a few minutes to sit down and relax and reflect on the fact that we were once again back in the greatest city in the world with an exciting few weeks ahead of us.

The next leg of the long journey took place on the Tohoku Shinkansen ("bullet train") which picked us up from Ueno at around 20:15 to take us north to Rinko's home-city, Sendai. The next and final stretch happened after we arrived in Sendai Station at 22:15-ish when Endo-san picked the two of us up in his car and drove us home where we finally were able to rest and have a good meal at nearly 23:00!

So in all, Rinko and I were traveling for 19 hours! By the time we got home, we were thoroughly exhausted. It was so nice to sit down to a delicious home-cooked meal, have a glass of beer, and melt into a nice, hot bath.


1st Annual Comicon in Chicago!

Yes! Chicago is finally getting into the comic book scene and kicking off the 1st ever Windy City Comicon right here is our wonderful city! The convention will primarily feature Marvel and DC artists, as well as some awesome locals like Jeffrey Brown. There will also be lots of vendors and exhibitors, as well as some gaming tournaments too! Windy City Comicon will take place at The Center on Halsted, Saturday Oct. 25th from 10:00am to 6:00pm. I will be in Japan at the time, so I cannot attend, but I look forward to hearing all about it. Come on out and show your support!

The Center on Halsted - 3656 N Halsted, Chicago, IL 60613


Meet me in Ninjatown!

Meet Wee Pocket Ninja from Ninjatown! He was created by talented local Chicago artist Shawn Smith at his "Shawnimals" studio in Logan Square. These stealthy, lovable plush toys are totally cute, kool and awesome. I usually shop for Shawnimals at A.Okay Offical in Lakeview East. Coming 28-Oct-08 is the Ninjatown game for Nintendo DS...geez-- maybe I should get one of these! Anyway-- check out the Wee Ninjas and all the other Shawnimals on their website www.shawnimals.com and get in on the fun!


New Miyamoto Musashi figure!

I just recently saw this while browsing the Yamashiroya homepage. This looks SO incredible! A new figure from Scultpure Arts of legendary swordsman and Wormgear's hero, Miyamoto Musashi (宮本 武蔵)! Since I am leaving one week from tomorrow to go on my next trip to Japan, I am *definitely* getting one! This will round out my collection of Vagabond figures quite nicely I think! The only problem is the high price tag (ugh!), but I am not going to let that stop me this time!

A new figure, which looks amazing, and a new movie out next summer-- what more could I fan ask for!? ^^


Musashi on the big screen!

Fantastic news everyone!!! This is so amazing! Work is starting on a new anime film-- about Miyomoto Musashi (宮本 武蔵)!! Yes! One of my heroes and the main character of my favourite manga series (Vagabond) is coming to theatres in anime form! The title of the film will be Miyamoto Musashi: Sōken ni Haseru Yume (Musashi Miyamoto: The Dream of Riding with Two Swords) and it will be released next summer!

Just when you might be wondering how this news could this news possibly get any better-- now I get to tell you that it's going to be a Production I.G. film, directed by mastermind Oshii Mamoru (押井守)-- director of Kôkaku Kidôtai (Ghost in the Shell)! Yessss! Working with Oshii is animation director Nakazawa Kazuto (中澤 一登) who worked on the incredible animation and artwork of Ghost in the Shell, Blood+ and Evangelion! This means it is going to be amazing and will most likely be one of the best samurai anime ever released!

This is the best news I've heard since I got married 3 weeks ago! I can hardly wait until next summer!


Black Lagoon The Second Barrage, Episode One

My regular readers might remember how much loved watching Black Lagoon (ブラックラグーン) earlier this year; mainly because it's amazing! Finally, Black Lagoon The Second Barrage (season 2) was released in the US! I picked up the volume 1 DVD over the weekend and watched episode 1. I'm a little bit late again, though-- volume 2 was released 20 days ago. After seeing how The Second Barrage started out, I am really excited about season 2 of this series! It looks like it's going to every bit as exciting and spellbinding as the first season. The Black Lagoon Committee did it again! Excellent! I would highly recommend adding these awesome DVDs to your collection while you can, they are well worth the purchase; and I expect they will become rare before too long.