[an error occurred while processing this directive] More on panty vending machines. ^_^;;

Andrew:

Of course I want those panties. I even said I'd pay for them.

They'll be the last part of my hanging set, which currently has my character Maduin's artwork, my Rufus and the Turksposter, and my Neon Genesis Evangelion wall scroll of Rei...which I don't seem to have a photo of at the moment.

Pretty please? :)

-Paws =^^=Reviewer
"I have more than a tattoo up my sleeve."

Andrew:
Further sources on my search for panty vending machines have told me that they can only be found in Tokyo...a $200 train ride away. Now, assuming I do go to the Tokyo Game Show, this means Iíll be shelling out $400 for the round trip train ride, another $200 or so for a hotel room, and then another $100 or so on all the various stuff Iíll be getting. And frankly, I donít have $700 to go to the show OR to get you used panties. ;_; I HAVE FAILED THE PANTY QUEST, AND SAVED OVER MY PROGRESS!

 My favorite letters have baseless rumors in them!

Hi Andrew,

I've heard a rumor that Shining Force is going to be rereleased for the Gameboy Advance. Any truth to this rumor?

Andrew:
Yes. No. Look, you gave me a sentence to go by. Even assuming I do a search of my own and ask staff, wouldnít it have been easier to go, ďI read in this magazine/website or I heard it from my friend Billy Bob that Shining Force is coming out for GBA.Ē If the original Shining Force is coming out, hooray, ring the bells and roast a pig, but if it isnít, who cares? Weíve got quite a few tactical RPGs on the market right now for you to enjoy.

Also, it seems that Suikoden 4 will take place on a chain of islands or something like that... So much for my hopes of it being in Harmonia... Unless they scrap their current plans... It would also seem that Junko Kuno is doing the art for this one unless my source is completely wrong... Anyway, how do you rate the Suikoden series on a whole?

Andrew:
I really liked the first two games, and then took the 3rd game in the completely wrong order and never finished it. So I guess you could say I like the concept, and will be picking up the 4th game, but I really didnít like the new direction in graphics that the 3rd game took. Storywise however, the series has always been a blast.

Hmmm... I can't help but be jealous that you are living in Japan... How many TV channels actually have Anime on them? Also, what kind of commercials do the Japanese have?

Vrumugun

Andrew:
Three or four channels have anime on them, and our television gets 12 channels. As for commercials, theyíre uh...really weird. The video game commercials are always a blast to see, especially the one for the Dragon Warrior sword game. On the other hand, Iíve seen a commercial for a soft drink where a bunch of stone cherubs are talking to a robotic cherub who eventually takes a sip of the product and goes nuts and starts to urinate. Maybe that appeals to the Japanese mind, but it makes me want to hurl a brick at our television.

 Questions that our out of a gaijinís league.

Andrew:

Zenbu hiragana o oboeteimasu ka? Omedetou gozaimasu!

On that note, which do you find it harder to speak, polite form or plain form? And do you find hiragana or katakana harder? Katakana ga daikirai desu T_T. And how many kanji do you know, if any?

Andrew:
Uh...Iíve had no Japanese language training before I got to Japan, so I canít even speak a full sentence. ^_^;; Katakana is definitely harder because I wasnít expecting symbols that looks different from Hiragana but have the same pronunciation, and I donít know any kanji, expect for ďPushĒ and ďPullĒ which I picked up from attempting to open doors on campus.

Also, would you recommend staying with a host family or staying in dorms? I'm going to study abroad spring of 2005 and I'm doing some research ahead of time, though I'll probably end up at Meiji Gakuin University in Yokohama. I'm waiting that long to go abroad because by the time I leave, I'll have 2.5 years of college-level Japanese under my belt @_@. Think I'll be able to get by? I hope so. Also, will I survive without a bike?

Andrew:
If youíre a guy, host family, if youíre a girl, dorms. Iíve already gone into how dangerous it can be for a foreign woman in Japan, and while Iím benefitting hugely from living with a family myself, the respect level for women in Japan is really too low for me to justify being in favor of a girl having to travel an hour to get home after dark. Oh, and thatís great that youíre holding off on going, but trust me, once you get here youíll pick it up fast, and all your lessons in America will be common knowledge to all students in the first month. Oh, and youíll survive without a bike...just get ready for really, really LONG walks.

Finally, I'm assuming that you're buying a lot of stuff in Japan. Are you going to drag it all home with you when you leave, or do you think you'll ship some home ahead of time?

Thanks~!

~Kiwitousai

Andrew:
Not really sure yet. Probably just try to stuff it all into bags, honestly, since mailing stuff back to the states costs a pretty penny. I really havenít picked up anything big yet for that very reason, though Iím sure itís just a matter of time until I snap and kill you all. Er, I mean, buy an inflatable Tifa doll.

...FORGET I SAID ANYTHING! DELETE DELETE DELETE!

 Riiiiiiiiiight.

Greetings Andrew,
I'm sure you're probably getting 100000000s of letters like this, but beh why not. The Twin Snakes is ONLY of MGS1, not 2. (If you don't believe me, look up some interviews and they will explicitly deny the existence of 2 in it) And for the sake of adding detail even though everyone and their mother knows it, they completely revamped the graphics in it and added all the things you could do in 2 to it. I believe they changed various cut scenes, too, but who cares we'll find out when it's out.

Andrew:
Thanks for sharing the Metal Gear information, and I now hereby ban the printing of any more such letters in my column. Wee, hooray for power mad bunnies!

And I suppose I have to ask a question now? Hrm. So what all features do those super toilets have on them? Go figure, I can ask any question I want to someone currently living in Japan, and what can I think of? What features do the toilets have.

Andrew:
Well, you have the traditional, and much feared ďsquatty pottyĒ, which I have never used and never intend to, and on the other side of the spectrum, the Japanese super toilet. The Japanese super toilet comes with a heated seat, soothing noises to help the flow of nature, and a strawberry scented spray that gets you right up the arse if youíre not careful. It also automatically opens when you come near it, which is terrifying late at night, and has a control panel with no less than 15 buttons, all labeled in scary kanji. So there you have it. Once I get full web access, you can expect all sorts of pictures of the range of Japanese toilets being uploaded for your perverted pleasure, reader.

 A little philosophy to wrap things up.

Andrew, the Andrew who is Andrew but not the other Andrew who is not Andrew:

Hey. It's cool that you're able to be in Japan and all, but there's a vaguely disturbing side effect of the tales of the more... shall we say, unorthodox purchases to be made. Specifically, the advertisement at the bottom of the column now has three entries for girls' panties and one for aJapanese language course. Just noticed that, actually.

Andrew:
The computer lives only to serve! Love the computer, or it will destroy you, commie mutant traitor!

Anyway, gaming question... Well, OK, gaming and culture related question, I suppose. Most Americans get their impressions of Japan from looking at anime, manga, and games-- and these three things typically lead to a few inaccurate generalizations about the Japanese public. Having never actually been to Japan before, I find myself falling into this mental trap-- but not as often as some other people, owing to the fact that I have a great-aunt from Japan. (Ironically enough, a different aunt actually came to me after purchasing an import game and realized belatedly that she had no idea what it was.) I'm straying from my point. How different is daily life over there, really, from America? Do you really see anime, games, and manga everywhere, or are they still a "niche" sub-culture? More specifically, do you see any evidence that would really back up the whole "Dragon Quest games must be released on national holidays" law? Aside from that, are people generally the same, regardless of culture, or is the Land of the Rising Sun completely alien to an American's way of thinking?

I know, I know, probably too philosophical for a video game Q&A, but after seeing a series of letters regarding "the sale of used panties and could you please send some home to me?", I think you might have an opinion on this.

Ė
John Zeitler
http://www.thefurryone.net

Andrew:
Daily life is very different. People ride bikes everywhere, no one eats or drinks on the streets, fast food is still struggling to topple mom and pop restaurants, itís very quiet, even on crowded streets, and the people here either love or vehemently hate foreigners.

Anime is, once again, completely mainstream. As for the Dragon Quest national holiday thing, that really isnít so odd. Look at the Harry Potter books and how they have to be released on weekends/days off too. In Britain especially, itís a very big deal, and it makes sense.

Itís not completely alien, but it is very different. The Japanese are usually very friendly and polite, until they get drunk, where they then become very happy and naked. 0_o;; The country in general believes fiercely in the medical powers of foods, especially tea, and normally donít exercise. Air conditioning and central heating are used very sparingly if at all, and a Japanese bath is something I could have done with never experiencing. The Japanese drink very little with their meals, and by that I mean Iíll have had 4 glasses of water by the time theyíve finished one. I could really go on forever on this topic, John, but thanks for giving me the chance to vent a little on the oddness of it all.



Quickies

i started to take a japanese class in college. its kinda tough really. the pace we're going is learning all the hiragan by halfway through a semester, a little less (october). its kinda tough but its allright. im just wondering how your pace differs from mine and all.

peeze

In my first week of Reading & Writing class, we learned the entirety of Hiragana, and now Iím halfway through memorizing Katakana. Judging by your spelling alone, I can see why learning Hiragana in two months would be very difficult for you. 0_o;;

The Final Grumble:

Well, next week should be pretty interesting. Iíll have net access on my laptop again, which means lots of pictures, and new comics!

Next weekís topic-Hereís a really Japanese question for you, ďWhat anime series would you love to see converted into a game?Ē In Japan, most/all popular animes have games to go with them, but what makes you think your favorite series could become a great game? Oh, and extra points for people who try to convert Fruits Basket into an RPG, but thereís a negative million points for every Eva dating sim suggested.

ANDREW DUFF, WHILE HE BERATES READERS FOR POOR WRITING, HAS BEEN REPEATEDLY LEAVING LINKS TO JULY COLUMNS IN THE RECENT Q&A LIST.

Andrew "I even SMELL Japanese!" DuffClaire Belton

The Japanese don't use dollar bills, or 5 dollar bills for that matter. Everything before a 1000 yen(roughly $10) is in coins.

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