If I were to give last month a subtitle, it would be “A Monument To All My Sins”. For this month, it would be “Where Is My Beginning?”. My time spent flying to Japan was a travel, but my time here in Japan will be a journey. My real life, the beginning of a personal journey, of which the destination being a future I desire. However, nothing has started. The whole month was all preparation and settling in. Most of which I had no control over. Is this my beginning? My real life, where and when is it? Perhaps it started already. Perhaps it can’t be found here. I am not quite ready yet, but surely I will start.
This month started on a weekend, and I decided that the first thing I will do for this month is to go to Akihabara. After waiting for so long to come to Japan, it was hard to feel that I really am here. To reorient myself, I did what I have always done in Japan, shopping. It had been over 4 years since my last visit to Akihabara. But this time, I was not alone. I was joined by my good friend Xyrenth who started her life here in Japan 2 months ago. The entire day will be talked about in detail in its own post later. After Akihabara, I returned with Xyrenth to her apartment where we checked out our goods. I slept over and the next day, I stayed in the apartment, taking the time to relax. I started on a gunpla, booted up a game on the PSV, and also helped Xyrenth with her RG Sinanju. In the evening, I returned back to Chiba. By then, a few housemates have arrived and I greeted them. Some more people arrived later that night.
Regarding my near future in Japan: So, I have yet to talk in detail about what’s going with me here in Japan. I have joined a sponsored study program where the sponsor company sets up your place of residence and enrolltment into a language school to study Japanese while helping you search for a part time job. It is a good concept and also my best chance at setting foot in Japan for a long term basis. However, getting into the details and numbers, it is far from smooth sailing.
For my location, I ended up in Chiba, not far from Tokyo. The living environment though, was a Japanese style house… and so I have requested to be transferred to a modern apartment instead. The language school is… an exaggeration to call it a school. I had hoped to seriously study hard to attain native level fluency, but it is clear that this small and inexperienced place with only a handful of staff members is unable to accommodate for my level. Not to mention classes didn’t start until half the month was already over. As for work, nothing. From the sponsor company, I received a couple interviews but they were all cheap jobs in the food service industry. After 2 weeks, I started looking for work by myself, attending interviews and writing resumes every other day. I didn’t have any luck either. By the end of the month, it was clear that no single part time job would pay enough nor offer enough hours. To survive, we must take 2 low paying jobs and total over 30 hours per week.
Hobby-wise, I couldn’t do much. I did straight build the HG Graze Kai, but have yet to progress any further on modifying my HG Barbatos. Later in the month, I messed around with the Buster Sword from the IBO Option Set 5, cementing and sharpening it.
In particular, I wanted to play a lot of games this month, but often became occupied by other things, especially during the last half of the month. The weather started to become cool on the 8th and on that day, I played booted up Senran Kagura -Shinovi Versus- on the PSV. My last save was 2 years ago on Oct 18th, 2014. Speechless. I restarted my progress from the beginning and caught up to where I left off at. The same day, I also chat with my little brother online. I told to him that nothing has happened yet and how I am worried about my daily life here given that the current living environment is demotivating.
After the initial chaos of moving in, I remembered about the new Kamen Rider series, Ex-Aid, airing this month. Not realizing it was airing so soon, I was occupied in Tokyo during the first weekend and thus missed out on the first episode. However, I was able to catch the second episode live. While the rider design is weird, the show, as I had anticipated, was good. I really look forward to watching more of Ex-Aid. After the episode of Ex-Aid was Mahou Shoujo PreCure, so I watched that too.
On the 15th, my wish was finally granted and I moved into a new modern apartment not far away. This new apartment has 3 bedrooms (one being a tatami room) and quite spacious overall. Since there were 5 of us and me being the odd one out, I got a room to myself (for the time being). The move-in process took the entire day. My arms were sore by the time all the appliances and furniture were moved in. Sadly, I had to skip my original plan for the day which was to visit a school cultural festival.
On the 24th, I went over to the next town over and bought my own desk at a Book-Off Super Bazaar. It is a really nice low-table with drawers on one side and a place to put the keyboard, not to mention it only cost me ￥2000. However, bringing it back to the apartment was a lot tougher than I had anticipated. Without a car, I had to carry it by hand over 2 km. The table wasn’t particular heavy, but I lacked the endurance. Although I succeeded in reaching the apartment with the table in hand, my arms really hurt as a result.
Besides the trip to Akihabara, I hanged out with my friend Xyrenth a number of times throughout the month. On the 10th, I invited Xyrenth over to Chiba. To be precise, we explored the area around Chiba station. This day will have its own detailed post later. For a quick summary, we checked out Yellow Submarine, Yodobashi Camera, Animate, Lashinbang/C-Labo, and Tora no Ana. The next day, I went on PSO2 for the first time in a while with Xyrenth and GameMaster.
On the 16th, after watching Kamen Rider Ex-Aid in the morning, I went over to Tokyo to visit Xyrenth. She had bought me the RG 00 Qan[T] as a gift. I immediately opened the box and looked at the parts. It is really cool and I look forward to building it, but for now, I will be focusing on gunpla from Tekketsu no Orphans. I also saw Xyrenth’s straight built SD Sinanju and some other new stuff since I last visited. Our main plan for this day was to check out the Book-Off Super Bazaar over in Matsudo, which was only a few stations away. Coincidentally, that very branch on that very day was having a 50% sale on all manga ￥260 and under. I took my time browsing around and ended up buying 4 books, totaling just ￥520. Xyrenth bought a bunch though. On our way out, we also browsed the clothing section, where Xyrenth bought a trench coat. By then, it was 6:30 pm and the sky was already dark. However, there was still the Animate on the bottom floor to look at. For dinner, we ate at a Yoshinoya next door. While eating, I contemplated about buying a certain magazine I really wanted (for the bonus goody) at Animate. Xyrenth ended up helping me so we doubled back to make the purchase and then headed back home afterwards. I stayed over at Xyrenth’s apartment for the night and rushed back to Chiba early in the morning.
On the 22nd, I took the day to relax. First thing in the morning, I called my little brother on Skype and played Gundam Breaker 2 online together. Finally we were able to start this game we both have been wanting to play. We completed a few story missions and a couple challenge missions. Since we just started, most of our parts were from basic grunts and it was hard to make something cool. The good parts that we did get had high level requirements. However, I was at least able to unlock a box of Aile Strike Gundam parts to make that. While my brother doesn’t put much effort into real life gunpla, his in-game creations are pretty cool. After playing with my brother, I watched some anime broadcasts on NicoNico. I timeshifted them on a whim so I had no idea what kind of show they were beforehand, but I ended up enjoying them. The anime were Long Riders and Stella no Mahou. Since I missed out on the first episode of Kamen Rider Ex-Aid earlier in the month, I also went back to watch that.
Above: Some of the figures I had taken with me to Japan. I also have some Nendoroids stowed away currently, for I do not have any table space or shelves to display them.
Ever since I purchased the HG Barbatos Lupus on the 1st of this month, I highly anticipated watching Gundam: Tekketsu no Orphans 2nd season. However, I wanted to watch it 3 or 4 episodes at a time. Finally, after three weeks, I took a peak at the series by starting the first episode on the 22nd. The next day, I had plans with Xyrenth to watch the first 3 episodes together at her apartment. Can’t wait to see more. After Gundam, I took the opportunity to have Xyrenth watch something I have been wanting to show her for a long time, Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn. At first she wasn’t very interested, but I am sure the last parts engaged her attention. By then, the sky have darkened. Although I also wanted to introduce her to a Kamen Rider series, I saved it for another time as Xyrenth suggested going to the Gundam Café in Akihabara for the Tekketsu no Orphans themed menu. This is my third time in Japan but my first time to Gundam Café. After eating, we went over to Yodobashi Camera where Xyrenth bought a HG Schwalbe Graze, HG Barbatos Lupus, and Mikazuki’s Character Stand Plate.
The final 3 days of the month was a busy streak of events. All of these events will be talked about in detail in their own pages, so here I will just mention them briefly. On the 28th was the Gunpla x Gundam: Tekketsu no Orphans exhibition held in Ikebukuro. On the 29th, I made an effort to visit a middle-high school’s cultural festival over at Urayasu. Then on the 30th was my return to Odaiba for Gundam Front Tokyo and the 1/1 Gundam statue.
Wow, that was a long month. And yet, what I have came here for have not begin. There is a lot that I want to do here in Japan. There is a lot that I came here to do in Japan. But currently, my living situation is not yet stable.
I watched some anime this month:
- 鉄血のオルフェンズ2nd (ep.1-3)
- ステラのまほう (ep.1-2)
- ろんぐらいだぁず (ep.1)
Only read this manga:
- この島には淫らで邪悪なモノが棲む (started & finished vol.1)
Built this model:
And played this game:
- -PSV- 戦乱カグラ -Shinovi Versus-
- -PSV- ガンダムブレイカー2