June 27, 2008

Tokyo Movie Experience Part 3

About 50-60% of the movies here in Japan are Japanese, but I rarely see them. I've never seen any Kurosawa films. I'm so into Hollywood movies and TV series.

American movie titles are often renamed and become longer than the original titles when these are translated into Japanese. Take a look at Japan box office below to see the diffrences. The titles in boldface are the original ones. Japanese movies are written in purple.

Japan box office Weekend of June 21, 2008 - June 22, 2008

(Japanese->reading in Katakana->English translation->English original title)

1. インディ・ジョーンズ クリスタル・スカルの王国 Indy Jones: The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ---> Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

2. ザ・マジック・アワー  The Magic Hour

3. 奇跡のシンフォニー Kiseki no shinfonii/The Miracle Symphony--->August Rush

4. ナルニア国物語 第2章:カスピアン王子の角笛 Naruniakoku monogatari dainishou: kasupian ouji no tunobue/The Chronicles of Narnia Chapter 2: The Horn of Prince Caspian --->The The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

5. 相棒 劇場版 絶体絶命 東京ビッグシティマラソン42.195km Aibou Gekijyoban Zettaizetsumei Tokyo Big City Marathon 42.195km /Partner the Movie: Catch-22 Tokyo Big City Marathon 42.195km

6. 西の魔女が死んだ Nishi no majo ga shinda/ The Witch of the West is Dead

7. 僕の彼女はサイボーグ  Boku no Kanojyo wa Saibougu/ My Girlfriend is a Cyborg

8. 築地魚河岸三代目  Tsukiji Uogashi Sandaime/The Third Generation of Tsukiji Riverside Fish Market

9. ラスベガスをぶっつぶせ Ras Begasu wo buttsubuse/Beat Las Vegas--->21

10. ダイブ!!  Daibu!!/Dive!!

Source: MovieWalker /Kogyo Tsushinsha

Click on movie names to get details. Some of these websites will automatically start with movie trailers.

Ta-da! Speed Racer will finally open on July 5. Have you seen it? Jin Akanishi is a voice actor in the movie. I can't wait to see (or listen to) it!

Related posts:
Tokyo Movie Experience Part 1
Tokyo Movie Experience Part 2

June 26, 2008

Tokyo Movie Experience Part 2

I've written previously on going to see movies in Japan in Tokyo Movie Experience Part 1. I must confess that I'm a huge chick flick fan. So I had already decided to see"27 Dresses" before I arrived at the multiplex.

In the first part of the movie, Jane (Katherine Heigl) goes back and forth between two wedding receptions. That is too much. One or two round trips are enough to describe Jane's personality. But overall, I like 27 Dresses. One of the funniest parts is the conversation between the nosy aunt and Jane at her sister's rehearsal dinner. I give it ★★★★ out of five stars.

Here are my "Lessons Learned from 27 Dresses":

1. Live your own life. Listen to yourself and focus on what you truly love.

2. Don't be too nice to people. Have the courage to say "No."

3. James Marsden (Kevin)has astonishingly beautiful eyes. He is cute, but not as sexy as Jin Akanishi (to me).

Whenever I go see a movie, I have caramel popcorn and coke. It's a must-buy to maximize my movie theater experience. The sizes are smaller than in the U.S., but they are huge for me. I feel like an American with these "stimulating substances." By the way, I drink coke only at movie theaters, which means I have about 10 cups of coke a year.

It's medium. The width of the popcorn container is as wide as my paper mate pen. I enjoyed my third or fourth cup of coke this year.

Do you have any idea what Japan box office is like? I'll talk about it in my next post. Till then, see you!

June 24, 2008

Tokyo Movie Experience Part 1

Do you know what it's like to go see a movie in Tokyo? It's pretty much the same as in the U.S. except for the ticket prices* and movie lineup.

Multiplex cinemas, シネマコンプレックス cinema complex or シネコン in Japanese, was launched in Japan in 1993. The number of multiplex cinemas increased rapidly like mushrooms after a rain, and by the end of 2006, 72% of the total movie theaters had become multiplex cinemas--a sort of American cultural invasion, which I welcome. (Source: TV station.jp )

TOHO Cinemas Roppongi Hills (shown above) is one of the most "Americanized" movie theaters in Tokyo. It's clean, large, and new, and I love it. The interior is suggestive of the near future. Click here to see great photos of the interior design.

As I explained in Golden Week and Movies, when it comes to movie release dates, there are the time lags between the U.S. and Japan. I've taken some photos of posters outside the movie theater. You will get some idea on the movie lineup in Japan at this moment. The Bucket List is still showing.

The movie that I chose was...to be continued in my next post...

*A movie ticket costs 1800 yen (≈$16.68). We don't have matinees here in Japan. Do you want to save money? Special rate tickets are available at 1000 yen (≈$9.27) per ticket, such as "Ladies Day Tickets" on Wednesdays and "Movie Day Tickets" on the first day of each month.

June 19, 2008

iPhone: To Buy, or Not To Buy, That is the Question

I took the above picture at an Apple Store in San Francisco last summer. It was so crowded that we had to wait for about 10 minutes or so just to touch the phone. The iPhone is that popular in the U.S., and I've been hoping that it would make its way across the Pacific.

Now, Apple and its partner Softbank will finally launch the iPhone in Japan, as well as 21 other countries around the world, on July 11. Fortunately, it's a lot more affordable than the old model. I was amazed that Apple announced a partnership with Softbank because I assumed Apple would close a deal with NTT DoCoMo, Japan's leading carrier, not with Softbank, the third leading carrier.

Anyway, I can't wait to buy an iPhone. But the problem is that I'm a DoCoMo user. In fact my entire family uses DoCoMo. I'm wondering if I should switch to Softbank right away or wait and see. Sources say Apple might make a contract with DoCoMo as well. It's hard to tell when the right time to buy is and what the right cell phone is.

Another concern I have is the size of the phone. It's perfect for browsing the Internet, YouTube, and other media sites, but I can't imagine actually using it as a phone, which is supposed to be the main reason for getting an iPhone. I use my cell for emails, but I still need to make calls on it. That's what makes it a cell phone. The iPhone is incredibly large and it might look kind of silly if I use it as a phone. What do you think, iPhone users? Are you comfortable with making a call on your iPhone?

To buy an iPhone, or not to buy it, that is the question.

June 14, 2008

Jin Akanishi: Japan's Sexiest Male Celebrity

Are you living outside of Japan and are into Japanese hunks? If so, the list will definitely catch your eye!

Jin Akanishi tops the list as oricon's "10 Sexiest Male Celebrities" by an overwhelming margin. The Internet poll was conducted May 22 through 26 among 500 high school students who are registered as oricon monitor research members(250 males and 250 females).

According to the poll results, the reasons why they voted Jin Akanishi the sexiest include:

*All aspects of him, including his voice and dance, are sexy.

*His vocal style and gestures are erotic.
He gives off a sexy vibe.

*I love the way he casts a seductive side glance.

*His way of looking at the camera is so hot.

If you are getting interested in him and residing in the US, I have good news for you. Jin Akanishi, who studied English in Los Angeles and writes lyrics in English, says he hopes to launch a career in Hollywood. To American women: when he realizes his dream, please blog him to help Japanese girls keep up-to-date with his work. His fans will definitely flock to your blog. He was born on the 4th of July, sharing his birthday with the US, btw.

I've heard that Japanese male celebrities are getting popular in the US. Many American women find them attractive because they are androgynous looking and have good skin. These features may not be found in Americans and Europeans. It totally depends on the person, of course.

FYI. Here's the complete list of 10 Sexiest Male Celebrities:

1. Jin Akanishi
2. Masaharu Fukuyama
3. Takuya Kimura
4. hyde
5. Mocomichi Hayami
6. Hiro Mizushima
7. Hiroshi Tamaki
8. Gackt
9. Jun Matsumoto
9. Yu Shirota

June 10, 2008

Kanji of the Day

reading: wa, nago(-mu, -yaka), yawa(-ragu), kazu(used for personal names)
meaning: peace, harmony, calm, comforting, friendly, soften, relax, Japanese

*平和 heiwa/ peace

*調和 chouwa/ harmony

*和む nagomu/ calm, comforting, soothing, gentle
e.g. 心が和む曲をかけるkokoro ga nagomu kyoku wo kakeru/
play some soothing music 

*和やか nagoyaka/ friendly, peaceful
e.g. 和やかな雰囲気 nagoyaka na funiki/ friendly atmosphere 

*和らぐ yawaragu/ soften, ease, relax
e.g. 緊張が和らぐ香り kincho ga yawaragu kaori
=緊張を和らげる香り kincho wo yawarageru kaori/
fragrance which helps release tension

*和服 wafuku/ kimono

*和訳 wayaku/ Japanese translation

*和菓子wagashi/ Japanese cake/confectionery

Please note that examples shown above are the major usage of the kanji.
I might not have included all the meanings and readings.

June 9, 2008

Tragedy in Akihabara

All of my family couldn't sleep well last night. I even had a nightmare and woke up sweating in the middle of the night. Why didn't we sleep well?

I really don't want to use any negative words on my blog, but a man murdered 7 people in Akihabara, Tokyo, yesterday. A peaceful Sunday afternoon had become a horrifying chaos all of a sudden. Images on TV were too powerful to let us fall asleep. For more details, please check out AFP and BBC NEWS.

The victims include a 19-year old man and a 21-year-old woman. The assailant says, "I was tired of living. I came to Akihabara to kill people. It didn't matter whom I'd kill." What the heck are you talking about? No one can take someone else's life.

I guess the murderer has never been loved. If he ever had an experience of being loved or loving someone, he would know how devastating it is when someone you love loses his/her life. These victims didn't even have a chance to say good-bye to their families.

I feel indignant towards this type of selfish and hateful behavior. It's a shame to blog this incident happened in Akihabara, which is one of the Japanese pop culture icons. It should be a fun and safe place for people who enjoy shopping and hanging out with friends.

I pray for those who passed away in the incident.
May they rest in peace.
I wish those who were injured in the attack a speedy recovery.