Category: bento


More Power to Nyan!

PowerPower Card Game

Sometime ago I had bought this Nekomimi (werecat) fighting game in hopes of learning enough Japanese to learn how to play it (or at least write comprehensive article on it.) Time marches on and not even POPLS support this game anymore on their website.

What I have found is you raise a nekomimi from infant to catwomanhood through many trails. Usually brought onto by the other player. There is green Territory cards, Blue Events cards, Pink Item cards, Orange Fight cards, Red cards that look like disadvatange cards and a single Yellow Talent card.

There are 5 token cards to represent your nekomimi in various stages during the game. Each card gives advantages or disadvantages to the advancement of your nekomimi.

I still like the art with the deck including the fact that one of the artists TRUMP also did started one of the 4 koma panels, Ronin.

If you are lucky to find any cards to Power Power ver. 2 Second Edition, I envy you. Especially if you manage to get a copy of Ver. 1 which was only sold at Komiket. More PowerPower to nyan!

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A Room with No View

My view Feb. 17th 2006

Sad to say this is the view from my living room. It’s not much more without the curtains. My apartment window has beautiful view of the driveway. Unless you like people walking by looking in, a heavy curtain was all I could come up with.

The window is rather large. Nearly 7.5 feet wide by 41 inches in height. With landlord finally getting around to painting and redoing the floor, it has me deciding to do a extreme makeover to the whole apartment.

So what can you do with a window you can’t really have open view? For one, make one.

The window has 5 inch depth. So instead of blinds, I thought of doors. More precisely Japanese style paper panels. If I set a major panel against the window and two sliding panels on each side, it might actually look cool.

With the 5 inch space opening I could suspend acryllic shelves with wires and place some anime figs in a display format. Hmm…

Maybe then my view wouldn’t suck so bad eh?

Heading towards the blog

Well, if trying to do too many things at once wasn’t bad enough. I picked up an issue of PC Format with blogging software. Just looking but everyone loves a blog. I look at the possibilities and the headaches. Nothing here that can’t be found here in this page though a bit automated. I yet to determine if the software can be configured to one section or formats the entire site. Most of what I read says entire site. Check out WordPress to see what I’m talking about.
I dug out my Power Power CCG game deck. I was planning an article on this cute nekomimi card game for ages. Unfortunely it’s 8 years old and POPLS no longer supports in on their webpage. Still I’ve scanned the deck at LOW resolution and looking for a way to display each card and info when the cursor passes over it. Some of the artwork was done by TRUMP which is one the guest 4 koma artists.

…originally posted in News, February 1st, 2006

Quail Cart Racing

And a fine day it is. Received in a decorative box. These wooden handcrafted toys from Japan.

Pair of Quail Racers

Made of soft pine, these block doweling are quite light. The angle of slope is the same for each though the facing are different. A dowel connects both wheels through another dowel with the centre drilled out. The red one’s wheels were burred on the edges though.

Instructions that came in the box

Instructions that came with the box.

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the label on the box

It is quite easy to understand that these toys are meant run down a slope. What is amazing is the artwork painted on each piece.

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This wonderful woodcraft is rarely seen here. Simplistic in design no doubt centuries old. (Thes e quail racers date back to 700 AD.) Still the parallels between Haidi Indian art and this is astonishing. I wonder if a simular craft toy can be found amoung the west coast tribes would be an interesting side note.

…originally posted in bentoOTAKU July 2, 2005

Iron Tea Pots of Japan

Nambu Tetsu (teapot)

This miniature Nambu Tetsu (tea pot) is made with the same method of sand casting in iron. Nambu (Currently Iwate Prefecture) during the Edo period. Today’s Nanbu Tetsu tea pots have enamel lined with wire mesh for straining tea leaves.

… originally posted in bentoOTAKU, May 2, 2005

Miniature Gundam game?

Bandai has brought out a card game based on Gundam with limited results. Yet they lead the way with tiny miniatures of all their mechs. Unfortunately none of which is playing in a table top game.

Just three of a multi-series release of Gundam mechs in the same scale.

Just three of a multi-series release of Gundam mechs in the same scale.

It seems a shame that there has been none. Sure there is the same click based mech game in Japan as is here but with different figures.

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Sample of selection of mechs from series 3 & 7

With this selection, you think a game would be possible. There is more than enough grunt mechs to blowup. Bases are something to be desired for game playing. They’re rectangular but not a consistent size. If it weren’t for the fact that these figures are expensive, a game could easily be designed. What the heck! It could apply to any figs in the same scale. Gundams versus mechs and creatures from any anime.

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Sample of technical data include with the figure.

What it really leaves is a will to make it happen and alot of play testing. Of course, some balanced game stats for the mechs from several shows. The figs are out there. Let me know what you think.

Gundam and Bandai is trademark Bandai Entertainment.

…originally posted in bentoOTAKU, February 6, 2005

All qwacked up!

AFLAC is an inssurence company with a heart. A heart since they help children with cancer both here and in Japan where the company originates. This gosling plushie is only 2 and half inch tall but it has character. Character that it has a sound chip that plays the company’s catchy jingle when pressed. Most of the people who hear love it.

There is a North American version but it’s 6 inches Though I haven’t heard it, I’m sure it’s not as good as the original. Though I’m told the commercials have the same effect on both sides of the ocean.

AFLAC US site and AFLAC Japanese site

…originally posted in bentoOTAKU, February 5, 2005

Saru, Saru, Go Away!

When I originally received this charm from a friend’s relative, I had no clue of it’s meaning let alone what it represents. After a quick chat, I found that this tassled charm about the size of a dime was a ‘saru’ or ‘monkey’. ‘Saru’ in Japanese also means ‘go away’. So in the simplest terms this charm makes bad things go away. The only problem is the charm is so small, I’m afraid of it ‘going away’ so I keep it in a safe place.

Saru Monkey charm Saru Monkey charm back

Close up of Saru or monkey charm

… originally posted in bentoOTAKU October 12, 2004

Sailor V Gundam

It had to happen or more like it did happen. A cross over or is it cross dressing of gendres. Such was the case with Gundam and Sailor Moon franchises owned by Bandai. In this case, the series G Fighter Gundam was Bandai video arcade fighting series. Gundam’s of all nationalities competed on now devastated Earth to be top Gundam and prevent war by turning it into a sport. (No word, on whether it was Pay-for-View.) Even Canada had it’s own Gundam .. a lumberjack. (Obvious someone in Japan is a fan of Monty Python. 😛 )

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Nobell Gundam or ‘Sailor V Gundam’ as I like to call it. Comes in a stylist package which doesn’t really stay put. Taped together with parts tape into two clear plastic trays.

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Of course, Sailor V, er I mean Nobel Gundam comes with a alot of accessories that no feminine giant robot would dare be without. Like Ribbon sword, stylist pink whip, change of hair and a mobile stylist to be there in the midst of a fight.

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Hair on a Gundam? More like style statement for flying into battle like some craze valkryie. Her back sash is replaceable with a rocket pack.

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Why not carry this crossover madness into the new series, Gundam Seed? Above is an idea how this would go. Unfortunately I think it would go poorly.

Website on a sticker on the box… http://www.bandai-asia.com

Respective Trademarks and Copyrights Bandai Entertainment

…originally posted in bentoOTAKU, March 14, 2004

A Prize with a Candy

It use to be that you could get baseball and hockey cards with a stick of gum before the cards became the main trust of collecting. Some candies came in strange packaging. However the Japanese have mastered marketing their anime shows with candy products. For the most part here, like the stick of gum in baseball cards, the candy becomes second place. Maybe for the better since neither the gum nor candy are of great quality. So let’s take a look at some products.

Example of a knockoff

Hamtaro - Chinese style Hamtaro - Chinese style

Not all candies with prizes are legit. This one is a Chinese knock off. Packaged with small box holding the figure stamp was cellophane with the candy. However the package graphics where washed out colours and fuzzy lines out compared to bright crisp line lower box. Top box lacked shinny surface of the lower. The candy, which has a crispy dry biscuit center, has no flavour. Out of the three, it had the most candy content but it’s hardly worth it if inedible.

Detail of stamp

At least the stamp is cute. Since each package has a window to see the number of the stamp in the box, this makes collecting a little easier.

Packed Inside

Many candy companies have mascots for their products. This one has the mascot within the packaging with a small window. The mascot which has 12 different colour bottoms makes it worth hardly collecting. Though it gives people a choice of of colours. It also comes with a loop to attach to backpacks, etc.

Once again the chocolate is flat if not bitter taste as oppose to sweet chocolate as us North Americans are used to. Maybe a good thing for those with sugar diabetes. It should be noted that the product contains peanuts.

Kendered Egg’d

I was surprised when I opened this package. What I didn’t expect that what I thought was a chocolate egg was simply a plastic egg that was chocolate coloured. The candy, nothing more than wafer in a wrapper, was the only edible content of the package. Much unlike the Wonder Capsules noted in the Digi-Eggs article.

The real bonus was the figure was of old Kamen Rider JAKQer. A bonus due to they are planning to remake this version of Kamen Rider for next year.

Checklist of figures you can collect

Inside liner notes

Interesting that this series of candy-toy treat covers three series of Kamen Rider which crossed over into the Sentai team genre. The only thing that would have made this product cooler if it was a ‘click figure’. It is about same size. Maybe someone can come up with a conversion.

Details of outside package

No doubt there are countless products out there. Unfortunately for North American shows a such product endorsement outside the main stream media giants can be seen here. Outside of Kender Eggs, the market for toy and candy is pretty well ignored.

Copyrights and trademarks are respective to their relative holders.

… originally posted in bentoOTAKU, December 1, 2003