It’s been a while since I just wrote a blog post that wasn’t a review! The news that Hello Kitty was appointed as the Copyright PR Ambassador of Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs seemed like the perfect time to mention my latest co-authored article on the Sanrio series Sanrio Danshi… Well, that news came out in August, and my article came out all the way back in April, so it’s not exactly timely, but time doesn’t pass the way it usually does in 2020, right?Read More
As we inch closer and closer to January 1st, 2020, everyone is not only reflecting on the last year, but the whole decade. Instead of rounding up my favorite games, anime, or other media, I thought now would be a great time to look at how my tastes and interests here at Chic Pixel have changed. After all, a lot can happen in 10 years!Read More
Just my luck – the one day I decide to go to bed at the ripe hour of 9 pm, Nintendo decides to hold a major Nintendo Direct! When I woke up the next morning, all the internet was abuzz with news of the New 3DS. I’m still trying to wrap my head around what it’s all about… and what’s up with that awful name!
|Coming to Japan on October 11th!|
|Yet another game I’ve been meaning to play…|
Happy almost Birthday, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn! I don’t play you anymore, but I’m so glad you’re still going strong!
|art by Junko Watarai (source)|
That’s right, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn turns one year old on Wednesday, August 27th! It’s crazy to think that this time last year I was obsessively leveling my cat boy Chive. While I never expected to enjoy, much less stick with, an MMO, FFXIV: ARR hooked me during the open beta, prompting me to preorder the limited edition and be a paying subscriber for nearly six months! Every time I hear about new content and patches (did you know you can dye your chocobo now?!) I feel a twinge of regret that I let my subscription lapse, but I ultimately felt I just didn’t have the time to merit paying the monthly fee… Plus, I have so many other games I want to play!
Still, that doesn’t stop me from loving the world of Eorzea and looking forward to hearing about team’s plans for the game’s future. With over 2 million subscribers, I have a feeling it’ll be around for a while! If you’re like me and prefer to enjoy the media surrounding FFXIV: ARR without actually playing the game, I highly suggest checking out the awesome anniversary illustration countdown that I took the above image from.
In other news, it’s on secret that I’ve been on a bit of a figure kick lately. While I’ve mostly been sticking to Nendoroids and am trying to stay far, far away from scaled figures (we’ll see how long that lasts), the impending release of the Etrian Odyssey IV sniper gal, pictured above, had me pining over whether or not I was ready and willing to enter the world of plastic models.
Now, plastic models are different from other figures in that you are required to assemble, and often paint, the figure yourself. While I do consider myself relatively crafty, I don’t think I’m ready to go full-on plastic model enthusiast and buy all the paints and tools needed to assemble them, which is why I felt so torn about the sniper girl. According to numerous blogs and descriptions on Japanese sites, the sniper girl comes pre-painted, so she’s supposed to look relatively good even if you don’t want to bother with painting her. Fingers crossed that that’s the case, as I eventually broke down and ordered one! The idea of assembling my own figure does sound like a rather neat project, so worst case scenario, it will be a learning experience that ends in an miserably ugly mess of a figure. But it would be pretty great if she ended looking as neat as the above photo, don’t you agree?
I’ve been really, really bad about updating the site while I’ve been on my trip, and I feel horrible about it! I had all these grand plans to be covering things as I experienced them, but unfortunately I’ve been so busy that I’ve only had the energy to do quick Twitter and Instagram updates as I go along, for the most part. But to keep you all from thinking the site is dead, here’s a very overdue Catch-Up Corner to get you up to speed with some of the things I’ve been doing!
|Me with this awesome Free! mural in Akihabara!|
First of all, if you’re still not following me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook and want to keep to date with everything I’m experiencing in Japan as it happens, please consider doing so! While I’ll do more long-form coverage of some of the more standout things I’ve done over the course of the past couple of weeks once I get home in a few days, there will still be some photos/information on my social media that you probably won’t see here on the main site.
While I was initially considering doing some out-and-about video coverage, I’ve found that I’m just too shy to film most things… Luckily, I’ve been able to take a few short videos, and have posted a couple of things I filmed from my University of Tokyo dorm. The video above is an unboxing of a Gatchaman Crowds rubber strap blind box. I was so excited to find some Gatchaman Crowds merchandise!
If you only have the time/tolerance to watch one video of me today, though, make it this one – it’s an Apricotsushi Samples straight from Japan! Better yet, it’s of some random “hangover remedy” drink I was handed in the streets of Tokyo, so you’ll get to hear me talk about that whole experience, too.
Finally, I did a very short impromptu Apricotsushi Samples video of me trying lemon ginger foat ice cream on my Instagram, since it was too hot to carry it home to film properly. The video is available in two separate parts, so be sure to watch both! I suppose you also get to experience some of the summer Tokyo atmosphere – namely, cicadas and my sweaty face.
Well, there’s a whole slew of video content that will hopefully keep you busy for a little while, if you haven’t seen them already! I’ve got many more Apricotsushi Samples on the way, including posts about my various experiences, such as the Square Enix and Rilakkuma cafés. Sorry for the wait, but I hope you’ll look forward to them!
It’s already the beginning of the new week, but I so enjoy these Catch-Up Corners that I’d hate to miss one! I had to push it back so I could get my review for A Fujoshi’s Guide to Japanese vol. 2 posted, so please check that out if you’re interested in Japanese language learning materials!
I’ve been pretty heavily saturated in Monster Hunter-related things lately, so instead of the regular Catch-Up Corner mishmash, I’ve decided to keep this one Monster Hunter-themed! First, to finish up my week, I spent the majority of the weekend working on my very own Felyne hat:
I have to say, I’m surprisingly proud of how it turned out! I got a sudden bolt of inspiration while I was out grocery shopping on Saturday, and proceeded to pick up the required felt materials from my local Daiso so that I could draft up the pattern and get it sewn over the weekend. Since I don’t have a sewing machine, it was all completely sewn by hand, which meant it took pretty much the whole weekend to finish. For the curious, all of the face details are glued on with fabric glue, but the ears, hat seam, and hemming is all sewn.
I originally got this idea because I wanted to make some kind of prize for the Monster Hunter event I’m holding this Sunday (stop by if you happen to live in Brisbane!). Since this first one turned out so well, I think I should be able to finish a second one by then!
Next up is a really cool event that is scheduled for while I am in Japan! Capcom is releasing a Monster Hunter chiptune remix album titled Monster Hunter Compilation “Re:” Mix Chiptune and will be hosting a launch party on July 20th at 2.5D in Shibuya! (very close to where I’m staying) While I was originally very keen to go, they will be streaming the whole thing live on the night and tickets cost $20 to attend, so I just tune in from the comfort of my dorm… I’m also embarrassed to say that don’t really recognize any of the Monster Hunter music in the song clips provided on the site! Even so, it still seems like it could be a cool event, and those of you who don’t live in Japan should mark your calendar so you can watch the livestream (starting 6:30 am on the 20th, Eastern time).
UPDATE: Whoops, I got the date completely wrong! It was on the 3rd. Oh well!
Finally, there was one last announcement this past week that combines my love of Monster Hunter and Nendoroids: a limited edition Nendoroid will be released with the premium edition of Monster Hunter Frontier G! I know next to nothing about Frontier G, but it’s basically a Monster Hunter MMO and has never been released in English. The Nendoroid is modelled after the G-class quest receptionist, and though she certainly has a unique design, I don’t actually find it all that appealing… I guess I should consider myself lucky, as I wouldn’t want to import a premium-priced copy of Frontier G, anyway!