Once again I wanted to write something, and now that I’ve managed to finally catch the little moth that kept appearing and disappearing in my room, I can focus on my laptop without the moth dive bombing into my face from the darkness.
But I wasn’t sure of what to write about, as always. Didn’t see any real good writing prompts to work off of and couldn’t think of anything, but I’ve been keeping my eyes open anyways.
So it’s just a general purpose blog post this time around.
The album of choice that I’m listening to now while writing this is Shibayan Records’ Disco Metric. I’ve been listening to many of their albums on YouTube, but I think this one is my favourite, followed by Retro Future Girls.
Their songs are fairly long and repetitive on average. Which means I don’t think it’s the best music to just sit and listen to while doing nothing else. But it is excellent background music while doing anything else.
The Solution to “Subs vs Dubs”?
I believe I’ve found the true solution to subs vs. dubs – just use neither! Not that it’s easy. But my Japanese listening ability and vocabulary has reached the point that I can get through episodes of daily life anime without too much issue. Just the occasional pause and dictionary lookup on my phone.
It’s gotten me a little excited about watching anime again, because of the challenge of understanding the meaning of what is being said. I’ve just started doing this, so I’m only a few episodes into Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san, something I saw suggested because it’s fairly simple to follow. And it has been for the three episodes I’ve watched so far.
If there’s one thing I have to credit anime for, it’s how clearly the VA’s speak, both in terms of speed and pronunciation. Japanese in real life is much more difficult to follow. People often speak much faster, many words get squished when spoken, and the grammar / expressions used aren’t always the same as what we’d hear in anime.
So yeah, it’s been cool so far and I’ll give an update on how it goes in my S1 review for Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san. It’s a nice anime to start with, anyways.
There’s no way I could follow something more complicated like the Monogatari Series that uses all sorts of complicated words, names, and explanations for things. I’d be listening to the same sentences over and over trying to puzzle out the words. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to that level, but if I do, it won’t be any time soon.
Japanese Meal Ranking
After living here for a year and several months, I finally took the time earlier to puzzle out my top 5 Japanese meals while driving home from work. So I may as well share, as I just thought this list up earlier today.
#1. Tonkatsu Teishoku
Without question, my favourite meal in Japan has been tonkatsu teishoku. Basically, you get a beautiful slab of tonkatsu (breaded + fried pork), some cabbage, rice, and miso soup. Usually there are some pickled vegetables on the side too, to act as palate cleansers (although I usually don’t eat them).
The best tonkatsu teishoku I’ve had so far was from this tonkatsu restaurant in Tokyo called Maisen (here it is on Google Maps). It’s very close to Omote-sando station, and the whole area is nice, with many cafes and such. Anyways, the tonkatsu there was perfect – a crisp crunch on the outside, and melt-in-your-mouth pork on the inside. Plus, they had some real good sauces to put on the tonkatsu.
And while tonkatsu teishoku is my top choice, I also consider chicken katsu teishoku, and katsudons in this category. I love all of them. Katsu is just the best.
#2. Curry Rice
Another Japanese classic, the curry rice. I’ve never actually been to a fancy restaurant for curry rice, but I feel like curry rice is so tasty that you can enjoy it anywhere. Even the curry rice served at school every so often is good. Best I’ve had was a spicy shrimp curry rice from a small family owned restaurant, but you also can’t go wrong with CoCo Ichibanya, a chain curry rice restaurant that has a ton of options from standard things like chicken katsu curry to more fun options like cheese burger curry rice.
It’s just a dish you can’t go wrong with, although it’s usually pretty filling. It’s also super easy to make. Of the two main types, sweet or spicy, I think spicy is best. We always have sweet curry rice at school, and while good, it’s not quite as good as a stronger spicy curry.
Next up is gyudon, which is a bowl of rice topped with a beef and onion mixture. Usually served with some pickled plum. The main appeal of gyudon for me is that it hits the spot when you’re hungry, it’s nice and filling, and it’s cheap! Not much else to say about gyudon, really. I’ve never tried making it myself, but yeah, I just love the combination of beef and rice.
Needs no explaining, ramen is something that I’m sure you all know and love. Well, I do too. The thing about ramen though is that the sheer amount of broth does sometimes make me hesitate in getting it, because it’s very filling if you commit to drinking the broth. Or if you get extra noodles so the broth doesn’t go to waste.
Of the ramen varieties I’ve tried, well, I know there are different broth bases like soy sauce and such. I don’t really know what the bases are when I order. I just know two things: I don’t like ramen that has a creamy base as much, and I like ramen that’s a little spicy but not crazy spicy. I’ve only had one ramen where the broth had a sort of milky base, and I wasn’t as much of a fan. Still, I feel like you can’t go wrong with ramen.
Yakiniku is basically… Japanese barbeque? The table will have a grill built in, and the raw meat is brought to you to grill yourself. Primarily beef. And the beef is amazing. Every time I’ve gone, it’s super succulent and juicy. Just like with gyudon, I love having freshly grilled juicy beef with rice at yakiniku. In fact, I think there’s no question that yakiniku is tastier than gyudon, because the beef is so much better. The catch is that yakiniku is much more expensive, even if you don’t opt for one of the “all you can eat” plans.
And so while it’s amazing, I don’t rate it as highly because of the price. I think there’s just more value in gyudon, even if it’s not as tasty overall. That said, yakiniku is also about the experience, as you typically sit down and chat with others while you eat over a prolonged period of time.
And that’s the list.
There are many other great foods of course, but these are the biggest guilty pleasures for me. Whenever I leave Japan, these are the five that I’ll be sure to eat before I leave!
Anime on the Re-watch Radar
What can I say, just like I enjoy ordering the same foods over and over at certain restaurants, I also like watching the same anime over and over haha. And lately I’ve had the itch to re-watch Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Also, Angel Beats!. It’s been many years since I’ve seen either, and I believe I’ve only watched both of them once. So it’ll be interesting to see what I’d forgotten and so on (some things from FMA:B you just don’t forget).
Anime Slay the Spire
Finally, lately I’ve been playing a lot of Slay the Spire, specifically the “Animator” mod for it. Before I came to Japan, I had played this mod extensively, putting more hours into it than the base game. I revisited it last week for the first time since coming here and was really happy with all of the changes that have gone into the mod. It’s gotten much better than it once was, I think.
I may do a post on this mod in the future, we’ll see. If you enjoy Slay the Spire, you should check it out in the Steam workshop. It’s a lot of fun to learn all of the synergies between the different anime card sets. And there are so many, the re-playability of this mod is pretty nuts.
That does it for blog post #649.
Hope you enjoyed my ramblings this time around.
Until next time,
Thanks for readng.