Friday 14 May 2021

Getting Started With a Drawing Tablet

 Technically this isn't my first time using a drawing tablet. I think I briefly used on about 10 years ago when my boss upgraded to a Wacom so the previous tablet he used "trickled down" to me. The reasoning at the time was that it would be useful for creating UI mockups and annotating them. I don't think it got used much and went in a drawer.

Anyway, this might as well be my first time using one so that's what I'll say.

Over the last few weeks I've enjoyed drawing on paper but I was a little disappointed with the results after scanning in some of my drawings. Plus my folder was starting to grow ever larger so I figured this would be a good opportunity try my hand at digital art.

I did a bit of research and opted for an XP-Pen Deco 01 (v2). It's not overly expensive and is a decent size.


At this point, I can't really justify spending a lot of money on a pen display or similar device so a simple "drawing tablet" (something without a screen) seemed like a good starting point.

One thing I do like about XP-Pen is their little mascot character 😁


My Workstation

It's definitely taking some getting used to. Looking at the screen while drawing didn't feel natural at first but so far I've found that it just takes a little perseverance. A few things that I've found have helped are:


Anybody who knows me knows that my handwriting is atrocious. So much so that one of my old teachers described it as being like a drunken spider crawled across the page with the a pen 😂 (not said maliciously - she was actually pretty supportive). In spite of how terrible my writing looks, writing a few words and sentences helped me get used to the disconnect between hand movements and seeing the result on screen by starting with familiar movements. I don't have much experience with art so handwriting made more sense for me.

Practice Website

I came across a nifty little website that you can use to practice drawing over blueprint figures to work on your accuracy.


Drilling practice routines is useful, but I didn't want this to stop me from actually doing some drawings. Not long after setting up the tablet on my laptop, I fired up Autodesk Sketchbook and had a go at "blocking out" a character. It's safe to say the results were laughable but it's all practice.

This is difficult!

I've largely given up on Sketchbook as it seems a bit limited and I think it might have been developed with Wacom tablets in mind. Instead I switched to Clip Studio Paint (Pro). A friend recommended it and it's not too expensive (about £30 or £40ish) and the developers allow it to be used on two machines (not at the same time) so I can use it on my desktop and laptop.

It won't win any awards, but it's good practice


It helps that I can create an outline that's rough AF and gradually refine it with additional layers of outlines before finishing it. Having drawn my first character entirely on a tablet, I'm not displeased with the result. Sure it's pretty rough and I've managed to get a load of things wrong on it but a few days ago I'd never used this sort of thing before so I'm pleased that I'm starting to get to grips with using it 😊

I plan to go back to some of the tutorial videos I followed for drawing on paper and try to redo them but using the tablet instead.


I'm going to try scanning and tracing some of my earlier drawings for additional practice.

Wednesday 21 April 2021

It had to happen - drawing my first hentai

While getting a little practice in drawing characters, it had to happen sooner or later - turning it in to hentai.

It's safe to say that I managed to completely screw up the proportions. Besides being tied up, the poor girl I've drawn appears to have legs like ICBMs 😦

Sure, it looks absolutely terrible but on the plus side it's been fun and I think I can keep drawing something similar while practising the basic techniques for drawing faces and bodies. Getting the basic shapes and proportions right is proving tricky, starting by "blocking out" characters with basic shapes seems to be helping. Practice makes perfect?

From bad to worse

As for all of the questionable drawings, It's almost enough to make my creations break the fourth wall to ask about my motivations...

It might not be...

Sunday 18 April 2021

Who would have thought it. Drawing?

Recently something has happened that I honestly never imagined would happen. I've developed an interest in drawing.

I think it was after seeing seeing fanart and doujin style works that I was inspired to try. It only really started as an attempt at understanding, I have an uncle who likes art and years ago suggested recreating something I've seen as a way of understanding it better (recently confirmed by my brother who was advised to do the same thing in art college).

So for the last few days I've been trying to learn a few basic techniques and practice as much as I can. I'm the type of person who can develop an obsessive interest in something and then fizzle out but this is something that I feel lets me express myself in a way I've never really been able to before so I'm going to try to keep at it and not give up.


I remembered a line from the 2nd season of the series "Genius", with that season following Picasso.Specifically when at a prestigious art school, the class is reminded "You will never be an artist until you master the laws of perspective" (or words to that effect - it's been a few years since I saw it). So, I figured perspective would be a good place to start (I vaguely remember that I did two point perspective in art class at school many years ago - but that's about it)

A big shout out to circle line art school for their excellent videos on single point perspective. I find the worked example really helpful as opposed to just an intro to perspective and how to draw basic shapes. An example covering drawing a type of room just seems to help it make more sense. Different people learn in different ways, this seems to work well for me.

How to Draw a Room in 1-Point Perspective for Beginners

One of my early attempts. A bit of a mess but a great learning experience.
One of my early attempts. A bit of a mess but a great learning experience.

A later attempt. Getting better... I think
A later attempt. Getting better... I think

How to Draw a Bedroom in 1-Point Perspective

With a few attempts at a living room under my belt, I had a go at a bedroom to try a different angle and different types of objects.  It's going to take a lot of practice but it's proving to be fun and my failures are not proving as frustrating as I'd feared. Every time I get something fundamentally wrong, I learn something from it.

Not that happy with it, but it's a start


Rather than just drilling perspective until I get it right, I'm trying my hand at manga style drawing as well. This is because:

  1. This is what I really want to do (what I've done so far is mainly to get an understanding of the basics)
  2. This will hopefully keep things interesting, I worry that drilling perspective and nothing else will eventually turn it in to a chore and sap the fun from it

I joked to my brother that next step is to learn to draw tentacles, to which he replied that he should have known there was an endgame with this. I want to draw my own hentai, don't judge me!

Another big shout out to people who have created resources  that have helped me take this first step.

How to Draw Faces for Beginners | Anime Manga Drawing Tutorial

I think Whyt Manga has a rather unique style? At least that's what he's suggested in the video. It covers his style of drawing faces, he explains it pretty well and has really helped me to understand things like the proportions and where features are on the face.

My attempt at drawing a female face was a total mess in relation to the male face, as that was my first attempt whereas I made a first attempt at the male face and then tried again.

I've also made an attempt at copying a characters face from something I was reading, I figured that would help me get a feel for it.

And lastly, trying a face from another guide to try different techniques.

How to Draw Anime or Manga Faces (wikihow)


So I'm pretty hopeless so far. My results with faces have been varied, I've tried recreating faces I've drawn to see how consistently I can draw them - and I can't LOL.

A friend has suggested how to draw manga books and is going to have a look at her collection for ones to suggest (it's good to know which ones have been helpful)

It's early days but it's a fun learning experience. Hopefully I'll have something to update soon.

Saturday 3 February 2018

Japan New Year 2017, Day 3 – New Year Celebrations, Otaku Style

My plan for the first part of the day was to make a much needed visit to that great shrine of otaku culture – Akihabara.
One of the first things I like to do when arriving in Akihabara is to see what series are being promoted. For example, on a previous trip, I remember seeing some “Kizumonogatari” related promotional materials on the outside of the Atre buildings. This time round it was Fate/Apocrypha, there was also a Blend-S billboard on one of the other buildings.

Feeling a little tired from the previous day, the first order of business was to get a some coffee. Fortunately, in Japan, there is no shortage of vending machines capable of supplying caffeinated goodness. While it was tempting to stop by a coffee shop/café (to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee, I recommend café moco) I was a man on a mission. My mission was to identify and purchase a suitable quantity of figures and character goods. Those who know me from the anime circle will know that I have a particular fondness for Konosuba (and a certain masochistic knight…) so something konosuba related was going to be on the cards.
Browsing around some of the stores, a noticed a few interesting curiosities. First was a cardboard cutout of Reimu (from the Touhou series) in one of the stores (I decided to get a photo of this as there was a sign saying “camera ok”). The second was a promotion for what appeared to be a new manga. I believe the title translated as “Chastity/purity of sadistic girlfriend”. I decided that I’d have to do a little background research in to that series – in the interests of science, it’s not like I’m interested in that sort of thing or anything! (Baka!)

During my shopping trip I found a few items I # interested in, one of which was a “fukubukuro” or “lucky bag”. This is a nice little system for clearing out stock at the end of the year. These are bags with a collection of random items, sometimes you can get some great deals and other times not so much. On a previous trip I got one containing a few random Youkai Watch items. This time I got some rather rare Animal Crossing game cards (buying the 1000 Yen general bag rather than a 5000 Yen “Love Live” bag – I do not like Idol anime!).
Something fun about Akihabara is that you can sometimes find interesting new themes for the old Maid Café concept. One I spotted this time was a “Samurai Maid Café”. It’s different, I’ll give them that! Maid cafes aren’t really my thing, though, and I decided to give that a miss. I also noticed a woman outside promoting an owl café (they have become quite popular) and signs for a few cat cafes. I did at least think “boku to neko” (cat and I) was a somewhat witty name.

Something new that I found was that there seemed to be a trend to use “itasha” (cars decorated with anime characters) for promotional purposes. I think these were promotions anyway, as I saw the same cars doing circuits of the area to I surmised that they were doing promotions.
One of the first places I checked out was the Shosen Book Tower. I was hoping to pick up some JLPT N4 materials (as I wasn’t able to take classes, I thought it best to continue my studies independently) and to see if I could find another copy of the vocab guide I use for some friends who are learning Japanese. Thee vocab guide wasn’t there, so that would have to be left for another day. I was, however, able to find some reading and grammar guides for N4. For anyone currently living in Tokyo, Shosen has a selection of English books so this is good for those looking for books from home of material to practice reading in English.
During the course of the afternoon, I think I managed to break the pedometer in Google fit. Passing one of the many stores, I spotted a little plush of Puk from Re:Zero. I thought nothing of it at the time but as time went on I lamented myself for not making an impulse buy. Eventually, caving in, I double back and went in search of the plush. After reaching Akihabara station, my starting point, I thought to myself “ah, you missed it. Let’s try again”. Sure enough, after an almost endless walk, there was no sign of Puk. Had he been sold already? Maybe, or was I missing something? Then, I realized my stupidity. I crossed over the road to look in one of the other “Liberty” stores (Liberty have a couple of stores, 2 of which are opposite each other. Sure enough, there he was. With luck on my side, I wasted no time and made my purchase.
Normally, I like to describe (in great detail) the things I eat. Unfortunately I was too focused on shopping to remember to get lunch. By the time it got to 16:00, I started to think that I might be a little late for lunch and early for dinner. With that, I employed the fallback strategy that served me well last time, nikuman from the Family Mart! This helped stave off hunger, but I did regret not getting home run curry at one of my favourite restaurants.
My haul in the end was:
·         A lucky bag
·         Puk
·         (Konosuba) Darkness Nendoroid
·         Kiss Shot figure from Monogatari
·         Darkness keychain
·         Saber keychain (Arturia – the best saber!)
·         A mountain of JLPT materials

With a successful shopping trip, I headed back to Kyles to drop off my goodies and plan out where to get dinner. The second half of that turned out to be fairly easy, as Kyle was in a rush and wasn’t sure when he could leave he made an executive decision and bought in McDonalds. How very Kyle, but having subjected him to “The Ramen Diet” a few years back, I’m not one to complain. Besides, he was keen to try the new bacon burger. Eating in gave us the opportunity to plan out where to go later on, we were thinking of going to the shrine in Nagareyama but Kyle wanted to check what other shrines might be available in the area so that we could potentially try somewhere new. Not seeing many other options in the area (we were keen to avoid getting the train for practicality), we decided on Nagareyama. Although we’d been there before, it’s a nice shrine and had a good atmosphere before.
Arriving a little early, we were able to have a look around while preparations were being made. Things were pretty quiet except for the… loud gentleman who was clearly annoyed about a number of current events. He was shouting “bakayarou!” (you asshole) at someone, somewhere, and was referring to Kim Jong Un as “baka” (idiot) – I’m sure we could agree on that part. I got the impression that he may have had a few too many drinks, I commend the shrine volunteers for handling the situation in a dignified way. He appeared to get bored and left at some point while we were looking around the main shrine building. It was interesting to see a large number of omomori in a box, these were likely ones that had been given back to the shrine at the end of the year. You see, after a year, omomori are usually taken back after a year to the shrine they were bought from and burned (the blessing only lasts a year).
Being at the shrine just before midnight was a nice experience as everyone present was able to take part in a countdown to the new year. This was initiated by the mayor of Nagareyama who thanked all present for coming, especially the Gaijin – Sometimes it’s good to be a fashionable westerner! The countdown was a great (collective) responsibility, so Kyle and I made sure to practice beforehand (じゅう、 きゅう、 はち、 なな、 ろく、 ご、 よん、 さん、 に、 いち). After the countdown, we made our offering (5 yen in the box then a routine of bowing and clapping) and checked out the area. I decided to get an omikuji (paper fortune), since we were going to be meeting Yaashita in a few days I thought I might be able to ask him for a translation. Knowing my luck, I’ve probably got a bad fortune!

It was getting pretty late so we then decided to had back. At 02:00, we figured it was going to be a pretty late start the next day…

Friday 12 January 2018

Japan New Year 2017, Day 2 – So this is a sleeper town?

While I was settling in and overcoming jetlag, we decided not to stray too far from Misato. An interesting opportunity presented itself in the form of an Aeon Town shopping centre that had recently opened in Yoshikawa Minami. This was somewhere that Kyle had not visited before so we thought it might be worth a look. Yoshikawa Minami was just a few stops before Koshigaya Laketown so close to some familiar areas.
Arriving at Yoshikawa Minami station, I was confronted with a giant statue of some kind of pink… creature. Kyle informed me that this was simply the town mascot. Japan went through a phase of creating mascots for just about everywhere. This turned out to be rather costly and now as some of the mascots are being “retired”, replacements aren’t being designed. The aim is to just stick with prefectural mascots.
Behold, your new overlord!

The Aeon Town turned out to be a little disappointing, rather than a mall it turned out to be just a large department store. There were still a few interesting things including a character goods section and some fashions. Kyle managed to convince me to try on some coats, I did find one that looked quite good on me but sadly even the large size felt a little tight when trying to close it. At 4000 Yen it wasn’t a bad price (and of year sale!) but in the end I decided to stick with my faithful old M&S coat.
We explored the area surrounding Aeon Town but there wasn’t much in the area, the whole area looked like a development set to become a “sleeper town” (commuter town). Panic and confusion set in as the creeping realization hit us that we hadn’t seen a single convenience store – impossible! Aside from a single Lawson in an “Mansion” complex, not a single “kombini” to be found. Sensing that there must be something seriously wrong with this place, we moved on to Laketown.
By the time we arrived it was time for lunch, there was a kebab stand in the outlet section that I was told was worth trying as well as a (Japan specific) speciality currently being offered by Burger King (I remember the “Aka Samurai Burger” was good so I thought this might be worth a try). Having filled up after the kebab, I thought it best to abandon burger king and have a wander around instead (that and Burger King was absolutely jam packed). While we were looking for the kebab stand (it tends to move around but doesn’t have the light normally associated with a side-quest) I noticed the “Dog dept Café”, wondering if this might be some kind of Korean restaurant, I quickly moved on.

Kyle took the opportunity to introduce me to the Bean&Leaf Café, a great little coffee shop that he’d recently been introduced to. In addition to great coffee, they have excellent deserts. Having filled myself up completely with the kebab, I split a slice of cheesecake with Kyle instead of having a whole slice.
We noticed that there was a special event on at the stage in the middle of the mall. The event in question was some Japanese boy band. They were… not all that good. The autotune was quite clearly being pushed to its limits. To save our ears from any further assault, we quickly vacated the area.
By the time we made it back to Misato, we’d managed to work up quite an appetite. Since we had hamburg steak yesterday we decided to try regular steak. Part of the reason for this was that the local steak restaurant had an unlimited side bar, which included curry and rice. This was more than enough to satisfy the massive appetites we’d managed to build up.
Since it wasn’t too late when we got back, we connected my laptop to the TV in order to put on Yu-Gi-Oh! Dark Side of Dimensions for some entertainment. All was well and good until my laptop started to install the Windows 10 Fall Creators update – oops. By this point it was starting to get late so the movie would have to be postponed for another day.

Monday 1 January 2018

Japan New Year 2017, Day 1 - Travel

Once again, it’s time to travel to (where else but) Japan. Unlike last time, this trip is in the civility and comfort of Business Class (as a side note, I should point out that with the previous trip I really can’t complain given the price). As such, it’s time for the much anticipated (it is anticipated, right?) trip report)
Beforehand, online checkin went pretty smoothly, with my preferred seat (3A, both legs) selected and ready to go. A few things I found quite nice were:
·        An email from Luftahnsa the day before confirming some of the basic details (times, services onboard etc) along with the time difference in Tokyo, weather and links to exchange rates.
·        A selection of electronic newspapers and magazines available for download after check in
·        An email receipt after dropping off my bags
·        Email confirmation of the departure gate
Airlines catch a lot of flack for unreliable web services connected to the creaking, legacy, systems but in this case it was all smooth and convenient. The agent/employee who checked my bags was good enough to remind me I could use the fast track security and which lounge I was entitled to. Nice for if you don’t travel often and likely to forget some of these little details.
The “fast track” security at Manchester had quite the queue. So much so that many of us were being diverted in with the other passengers. All in all, security didn’t take too long so I wasn’t particularly concerned. I suspect that if I’d paid extra to use fast track (as opposed to being included in the ticket), I might have been a little miffed.
I took the busy security as a portent of things to come as a sign at the Aspire lounge informed me that the lounge was at capacity and no on the day bookings could be taken. One of the results of this was that there were no baps for bacon sandwiches out. Turning a disappointment in to an opportunity, I figured this was the universe telling me to have coffee and croissant instead of a bacon sandwich (healthy eating is a new years resolution for me).

The view

Despite around a half hour delay, the flight to Munich was fairly uneventful. The continental breakfast provided on board was a nice alternative to the typical greasy, fried breakfast that the English are used to.
Continental breakfast - chocolate muesli

Paranoid, as ever, my first port of call upon arriving in Munich was to figure out where the gate I needed was. Second was the Business Lounge. I wasn’t expecting much but it’s not a shabby lounge and (at least during the time I was there) it was a quiet, relaxing space. As it turned out, for most of the time I was waiting, the lounge was almost deserted. I’d heard that the lounges in Munich tended to fill up at peak time so it was quite a pleasant surprise to find a nice, quiet space relax in.
I am required under international to have a pretzel whenever i come to Germany

Waiting to board -747-9

Eventually, it was time to board the flight. I was quite exited about this part of the journey as I was looking forward to trying ANA business class and seeing how it compared with Finnair (from last years trip). From the moment I boarded, I felt like VIP. After taking my seat (which required shifting the small mountain of amenities), one of friendly and helpful members of the cabin crew explained the use of the mattress topper (a nice little addition to make sleeping more comfortable) and offered to store my coat and hat in the cloakroom. I was also offered a cardigan (as I was wearing a t-shirt under my coat) which I thought was a nice little touch. The in flight entertainment offered a number of satellite TV channels (CNN, NHK world and a sports channel) in addition to a selection of television shows, movies etc – not that I had much intention of using them, my plan was to catch up on some much needed sleep later on (same as last time. While a good entertainment selection is nice, I still prefer making use of the bed to make sure I arrive well rested).
My throne

Pillow, blanket, mattress and slippers 

Entertainment selection

 After take off and maybe ¾ hour in the air it was time for the meal service, beginning with a pre-meal drink. The cabin crew were knowledgeable about available options and offered helpful suggestions. For the pre-meal drink, I opted for an Italian red wine which I was told was one they had specially for year end. For the meal, I opted for the Japanese option over the western option. There was a sake from Yamaguchi and a sake from Niigata on the menu, which went nicely with the food. Interestingly, the flight attendant who was advising the best order to try the two types told me she is from Niigata even showed me on one of the maps where the prefecture is (I was curious as I’m still not familiar with the location of most Japanese prefectures). I was told that a lot of passengers don’t go out of their way to make conversation with the flight attendants in that way, which I thought was a shame.

Afterwards, with a full stomach, it was time to get some shut eye. Comparing the seat/bed to those offered by Finnair, I’d say that the Finnair seat is more comfortable when in recliner mode as the ANA seat seemed a little short. In bed mode, I’d say the ANA seat was more comfortable.
I think I was one of the last people to wake up as other passengers were having their breakfasts. The breakfast/snack service in ANA business class is “on demand” up to about 2 hours before landing so once I’d woken up, I was offered the breakfast choices. As with the main meal, I opted for the Japanese style breakfast. All that was left after that was to prepare for landing (and make sure my landing/customs cards were filled in properly – a good timesaver for arrival)

Having travelled to Narita several times, it would normally be a simple matter to find my bearings and get to Kyle’s. Of course, this time wasn’t quite so simple I’d travelled to Haneda instead. Fortunately, armed with a cheap data SIM, the wonders of the internet made up for my lack of navigational skills and my journey continued. Upon arriving at Kyle’s, I received the usual warm greeting: “You again?”
We caught up on current events and I gave Kyle his Christmas present – The 2017 Private Eye Annual (I saw it in a bookshop and immediately thought of Kyle). It was starting to get late in to the evening (in other words, my stomach was rumbling) so our next priority was dinner. In all the years I’ve been visiting Kyle, I’d never been to the Bikkuri Donkey restaurant near his apartment. Suspending disbelief that we’d somehow managed to ignore this option before, we had our restaurant choice for the evening. This provided a perfect opportunity for me to try a “hamburger steak”, basically a Japanese version of Salisbury steak. It was also my first time eating at a Japanese “family restaurant”, I’d seen them before in shows like Toradora (the restaurant that Minorin worked at, that Taiga took Ryuji to in an early episode) so that was fun.

On to the next day!

Sunday 21 August 2016

2016 Japanese Travels - Day 5, Kashiwa and Yoshi

As usual, Kyle and I ventured out near lunchtime. While it’s generally not a good idea to waste the limited time available when in another country, I wasn’t particularly fond of waking up too early when on vacation (a morning person, I am not!). However, my morning routine did consist of enduring the sweltering heat for long enough to buy a can of coffee from the nearby vending machine. The milky (latte) version of Japanese canned coffee made for a nice morning kickstart. It’s worth noting that Kyle had already banned me from drinking black canned coffee – Kyle learned a few years ago that the black coffee did something to produce the worst breath known to man. It appeared that the stuff was notorious throughout all of Japan!
The plan for the afternoon was explore Kashiwa. Kashiwa had a large “Hobby Off” (similar to the “Book Off” bookshops) where I would be able to find new anime figures to add to my ever growing collection. I spotted a few figures I wanted to add to my collection, but knew my suitcase space was finite so priorities were needed. One of the figures was a Figma (poseable) of Asuna from Sword Art Online (before you ask, no, it's not going to be used to set up creepy situations with the Revoltech Woody figure... welll, probably not).

By a stroke of luck, Kyle spotted a Yugi figure from the Yu-Gi-Oh! “Dark Side of Dimensions” movie. I decided that I should get a Yugi figure as I already had a few “Dark Magician Girl” figures and didn’t want people to start thinking I had some kind of Dark Magician Girl fetish. Let’s just say that character has inspired some, shall we say, “interesting” fan art. I was going to include an example, but I’d rather not make this blog NSFW.
"Dark Side of Dimensions" figure of Yugi - hard to believe Yu-Gi-Oh has been around 20 years! (I'm getting old)
My plan for the evening was to meet with Yoshi in Shinjuku. The background, for those who are not aware is that Yoshi was a member of the Japanese study group (the Sakura Kai) in Leeds and was also a teaching assistant one year. Those who have followed the blogs of my previous trips will probably already know that I had planned to meet with Yoshi last year, however, I was unable to as a job interview came up at the last minute so he couldn’t make it to Tokyo. While it was disappointing that we didn’t get to meet, I was happy that Yoshi had been presented with a good opportunity.
Upon arriving in Shinjuku, I started to realize a slight problem with our plan. We chose Shinjuku because many different rail lines met there so it would be an easy station for both of us to reach. Unfortunately, this also made Shinjuku the one of the largest and most complex stations in the entire network (I sometimes like to joke that an elite exploration team from Lonely Planet disappeared during an expedition to map Shinjuku station).
I’d arrived at Shinjuku a little early (as a precaution) but did not know exactly where Yoshi would be. It was the kind of situation where having the rental phone/SIM proved invaluable. We had already exchanged numbers so I was easily able to let Yoshi know exactly which ticket gate I was waiting at. Despite the station being incredibly busy (believe me, UK rail has nothing on Japan!), we were aided by the fact that (as a blonde gaijin) I stuck out like a sore thumb.
After Yoshi successfully located me, we went out to a nearby restaurant. Prior to that day, when he suggested going out for food, he’d asked me what kind of food I wanted. I was keen to try new foods so Yoshi suggested oden. Although traditionally a winter dish, it was something that we could still enjoy in summer.
Long awaited reunion
Over the next few hours, we chatted about how things were going for each of us in the UK and Japan. Because I hadn’t heard much about what Yoshi as up to, it was great to find out how things were going for him. We did most of our chatting in English (as my Japanese was limited, so that would have made it difficult to discuss complex topics) but I did get a few opportunities to practice some of my Japanese.
After a few hours of good food, beer and interesting discussions, it was time to head home. We said our goodbyes at Shinjuku station and I planned my route back. Although expensive, I opted to return via Akihabara as the Tsukuba express was the most convenient way of getting back. Next to Akihabara stations, I could see there were plenty of promotions up for the new “Kizumonogatari” – the origin story for the Monogatari series. I’d been a fan of the Monogatari series for a while so Kizumonogatari was something I was quite excited about.
Kiss Shot Acerola Orion Heart Under Blade (do not ask about the name)
I also happened to notice a street performance from a singer who appeared to be promoting an album. It was good to see that independent musicians are still going in Japan and that AKB48 hadn’t completely taken over.

Thanks for reading. Tune in again for an evening of nomification and graphic design (not in that order though!)