☆ anime/manga,  ☆ being a dork,  ☆ i heart japan,  ☆ life

Living Tall in Japan, part 13

☆ To see all of the parts in this series, click here

Lucky 13! I mean, Lucky Part 13!

I truly mean it, too. I had one day of work at my new branch of Nova, and had to teach classes on my own in a new place. The way that NOVA lessons are structured is that there are 40-minute classes, and really short breaks in between them for the teachers to quickly switch student files and hurriedly mark in grades for the last class. In case you haven’t guessed, break times could get really hectic, with teachers all over the place. We had around ten teachers in my new branch, but my first day flew by so quickly that I didn’t really get a chance to get to know anyone.

I was exhausted. A new job, especially one with which you’re not really qualified for and not at all sure how to do (I’d never wanted to be a teacher, remember? Though I did my best, I really didn’t know what I was doing), can really sap the energy from you. I went home, sank into the internet, and just fell asleep.

But what happened the next day is why this is a lucky 13 post, and not a black-Friday the 13th post. The next day, my first day off since beginning orientation at Nova, was the day that I finally met one of the best friends that I would ever have.

Do you know how you meet someone, and you just know? You know that you’re going to make amazing friends, and fit together in a way that compliments everything about each other? I’ve felt this with a number of people growing up, and I am still friends with all of those great people to this day. Eda is no exception. We’ve been friends since that moment, before, really, and I honestly consider her one of the best friends that I’ve ever made in my life. I miss her sorely. But I know that no matter what happens, or how long it is before we see each other again, we will always remain friends. I’ll always want her in my life.

Eda and I were friends before I ever even came to Japan. We were online friends, and she actually worked for Nova while I was in college. She actually is the reason that I even knew that teaching English in Japan was a thing that people did. Because of her, and with her help, I applied for Nova when my application for the JET programme fell through. Because of her, I was able to go to Japan, and the first vacation day that I had after beginning work for Nova, I spent meeting her in person.

I was so, soooo nervous! But I shouldn’t have been. Eda was sweet, and friendly, and we met at the station in Harajuku. I can barely remember it now, how it was raining cats and dogs, and instead, she took me to Ikebukuro to show me all of the manga shops that I had missed. And oh, had I missed some.

Only the beginning of the deliciousness!

On my previous trip to Animate, I had walked in the side entrance, and that had proven my undoing. Because of that, I had completely and totally missed Otome Road! Otome means “maiden,” or “young lady,” and this street was definitely, definitely geared towards the ladies. Perhaps “maiden” is a bit.. off, though. I have a feeling that it’s used tongue-in-cheek, because Otome road is basically a yaoi lover’s paradise. Maidens have nothing to do with it. And a true maiden would never be that dirty. 😉

Of course, I’m no maiden, because I love, love, love yaoi! Eda led me to a haven, and I still count it among the best places in Tokyo to go shopping for yaoi fans.

Down the street from Animate, ALL of those shops are anime-related and ALL of them had yaoi doujinshi. 🙂 These photos are nearly ten years old, but the shops there have only slightly changed. The ramen shop is gone, if I remember right. But Lashinbang and K-books are still there, selling all of the used anime goods that a fangirl could want! Especially if you want Tenipuri/Tenimyu merchandise, this should be your first stop. 🙂

Forgive me, for I didn’t have a very good camera back then! But Character Queen was THE place to go if you wanted BL drama CDs and video games. I didn’t have a lot of interest in the beginning, but now I can’t get enough of Drama CDs! It helps to be able to actually understand what is going on (well, for me at least. Maybe you’re different?).

Mandarake is my favorite of favorite places to get my BL doujinshi fix! There are branches of Mandarake all over Japan, but this was my firs exposure to the wonder that is halls and halls filled to the brim with doujinshi. Yum!

After Otome Road, Eda took me to my first karaoke session, beginning what would turn out to be a lifelong (so far) obsession! Even though singing for the first time in front of anyone was a little bit.. daunting, to say the least! To her credit, she didn’t make (too much) fun of me. 😉

Oh, and where are all of the pictures of Eda? She’s certainly been on my blog in the past if you know where to look, but I know that she hates photos, especially old ones, so I’ll honor her wishes and let her remain just a thought, a concept of a totally awesome friend. <3

Ahhhhhhh, I’m feeling all nostalgic. I want to go and buy a billion doujinshi right about now! But I suppose that it will have to wait until the next time that I reunite with Japan. I can’t wait for the day!

And there is so much more to this tale, by no means am I stopping today! See you all tomorrow!! <3

(471 geeks have read this)

Hi! This is Jamie Lynn Lano! I am a Washington State (USA) native who: ☆ Holds a Bachelors of the Arts in Media Arts & Animation from AiPx. ☆ Worked as an assistant mangaka in Japan for Konomi Takeshi on The Prince of Tennis. ☆ Was an essay columnist for Asahi Weekly from 2008-2013. ☆ Was the star of Asahi Pop'n Press on Asahi TV (Japan) from 2009-2013 ☆ Was a write for Metropolis magazine in 2010. ☆ Has kept a blog foreeeeeeeeever! First and Current blogs.


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