Saturday, May 28, 2005

I'm here!!!

Hi guys, just lettin ya know I got to Japan safe and sound. I'm in Takeshi's parents house right now, as the new apartment has only one chair, much less a computer. I will have to spruce it up, and possibly buy parts in akihabara and assemble myself a cute little pasocon. ^^ Anyways, now the Little Gaijin title applies for real, and there will be accounts of my adventures. Come back soon and I'll keep you posted!

Friday, May 20, 2005

Otaku Matsuri (Geek Fest!)

This week, it's the time to let your inner geek shine. Between a live symphony concert of Final Fantasy music and E3, the getting's good for all serious (read, 'obsessed' ^^) gamers that happen to be in LA this week.

I was very lucky and happened to meet someone who had extra comp tickets for the one night show "More Friends", featuring music from Final Fantasy 6,7,8,9 and 10 composed and directed by Nobuo Uematsu. ... in my humble opinion, the main reason the FF series is so popular is because of the intense emotions that the art and music evoke. Most fans of Final Fantasy will be able to tell you two names: Amano and Uematsu. Amano did the beautiful concept artwork and graphic designs, and Uematsu did the soundtracks. The nice part is that both of their work can be enjoyed entirely out of context by people who aren't even remotely interested in games. They're simply incredibly talented. *^_^*
Anyways, I went with some friends, three of whom had never played any of them, and by the end they were considering playing them! The concert was at the Universal CityWalk ampitheater, which seated 2,000 people. Just walking in there, looking around, and seeing ALL THE SEATS FULL was quite an experience!! heh, all for video game music. I guess it's probably because this is the week of the Electronic Entertainment Expo. Which brings me to my next topic!

Man, E3 was so much fun. This was my first year. I've been to Siggraph, Anime Expo and Comic Con, but this really topped them all. It felt like Las Vegas on crack.

The games I liked the best were: Okami, the new Prince of Persia, Katamari Damacy 2 (so addictive!) the Kingdom Hearts sequel, and the DS game 'Ace, Attorney at Law' (I think?)... but mostly I just walked around in a haze, surrounded by bright lights, colors, and loud noises. I gotta say I was sad because I couldn't get into either the Square-Enix show (tickets were gone about 20 minutes after the doors opened), the new Legend of Zelda display, or the PS3 demo (3+ hour lines?! I thought about it but chickened out in the end). ^_^; Did anyone make it into those shows? What did you think? I was very impressed by the Xbox360 and was strangely attracted to the itty-bitty new nintendo portables, the size of an original nes controller ^^

I hope everyone who's going tomorrow has a good time! If you are, I have two pieces of advice:
1) you may see the convention parking lots filled, and crazy lots selling parking for $60! Don't be fooled, there is plenty of free street parking as little as 4 blocks away. I parked on Albany and Flower both days for free from 10am-4pm, no tickets, no problem.
2) Get there early and run to Square-Enix's booth as soon as the convention opens (at 9am) to get a ticket for their show at a later time in the day. As soon as you get your ticket, go to nintendo's booth and get in the zelda line. I didn't make it myself, but my friend assured me if you go first thing, the normally 3hour wait is only about half an hour.

Anyways, take care!! *^_^*

Friday, May 13, 2005

Mmm mmm fun!

Hm, it's been awhile since I wrote anything. Unfortunately my life isn't that interesting. So let's post some fun links!

Fun Comics!
My friend turned me on to this cute, random comic called Wigu. It really reminds me of Crayon Shin-chan. It's about a family with a little boy and his goth sister. Here they're staying home from school to write a musical about a rooster being tricked into fighting in a cock fight:

*^_^* so cuuuute!! and mildly disturbing. The best combination, in my opinion. ^^

Kill Harry This guy with the alias of "crazy kimchi" has a cool page with tons of drawings and always links to interesting things. Anyways, these days he's been working on a comic that's a crossover between Harry Potter and Kill Bill. The tagline is " "This summer, Hermione's back. And she's going to... Kill. Harry." senseless fanboy fun!!

In other news, I cut my hair. Again. By myself!! (Why on earth?!) I didn't like it, it wasn't short enough. So I got some barber scissors and cut off a bunch from the back. I just meant to cut off a bit, but it was uneven, so I cut off a bit more from one side... only to find I overcompensated, and had to snip off some more from the other side... luckliy I stopped before becoming bald. Now I look a lot like Natalie Portmans' character "Mathilda" from "Leon the Professional"...or maybe a bit like Amelie. Now I will definitely be confused for a french girl in Japan, like I was countless times when I studied abroad.Here's a sample conversation I would get while walking around on Jouchi Daigaku's campus:
Random Japanese student: "Excuse me, are you french? would you join our french language club?"
Me: "Oh no, actually I'm American, from California."
Random Japanese student: "But you're so small, are you SURE you're American?"
Kyra: "...ahahaha..." (a big anime sweat drop appears on the side of my head)

Anyways. I joined a cool mailing list of people who work in the CG industry in Japan, (or at least, have in the past, or at the very least, work in the CG industry and have an interest in Japan). They're very nice, and one of them has been working non-stop on the new full length 100% CG move "Final Fantasy: Advent Children" which is based on Square-Enix's popular video game Final Fantasy 7. They're actually up to Final Fantasy 12 now in the video game series, but #7 probably has the largest fan base out of all of their games. The movie may or may not be released to the silver screen, but my inside sources say it definitely will be released to DVD on September 14. (I'm really looking forward to it!! ^_^) Here's a link for all you link happy clickers out there. .
I like the character design for Cloud, but I'm not diggin' Sephiroth (the bad guy) so much. He was a badass in the game, but in the movie he has... Purple Lipstick?!!! *shakes head in shame*.
Anyways, I'm going to meet up with a couple of the CG people in Tokyo when I get there, we'll go out drinking and hopefully I can make some connections. Imagine.. working at Square Enix... *drool* ^_^

Oh yes, an announcement!! I'll be here in LA for one more week. Dear lord!!!
I mean, I'm very calm. And it's time for a party! ^_^ I sent out an evite, but if you're not on my list and you'd like to come, please send me an email (kyra weaver at hotmail dot com, properly punctuated without the spaces.) It'll be at Kabuki Restaurant at Howard Hues center on May 20th at 8. Either before or after I'll be seeing a movie... Star Wars, maybe? so if you can't make it to dinner, maybe you can join me for a movie! Either way, please come. ^_^


Sunday, May 08, 2005

A year already?!

I just went to LMU's graduation today. It was weird, I can't believe it's been a year since I graduated already. For some reason it feels like it was just yesterday. ... I remember how long a year felt when I was in school, but for some reason when you're working, time goes by much faster.
It's like it was my graduation too.. only this time, my alma mater is Los Angeles, and I'm moving on to Tokyo. heh heh. Sorry, besides that, nothing interesting to report. I should be really busy with packing and stuff, but I've been very lazy, hanging around the apartment and watching CSI Las Vegas. ^^; I love that show!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Vidal Sassoon Academy

Hey guys, guess what I did today? I *gasp* got a haircut!!
What, you don't think that's very interesting? heh. Ok, but read on gentle readers, for my tale is just beginning. It's not the fact that I got it cut, but the place I had it done. For I went to: *pause for dramatic emphasis*:

Vidal Sassoon Academy is a place in Santa Monica where they train new and aspiring hairstylists in the secret art of Vidal Sassoon-jutsu. Each and every student has an intense training course that involves studying techniques, then cutting real hair on mannequins under a watchful eye. When they have satisfactorily completed the first two phases of training, they undertake a third: internships of cutting real hair on real guinnea pigs. .. I mean, people.

My friend went here and told me about it, and I've always been meaning to go. Why? Because it's an experience. It's also a way to get a professional high-scale salon haircut for the flat rate of $20. That's right, they shampoo and condition, cut and style and blow-dry it for twenty measly bucks! Considering I haven't cut my hair in about a year (besides trimming my bangs, which I have finally learned how to do correctly ^^;), I felt like I was in a luxury spa for my head.

The one thing about this place is that you have to be very specific about what you want your hair to look like. Bring a picture, if possible. Why? I don't know if you've seen late-model cuts, but if you're not careful, you may end up looking like the picture above. Yipes.

Anyways, it was fun! but it took two hours!! Why? Because the hair-cutting part was a four step process, and my stylist (a very sweet girl) was forced to wait for her instructor to come by and approve of her work thus far, and show her what to do exactly on the next step, taking the honorary position of cutting the first few snips of hair at each stage. Man, sometimes the instructor would dissapear for very long periods at a time, coming back smelling like cigarettes. But I'll say one thing about her, she really knew what she was doing. I felt like I was 14 again, being a hair model, surrounded by interesting smells and people with exciting accents and having very little idea how it was going to turn out.

The end result? I like it! ^_^ It's not actually very exciting, it's just a short cut with some gentle layers above my shoulders. But it was a lot of fun, and I'm feeling much more ready for the fashion-focused city of Tokyo. I'll be taking a photo for my resume tomorrow, so I'll post it online as soon as it's scanned so you can see my new 'do. *grin*