An Otaku's Guide to Buying Japanese Pop Culture Merchandise

A sampling of places otaku can buy apparel, Jpop, Jrock, geta, bento boxes, plushies, anime figures and other Japanese entertainment merchandise. Some places are on my wish list, while others, I have frequented.

Levelling Up My Japanese

When I first sang a Japanese song at karaoke, I read off a sheet that I printed with the lyrics in Romaji. It was truly a magical moment last year, when I cracked open my Inuyasha music book and could actually read the lyrics to one of my fave songs: I did the happy dance when I realized that I could read the Japanese characters to one of my favourite songs in real time (that is, in time to the music). Photo by R-M Arca.

What a difference a year makes! Now that I'm in Level 2, I have truly levelled up. These are the chords and lyrics to a song that I will be performing in the near future:

This year's challenge: Can I read the kana fast enough to sing the lyrics AND play the music in tempo? Photo by R-M Arca.

Now I could bring the Romaji and keep it close by. However, that defeats the purpose of being able to perform music in Japanese. Go big or go home.

The next challenge of course will be comprehension [Must work on vocabulary!].

Konnichiwa Minna-san!

こんにちは みなさん!はじめまして。 I've been studying Japanese for nearly a year-and-a-half. "Doushite?" you ask? It just seemed like a natural progression seeing as I watch many shows in Japanese (anime and live action) and have quite a few JPop and JRock artists on my mp3 player. Then, there's my karaoke set list.

There are several books that I would like to read "raw", seeing as it is unlikely they will be translated into English. Ditto with some of the music scores that I've ordered from CD Japan. Someday!

Everything looks cooler when you write with a fude pen. Photo by R-M Arca.

わたし は おたくです。So here is an account of my journey of learning Japanese and appreciating the fun and the wacky aspects of life that the Japanese culture has to share. またね!