I’ve been feeling a little blah since I came back from Japan. I always come back with tons of new inspiration, and of course materials, but I can’t get myself to do anything for a week or so. It’s weird. Anyway I’m back to work now.
I found this simple but very cute old lace at an antique market.
I applied for my student loan today. The deadline for applications was the 23rd of April but I got my offer on the 6th of May while I was in Japan so I was late… Maybe I won’t get the money on time.
There is this really cute fluffy kitty in the neighbourhood that I see sometimes. I really want a cat but I can’t get one until I’m more settled, money-wise, country-wise, etc.
I started watching the anime the other day and I’m seriously hooked already. A bit too violent for my taste but very intriguing. I can’t believe my two biggest japanese crushes, Ken’ichi Matsuyama and Ninomiya Kazunari are playing in the live-action. Seeing them move around in those sexy latex suits might be too much to handle.
I especially liked him with the bowlcut in Detroit Metal City. That geeky character is my dream boy.
I think this may be the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.
So cute :3
And he has really beautiful slender hands. n_n
I think I may have a bigger crush on him than Nino-kun, who I thought was unsurpassable. I really love his voice and even his teeth that I thought were weird at first. :P
This is my favourite Alice film. I find it the most surreal and inventive, featuring a lot of stop motion taxidermy, skulls and the like. It gets really scary at times, especially the kitchen scene were bird skulls are flying out of eggs, a piece of meat crawls out of a pot and Alice opens a can full of roaches.
It was most definitely Daisy D‘s inspiration for the set she created for the recent Alice in Junie Moon exhibition, which I missed. T_T
I hadn’t told many people about this but I applied for a Japanese degree course at SOAS, the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. It’s one of the top universities in the UK, and the No.1 for asian languages. That course in particular is incredibly difficult to get in as the minimum greek qualifications they required (19/20) were nowhere near what I got. I met up with the admissions manager and asked if there was any point applying at all. He said I should try anyway but the competition is huge, last year they got 800 applications for 60 positions and this year they expected more.
The other thing that bothered me was my age. I’m nearly 26 now, and I would finish the course at 30, next to 22 year olds. Really, I can’t even tell you how much that thought bothered me. But then I realised – would I prefer to get my degree at 30 or be 30 and have nothing at all? It’s such a simple thought, but it completely freed me from this huge age complex I had. So I applied anyway, trying not to think much about it so I wouldn’t be too disappointed when I was turned down.
The months passed away and then the notification deadline was extended for two whole months, the wait was driving me crazy. I just felt in limbo. The new deadline was the 6th of May, and I was going to be in Tokyo at that time. I imagined, how wonderful it would be if I got accepted while being there, or how heartbreaking if I was not.
The 6th of May passed with nothing in my inbox whatsoever. It was around 4 in the morning of the 7th in Japan, so the last few hours of the 6th in the UK, when I got an email that “my application status has changed”. They don’t actually email you the reply, but you have to go to the application website and log in to see it – just to torture you a little more. But there it was – “Unconditional offer”. I couldn’t really believe it. Even now, it hasn’t quite sunk in.
So my course is 4 years, the 3rd year is taught entirely in Japan. There are universities in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Hiroshima and Hokkaido. It depends on your grades if you can choose where to go. I, of course, want Tokyo, but to be honest any of these places is fine, it’s still Japan!
Now I have to sort out my student loans. There are two available, for the tution fees which I will definitely need, and one for living costs that I’m not sure I want to get. The idea of getting in so much debt stresses me out, but I wonder if I can make it without it. The course is so intense, it requires SO MUCH study that I certainly won’t be able to work as much as I do now. What to do?
I can’t wait to meet my classmates. I was so disappointed with my classmates when I studied photography, but I have a good feeling about SOAS, there will probably be plenty of otaku. ^.^
I have stopped my japanese classes now since I will be taught the same things next year. A head start is great, but I need to save my money – the next year will be hard. We use the same books at the BA, at three times the pace. So I plan to study as much as I can by myself this summer.
I remember a few years back when U-noa started becoming popular, I was scandalised by the highly sexual connotations and hated them. Who would have known that a few years later I would grow to love them. This morning I was watching an interview with a wonderful greek personality and she said “One can never hate something so much if they don’t secretly love it or if they don’t fear they might come to love it”.
U-noas for me are not yet another bjd. They’re an entirely different entity of their own, they’re a whole new school. Their creator, Gentaro Araki, is an incredible artist with a vast quantity of work under his belt, in various mediums, from drawings to manga to sculptures to figure kits to dolls. His work is instantly recognisable and has this warmth and sensitivity in it that I haven’t seen in any other doll artist’s work. I was talking about this with a friend and we agree that it’s all about “that face”. It’s just…this face he does. It makes me feel something strange deep inside. Something that goes beyond “Oh, cute doll”.
I think his biggest success with them is that they look very unique and instantly recognisable, but they still give you plenty of room to add your own elements and make them your own. Bjds in general are supposed to be able to do this but personally, I find many of them look the same no matter what you do to them because they’re just sp stylised! U-noas on the other hand, in all their uniqueness, can really transform. They also somehow manage to look very anime-like, without looking anything like proper anime dolls like Dollfie-dream.
Araki has also been incredibly inventive with his doll design. I am not 100% sure about this but I think he’s the first that came up with interchangeable faceplates idea. When the first bjds with closed eyes came out I couldn’t for the life of me understand how anyone could be happy with a doll that sleeps FOREVER. But Araki came up with this simple but genius solution of interchangeable faceplates to make your doll wink, sleep, yawn or…have an orgasm. Not to mention the interchangeable soft and hard penis for the boys!!!
I took the big leap and purchased a U-noa B-El this past November. I found him in Tokyo, in Nakano’s Mandarake. At first I was so unsure how things would work out but I became attached to him very quickly. I named him Noeru, a name that stuck with me from this film, even though I hated that character.
The funny thing is the film is called Boys’ love and B-El is the initials of Boy’s love.
He sat around with no faceup for months. It took me ages to find wigs and shoes I liked. Bjd shoes usually look either 90s cyber goth or straight out of the sex shop and short wigs are sparse and usually emo looking. Luckily I can make clothes. :)
I quickly fell for U-noa Lusis too, those droopy eyelids and pouty lips make me melt. I got my Lusis this past March. I named her Mikako after Mikako from Gokinjo Monogatari, my favourite anime! I think they look so much alike and it’s such a sweet name.
The day she arrived, I popped her and Noeru’s faceplated in the mail to France to have their faceups done by the super talented Kesha and I am so happy with her work. She gave them such sweet, gentle expressions. I don’t like bjds that look mean or snobby, something we see a lot of. Their eyes are german glass ones. Noeru’s look a bit big, need to order them with smaller pupils/irises. Now the final thing that needs to be done is body blushing and sueding because they’re a bit floppy.
In my last trip to Tokyo I found an L-bi for such a low price I couldn’t pass. He had the MOST unfortunate faceup on! For now, I’ve just cleaned that up and he’s sitting in his box until I get some time to work on him. I’ll attempt my first faceup, wish me luck with that one.
I also got some faceplates from the Alchemic Labo booth at Doll show t o use for photographs.
This is the infamous akubi (yawning) faceplate that had scandalised me so much back then. I just love it now, it’s so unique.
We met this beautiful Lady Gaga cosplayer in Harajuku this past Sunday. This is the spot where all the lolitas, cosplayers etc gather on Sundays to show off and be photographed, but there’s less and less every time I visit. This time there were only 3 lolitas and they were all old men. O__O
Takeshita dori has some new decoration.
Laforet is my favourite department shop because it hosts small japanese designers and alternative fashion instead of big international brands. You can find big lolita brands like Angelic Pretty and Alice and the Pirates in the basement as well as Jane Marple and Emily Temple cute in the upper floors. I always check out Hare that make nice simple but elegant clothes for men (didn’t find anything special), and Gadget Grow that do really great knits and mostly work with black. I got two long cardigans from there. I also went by Milkboy and was thrilled to find a remaining pair of these shoes from last season for a really reduced price. This brand is VERY expensive, the original price of these was higher than my Vivienne Westwood rocking horse shoes.
I always regret missing out on this wonderful shirt and suit.
This time they had a very cute black polo shirt with a polka dot bib but it was too short on me. Oh well, still so happy about the shoes.
And what’ a visit to Harajuku without a visit to Kiddyland?
Aleister with Totoro
Studio Ghibli. Did you know that despite the H in the name, the japanese call it “Jiburi”?
Another self proclaimed idol haha! This hot number was performing on a Saturday night right outside Studio Alta in Shinjuku – MAJOR busy spot! Props to her for the courage, I have to say. She wasn’t even asking for money or anything, just performing. I love Tokyo. <3
I dragged Yu and Natsuko with me to a hentai shop to get Idoloid – I’ve never seen so much boobage in my life! They nearly gave me nightmares.
There’s a building opposite the station with a few doll shops, Azone, Volks, the above hentai shop etc. I went to have a wee in one of the toilets and two guys were having loud sex in one of the booths. I’ll spare you the details but it sounded very kinky. Guys were coming and going, and nobody was blinking an eye.
Idols in Japan are “talents” that do a bit of everything – singing, acting, modeling, TV, etc. They release CDs, photobooks, DVDs, play in ads and so on and make loads of cash thanks to japanese consumerism. I’m not sure when this whole thing started but it probably peaked in the 80s and is still going strong, with quality steadily declining. Nowadays you don’t even have to sing right as long as you’re cute, people will buy your photobooks and merchandise anyway.
As we were walking down the street, this girl literally turned around the corner dressed like this and started posing for the crowd that immediately formed.
Natsuko said she’s probably not even a real idol but probably keeps a blog where she takes donations in order to appear in public. She said these girls can make up to $100.000 in one day. O_______O
I managed to snap a few pics in the Mandarake before my camera died for the day. Taking photos in shops in Japan is usually prohibited so must be done with discretion. ;)
Nearby this cute sight was taking place. They release fish in the water here, so people can enjoy fishing.