A Comic Lifestyle

Within the comic book industry, there are writers who are desperately doing their utmost to break the trends and associated stereotypes. To write comics that aren’t just for small kids. To write stories without the need of a superhero. To access an audience that beyond the prepubescent and forty-somethings still living with their parents. To…

A special kind of hell

For anyone who hasn’t seen the tv show firefly (and what are you doing reading this if you haven’t seen it yet?), in one famous scene, Shepherd turns to Mal and warns him against taking advantage of an innocent woman. In his words, “if you take advantage of that young woman you’re going to burn…

They’re Coming For You

It doesn’t matter where you go, or where you hide. From your home, to the ends of the earth they will come for you. Even in a predominantly buddhist country they’ll find a way. You won’t ever see them until it’s too late. Until they’re behind your front door. Until they’re ready to pounce. They…

Pack Mule

Over the course of a year in Yokohama I had collected a fair amount of stuff. I was suffering a book-off addition, not to mention all the cinema memorabilia, the video games, the music cds (yes, music cds. I don’t know why but for some reason I have to confirm that with most of you),…

Under Threat of Slumber

It’s pulling at you. Sapping at your energy, weighing down on your eyelids. You’re warm and comfortable, lacking thirst or hunger or anything else that could compel you to move. You’re starting to wonder if there could be anything that could possibly be anything better right now than letting your eyes finally close, lay down…

A Suspicious Researcher

Do something new. Something nobody has done before you, or at the very least find a different spin on an old topic. That was the recommendation when we were tasked with starting our dissertation projects at university. Some chose social issues in Japan, some took on international politics, others dove into representation in cinema (lucky…

Patriotic Essays

Obligatory essays are among the more archaic aspects of university life. Doesn’t matter if you’re a language or a maths student, a university still wants to see an essay. Yokohama National University was no different, even with its ‘JOY’ program for international students. It didn’t matter that everyone was from a myriad of countries, or…

The Akiba Trials

Akihabara; one destination many ‘hikikomori’ make an exception for. It’s the middle ground between madness and sanity, between fictional realities and very real poverty. It’s situated in north east Tokyo, and lies somewhere between the pit of Japan’s sex industry and the summit of its creativity. It’s as wondrous as it is creepy, and as…

Sleepless in Shikoku

I have a humble ambition when it comes to travelling in Japan; to see all of Japan’s major islands (a little more realistic than Kara’s ambition which is to visit every single prefecture, collect pokemon socks from the area as proof, on top of seeing any foreign countries in the vicinity. As you can see,…

Academic Circus

My school liked nothing better than impressing parents. Showing off at any given opportunity. the school’s precious reputation was at stake you see (and for a school that accepted sixth form students with as few as only five GCSE’s at C grade, that’s so important. For those unfamiliar with the British system, your average person…

Black Saturday

Saturday night, in all it’s glamour and promise of fun, hides a terrible darkness. An onslaught of people so ordinary, that it is with great horror to see them merge into the swarm. Advancing near unstoppably toward you, tearing up everything in its path to leave the world barren in its wake (even Moses might…

A Crowded Couple’s Holiday

The plan was genius in its simplicity. When Cece returned from Italy, she would arrive in Tokyo before changing flights for Sapporo. But why not delay the change over? I would come down to Tokyo to meet her, and before the first day of work, we would have a chance at a holiday just for…