Zippy Lately (Jan. 25 – Jan. 31, 2010)

1. CHANGE

I often find myself pulled emotionally in with J-Dramas even more so then with anime and manga. This happens most often when I can relate to the subject matter. Combining both the charm of famous Japanese actor Kimura Takuya and the wondrous world of politics, which I’ve studied and worked in, made CHANGE a J-drama just meant to entrance me. CHANGE is a J-drama about a teacher turned politician, unwillingly so, who surprisingly finds himself rising in power. While he doesn’t understand the world he’s thrust into he understands people’s feelings, hopes, and dreams and that becomes his power against the greed and bureaucracy so prevalent in politics.  CHANGE seems to be Japan’s J-drama answer to “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”, and in my opinion it is a worthy comparison.

2. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Not much has to be said about the original story, Fullmetal Alchemist, since the original was such a landmark anime all around, animation, story, and voice acting. For those who are questioning though if this new version Brotherhood, re-made to stick to the manga story, is up to snuff then I can only say that I personally think even before the English dub, which is primed to be amazing, that this has surpassed many times the power that was the original. I would’ve never imagined this to be possible but indeed the story is grittier, the scenery is more magnificent, and the challenges that Ed and Al must face are truly terrifying and keep me on the edge of my seat many times! If you want to wait for the dub I understand, but Funimation is licensing Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood subbed on their site and on Hulu, and for those who want to get a glimpse of the mastery now join in, hit ep. 16 or so when the manga comes into play, and from then on welcome to the new world of Fullmetal Alchemist.

3. Japanese iPhone Apps.

Japan by its very nature is known for putting out technology that is often as quirky as it is cool. The iPhone apps. coming out from Japan seem to embody this sentiment. Whether it’s a “Kiss Me” practice app, a “Sheep Counting” app. for sleep, or a “Guess The Pocky” app., you’ve got your share of strange to choose from. While I understand many of these lack value, especially for gaijin such as myself who understand little to no Japanese, that doesn’t make them any less fun. In fact, I think it’s time go play with my leek spin app.

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