This will be my last entree for this year since next weekend I will leave for Chicago and stay for about 2 weeks.
After work on Friday I headed to Tokyo as usual. I went right to Akihabara for casuals as I often do on Friday nights. Place was packed as ussual. I started off by playing against some Slayer player, I kept beating him and he kept trying to play me again, after 5 wins he gave up and then I played like a Johnny, a Potemkin, a Ky, and a Robo-ky and beat them all. Then this one testament played me and beat me in a close match. Then I rematched him and won like 3 in a row and then we started going back and forth. After some more matches, an I-no eventually played me. I came extremely close to beating him but then I tried to play him a few more times but I couldnt beat him. He was good as hell so I suspected it might have been KO1 (Koichi). I went around to the other side and told him his I-no was very strong and asked who he was, and he was indeed KO1. I didnt feel so bad for losing to him after that. I stayed for a little while longer and played a bunch more. I was going to leave soon but decided to play against this one female HOS player that I sometimes see. I beat her, but she was extremely determined and kept playing me over and over again. Eventually I think she started to get pissed because I coul feel her pounding on the cab and hitting the buttons really hard every time I beat her. After 13 wins against her in a row it was getting late and I had to leave before the trains stopped running. I went around to the other side to tell her not to put another credit in the machine but she already did so I told her it would be the last game cuz I had to go. We played one more and I won again. Then I went to her and politely said sorry, excuse me, see you later, but I could tell she was very pissed that I beat her so many times because she just gave me a dirty look and didnt say anything. I felt sorta bad but its not like im just gonna let her win, that wont do anyone any good. She wasnt bad either, she has a pretty good HOS but... well she just couldnt beat me. I think I had about 45 wins and 22 loses overall that night. I took the train and headed to Shinjuku to go to Current.
Current was pretty dead, only a few people there. Masami was there with Heidi (the girl from Norway) so I sat with them and had a beer. Then they said they were gonna go to GODZ and invited me to come along so I went with them. We went there, had another beer (I had 2 cuz they drank theirs too slow), and then we went to PSY. GODZ was playing great music but tonight PSY wasnt playing too much stuff that I dig. Heidi likes PSY best so we stayed there for a bit, but eventually I wanted to go back to Current. Heidi said she wanted to stay at PSY but Masami went with me to Current. When we got there, a few more people had arrived so it wasnt quite so dead. This one Greek dude named Nicos was there and he was trying to pick this one chick up but she and her friend left to go to another bar. He was pretty persistant. He was slamming the vodka pretty hard and claimed he wasnt drunk but he totally was haha. There were also these 3 foreigners there that managed some underground band that ive never heard of.... something Dog or something... I forgot the name. They were at some bar earlier and came with these 3 Japanese chicks I guess they picked up. Nicos worked his way over there and started talking to them and then one of the guys saw my Rush hoodie and was all impressed cuz he says im the first person in Japan hes seen with a Rush shirt. Then the girls they were with were asking me questions and stuff and I was talking with them and the guys were all jealous cuz I could speak Japanese. They seemed like they were insecure cuz this one chick was talking to me and then in mid conversation the guy just like pulls her towards him and gives me this look like "shes mine", im just thinking... ok whatever I wasnt even trying to pick her up haha. Kinda rude of him. Blablabla, so anyway, eventually the bar closed so i went to the manga cafe for some sleep.
I woke up the next day and got some McDonalds. They have 2 new versions of the Megamac for a limited time and it started this week. One is a Megamac with bacon and tomato and the other is bacon and egg. I got the one with tomato. I was surprised to find out that they used a different sauce, it was sorta likea mix of cesar dressing and mayo. It tasted OK but the original mac sauce still owns it for free. After that I walked around to some various stores in Shinjuku because I needed to buy my dad a xmas gift. He said he wanted some sorta shirt or something that said "Japan" or "Tokyo" or whatever one it, a typical touristy sorta thing but he wanted it so I looked for it. I went to lots of stores in Shinjuku but couldnt find a single shirt like that. I suppose its not very trendy for Japanese people to be walking around wearing shirts that say Japan on them, but I found tons of other countries hah. So after a few hours of shopping with no success it was getting late so I had to head over to Las Vegas game center for the 2 on 2 tournament that would be held today. I got there and a few people were playing. Played some casuals and won most of the games I played. Then I needed to find a partner cuz the guy running the tournament wouldnt help me find one so I randomly asked a bunch of people and after like mostly everyone saying they already had a team mate or sucked and werent going to enter, this one guy who I asked before changed his mind and said he would team up with me but he said he was weak. He was a Sol player named Kojima. So there were only 6 teams so they did round robin format. They also had the rounds set on first to 3 instead of 2 like ussual. Gin, the Slayer player who I had teamed up with in the past was there. We played against his team first. Kojima went first against Gin and lost all 3 rounds in a row. Then I went and lost the 1st round, won the 2nd and 3rd rounds, but then lost the 4th round. 5th round was going fine but then I did standing slash and he did that damn cheap ass Slayer force break and went through it and killed me. I swear thats one of my most hated moves in the whole game. Anyway, so next we are about to play the next team, Kojima does RPS and loses so we have to declare our first player. He says it will be Axl/Sol. I say I will go first, but then after I already pick my character hes like... oh wait its actually Chipp/testament or something. Had I known that Id have him go first since I suck vs Chipp, so I had to play the Chipp player. I actaully won the first 2 rounds but then I lost the next 3... bummer. Then Kojima goes and Chipp beats him as well. Next match was a Dizzy/Eddie team I think. I go first again this time and win the first 2 rounds, lose 3rd round, win 4th round and defeat Dizzy. Then I forgot the rounds but I lost to the Eddie and Kojima loses as well without taking any rounds. There was another team and I cant remember who they were right now but we lost again. Finally we played against the Axl/Sol team and I go first. I lose to Axl in a very close match, goes down to the last round. Kojima also loses to Axl. After we had lost our first 2 matches I sorta just didnt even care anymore since we basically already had lost the tournament. I didnt realize they were taping the whole tournament until it was over, otherwise I would have maybe cared more. I dont know if they are gonna put all the vids up, but I hope not since they arnt exactly my best matches ever. I didnt pay attention to who won the tournament. I played more casuals for a few hours. Eventually Shoudji (the Testament who was on the winning SBO team) shows up and sits next to me. I didnt see him cuz I was playing a match, then he taps me on the shoulder and says hi. Hes a really nice guy, I met him a few times while playing casuals at Akihabara. I last saw him at DF2 where I briefly chatted with him and he wished me luck in the quals, I wished him luck as well. So this time he showed up with his girlfriend who stood behind him and watched him play. He looked at my screen and commented how it was impressive how I had 14 wins, I was like.... naa... thats not that many. I asked him why he didnt play in the tournament today, he said he was home sleeping. Im sure he probly was spending quality time with his girl. I asked him if he would go to the Akihabara tournament tomorrow and he said he wasnt gonna go cuz he had stuff to do. I played a few more games and eventually I got beat by a good Potemkin. It was getting late and I had been playing for a long time so I was gonna head out but I told Shoudji I would play him in a quick game. We played and he won. I said goodbye to him and he wished me luck in the tournament tomorrow. I headed out, got some food and headed to Current again.
This time the place was packed since they had some special event going on. I guess 2 people were getting married but I didnt know them. They had a poster behind the bar of them together and people were eating cake. This one girl recognized me from the last time they had a big event 2 weeks ago. I sorta remember her but not so much, I hardly talked to her. I sat with her and talked a bit and talked with lots of people and drank lots of beer. They were mostly playing cheesy powermetal bands. I like cheese metal on occasion but sometimes too much of it can get excessive. Eventaully Chip showed up. I sat with him at the bar and we chatted for a bit. He said Mayuko wasnt going to come tonight because her friend had just died in a motorcycle accident and she was pretty bummed, I guess her friend was only 24... its pretty sad. Eventually this one chick that Chip knows started talking to him so I let her have my seat so Chip have a conversation with her and went to sit with some other people for a bit. After a while, Chip said he was going to go to Gravity (the other rock bar thats like a 30 second walk from Current, with the girl and her other female friend. He asked me to come along. I hadnt been to Gravity in a long time so I figured why not. We all went to Gravity and just like last time the place was pretty empty. Chip said the place is only a few months old and hasnt really gotten popular yet but the guy who owns it is a cool guy and is really good at Guitar. The 4 of us got a table and sat for a bit and had some drinks, and then the owner noticed my Symphony X hat and it turns out he was a big fan of them. We talked about Symphony X for a bit and then he said he wanted to play a Symphony X song. Gravity has a ton of instrements just sitting around. He picked up a guitar that wasnt plugged in and practiced for like a few mins and then he plugged it in. Suddently Out of the Ashes comes on and he played along with the entire song fucking flawlessly! I was totally impressed because thats a fucking hard song to play on guitar. For anyone that isnt familiar with Symphony X, please listen to the song Out of the Ashes. Chip said he keeps trying to get the owner to join a band or something but the guy just wants to bar tend instead. Its a shame because hes very talented. Then this one other guy who was there played a Scorpions song, I cant remember what it was cuz by this point I was pretty drunk. Then the owner wanted to play another song and wanted me to sing with him. I dont think im a good singer by any means but the guy wanted me to and I was wasted enough to not give a shit. So he played You Can Still Rock in America by Night Ranger and I sang along. Thankfully he forgot to turn the mic on so my voice sorta blended in haha. I had considered playing something on bass but since I didnt have enough room to bring my bass with me on the plane when I came to Japan, its been almost 6 months since ive played and I didnt wanna fuck up. Im gonna try to bring it with me when I come back after visiting home next week so maybe if I practice a bit ill try next time if I go back there. So I was talking to the girls friend while Chip was talking to his friend and she was telling me how she was married and stuff and showed me a picture of her 2 daughters. Then she was like telling me how her husband would sometimes hit her and stuff and it was kinda sad. That shit pisses me off, she seemed like a nice girl too. The bar ussually closes at 5 but I guess they decided to stay open later, it was about 20 mins after 5 and I needed to do some shopping before the tournament tomorrow so I said goodbye to everyone and left.
Next morning I needed to do some shopping. I had asked Chip the night before where I could possibly find a touristy shirt like the one my dad wants for xmas. He suggested Ueno. I headed for Ueno, its only 2 stops away from Akihabara so it worked out fine. Though while I had been to Ueno a zillion times to transfer trains, this is the first time I actaully left the station and walked around the area there. I found a hardrock cafe in the station but they wanted some rediculous like 7000 yen for a sweatshirt. Plus hardrock cafe is lame so I figured id walk around some more. After going to a bunch of stores with no luck I decided I would just say fuck it and go get the hardrock cafe shirt. However, on my way back to the station I found this one store that had all these shirts with kanji on them that was basically the kinda thing my dad wanted. I picked him up one that said "ichi ban" in kanji. Then as I was walked down the street I found a little table outside where some dude was selling TONS of shirts just like the kind my dad wanted. I found one that had a map of Japan on it and said Japan in Kanji with the big red "rising sun" like on the flag behind the map. It actually looks pretty cool. Then I also got him a shirt with the painting "The Great Wave" by Hokusai. A very famous painting that im sure pretty much everyone has seen. We used to have it on the wall in my apartment in Chicago. So I figured hed like these shirts so my work in Ueno was done. I headed back to Akihabara since I still had a few more things I needed to pick up. I went to a few stores cuz Andy (capps indigo) wanted me to pick him up a import PS2 in a crazy color, but they only had white, silver, and black. I got him a silver one. Then Rob (Heartnana) wanted me to get him a used copy of VF5 but I couldnt find it anywhere, sorry dude. Eventually my time was up and I had to go to Club Sega for the tournament.
The place was packed again. It was a 3 on 3, I told the club sega staff guy that I didnt have a team but he said its ok and they would team up the extra people later. Club sega staff is always cool about that, I wish Vegas staff was more like that. One of the staff members asked me where I was from and I told him Gunma and that I was a teacher and stuff and he was shocked just like everyone always is that I travel so far for these tournaments. By US standards, 3 hours travel time to go to a big tournament (this one had maybe over 60 people) is not that big of a deal but I guess since the Japanese are so used to having so many large tournaments so close to them all the time, 3 hours seems like a lot for them. So eventually we all do RPS and stuff to determine teams and I get paired up with this one Testmament player named Sushi. He says hes mostly a melty blood player so he isnt very good. He told me he already knew who I was because he heard about me from Osaka B. He tells me to make up the team name so I just pick Japanese Team Chicago. I ask him if we are just a 2 person team and he says.. no.... because his friend 012 will be playing on our team when he arrives shortly. Thats right... 01 fuckin 2. Then this other guy end up being on our team, so I thought 012 wasnt going to be on our team, but it turns out the other guy, who was a venom player, ended up taking Sushi's place since I guess he didnt really want to play. I said hi to the venom and asked him if he was on my team now and he said yes and nice to meet you but he walked away before I could get his name, I guess he had something to take care of. I figured id get his name later. So 012 shows up and I say hi to him and now Ive got this super elite team. Tournament starts and first match we go against Gin's team... again. I wanted my revenge so I decide to go first. I win the first round. Lose the 2nd round. 3rd round is going fine but then I do a quick air down kick but he hits me out of it for a 70% combo and I lose. Bummer. Then venom goes and he also comes close but loses. 012 proceeds to OCV their team. Up next, another team starting with a slayer player. Venom goes first, loses to Slayer. I got next, I also lose to Slayer. 012 again busts out another OCV. Up next was a Sol/Eddie/something forgot... team. Venom goes first and this time he gets the OCV. His venom was actually very good. Up next was a Jam team, I go first and lose to Jam. I was doing alright, baited a burst and got a few good combos and stuff but in the end I got pressured in the corner and tried to dust through her like an idiot and got hit and lost. I think venom lost to her too and then 012 beat everyone again. So the next match was the finals. It was us vs Haken (po)/Zero (HOS)/Hakutoryou (FA). I go first again... this time against Haken. I did ok but I got knocked down and after that I pretty much couldnt move and died. Then venom beats Haken and loses to Zero. Zero vs 012 was really close, I thought he was gonna lose but 012 pulled ahaed and took it. 012 beat Hakutoryou pretty convincingly. And there you have it. I just won my first Japanese guilty gear tournament without even doing anything all thanks to 012. It wasnt really a great feeling considering I was deadweight. Even if I had won lots of matches it wouldnt matter since 012 being on my team means I win for free. Its like playing a game with unlimited lives, you dont really feel like you accomplished much when you die a bunch of times and just win because you cant actaully lose. After we won everyone was sorta like sarcasticly cheering since no one was the least bit surprised that 012 won haha. He seriously is amazing though, watching him play was great. After the tournament they took our picture and gave us these laminated cards that said we won and stuff, ill take a picture of it and put it up. Then I stayed and played casuals for a bit. 012 got on an empty cab and picked Faust so I played him in a mirror match and won. Faust is his 2ndary and his Faust is very good, ive known this since I saw him play Faust months ago at that one Game Newton tournament. After I beat a few other people I asked 012 to play me again but to use Sol. I came so close to beating him, went down to the last round and lost by just small amount. I tried to find the venom player to see if he wanted to play and ask his name but he was gone so I dont even know who he was haha,. Ive seen him before though. After a few more games I thanked 012 for winning the tournament and headed home. Overall it was a fun weekend and I did really well in casuals and did really bad in tournament matches, and yet I still got 1st place due to random luck of being on 012's team. Thats it for this year. Gonna have a fuckin blast back in Chicago for 2 weeks. Everyone have a good holiday and new years. Make sure to get wasted and play lots of gear. If you dont play gear, then just get extra wasted.