Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spring Break 2010 part 1 (G3 Johnny-o cup at Mikado)

This Spring Break trip was very long, and very epic. Instead of doing the futile task of trying to type all this up in one sitting, and expecting anyone to actually read it in one sitting, I will be breaking it up into parts, and will try to post one part each day (I will probably make it into 3 parts).

Here we go...

Friday, March 26th

We had our end of the school year enkai at a ryokan and I spent the night there, so Ryoko took Tony to Takasaki and then dropped him off at my place where he spent the night alone. Enkai was fun, nothing really too noteworthy to mention.

Saturday, March 27th

I woke up at the ryokan, had breakfast, and headed out back to my place. I didn't have a hangover which is good (and rare after an enkai). I got Tony and we headed to Tokyo on the train.

Today was the start of the G3 Johnny-o cup finals at Mikado, so we headed there right away. When we arrived, they had 9 cabs set up for casuals, and like 4 or 5 other cabs for tournament play. TONS of top players (pretty much everyone from the Kanto area) were there.

I they started the singles tournament shortly after I arrived, which consisted of a small select group of players who had ranked the best at the previous G3 ranbats. The brackets for all tournaments can be seen on the G3 website here. They don't seem to have results up yet and I forgot who won the singles tournament since I wasnt really watching it. I will update with results later if I find them. I was too busy playing casuals against all that good comp to to really watch, plus it was super crowded.

The 5 on5 (with pre selected teams from ranbats results, not an open tournament) started after that ended. The brackets for this are online as well. Once again, I dont remember who won.

Finally the 23 on 23 happened. There were 4 teams (Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, and Tokyo). 2 teams fought eachother while the other 2 teams fought eachother. Then the winners of each fought eachother in the last fight. I think the winner of the whole tournament ended up being Saitama team. I did end up watching a bit of this one here and there, and it was pretty sweet, but I dont remember too many specifics.

The reason I didnt really bother watching too much and writing down results was that they seemed to be recording EVERYTHING! Like, in addition to having a direct recording going on, they also had someone with a video camera taping crowd and player reactions and were toggling between the match from the cabinet feed and the camera showing the crowd. Hopefully the vids will have both once they finally release them. I have no idea if they are planning on making a DVD but it wouldnt be out of the question as things were run pretty professionally. So once vids are up and results are released, everyone can enjoy seeing them and I will update with results. I pretty much was having too much fun playing casuals so I didnt bother watching much.

Another note, the Sol player Roy from Kansai now lives in the Kanto area. I was confused at first why he was there since this is pretty much just a Kanto only event, but someone told me he moved here now. I played him a bunch and was going pretty much even with him.

I got to play a bunch of other top players and did pretty well, getting some wins here and there. The comp there was fierce and everyone was good, but I was doing surprisingly well, espesially compared to my win ratio if I think back to how well I was doing in casuals at last year's G3.

So basically, I ended up leaving in the middle of the final 23 on 23 match. I left for 2 reasons. My brother Tony was passed out on a bench and was getting pretty bored. Also, tonight at Current was going to be the final farewell party for Antti, who would be soon transfered to live in Dubai for his job.

I met up with Liz in front of Takadanobaba station who was gonna join us for drinking at least until the last train.

We headed to Current and had a few beers. Emmet was there already. Antti showed up a bit later with a ton of other Finnish people and Masami. They had gone to another party earlier that I was invited to but didnt go because of G3 and the fact that I had my brother with me and there was limited space. The Snus man went to the first party but unfortunately couldnt make it to Current afterwords.

In honor of Antti, Masami played a solo live performance at Current. He sang and played guitar along with a few songs such as Megadeth - Holy Wars, ACDC - Highway to Hell, and a few other Finnish songs (and he sang in Finnish cuz hes actually pretty good at speaking it). He did a really good job too. Antti also got on the mic with him and sang Highway to Hell. After the performance they left the mic on for a bit and I basically did karaoke of Megadeth - Symphony of Destruction cuz it came on randomly and the mic was there and I like singing that song at Karaoke anyway so that was fun.

The rest of the night was lots of drinking and some emotional goodbyes. Antti and Masami were really good friends and Antti was actually pretty much the very first guy I ever met at Current. I remember the first night I went there and found the place on accident, they were having a metal event and I sat down at the bar and he was at the stool next to me and we had a good chat. It really will feel like a part of the bar is missing without him, but hopefully he will be back someday. He will be moving to Dubai with his girlfriend so he will be alright.

As Antti was saying his final goodbyes, we took a few group photos and then as he was leaving the bar, Lordi - Rock and Roll Hallelujah and Nightwish - Nemo played as he walked out the door. A fitting exit for the coolest Finnish dude I know.

There was a little more time and we drank some more, and then when the bar closed, I think we just went right to the manga kissa cuz my brother was really tired.

Sunday, March 28th

Today would be the 2nd half of the G3 tournament at Mikado. Upon waking up, we pretty much headed right there. There were a few people there at first, not too packed, but enough to start playing. The ladies tournament would be the first one to start today. I saw Baim who I hadnt seen in forever and she was excited to see me again so we talked a little. Only 6 girls ended up entering the tournament, and the only really well known was was Ririko, who ended up winning.

Sam and Emmet showed up after a while to hang out and watch. The next tournament was the random team 5 on 5. Fortunately, I was actually able to participate in this one. I played a ton of casuals and got some good games in, and eventually they finished making the teams. Several of the teams ended up having 6 players on them because there were a few extra players. I was the first player listed on my team, and my team ended up being one of the 6 player teams. My team was pretty buff. Aside from me, it was 012 (SO), Batako (ZA), おたし 血(PO), みむ(OR), and Rsei (AN). Funny cuz this is the 2nd time I got randomly paired with 012 (the first time being when we won that random Akihabara 3 on 3 like 2 years ago when Masutani was also on our team lol). For some reason though, 012 signed up under the name レッド, so when he actually showed up to play on our team, I was really surprised it ended up being him LOL. Everyone on my team already knows who I am so they all just called me Eleven-sensei by default LOL.

You can see the entire brackets here (I took a picture and put it on my flickr account).
G3 Random 5 on 5 brackets 1
G3 Random 5 on 5 brackets 2
G3 Random 5 on 5 brackets 3
G3 Random 5 on 5 brackets 4

I cant remember the exact order that went down every time, but the first team we fought consisted of Kakyun (OR), En (SL), AGF (AN), Tsu (ED), and another ED whos name I cant read the writing well (I think its something like Kikuimaishi). It was a pretty stacked team. Our HOS player actually beat Kakyun in a mirror to start it off. I dont remember the rest, but eventually it was my turn to play and I had to fight one of the ED players. I beat him, and then I lost to En-Slayer. We ended up winning though. Hopefully there will be vids.

Up next we fought a team of BA, SO, SL, PO, and ZA. For this one, I didnt even end up having to play. I was gonna be anchor but 012 just beat everyone before I had a chance to play. You can see the players names on the bracket pictures by clicking the links above.

For our 3rd match, we fought a pretty beastly 6 player team containing Masutani (VE), XTC (VE), Kishitaka (SO), OsakaB (FA), Machaboo (TE), and 力石(DI). Yes, Machaboo the Ky player was playing Testament and he was a beast with him. So this time around, since I didnt play last time, and since they put DI first and I said I would go if they put their DI player first, I went right away. Not only did I beat the DI player (like really badly), I went on to beat Kishitaka, XTC, Masutani, and finally I played against OsakaB and took a round but he beat me. He still knows the mirror match better than I do. My team mates were cheering me on pretty good and I was quite happy to take out 4 of their members from the start. From there, our AN went next and beat OsakaB, and then Machaboo like beasted with his Testament and took out like 3 of our guys, until finally someone beat him but I forgot who (I think it was our HOS player). So we ended up winning.

Our next match was the grand finals of the tournament. Our opponents would be the team you can see that made it to the center of the bracket if you click the 4th link above. Some of the names are different cuz Taku was on the team, so I think he might have signed up as ちゃか or something. Anyway they had 3 slayers, one was Taku, one was Tanabata, and another guy named Hokahoka, plus a Dizzy who I think his name says Sousui, and finally あっつん(IN). Once again, I dont remember the order, but this time around it came down to 012 and me left, with their team having Tanabata and あっつん(IN) left. Tanabata was next and 012 said I should anchor since Faust is good vs I-no so he went next but he lost to Tanabata and then I went. I took the 2nd round but in the 3rd round I got a burst blocked in mid combo (foolish of me to try) and then as a result got perfected. Oh well.

So we got 2nd place which isnt bad, and I had a pretty good run and won some good matches vs some really good players, so I hope they go up online. They seemed to be taping everything again today too with crowd reaction and stuff too so who knows.

Sometime during the random 5 on 5, Kunihiro showed up cuz I invited him to come but he couldnt make it in time for the 5 on 5. There was a bit more time for casuals while they took signups for the next tournament; the 3 on 3 Accident Core tournament. No that isnt a typo, the Accident Core tournament is where they set everything to do double damage LOL!

My team ended up being Kunihiro and we got paired with some other guy randomly who used Anji. I wasnt really taking this tournament too seriously from the start given the nature of it. My first match was against a Potemkin player, and double damage Potemkin is no joke. Suffice to say, I lost, and the rest of my team mates lost as well, so we were out first round on that one. I didnt really care anyway cuz I sorta would rather play regular casuals. I didnt even stick around for the end of this one so I dont know who won.

So eventually, given that this was a Sunday, Emmet left to go back to work (he didnt take days off like I did for the whole duration of Spring Break), and Sam went home too cuz he wanted to save his money. Tomorrow, Tony and I had plans to go to Disneyland so we just went to Current for like one beer, and then we went to GODZ cuz Current was dead and Tony wanted to see it. GODZ was also dead but we talked to the bartenders and they were being helpful about Disneyland information and stuff. We ended up going to bed pretty early cuz we were planning to wake up early, so we headed to the manga kissa.

Monday, March 29th

Tony and I woke up early, like at 8 am or something. The plan was to meet Ryoko and her younger sister Reiko at Tokyo Disneyland. I dont give 2 shits about Disney but they hooked us up with some free tickets that their father got as a gift, so it sounded like fun, and I was hoping the rides would be cool at least.

Tony and I got some quick food and then we found out that Reiko and Ryoko were running late on the way there. I was honestly really tired, so we found another manga kissa nearby Disneyland like one stop away, and I took like a 2 hour nap while Tony watched some crap on the internet.

Eventually we met up with the girls at the park. The place was crowded as hell. We went in line for Thunder Mountain first and it ended up being like a 3 hours late, but somehow we stood in line at the wrong spot and ninjad like a whole our off the waiting time... oops! I was knocking back some whiskey while in line which I mixed into a coke bottle, since Disneyland has no alcohol. By the time we were like about 15 minutes from getting on the ride, I had to pee like hell, so I jumped over into the fast pass lane, walked all the way back, told the attendant at the front of the line that I just had to use the toilet and would be back. When I returned, she totally just let me back in and I got back in line with everyone else like 5 mins before they were about to get on the ride. Perfect timing! The ride ended up being pretty tame but oh well.

After that, we got some pizza, and it was surprisingly decent for what I was expecting. After that, we walked into an area with a parade and when the crowd finally cleared to less us pass, Tony was nowhere to be found. So now, the 3 of us had to spend like the next hour walking around the park trying to find my stupid brother. He has no phone so theres no way to contact him. He also speaks like zero Japanese. We eventually went to some office area where lost people are directed to go and he showed up. I was pretty annoyed since he should have been paying more attention and wasted a bunch of time, but oh well.

From there, we got in line for the log ride. By now it was starting to rain, and got really cold. We ended up waiting in line for like 3 hours and finally got on the ride. The animatronics for the characters as you pass through the log ride tunnel were actually really cool and well done, and at least the log ride had a few drops so you felt some Gs. Overall it wasnt the greatest ride but way better than the Thunder Mountain one.

...and with that, it was already time for us to go! We only had about a half hour left because the girls took a bus there from Gunma and had to return home soon so we ended up only having time to ride 2 whole rides the entire time we were there (and we got there at like 10:30 or 11:00 am or something). It was like around 8:30 pm at this point. Kinda sucks but at least we got discounted tickets.

So we said bye to the girls and Tony and I got on the train back to Tokyo (since Tokyo Disneyland is actually in Chiba). By now, my feet were hurting like hell from standing all day in line and walking around. Particularly, my left foot felt as if it was almost was developing a minor sprain (and its not even the same foot I injured and sprained like a year and a half ago at that Current Anniversary party). This foot would continue to plague me throughout the rest of the trip, but ill get into that later.

After getting back from Disneyland it was still sorta early and I wanted to play games, so we went to Shinjuku Sportsland. There were a few players playing there. I started off by playing Pumpkin Ky and beat him. I proceeded to beat everyone else that challenged me and got like 13 wins. Then suddenly, next to me, Roy shows up and sits down to fight Pumpkin Ky who moved to a different cab. I actually wanted to talk to Roy cuz I wanted to ask him when the a-cho GG tournaments usually are so I could try to enter when I was there. However, I didnt get the chance to. I was shocked to see Roy was getting owned by Pumpkin Ky, but to top that off, in the middle of a match he was losing, he just straight up gets up from his stool, pushes it in all hard and looks really pissed. Then, he gets up and goes around to the other side and fights ME. So then I beat him 2 in a row, and he just storms out of the arcade before I could say a word to him. I really hardly ever see top players behave that way so it was shocking to say the least, espessially since Pumpkin Ky isnt even that good lol! So anyway, no one really challenged me for a while so I just left with my 15 win streak or whatever and went undefeated there.

So, with a full night ahead of us, I took Tony to Current again. It was pretty dead but a few people were at the bar. Mami and Nozomi were there too. There was also this girl their on vacation from Australia. She said she wanted to go to a concert tomorrow in Nagoya and asked me how to buy concert tickets. I told her you can buy them at Lawson or Family Mart from a ticket machine. She doesnt know how to use it or read Japanese, so I offered to quickly go help her buy it from the Lawson down the street cuz it would only take like 5 mins. I went there with her, we found the show that matched the band name of venue, and date that she wanted and she said that was it, so we printed the ticket and she paid for it. After paying for it, upon further inspection, the ticket that printed did not match the information that originally displayed on the screen. These ticket machines offer a no refund policy once you print it out. I investigated and it turns out that this band was playing multiple shows within the week. The listing that displayed initially was corrent, but after pressing the button again, it changed the date to a different show. It turns out the show she wanted was already sold out, and the show she ended up buying was like over a week later in Osaka, but by then she would already be gone. I tried to help her get her money back and showed the Lawson attendant that their machine sucks and he even called the service office but they couldnt do anything about it. She said she could probly just sell the ticket to her friend who would go, and it was only 4000 yen so its not a big deal. She thanked me for helping, and it sucks that the machine was a POS, but I never had a problem before and ive bought tons of tickets at those machines so I guess it was just shit luck.

Ayway, I went back to Current where Tony was waiting, by now everyone else left. I talked with Mogi and bit and then we decided to go to Zin cuz I hadnt been there in a while. There were 3 people there but they left shortly after we got there, so I just ended up talking to the owner, Yoshi for like a good hour while Tony passed out on the bar LOL. It was a nice chat though and cool to see Yoshi again. By now it was only about 3 am but Tony was wasted and tired so we just went to the manga kissa to sleep.

Tuesday, March 30th

Today, we woke up and didnt really have any specific plans so I ended up taking Tony to see Tokyo Tower, since I had never been there before even, it sounded like a good idea.

There was a cool temple around the Tower so we enjoyed seeing that for a bit. While we were walking around, this is when I really started to notice that my foot wasnt doing so well and was sorta limping but could still walk with a little bit of pain.

We got to the tower and he wanted to go up there and see the view from the skydeck so we got in line and pretty much just played PuyoPuyo on DS vs eachother while we stood in line. It took like about an hour of waiting to get up there but we made it. The view was cool and stuff. I didnt take any pictures cuz my camera battery was dead, but my brother took some and I will steal his pictures and put them up once he gets back home and uploads them.

After leaving the Tower, we were originally going to go to an Izakaya to meet up with Sam, Emmet, and Liz. Then I suddenly realized that today was Tuesday, which is the day that Mikado runs its regular weekly GG tournaments. So, I changed the plans and we met up with Sam and Emmet at Mikado to check it out. Turns out that we made it in time and I signed up for the tournament.

At first, it was supposed to be a random 2 on 2 and it was supposed to start at like 7. Then they changed it to a 2 on 2 where you choose your team and they pushed the start time back cuz they were running a Fate Unlimited Codes tournament too. Mike (the Jam player) is on staff there and hes the one who told me that we needed to find our own team mates. I didnt have anyone particular in mind so I just threw it out there and asked him if he wanted to team up. He was down for it, so I entered the tournament as the double Mike team.

I played casuals for a really long time, and the tournament didnt end up starting till like 8:30. The problem with this was, we had to board our overnight bus from Shinjuku station to go to Osaka at 9:50, which only gave me less than one hour to finish a whole tournament. I figured we might as well try. At first things were looking ok. We got a bi first round, then we won our 2nd match thanks to Mike after I lost to a good Slayer. Then I noticed they started writing up a losers bracket... WTF! The ONE time they finally decide to actually do a double elim tourny and I cant even stick around to finish it! Pretty lame... We ended up playing like one more match and I had to fight Tanabata's Slayer again. I was feeling really rushed since time was a factor and I didnt wanna miss our bus. I was about to beat him the first round. He had a burst and meter for a super. I got a knockdown and did and empty FDC in the air to bait the super or burst. He did the super, which I should have blocked, but somehow my FDC came out as a down kick or something and I got hit and then he killed me. Pretty lame cuz I would have won that round for sure as he had literally no life bar left. He beat me the 2nd round... then he also beat Mike.

So with that, I told Mike how I had to catch my bus and that I was expecting things to start sooner, so that I was sorry but I wouldnt be able to finish the losers bracket with him. He understood and was totally fine with it, so with that, we got some quick beers and food from the conbini and headed to Shinjuku station.

We made it there with about 15 minutes to spare. As we were waiting to board the bus, everyones plan was to pretty much get drunk so that they could easily sleep on the bus, cuz those buses arnt too comfortable. Well, in an attempt to save money, my brother bought like 2 8% 500ml cans of chu-hi. For those of you who dont know, chu-hi is like comparable to something like Mike's hard lemonade or something. So he slams both of those, and suddenly hes just acting WASTED as hell. He was saying some pretty silly shit and Sam, Emmet, and I instantly realized how amusing this could be. From this point on, he was officially dubbed Mr. Chu-hi. Mr. Chu-hi would prove to play quite an amusing role during the future of our trip, but at this point we had no idea what we were in store for.

We got on the bus and I ended up getting an awsome seat with no one next to me. I drank a few beers, ate my sandwiches, and passed out. Most everyone else had problems sleeping. Tony and Emmet both tried sleeping on the floor but it was too cold, and Sam kept waking up with different people sleeping next to him LOL.

In the early morning on Wednesday, we would arrive in Osaka, with our entire Kansai trip ahead of us.


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