Thursday, September 30, 2010

Adventures in Nagoya

So, I left off last time when Jan and I got back to my apartment from Tokyo on Monday night. In the middle of the night, Jan woke up feeling really sick or something and we couldnt figure out what was wrong with him. On Tuesday, I had work as usual so I went to work and Jan just stayed at my place and slept all day. When I got home from work, he was still sleeping. He then woke up and said he was pretty much feeling better so that was good.

So, Tuesday, Sept 21st was my 28th birthday. Its not really a big deal or anything but I at least wanted to do something on my birthday, so I set up a small drinking party at a local izakaya (the "Yakitori place" near Gokan station). As soon as I got off work, Jan and I took a train over to the izakaya. I invited a few other ALTs and friends such as Andy and Emmet, and of course Ryoko. In total, there were 7 of us. We drank tons of beers and whiskey and ate some delicious nabe and other food and just talked about random stuff. The owner of the izakaya gave me tons of free whiskey, too. Ryoko brought a birthday cake from Fujiya where she works. I got good and smashed and it seemed like everyone had a good time so it was a successful birthday I would say. We stayed until about midnight and Jan and I took the last train back to my place and I went to sleep.

I had to work again on Wednesday. Jan pretty much just sorta explored my town a bit and played some SSFIV online while I was at work. As soon as I got home from work, we had to leave ASAP to go to the train station if we wanted to catch the next train (the trains in my town only run once an hour). As we approached the station, we could see the train just pull up on the platform across the other side of the stairs. We ran like hell and I managed to make it in time to stall the train and stand in the door and push it open so that Jan had enough time to get on just as the doors closed on us. It was about as close as it could have gotten.

3 hours later we arrived in Takadanobaba. We had kebabs when we were Roppongi last weekend and it turns out that Jan loves that shit, so I took him to the really awsome kebab place I always go to in Takadanobaba. We got a kebab and beer and it was good stuff.

Our bus to leave for Nagoya would be leaving around 11:20, so we had some time to kill. We headed to Mikado to get some games in. There were tons of GG players there. Akinori was there and he apologized to me for not showing up for the last chance qual. His phone was still broken so he couldnt contact me. It wouldnt have mattered anyway since my team didnt get picked so I didnt really care anyway. The US ST team was there playing ST and Jan talked with them for a bit. Also, KLT showed up for some GG, and also this new guy who was also from the US who just moved here but I forgot his name at the moment. I got one game of GG in with Jan and this was the only game we got to play the entire time he was here. I won, but he managed to take a round on me. I also played KLT for the first time in years and won. I also played against various other people. Kunihiro was there too and I played him a fair amount.

It was approaching the time when we should be leaving but Jan was still playing a match and wanted to finish it so we waited a bit. We left Mikado and got some quick beers at Lawson for the road. By the time we got on the train to go to Tokyo station (where our bus was departing from, cuz I got cheaper tickets that way), we realized that we were cutting it VERY close on time. Like pretty much to the point where we might not even make our bus. I had never taken a bus from Tokyo station before so I wasnt even sure what exit to go to and how far the area to board the buses were. When we got to Tokyo station, our bus was scheduled to leave in less than 5 minutes. We ran like hell and I found the place to board the buses by following signs. We found our bus and got on like a minute before it was ready to leave and were the last ones to get on the bus, lol! Thats 2 times that we got it way too close for comfort today, but in the end we got on, so I guess it worked out fine. I had a few more beers on the bus so that I could sleep easily and chatted with Jan for a bit and then eventually fell asleep.

In case I forgot to mention it, the purpose of going to Nagoya was for Nagoya Street Battle (NSB), which is a huge SSFIV tournament held in Nagoya. Many other US players that I know such as Fubarduck, Heartnana, Azrael, and Reno (even though the later 3 all live in Japan), would be going, so I figured it would be a good chance to meet up with them to chill, and the tournament sounded like fun, plus I had never been to Nagoya before, so spending a 4 day weekend out there sounded like it made sense.

We arrived in Nagoya early morning at like 6 am on Thursday. The area around Nagoya station was pretty dull. We had time to kill, so we walked around a bit trying to find a manga kissa to kill time at and get more sleep since Nagoya Street Battle wasnt scheduled to start till around 11. We had no luck around Nagoya station and it was pooring rain. We decided to head to an area called Sakae which is known for its bars and nightlife. Those areas always have manga kissas so it was a good bet.

We took the subway 2 stops away and got to Sakae. We quickly were able to find a manga kissa right away. We checked in for 3 hours and were able to take naps and showers. I also checked online and found a map to the NSB venue so now we knew where to go.

We got some curry and then headed back to Nagoya station since thats where the NSB venue was close to. We walked around a bit and found it after we saw Daigo walking down the street. He had just exited the venue. Fubarduck helped us confirm the location as well.

It was at a huge building called Nagoya Winc, and they had a big ballroom type room rented out. It was already packed when we got there and they had tons of SSFIV setups hooked up. Lots of big name Japanese SF players were there, as well as Justin Wong's team (with Ricky O and Marn). My team for today was with Azrael and Reno. I met Reno before at Gods Garden 2. I have known Azrael from online and SRK and stuff but this was my first time to meet him in person. He was there and signed our team up but Reno's train was delayed so he hadnt arrived yet.

I played a few games of casuals while we waited for things to start. I did pretty decent winning some and losing some. I was about 50/50 against the Japanese players I fought. I lost in a close match to Heartnana's Sakura and I won in a close match vs Azrael's Chun. The tournament took forever to get started and finally got going at around 12:30. Also, Ono, the creator of SFIV was there at this event too, and he gave a speech before the event kicked off.

I took pictures of the entire brackets which you can see here, and here. NSB has a unique system where basically you register with 2 characters and you can choose which one you want to use before the start of the match but you must keep the same one if you win. I registered with Rose and Blanka but pretty much decided I would only use Rose anyway. Reno played Honda and Az used Chun. Our first match we had to fight a Ken player. I said I would go first cuz I know the Ken matchup fairly well. I ended up giving him a decent fight, but I lost both rounds. Reno went next and came pretty close but also lost. Az went last and came the closest to winning but was also defeated by the Ken player. Just like that, we were OCVed first round and were out. Kinda sucks but oh well. My skill level with SSFIV still isnt nearly as high as it is with GG. I think if I tried throwing more I could have done a lot better since I noticed Az was getting tons of throws off and I was being too conservative with my throw attempts. Anyway, the Ken player was really good so we just got out played, plain and simple.

I watched Team Spooky's first match (Jan, Fubarduck, Heartnana), and they did much better than us. Heartnana went first against a Dictator player and won in a really close match. He then lost to a Sagat player. Fubarduck went next with his Ibuki and pulled out one of the clutchest wins ever against the Sagat player. He then lost to the Chun player on the team. Last was Jan with his Gief, but unfortunately he was unable to defeat the Chun. Jan later told me that he kept messing up the input for Ultra 2.

After their team lost, Jan and I decided we might as well start drinking, so we walked to the Family Mart and bought some whiskey and made some sneaky whiskey cokes to bring into the venue since they didnt allow alcohol inside. We chilled and watch more of the tournament and played some casuals for a bit.

Eventually, a bunch of the US players wanted to get some food so we all went to this really good Miso katsu resturaunt (miso katsu is famous in Nagoya). Fabar, Heartnana, Reno, Az, Fubar's GF, another guy I just met, and I all went and got food. It was good as hell and I got a beer with it, too.

We returned to the venue in time to watch the rest of the tournament. Justin's team made it pretty far but they lost to Daigo. The finals ended up being pretty boring. Daigo's team won by Machi's Guile OCVing the other team.

Here are the results

1st — Team Mad Catz
Daigo Umehara [Ryu/Guile]
Momochi [Ken/Guile]
Machi [Akuma/Guile]

2nd — Team Japan
Uryo [C. Viper/Sagat]
Staygold [Ryu]
Kuma [Dictator]

Tied for 3rd — Team Managers
-R- [Guy]
Nyanshi [Sagat]
Gonta [Cody]

Tied for 3rd — Team Blond Pig
Tokido [Akuma/E. Honda]
Kindevu [Cammy]
Eita [Akuma/Adon]

Tied for 5th — Team Legendary
Haneyama [Chun-Li/Seth]
Edesketsubat [E. Honda/Makoto]
Chakku [Rufus/Cammy]

Tied for 5th — Team Pizza Beast
RB [Guy/Rufus]
Kokujin [Ryu]
Korei [Boxer]

Tied for 5th — Team Evil Geniuses
Justin Wong [Rufus/Cammy]
Martin "Marn" Phan [Dudley/C. Viper]
Ricky Ortiz [Rufus/Chun-Li]

Tied for 5th — Team Napoleon
Freeda [Ibuki/E. Honda]
Ken [Rose/Boxer]
Riki [T. Hawk/Dictator]

When it was over, we said our goodbyes and headed out. Pretty much everyone except for Jan had to get going back home to their respective countries and cities. Jan and I were down to keep drinking though, so we headed back to Sakae. First, we got tebasaki (a special kind of Nagoya fried chicken wings) which was really tasty, and also that place had a decent micro brew on tap so we got that as well.

We walked around quite a bit looking for good places to drink. We started off going to another kebab place we randomly found and got beers there. It was good. I found this one rock bar online called 69 Rock You that seemed promising. We couldnt find it at first so we just tried several other places. Most places were actually closed since today in Japan was a holiday and a weekday, so the following day was a workday. We found a few places that looked cool but they were all closed. Most of the ones we peaked our heads into that were opened were empty or looked shitty. We asked about this one bar that looked cool to someone and he told us it was a gay bar so we were glad we didnt accidently go there lol. I found this awsome liquor store that had some micro brews and imports which is hard to find in Japan so we got a bottle for the road.

We eventually went to some like wild west kinda place where all the waitresses were dressed as slutty cowgirls which was kinda cool but aside from some table of girls that were sitting with eachother and a few random people, the place was pretty dead. We walked around for a really really long time looking for that 69 Rock You bar. A friend of Nozomi's (a friend from Current) named Miki, lives in Nagoya and was giving us directions how to find it. She told us to turn by some Lawson near a park. We walked past the park and found a Lawson but couldnt find the bar for the life of us. It was already like past 3 am or something and Jan was tired as hell and his flight was early afternoon the next day so he decided to call it quits and check into the manga kissa. I was halfway ready to give up and sleep or keep trying on my own so I flipped a coin and it came up that I should keep looking and drinking. I would be alone all day tomorrow anyway and if I woke up too early there wouldnt be much to do. I said bye to Jan as he checked into the manga kissa and set out again on my own.

I back tracked and eventually found ANOTHER Lawson that we missed cuz we were walking on the other side of the park. After finding that Lawson I found 69 Rock You pretty easily. Unfortunately when I got there, it was completely dead except for the bartender. The place was small but it was a decent bar and they played good music (mostly 80s rock and metal). I stayed for a few beers and chatted with the bartender and at around 4 am I was getting tired and bored so I just went to the manga kissa to sleep.

The next day (Friday), I woke up and took a shower. I walked around a bit looking for a good restaurant and eventually found a good place with cheesy fried shrimp and rice which was good. Then, I headed to Nagoya Castle for sightseeing.

Nagoya castle was pretty similar to Osaka castle except a bit smaller maybe. I took lots of pictures so they pretty much can describe it better than I can, so you might as well just check those out. I was there for a few hours and it was fun. I bought a souvaneer for Ryoko and some rice crackers for the teachers at my school that are flavored like tebasaki.

After Nagoya castle, it was mid afternoon, so I figured it would be a good time to check out Nagoya's arcade GG scene. Someone on SRK recommended I try an arcade called Urban Squre. I took the subway out to where it was. while I was on the subway, I was sitting on the end seat and this hot chick got on and was like standing next to me and rubbing her ass on my arm. We got off at the same stop and I sorta was getting the feeling she wanted to talk to me or something. I didnt know where the arcade was so I figured I might as well ask her. She never heard of it but seemed really friendly and wanted to help me out so she like started asking other random people if they heard of it. I had never experienced a Japanese person try that hard to help me find somewhere where they didnt know where it is. Most of the time in Japan, if people dont know where something is, they just make some shit up so that they feel like they are helping you, even though that in the end, it makes things worse after you are sent in the wrong direction. So, I was pretty surprised by this. I eventually told her that its cool and not to worry about it. I asked her where theres lots of stores and stuff so she pointed me in the direction of a shopping arcade. I totally got the vibe that I could have maybe invited her to go drinking or something tonight and got her number but since I have a girlfriend I figured it would be a bad idea so I just said bye and thank you and headed to the shopping arcade.

Thankfully, this shopping arcade was huge, and after checking a map, I indeed found Urban Square, so in the end, that girl actually did help me out! On the way to the arcade, I passed a restaurant with a sign that grabbed my attention. In big letters it said "Tacos and Beer". Being one of the greatest combinations ever, it was easily enough to convince me to stop in for some food. They had a pretty extensive menu of mexican food, american food, and imported beers. I got a Bass ale and Chicken Burrito. The place was called Jerry's Uno. The Burrito didnt end up tasting as authentic as I would have hoped, but it was good enough.

After that, I eventually found Urban Square. They had 2 GG cabs and a Robo-Ky was playing on one so I sat down and played him. I think I beat him something like 10 times in a row until he eventually stopped playing me. I beat a few other random people and then this one yellow Anji player got on the cab and beat me in a close game. I was feeling sleepy so I went to get a redbull and then came back. I rematched him and won. Then he picked yellow Jam and I lost. Then I rematched him and won again. He was pretty tough. Then, I fought a Sol. I beat him twice, then he beat me like 6 in a row until I finally beat him again. He was also good. He stopped playing after that, I beat a few random people, and then it was kinda dead. A Slayer player was sitting at the cab next to me. I asked him if there were any tournaments going on anywhere today in Nagoya and it turns out that there was one happening at another arcade called Comtech Plaza in like 2 hours. He told me that there was also another tournament happening tomorrow at another arcade at 3 pm. I wanted to try to go to that one too but my bus ticket back to Tokyo would be leaving tomorrow morning at like 9 am so it didnt seem possible. I considered the idea of trying to change my ticket.

Anyway, I left Urban Square and took the subway over to Akaike station where Comtech Plaza was. While I was on the train, this one white girl was sitting across from me and kept looking at me. We got off at the same station. Then as I was walking, she was like right behind me, passed me by, then looked back and smiled at me for like a good few seconds. So, I took off my headphones and said hi. She started talking to me asking what I was doing and stuff and I told her how I was looking for an arcade cuz I was going to enter a tournament. She said she figured I was looking for an arcade cuz she saw my Nintendo backpack which she said she liked. She said she was from Australia and was here on vacation by herself or something. Turns out the arcade was right behind us in the opposite direction I was walking and she pointed it out to me. I got the impression that she was defenitely hitting on me but once again, it would probably be a bad idea to exchange numbers with her for Ryoko's sake and I didnt wanna be late for the tournament, so I thanked her for her help and headed to the arcade.

When I got there, they hadnt started signups yet. They only had one cab setup. A few players were there playing casuals. It was 100 yen for 2 credits. I got on and got like a 12 win streak and was wrecking all the people I fought. Finally, a pretty good Zappa got on and I beat him. Then he used his 2nd credit and beat me. I used my 2nd credit and beat him again. Then he rematched me again and beat me again. At this point, lots of players showed up so I didnt have time to play more casuals. I talked to a few people there cuz they were sorta surprised to see a foreigner there. Lots of them were saying how im really good and stuff after I beat them. I told them who I was and that I play at Mikado a lot and some of them had heard of me and saw some of my vids online.

Eventually the tournament started and 27 people entered. It was a singles tournament. I have no idea who any of them were, I dont think any of them were famous players or anything. One of the guys told me that the best players in Nagoya didnt show up to today's tournament but would be at the one tomorrow.

Anyway, my first match was vs Testament. They told me that this guy was the one who won the tournament they had here last time. I beat him both rounds.

Next I had to fight a Potemkin. I beat him both rounds.

Next I had to fight an Eddie player. This guy was pretty good and he almost won the first round but I made a comeback. Then I handled him well in the 2nd round for the win.

Next I had to fight a Slayer player. He was also pretty good but I won both rounds.

Finally it was the finals and I had to fight a Johnny player. I beat him both rounds as well.

And just like that, I had won the tournament! LOL I wasnt really expecting to find a random tournament here and come and win it but I did, heh. My prize for winning was a big back of Fujiya Home Pie and a box full of herbal tea bags.

I took a picture of the full brackets after the tournament which you can see here and here.

Lots of people gave me props, and then after the tournament ended, they told me that they were about to start a random 2vs2 tournament. I sorta promised Miki (Nozomi's friend) that I would drink with her tonight at 69 Rock You, and it was already like almost 11 and she told me she had to catch the last train home, so I told them that I was sorry but that someone was waiting for me so I couldnt enter. The comp in general wasnt that good so I didnt really feel like I was missing out or needed to prove anything so I decided to head back to Sakae to drink with Miki. I was glad that I went though cuz the players were all nice and I got to talk to lots of people and had fun anyway.

When I got back to Sakae, Ryoko called me cuz she missed me so I was talking with her on the phone for a bit while I was walking towards the bar. As I got close, I saw Miki coming from the opposite direction. I got there too late and she already had to head back home, so I told her sorry and said I would drink with her next time she came to visit Current. She said to say hi to Sushi for me and then left.

I figured I might as well go in and check out the bar anyway so I went inside. It was still dead this time but there were 2 dudes drinking there and the bartender was there again. I stayed there for maybe 2 hours talking with the guys and the bartender about random shit and listening to pretty decent music and had several beers. Eventually, I decided I didnt want to spend the rest of the night there so I headed out and went to look for some more places.

I found this one place called Bar Mexigan which was sorta more like an open restaurant than a bar but they had tons of good looking Mexican food and good beers and tequila. I got a beer and 2 tacos and the tacos were actually really good and fairly authentic (well, at not like super authentic but probably the closest ive had in Japan so far). Also, the guy who took my order there noticed my Symphony X hat and Children of Bodom shirt and it turns out hes all into metal and stuff we we had a short conversation about bands and stuff like that. He seemed pretty cool.

I enjoyed my food and headed out and then looked for another good bar. I wasnt really sure of where I should go so I eventually decided on this place called Devil Bar. Jan and I noticed it the previous night but we didnt go in. It turns out we probably should have, cuz this place was actually pretty cool. It was small but the bar was really long. It reminded me of PSY except the bar was longer and there were no tables in the back. The shelves behind the bar were really tall and packed with bottles. The most unique thing about this place was the lighting. It was very dark in there with just very dim soft sorta yellowish light. I really liked the atmosphere, and they were playing good music too! They played a huge long set of Mr. Big and a few other good rock songs. I wish I had gone there earlier. There were actually about 7 or 8 people in the bar too! These 2 dudes came in and were sitting next to me and we were talking with one of the bartenders about random stuff for a bit. They were both salary men in like their mid 3os probably and worked at the same company. I honestly dont even really remember what we really talked about. But, when they were ready to leave, they said they were going to a hostess club. I guess one of the guys had a reservation there or something. They asked if I wanted to come with and said they would pay for my cover and my drinks! I was like, sure, why the hell not! So I went with them to the hostess club.

This was the very first time I had ever gone inside a hostess club because they are really expensive. The place was really clean and looked really expensive. They escorted us to a table and soon after, 3 really hot girls came and sat with us. They didnt drink anything but just chatted with us for a while. About halfway through, new girls rotated in. They were also very hot. I got 2 beers while we were there. It was a pretty fun and interesting new experience. I cant say I would ever wanna blow my own money on something like that but if someone else is gonna pay for it, why the fuck not, right? The dudes were good on their word and paid for my drinks and cover.

When we left the bar, it was already light outside. The dudes said bye and headed for the station and I thanked them for paying for me and chillin. After that, I got a quick bite to eat by myself and then eventually headed for the station myself. Since my bus was leaving at 9 am, I wasnt gonna stay at the manga kissa tonight and pretty much just planned it so that I could sleep on the bus and wake up in Tokyo. Unfortunately for me, when I got on the train, I dont remember much except that I woke up at the end of the line pretty damn far from Nagoya station where my bus was leaving from. It was already almost 9, so there was no way I was going to catch my bus in time.

I headed back to Nagoya station and it was already 9:30. I went to the ticket office and asked them what my options were. I was still considering maybe staying in Nagoya for that other GG tournament today (which was now Saturday) at 3 pm. The guy told me the last bus other than overnight buses back to Shinjuku left at 5 pm. I figured 2 hours probably would be cutting it too close and didnt want to end up missing another bus (since I had to buy a new ticket and wasted 5000 yen, and if I missed it again id just be blowing another 5000). I also was really fucking tired and by the time I finished talking to this guy, it was already past 10. I knew even if I stayed for the tournament, I would be too tired to do well at all, so I figured I would just leave now. I got a ticket for the next bus which was scheduled to leave at 11 am. I got on the bus, passed the fuck out, and made it back to Shinjuku at around 5 pm.

I was still a bit tired but I just manned up and drank a redbull. From there, I headed to Mikado for some GG. There were lots of players there. It turns out the Russian team was still in Tokyo and they were there playing at Mikado. I said hi to them. I played Overkill again and won. I also played Goga's Chipp again twice and this time he beat me once and I beat him once. He has a pretty solid Chipp. I played against various other Japanese players, but I cant really recall any matches that are worth mentioning. I stayed at Mikado till about 11 and then felt like drinking, so I headed back to Shinjuku.

I was hungry and was walking towards Current and noticed this place called Ale House something something. Ive passed it a zillion times but never went in, but I felt like eating pizza and the menu they had on display outside had some pizza on it that looked decent so I went in. The place was sorta like a HUB (pub/restaraunt). It was really packed but I got a seat at the bar. I got the pizza, and also they had this micro brew on tap there that I had never heard of called Swan Lake Ale. It was brewed in Niigata and it ended up being one of the best beers I have ever had in Japan. I had a nice hop flavor and was 6% abv. The glass was a bit small though and it was 750 yen a glass but I enjoyed it. The pizza was also ok but it had too much mayonaise on it.

After that, I headed into Current. There were a fair amount of people there. Mai and Yoshie were there but they left for the last train a bit after I got there. I talked with Rina and this pretty cool Finnish dude for a bit. Also, Pachi mailed me and wanted to go drinking tonight so he eventually showed up too with a friend of his that works at an arcade.

Also, Emmet showed up with the same girl he hooked up with last week from Gas Panic in Roppongi. This girl was fucking crazy. She was already drunk when they showed up. She seemed like a total whore. She was flirting with like every guy there, and was like giving Emmet lap dances and shit, and was like putting her foot up on some dude's crotch and shit. She was just pretty insane. Emmet said he still has claw mark scars from her nails accross his back from last weekend! LOL

So anyway, the rest of the time at Current involved lots of drinking and good times as always. After it closed, I rallied up a big group of people and we headed to PSY. Emmet had already left to the love hotel. PSY was fun and it was pretty packed. Somehow, Natsume knew it was my birthday a few days ago and gave me 2 shots of tequila on the house! That guy rules.

After PSY closed, I hardly remember things but I rallied about 6 people to go drinking some more and took them to Tokyo Loose cuz its close and was still opened. The time at Tokyo Loose was pretty much just a big blur.

I woke up Sunday afternoon at the manga kissa with a headache and the taste of vomit and McDonalds breakfast in my mouth. So, I can kinda guess what I did after leaving Tokyo Loose. I have no idea where I threw up but there was no vomit in the manga kissa so I guess I must have done it on the street (hopefully). It was already like past 3 pm. I was supposed to play poker with Emmet and some other guys in Takasaki today at 5 but it was already too late to make it on time and I was really hungover so I decided to just go home.

I took the train home and Ryoko came over and we spent the rest of the evening together and I was glad I did that over poker. I will try to play poker with those guys the next time.

So, there you have it. Thats my first ever trip to Nagoya. Despite a few bad things that happened, overall it was a very fun trip and Im glad that I went.

I honestly dont have any plans yet for the coming weekend and I dont know exactly when the next time I will write my blog again, but if something worth typing about comes up ill post again. Until then, keep playing Guilty Gear!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tougeki Super Battle Opera 2010

Earlier in the week (this was the week of 9/13), I finalized my SBO team for the last chance qual. Originally, I was going to team with Kunihiro and Akinori. However, a few days before SBO, Kunihiro found out he had to work that day so he couldnt enter. Melon wanted to team with me so I told him he could take Kunihiro's place. I hadnt actually heard from Akinori personally because his phone was broken, according to Kunihiro, but Kunihiro said he talked to him when he saw him recently at Mikado and that he was down to team with me, so I just went by his word. Kunihiro ALSO told me that there would be a big tournament at Mikado Friday night since all the out of town players were in Tokyo for SBO.

I REALLY wanted to go to the Friday night tournament, espessially since I hadnt really even played GG in about a whole month, so I was worried I would be a little rusty if I didnt get practice. Unfortunately, at one of the schools I work at, one of the English teachers who I teach with would be leaving this week to go on maternity leave, and we would be getting a new English teacher to replace her. Last minute, my school decided to throw them a welcome/farewell party on Friday night of SBO weekend. Pretty shitty timing for me. These parties are optional, but I felt like since I am the ALT and had a good relationship with the teacher who was leaving, and wanted to start things off well with the new one that I really should probably go to the enkai. So, after much debating with myself about it, in the end I decided I would go to the party. The thing was, it was from 7 to 9 pm and if I left right when it was over, I would be able to take the very last train from Numata to Tokyo and would arrive in Shinjuku around 12:30. I would miss the tournament but it would at least allow me to go to the last chance qual which was early Saturday morning. I felt that since I was going to go to the party, I might as well be extra nice and buy a little gift for the teacher who was leaving. I bought a teddy bear for her daughter who would be born in November.

So anyway, I had time to kill before the party so I chilled at Emmet's place for like an hour and a half since he lives close to where the party would be. We had a few beers and watched some funny comedy show, but I forgot what it was called.

After that, I headed to the enkai. I got there like 10 minutes before it was supposed to start but only 2 other people were there yet. Eventually everyone showed up about 15 minutes after 7. The worst part is, the teacher who is leaving on maternity leave didnt even show up! I guess they said she wanted to stay home cuz of being pregnant related reasons or something. Had I known she wasnt going to go, I would have just skipped the party and played in the GG tournament, but it was too late now. I felt dumb for buying the bear too.

Anyway, I made most of the party by drinking a ton and ate the food and at least the new teacher seemed happy that I came. Pretty much all the teachers knew what my plans were after the party cuz I told them I couldnt stay for the 2nd party. Luckily one of the other teachers was leaving after the first party to and the person who picked her up gave me a quick lift to the station so I was able to make my train with no problem. So, since I was already nice and drunk, I was able to sleep well on the train. In fact, I slept too well. I ended up sleeping until the last stop (Ueno), which made going to Shinjuku kinda out of the way, so I decided to just go to Akihabara since its 2 stops from Ueno and find a manga kissa there. Ive never stayed at a manga kissa in Akihabara cuz I never go drinking there (theres really no good bars) but luckily I found one. There were no flat rooms but I didnt have time to be picky at this point so I just slept on a reclining chair.

I only ended up getting about 5 hours of sleep at the manga kissa and woke up at like 6:30 am. I was really tired but I just manned up and got some redbull and headed to Makuhari Messe. I got there at around 7:15. Registration for the last chance qual was from 7 to 8. When I got there, lots of people were already in the area signing up. However, I didnt see Melon or Akinori anywhere. I mailed Melon and he said he was on his way, but I had no way to reach Akinori. I waited for him until about 10 minutes to 8 and he didnt show up, so I asked Kyle (Studedge) if he could join my team last minute. He was glad to join us so at least I had a full team. This year for last chance quals, in order to enter, someone on your team has to have a red ticket (meaning someone on your team had to have previously already won a preliminary at some point). I had one so I was able to allow for our team to enter.

A total of 17 teams entered but only 8 would get picked. They reserved one spot for foreigners only team but this year, you dont count as a foreigner if your address is in Japan, so both Kyle and myself didnt count. As a result, there was no foreign team this year, so 8 teams would be chosen at random. While I was waiting for stuff to start, I went over to where they were gonna do the BlazBlue last chance qual. This one Chinese guy I know who basically organizes the Chinese teams that come to SBO was there and he told me that only ONE team entered the BB last chance qual. He said this just shows how GG is still certainly not dead here in Japan. I agree. Honestly though, I am pretty shocked that at that time only one team registered. Im sure more than one person had a red ticket... Seems odd.

Anyway, eventually they picked the teams, and unfortunately, my team wasnt among the ones that were picked. I was a bit bummed but there wasnt anything I could do about it. It was just the luck of the draw.

We were told that only the teams that were selected to play in the tournament would be allowed into the stage area to play the last chance qual. I was just sorta sitting around killing time and I noticed a bunch of people going into the hall. I thought it was just people being let in to go look around, so I just showed them my ticket at the door and walked in. Then all the people who made it in gathered at the top of the stairs and one of the staff started explaining the rules for the last chance qual. I then realized that I sorta just accidentally snuck into the last chance qual lol! I pretty much just Sold Snaked that shit and just kept playing along as if I was supposed to be there. None of the staff questioned me being there, so I figured I would just take the opportunity to watch the tournament. When we went down to the stage area, Woody and a couple other people asked me why I was there cuz they didnt think my team was picked. I was just like "sshhh im just hear to watch, dont tell the staff" and they didnt care. They seemed sorta amused lol. So anyway, I took the opportunity to take notes so here is how the last chance qual went down. It was being run on 2 cabs at a time so I couldnt really see every single match in detail.

first match, Kishya / BOB / AGF vs some team I dont know. Kishya OCVed them.

Limekey's team lost to Ain's team

LOK (BA) / Woody (TE) / Hase (SL)
Satoshi (PO) / MK (JO) / Ogiwara (SL)

LOK beat MK and Ogiwara
Satoshi beat LOK and was shit talking while playing (LOL Satoshi rules)
Then Woody beat Satoshi after making an epic comeback in the first round.

Ochiai (PO) / Tsujikawa (SL) / ED?
Taku (SL) / MI / Kuni (BA)
Ochiai (PO) beat Taku, and default color MI
Kuni lost too I guess but I didnt see it happen, so Ochiai's team won

Ain (KY) / Ririko (BR) / green TE
Kishya team
I think green TE OCVed them

Tsujikawa team
Hase team
Tsujikawa beat LOK and Woody
Hase beat Tsujikawa
Ochiai beat Hase

battle for 3rd place was
AGF ocving Hase team to take 3rd

Grand Finals
Ain team
Tsujikawa team
Tsujikawa OCVed them in order of Ririko, green TE, Ain. I dont like Ain so im glad he lost and Ochiai is cool so I was happy for him.

By the time the finals were going on, they actually let people in so everyone was crowded around watching and I was like the only one watching from inside the gate yet still no one on staff even questioned why I was there lol. Melon looked at me like WTF and I told him I snuck in LOL.

After it was over, there was a little time to kill. They had a few random cabs in the back behind the seating area for casuals. A bunch of GG players were crowded around the single GG cab. Eventually I got a turn in. I ended up playing a Faust mirror match. I couldnt see who it was on the other side. I lost the first round, won the 2nd round, and the 3rd round went down to literally him having no life bar and I ended up losing in a really close match. After it was over, I look around on the other side and it was RF. Would have been cool if I won but I guess I did ok for not having played in almost a month. The wait to play again was pretty long, so I pretty much just walked around a bit after that.

Eventually they kicked things off with the first games. Before they started the tournaments, though, Yoshinori Ono (the creator of Street Fighter IV), came out on stage to make some announcements. He showed a trailer "officially" revealing Yun and Yang for the arcade edition of SSFIV. Then, behind us, they pulled the big tarp off of the area behind where the casuals cabs were to reveal 4 full SSFIV arcade edition setups which would be on free play all day! As soon as this happened, I pretty much just got out of my seat and walked over there to get in line. There were only about 10 people ahead of me so I got to play really fast. I picked Rose. They impose a winner stays on policy but limits you to 5 wins and then they kick you off. I fought 2 Yun players, an Ibuki, and 2 Juris. I won all 5 matches. Rose seemed exactly the same except for the fact that they nerfed her Ultra 2 so now she cant block right away after it anymore. So now it basically sucks. I also found that for some reason, it seemed easier to do one frame links cuz I was nailing them very consistantly without even plinking (and normally I dont). Later after playing, at some point, Ono was just chilling over by the cabs so I got a picture with him and the creator of Tekken. Then I had a quick chat with Ono about the arcade edition. I asked him if they made any other changes to Rose and he said that the Ultra 2 nerf was the only one, and that they didnt change her frame data, so I dont know why I was doing the one frame links so easily. I told him that Ultra 2 is too weak now and asked him to please fix it. He said he would think about it. I hope he wasnt just saying that.

Around this time, I also ran into Scott Popular and few of the other SRK Tokyo crew. And also around this time, Jason Kim (J1n) showed up. He was in town for TGS again through work. His girlfriend, Heather, was entering the cosplay contest today (dressed as I-no) so she was off doing that, so Jason was just chillin alone. So we ended up hanging out most of the day. We walked around in the TGS area for a while and he showed me where the Sanwa booth was. I was looking to buy a new PS1/2 stick cuz mine recently broke. Unfortunately they werent selling any sticks at the booth and didnt even have any PS2 sticks on display, but they WERE selling tons of really nice parts. I dont really feel like building my own stick again, plus I didnt bring my soldering iron to Japan so I figured I would just hold off and look for a PS2 stick in Akihabara later.

After that, we went back to the Tougeki area. Around this time, Melty Blood and VF5 were going on. After Melty, GG was scheduled to start. Jason didnt have a seat ticket but I was able to easily sneak him into the seating area by just going in, handing him my ticket over the railing, and then he re-used the same one, LOL. The seats were assigned seats by ticket number but tons of them were empty so he just sat in an empty one and there was no problem.

As we were watching Melty, we came to the conclusion that we wanted to drink while we watch the GG tournament. Theres a Lawson just outside Makuhari Messe so I volunteered to take a quick run over there and buy us a bottle of Whiskey and some soda to mix it. I didnt know how much time we had so I rushed, but in the end, I made it back in time with time to spare. As Jason, opened his coke bottle, it exploded all over his camera. I guess it got shaken up when I was sorta walking really fast with it in my pocket. Fortunately, I had some wet wipes in my backpack and the camera still works fine. We mixed our drinks right there in our seats and no one noticed and we watched the GG tournament getting good and buzzed. I got a redbull with mine to mix with cuz I was still really tired.

The tournament for GG was only being shown on one screen and 2 matches were going on at the same time, so I dont even know what happened in some of them. Im sure someone will or already has posted the whole bracket results so I wont really go into it but basically Mitsurugi took out N-O's team which was pretty surprising, stopping his chance of being grand champion 3 times in a row. The final 4 teams were

Mitsurugi (ZA) / Ina (MI) / Nage (FA)

Roy (SO) / LOX (JA) / Isamu (VE)

Shounen (TE) / RF (FA) / Ogawa (ED)

Inoue (OR) / Machaboo (TE) / FAB (PO)

They played up to there and then took a break for a bit and would show top 4 later (as they pretty much did with every game).

BB went on before that and all the foreign teams lost. I missed it though cuz I was busy doing other stuff.

Around this time, I noticed that right next to where the SSFIV AE cabs were, they had regular SSFIV console version hooked up to 2 TVs with Madcatz sticks. They just had it there to promote the sticks, even though they werent selling them there which was odd. For whatever reason, there was basically like no line to play, so I was able to just get right on and start playing. It was cool but there was a bit of lag from the TVs they were using, but it was still playable. I ended up getting a 13 win streak vs random people that just came to play. I didnt even lose but one of the Madcatz staff dudes (they were both from Cali and didnt speak Japanese) had some Japanese guy asking them questions about where he could buy some sorta pad. They asked me to help translate so I did, and then some Japanese dude who had a shipment for them showed up so I helped them translate that too. A little bit after this, I ran into Fubarduck (Ryan), and we played a few games of SSFIV together. He used his Ibuki and I used my Rose. I won the first 2 games, and he won the next 2. The matches were pretty even and good times. While we were playing, Jason came back (he was gone for a while) and he was like wasted as hell all slurring and shit lol! It was pretty funny. I was pretty buzzed from the half bottle of whiskey but still in a state where I could still play fighting games fine. Sometime after that shortly after, I played against Jan's Cody in SSFIV. We only played one game and I won.

Sometime around there, someone gave me a free press pass out of no where cuz the person who was using it already left. It allowed me to get access into press only areas lol.

At some point I got hungry so I went to get some food in the food court area, which is right next to the tougeki main stage. As soon as I finished buying my hotdog and yakisoba, GG finals started. It caught me off guard so I didnt have time to really go back to my seat. So, I just sat there on the floor and watched it while I ate. First match was...

Mitsurugi team
Inoue team

Inoue beat Ina and Nage. Then, Mitsurugi took out Inoue. Finally, Machaboo beat Mitsurugi.

the other match was....

Roy team
Ogawa team

Shounen beat Lox and then Roy. Isamu beat Shounen, and finally RF took out Isamu.

There was a bunch of talking before the final match started so I had enough time to make it back to my seat to watch it. The finals were hype as hell and I am sure by now most of you have seen it on youtube, so I dont really need to go into great detail about it. But to summarize it quickly...

Ogawa team
Inoue team

Ogawa went first to many people's surprise and his opponent was FAB. Ogawa defeated FAB and then lost to Machaboo (which I was a little surprised at but Machaboo was playing really well the whole day, espesially since he beat Mitsurugi.) Next, Shounen beat Machaboo in a TE mirror match which wasnt a surprise. Then, Inoue took out Shounen. Final match was RF vs Inoue and RF came out as the winner but it was a close game and the whole finals were hype as hell.

I cant really say I am too surprised that Ogawa's team won but they certainly earned it.

After the finals were over, I went and talked to various GG players and took pictures of the award ceremony right up next to the stage cuz I could enter there with my press pass I obtained. I dont know why, but when they gave the awards to the first place GG team, only RF came out to accept the prizes. Perhaps it was because he won the final match and Shounen and Ogawa felt as if they failed? I really dont know... but RF won some money and one of those really nice brand new HRAP $300 sticks that basically is exactly the same as the stick panel off of a viewlix cab.

I heard from Kyle that there was going to be an after party this year and that Ko1 and Haken were the ones who were organizing it (since Pachi was too busy this year to run it as he usually does). So, I found Haken and asked him if it was cool if I came to the party and he said of course. I also noticed the 3 European team players were standing there so I introduced myself to them. They already knew who I was but we had never met before in person. I told them about the party and they wanted to go too so I asked Haken if it was cool and he said they could go too. None of them speak any Japanese so I had to translate for them but I didnt mind.

So at this point, it was about time to leave. I said bye to a few people and then I headed out with the European team. All 3 of them were from Russia. Their team was Goga (Chipp), Overkill (Sol), and Robobobr (Slayer). Jason went back to his hotel room. He was leaving tomorrow morning to go back to the US cuz he came for work and couldnt control how long he was able to stay. He had an extra TGS ticket for tomorrow and told me that I could have it, so I went to his hotel room to get it from him and say goodbye. The European guys waited outside cuz I was only gonna be like 10 minutes. The elevators in Jason's hotel were full of hot chicks. I asked them why they were at TGS and they said they were all booth girls. Nice!

After that, we headed to Akihabara where everyone planned to meet up at the old Club Sega before the party, which was supposed to start around 9. They only have 4 cabs at Club Sega now and it was really packed. The Russians wanted to play against me so we went to the new Club Sega down the street where it was pretty much dead. We were able to get lots of games in. I dont know exactly how many games we played but I probably played against each of them about 4 or 5 times each. I won every single game. Goga came the closest to beating me, and IMO he is the best player on their team. It was fun games though and I was glad to have a chance to play against them all.

At around 10 minutes to 9, I suggested we head back to the old Club Sega so we werent late for the party. When we got there, I was shocked to find that everyone was gone. Appearently we waited too long to go back. We all already paid Haken the money in advance for the party and we didnt want to miss it, but we didnt know the location of the place. I mailed a bunch of players that I know and eventually MK contacted me and told us to meet him at this one intersection not far from the station. We met up with him and Haken who were standing there waiting for us. I apolagized for inconveniencing them but they werent upset and were glad we could find them. I dont think they deliberately ditched us, they just had a huge group of people to keep track of and they didnt notice we were gone at first and didnt know where we were.

The party was at a big izakaya. When we got up there, they still hadnt even started yet and were waiting on a few more people and actually were waiting on more seats. Over 80 GG players showed up for this party! Eventually, the izakaya staff managed to convince a few non GG player customers to move to another table so all of us could sit near eachother. Our group took up over half of the whole izakaya! After everyone was finally situated, they gave a toast and we all started knocking back drinks. They had lots of good food and the party was all you can eat and all you can drink. At some point, I got a call from Fubarduck who was saying that Jan wanted to come but he didnt know the way. I gave him directions. Jan didnt have a phone so he was on his own to find the place based on the directions I gave Fubar, but Fubar knew the place after i described it so it was no problem.

I drank lots of beers and talked to lots of people. Everyone was really chill and friendly. Pretty much all the players who are haters and dont seem to like me very much didnt even come. I took lots of pictures and ate tons of food. Around the time the party was about to end, Jan finally showed up. However, they announced that they would extend the party there for the 2-zikai, so we decided to stay. The 2nd party would last until 5 am and was only 2000 yen for all you can drink! Thats like 5 hours of drinking for 2000 yen! I dont know if I have ever had a better value!

The 2nd party was more relaxed and low key. Maybe about 1/2 to 1/3 of the people from the original party stayed, which was still something like over 30 people. I drank lots of beer and whiskey. I was sitting next to FAB and Jan had a lot of questions for him since they are both Potemkin players so I helped Jan translate. One question that stood out that I remember was, Jan wanted to know how FAB got so good at slashbacking everything. FAB said that its all just straight up training mode time. He just does the most common block strings with each character and records it, and then practices slashing back certain parts of it that lead to advantageous situations. So, if you wanna slashback like FAB, hit up that training mode. Also, there were a bunch of top players sitting around me. I decided to just outright ask them something that I always sort of wondered. Since we were all drunk I figured they would give me on honest answer. I asked them what most of the top Japanese players REALLY think of my skill level. They said they honestly think I am a decent player but not quite on the same level as the best of the best, but they said they dont think I suck either. What they said was, If S tier was like Ogawa, and A tier was like JT or something, I was somewhere in between B and C tier and that I sorta tend to fluctuate depending on the day or something. I would have to agree with them that I am not as consistent as I would like to be. They, did say that I have shown a lot of improvement since I came to Japan and FAB told me he thinks I have gotten a lot better. So, its good to finally know where I stand in most of their opinions. I cant say I disagree with them. It just makes me want to step up my game and get even better.

The Russian players seemed to be having quite a good time. Goga was the most relaxed of the bunch and was just chillin. Robobobr passed out on the table sorta early. Overkill kept trying to give big toasts every few minutes lol! At some point Haken told me that they wanted to keep things low key so to sorta tell him to quiet down a bit. I know Overkill had good intentions though and thats just the way they do things in Russia. It was no big deal and everyone was having fun. Also, Overkill wanted to do some arm wrestling matches. I played him and won. He said my elbow was moving so we did it like 3 more times and I won each time. He was tough though. Then FAB fought overkill in arm wrestling and won too. His arm was probably tired from playing against me 4 times though. It might have been more even if they both played their first time. FAB is a pretty strong guy though it seems.

Around 5, the party ended and everyone headed out. Jan was staying with some Chinese players in Ikebukuro so he left, and the Russians had a place to stay too. I just found a manga kissa nearby and stayed there. This time it was much nicer than the one I stayed at the previous night.

On Sunday, I headed back to Makuhari Messe for the next day of SBO and TGS. On the way there, I was at Tokyo station and Andy told me he was on his way and was just a few minutes behind me, so I decided to wait for him. Then Emmet said he was just a few minutes behind Andy, so we then waited for Emmet. Both of them had work related stuff to do on Saturday, so they were unable to go to SBO yesterday.

We stopped at the Lawson before heading into the SBO venue and bought some whiskey and coke to make some drinks to enjoy watching the tournaments. When we arrived in the SBO venue, we were JUST in time for the start of the 3rd Strike top 4. Emmet's favorite game is 3rd Strike so he was happy about that. Im not gonna go into details about the 3S matches since everything has been reported already, but it was entertaining. I was rooting for Kokujin's team but they got 2nd unfortunately to MOV's team.

After 3s was over, we decided to walk around the TGS area. Andy wanted to buy a stick, so we went to the Sanwa booth but they were only selling parts and not full sticks. We checked out lots of cosplayers and I took lots of good pictures, so I will let the pictures describe themselves instead of typing about it. Also, Emmet and I tried out MvC3. I used Ammaterasu, Super Skrull, and Dante. The game felt kinda strange to me and Im not really sure how much I like it yet but I will keep an open mind. I cant really judge the game from playing one match when I hardly even know whats going on. I wanted to try Castlevania Lord of Shadows but by that time it was already like past 4 and they told me that they werent letting anyone else get in line since TGS closes down at 5.

After that, we headed back to the SBO area. We were just in time to watch top 4 for SFIV. Once again, all the results were posted already and im sure you already know them so I wont go into detail but in the end, Kindebu played really well and took out Daigo for the win. This resulted in RF (who was on Kindebu's team) to be the SBO champion of 2 games in the same year! Amazing!

Once it was over, everyone started to clear out. Andy, Emmet, Jan, and I decided to go to an Izakaya in Shinjuku to start off the drinking night and get some food. We stayed for a couple of hours and talked a lot about various things. It was fun.

After that, we headed to Current. It wasnt all that packed but there were people there. Nothing too noteworthy there happened that I can remember at this point but it was fun. It started to clear out later on at around maybe 2 or 3, so we then decided to just go to Roppongi. We took a cab there and ended up going to Gas Panic. Im not really a big fan of the place but it was ok I guess. Emmet realized that he left his backpack at Current and Chip was there earlier and was nice enough to bring Emmet's back pack all the way to Gas Panic since Chip lives in Roppongi. Chip is the man. Soon after, Emmet met hooked up with some random club girl and left with her. Jan, Andy, and I stayed a bit longer but eventually had enough, so we headed back to Shinjuku once the trains started running. When we got to Shinjuku, Andy decided to just head home. Jan went back to Ikebukuro. Jan still had no phone, so I just agreed to meet up with him at Mikado at around 4 pm. I stayed at my usual manga kissa.

On Monday (SBO weekend was a 3 day weekend), I woke up and headed towards Shinjuku station cuz I was gonna go to Akihabara. On my way to the station, I was walking and listening to my headphones and I felt someone tap me on the shoulder. I turned around and a cop stopped me. He asked me to show him my ID for no reason at all and said lots of "gaijin" (he didnt use the polite term "gaikokujin") have been walking around a lot lately without ID. I figured he was just trying to harass me and be a dick so I figured I might as well just show him my ID so he would leave me alone cuz provoking him would just make things worse. After I showed my ID, he just gave it back and I walked away. This is the first time ive had this happen as far as I can remember. From there, I went to Akihabara. I had a few hours to kill and still wanted to buy a new PS1/Ps2 stick since mine broke a while ago. I searched 10 different stores and finally found an old PS1 Hori stick at Sofmap for 2000 yen! What a deal!

After that, I headed to Mikado and got there like just around 4 exactly. I was dissapointed to see that the place was packed with GG players and that a tournament (I think it was a 4 on 4) was just ending. I had no idea about it. The final match was Ogawa vs Chonari and Ogawa won. I would have liked to enter but oh well, there will be other random Mikado tournaments so Ill live. Jan was there. We stayed and played a few games of casuals and then we headed out.

Today was the official Tougeki Foreign player farewell party, They run this every year but I couldnt go last year cuz I was sick. This time, it was held at the Enterbrain (the company that makes Arcadia and runs SBO) main building located in Iidabashi. It took us a bit of time to walk there but we eventually found it. The party was set up in their employee party room area. They had 2 whole tables full of Dominoes pizza and sushi and stuff, and they also had 2 giant coolers full of beer. The party was only 2ooo yen so it was totally worth it. They also had 3 setups (2 were running SSFIV and one was running KOF2k2UM). Most of the foreign SBO teams were there (except for the Russian GG players). I played various games of SSFIV. I was able to do well against some people and actually beat 2 players on the official SBO Kuwait team, much to my surprise. I money matched Marn for 500 yen just for shits and lost to his Dudley. I knew I would lose anyway since Marn mains that game and plays it all the time and stuff but I didnt care. Im not very good vs Dudley either yet but its all good. I would have loved to play some GG there but they didnt even have it there for whatever reason. I probably knocked back about 7 beers while we were there and ate tons of pizza. At around 8:15, Jan and I had to head out to go back to Gunma. Jan was gonna stay with me for a few days because he needed to save money on his trip and we were going to go to Nagoya together for NSB on Wednesday night. Right before we were about to leave, they were about to run a SSFIV tournament. I would have liked to enter for fun, but there was just no time, so we said bye to everyone and headed out.

The walk to the station was a bit far and we didnt want to miss the train so we were walking pretty fast, and it was hot out, so I sweated quite a bit. When we got on the train I was sitting next to some creepy guy who just kept muttering under his breath "kusai... kusai naa!" over and over, which basically means "it smells" or "it stinks." I did smell a little bad from sweating but it wasnt like the worst thing in the world. It was starting to piss me off cuz the guy was just saying it to himself over and over. Its like... either dont say anything at all, or say it to my face instead of just muttering it a zillion times. I eventually got sick of listening to him so I just turned to him and said in Japanese "I know, sorry" to sorta give him a neautural response to let him know I can understand him but without trying to seem like im starting something. After that, he shut the fuck up and eventually moved seats, which if I smelled so bad, I dont get why he didnt just move in the first place instead of fucking complaining about it forever.

We made it back to my place fine. The following day (Tuesday, Sept 21st) was my birthday. Im gonna go ahead and just cut this blog post off right here, because theres still tons to type about and I think this is more than enough text for anyone to want to read in one sitting. I will continue everything up throughout NSB and my trip to Nagoya in the next post. In any case, SBO weekend was pretty awsome and I had a lot of fun.