I may not have the raw disposable income to give away bees like Oprah, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things that I like. Maybe you know someone with similar tastes as me, maybe not. Either way here is a list of some things I am excited to own, or anticipate owning in the near future. They don’t all pertain to video games because, well, I have a life outside of video games, dammit!
First I want to start with my pink dualshock 3 controller. This has arguably been my favorite piece of gaming hardware this year. Its bright color makes it easy to find just about anywhere. I have a habit of going to get a drink or snack in the middle of gaming and placing my controller in random places. It’s like I am a sleepwalker, seriously, it’s fucking weird. But that bright pink stands out against just about any surface, unless of course you have a pink couch or something. (I don’t, though; what am I — a girl?)
Also the finish on the new generation of controllers feels much better in my hands than the first generation. I am not sure if it is matte or what, but whenever I am forced to use the dualshock 3 which was bundled with my PS3 it feels gross to me.
While we are on the topic of controllers, the Wii classic controller pro also pretty much made my year. If you know someone with a Wii, or about to get a Wii, definitely do them a favor and buy this for them:
Next up is an item every person needs: a calender for the new year. But this calendar is unique. It doesn’t show ferrets dressed up as people, or people dressed up as ferrets. It shows real photos of abandoned places in Japan. The photographer, Michael John Grist, has a blog where he publishes photos of his exploits exploring real ruins in Japan. The calender consists of 12 (13 if you count the cover) of these images. Check them out in fullscreen for the full effect:
I am not really sure who would be the best recipient of this as a gift, other than someone who doesn’t mind getting weird looks from co-workers (this guy). But I personally am fascinated by modern ruins and the thought of a world without humans. Anyone who played Fragile Dreams and loved it as much as I did will definitely enjoy this calender.
Next up is a couple of shows I have been enjoying. As I have mentioned before, I am not much of an anime fan, yet the past few weeks I have actually been watching and enjoying two different series. First was volume two of Toradora! and more recently, volume one of Our Home’s Fox Deity, both of which are localized by NIS America.
You can check out my review of Toradora! volume one here if you’ve never heard of the series. Our Home’s Fox Diety, for those who don’t know, is a series steeped in equal parts Japanese mythology, humor, and drama. It follows two brothers who happen to be direct descendants of a Japanese shaman bloodline. When a yokai threatens the younger of the two brothers, the family must ask an inari okami for assistance. Rather than sealing the inari okami away once more, the brothers decide to make it their guardian spirit, and thus they are introduced to the world of yokai.
The show is rather formulaic, at least in terms of episode structure: there will always be a bad guy who needs to get put in his place a la Team Rocket. There is a bit of school drama too, along with numerous side characters, but the tone of the show is never very serious making it enjoyable at least to me.
My favorite part about NIS anime collections is that there is no English dub option. This is one less step I have to go through every time I want to watch. Also, the nice packaging and bonus art book makes this a great gift. It’s a little more personal than downloading and burning shows, don’t you think? There is a sale on a bunch of NIS items, including the aforementioned series, which ends tomorrow, so now is your chance to grab these.
Next up is a brand I stumbled upon in LA for last year’s E3, called Aranzi Aronzo. I found one of their awesome mugs with two kappa and a fish sitting down to enjoy some tea and Foxes instantly purchased it. The way they are looking at you — it’s almost as if you’re disturbing a deep conversation about the different temperatures of ponds and how snapping turtles are total assholes.
I am in love with most everything in their tableware section at the moment, but really just about everything they sell is awesome. Expect about 1 to 2 weeks for delivery if you do order anything, but they can ship worldwide. The prices are fairly reasonable which is nice since shipping can get pricey for heavier items.
Next is a rare collection of promotional items made for the Pokémon centers throughout Japan called Pokémon Time:
There were plush dolls, keychain straps, stationary and more made featuring the adorable and simplified artwork. Most of them are tough to find now, but aside from an occasional eBay listing there is a site which does have some of the merchandise still available. It’s called Hardrock-Pokémon.com. I know — terrible name and the site is hideous, but you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone else who ships to the West. Here is a search for all their Pokémon Time merchandise. Personally I have my eyes on the Cubone mobile phone strap, because I really need another useless phone charm that I can’t attach to my iPhone.
Well there you have it — a collection of items recommended by me which have the potential to be great holiday gifts. I don’t have anything free to give you because I am poor (I can’t even afford fire ants let alone bees) but hopefully someone will find this information priceless. Happy Cyber Monday from Kotowari.org!