Tag Archives: Darth Vader

Pepsi…Vader or pirates?

4 Dec

Once again, Pepsi Japan is offering special collectors’ edition bottles and cans.

Starting last October 23rd (2012), Pepsi Japan started selling 「エナジーコーラ」 (“Energy Cola”) for a limited time in cans with an image of fire and Darth Vader from the Star Wars movies.

Energy Cola contains five ingredients that are meant to boost energy:
Royal jelly, argenine, asian ginseng, guarana extract and caffeine.

pepsi-vader

And in late November (2012), they began offering their NEX cola in bottles with images from the Japanese マンガ (manga comics) called “One Piece“.

pepsi-piece

Which would you choose?

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I like monsters

25 Aug

KISS has announced that they will release an album of all new songs sometime next year (2012) titled “Monster“.

KISS...still the hottest band in the world!

Ever since I was a kid I’ve always liked monsters.

When I watched the Disney cartoon “Peter Pan” as a child, for example, I didn’t care for Peter Pan or any of his friends. They were too “regular”.
Unlike Peter Pan with his pansy outfit and little knife, Captain Hook had a sword and a sharp hook instead of a hand.
(Admittedly though, Peter Pan could fly, which would be fun and Hook didn’t dress much better than Peter Pan.)
Captain Hook was the first movie character that frightened me…and even at that young age I enjoyed being frightened a bit.

Who cares about a practical prosthetic when you can have one that puts the fear of god in people?!

When I was a bit older, I saw Star Wars for the first time.  I was only seven years old when the first movie in the series was released, so I was a bit too young to fully understand the story.  But I still  enjoyed it a lot.  Especially when “Darth Vader” made his entrance!
Luke Skywalker was the hero…but Darth Vader stole every scene in was in.

The "Dark Side"

And of course I’ve always like the “traditional” monsters…Frankenstein’s Monster, The Werewolf, and Dracula.

And when I came to Japan, I learned about 妖怪 (Japanese monsters).

"Ge-ge-ge Kitaro" is Japanese cartoon inspired by traditional Japanese monster and ghost stories.

Even my favorite superhero character has always been “The Incredible Hulk“. He’s anger-incarnate. A huge pissed-off monster! The coolest of the superheroes.

Hulk will smash even Superman

Even the music I listen to reflects my interest in monsters.
I like heavy metal music. There’s a reason that the soundtracks to many horror movies are full of heavy metal music…heavy metal is to music as horror is to movies.

If you’re not interested in heavy metal, you may not know that that genre of music is further divided into sub-genres.
The sub-genre of metal music that I like the most is “Shock Rock“. It’s just as visual as it is musical. Shock Rock artist—such as KISS, W.A.S.P., Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie and Lordi—often look like monsters.

Alice Cooper

Anyways, as I mentioned at the top of this post, KISS will be releasing a new album soon.  The last time they they released a new album was about two years ago…it was titled “Sonic Boom“.

As I mentioned, KISS‘s new album will be titled “Monster“.  It’s an excellent album title…I can’t believe they haven’t used it before!

So far only five song titles have been confirmed by the band.  They are: “Hell Or Hallelujah”, “Born To Be A Sinner”, “Out Of This World”, “Are You Ready?”, and “Wall Of Sound”.

I’m looking forward to getting this album.

Famous fathers in pop culture

19 Jun

Today is 「父の日」 (Fathers Day).

My wife and daughters made a delicious Mexican dinner and gave me some new clothes for a Fathers Day present.
Wonderful gifts!

For my Fathers Day blog post, I thought I’d mention the first five famous fathers in pop culture that I thought of, whether they are fictional or “real”.

So, here’s my list (in no particular order):

Homer Simpson

The cartoon father figure of the American TV series “The Simpsons” is a selfish, clumsy, overweight, accident-prone father of three.
He works in a nuclear power plant but treats his responsibilities with the same importance as he does with everything else in his life…not much.

Despite all of his flaws, his family always supports him.

Archie Bunker

If you lived in America during the ’70s, then you surely know who Archie Bunker is.
He was the father figure on the popular (during the ’70s) American TV sit-com series.

On the surface, he seemed obnoxious, impatient and un-accepting of anyone different from himself. But, as much as he tried to hide it, he actually had a good heart and would stand up and help others.

Ozzy Osbourne

This is the only person on my list who isn’t a fictional character…but in many ways Ozzy Osbourne’s life has been “stranger than fiction”.

He was the original lead vocalist of the English heavy metal band “Black Sabbath” but had even more success as a solo artist after he was fired from the band he helped form.
He was infamous during the early years of his solo career for such antics as biting the heads off of a dove and a bat (on two separate occasions) and urinating on “The Alamo”, a landmark in the U.S. state of Texas (which got him banned from that state for over a decade).

In the early 2000’s, he (and most of his family) became more famous for their reality show on MTV titled “The Osbournes” about their unconventional family life.

Baka-bon-no-papa

The Japanese cartoon 「天才バカボン」 (“Tensai-Bakabon“) is actually named after the son, who is a foolish boy…but his father, simply called “Bakabon’s papa” is even dumber than his son and has become the most famous character in the Japanese comic book and TV cartoon series.

Darth Vader

The scene where Darth Vader revealed that he was Luke Skywalker's father.

Darth Vader has always been my favorite Star Wars character. He made a big impression when I was seven years old and saw him for the first time.
It was also quite a shock when I was ten and Darth Vader said “Luke, I am your father!”.

—-
What famous pop culture fathers can you think of?

(And, to my own father…Happy fathers day.)

Who is my boss?

28 Apr

On the train today, I noticed a new ad for DoCoMo, one of the main cell-phone service providers in Japan (and probably the biggest).

This poster had a picture of Darth Vader of “Star Wars” pointing and asking “Who is my boss?“.

The ad doesn’t say much more than that, so I was wondering what it was about. Will DoCoMo be releasing a new “Darth Vader” themed phone? And what does it mean by “who is my boss?”?

So I checked the website and it doesn’t tell much either.
But the site has an interesting application…you can enter your name on the site (but it must be entered in Japanese カタカナ (katakana)) and then it will show a movie of Darth Vader walking around Tokyo saying how he’s searching for his “boss” and then he encounters billboards and flyers with a picture of himself and the name you entered on it (but the name is shown written in alphabet letters even though it requires you enter your name is Japanese characters).
And then Darth Vader will say your name and then tell you that you’re not his boss.
When I did it, it said that I wasn’t his boss and that his boss is more 「美しい」 (“beautiful”) than me!

At the end it has a countdown til 2010 May 11 (Japan time) which is the day that Darth Vader’s “boss” will be revealed.

Darth Vader searching for his "boss" in Tokyo

Darth Vader saw a billboard that said that I ("Tokyo Five") am his boss!

On 2010 May 11, DoCoMo will reveal who Darth Vader's boss is.

Read my other “Darth Vader in Japan”-related posts:
The “Star Wars Convention Japan”,
Star Wars chopsticks,
the Star Wars Pachinko machine, and
my Star Wars postal stamps.

日本の食卓へ!

21 Aug

I saw an online ad for 「ライトセーバーチョップスティック」 (“Lightsaber Chopsticks“)!

Star Wars "Light-saber Chopsticks"

Star Wars "Light-saber Chopsticks"

They come in red “Darth Vader” lightsaber, blue “Luke Skywalker” lightsaber, and green “Yoda” lightsaber.
The red and blue ones are 230mm “adult size” and the green pair are 200mm “child size” chopsticks.

The ad says 「日本の食卓へ!」 (“(Coming) to dinner tables in Japan!”).

I’m not a big enough of a “Star Wars” fan to buy something like this. I prefer to use normal (chopsticks).

Hollywood inspired by Tokyo

7 Aug

Over the years, Hollywood has remade many Japanese movies and also made original movies that were inspired by Japan.

Here’s a list of some of them that I thought of. Tell me if you can think of others that I may have forgotten.

First, HOLLYWOOD REMAKES OF JAPANESE MOVIES:

  • U.S. remake: “Gatchaman
    Gatchaman (scheduled for release in 2011)

    Gatchaman (scheduled for release in 2011)

    Japanese Translation Of US Title: 「ガッチャマン」 (Gacchaman)

    Original Japanese movie: 「科学忍者隊ガッチャマン」 (Science Ninjas: Gacchaman)

    科学忍者隊ガッチャマン

    科学忍者隊ガッチャマン

    (Click here to see my “Gatchaman” stamps.)

  • U.S. remake: “Astro Boy
    Astro Boy

    Astro Boy

    Japanese Translation Of US Title: 「アトム」 (ATOM)

    Original Japanese movie: 「鉄腕アトム」 (Powerful Atom)

    鉄腕アトム

    鉄腕アトム

  • U.S. remake: “HACHI: A Dog’s Story
    HACHI: A Dog's Story (release date 2009 Aug 8)

    HACHI: A Dog's Story (release date 2009 Aug 8)

    Japanese Translation Of US Title: 「HACHI: 約束の犬」 (Hachi: A Faithful Dog)

    Original Japanese movie: 「ハチ公物語」 (Hachiko’s Story)

    ハチ公物語

    ハチ公物語

    (Click here to read another post I wrote about this movie).

  • U.S. remake: “Shall We Dance?
    Another US remake of a Japanese movie starring Richard Gere.

    Another US remake of a Japanese movie starring Richard Gere.

    Japanese Translation Of US Title: 「Shall We ダンス?」 (Shall We Dance?)

    Original Japanese movie: 「Shall We ダンス?」 (Shall We Dance?)

    shall-we-dance-j

  • U.S. Remake: “The Ringring-usJapanese Translation Of US Title: 「ザ・リング」 (The Ring)
    Original Japanese movie: 「リング」 (Ring)ring-j
  • U.S. remake: “The GrudgegrudgeJapanese Translation Of US Title: 「The Juon」
    Original Japanese movie: 「呪怨」 (Juon (Grudge))

    grudge-j

  • U.S. remake: “Dark Waterdark-waterJapanese Translation Of US Title: 「ダーク・ウォーター」 (Dark Water)
    Original Japanese movie: 「仄暗い水の底から」 (Dark Water From Below)dark-water-j
  • U.S. remake: “Last Man Standinglast-man-standingJapanese Translation Of US Title: 「ラスト・マン・スタンディング」 (Last Man Standing)
    Original Japanese movie: 「用心棒」 (The Bodyguard)youjinbo
  • U.S. remake: “A Fistful Of DollarsfistfulJapanese Translation Of US Title: 「荒野の用心棒」 (The Bodyguard Of The Wilderness)
    Original Japanese movie: 「用心棒」 (The Bodyguard)youjinbo
  • U.S. remake: “The BodyguardbodyguardJapanese Translation Of US Title: 「ボディガード」 (Bodyguard)
    Original Japanese movie: 「用心棒」 (The Bodyguard)youjinbo
  • Eight Beloweight-belowJapanese Translation Of US Title: 「南極物語」 (South Pole Story)
    Original Japanese movie: 「南極物語」 (South Pole Story)

    nankyoku_monogatari

  • Magnificent Sevenmagnificent-sevenJapanese Translation Of US Title: 「荒野の七人」 (Seven Men Of The Wilderness)
    Original Japanese movie: 「七人の侍」 (Seven Samurai)seven-samurai
  • DragonballdragonballJapanese Translation Of US Title: 「ドラゴンボール」 (Dragonball)
    Original Japanese movie: 「ドラゴンボール」 (Dragonball)

    dragonball-j

    (Click here to see an earlier post I wrote about this movie).

  • Speed Racerspeed-racerJapanese Translation Of US Title: 「マッハGOGOGO!」(Mach GoGoGo!)
    Original Japanese movie: 「マッハGOGOGO!」(Mach GoGoGo!)

    speed-racer-j

  • GodzillagodzillaJapanese Translation Of US Title: 「ゴジラ」 (Godzilla)
    Original Japanese movie: 「ゴジラ」 (Godzilla)

    godzilla-j

    (Click here to see an earlier post I wrote about this movie).

—-

And, HOLLYWOOD MOVIES THAT WERE INSPIRED BY JAPAN:

  • Gung-Ho!
  • Gung-Ho!

    Gung-Ho!

  • The Karate Kid
    karate-kid

    「ベスト・キッド」 (The Karate Kid)

    (Click here for my post about this movie).

  • Lost In Translation
    lost-in-trans

    Lost In Translation

  • Ramen Girl
    ramen-girl

    Ramen Girl

    (Click here for my post about this movie).

  • Mr. Baseball

    Mr. Baseball

    Mr. Baseball

  • Toxic Avenger II

    Toxic Avenger Part II

    Toxic Avenger Part II

  • Sgt. Kabukiman, N.Y.P.D.

    Sgt. Kabukiman, N.Y.P.D.

    Sgt. Kabukiman, N.Y.P.D.

  • Star Wars

    Star Wars

    Star Wars

  • Memoirs Of A Geisha

    Memoirs Of A Geisha

    「SAYURI」 (Memoirs Of A Geisha)

  • Last Samurai

    Last Samurai

    Last Samurai

  • Ronin

    Ronin

    Ronin

  • Fast And Furious 3: Tokyo Drift
    「ワイルド・スピード」 (Fast & Furious) 3: Tokyo Drift

    「ワイルド・スピード」 (Fast & Furious) 3: Tokyo Drift

    Also, I just found this “Pixar ‘Cars’ X ‘Tokyo Drift’“:

  • Black Rain

    Black Rain

    Black Rain

  • Blade Runner

    Blade Runner

    Blade Runner

  • Austin Powers: Goldmember

    Austin Powers 3: Goldmember

    Austin Powers 3: Goldmember

  • The Simpsons: 30 Minutes Over Tokyo
    (It’s not a movie…just one episode of a weekly U.S. TV show. But I wanted to include it since the characters go to Japan. And it’s funny.)

    The Simspons "Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo"

    The Simspons "Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo"

  • American Yakuza

    American Yakuza

    American Yakuza

  • The Hunted

    The Hunted

    The Hunted

  • Rising Sun

    Rising Sun

    Rising Sun

KISS パチンコ

28 Dec

As I’ve mentioned a few times on this blog (for example: here and here), I’m a big fan of the American rock band KISS.

(By the way, I wrote a post about the Japanese KISS-related movie called Detroit Metal City (click here) last August and it’s still the most popular post on my blog!)

Well, I just found out that a new KISS パチンコ (pachinko) machine has debuted here in Japan.

kiss

パチンコ (pachinko) is a Japanese game that can be compared to a vertical pinball machine…with many small balls played simultaneously rather than just one larger ball. And unlike pinball, the object is to get the balls into certain holes at the right time. And, unlike pinball, パチンコ (pachinko) can also be compared to a slot machine in that there’s a payout…albeit the jackpot is more BB balls rather than money (due to anti-gambling laws), but the balls are exchanged for prizes (and then “sold” for money). It’s a loophole in the law, and the only reason for the popularity of パチンコ(pachinko).

I’ve already written a post about パチンコ (pachinko)…(click here to see it).

I’ve played パチンコ (pachinko) a few times…I’m not a big fan of the game—especially since I usually lose and the parlors are noisy and smokey from all the smokers (but recently, many パチンコ (pachinko) parlors have begun enforcing “No Smoking” rules to lure more customers)—but if I happen to see a parlor advertising that they have the new KISS パチンコ (pachinko) machine, I may go inside and try it out! Just because it’s KISS.

Wanna see the website for the KISS パチンコ (pachinko) machine? It’s in 日本語 (Japanese)…but it has a cool Flash® intro.

Click here to visit the KISS パチンコ (pachinko) website.

パチンコ (pachinko) machines, like pinball machines, usually have a theme…and it’s often something from pop-culture. Usually it’s Japanese pop-culture…but sometimes, like the KISS パチンコ (pachinko) machine, it’s from Western culture.

Another example (that may interest a friend of mine whose a big Star Wars fan), is the fairly new Darth Vader パチンコ (pachinko) machine.

darth1

I guess the machine’s full name is 「Fever STAR WARS ダース・ベイダー降臨」 (“Fever STAR WARS: Darth Vader’s Arrival“).

It has a 日本語 (Japanese) website with a Flash® intro, too. Click here to see it.