Friday, December 11, 2009

Iwate Swan 19: Christmas 2009

(Iwate Swan 19: Christmas 2009)

Enjoy the last episode of Iwate Swan this year! I will return in January after a lovely visit home to continue the series. It has been a fun ride thus far, and I am looking forward to more adventures in the new year. I hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday season, and I wish all my viewers nothing but the best.

The long distance count down is now a mere 6 days. This time next week I will be with my girlfriend and I could not be happier. We've really made it darling :)


Friday, December 4, 2009

Iwate Swan 18: Autumn Reflections

(Iwate Swan 18: Autumn Reflections)

Super sized episode that features everything from christmas card shopping to bathroom construction. A lot of these were nice moments, but not enough for a whole video. Plus, though I like my shorter videos better, I think it is good to release a longer one every once in a while too.

Got one more episode coming out next week and then I will be going on break as I return to the US for a few weeks.

Only 13 days to go until I am home and with my girlfriend! That is only 1 week and 6 days!!! I am so excited!!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Iwate Swan 17: Marukan Department Store

(Iwate Swan 17: Marukan Department Store)

So I am back to finish off November with another Christmas Shopping episode. This time I went to the famous Marukan Department Store and I had some incredible ice cream there. Apologies for this video being half a day late haha, we had a staff party last night so I was quite busy.

Only 19 days to go until I'm back home for break and I can be with my girlfriend! Less than 3 weeks to go! I'm getting really antsy now, but I don't have too much longer to wait....

see you next time!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Iwate Swan 16: Book Market

(Iwate Swan 16: Book Market)

Wow, so it is already Friday night here again in Iwate so that means it is time to release a new Iwate Swan video. This is my first of two Christmas shopping videos, with next week showcasing a larger store in town. Still, I think this is a neat look into a very common, everyday sort of shop found all throughout Japan. Currently working on the first episode to come out in December (it is being shot like the Halloween one, so the footage comes from several different days), and then I have one more video to shoot before heading home for a few weeks.

My long distance relationship countdown is now down to just 27 days! That is less than 4 weeks to go! I have my night bus ticket to get into Tokyo, and so I am all set for my flight home. It will be amazing to see my girlfriend again, and I am sure winter break will be nothing short of spectacular.

Ok, well hope everyone is doing well! See you next week for another shopping episode....


Friday, November 13, 2009

Iwate Swan 15: Agricultural School Festival

(Iwate Swan 15: Agricultural School Festival)
I was sad to see another one of my schools cancel their school festival, but the agricultural school decided to soldier on despite everyone getting sick with the flu. It was a really fun time and I hope you guys enjoy the inside look at this school festival!

The long distance count down until I can see my girlfriend again is now down to only 34 days! Monday I have a seminar in the capital and I will be purchasing my night bus ticket to get to Narita Airport next month. I think when I return in January I will be in Tokyo for a few days to meet up with some Japanese friends which should be nice. Everything is coming together!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Iwate Swan 14: Sports Park

Iwate Swan 14: Sports Park

So I found a giant park behind my house and it is great for taking a walk haha. The seasons are changing and I am gearing up for a cold winter here in Iwate. I've actually been a bit sick lately, but my trip to the local doctor's office got me some medicine to take and I am hoping that I will be 100% recovered soon, as right now all the icky cold symptoms seem to be coming and going by the hour.

Well, life is never boring here that's for sure. In long distance news, the countdown is now at 41 short days before I see my lady friend again. Getting closer...


Friday, October 30, 2009

Iwate Swan 13: Halloween 2009

Iwate Swan 13: Halloween 2009

So here is the special Halloween video I have been shooting all throughout the month of October. An inside look at Halloween displays, as well as a nice shout out for the goosebumps books I have received in the mail from my subscribers. As an extra bonus, there's even some footage of me at one of my schools showing off my English language bulletin board. All in all, a fairly nice episode.

Only 48 days to go until I am back home and see my girlfriend again! Wow, lower double digits now! Less than 7 weeks to go!

see you next time!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Iwate Swan 12: Grocery Shopping

Iwate Swan 12: Grocery Shopping

So here's this week's episode. It focuses on what grocery shopping is like for me in Japan, so enjoy all of the shots of the local grocery store in my town haha. It is also kind of interesting to hear about my budget and how much all of this food costs.

Also, there is a big thank you to the initial response to my plea for goosebumps books haha. Since then, I've received NINE books in the mail already, so I am quite happy that my subscribers are so awesome! Thank you so much!

The Halloween episode will be next week. I was planning on doing another J-Shelf for then, but I'm not sure if I'll have the time to do so now. Hmm. Making two videos a week is proving to be more difficult than I thought it would be, but we shall see.

Also, only 55 days till I am home and with my girlfriend! Oh that will be lovely haha.

see you next time!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Iwate Swan 11: Castle Cow Tongue

Iwate Swan 11: Castle Cow Tongue

So here is this week's Iwate Swan video, it is the second video of my adventures in Sendai with my friend Luke. It was a lot of fun to shoot this video and the previous one, and I am looking forward to seeing Luke again next month to hopefully create another fun video together. Anyways, I hope you guys enjoy it.

Down to 62 days to go until I'm back home! That is less than 9 weeks now! Single Digit Weeks! Hurray!!!

Also, J-Shelf is probably going into a biweekly schedule now, so the next one will be out before Halloween I think.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

J-Shelf 4: Comica

J-Shelf 4: Comica

so here's this week's j-shelf, it is all about one of my favorite sakamoto albums out of his very impressive discography.

might start doing j-shelf every other week now, if the views continue to decrease on these. i have one planned for the week of halloween, so perhaps i will go into a biweekly schedule with these. Iwate Swan videos will continue to come out once a week.

64 days to go until I see my girlfriend! hurray :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Iwate Swan 10: Oktoberfest

Iwate Swan 10: Oktoberfest

This week's episode sees me meeting up with my good friend Tokyo Luke! It's been over 14 months since the last time I saw him, and it was great to meet up and chat about how life has been and how we are settling into our new jobs in japan. Next week's episode also takes place in Sendai, as I shot so much footage over the time I was there, that I had to make 2 videos hah. Yes, the request for goosebumps books at the end of the video is real. Generous souls can send me a private message or shoot me an email.

In long distance relationship news, I am now out of the seventies and down to 69 days to go! Over half way done!!! Next week, I enter into single digit weeks remaining, as right now there is just under 10 weeks to go. Nice!


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

J-Shelf 3: The Housekeeper and the Professor

J-Shelf: The housekeeper and the Professor

Hey gang, so I just put up this week's J-Shelf video, which is a review of Ogawa Yoko's "The Housekeeper and the Professor" book. Very nice story, and I recommend you give it a read. Curious to see how this video will do, I've noticed a decline in views of my videos since the debut of this series, so I wonder if it is stretching out my audience a bit thin? Hmm.

Today I am right in the middle of my distance from seeing my girlfriend! Tomorrow I will be more than 50% done with this stretch of distance! From July 29-Dec 17th..... tomorrow I begin my descent down the proverbial mountain as I fly into her open arms. Ahh, such a nice feeling. 71 days to go!


Sunday, October 4, 2009

October Update

Hey gang, so October has now been underway for a few days and I am getting into the excitement of Halloween (which is my favorite holiday!). I have been decorating my house with little Halloween goodies and I hope to get many more before the spooktacular 31st of the month.

(My current Halloween display next to my TV!)

Today, I spent my Sunday making and editing videos. I filmed and edited this week’s J-Shelf together, and it is a review of a book by a Japanese author. Pretty good stuff, and to make the video a bit more interesting I set it to a bunch of pictures that I have taken while in this country. It’s a relaxing video, so I like it. I also edited together episode 10 of Iwate Swan! I really can’t believe that episode 10 is already going up this week! This series is moving along so quickly! Anyways, the new one going up features Tokyo Luke (or now, as he is better know, “Sendai Luke”) and it is a pretty fun episode.

Going to go grocery shopping in a bit (which will probably be the subject of a new video in a few weeks actually), and I shall start filming the Halloween episode soon.

74 days to go until I see my girlfriend! I have been really upbeat and happy about things lately. Later this week we will be more than halfway done with this longest stretch of time and distance! Just need to keep up this optimism and keep having a good time!

Hope everyone is doing well!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Iwate Swan 9: Hanamaki Festival

Iwate Swan 9: Hanamaki Festival

Hey gang, so here is this week's Iwate Swan episode. I got to help out and carry one of the portable shrines in Hanamaki's City Festival. This is a pretty big festival where people from all over Iwate come to scope it out. Carrying the shrine was a lot of hard work (man was it heavy!) but it was such a great experience to be involved in this very traditional Japanese experience. Hope you guys enjoy the video!

In other news, 75 days to go until I am back home to see my girlfriend! More time has passed, and that number just keeps getting smaller and smaller and smaller and....


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

J-Shelf 2: Phantasy Star Online

Phantasy Star Online

So the J-Shelf is out this week taking a look at Phantasy Star Online for the sega dreamcast, as wel as looking back at the entire phantasy star franchise.

In other news... it is October tomorrow! Going to start work on a special Halloween episode of Iwate Swan soon, and I think I have all the October videos planned out. Quite amazing how ahead of schedule I am this time around haha.

In Long Distance Relatinship news, things are going great! 78 days to go! Wow, I don't know about you, but that number is sounding much smaller these days. I will reach (and pass) the half way point of this longest stretch away from my girlfriend next week! Of course, that makes me all smiles. Roll on Dec. 17th!

Ok, new Iwate Swan up hopefully on Friday. Until then, take it easy and we'll see you next time.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Iwate Swan 8: High School Culture Festival

Hey gang, so this week's Iwate Swan video is now up. It provides the first look at one of the schools I work at during a school festival. It was quite a lot of fun and I loved getting to see the students having such a good time.

(Iwate Swan 8: High School Culture Festival)

Strange how episode 8 of Tokyo Swan was a school festival video as well. Here's that old video from nearly 2 years ago:

(Tokyo Swan 8: Yagami Festival)

Fun to see how things have changed. I still can't get over how young I like in those old Tokyo Swan episodes hah.

Ok, well time to make dinner and then chat with my lady friend on skype which should be very nice. 83 days to go! The number is getting smaller and smaller yet again heh. Have a good one everyone, new iwate swan and j-shelf videos next week! Who knows, maybe I'll make a regular blog post in here too besides just alerting readers of my new videos haha.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

J-Shelf 1: Densha Otoko

(J-Shelf 1: Densha Otoko)

Hey gang, so I started a new video series in the vein of the j-horror reviews but open to movies, music, toys, games, food and basically anything from japan. This first episode is about the Densha Otoko (train man) film. I love the movie, and I really recommend everyone check it out if they haven't already. There's a load of good train man stuff out there, so give it a look!

Truth be told, the inspiration for this video can be related back to my last post. I needed to find ways to keep busy and keep myself happy here while away from my girlfriend, so I figured I love video editing, so adding an extra video a week sounded like a great idea. It really is relaxing for me to edit the videos. Truth be told I enjoy that far more than filming videos haha.

Today has been a great day, work was awesome and I put up an English language bulletin board at work. I got a letter in the mail from Rebecca, and I also received a big box of winter clothes and other goodies from my parents. Nice!

Ok, well hope everyone is doing well! New Iwate Swan should hopefully be out tomorrow. Just waiting on the music now haha. Until then, take it easy and see you next time!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Long Distance: 8 weeks down.

Hey gang, so today i've gone 8 weeks now since the last time I saw my girlfriend. as many of you know, i've moved out to japan to teach english for a year, and the job has been going great. These first 2 months or so have been good for the most part, but I am worried that I am starting to see potential issues rise up now so I need some massive help and advice before these get too intense.

I video chat with my girlfriend on skype 2 times a day usually, when i wake up at 6:30 am (so it's 5:30 pm the previous day in boston), and at 7:00 pm here (6:00 am in the morning there). I find that when I go a day without talking it gets really difficult and I miss her like crazy. In japan, we have been on a 5 day national holiday, and i went away to visit a friend i had not seen in 14 months. He was a 3 hour train ride away, and we had a blast...but while I was planning to stay 2 nights i got so sad about missing my SO that i cut the visit a little short and left in the afternoon of the second day there so I wouldn't go another night without hearing her voice.

so, i can feel that I am being needy...and that scares me. she is also getting much busier in grad school, and i can see her being more tired and stressed out, as now she is in her 5th week of classes. so i'm trying to take her schedule into account, but i am getting the feeling that she will become too busy for me. While I don't want to detract from her studies or her sleep, I know I get sad when I can not talk with her. This time difference is so difficult, and this distance is so vast, that it really is quite the hurdle.

Trying to stay positive, as I believe being positive is the best course of action I can take, I know that we've already gotten through 8 weeks, and I know that in 85 days now I will see her again (in which we already have our tickets and everything purchased and ready).

However, she brought up last night that for her M.A. program she wants to take an intensive language lab from june 25- august 13th in which she would not have access to the internet for that entire time. when she told me about the idea, it honestly scared me because i know right now going just a day is hard for me. I told her, and i sincerely ment it, that i support her 100% in what she does and that this would be a great opportunity and really help her when she applies for her ph.d. In many ways, it is similar to the short term/ long term question we had when i came out here to japan. crap in the short term, but will help our future together in the long term.

but, when she brought it up, she could tell something was wrong. i tried explaining to her that i 110% understand and support her, but being honest it scares me and it will be tough. hopefully by then, i will be stronger and the distance will nearly be done. i talked with her a bit just now, and i made sure to bring up all of these i think we need to be honest with one another. i asked if she thought i was becoming clingy, and she paused and said that she feels there are times when i can be, but it hasn't gotten to a point where it has bothered her. i wish i could have shown her more support for her idea, she said she was upset that when she told me about it i wasn't enthusiastic, but i guess right now it just feels so hard.

when i have work, i feel fulfilled and busy, but when i have free time i don't know what to do. i have met other foreigners here, but they all seem to want to spend money on going out and drinking, and i am trying to save up for life next year with my girlfriend. i just feel so alone right now, and being seperated from my girlfriend, my family, and my friends back home is taking its toll on me. Any advice on what to do? is this a normal phase? will i get stronger? how can i show her that i support her in everything she does, just as she has always shown her support for me? any advice would be great, i really don't want this relationship to be hurt by the distance. the thought of messing this up just tears me up inside, so i really need some help. thanks!


Friday, September 18, 2009

Iwate Swan 7: Saturday Shopping

Hey gang, so this week's Iwate Swan video is out. It is a shopping video, and I hope you enjoy. This is a longer episode, I don't normally like my videos to get this long, but I thought the content was pretty good and justified the longer length.

Going to Sendai over the break here to visit Tokyo Luke! That should be really fun, I haven't seen him in over a year now. So, that will of course be filmed and I am thinking that video will come out in early October (as the next 2 videos are already filmed).

So now I'm down to 91 days until I go back home for winter break and see my girlfriend. From 141 days to 91... wow that number is just getting smaller and smaller! Actually it was going to be 148 days at first, then it was 143 days for a while, but we got the plane tickets and arranged for me to return earlier than we originally planned... nice haha.

Well, I am just listening to Pet Shop Boys here and enjoying a nice evening in (as usual). Another work week done, and now silver week is upon us. Hope everyone is doing well. More updates to come soon. Probably more musings on how time is passing and how I am doing in my long distance relationship haha. It helps to just release the feelings out into the open. But things are great and we are stronger than ever. Amazing how this experience has colored my life in Japan this time around. More on that in a later blog (and video).

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The world we live in and life in general.

Hey gang, so it's been quite some time since I've updated this again, but as anybody following my exploits on youtube knows I have indeed made it back to japan again. So now I am up north in Iwate-ken and working as an assistant language teacher in three high schools and a board of education. The work has been great thus far, and I am really enjoying myself.

I guess I just needed to write some things that are on my mind however and just air out some emotions floating through my mind. I miss my girlfriend like crazy. I know, I didn't really transition into that thought all that well haha, but that probably better shows the impact of the emotions behind that statement. Being apart from her has been the most difficult thing I've ever gone through, and while I never doubt the strength of our relationship or our feelings for one another, I do get sad about not being able to see her for such a long period of time. Although, now I have my plane ticket to be back in michigan for winter break on Dec. 17th, so as of right now that is 94 days away.

I just can't wait to see her again and be able to hold her and laugh together. It will be so nice to spend time with her family again, and it will be great to have her spend more time with my family as well. Winter break is going to be amazing, and I have been counting down the days since the moment I had to say good bye to her on july 29th. Even thinking about it now tears me up.

But time is going by, and at times it feels like it is going by quickly. I mean already half way through september now, so that is pretty good progress. I can't wait to see her again.

Ok, well this post was rather personal haha. Time to go to bed as I have another day of work tomorrow. Time to wake up one day closer to the most amazing girl in the universe....

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Michigan Swan: Anime Convention 2009

Hey gang, so today I went to an anime convention known as 'JAFAX' which is held at Grand Valley State University. It was my second time going there, and I had a lot of fun. Anyways, this will probably be the only video of me dressed up as a character to from pokemon... so enjoy it haha!

Michigan Swan: Anime Convention 2009

About a month till I head back to Japan. Should be hearing about my exact placement in Iwate soon. I just sent in my contract agreement, and I was told once they receive that I'll be getting much more information. Exciting times!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

J-Horror: Best and Worst

Here at last is the 50th installment of my 'Swan's Japanese Horror Reviews' video series with my 'Best and Worst of J-horror.' It's been a long time coming, and for a while there I wasn't sure if I would make it to 50 episodes of this! But, here it is for all of the world to see!

Best and Worst of J-horror

As for what the future holds in regards to these videos, that's hard to say. I can't see myself making any more of these before heading out to Japan in a month, and when I get to Japan I assume I'm going to be so swamped with my new job that I won't have time to make more review videos. I think that this is a good video to stop the series for now, but I'm not saying it will go away forever. There have been long patches of silence before, so one day the reviews may indeed return. Besides, I never did review the Tomie series...there's so much more to talk about!

Enjoy the video! As for me, I'm just living life and getting ready to go back to Japan. I do have to say, that I've been having some amazing times lately thanks to my terrific lady friend. Can't wait to see her again on Tuesday. God, I'm a lucky guy these days and I know it.... Anyways, that's all from me gang.. see you next time!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Michigan Swan: Slice of Fun

Hey gang, so I had some time this morning to upload the new Michigan Swan special. I visited a local pizza/arcade place with my friends rob and rupe (last seen in the tokyo gore police review) for some food and fun. Today, I was thinking about making a more serious special episode before I head out to Japan to sort of sum up what the last year has been like, and to look towards the future. That may take priority over the j-horror stuff, but I recognize I really need to make the 50th episode of that (which will probably also now be the last one for some time again). Again, everything is up in the air, but we'll see. More to come....

Michigan Swan: Slice of Fun

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Life is Good.

Back with another update. I'll try and have the Michigan Swan special up tomorrow night I think. I still haven't filmed anything for future videos... and I'm not sure when I'll get the time to do so actually. We'll see. In other news, in the ever twisting and turning journey of life, I have to say that some recent adventures have led to great and happy times and that everything is in its right place and I'm very happy. Life is good.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Coming Up

Hey gang, been very busy lately so I haven't been able to make any videos or update this in the past week hah. Things are good, and life is taking priority over video making. However, having said that the special 'michigan swan' episode will be up I think tomorrow morning... or possibly tonight. Not sure. I haven't started work on the 50th j-horror special.... and I'll be out of town for the next few days. I have a meeting with JET for the japan teaching job this saturday... so I'm not quite sure when I'll have time to film or edit anything for a good while. Anyways, we'll see. More updates to come!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tokyo Gore Police!

Tokyo Gore Police Review

The 49th installment of Swan's Japanese Horror Reviews is upon us with my review of Tokyo Gore Police. This over the top piece of cult cinemas required the help of two of my friends to act as guest co-hosts, as I was really curious how others would react to the intense and over the top blood and gore of the film. I'm quite pleased with how this review turned out, and next week's special episode of Michigan Swan will also feature these two guys. It was a lot of fun making these videos! I think I enjoy editing videos more than actually being in them. I much more enjoy that stage of production.

Enjoy the review, and see you next week!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Lento's Movie Reviews

One of my good friends on Youtube, Lento, has been making a lot of great videos and I wanted to share his latest one here with you. Much like myself, he has been reviewing cult Japanese cinema with his latest review being the great Battle Royale.

Lento's Movie Reviews: Battle Royale

He's a really cool guy, very much into the horror genre of films in Japan, and he's actually a quite talented horror writer himself. So, give him a look and subscribe, he's a super nice guy! I enjoy spreading the good word about other youtube members on here (variety is the spice of life, or so the old saying goes).

As for my own reviews, the review of Tokyo Gore Police I think will come out Wednesday. Till then.... see you next time!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

J-Vlogger Wars

so the grand finale in TokyoBrando's J-vlogger wars is upon us. 8 very talented j-vloggers left, and all of them worthy of your vote for 'the number 1 vlogger in japan.' Personally, I vote for TkyoSam as of course he has always been a good friend since I met him in Japan. Go on and vote!

J-Vlogger Wars Finale

In other news, I had a very fun night with my friends last night and I look forward to more fun times in the summer before heading back to Japan!

In Japan with the great Tkyosam.

See you next time!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Swan's Japanese Horror Reviews 48: Isola

The latest review is now up. It's about the 2000 film 'isola.' Enjoy the review:

Isola Review

Going to spend time with some friends later tonight, so that should be fun. The next review will be out in the middle of next week. Until then, hope everyone is enjoying the summer... I know it's been good to me. See you next time!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cleaning the Room

To prepare myself for my move back to Japan, I have started to clean out my room. I spent a good 4 hours or so just going through all of my shelves and drawers removing any old items that I dont' really want/need anymore. How did I have so much pokemon stuff???? I mean, I remember buying some pokemon toys years ago.... but not as much as I found. Then I realized that my younger brothers had placed all of their old pokemon toys in my closet so I had in my room the sum total of 3 pokemon collections. Yikes.

Today, I'll probably clean out a little bit more, then it's off to do some tutoring work. Right now I'm watching some various youtube videos. In particular I've been watching TokyoBrando (an up and coming guy on his way to Japan) and Betamax DC (a very cool guy already in Japan). Brando has been posting videos where people vote for their favorite j-vlogger on youtube, and although I sadly lost in the first round haha (though it was to tkyosam a very good friend of mine), I've enjoyed watching these little videos and voting. Betamax DC recently had a great observations about Tokyo video, so here are their videos below. Enjoy!

TokyoBrando: J-vlogger semi finals

Betamax DC: 10 Observations about Tokyo 5

Good stuff! see you next time!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Michigan Swan

So I was up till 3 editing together a special mighican swan episode of me and 2 of my buddies. Just added a few final touches to it now, and I'm really happy with how it turned out! Of course, I don't want to flood my youtube channel with a bunch of videos all at once, so I'll have to hold back on releasing this one. So that makes the following videos done and ready to post:
Horror Review 48
Horror Review 49
Michigan Swan Special

2 Videos were filmed on this day...

I've started a little work on the 51st review, and I've done a lot of mental work thinking about how to go aobut doing the 50th review. Anyways, I'm super pleased with how the videos are turning out, so I just wanted to let everyone know that some really great stuff is on the way. In other news, 2 months until Japan! I'd like the current review and the read real japanese videos to get more views and comments, just have to give it more time now I think. Anyways, back again soon with more updates and news!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Read Real Japanese!

Wow, I've been working on a ton of different youtube videos lately. Today, I filmed, edited, and released a new 'read real japanese' video.

Read Real Japanese!

Kind of out of character for me to release a 'how to' video, in fact, i've mostly been against these sorts of things to be honest. But I really wanted to talk about the read real japanese book as I honestly think it's a great buy and will really help people trying to study japanese. As long as the video doesn't come across as pompous then I'm ok with it. Perhaps more of these videos will follow.

Filmed the Tokyo Gore Police video today as well... and I edited that for a few hours. That's actually review 49 and 48 will come out later this week. I'm really getting ahead of myself, but I've been having so much fun editing stuff together. I also filmed a special michigan swan episode... but I haven't looked at all the footage yet. Should just be a fun silly video though.

Anyways, tons of great videos on the way!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mega May Update Post!

Hey gang, so the month of may saw a huge increase in my video output on youtube. I was pumping through a load of japanese horror reviews, as well as a special tokyo swan 2 video where I revealed my placement in japan for my new english teaching job. Here are all the videos since the last post on here collected below. Also, I just picked up "Tokyo Gore Police" on DVD today, and I'm excited to watch (and review) that one. Though, i've already started work on the next review and I've got an idea for a bonus video for the first half of the week perhaps. Anyways, enjoy the vids and see you next time!

Swan's Japanese Horror Reviews 44: Uzumaki.

Swan's Japanese Horror Reviews 45: Dead Waves.

Swan's Japanese Horror Reviews 46: Zoo.

Swan's Japanese Horror Reviews 47: A Snake of June.

Tokyo Swan Back in Japan!

Thanks for watching the videos, plenty more on the way! I should really try and update this blog more. Especially now that I'm graduated from college and have a lot of free time before I go back to Japan. I'll try my hardest haha.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Update Videos

Here are the latest two videos I've posted to youtube, with the Tokyo Swan 2 teaser and the new Japanese horror review of Evil Dead Trap. More reviews to come!

(Tokyo Swan 2 teaser)

(Evil Dead Trap review)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.

So, certain Best Buy stores right now are clearing out their anime selections with a giant 50% sale that starts today. No exclusions, if your store is going to cut back on their anime selection (poor economy and niche market...), then all anime DVDs in the store will be half off. I went to my local best buy today as it was on the list for the sale. After the sale finishes on the 21st, then these stores (nearly 500 of them across the US) will only offer about the top 20 most popular anime titles. I picked up "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" special edition 2-disk set with the bonus soundtrack CD.

This was a theatrical release from 2006, and it actually had a limited theatrical run here in the states not too long ago. It was a pretty enjoyable film, nice animation, humorous scenes, emotional scenes, an intriguing story, and had a nice love story at the heart of it all. Here's the trailer for the film, so I suggest that if you are near a best buy that is having this massive sale you pick this one up! As a side note, since I'm a big Japanese literature fan, it was interesting to see that the original story of this was from Tsutsui Yasutaka, an author who just had his first English translation released with his short story collection 'Salmonella men on planet porno.' Hopefully this movie will give more exposure to his work, as he is a really creative writer.

That's it for now, see you next time!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Hey gang, it’s getting closer to midnight here, but I felt compelled to write something before heading off to sleep. Been working on my upcoming translation a lot today, so now I’m feeling a bit tired haha. Translation is a long and time consuming process, but it’s a great way to advance my Japanese skills. Also, I just found myself rewatching some old Tokyo Swan episodes on youtube. I don’t watch my work often, but when I do it does fill me with an incredible sense of nostalgia. Even little things in the videos such as a quiet river, a busy road, various food- these little things trigger so many memories for me. Ahh, sweet, sweet nostalgia.

Next week is spring break. Truth be told, I’ve gotten everything I need to get done already finished this week, so I’m just sort of coasting through things now. A friend and I are going to see the new street fighter movie on Friday, so that should be pretty fun. Of course, I think the movie looks awful, but that’s why we are going heh. No plans for spring break, but I am looking forward to relaxing for a few days.

The new Depeche Mode single ‘WRONG’ is now on itunes, so I got that today. Brilliant track… and the music video is so creepy! Look it up if you get the chance. I’ve been following this new DM album so closely, I find myself glued to my chair in front of the computer reading a variety of fan forums trying to learn the newest information about the upcoming album.

Ok, well that’s really all I have right now haha. Just want to get into the habit of writing in here more and not abandon it like I did before. Time for bed. See you next time!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Depeche Mode: WRONG!

The new Depeche Mode single 'wrong' has hit radio and debuted in Germany yesterday for the Echo Awards. It's 3 minutes of pure anti-pop with Dave's vocals in fine form for Martin's darkly humorous lyrics. I've had the song on repeat all day, and I can't wait for the new album to come out in April. Anyways, enjoy the performance above!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

February Update.

Hey gang, I realize that it's been a while since I've written on here (or posted many videos hah), but I found some free time today to just update what has been going on. Where do I even begin?

1. School. Currently I'm taking two grad level English courses (romantic and renaissance literature) as well as an independent study for a translation of a Japanese short story I'm working on. I talked a bit about that in the last Swan Update video. Anyways, as you can imagine with such high level courses the workload is much greater than the standard undergrad courses and it is keeping me busy.

2. Translation. So yeah, one of my 'classes' right now is that independent study translation and so far things are going great. The story itself is 11 pages long, and right now I'm on page 7 of just going through the initial draft. For the end of the semester, I'm to turn in just the initial first draft (so everything will not sound as clean as it should) and the final draft will be submitted for publication next year. Those familiar with translation already know that it is a massively time consuming project, and so hours upon hours have been spent looking up kanji in the dictionary. I am working on the project with the head of the Japanese department here, and so I feel like I'm really gaining a lot of good experience and it's crazy to think I'll be a published translator in the near future!

3. Work-Writing Center. I don't think I've mentioned it on video or in print, but I've been working at my university's writing center since last August. I've gained a lot of great experience working with English as second language students, and in particular this has allowed me to make some Japanese friends in the process. I work one on one with students (undergrad and grad level) on whatever papers or projects they might bring in. I also work in the classroom as a tutor for the entry level English 1000 course, so as you can imagine this sort of teaching experience looked good on the JET application (more on that in a bit). I'll also be leading a talk on 'bilingualism in the writing center' at Purdue University in April, at the national writing center convention. Exciting times!

4. Work-Tutoring. A few weeks ago I accepted a tuoring job for a Japanese businessman in town. This has been a fantastic opportunity for me, as I've gotten even more teaching experience and I work with a really great guy. I prepare weekly English excercises for him, and so far things are going great!

5. JET. Ok, so like I said in my last video update I made it to the interview stage. Now, I have my interview in Detroit on the 20th (next friday!), and I'm pretty confident about things. With my experience in Japan, and the work I've done here, I know I'm a qualified applicant for teaching English in Japan. I was actually quite nervous about messing up the application, so I gave a huge sigh of relief when I heard I made it to the interview stage. I'll be preparing more for that as the week goes by, but in general I feel good about things and I'm excited for the interview.

6. Social Life. I've made some great Japanese friends here at WMU, and I'm happy that I've been able to still keep in touch with many of my friends from my time in Japan. I also tend to hang out with my close group of friends who all live in the same apartment complex here, so even though I've been busy with work and school, I've been able to relax and just enjoy watching movies or hanging out.

Wow, when I list it all out like that it does look like I'm quite busy these days! Hopefully that explains some of the reasons why my presence here and on youtube has decreased significantly. I'll be posting another update video next week after the interview though, so that's something to look forward to. As for now, I have to get going to work again, so I'll finish things up here. Hope everyone is doing well!

oh yes, and I'm still mega excited for the new Depeche Mode album in April. SOUNDS OF THE UNIVERSE!!!! I can't wait, and the new single is going to debut next week!