25 October 2004

Ohayoo Gozaimasu!


Japanese pop culture has a huge influence in my life.

My childhood memories are filled with days watching Voltes V (let's ... volt ... innnn!), Daimos (Richaaaard! Erikaaa!), and the other 70s super robots. And when those were banned by then-President Marcos with a generous serving of Martial Law, we were treated to less hack-and-slash anime (Japanese animation) such as Ron-Ron the Flower Girl, Nobody's Child, and Candy Candy (girly stuff ^-^). Our school stuff proudly displayed these characters. And then we had Bioman, Ultraman, and other sentai shows in the 80s til the present.

And who doesn't know Godzilla?

It wasn't only TV shows that the Japanese has so influenced my life. In my college years I got infected with the green thumb my parents were naturally endowed with (my mother loved flowering plants, while my father favored vegetables). I helped out in taking care of my parents' small garden, and planted a few of my own, including a prickly pear cactus (which grew quite well and I remember this because I was a victim of its thorns). But what I really became passionate about was bonsai. They grew (or didn't grow; they're supposed to be miniatures!) quite well in the pleasant Baguio climate.

And when I became a taxpayer, I became transfixed with buying action figures of the anime kind. This went on for quite a while, to a point that I no longer have any decent place to display my purchases and are thus scattered everywhere.

I also like Japanese food. Sashimi, Sushi ... as long as they're not the adventurous kind. It's great to have Beef Misono or Shrimp Tempura instead of burgers for a change. Oishi!

***

These days, I have considerably mellowed down on my cravings. Save for the food. But every once in a while, I'd catch a glimpse of an anime series I really like and purchase a couple of memorabilia (like those from Gundam Wing Endless Waltz and, more recently, Zoids due to their excellent mecha designs). Yeah, that's every once in a while. Japanese video games are also top notch. I'm currently playing Final Fantasy X (for the second time, for the heck of getting the secret characters) on PS2.

Oh, by the way, Christmas is coming up, so I hope you now have ideas on what I like (hint! hint!). Arigato Gozaimasu!

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