Japan Day 3

Again I woke up before our alarm phone1 went off. I got up, dressed and enjoyed a breakfast of mizo soup and rice cakes with some strong Japanese coffee. I love the soup, the rice is okay but I’ve gotten used to it.

After breakfast, we headed over to the school and Ueda-sensai taught us a bit about using a manga drawing pen as well as some basic screentone techniques. After spending half a day trying to follow the instructions that Ueda-sensai gave us; I have a whole new respect for professional manga artists. Straight lines are easy, but curves are massively hard. They havea technique to create texture and shading where you basically draw 5-6 short straight lines close together to make a square and then draw more, similar squares at an angle to your original. You can then later and go back to draw lines perpindicular to your original ones to make a darker area and keep doing this until you get the shade you want. This allows for some gradual shading and is a nice effect but takes a very long time to do. Speed lines (used to show quick motion) are another technique and are faster to draw but much harder for me to draw neatly. I usually end up using various levels of pressure and have trouble keeping my pen parallel to the ruler, so my lines turn out like crap.

After the pen, Ueda-sensai moved onto the screentones which are a quick way to fill in a large area a color to create texture or shadows. We got some basic instructions in this which showed us the power of the technique but this too was difficult for me; since I tend to use too much pressure with my knife when trying to cut out the parts of the screentone that I want.

Then Ueda-sensai had us make a snowman manga2. I was feeling a bit tired and rushed when doing this, but several of the sensai’s assistants liked my snowman’s hat — a basic stocking cap, which they took to be a Santa hat and I didn’t argue with them –. This took the rest of the class day and then I went with L to MosBurger for lunch. They didn’t speak English and I didn’t know the words I needed in Japanese but thanks to picture menus and a VERY patient waitress; we were able to get some food without too much of a problem. I think what I ate was a terriyaki chicken burger, but there was so much mayo on it that I can’t really be sure. The kora3 was just like you would expect. Then we headed back to the school for our next Japanese lesson with Sato-sensai.

And that’s when he taught us how to order food and took us on a field trip to…. MosBurger! wheee. *grin* I ended up ordering an iced coffee (aisu koohii) which was amazingly strong, even after adding a bit of creamer. After fooling around in Mosburger for far too long; we went back to the school and finished our lesson. Though there was a surprise waiting for us at the school. Bryon was back from Akihabara, where I had been expecting to go find him after class to meet him and AWelkin (with L along) to do some shopping. Apparently AWelkin had some heat exhaustion and he dragged her back to the hotel to rest; however he was still willing to drag us geeks out to Akihabara. So L, A and I followed him there and we did some shopping. The rest of them spent a lot more moeny than I did; as all I got was some anime postcards including some4 that I think Ariesna will like. The heat while we were there was aboslutely miserable and I was wondering if I was going to end up with heat exhaustion myself but a quick can of Dr. Pepper5 and some freezing cold A/C prevented that tragedy.

Shortly there after we headed back to the Nishi-Kasai (district of Tokyo where our hotel is). Getting back was quite the experience, as we ran into the famous sardine-can-scenario on the train where people were oacked in so tightly that you didn’t need to hold onto anything to remain standing. After we were back in Nishi-Kasai; Bryon headed straight to the hotel while the rest of us stopped at a convience store to buy some dinner. Then it was back to the hotel to eat and sleep.

1 The room does not have an alarm clock, instead you program your phone for a wake-up call.
2 It was just a small, single page with a snowman in the middle and a small amount of background.
3 kora means Coca-cola or something like that anyway.
4 No, I won’t tell you what they are that would ruin the surprise!
4 I need to remember to post the pic I took of it because it looks nothing like the cans back home.

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