Shin Yamato Damacy ep.08 Tokyo Anime Fair 2010

Episode 8 is alive...
We hit up the Tokyo Anime fair in march and asked the Otaku about Otaku stuff.

a bit late compared to when we filmed it, but as they say...Better late than pregnant!


Shots #24 Heavy Metal

The horns! What can I say. I teach the truly important aspects of life to my students.


LOUD PARK 2010 ~ Part 2

continued from here


“Great music to eat a

KFC rounder to.”

Cowboy redneck hillbilly metal supergroup from the arse end of nowhere otherwise known as Texas. Yeah. They were awesome  because they gave me a much needed break after the brutality Dir en grey hit me with before. Great music to eat a KFC rounder to. Ok look… They are pretty good. One does not simply get to an event this big by sucking. but there is metal and then there is METAL and there are times when one has to pass on some things to prepare fro the slaughter to come…Even when your Drummer is Vinnie Paul (ex Pantera) and your Vocalist is Chad Gray (Mudvayne)



Another one of those legendary bands that have been around since the west was won. But not my style. I did meet two members of that university metal club I saw last time… one of them was a massive RATT fan. She was over the moon to see them as were a few thousand others. I watched from the stands digesting and recouping lost strength. It was good to see a band that has been around that long though… and I LOVE the way they spell ‘rat’.


Another legendary band. This time however. I was there like a Bear! Accept is a band that is directly responsible for the modern developments in power metal. Of all the old school sounding bands out there, they sounded the most like the power that I prefer to listen to.
ok.. I think I can pretty much sum up Accept’s set in one line that anyone who knows metal can understand, appreciate and be suitably jealous of:


I can go on about the rest of the show. I must mention that of all the old timers that performed, Accept are the most healthy looking. I do mean healthy. they are ripped and toned and look better than the manservice in Top Gun.
The guitarist was buff. When I am 666 years old I want to look like him. In the end however. Accept came down “Metal Heart” and hearing one of the anthems of metal performed live was better than words could truly explain.

Stone Sour

‘Corey Taylor shaved off his beard!!!!!’ was the first thing I thought when he walked on the stage. He looked like an All American soldier boy. The pretty image died there though the set was good. They are no Slipknot. They are a side project to explore the lighter side of their music and so you can expect that brutality was never going to be the driving force.
That aside however there was no shortage of emotion, passion and sheer skill. They are damn good live! I had only ever heard their first full album back in the Vaal Triangle days and I’ll be the first to admit that I needed to grow up a whole lot before I was able to accept their music.

“there was no shortage of emotion, passion and sheer skill”

I clearly have because I truly do like their new album, Audio Secrecy, and enjoyed their set immensely. Definitely not the band for brutalising people to (even though there were a number of fairly intense pits) but powerful.


Yes. The front man from Judas Priest. His side project anyway. Not my thing. I was never the hugest fan of the Priest us much as I was a fan of the music that was influenced by them. No doubt, Children of Bodom would not sound as they do if it were not for Halford and the Priest. So yes. He is a metal god. I didn't know if I really like or really hate the fact that he calls himself ‘the metal god’ either way. I got to see him. That counts for something. But I watched from the floor in front of the KoRn stage… 


Saturday night headlining act. I think there was only one KoRN song I truly liked going into this set and to be fair Its still the only one I like now. Though the other tracks did get pits going. which was reason enough for me to be up front.
If you are expecting a passionate last write up for this part of the report like i did in the last one I’m afraid you will need to wait till parts 3 and 4. I loved ripping peeps up to “falling away from me” and I always love hardcore pits. I don’t like KoRn. so I left before their encore ended so I could get my bag and head out before the swarm departed.
After all… there was a whole day to follow.
Continued to be…

<Part 1>  <Part 2>  <Part 3>  <Part 4>


LOUD PARK 2010 ~ Part 1

IMG_0286Metal on a scale South Africans who have never left home can only dream of. For me this was round 2. Having hit LOUD PARK like an asteroid last year I had expectations. I knew there would be no Children of Bodom this time around so it could never have been the best live of my life. Yes. I have bias like that. Regardless it was mind-raping and body breaking. What metal is supposed to be.
This year was a year for legends and side projects. I saw some of the greatest names in the history of the genre. It was as much of an honour as it was a blast.




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Upon arriving at the Saitama Super Arena, I bought myself a TURISAS T-shirt and  the queue was a bit of a beast so I skipped out on the first bit of Holy Grail. I heard some of Engel as well but to be honest apart for the appreciation of the amazing sound quality, I decided it was time to put some fuel in the furnace prior to the first act that I wanted to see…


Taiwanese black metal. Dark and powerful. Fusing the brutality of the frozen north with the sounds and spirit of a small island in the far east. I heard them for the first time when checking out the line-up for the festival many months ago and I was hooked. The traditional Taiwanese vibe and the brutality of black metal as well as their very proud Taiwanese spirit was appealing.

“A unique sound that still

got the blood pumping.”

It suited the idea of the genre as it was conceived back in the church burning days and gave it an Asian flavour. A unique sound that still got the blood pumping. Their bassist is also pretty good looking. She is no Angela Gossow but any metal babe is in for the win. The live was the perfect start to my LOUD PARK. It set the tone for my weekend. Moshpit madness and of course my dominance thereof.

Amon Amarth

Warriors of Viking metal. Amon Amarth were the first of the bands I’d known from way back when and probably the first band I could claim any real fan loyalty to. Death metal about warriors and steel.
What more does one need?
Not much to be honest. They opened with “Twilight of the Thunder God” and as is to be expected, kept it up through the entirety of their set.
I moshed like a Viking berserker set free to destroy all in my path. But I met my match.
For the first time since I took on Anton from Architecture of Aggression when I was still a teen. I got taken out properly. I know in pits I go down a lot. Everybody does. You can’t see 360 degrees and when someone blindsides you and there is no body in front of you onto which you can transfer the power to the result is inevitable.IMG_0293
But to go down in a face to face head on wall of death charge was something I honestly didn’t expect would ever happen to me again. His size should have made me more cautious than I was but I honestly expected it to be a little less one sided.  
I flew backward like a ragdoll and landed with such a resounding crash that the entire pit stopped and let out a collective “woooooo”  enough to make it seem like the band even skipped a note.
I got an adrenaline surge so rough that I nearly passed out (it may have been pain/shock induced but I didn’t feel it.)
I was brutalised. I don’t think what I did to James at Motherfudd to …and Chaos all those years ago came close to this impact. Jupiter charged the sun and the result was as one would expect. To Amon Amarth and later Stone Sour, I had to concede that I could only be the 2nd most deadly object in the pit. After I recovered my senses however, We joined forces. and brutalised the locals. When he stood in the centre of the seething circle, it felt like he actually had his own gravity field. But bugger me sideways. what a mosh… And it wasn’t even the best one of the day!


Another band that I have been listening to for a few years at least was Edguy. Power Metal from Germany. They fit somewhere in between the classic and modern power sound and as a result they were never at the top of my list in the genre. I do prefer to listen to the newer sounding stuff. Having said that seeing anything live on a stage as big as the two at LOUD PARK with such amazing quality sound changes one’s perspective. Metal is and always will be a live genre and no matter how good a recording is. Nothing (I will touch on this later when I talk about Ozzy Osbourne) can beat it live.

“Metal is and always

will be a live genre”

Edguy made me wish I still had hair. While I have gotten used to the lack of momentum generated when I head bang these days. Power metal needs long flowing hair. The below (my personal) average headbanging coupled with my intense drive to nosh however left Edguy feeling a little too chilled a little too soon. No fault of the band’s I just get so little chance to truly cut loose at lives that I wanted to mosh as much as I possibly could.

Dir en grey

The biggest band for me on the day. A band that I have been listening to since the beginnings of my J-music discovery. I still remember the first time I heard them. I liked Ayumi Hamasaki but I was dying to get hold of some good and proper hard Japanese rock. I can’t remember who it was at Omega, Brett, Karlien or maybe RIaan that found me the first 2 tracks which started a mad fury to dig up more and more of their music which ultimately drove me to discovering Visual Kei and well a lot of the rest of the story is recent enough that many of you know it (and are a part of it).
Needless to say. while I have not been following them of late. These legends of VK will always have a special place in my brain. I called them metal in the past. I have stood by that in many arguments with many who would say otherwise. The band themselves proved me right by playing the mother of all Japanese metal festivals.

Holy science!!!

They blew my skull in!!!

I love Deluhi. I maintain they are on a stratospheric rise to become the best metal band in Japan.. but they are not there yet. Wow.
I felt a bit of trepidation going into their set. I found a spot roughly  1 4th the total distance of the front standing area. that area where moshpits generally develop. my natural habitat, but much to mu dismay there were many skinny’s with poofy hair and of course large pack of the dreaded hyenas. There were no big guys anywhere. In fact there was only one other foreign guy who looked worth the two between his legs.
The band came on.. there was squealing and hand hearts. Kyo came on… in jeans, a T-shirt and a very manly hairdo. I was suitably pleased with his 'f@ck you' to the visual style that got them into the halls of fame in the first place.
They let rip. This army of brutal guys charged out of nowhere and a massive typhoon of a circle scattered the hyenas and their skinny boys off to the side like vermin.

“Many couldn’t take it

and got far away from the

seething circle of fury ”

I too made my presence known. We moshed up a storm. I had 2 years of frustration for not being able to truly go wild at VK lives to let out. I was not the only one. It appears all those dark horses, off in the corners of VK lives, in their metal Shirts wanted it just as badly as I did. I put aside some of my mosh manners this one time and dragged as many skinny boys in as I could knowing the fate that awaited them. Whenever the more ambitious hyenas filtered through to the centre of the circle i took great pride in shattering that core with a cannonball.
The tables were turned. They were in MY domain and I had many lessons to teach on how to properly appreciate music of this calibre. Many couldn’t take it and got far away from the seething circle of fury but those that stayed learnt both their place and their true potential. We made moshers out of Hyenas and the ones that could cut it were as much fun and as brutally insane as any Tokyo Hate crew member.
As for the music. Its Dir en grey. for intercourse's sake. It goes without saying that they were perfect and poured their souls into the performance. that alone fuelled the savagery in the pit. Japan was on show with the best in the world. not on a small side stage but in the forefront. It was battle and victory. All who engaged were rewarded with the spoils thereof. One of the best pits of my life and the best pit of the day.
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to be continued…

<Part 1>  <Part 2>  <Part 3>  <Part 4>

Shit Happens

in extremely pleasant surroundings.

I am still writing the LOUD PARK live report (part 1 is up) so let me build up some anticipation with pictures of the facilities. These pics were taken near the end of the 2nd day.

This is why I like Japan.

You can be at the most brutal live with some of the most bat shit insane metalheads on earth and still take a dump in sanitary conditions.

loo poo


A new look.

I got tired of the old theme, so I went back into the blogger control panel and discovered that there is now a theme designer. Nifty. Its uber customisable. Niftier.

SO i chose the simple template and worked the colours to look similar to my favorite wordpress theme, Firebug. but due to various things mine actually looks a whole lot better.

woot woot

The facebook comment integration was an iffy spiffy so I am still debating whether or not to keep it. for now I will re enable blogger comments. let me know what you think.


Shots #23 Mr.T

IMG_0243 Model T ford hotrod at Auto Flow in Shibukawa.

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If a tree falls in the woods…

A few weekends ago, I took a drive with my lady and camera on a mission to take some decent pics of my new car now that the suspension and front wheels are sorted.. Happened to be one of the best (and probably the most romantic) cruises of my life. marred slightly by the fact that I was sick.


We hit up the Nihon romantic highway over Komochi past the Observatory and into Takayama which honestly looked like somewhere better placed in the south of France or Tuscany. Admittedly it was rice and not wheat, but the effect was similar.beast


“GREAT location…

but that was only the beginning.”


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babes  demonbitch sun

We then left the road just before the big tunnel to follow the old road (which has now become a service path for the tunnel). It started out really well. A nice private tree lined roadway. GREAT location… but that was only the beginning.


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But then things started going downhill… in every sense. The road narrowed out and was covered in odd logs and rocks… hit the bottom on a number of things and had to stop to clear the path a number of times. it was stressful, but WOW the scenery.


“These are the woods

where trees fall down and

don’t make a sound.”

We expected to be jumped by a bear or possibly a vengeful spirit. These are the woods where trees fall down and don’t make a sound. It was VERY freaky and very cool. Just so happens bizarre exploration mission mungness is the sort of thing both Sayo and I love to do so we both rather enjoyed the detour… though I was a bit worried about scratching up the car.


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Eventually however we made it out and back onto the proper road where i put foot and gunned it toward Minakami…

Will I ever go there again? not all the way in my car. But maybe in something a little narrower and with better ground clearence. After all it wasn’t nearly as hectic as the route from Underberg to The N3 in The Drakensberg.

to be continued…


Of Meat and Men

As those of you who knew me when I left SA two and a tiny bit years ago, I have undergone  drastic body reform. I have lost 30 odd kg and have almost doubled my  physical strength. The Kanashima Training room has been an instrumental part of this transformation.

Last night the men of the gym went out and ate some good meat grilled over coals  together. It was a rather manly night.


The gym is one of the best in Gunma. Its only 5000 yen a month and it only has the bare minimum of equipment that is needed to get and stay in shape. There is no bling like the JOYFITs and GOLD’S GYMS and there is no posturing of posers. people who go there train hard and train properly. 


Suzuki Sensei himself is a physiotherapist, ex GSDF (soldier), 3 time Kanto arm wrestling champion and a Kanto power lifting champion. The training credentials of some of the other members is also pretty impressive. Olympic Judo, National karate, Pro baseball, lots of power lifting, and one professional Piano mover… oh and a banker.

We also have a few mechanics, a VERY strong and buff Gyaru-o, Physiotherapy uni students and a number of High school athletes (the ones who are likely to be scouted) In fact one of our High-schoolers lives all the way in Takasaki but comes to our Gym cos the training advice is better than any gym there. You think that’s good, Our National Karate athlete comes in from Saitama, not every day but he gets training advice from Suzuki sensei and applies it where he is.



And the training advice is unbelievable. Apart from Suzuki sensei himself the simple fact that you are doing squats in the same room as actual athletes means if your feet are off by a cm (and I really do mean a cm) you will be corrected. Which is great. I have learnt an un believable amount about the mechanics of human motion and how to train just about everywhere (and how to recover from it) just by chatting with the guys.


Many of you will be thinking yeah whatever. and I can think of SOME of you who will probably accuse me of just talking out of my arse.

Look at my results. the proof is in my body. Yeah I know I still have a bit of a fat jacket but if you can look at me then and look at me now and still talk shit you are a bitter jealous fool.


The night itself was an unbelievably good time. Manly men eating Meat… I daresay the meat in Japan doesn’t look all that manly, but it was an eat as much as you like affair… and wow did we ever. Most yakiniku nights I have had (even the eat as much as you like ones) are slow. people don’t actually do a lot of consumption, but we were eating through plates of meat faster than Pink Salon workers eat through cock.

It was a never ending stream of sizzling protein and talk about strength and training.

There was a whole bunch of arm wrestling too. It was a very manly night in what as up till today been a very manly weekend.


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I’m just saying…








Japan has always been good at reducing the world’s population of whales!


RastaBanana iPhone4 high gloss film *REVIEW*


I have been meaning to add tech reviews and product reviews to this blog for a while but I keep forgetting to take pics of the packaging (apparently, that matters to some people.)
Something else that people tend to put stock in is price. More expensive = better quality. Japan revolves around this concept and therefore a product like RastaBanana’s high gloss (and anti glare) protective films would generally fall into the cheap shit from china category.
Firstly: Its made in Japan
Secondly: any of the Softbank branded accessories are generally made by RastaBanana. You would think Softbank would not endorse complete crap.
The story begins with me purchasing a Tunewear Softshell case for my new phone. It seemed like the best quality TPU case out there at the moment since switch easy hasn’t released an iPhone4 version of their Vulcan cases. (at this time I too ignored the RastaBanana offerings.) No worries there, the case is awesome! gives me exactly what I want and does the same job as the Vulcan did on my 3g. in a word. Its perfect.

“the 「Tunewear Softshell」

case is awesome!…

The packaged film…was anti-glare

which completely STUFFED UP

the retina display.”

The problems were with the packaged film. It was anti-glare which completely STUFFED UP the retina display (and thus the point of adding Y1500 to my phone bill by switching to the 4). It was also bad quality. It was as bad as the case was good, much to my dismay. To remedy this disaster  had decided to get a power support crystal film ‘cos EVERYONE and their hipster dogs rates them as the best film makers by far. BUT they cost as much as most cases do so I decided to wait till after LOUD PARK to see if I had any loose cash lying around. In the mean time I decided a cheapo clear cover will be better than the anti glare piece of shit I had.

I hit up the K’s Denki in Shibukawa:

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They only had this RastaBanana stuff for ¥498. Ok it looked iffy and I was like… whatever its only for 2 weeks. I go home, opened the package and it was Spartan. no microfiber cloth, no applicator.. fokol. No worries, both came with the case. its cool. Its only for 2 weeks.

“…it fit like latex on Ancilla Tilla”

removed the Tunewear piece of shit film, ensured the screen was dust free and popped on the RastaBanana expecting a few bubbles and an iffy fit. To my surprise it fit like latex on Ancilla Tilla and the 2 bubbles that formed were eased out with no hassle whatsoever. It even fit with the Tunewear case better than Tunewear’s own film.
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Very impressed. sure it skimps on presentation but it hits a 6 where it counts. If you are looking at a power support film, get a RastaBanana instead. You won’t be disappointed. and you will have ¥800 extra to play with.