So, exactly as the title implied, some random Saturday in 2010, I was on TV in Japan, then I went to Akihabara.

I’ll just get right into it. Basically, the show was a comparison between foreigners and Japanese in terms of manners….
Many “countries” were represented, with me representing the US, a friend of mine the UK, someone from France, Africa (actually, he’s from the same country I am… I just happened to be representing America), Italy, and China.

So, we were basically led to a lady holding a relatively big looking box. The test actually started from right that moment. We were told that she was going to lead us to the meeting place, so we were supposed to follow her. To get a 100% on the test, I (or any test taker) had to have taken the box from her (helped her with it) from the get go… I didn’t do that, but I’ll explain why later. If you didn’t take the box, you get a second chance later, because someone from her company runs up and gives her some more bags. There is about the 50% mark. From then on, all you do is walk up the stairs, and the cameras are called.

Some things to note:

1) When you take anything from her, or don’t take anything till the end, she blows a whistle, and you see cameras – This was very disconcerting to me, but I managed to not freak out.

2) The results were surprisingly even on both the Japanese and foreign side… Which worked out great.

3) I did not see this coming, though some others did, right away.

Well, anyway, as far as how I did on the test, I picked up on helping at the bags… Some got boxes (about 3 on each team), some got it at the bags (2 on each team), and some didn’t do anything (1 on each team). The test was nowhere near scientific (ok, maybe a little bit), as the conditions/situation changed a little bit every time, but it definitely made me feel bad to only help at the bags. But let me explain why:

1) There was a lot of RANDOM STUFF in that box. Vegetables (that looked fake), teddy bears, random household items were all in there. I had no idea why a corporate worker would be carrying these on the way to a meeting. I thought maybe I shouldn’t bother as they might be related to the test, and maybe I shouldn’t even be seeing them. Which made me wonder more about the test.

2) I was definitely more concerned about being able to introduce myself properly in Japanese, and hear her name properly. I wouldn’t say I was flirting, more like I was just making sure I heard what she said… But others have said otherwise.

Anyway, That’s how it was, I got a 50%, essentially, and showed up on TV for a total of probably 2~3 seconds… I guess I can check that off my list of to-dos…

Took this picture after my test, here's the lady waiting... With her box of random stuff.

Another contestant on his way to getting interviewed (he got it at the bags)

That same contestant getting interviewed...

And that interview is actually the one that got the most airtime…

Another contestant taking a shot at the challenge!

One of the contestants who got it at the box (Italy?), getting interviewed.

Got bored, took some shots of the buildings... This seems to happen really often.

Took one of those looking up buildingscapes... Turned out well, I think

So after that, me and a friend watched some of the Japanese guys give it a go, had no idea it would be dead even at that point… Then we headed to Akibahara (referred to as “Akiba” for short by actual Japanese people), for some random-ish sightseeing. Maybe we had a goal there that day… I don’t remember.

For those of you who don’t know about Akihabara, it’s basically the hub for everything Anime (Japanese Animation)/ Manga (Japanese Comics)/Otaku Culture (Japanese fanatics – figurines, drawing, etc). There is a LOT of technology in Akiba, a LOT of games, a LOT of maids, a LOT of maid cafes, and a LOT of people. It’s a lot to take in, but is definitely a must-visit place in Japan.

After arriving in Akiba, I saw this poster on the train platform. I had truly arrived in Akiba.

Why is this picture significant? Those people who know this series know that it’s famous for it’s horrible endings (I mean horrible like gruesome), so you should really be wondering why it’s being advertised with such a happy-go-lucky feel. I know I was.

It's a Gundam Cafe. Still haven't been inside yet. Regret is building.

Welcoming us into Akiba was the Yodobashi Camera electronic store in Akiba. I sware it has to have it's own zip code, it is HUGE.

We also went to the Anime Center, in some convention building… Unfortunately, I have no idea where it is or what it’s actually called other than an “Anime Center”.

Some posters that were on the outside of the Anime Center... There is of course far more than one anime center... I was just at one.

I have no idea in the world what they are doing, but I just wrote this off in my mind as an Akiba thing.

I'm guessing this picture is fine to show since you can't see his face...

Some pretty large posters of a pretty good Anime I've seen: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (Name is ridiculous, yes).

These figures are definitely life size. That having been said, they're pretty short. Or maybe I am too tall...

Some other posters for series that I do not quite recognize...

I thought it was weird that they would have figurines on display... Maybe they are super rare?

One of these figures is NOT LIFE SIZE. See if you can figure out which one it is. Hint: It's red.

Some merchandise that was for sale all around the store. Surprisingly, all the prices were actually decent! I feel like I might start some sort of online ebay business....

Some more merchandise... Thought that Gundam 00 shirt was awesome.

Some posters that took up literally 4 or more panes of window glass outside the Anime Center... Never seen the series before though.

A shot of Akiba, as we were walking around it.

It also seems like while we were at that convention center, there was some sort of new/young technology expo… Here’s something I saw in a window display that I thought was interesting, and could definitely spread the bad effects of looking at too many computer screens in one’s day:

Youtube in your oven.

Fripside (I really think they meant flipside when they started their band) is a group that makes music (technoish?) in Japan... They evidently had some sort of event coming up, so there was a huge bus with screens and stuff advertising for them. Kind of awesome.

I don't know what taking this picture makes me (maybe a little Akiba rubbed off on me), but those are the ever-present christmas-ly dressed girls one sees in animes during christmas plot arcs. I have told on myself far too much with this picture and caption.

If you look really realy carefully, there's a ton of people in this picture. Just kidding, the focus of this pciture is the maid. Another questionable picture.

There's a maid in this picture too. They're ALL OVER Akiba. They usually try to draw in customers for different maid cafes... It is really weird to see.

As the sun sets on our day, it shares it's final rays with the ginormous Yodobashi camera store.

What a full saturday that was. And a long time ago… Hope you enjoyed my TV debut, as well as a view of Akiba. I do have video of me on TV, but it’s trapped on Facebook. I’ll get it off sometime, and post it up.

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