I’ve been on a health kick for a couple of years, taking 4km walks and hitting the gym twice a week, and cutting down on the mount of carbohydrates I eat, which in Japan means reducing the rice that’s served with every meal. Since I’m not the only otaku to struggle with finding ways to get more fit, Japan’s animation studios have kindly made Anitore: Anime de Training, a series of short episodes in which “we” (as one of the characters in the show) are taught how to do simple exercises by a harem of cute girls, like the athletically-minded Asami, the blonde tsundere Eri, Shion, a mysterious chunibyo girl who pretends to be training so she can summon demons, and more. Each episode focuses on a different type of physical movement while the camera captures the girls from sexy angles, and the way we, the viewer, are a part of each episode is kind of “meta” and interesting — we’re even praised by the girls when we complete our exercise sets. The show is cute, though it’s likely you won’t get much meaningful fitness training out of it, other than perhaps a few minutes of semi-aerobic activity centered around your left or right hand.
When it comes to learning languages, different strategies will work for different people. One way I found of learning vocabulary words in context was to memorize songs I wanted to sing at karaoke, since then if I forget, I can literally sing the song to myself to get the word I need. If you want to bring your Japanese singing to the next level, there’s a long-running program on every week called NHK Nodo Jiman!, translatable as “full of pride at my throat,” in which people from all regions of Japan get up and sing their favorite songs in front of the camera. There’s an international version of this show, too, with foreigners who can sing in Japanese singing up a storm (some of them winning record contracts). Recently an American Gospel singing group broke the Japanese internet with their rendition (whoops, not this link) of the opening to Evangelion, in energetic American Gospel style. It was awesome to see.
More great news: in addition to the Japan Super Hentai Fuku-bukuro Grab Bags from Japan, which are selling like crazy already, we’ve prepared super awesome San Diego based hentai grab bags, filled with manga, “H” games, DVDs, fun toys for guys and this year, a T-shirt. Browse the new San Diego grab bags and buy yours now! Remember, there are never any duplicates between Fukubukuro grab bags and our new J-List Box sets. Looking for our normal Toy/Kawaii/Wacky grab bags? They’ll be posted soon.