Is the storied L.A. franchise ripping off the uniform of the Japanese club, or is this just a case of “What goes around comes around?”
When you stroll into an anime specialty shop in the U.S., there are a couple of demographics you expect to see among the customers. Teenagers with brightly dyed hair. Thirty-somethings digging through discounted single-volume VHS and DVD releases for those elusive remaining episodes of Maison Ikkoku or Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team. Maybe a handful of Japanese expats.
But if you happen to be shopping for anime goodies in Los Angeles, just a stone’s throw away from the world’s leading film studios, you also might spot a famous Hollywood actor, like these Californian otaku who ran into Nicolas Cage.
It’s no joke that living and studying in the US costs a pretty penny. So, instead of paying the hefty tuitions of universities on top of living expenses, some young foreigners have been taking a sneakier route to staying in the States.
Recently some “students” have been opting for “institutions” like the four schools recently closed down for fraud in Los Angeles, which function under a “pay-to-stay” program, where the “students” basically pay for a student visa with no expectations of attending classes, wishing only to stay and work in the U.S.
Like clockwork, every winter I get a serious bout of home-sickness. It’s usually triggered by a call or email from someone back home telling me about taking a drive with the top down, watching football on ordinary broadcast TV, going out for some Vietnamese sandwiches, or one of the other things I miss about life in Los Angeles.
“But,” I remind myself, “Japan has lots of cool things too! Where else can you go to the museum and see massive collections of samurai armor, huh?”
Oh, right now you can do that at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art? Touché, L.A.
There’s no nation in the world that loves hot springs more than Japan. Known as onsen (lit. warm 温, and spring 泉), there are very few Japanese alive who could ever claim to having never taken a dip. If you’re tired, you head to the onsen; if you’re going on holiday, you visit an onsen; you go to the onsen to hang out with your friends, on a date, to relax with the family – anything is an excuse to strip off and let the hot water soak your aches, pains and worries away!
But onsen actually exist all over the world, even in America. Today our Japanese reporter Yoshio reports on his stay at a hot spring hotel in America, and his experiences in their natural sulfur spa. Let’s find out if the US’s version of the hot spa stands up to our reporter’s rigorous testing…
The other day, I was walking through sunny Hollywood on my way to a job when, right before my eyes, I spotted everyone’s favorite rodent, Mickey Mouse. I had met Mickey once before in New York, but now he looked different – a little gaunter.
Thinking, “something’s not right” I approached him to ask for a photo like I did in NYC.
“Okay! But don’t forget to tip! Haha!”