Tokyo Discount

The storefront. Even its fonts are cutesy.

Places like this always manage to change me. They replace my ennui with melancholy.

Sure, for a big lame Japanophile nerd that spent the last decade as a contributor to a website that discussed and made fun of and enjoyed the hell out of Japanese cartoon porn (and all its insane peccadillos), I find these places to be immensely gratifying. The piped-in music is the upbeat, poppy ending themes to girly (shoujo) anime series[1]. For some reason, I wasn’t embarrassed to be nodding my head along to the first end titles to Lucky Star as it bopped its way across the muzak system.

So much j-stuff. DAWT CAWM. Click my banner ads for the very best in rape dating sims and scarves that are a set of tits because nerds like you won\'t ever get a chance to get a handful anyway. J-STUFF DAWT CAWM ALL DAY EVERY DAY BABY


Yeah, there are Revoltech Frauleins (including TEH REI so if you want one, let me know and I’ll buy it for you, it’s like 17$) and a couple of Figmas (Saber from Fate/Stay In The Kitchen) as well as racks and racks of Sanrio garbage, tea sets, those cute Japanese festival kimonos (the likes of which I only know because I sat through all eight episodes of the Endless Eight arc of the second season of Haruhi), dry goods, packaged snacks, tea boxes, cans of Pocari Sweat and a whole shitpile of other stuff you saw on Engrish.com.

Since I always feel like a heel going into a place like this without buying anything, I got a can of Japanese iced coffee. It was 2.39$, which is like .60 less than a Starbucks Doubleshot and doesn’t taste like shit.

So why does Japan Discount and places like it make me so melancholic? Well, going to these places and enjoying these things were what I did with the only woman I really loved. We’d wander around Chinatowns, take in the bizarre that is the Pan-Asian culture, gawk at bootleg DVDs, bootleg toys, drink Boba tea and play import PS2 games and basically connect on a fundamental level due to our shared philia of this ridiculous, cutesy, silly and harmless culture from a foreign shore.

Now that short, sweet, too-good-to-last relationship is over, existing solely as memories in my heart and photos on my Facebook page and oft-recited lyrics to an obscure song by an equally obscure rock band[2].

These places, these neat little stores always have the opposite effect intended by the cutesy graphic design themes and adorable merchandise. Instead of lifting my spirits, they simply crush them into the dirt.

I hate this place.

And it’s not that I hate the store, it’s a neat little place. It’s really hard to genuinely hate a little Japanese import store. I just hate the feeling of loneliness, heartache and longing of a love gone unresolved it dredges up in me.

Then I drink my Black Boss and try to chin up and remember that the journey’s only starting.

[1]which all are remarkably reminiscent to records that ELO produced in the mid-’80s as they seem to have realized that Prog Is Dead and just decided to do what the fuck ever with their music. The Japs took notice (boy howdy did they ever take notice) and it seemed that all the cutesy ending themes to dating/sitcom series of the era thematically aped records like Time, Out Of The Blue and Zoom.

[2]there’s that irony again, learn to love, it’s how I roll.

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2 Responses to “Tokyo Discount”

  1. Arin Says:

    if they have a shin chan tshirt, im getting it.

  2. Gavin Says:

    “And it’s not that I hate the store, it’s a neat little place. It’s really hard to genuinely hate a little Japanese import store. I just hate the feeling of loneliness, heartache and longing of a love gone unresolved it dredges up in me.”

    That’s your childhood, faded away.

    To only be a bitter memory of something you can never have. Once you know the truth you can never go back to how it was.

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