- Stephen and Mal's apartment
Stephen and Mal take today to talk about their thoughts on their trip to Japan.
When the opportunity came up to go to Japan with some friends from Fangamer, Stephen and Mal jumped on the opportunity. Some people from Fangamer had worked as professional translators, so they were able to enjoy much more of the culture and the history of Japan than they would have otherwise. That being said, anyone can get by quite easily: all the locals are incredibly polite and helpful and it's very easy to get around, especially when ordering food from pictures or artificial models.
Stephen notices that Japan seems to have a very consumerist attitude towards a number of things. He began to see coins as "drink tokens", since he wasn't used to coins having value over 25 cents.
Stephen and Mal show of some shirts and socks they picked up from the Pokémon Center and other shops. They also picked up a loose cart of MOTHER 2 for around $20 USD (in contrast to the over $200 cost of an Earthbound cart in the US).
They notice that anime, manga, and video games seem to be entrenched in everyday life in Japan, from advertising to . In the States, animation is viewed more as a children's medium while it is more of a "legitimate" form of media. The same goes for video games: characters and avatars from games were used quite commonly to advertise unrelated things.
Stephen and Mal had quite a few favorite moments, but getting the chance to meet Shigesato Itoi after touring Hobonichi probably takes the cake. Other highlights include eating cheap sushi and visiting Lindsay's family outside of the city.
All in all, Stephen and Mal would love to go back to Japan some time in the future. They also encourage anyone who is interested in going to Japan to try it out. The language barrier is not a problem, people are incredibly nice and helpful, and everything exceeded Stephen and Mal's expectations for a trip to Japan.