I just got finished with what was a whirlwind weekend for me. As most of you know by now, fellow Canadian-residing-in-Japan-and-Gunpla-Addict, Busterbeam from Plamo Addiction is changing the direction of his life and heading back to his home country in less than a month.
There was only one course of action. A meet-up between the three bloggers of the Apocalypse in ASM’s new home base of Osaka where we would partake of fine food, beautiful beverages, and glorious gunpla. Well, maybe not that extreme, but there was a lot of all three!
The first part of the plan saw me head into Tokyo to hook up with ASM in Akihabara, where we partook of some tasty food and beverages at the Hub before hopping on the Shinkansen and heading back to Osaka.
We did have a few minutes before our train to check out some of Akiba’s better Gunpla shops.
Beginning Gundams galore!
Titans color scheme? I approve.
We also saw a lot of the Strike Freedom.
And I do mean a lot.
And one of them most beautiful ReZELs I have come across yet.
With the short winter days still with us there wasn’t much to see out the windows of the Shinkansen, although we did attempt to catch a glimpse of the 1/1 as we whipped by Shizuoka.
Once in Osaka we boarded several trains each one getting smaller and seemingly more rural than the last. ASM’s digs are in a quiet part of town, which in Japan means you have only one convenience store in the area at which you stock up on supplies before heading home. ASM already had some Captain Morgan so all we needed was the coke.
ASM’s place was nice and I’m not about to show you pictures of his abode as I know he wants to keep his private life private but I will say this; his unbuilt Gunpla collection is massive! One set of shelves taking up almost an entire wall of a small room. PGs, MGs, 限定. It was like being in one of the shops.
We weren’t meeting with Buster until the next day so we enjoyed our Captain Morgan and Coke while catching up on Gunpla, life, family and everything else two friends with lots in common discuss. We then went all fan-boy and put in the Blu-ray of Advent Children Complete. (drool)
Then COD! We’ve been logging a lot of evening hours on that game. In fact, I had just prestiged a few days previous. So we took our skills onto the internet and proceeded to schooool some nooobs on the interwebz.
The next day (I can’t say morning here) we headed out to central Osaka to catch Buster as he came off the bus. Buster had arranged to arrive at about 4 pm so once we hooked up with him it was off to Osaka’s equivalent of Akihabara to check out whatever gunpla we could find. It was good to see him again. Sure we haven’t actually spent a lot of time together but he is another person with whom I share a lot in common so we get along very naturally.
When it comes to knowing where the Gunpla is in Osaka you can’t ask for a better tour guide than ASM. He took us down some backstreets and through alleys and we found some cool shops with fairly decent prices.
ASM and I even opted to go halfers on the new Gundam Standart.
I claimed the Delta Plus and short-packed Gelgoog while ASM took the other Gelgoog but got the EX-S. I call this fair.
After the Gunpla Osaka Tour was complete we headed towards the Hub (yes, again) and while en route encountered.. um.. ya.
At the hub we partook of more beverages, food, and talk about gunpla and life and where it has taken each of us. We all come from different places, and will end up in different places, but the common themes of foreign Gunplars in Japan has allowed us this small window to get to know each other and I am better because of it.
Once Happy Hour at the Hub was over we hit the streets and went and saw the famous Glico Man.
He’s a big boy, that Glico Man, but please don’t ask me why he is famous.
Once the neon light-seeing was done we hit up an Izekaya for more cheap drinks and food.
Z’s name came up a couple of times. Mostly along the lines of ‘Take that, Z! This is the real thing right here.’
After last call at the Izekaya it was back to ASM’s pad. I didn’t know what to expect at this point. It was already late at night, we had drank considerable amounts of alcohol. But how could three Gunplars get together and not build something?
So we did.
We also watched some Gundam on ASM’s big TV.
UC Gundam 2, baby! (p.s. Sinanju is awesome!)
I don’t want to go into terrible detail about building the Flag as this post isn’t about that, but I will throw in some pics. I did use Gundam markers to add some details.
We were hitting the wee hours of the morning but none of us was ready to give up on the Gunpla. We were having too much of a good time. More video!
Back to the Flag!
Eventually I got to a point where I felt I was finished.
Around that time ASM and Buster finished as well.
ASM decided to try to get some sleep. As he was the guy making sure we got on our trains in time I don’t hold this against him. 😉
Buster and I stayed up and tried our (drunken) hands at GT5. I have the game and have logged a few hours but it was Buster’s first try on it, although he did mention he had plenty of hours of experience with the other games in the series. It didn’t help him, though.
We spent another hour trying to drift an RX-7 around Deep Forest before finally calling it a night (at 5 AM in the morning).
The next morning we got up as best we could, grabbed some 牛丼 and then made our way to Osaka castle. As this is post isn’t really about that I’ll just put a gallery in. As I had to make a Shinkansen back to Tokyo, we said our goodbyes and our “it’s-not-goodbye”s to Buster and wished him well on his life back in Canada.
It was an interesting weekend, to say the least. Osaka definitely has a different vibe to Tokyo and I’m not just talking about how everyone stands on the opposite side of the escalators. I different feel. It was also a different kind of feeling saying Goodbye to someone who you mostly interact with online. On the one side he is leaving from the same place you are, but as we mostly interact over a computer screen is the distance increasing?
I look forward to following Plamo Addiction to see how my fellow Gunplar gets along back in the home country. Going home is never a bad thing.
Good luck, Buster.