Aug 13

Decorating Car Seats with Anime Characters

babytransitThey’re loud, proud and never ashamed to show what they like. A pedestrian cannot help but stare at them and real girls, surprisingly are keeping a distance from people who own them. This is about cars called “itasha” it is not just seats they decorate but also the majority of the outer body of the car. This trend has been regaining popularity in Japan due to the nation’s craze towards anime. With the combined words “itai” that means painful and “sha” that means vehicle, they translate as painful cars with the exterior filled with tacky stickers of female anime characters.

They obviously grab attention, especially in groups. You can usually find these cars at Akihabara, the electronics mecca of Japan. Where “otaku” meaning geeks, hang out.

To some otaku people, they just simply like anime characters and want to show it off. These men, however, are not dressed as any anime characters. All of them are employed, single, between 20 to 30 years of age, have good salaries, and have good enough judgment to follow traffic rules. They even remind each other to kill their engines and don’t forget to follow the rules of traffic. Also making sure that no one parks illegally.

These cars are so popular that about more than 300 owners attended the Itasha Meeting on the Fuji Speedway. Another event at the famous formula one venue held the second-largest itasha even right after the Moesha Meeting in Gifu that attracted more than 400 itashas, claimed by some itasha owners.

There are not real statistic on how many itasha are on the road, these loud cars hit the scene late in the late 90s, going through the peaks and lows of just like any other fad today. Some even say that they are on their highest peak now.

The reason behind the itasha craze and its sudden return from the dead state is that the boom is a party because of the explosion of color stickers, which is very inexpensive. Then it spread throughout roughly four years ago.

Unlike before if you want to decorate your car, you have to have it repainted. Sometimes you have to use an air brush, which is undoubtedly expensive. Today, even with the use of home printers, you can make high-quality stickers and using ink that are water resistant. This also contributed to the rise of itasha. After making the design with printers, some owners will even coordinate with a billboard company to complete the detailing of the car and can when it is all said and done you might see yourself spending about $600.

In the Kanto region, Akihabara is the place to hang out for itasha owners. But it is not where the anime covered cars first started out. It actually emerged intermittently across the nation and just landed in a single spot at Akihabara. Even if they don’t have anything to do with the “bosozoku” gangs, drivers seem to be developing their cliques and identities as times goes by.

This can pose a problem when itasha owners start their family. Imagine a father driving a crazy looking car with a baby inside. It could be cool to decorate the baby seats as well to match the whole theme of the car. There are great convertible car seats in the market that can be easily decorated. Rear-facing car seats are also a trend and has advantages in terms of safety.

Aug 07

Using Spinning to Look like Major Motoko Kusanagi

homefitnessintelSo you want to be fit and strong like Major Motoko Kusanagi but do not have the time to go out since you are so busy at home doing daily tasks or just working home based. If you have an indoor bike also known as a stationary bike, then you might want to get into spinning, then if done right you will look like Major Motoko Kusanagi from The Ghost in the Shell in no time. Many people think that indoor cycling is just all about putting your foot on the pedals and just pedaling away. Well, on the contrary, there are a lot more to it than just that, as mentioned, if done right then you can get that fit body that you always wanted.

Here are some tips:

Make sure you have the right height on your seat. One of the most common mistakes that people make when spinning is that they set their seat posts too low. When you are cycling, make sure the leg should be about 25 degrees when it is at the very bottom of the rotation. This helps you relieve your quads from doing everything.

Know when to get up or stay seated. When you are doing a fast run, stay seated. To add more force to your pedaling, raise your butt a little bit off of the saddle for a few seconds. However if you are climbing hills and doing slow jogs, you can stand up and hold the front of the bars while keeping your hips on top of the seat so you can work on your core, legs and butt muscles.

Music. Believe it or not, music helps with any workout not just spinning. One of the techniques is that matching your pedaling stroke to the beat of the music. First you should start with some pacing and then adding more resistance as you go along. Make sure you play your favorite songs while you are at it. If your song is playing with a fast beat, then keep up with your pedaling, just make sure you keep up with the beat no matter what.

Don’t forget about your upper body. This is not just a leg and thigh workout! Try to add some targeted strength movements for other parts of your body like arms, chest, back, and even shoulders. This can transform your leg workout into a total body workout if you want to. This time, keep your pedaling at a moderate pace. With just the right amount of resistance but not too low that you are not moving your legs anymore without wiggling the rest of your upper body.

While pedaling you can do some upper body workout as well. Like hold a weigh on each hand, the ones you can carry comfortably, have your elbows bent at shoulder level and had the weights in front of your face, palms out. Then bend your elbows to straighten arms parallel to the floor and keep on repeating.
There you have it, good luck getting in shape and have fun. If you have an outdoor bike, buying a bicycle trainer would be enough.

Jul 13

The Anime Lover’s Favorite Air Mattress

uponamattressAs an anime lover, you would want the most comfortable spot for you to enjoy your shows or read your manga. Some do it on their couches, in the bus on their way home or any public transportation, but some prefer beds. Air beds to be specific, where you can stretch your legs and relax and adjust the air for your preferred firmness. Here are some things you need to consider before buying an air bed. Because the answer to what every anime lover’s favorite mattress is a resounding, “it depends”. So this article is to guide you what to buy and what to look out for.
Built in vs. External pump
Choosing the right pump for your bed isn’t always that easy. Some decide to get a built-in pump for its ease to use but, on the other hand, they can be very expensive. If you are on a budget, try to lean towards the one with external pumps instead.
Twin, Queen or King sized air beds.
The size, again, it just boils down to your preferred size and no one can tell you what you should buy if size is the question. Just imagine it in your head on how much space you use up when you are sleeping.
Raised or low profile
Like most of what you need to consider in getting air beds, it just boils down to your preference. However, if the air bed is meant for your children, then it is logical to buy a much lower profile bed because this is mainly for safety as it will avoid any unneeded bumps and cries during the night. As for raised beds, it is for those people who want to have a feeling that they are sleeping on a “real” bed.

Now you know the things to consider, here is a bed that is worth checking out.

SoundAsleep Dream Series
So what is in this air mattress that makes it feel like a real mattress? The manufacturer integrated a technology call ComfortCoil Technology, which apparently, the most advanced technology you can put in an air mattress today. The queen sized bed, for example has no less than 40 coils inside them which are evenly spread out across the whole inside of the mattress. These coils help maintain the mattresses’ shape, which can be a big deal to some people who are trying to look for a new mattress, but the biggest up side of this technology is that it maintains and ensures the flatness of the mattresses’ surface. So unlike most mattresses out there, this doesn’t push you to the middle of the bed all the time, the SoundAsleep air mattress will guarantee that you and your spouse will stay on your sides of the bed every night.
Critics have tried and tested this mattress and try as they might; there is little to no negative remark about this mattress. First, it has a real mattress feel, easy to use and inflate when needed and on top of that, it has one of the most advanced comfort technology out there in the market today and the price of this bed is not going to let you fall of the bed during a night’s sleep. If you’re not very eager to have an air bed, you might want to check other beds in the market today.

Feb 23

Juicing like Maaya Sakamoto (the voice of Major Motoko Kusanagi)

shimoyake bestjuicergalIf you do not know, there are underrated talents out there because we don’t get to see their faces on screen or get to experience them live because they are working mainly behind the scenes, behind the characters they voice, in fact. In Japan, there is a popular anime and manga series called The Ghost in the Shell which has the main protagonist Major Motoko Kusanagi voiced by Maaya Sakamoto, who’s juicing basics will be discussed. Most people know that juices are good for the body and can produce so many good stuff if done right and with the right stuff. It has helped Maaya Sakamoto with her carreer since she is also an actress and a singer. So what are the basics of Maaya Sakamoto’s juicing?

If you are just starting out, remember that there is a juicer for almost any budget. But of course if you are really wanting to get one, then reading up about juicers will be best for you and what you plan on using it for.

Moving on  to the produce, do not forget that the most important part of juicing is not the juicer, but the fruits and vegetables that you are juicing. Here are some tips:

  • When you are shopping for ingredients for juicing, you will need a base. These are basically the fruits and vegetables that can yield more liquid for more volume. These are Carrots, apples, greens, cucumbers and even celery. They make for great bases. After you have your base, it is time to add more color and vitamins like leafy greens, beets and especially other fruits. If you want more flavor on your juice, toss in some herbs and even spices. Popular choices are mint leaves and some fresh ginger.
  • Watch out for the so called “dirty dozen”. They are the twelve most contaminated fruits and a vegetable, what it means by contaminated is that they are the most laced with pesticides and herbicides. These are apples, nectarines, celery, sweet bell peppers, spinach, lettuce, grapes, pears, cherries, strawberries, potatoes and peaches. So if you want to add any of these in your juice, try to lean towards organic produce whenever it is possible. If you do not have access to organic produce, then there are fruits or vegetables that have a rind or peel like onions, oranges and melons.
  • More leafy vegetables on your juice, the better it gets. Just remember that green juices are an acquired taste like coffee or wine. Most veteran juicers won’t be surprised if you prefer to drink poison over green juice when you try it the first time. But as you go forward and the more you drink , the better it will taste. So the best way is that if you are just starting out, add more fruits to your juice and eventually you will be able to like it with less fruit which reduces sugar intake. Long story short, you don’t have to feel bad if you are adding lots of fruit in your juice when you first start out, but don’t be too comfortable where you are at, keep pushing yourself and shift proportions as time goes by.