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May 16, 2011

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May 16th, 2011-Recently a comment made by renowned film scribe Pat Galloway over on the SA’s Shogun-ki Blog got the Brickster ta thinkin’. Pat wuz commentin’ on THIS article that examined the truth behind the overblown 47 Ronin legend and how the droolin' whackos more resembled a group of thugs on History Channel’s “Gangland” than it did the shinin’ knights’a Bushido they’re usually billed as. In the article, it’s shown how the leader of the Ronin, Oishi Kuranosuke, was a drunk for years before the Ronin’s planned revenge and that hard drinkin’ was the single most notable skill he possessed. Pat loved it and said “I knew it! I just knew that whole bit about how Oishi was just pretending to party every night in the pleasure quarters was horseshit! Thanks for this -- I just love getting the straight dope about historical legend”. It's a little known historical fact that the Ronin were actually out lookin' fer a liquor store to knock over when they accident'ly stumbled into Kira's mansion. So yet another cherished belief goes down in flames under the scrutiny of cold, hard fact.

But ya know, it just elevates the Ronin in my eyes. Oishi really WAS a genius. I mean, the guy was a lifelong drunk, but kept makin’ excuses to his wife down to the bitter end. And what an excuse! “Hey, honey, I’m only getting loaded and hooking up with the local talent so I can throw Lord Kira’s horde of evil spies off the track. It’s all for Asano! Ohhhhhhhhhh, what a terrible sacrifice I’m making-you really oughta be thanking me for remaining true to the ideals of Bushido. You can start off by removing that kimono, and pouring me another one while you’re at it”. It’s so simple and elegant, I can’t believe I’ve never tried it before-but you can bet I will be. And since Ko’s dad has private detectives followin’ me around, I won’t even be lyin’! Well, except that I’ll have to claim they’re evil Ninjer hired by a rival film studio to rub out the Brickster, or yakuza enforcers sent to rough me up for helpin’ out a busload of nuns and their orphanage-somethin’ like that. At any rate, it’s got to work better than what I’ve been usin’. Although come to think of it, Oishi’s wife ended up divorcin’ him so maybe it ain’t such a great idea after all.

BTW, thanks for all the great comments and emails on the Brickster’s promo for “Maeda Keiji, Sengoku Stud” on the SA Podcast last week. I ain’t got that much email since…well, I ain’t ever had that much email. So thanks to everyone who wrote in to say how much they enjoyed it. I’m actually kinda worried since I didn’t get any hate mail, so maybe it wasn’t edgy enough. I’ll have to rectify that next time. The Brickster also wants ta plug a new eBook by one of the good folks who wrote him last week, “Made In DNA”. It’s called “Bukkake Brawl” and it’s available as an eBook for Kindle on If ya don’t know what “Bukkake” means, Google it and you’ll learn all you need to know about the book. I have it on good authority from an SA member who’s bought it that it’s a classic of exploitation style writin’ with “Quotable lines every four sentences”. I’d buy it in a minute if I could get it as a PDF (the cover alone is enough incentive), but I don’t have a Kindle. Too bad it ain’t on ITunes. Since it ain’t, though, guess I’ll go back to “Senor Droopy From Guadalupe”.

May 9, 2011-Make sure ya catch the Brickster’s first English language commercial-it’s runnin’ on the Samurai Archives Podcast. It’s featured on Episode 2, “The Battle of Nagashino and its Context in the Military Revolution Part 2”. Feel free ta skip right past all of the history geek spiel par excellance and get straight ta the fun part, which starts about 17:20 in. We’re pushin’ the DVD/Blu-ray release of my cult classic “Maeda Keiji, Sengoku Stud” and my English language producers have spared no expense in bringin’ it ta life in a 45 second spot. Now, things are a bit different in the West than in Japan-in Japan, we didn’t use any chanbara sound FX and the…err…moanin’ exuberance of Keiji’s conquests was front stage center. But ya really gotta strain ta hear the satisfied groans of my female co-stars in the English language version. Well, at least there’s a kewl mini-swordfight in the middle. We spent a lot of time gettin’ things just right, mainly because Kitsuno (the SA’s Shogun and editor of the podcast) didn’t know how ta convert a WMA file to an MP3. Instead, he left that up ta the Brickster, which is a lot like leavin’ Bullwinkle in charge of sortin’ out the problems at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant. Surprisin’ly, though, El Brickatore came through like a champ, or at least Koyori did, which is a big reason I married her in the first place. There ain’t nothin’ like havin’ a capable wife, mainly because it saves you the expense of havin’ ta hire a capable personal assistant. Anyway, it’s playin’ ta rave reviews, rangin’ from “I can’t stop listening to Maeda Keiji, Sengoku Stud” to “you’ve outdone yourself”. If idiocy hadn’ta drug the Ninja Dojo to its destruction, ya just know they woulda hated it, and what more ringin’ endorsement could there be? Heck, it might even sell some DVD’s!

I also recorded some complimentary ‘station breaks’ and promos for the podcast, although I might end up gettin’ pushed back since I hear the Queen of England contributed a couple. Seems she’s a big fan of LtDomer’s smolderin’ machismo.

May 2, 2011-Hey, remember back on November 6th when the Brickster did his hard-hittin’ expose of Mito Komon? Jus’ ta refresh yer memory, Komon was the historical Tokugawa Mitsukuni and was said to have wandered across Japan meddlin’ in other people’s business and puttin’ the smackdown on evil ronin, dishonest merchants, and anyone else that didn’t respect his authori-tai. Sounds like good work if ya kin get it. But what isn’t nearly as well known is that Mito Komon traveled to many other lands as well, providin’ ‘em with the Japanese culture they so desperately craved, even though most of ‘em had no idea that Japan even existed. Since anime, tentacle rape, schoolgirl uniforms, and Sony were still centuries off, most of the wisdom Mito imparted was in the form of culinary sekrits. And nowhere was he better received than in the good ‘ol USA. To this day a purveyor of greasy fried chicken parts and other cholesterol food bombs continues to pay homage to Teh Komon by incorporation’ his image inta their logo. Remember, ya heard it here first, even though I’m sure History Channel has a special in the works and that fink Stephen Turnbull is likely plannin’ to plagiarize the Brickster’s thesis. Anyway, my groundbreakin’ research was vindicated recently when my agent Obenjo Kusanosuke wandered into a KFC in Tokyo lookin’ for chicken (probably somethin’ to eat, too) and was confronted by a lifesized statue of Mito Komon decked out in full samurai regalia. The evidence couldn’t be clearer-the connection between Mito Komon and the Colonel (he of the sekrit recipe) is convincin’ly established. Naturally, he wasted no time snappin’ a pic of the evidence the Brickster’s theory needed to become accepted in the academic community. I’m sure that in no time I’ll be offered a position at Bowdoin University, where I can hang out with Tom Conlan, tear down the life’s work of other academics, and win the hearts and ample bosoms of curvy college co-eds.

Hey, and did ya know that Komon is also a Japanese word for ‘back passage’? Not that I’m implyin’ the Colonel was an ahole or anythin’, but I’m sure the Japanese didn’t call him that without reason. Musta been fer givin’ up Tokuagwa family sekrits to gaijin.

April 25, 2011-Well, it’s past time fer the Brickster’s annual sermon on the sad state of major league baseball in Cincinnati. Much as El Brickatore predicted, the most overrated player in baseball and author of the biggest choke job in history durin’ the 2010 playoffs, Scott Rolen, is on the DL and pretty much looks like he’ll be rewardin’ the three year contract the Reds gave him when they traded for him with a grand total of three months of good baseball. By Reds standards, three months on a three year contract is actually pretty good-after all, this is the same organization that not only hired the major’s worst manager, Dusty Baker, but then extended his contract. Dusty recently showed baseball fans his utter cluelessness when he had to pull his starter, Edison Volquez, before he could throw a single pitch durin’ the game. Why? Because he didn’t bother checkin’ the weather report which called for a downpour in the first innin’. His opponent, Cards manager Tony LaRussa, showed the difference between a manager that knows what he’s doin’ and the hack Baker is-he put in a scrub reliever to start the game and throw six pitches, allowin’ him to bring in his starter after the rain passed. All of the Reds who had fluke career years last season are back down to earth, the mediocre pitchin’ staff that for some reason locals thought was loaded with Cy Youngs is back to chuckin’ up battin’ practice fer opponents, and the pitcher they DIDN’T want, Aaron Harang, is 4-0 with an ERA below two for the San Diego Padres.

But even better, the Reds are startin’ to take a page from the Bengals book and have their players dabble in criminal behavior. Startin’ pitcher Mike Leake, who’s made in the neighborhood of three million bucks durin’ the last year or so, was caught last week at Macy’s shopliftin’ six T-shirts carryin’ a total value of $59.98. What a piker! He probably dips his fingers in the cup held by the blind guy sellin’ pencils and charges hospitalized preschoolers for autographs on their casts. And ta top it off, take a look at Leake’s mug shot-does this bozo look like a millionaire/upstandin’ young man about town? Nah, he looks exactly like some spaced out crackhead wonderin’ how he ended up in the pokey. And that hair-sheesh, ya think the guy could afford a comb. It ain’t like he has the excuse of havin’ hat hair after pitchin’ the normal three or four innin’s that Reds starters are usually known for. Leake’s got a novel defense-he’s claimin’ that he had bought shirts earlier and was just in the process of exchangin’ em for the ones he was tearin’ the security tags off of. Course, bein’ a swell headed prima donna spoiled pro athlete with feelin’s of entitlement, he’s way too important to be bothered by doin’ somethin’ as mundane as lettin’ the store staff in on it. Yeah, I can believe that. And Barry Bonds didn’t do steroids, either. Loathsome toad and Cincinnati Enquirer sportswriter Paul Daugherty is stickin’ up for Leake, which would be the first thing I’d bring into evidence if I was the prosecutin’ attorney since Pee Doc ain’t been right about a single thing durin’ his entire tenure on the Enquirer. Anyway, this is just the beginnin’ of the buffoonery that I see in the cards for the Reds the rest of the season. Nice to see they’re back to meetin’ the traditional expectations of Cincinnati baseball.

April 18, 2011
-I’m sure by now ya all know that the Brickster thinks that Kenny Swope of Ball State University is a schmuck. Nothin’ personal-it’s just that Swope’s crazy theories that the Ming army was an elite and feared fightin’ force and that it was their superior technology that defeated the Japanese durin’ the Bunroku/Keicho invasions of the 1590’s establish him as nothin’ less than a sloppy member of academia who forces and manipulates the evidence to support his foredrawn conclusions, much like Erich Von Daniken, Charles Manson, or any member of the Republican Party. In other words, a schmuck.

Or so I thought.

That was until Perfesser O
benjo Kusanosuke uncovered some rare film footage that surfaced in the 1930’s but has been largely forgotten since then. This footage reveals that the Ming were indeed light years ahead of both their Korean allies and Japanese foes, fieldin’ everythin’ from particle beams to the shark men that undoubtedly were the sekrit weapons that destroyed the Japanese fleet. I mean, who really believes those outrageous lies that have circulated over the years about Korean Admiral Yi? Pretty much nobody but rabid diehard Korean nationalists. I oughta know-havin’ played the role of Yi in my classi
c film “The Immoral Yi Soon Shin” it’s obvious that he was little more than a blowhard egotist and pretty much of a p-hound ta boot. Yeah, he sucked, although I’m grateful to the guy fer providin’ me with a payday. At any rate, it was obvious that the Ming were indeed Merciless and that the Japanese had nothin’ in their arsenal that even began to compete with their ferocity and technical wizardry.

Or so I thought.

That was until Perfesser Tatsunoshi uncovered some rare film footage that surfaced in the 1970’s. As you can see, the technological advantage decidin’ly swung back in favor of the Japanese. The influence of traditional Japanese armor and culture can’t be denied, and what little of the Ming Army that didn’t find itself strangled, carved up, or blown to smithereens would be in deadly danger of bein’ kawaii’d to death. The Brickster’s relieved ta know that he can go back to considerin’ Swope a hack historian and a schmuck who looks like Newman from Seinfeld and talks like him too.

It’s really amazin’ what all you kin find on the Samurai Archives. I hear that sometimes they actually talk about Japanese history and stuff.

April 11, 2011
-Everyone knows how much the Brickster loves his new I-Phone. It does it all! Well, almost everythin', but we'll get to that shortly. Anyhoo, despite the majesty of this handheld gadget, El Brickatore gets lots of grief from his pals who were late to the dinner table and signed up with Verizon to provide service fer their phones instead'a AT & T (the Brickster's service provider). I swear, if I hear once more about 'personal hot spots' or 'can you hear me now', these people are gonna have their phone shoved inta their personal hot spot so far that no one'll ever be able ta hear it. But things always work out for the Brickster in the end. To wit, this ad I saw while shoppin' for Koyori's exotic lingerie on eBay...

Yesss! It's about time a phone service took the next logical step and offered personal services at an affordable price. But y'know, even if it was Korean massagers involved, the price seemed too good to be true. And this was eBay, where sellers scammin' buyers is almost a way of life, not only for dish
onest Americans but for Chinese sellin' cheap repro knock-offs of Japanese weapons and tryin' to pass 'em off as real. Not to mention former Communist block countries sellin' sleazy sumi-e paintin's traced from originals. So rather than risk losin' the princely sum of $20, the Brickster passed. But then when I went to Amazon ta see if there were any new "Ninja Vixens" DVD's for sale, I saw the same ad! And anythin' on Amazon is money in the bank. All I can say is, AT & T has vindicated themselves in the Brickster's eyes. Does Verizon offer this service, never mind at $20 a month? I think not. So can ya hear that, Verizon freaks? While the Brickster's gettin' his own personal hot spot attended to, you'll all still be pumpin' yer own gas at the self service island, so to speak.

April 4, 2011-Ko's almost always on the Brickster's back about...well, pretty much anythin' ya can imagine, but often it's about the amount of scufflin' that seems ta crop up when I'm around. Never mind that I'm usually just an innocent spectator-she bandies about the words 'instigator' and 'provocateur' with abandon, sendin' El Brickatore scurryin' for cover-not to mention his dictionary. She's often expressed her desire fer me ta behave in a more 'decorous' manner, and sets out as an example the gentile, classy, and well-mannered university perfessers that specialize in Pre-Modern Japanese history. Guys like her dad was before he hit it big in real estate and bought into the studio, provin' that Freud was right and all women secretly desire to marry their fathers.

Anyway, the Brickster's proud to report that he's taken her advice and is now just like the leadin' lights of academia. And better yet, I didn't have to do a darn thing to get there! Nope, judgin' from this story run by our pals over at the Samurai Archives, the members of academia attendin'
the recent Association for Asian Studies and the International Convention of Asia Scholars joint conference in Honolulu were two fisted brawlers that finally wised up and saw that the only real way to make an impression on your smarmy rivals is to part their hair with a chair shot. As seen by the above photo snapped by the SA' s Shogun Kitsuno who wuz attendin' the proceedin's, there was quite a bit of carnage left in its wake and one of the combatants was carried out on a stretcher. Unfortunately the Battle Royale was broken up by Security before someone could be choke-slammed through a table, makin' it a lot like a WWE match settin' up Wrestlemania. This leads the Brickster to believe next year's conference will be an exclusive pay-per-view event featurin' the final resolution between Oshima and Fujimoto. My money's on Karl Friday interferin' in the match and takin' 'em both down, abscondin' with the coveted belt and settin' up his heel turn.

March 28, 2011
-Recently, acclaimed sammyrai historian Dr. T returned to the Samurai Archives after a lengthy sabbatical to propose a new discussion group centerin' on the book "Nagashino 1575: Slaughter at the Barricades". Now, while the Brickster's all fer improvin' readin' skillz and learnin' new facts, I vehemently (see? you can pick up all kinds'a impressive words by readin' scholarly crap) disagreed with the good doc's choices. I laid it all out for the good doc in an open letter:

"Hey Dr. T,

Y'know, even though ya botched yer attempt at greatness with "Sammyrai Women" (hint: watch "Ninja Vixens" for tips on what it shoulda' had), I'm still a big fan. But I gotta tell ya, I think yer on the wrong track for a readin' group. I mean, who in their right mind is gonna be intrested in Nagashino? On the one hand, you got the B-list commander who's determined to sacrifice his vassals to prove he's better than dahdee. On the other, you got a guy who just wants to know when the killin's gonna be over so he can get back to Ranmaru, while the craftiest commander on the field is playin' second fiddle and eatin' snacks. And you don't even mention the Sakuma letter.

No, I think this classic is far more suited for a discussion group headed up by yerself:

It's got it all! The sexy Yodo sashayin' around and cosplayin' in armor, demandin' the men of her garrison 'satisfy' her orders! The equally sexy Senhime, stickin' to her man until the last, or at least until she found a way out! The Oda were here too, but in their rightful place as flunkies of Ieyasu. And it's got the single greatest commander of the Sengoku (OK, I know 1615 isn't normally classified as the Sengoku, but little things like facts never bothered you, right?)-a man who put what he knew was right on the line-the man that covered himself in glory and whose passion and fiery soul set the standard for samurai behavior-a man who rilly knew how to make the 'six coins' count.

I'm speakin', of course, about the fabled SUSUKIDA KANSUKE! Often referred to by historians as "the Brick McBurly of his day", this hero didn't let a little thing like battle get in the way of havin' a good time. He wisely took his 'six coins' to the local brothel and was passed out drunk while the fort of Bakuroguchi under his command was bein' taken by the enemy. If you've ever seen a Mifune movie or any other 'noble ronin' effort where they thumb their nose at 'the man', it's obvious it was time well spent. And in true 'noble ronin' fashion, he redeemed hisself by dyin' gloriously but pointlessly at the later Battle Of Domyoji, where he commanded the left wing of the whole frikkin' army. The esteemed Kansuke now lays at rest in the graveyard of Domyoji itself, in a well-tended grave where he's worshipped as the kami of 'common sense and good times' by hundreds of thousands of admirers, includin' the Brickster.

Now, how could you go wrong with all this workin' fer ya? Listen to the Brickster-he's never steered anyone wrong.

And by the way, Dr. T, I gots a riddle fer ya!

Q: If "What's up doc?" is the answer, what's the question?

A: What do you say when Dr. T sits on a plunger?


Now, if THAT don't convince Dr. T he's makin' a big mistake, I don't know what will. Well, maybe a two by four to the side of his noggin', but there're laws and stuff that get in the way of that.

March 23, 2011
-About a week and a half after the initial disasters, things are slowly startin' to settle down in Japan and there's even been big strides towards limitin' the damage resultin' from the damaged nuclear reactors (even with more aftershocks hittin' Fukushima again this mornin'). Some'a the photos that Koyori has sent me from Sendai of the damage are nothin' short of jaw-droppin' and like she tells me "...nothing you see on TV or in the newspaper really prepares you for the reality". Ko's a pediatrician and although she's worked on all kinds of patients up there is mainly concentratin' on kids, and she says it's heart-breakin' the number of them with one or both parents still missin'. She's gonna be up there for at least another week and a half, but at least I'm able to get her on her cell these days. She's an absolute angel and bearin' up pretty good, although nothin' in her regular practice prepared her for the sheer amount of sufferin'.

Anyway, while the Japanese are dealin' with things a lot better than can be expected, they've only scratched the surface. So help 'em out if you can-most big online sites have some sort of way you can make a contribution large or small. Some of 'em will even give you a bonus, like the Playstation Store, which'll give you a "Japan Aid" cherry blossom theme for yer PS3 for any contribution from $2 to $50. The Brickster's sportin' it on his PS3 right now-in fact, I used it to replace my "Bar Hostesses of Yakuza 4" theme. That by itself oughta tell ya just how dire the sitch here in Japan is.

March 14, 2011-Today the Brickster wuz supposed ta relate the hilarity that was the Brick McBurly Valentine’s Day Hot Tub Party, but in light of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on the 11th, I’d like to get serious for a change. By now, most of you have heard about how it’s been the worst recorded quake in Japanese history and how the tsunami reached as far as six miles inland, turnin’ the Sendai area into a leveled wasteland. And as if that weren’t bad enough, the damage the twin disasters wreaked upon the Fukushima nuclear reactor threatens to add radioactive contamination to the list-and that seems to be the best case scenario. Japan has dealt with things quite well, with very little in the way of panic among the populace and no lootin’ and riotin’ in the aftermath. Still, they can use every bit of help they can get. The Brickster and Koyori have donated ¥100000 (about $1200 American) to the Japanese Red Cross and Koyori, who’s a doctor in her day job, has went up to Sendai along with a buncha other Kyoto medical personnel to help out with medical care for the survivors. Me, I’m keepin’ a low profile and stayin’ out of everyone’s way since I don’t think actin’ like a goof and drinkin’ are skills that would be helpful in this situation. It’s great to see all the help that’s been provided by other countries, with the good ol’ USA leadin’ the way-but even Japan’s traditional enemies South Korea and China have been lendin’ aid in a big way, givin’ hope to a greater spirit of cooperation in the future for Asia.

At any rate, the Brickster would like to ask everyone to consider givin’ a few bucks to the American Red Cross to help out. All the money collected will go straight to the Japanese Red Cross, which is doin’ a tremendous job-and by doin’ so, yer cuttin’ out the middleman since they’re won’t be expensive transportation charges flyin’ aid over there. You can go to the Red Cross Japanese Earthquake Fund page to contribute, or just text “redcross” to 90999 to contribute $10 (it’ll be automatically added to yer cell phone bill). To those of you that have already contributed, thanks a million-and if you haven’t, please think it over. All it takes is givin’ up that next pizza or coupla DVD rentals, or the cash you blow gamblin’ at the casino in one hand. While our
100000 woulda bought me a lot of sake, I think it’s bein’ used a lot better helpin’ out the survivors.

March 7, 2011-And also not to missed is "AvN", which is sekrit code for "Alien Vs Ninja" and also rips off "AvP/Aliens Vs Predator" in the process. This film doesn't bother with stuff that'll slow it down like a story or actin'. It cuts right to the chase, with a buncha Iga ninja out on patrol in the woods (bein' in the woods means ya don't haveta build sets, ya know) seein' a fiery crash. Aliens emerge, and it's game on as the Aliens snack on the Iga, who bein' ninjer and all swear revenge. It's from the same fine folks who brought ya the classic "Machine Girl" and "Tokyo Gore Police", so you can rest assured it's gonna be good. If you enjoyed "Army Of Darkness" (and who doesn't worship Teh Bruce?), you'll find the waters here to yer likin'. And oh, hot ninja chicks in skintight black leather-sigh. Buy the Blu-ray version and soak in every glorious detail. Just another film tip from the Brickster, cuz he luvs all of ya.

And BTW, I haven't forgotten about the "Brick McBurly Valentine's Day Hot Tub Party". Well, OK, rilly I did, but since Hikonyan's been pesterin' me to post about it, I'll do so next week. Ya know, for an androgynous white blob of goo, Hikonyan's beginnin' to grow on me. He's violent, impulsive, and he don't take orders from nobody. I kin respect that.

February 21, 2011-While the 53rd Zatoichi flick, Taiga dramas, and naked mole rats might be truly excitin', the Brickster's here to bring ya a film that's the real deal-one that somehow all the film geniuses at the SA managed to overlook. I'm speakin', of course, of "Oppai Chanbara: Striptease Samurai Squad". What's an Oppai, you ask? Well, it ain't the Japanese version of Sheriff Taylor's baldin' son. They're nice and round like the "O" and come in pairs like the pp. And when it comes to 'em, the Brickster's reaction is "ai". So's that how they got Oppai. Sure, the title is a complete ripoff of the title of the XBOX 360 game "Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad" (with "Oppai Volleyball" thrown in) but since Tokyo Shock owns the rights to both, I guess it's OK.

Anyway, the film follows 20 year old Lili as she prepares to inherit the legacy of the martial art Sayama Hashinryu. What's Sayama Hashinryu, you ask? It's a deadly sword style that has three requisites: 1) it can only be used in a life-or-death fight, 2) the practioner must be female, 3) the practioner must be STACKED. Now, THAT'S a martial art! Durin' the ceremony, Lili is mysteriously transported back in time 300 years (in the process stealin' the Brickster's schtick) and finds herself protectin' nubile females from the evil Lady Okino and her vast army-which amounts to three Yamashika ninjer. Babes, blades, and boobs-how can you go wrong? You can't! So forego watchin' a borin' hack job piece of crap like "Hara-kiri" for the umpteenth time and watch this puppy instead. You'll be glad you did.

February 21, 2011
Hi, everyone! HiHiHiHiHi! It's me, Hikonyan, badass samurai cat and stalwart defender of the samurai ethic! I'm guest hosting this week as Brick is still recovering from the annual "Brick McBurly Valentine's Day Hot Tub Party". I'm sure he'll tell you all about it along with my starring role next week! Nyan nyan!

Say, have you ever wanted to play Nobunaga No Yabou (Nobunaga's Ambition to my friends in the West!) but the repetitive province grabbing action, micromanaging, and same cast of tired historical characters has kept you from taking the plunge? Well, now you can enjoy all the action of Nobunaga No Yabou-now with REAL SAMURAI CATS standing in as your favorite Japanese daimyo! Nyan nyan! It's a can't-lose situation! The nice people at Koei are releasing "NobuNYAga No Yabou" this February 22nd. Hey, that's tomorrow-I can hardly wait! You can download this wonderful Japanese language game onto your PC (and for you uppity types, I think the Mac too) and enjoy the added dimension that the feline antics of Nobunyaga and his friends bring to the dance. Guys, you know that this game is going to provide a great chance to meet Japanese History Grrrllllssss! I mean, just look at the hot blonde from the lower left hand corner of the screen in the link! Well, yeah, she's actually from a different game (Tierra Americana) but you'll know she'll be playing-all chicks dig kitties! And Gals-it's a game filled with cats!!! Aren't we cute? You'll see political intrigue, battlefield strategy, resource management-everything you've come to expect in the regular games, only a lot cuter and fuzzier. Kawaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiii!!!!!! Now, I know the question on everyone's mind at this point-but no, unfortunately, your old pal Hikonyan won't be appearing in the game (or my pals Shima Sakonyan or Ishida Mitsunyan either). There's that old nasty 'non-compete' merchandising clause I have with the city of Hikonyan. Darn!!! But I'll be there in spirit. Help the good samurai in Japan put the last nail in the coffin of the evil Teh Tenma Meow (hahahahahahaha-get it? Maou? Meow?), or play as Nobunyaga himself and show everyone just what kind of pussy you are!

Remember, a man might live but fifty years, but a cat has nine lives, so you've already got a tail up on surviving the turbulent times of the Sengoku in...NOBUNYAGA NO YABOU!!!

February 14, 2011
-Recently the Brickster wuz chattin’ with his pal Tatsu from the Samurai Archives. It seems Tatsu’s wife raked him over the coals for not keepin’ up with the latest cell phone, computer, and HD Tee Vee technology. This reminded yers truly of one of the biggest misconceptions Westerners have. I’m speakin’, of course, of what Japanese women are like.

Most Westerners have this image of Japanese women as meek, mild, and tiny deferential soft spoken little things in kimono that exist only to pamper their husbands, screw their brains out, pour drinks for ‘em, and make ‘em comfortable. This image is encouraged by mail order/internet ads for ‘cherry blossom’ wives and crappy Western movies dealin’ with Japan like Shogun and Sayonara. But lemme tell ya…about the only thing this image has right is the ‘tiny’ part. Well, and in my case, screwin’ my brains out, but only because I’m every woman’s sekrit fantasy.

Sure, Japanese women take a different approach to dealin’ with men than Western women. Western women, most of whom are jealous of and secretly desire to be Western men (that whole ‘penis envy’ thing), interact with men by tryin’ to browbeat, threaten, and intimidate them. Oh yeah, that’ll work, Brunhilda. Japanese women, on the other hand, know that sweet-talkin’ a man and finessin’ ‘em will ALWAYS work. But don’t for a second confuse that with bein’ meek and mild. In Japan, the home and finances have traditionally been the venue of wives for centuries. And they take that duty VERY seriously. Not to mention most Japanese men have been babied and controlled by their mothers, so their wives basically have to treat ‘em like they’re their mother as well. What this means is that anyone married to a Japanese woman is gonna have to toe the line. Japan is a shame-based culture (rather than the Christian guilt-based culture of Western countries), and anythin’ you do that reflects poorly on her ability to manage and take care of her household and family will boomerang right back atcha. If you eat the wrong stuff and start puttin’ on pounds, you WILL be scolded and put on a diet. If you show up drunk every night, you WILL be berated. If you don’t make your best effort to be a provider, you WILL be extensively lectured and picked apart. You WILL be expected to hand over your paycheck to your lovin’ bride and hope that she’ll have it in her heart to give you a small pittance of an allowance (which, by the way, is why the majority of Japanese advertisin’ is aimed at women). It’ll all be done in the sweetest and most pleasant manner possible in cute voices that sound like the music of tinklin’ silver bells, which just makes it worse, because you’ll feel like a louse for bein’ so unworthy of such a kind and lovin’ woman. Yeah, they’re that connivin’. And don’t think you can ever, EVER hide anythin’ from them. They’ll know. Yes, they will. Like that famous philosopher Barney Rubble once said, “That’s not a wedding ring you put on their finger. It’s a radar set”. And if everythin’ else they try fails to get their way, they’ll break out their sekrit weapon. Yeah, I’m talkin’ about puttin’ on their high school uniforms. As I’ve examined at length in the past, the power of a Japanese woman in a sailor suit is such that even the most strong-willed he-man is doomed to eventual subservience. It’s fruitless to even try, although it is quite a bit of fun. Just thinkin’ of Ko in hers with a black book briefcase, loafers, loose floppy socks, and a big grin on her face is enough to sap my will and turn me into her mindless drone. It’s just awful! Well, it ain’t that awful. The punishment is not too bad. I think I can take it, eh? Maybe that’s why I act up so much.

February 7, 2011
So how was my newest classic received durin' its limited engagement? Well, howz about we let the official press release tell the story...

"The critics are unanimous in their praise*!

Lt Domer, creator of ‘LOL Samurai’ and connoisseur of the Fine Arts-“Aside from myself, no one could come closer to capturing the true essence of this misunderstood master warrior than the Brickster. I’m just pissed that a dime a dozen washed up has been never was beat me to it. I have ten Maeda Keiji Sengoku Busho coffee cans, and wouldn’t trade them for a million Nobunagas…although I might for a Blu-ray copy of Ninja Assassin”

The Screwed Up Pathetic Realm Of Loathsome Bloated Kaiju-“More snack food. Movie need more Twinkies. Wheelbarrow full of Twinkies. Hungry. Tasty. Itchy. Twinkies. MMMMmmmmmmmmm……”

Uncle Ashigaru’s Prime Time Cinema Drive-In Theater-“I liked the naughty bits”

The Forty-Seven Ronin-“After seeing what Keiji made out of his life, we regret having thrown away our lives on killing a blameless old man to settle the score for a worthless drunk. But we’re dead now, so oh well”

The Usagi Yojimbo HoJo-“Cuddles McBurly is a welcome newcomer to the ranks of anamorphic animal samurai. Too bad they had to include all that nasty sex stuff and storylines we didn’t understand.”

The Yakuza Film Rundown-“Forget it, Brick. This is the third time you’ve inadvertently deleted our review from your email and asked for it again. Who knew your computer skills were as bad as your acting?”

Fighting Women’s News-“After our screening of ‘Maeda Keiji-Sengoku Stud’ we felt like laying down our arms and opening our…well, tee hee, you know, for the Brickster. His tour de force performance shows the folly of violence and the importance of real, heartfelt love-and getting him a beer after we’re done. It was Brickalicious! Hands down, better than a harigata”.

Mark Duhcascos-“Keiji’s the subject of my next special, and I was thrilled to find such a gold mine of historical information that I can use to pad out what amounts to a two hour travelogue showing me throwing History Channel’s money down the crapper. Keiji is every bit as important to Japanese history as Musashi. I guess they’re both comparable to Pee Wee Herman’s importance to the history of the Alamo, but I can really use the paid vacation”.

Miyamoto Musashi-“Hey, I AM important. History Channel devoted an entire special to me. What, you didn’t see it? And Brick, I still haven’t forgotten that wedgie you gave me in Season One. I’ll get you for that!”

Uchiyama Rina-“Did I hear ‘Brickalicious’? MMMMmmmmmmmmm……”

Brick’s Picks Fer Samurai Flicks-“Yes, Rina, you did! And this film is brilliant! Author! Encore! There’s no question that El Brickatore deserves an Oscar and more importantly a big raise, not the proposed pay cut, fer his performance in this cinematic masterpiece. He’da been even better if his troublesome costar Koyori hadn’t cramped his style all the way through filmin’ on and off the set. I mean, what is she, his mother or sumthin’? Still, his deft balancin’ of comedy and masculinity is no small feat, ‘specially considerin’ I…err, he was drunk all the while through filmin’”.

Please watch for our humble film when it premieres February 25th at a theater near you!

*of Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai."

January 31, 2011
-Here's the official synopsis included in the press kit of the Brickster's newest classic:

"You LOVED him in "Shogun Sexecutioner"!

You ADORED him in "Abarenbo Gaijin"!

You WORSHIPPED him in "The Immoral Yi Soon Shin"!

Now, it's his turn to return the love! Brick McBurly IS "Maeda Keiji: Sengoku Stud!" Based on the best selling otome computer game, it's the Brickster's newest full length motion picture from the same folks who brought you Obenjo Kusanosuke’s “The Yoshiwara: A Scratch ‘N Sniff Guide”. Follow the adventures of Keiji, the legendary "Vagabond of the Maeda", as he drifts from town to town. All of the famous incidents in the historical Keiji's travel journal are here! Cry as Keiji is cast out from the Maeda after a ground-breaking attempt at being the first eco-friendly, "green" samurai. Who knew that Keiji's "tree hugging" performance with family matriarch Matsu would lead to so much trouble? Undaunted, Keiji and his stout oak hit the road where the rebellious rapscallion breaks all the rules! When the evil Kato Kiyomasa bans dancing in his fief, it's Keiji to the rescue! The anal retentive Kato is powerless as Keiji proceeds to Osaka Castle and "does" the Cha-Cha, resulting in the Taiko's concubine stepping in and removing the ban (along with all of her clothes)!

While on his journey of enlightenment, Keiji hits upon the scheme of providing "protection" for castles that have been left in the hands of the wives of daimyo who are away conducting warfare! This not only assures he's completely out of danger, but also allows Keiji to make the rounds of the most famous women of his time! From Hosokawa Gracia to Nene, No (who says anything but to Keiji), Oichi, Inahime, Ginchyo, and the sassy Ogo (who changes her name to "O-goD!" when she's with Keiji), they're all here! The Studio has spared no expense in rounding up the most famous up-and-coming starlets from local Soaplands in casting these real-life "History Grrrrllllsssss!"

But it's not all about the opposite sex-try as he might not to, Keiji is inextricably drawn into the web of battles that will decide the fate of the land! Watch as Keiji pulls off the miracle at Hasedo! Acting as the "rear guard" for Uesugi Kagekatsu and Naoe Kanetsugu, Keiji singlehandedly thwarts the advances of the one eyed wonder worm Date Masamune and the "crack" troops of his evil yet flamboyant Shudo Squad!

Brick's favorite (and father-in-law mandated) costar Koyori McBurly plays Tomoe, Keiji's biggest fan, as she follows him from town to town in an effort to win his heart and settle down with the rogue warrior. How'd she get here from the Kamakura era? Well, she's fictional-we can put her anywhere we want, smartass! For all her fans who were devastated when she was slaughtered by pedestrian writing in the pages of a hack author’s lame fantasy series, she's back and doing what she does best-kicking butt and showing off her goodies! And in her first co-starring role, the newest McBurly, Cuddles, appears as Matsukaze...Keiji's jive talkin’ hip-hoppin’ skateboardin’ animal sidekick (voiced by famous American voice over artist Edie Murphy)! Other well known stars include Uchiyama Rina as Izumo Okuni, Oshida Reiko as the Yoshiwara Shogun, and the sprirt of Mercedes McCambridge as the voice of bloated kaiju Hagfat!

You can't go wrong! It's the perfect date movie and the kids will love the talking monsters and cute animals! Please watch for our humble film when it premieres February 25th at a theater near you!"

January 24, 2011
-It's been awhile between big screen appearances fer the Brickster-almost a year when "The Immoral Yi Soon Shin" was released. What with the upgrades done to the TV show and my appearances on J-variety programmin', there wasn't much time to shoehorn in an entry for the local multiplex. However, the Brickster's pleased to announce the impendin' release of what's sure to be a blockbuster even bigger then "Shogun Sexecutioner". The studio is so impressed with the film that they gave it a limited release in two theaters in December so's it could qualify for the Japanese Academy Awards. Don't believe the rumors that the Studio did it so they could take it as a tax write-off for 2010.

So, what is my new epic? It's a film based on the adventures of one of the most famous samurai of the Sengoku-someone so compellin' that he was even included in Georgia Coffee's 'Sengoku Busho' series of coffee cans. A samurai that not only only fought with his sword, but with his mind-not to mention what he wuz carryin' around in his hakama. Yes, it's "Maeda Keiji-Sengoku Stud". Based on the best-sellin' computer game of the same name, this tale relates the story of the fabled "Vagabound Of The Maeda" as he roams the length and breadth of Japan with his faithful horse Matsukaze (played by Cuddles McBurly in her first co-starrin' role). Keiji has hit upon the idea of hirin' himself out as a security consultant, seein' to the defense of daimyo castles while they're away at war. Not only does this keep him safely away from the dangers of the battlefield, but puts him right in the middle of hordes of women bereft of male companionship! Need I say more? This movie is a big step forward for women's rights in Japan, as when one of the castles Keiji is defendin' actually comes under attack, he gathers the women of the castle together and sends them forth to confront the enemy on his behalf. You've never seen samurai combat quite like this! In the next couple of weeks we'll be providin' the official press release along with the reviews done by critics who saw the limited run in December. The film goes into general release February 25th in selected locations around Japan. Either that, or straight to video, dependin' on how drunk Ko's father is when I try to sneak the distribution deal past him. Anyway, just as a special treat for readers of McBurly Monogatari, here's one of the publicity stills (which our photog Obenjo Kusanosuke did up in an old fashioned 60's chanbara film style):

January 17, 2011-Y’know, one’a the reasons I ain’t been online as much lately is that I was workin’ on a scholarly piece of work that involved a lotta detail, meticulous research, paintstakin’ analysis, and the postulation of groundbreakin’ theories. I’m speakin’, of course, about my magnum opus, “A History of Sex in Japan To 1334”. This of course is my masterful reworkin’ of George Sansom’s classic but outdated book “A History of Japan To 1334”. Correctin’ all the mistakes and dated info along with excisin’ the crap nobody cared about and replacin’ it with bits that would catch the interest of every college freshman took a good solid two weeks. After pourin’ my heart an’ soul into this labor of love and devotin’ a significant portion of my life to it, you’d think my position in academia would be secured for all time.

But judgin’ from the reaction this masterpiece got recently over at the Samurai Archives, it just goes to show how voraciously those college geeks defend their three acres of land. I’m not sayin’ that forum Shogun Kitsuno is takin’ payoffs from Mary Elizabeth Berry to peddle “The Culture of Civil War in Kyoto” at the expense of mine or that he’s been kidnapped and replaced by Kato Kiyomasa, Destroyer of Historians, but let’s face it. Who wants to read about a city gettin’ burned and a buncha guys fightin’ over the ashes when you could be checkin’ out alla your fav’rit women of Japanese history, posed the way you want ‘em to be? Tomoe Gozen might never have existed, but trust me, your Uncle Woody wouldn’t know the difference. Who cares about the Red Monk when you can be checkin’ out Pinku? Those iron clubs toted around by the samurai of Kyoto ain’t got nothin’ on what the Brickster brings to the boudoir. The countless pointless drive-by’s in Berry’s book don’t add up to one page of my excitin’ account of the Great Miyako Pillow Fight. Who would ever believe my book would come in tied for last in the poll taken to determine which book would form the focus for the next study group? Well, I ain’t convinced it did. Despite the huge groundswell of support from the Brickster’s fans and an impassioned plea from no less than Obenjo Kusanosuke hisself (makin’ a rare SA cameo), it seems pretty apparent that the results were doctored to fit the agenda of the evil Shogun. Either that, or the entire membership of the SA is gay, and I know that ain’t the case since Tatsu is married to Ko’s sister. In the wake of this disaster, the world may never see my new versions of the final two volumes in Sansom’s ‘History of Japan’ series. Serves ‘em right.

On a happier note, next week I’ll have the low-down on my first starrin’ role of 2011, “Maeda Keiji-Sengoku Stud”.

January 10, 2011
Hey, remember way back on November 16th of 2009 when the Brickster reported on death via Ko's boobs? As you'll recall, the first bit of animation from Abarenbo Gaijin: The Animated Series mesmerized its creator, doomin' him to death via starvation. It seems that the animation of Koyori's rack bouncin' as she runs across the beach has been responsible for several more deaths of animators who worked at home alone. Until our crack team of researchers finds a way to make this spectacle safe for yer viewin' pleasure, we've had to regrettably pull this awesome bit of animation from And in case ya ain't figgered it out yet, that's also why the animated series is on standby. Rest assured that when viewin' Koyori's enhanced, ample bosom won't result in a slow, wastin' death for the men (and certain women) in the audience, we'll put it right back in it's placeholder.

January 3, 2011
-Bring up the name of Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker and it won’t be long before fecal matter is introduced into the conversation. Baker’s easily the worst in-game manager in major league baseball, not to mention notorious for abusin’ and burnin’ out the arms of stud pitchers like Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, Aaron Harang, and Edison Volquez. Unfortunately, since Baker’s had the good fortune to have players that are good enough to win despite him, he’s stuck around for years-and ‘stuck’ is exactly how most knowledgeable Reds fans feel about him. At any rate, let’s get back to the poop. Baker, who’s also temperamental and easily insulted, wuz whinin’ in a recent interview about those terrible Chicago Cubs fans and the absolutely horrid treatment he received at their hands while servin’ as manager there. Well, Dust, that’s what happens when you inherit a team fulla All-Stars, manage to win nothin’, gut it, and leave it in chaos all in the course of three years. Nice job. But Baker took it a step further when he stated that “somebody took a dump right where I stood in the dugout every day”. Hah! No doubt a gift left by one of the many players whose career he sabotaged. Baker, never one to be mistaken for a consummate professional, sounded a lot like Beavis (of Beavis and Butt-Head fame) while trottin’ out this revelation. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. The next time someone yells at Dusty from the stands that ‘you stink’, ol’ Dust better check his shoes-they might not be speakin’ rhetorically.

December 27, 2011
-While the Brickster generally prefers drinkin’ in Japanese bars and teahouses, I gotta admit that bars in the good ‘ol USA can give you experiences you just won’t find anywhere else. Fer example, check out this pic taken at Spooker’s Bar in Cincy while El Brickatore was doin’ his annual publicity tour around the Tri-State haunt circuit last October:

It ain’t often that you can have your drink mixed up by none other than haunt icon Bug Boy hisself (he’s the one with the hat and bugs all over him, for you guys who just got off the short bus). The MLB World Series was on the TeeVee over the bar, and the hometown Reds were lookin’ good. Course, it was the 1990 World Series, since they choked, had their keesters handed to them and were humiliated by the Phillies in the first round this year. Provin’ that everyone has some special skill, my pal Igor made for a great adjustable drink coaster. Now, some of the more astute amongst ya mighta noticed that the chick on the left ain’t all that she appears to be. But she was friendly enough, and the drinks were on her, and besides, she had her eye on the guy in the Budweiser jersey, not me. Snacks for the night were no prob since the six legged appetizers were on the Bugster...literally. It was kinda like Bug Boy’s Birthday Bash: BooSe, Babes, Blood, and Brickster…a tale of alliteration. There’s somethin’ about watchin’ a fedora wearin’ drunken skeleton covered in bugs, smokin’ cigars, and poundin’ down drinks that makes ya wonder if he orders a beer…and a mop.

December 20, 2010-The Brickster wants to take this opportunity ta wish all of his pals in the USA a 'Merry Christmas'. While these days I've gone native and tend to celebrate the New Year's holiday here in Japan instead, I still have warm memories for all of those great Christmases I enjoyed back in the day. My family was so poor that folks used to call me Patches, but my mom and dad pulled out all the stops for Christmas. They were savvy investors, too, since I kept a lott'a the toys I got over the years and managed to sell 'em on eBay for a cool fortune when it first started up. That musta been where Ko got the impression I wuz rich, but after the massive down payment on our ridiculously overpriced story-and-a-half Kyoto mansion with the postage stamp sized yard, she was stripped of those thoughts pretty quick. Good thing her dad's loaded. Anyway, as you can see by the pic, I've even managed to initiate Cuddles McBurly into the Christmas Tradition. Ain't she gettin' big? I just hope that the little rascal enjoys the toys and treats in the stockin' as much as she did the red tissue paper she stole from Koyori while she was wrappin' gifts. Ain't nothin' like watchin' a scantily clad angry Japanese woman chasin' a little dog around a table to set the Christmas mood.

December 13, 2010
-Hah! The Brickster has now established hisself as the Splat-master. Not only have I beaten Splatterhouse 2010 on every difficulty level, found every nekkid photo of heroine Jennifer and S-ranked every survival arena (includin’ alla the exclusive downloadable ones), I’ve done it on BOTH systems the game has been released on. That’s right-I’m 1000/1000 for achievements on the XBOX 360 and garnered the coveted Platinum Trophy for snaggin’ the other 50 trophies on the PS3. Such remarkable feats as “The Business Of Killing”, “South Of Hell”, “Morbid Dismemberment”, “Barrels of Blood”, “Jen Smells Of Rot…Of The Grave”, “Head On Arrival”, and the unforgettable “Be Garbage Of Cesspool” now grace my list of vid game accomplishments. And unlike most guys makin’ this claim, I not only have been with a real woman in the biblical sense, but several dozen of them.

What really sucks, though, is that the geniuses at Namco/Bandai Japan gave the game next to no advertisin’ dollars or support, doomin’ it to an early grave in the vicious competition of Christmas season vid game sales. These clowns have even cancelled the Japanese versions of the game, makin’ the Brickster even gladder he snuck behind Ko’s back and ordered his two NA copies off Amazon USA. 

December 6, 2010
-So, accordin’ to the American newspapers the Brickster’s esteemed old gray haired mother sends him, murderin’ psycho cult leader and hero to thousands of other whackos Charlie Manson managed to get hold of yet another cell phone in his luxurious suite in a California prison. Seems like this is the second time guards have discovered the rascally inmate with one’a the handheld nuisances. So, what I wanna know is-what kinda model was it? Was it a smart phone that old Chuck could download games and apps onto, includin’ one that’s available that would provide him with his own memorable quotes? Does he play ‘Angry Birds’ in between bouts of sodomy after Lights Out, or is he more of a ‘Hobo’ 1-2-3 type of guy (I’m thinkin’ the latter)? Is he plannin’ further escapades usin’ Google Maps to plot his next move and Mapquest for directions? Tryin’ to set up a reunion tour with Tex Watson and some of his former Monkees bandmates? Did Charlie set up a Facebook page, Twitter his pals, and text schoolgirls under the pretense of bein’ a tween?

More importantly, just who the hell is he callin’? The records for the phones show he was chattin’ with folks across the USA and even other countries. Was this on the ‘friends and family’ (Charlie does have quite the extended Family, ya know) plan? Or was the notorious Manson humor manifestin’ itself in prank calls to complete strangers? The mind boggles at gettin’ a random ring from Charles Manson. Think about it the next time you field a call-what if your caller ID lit up with ‘Charles Manson’ and a wild-eyed starin’ photo of Chuck from back in his heyday? And then a raspy, unsteady voice croonin’ out “Hey, duuuuuuuuuude……..” followed by evil gigglin’ and an inquiry into the availability of Prince Albert, finishin’ up with the sound of a commode flushin’. Ya know, the kinda calls I’m always gettin’ from my agent Obenjo. I’m thinkin’ of writin’ an original screenplay based on the concept-“Phone Calls From Charlie”. In it, a young, nubile Japanese woman with a heavin’ bosom receives bizarre, threatenin’ voice mails from the cantankerous old Charlie and reaches out to the manly Brickster for solace and protection. Although the crafty Charlie proves ta be a formidable opponent who’s more than a match for the Brickster in this war of words, El Brickatore ultimately triumphs by havin’ Chuck’s carrier switched from Verizon to AT & T.

November 29, 2010
-Some of ya know that my ever-suspicious father-in-law Naomasa, in his efforts to convince his daughter I'm unworthy of a woman of her stature, is in the habit of randomly havin' private detectives follow me around (both here in Japan and in the States). This doesn't tend to be a problem for the crafty Brickster, whose experience actin' in ninja films has made him an expert when it comes to ditchin' his unwanted shadows. But lately, I've noticed that none of them have been trailin' me. Strangely enough, though, Ko seems to know exactly where I am at all times and who I'm with. This extends to knowin' what seat I'm occupyin' at the corner table at the Lucky Star Tea House, what floor and room I'm at in the local Rabu Hoteru (strictly for background research for my films, ya know), or what stall I'm usin' at Kyoto Station. She can even accurately describe what my companions are (or aren't) wearin'. I don't mind tellin' ya, it's spooky and eerie. But then it hit me-it's gotta be that IPhone she insisted I have. The damn thing has a GPS in it and she's figgured out a way to access it, and as if that weren't bad enough, she musta figgured out how to remotely operate the camera too. Damn! I'm way too attached to the phone now to ditch it. The new wave of electronic gadgets is sure makin' life challengin' for those of us who like to sample the wares.

November 22, 2010-The Brickster has played the game...and (severed) hands down, Splatterhouse for PS3 and XBOX 360 is THE horror game of the year. It manages to combine appeal to the existin' fanbase of the original classics with a game designed for today's player. The bloodlettin', gore, frenzied action, deep combat system, and downright over-the-top Splatterkills (such as rippin' a creature's entrails out through where the sun don't shine) make this the ultimate monster-bashin' experience. There's even doses of Hammer Horror (as exemplified by the Cushing-like Dr. Henry West) along with a backstory that ties in the Cthulhu mythos of H. P. Lovecraft, so it's a well-rounded genre-crossin' horror effort as well. The soundtrack combines a solid metal artist lineup for the frantic moments/survival modes with a classic horror score gracin' the majority of the levels. Carryin' on the proud Splatterhouse tradition, fleshy weapons torn off of enemies (and even the player's own lopped off limbs) comprise a major part of the player's arsenal. We've all heard "I'll rip your arm off and beat you to death with it"...but here's a game that actually lets you do it. The survival mode is a great place for players to hone their mastery of the art of creature slaughterin'. Jim Cumming's VO of the Terror Mask manages to be both disturbin' and hilarious at the same time. Ever wanted to hear Winnie The Pooh droppin' the f-bomb every third word? Well, this is the game for you. Just to round out the B-movie exploitation feel, we have T & A in the form of heroine Jen's unlockable nekkid photos. And finally, you get the original trilogy as free unlockables just by playin' the game-and not havin' to pay for it as DLC. Heck, if you look closely at the credits, you'll even see that the ol' Brickster hisself received a mention. It all adds up to a game that both pays homage to the originals and takes it to a degree that couldn't even be imagined back in the day. Like a famous movie villain once said, "Ah! Now that's good work! The skulls... the bodies... you give it all such a glow! I don't know if it's art, but I like it!" It was the mansion of Dr. West...but those that knew better called it the Splatterhouse.

November 15, 2010
-Most of ya know that the Brickster's been anxiously anticipatin' the release of the new Splatterhouse game for XBOX 360 and PS3. This relaunch of the 1980's-1990 classic series is featurin' buckets of blood, senseless violence, unspeakably evil monsters, and a game system that allows you to rip the arms off enemies and beat them with it. Really. It's been delayed for well over a year while the developers made sure it had just the right ambiance-after all, you wouldn't want it to be just another SF-Fantasy wussfest. Nope, it needed to be all-out horror-and since the Brickster managed to get his hands on a preview copy of the game, I'm seein' that they managed to deliver the goods gloriously. It sucks that the 'somewhat not legal' copy I got only works on a slim PS3, not the original fat one I have. I was only able to sneak in a few minutes of gameplay at Gamestop before they threw me out-the game action and the Brickster's exhortations for hero Rick to "rip those rotten bastards a new one" seemed to be upsettin' the kiddies lookin' for Madden and Halo. And even better, thanks to Rob at West Mansion, the Brickster's name even made it into the game's credits in the instruction manual! I couldn't ask to be included in a more elite group. Anyway, that's not what I really want to talk about today. You know how in most games the heroes have to go through some incredibly brutal BS to fight their way to the end and free their loved one/snag the magik relic? Usually it's some dame like Princess Toadstool or a piece of crap reproduction made in China whose only magic power is separatin' you from yer hard earned cash. But that
  ain't the case in Splatterhouse. Ohhhhhhhhh noooooooooo!!!!!! They actually give you somethin' worth goin' after. To wit, I give you this (image courtesy of our pals at West Mansion):

Yep, this is what you're workin' to get to-Jennifer Willis, Rick's intended. I'd say her toadstools are in all the right places. Can you believe they actually had her as the "Gamer Girl of the Month" in the December issue of Playboy? A three page centerfold along with the traditional Playboy profile page! How cool is that? And in case yer wonderin' the little terror masks ain't in the Playboy spread-they were added by WM to keep your impressionable young minds from bein' corrupted. This is a game that really gives you a reason to go through hell and back. Heck, you can even collect revealin' snaps of Jennifer in game-after all, you'll need somethin' to remember her by when ya screw up and she's mercilessly slaughtered and sexually assaulted by unholy monsters. Now I also know why Ko is so adamant about not wantin' me to have this game-although, strangely enough, except for her bein' about four pounds lighter than Jen, her measurements are exactly the same. I sense Splatterhouse cosplay in Ko's immediate future.

November 8,
2010-One of the most beloved characters in Japanese fiction, film, and television is Mito Komon. He was an old coot of a samurai who wandered around Japan disguised as a retired wealthy merchant. With his two young aides, he did his best McBurly imitation by beatin' the crap out of ronin, gangsters, corrupt officials, and pretty much anyone who pissed him off. And just to put the exclamation point on things, at a dramatic moment his lackeys would confront evildoers with his inro sportin' the Tokugawa crest-just so they know they're not only gettin' humiliated by a ji, but that he's also THE MAN.

But did you know that Mito Komon was a historical figure? Yep, he was the historical Tokugawa Mitsukuni (1628-1701), a member of the Mito branch Tokugawa family. Mitsukuni was a historian and began work on Dai Nihonshi, a history of Japan that took over 200 years to write. Yea
h, he's probably the guy that changed the number of guns at Nagashino from 1000 to 3000 because he liked the idea, settin' the precedent for Wikipedia's scholastic standards. He wandered around the countryside lookin' for sources to use in his meisterwork, and since people got bored easily in those days, his travels began to become the basis for all kinds of legends and wild stories.

What's even more obscure is the fact that Mito Komon was one of the first Japanese to travel to the West. Still in disguise, he visited many foreign lands, sharin' with them the secrets of Japanese culture and cuisine in return for knowledge of their strange ways. His special recipes became the stuff of even greater legends in the West, and it was ironic that this same knowledge was to be exported back to Japan around 150 years later when Matthew Perry's Black Ships steamed into Edo Harbor in 1853. This of course was what led to the entire 'expel the barbarians' movement, which was spearheaded by none other than the Mito branch. The shameless copyright infringement involvin' Mito Komon's secret recipes indulged in by the hated westerners showed these visionaries exactly what they could expect from outsiders in the future. Alas, it didn't work out quite as th
ey planned, and it was decided to embrace Western cuisine as a way to make Japan strong enough to confront the West on its own terms, usin' its own weapons. But it's now 150 later, and things have proved so tasty that the Mito extremists got fat and lazy eatin' Western food, and they decided "screw it...and hand me those mashed potatoes. Then I'm heading over to Mr. Donut".  And in the interim, the Chinese had learned from the USA and become the masters of copyright infringement, makin' it all a moot point. Matthew Perry's master plan had thereby come to fruition, a plan over 200 years in the makin'-thus endin' this tale of Mito Komon.

November 1, 2010-With baseball season now over, it's time to reflect on how the world of American baseball has treated Yoshida Eri, the cute little 18 year old female knuckleball pitcher from Japan that pitched this season in the Golden Baseball League for the Chico Oulaws. Sadly, things didn't go so well. While she certainly helped the team's attendance, she was hammered on a pretty consistent basis. Accordin' to the NY Times, she ended up 0-4 with a 12.28 ERA (!) and was dropped form the Outlaw's playoff roster. She was kinda young for that league so hopefully it'll just be a learnin' experience and she'll do better next year.

Now, the Brickster has no such hopes from his hometown Cincinnati Reds. Somehow or another the Reds managed to win the NL Central this season, despite havin' the league's worst manager, Dusty Baker, mismanagin' things from day one all the way through the playoffs. Even though the Reds were awful against teams with a winnin' record, they pulled it off by feastin' on the truly wretched teams in their division. The off season by the St. Louis Cards and career years by most of their players were big factors too. But they proved what they were made of in the playoffs versus the Phillies, puttin' on one of the biggest choke jobs in history. They were no hit in game one, shut out in game three, and blew a big lead in game two via a combination of errors, mental mistakes, walks, and hit batters. And the Red's so called savior, Mr 'Veteran Leadership' Scott Rolen, whose alleged cool presence and work ethic was to take the team to the promised land, was the biggest choker of them all-1 for 11 with 8 strikeouts in 11 at-bats, crucial errors in the field, and a mental error that helped cost them game two. Nice job, Scott. This guy musta been doused in bleach 'stead of champagne durin' the division championship celebration, cuz he faded out of sight the last half of the season. The worst part about the championship is that Reds management felt compelled to extend manager Baker's career for two more seasons, meanin' that we're gonna have to suffer through 324 games of excruciatin'ly bad 1910's era baseball. I'm lookin' for the Reds to be solidly entrenched in mediocrity again next season.

October 25, 2010-Hey, it's been awhile, ain't it! The Brickster's been swamped doin' haunt promo work for local attractions in his hometown and introducin' Koyori to the glory of Halloween. Don't let her 'tough girl' roles like on Abarenbo Gaijin fool ya-she's a real wuss. When I took her through the Slaughterhouse at Kings Island, you'da thought she'd never seen someone cut up into little pieces while still livin' and ate by psychotic butchers before. Anyhoo, I also had my computer crash and had to do a complete system restore, and to fix it I had to walk to the computer store through burnin' sunshine and three feet of snow, uphill both ways, and Cuddles McBurly ate the tech manual. I have prepped a lot of posts for the missin' dates and I'll be addin' 'em as time permits.

October 18, 2010-It's been several months since Cuddles McBurly entered the Brickster's household, and she's grown faster than my bar tab-goin' from about a pound of fur to a little over five pounds. They grow up so fast...sniff...sniff...Anyway, just like I figured, Koyori wasted no time in treatin' her like our unborn child or a fuzzy doll. Ko was delighted to find upon her visit to the USA this month that the stores are full of pet costumes for Halloween and didn't waste any time outfittin' Cuddly-chan with a dazzlin' variety of outfits. Even worse, the Brickster's sweet old gray haired mom teamed up with Ko to humiliate the poor dog. Trick-R-Treaters knockin' on the Brickster's mom's front door this Halloween will likely be greeted by the followin' characters:

I'da helped Cuddly-chan out but I wuz too busy laughin' at her . Poor dog!

October 11, 2010-Recently a copy of Stephen Turnbull's "Samurai Women" made it into the Brickster's possession. Now, THIS was a book I had been anticipatin' fer quite some time! As I opened the Amazon box, I just KNEW the smiley face on the outside was a precursor to the Brickster's own wide grin as he perused the pages of what promised to be a classic. But when my tremblin' hands opened the pages of the book, it became obvious that fink Turnbull had let me down again. Sometimes you have to wonder what's goin' through his head when he puts these Osprey meisterworks together. When the Brickster thinks of Samurai Women, here's what comes to mind:

But no-all I got was a historical survey of the role women played in beatin' the crap outta men, which is pretty much still goin' on when you make one of them mad or she finds out certain things that she wasn't meant to discover, because, after all, nothin' was goin' on there, really, and she was jumpin' to conclusions. Even the pics of women dressin' up in their hubby's armor lacked spice. It just ain't right! Turnbull took a topic that no one could possibly foul up and drops the ball anyway. My pal Tatsu says it's loaded with errors, too, but he liked it, tellin' me that he ain't been spendin' enough time with his wife.

October 4, 2010-But toppin’ the list of the Brickster’s favorite apps is “Touch The Ninja Woman”. Sure enough, the object of the game is to…touch the ninja woman! And she’s quite the cutie. This doe-eyed anime gal has long dark hair, a huge pair of hooters and is decked out in a black fishnet body stockin’, a short-short-short red kimono that allows her cleavage to burst through, and black panties. And just like a real woman, you can grope her in a myriad of ways. Touch her-hold her-caress her-even blow on her-the game allows, hell, DEMANDS that you perform all this and more. And fer you guys who’ve never gotten that close to a real woman, she reacts just like they do in real life! Take yer time, caress her, touch her gently, hold hands, and generally do romantic crap like that, and she’ll be cooin’ in delight, gettin’ all dreamy eyed, and eatin’ outta yer hand. But if you go straight fer the prize, say, like grabbin’ her rack, she gets highly pissed. Don’t even THINK about those panties. I think you might need to get her drunk first, but I haven’t come across that option yet. There are some hilarious moments in this app-blow into the IPhone’s microphone and watch her outfit get shredded, leavin’ her in a skimpy bikini! Whoo-hoo! Deliver an earthquake by shakin’ the phone. You can make her jump up and down, and ask her to turn around so you can check out that glorious heart shaped butt. You’ll also find it’s easy to piss off a ninja when you start handlin’ their weapons. An’ if you touch her left ankle, she goes into a lecturin’ pose that is SO Koyori that I spit up the throwback MD I was poundin’ down. It’s pretty much PG-13 stuff, but it’s fun, and that’s the name of the game. As a bonus, you can use any or all of her dialogue (delivered in a wonderful uber-cutesy voice) as a ringtone for your phone, and unlock three photos you can use as wallpaper. The Brickster’s got one of her in her Ninjer outfit as his IPhone wallpaper, and there’s also bikini/kimono versions.

September 27, 2010
-Now, if yer like me, there ain’t no funnier Japanese historical figure than Hideyoshi. I mean, not only is the guy routinely called a ‘bald rat’ or ‘monkey’ by his pals, but his womanizin’ is legendary. And until he went insane and started havin’ all his pals killed, he engaged in all sorts of charmin’, whimsical behavior. And included among these adventures, Hideyoshi single-handedly foiled the invasion of Japan by evil aliens from outer space. Sounds a lot like a History Channel special, don’t it? But instead, it’s chronicled in the two game apps ‘Gone With Hideyoshi’ and ‘Hideyoshi Freeze!’. And you can get these epics for FREE! “Gone With Hideyoshi” presents the openin’ stages of the battle, where flyin’ saucers are beamin’ up the populace of Osaka for some nefarious purpose. These aliens must be gay or belong to the Shinsengumi, since instead of bringin’ aboard members of Hideyoshi’s harem for some cross-cultural sexual hijinx, they’re beamin’ up common ashigaru (one of which is presumably George Takai). But fear not! The Taiko takes the field with his self-generated fireballs of doom, blowin’ those meddlin’ extraterrestrials outta the sky just like they do in Godzilla flicks. Of course, it’s all the better if you manage to do so before the aliens cart off the population of Osaka, which seems to be down to about 60. The sequel, “Hideyoshi Freeze”, shows the follow up where the alien survivors have entered Osaka castle and are tauntin’ Hideyoshi by streakin’ past the doorway of his throne room. Show ‘em who’s boss by wieldin’ Hideyoshi’s Absolute Zero Temperature Beam and turnin’ them into popsicles. Both historically accurate and fun to play, these games are must haves for any real fan of Japanese history.

September 20, 2010-Gettin’ back to J-History, the Brickster found “Sengoku De Q” to be an excellent little quiz program (in Japanese) focusin’ on the warrin’ states era of Japanese history. It’s got several different modes-the Brickster found the one usin’ the 12 different famous daimyo the most entertainin’. Choose yer fav’rite, and he’ll ask you a series of questions pertainin’ to hisself spread among 8 categories (military leaders, people, battles, culture, ninja, kamon, provinces, and castles). You can also play by choosin’ yer own categories and number of questions, or just set things to a random quiz. Whether you get it right or wrong, each correct answer is given along with concise explanations. For those who like to get a leg up on the proceedin’s, you can even screen all the questions and answers before even playin’…although, where’s the fun in that? This app can be pretty challengin’, ‘specially the culture questions, because who really gives a rat’s ass about tea ceremony when you can be readin’ about crap gettin’ blown up and commanders bein’ passed out in a brothel while their fort was bein’ conquered by the enemy? I was BORN to play that guy in my next flick. There are actually several good J-history apps both in Japanese and English for the IPhone, includin’ the Himeji Castle one, several ‘virtual history’ books, Samurai Of The Day, Sengoku Bushou, Japanese General, and the Osaka Castle screen that’s been featured over on the Samurai Archives. Hopefully one day the SA’s Shogun Kitsuno will quit sittin’ on the dozens of podcasts he’s got ready and actually get the SA Podcast online so’s we can download them to the phone too.

September 13, 2010-And if I might digress from J-Apps for a moment, there’s Splatterhouse for the I-Phone. Brutal, bloody monster violence-the original arcade classic along with the new Splatter Rush mode. Ever wanted to pound ravenous bloodworms into goo, splat zombies against a wall with a two by four, behead enemies with a huge meat cleaver, gun down creatures that have chainsaws for hands, and mercilessly slaughter your girlfriend when she turns into a demon? Of course you have, particularly the latter, but hopefully just in your head. For under a buck, you can enjoy all this and so much more-like new wallpapers and game achievements. This is the one app I’ve had to tuck into another unrelated folder in hopes of hidin’ it from Koyori, since if she found it, it’d get deleted and she’d take the phone away from me. Good thing she never bothers readin’ McBurly Monogatari, huh? Hey, honey, did I ever tell ya how big yer butt’s gettin’? Yuk yuk! At any rate, every red-blooded male needs to buy this game, along with the console versions. Do it fer the Brickster.

September 6, 2010
-Let’s move along to the I-Koto app. Many of you likely don’t know what a koto is, but if you heard it, you’d know-it’s a musical instrument that produces that tinkly string sound that most Westerners think of when they hear the words ‘Japanese music’, unless they’re anime geeks, in which case they think of Gackt. It’s kinda like a long harp set on its side and stuck on a warped piece of plankin’. Well, this app gives you an in-tune virtual koto. Since the Brickster is comfortable with his masculinity (and didn’t find out until later that the koto is usually played by women), he tried his oh-so-talented-and-curious fingers at it. It’s really well done-it’s a 13 string koto and there are several different tone scales, the string display shows notes or numbers, and you can record your own tunes for later playback. The Brickster is happy to report that no matter what your level of musical talent is, no matter what you do on I-Koto, it’ll sound just like a piece of authentic Japanese music-at least to other Westerners. And fer yer Japanese friends, amaze them with your musical expertise by usin’ the ‘player piano’ function and flawlessly ‘perform’ three classic tunes, one of which ain’t even Japanese. The koto is associated with romance and love in Japan, so the chicks really dig this one, although if yer in the US, ya might wanna go fer the electric guitar simulator instead.

August 30, 2010-The first app I want to trot out is simply called Samurai. Wotta gyp! When you query ‘samurai’ in the app store, it’s the first thing that comes up, so I figgered it hadda be good, right? I laid out my 99 cents (well, actually Ko’s, since the bill goes to her) and fired that baby up. And what do I get? A picture of a samurai sword. When you ‘slide’ the sheath offa the sword, you can swing the I-Phone around and pretend it’s a real sword (a damn small one) ‘cuz it makes whooshin’ sword noises. And, in the process, pull a ‘Wii’ and likely have the phone go flyin’ outta your hand, hittin’ some short tempered Yakuza thug in the back of his head, and trashin’ your expensive Iphone in the process. Not that I’d know anythin’ about that, but if I did, I’d say you’d have to make an emergency call to your father-in-law so he could contact his shady business associates and have the price on your head taken off. But your phone's busted, so you're screwed, in which case the only logical course would be ta seek cover behind your retinue of warrior shrine maidens and hope for the best. And even if you live, you'll wish you hadn't when yer wife finds out that you broke the brand new expensive phone she posed in a schoolgirl suit to buy for you. Now, the thing that REALLY sucks about this app is that you KNOW that there’s a similar app somewhere for Star Wars fans so they can pretend they’re swingin’ a lightsaber. If I ever see two of ‘em havin’ a virtual duel, I really believe the shear wussiness of the moment would drive me into a state of screamin’ insanity. At any rate, the Samurai app is only recommended for geeky chanbara film cultists who see themselves as modern day ronin (like the ones from the NINjA Hangout), wrongin’ rights and misrepresentin’ real Japanese history who would do more harm to themselves than an enemy if they ever got their mitts on a real sword.

August 23,
2010-Koyori just got a big fee for doin’ another photo shoot fer Beppin School magazine (nobody does the schoolgirl uniform justice like her), so bein’ of a generous nature and tired’a hearin’ my excuses about havin’ a cheap phone for not answerin’ her calls while I’m out on the town, she decided to share the largesse and gifted the Brickster with a spankin’ new I-Phone 4G! Spankin’ might be the key word here, since it’s virtually a mini-computer and can provide the discernin’ consumer with all sorts of spicy downloads. The I-Phone is Dick Tracy’s wristwatch communicator come to life, only kewler, since it’s also a computer, video camera (oh, the possibilities!), book reader, movie house, texter, emailer, and a handy GPS device that helps guide the Brickster unerrin’ly home when he’s had a few too many and ends up confused. Sure, that eliminates the choice encounters with the ladies of Kyoto when you happen to wander into their places by mistake (lots of Japanese people in Kyoto are still lax about lockin’ their doors-or maybe that’s just the gal’s way of sayin’, “Hiya, Brickster, come on in!”), but does cut back on the number of bumps and bruises incurred when you DO finally make it home and have some ‘splainin’ to do. Anyway, over the next several weeks, the Brickster’s gonna share some of his favorite apps-and some of the ones that flat out suck, too. Most if not all are available on the US ITunes store so’s my stateside pals can load up on ‘em too.


January 4, 2010-August 16, 2010

June 22, 2009-December 28, 2009

October 27, 2008-June 15, 2009

August 4, 2008-October 20, 2008

July 2008

November 26, 2007-June 30, 2008