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December 28, 2009

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December 28, 2009-The Brickster's still in the USA, spendin' Christmas with his sweet gray haired elderly mother before goin' back to Japan for the New Year's Festivities. Since I'm stayin' at her house, bringin' the local talent home for fun 'n games isn't on the menu. So, I'm stuck findin' other ways to amuse myself, and there are only so many times you can watch the Lady Ninja Kaede series. I thought I'd fire up my neighbor's PS3 for some laughs and see how all the vid game geeks get their thrills. I put in Way Of The Samurai 3, which is kinda like the Sengoku version of Grand Theft Auto. I didn't bother too much with the main story-after all, it's pretty much an interactive chanbara film, and I get enough of the real thing at the Studio. I spent most of my time wanderin' around the different towns and chattin' people up. And lo and behold, when I brought this town girl with big hooters back to my run down lowly ronin shack on the outskirts of town, I get this choice scene:

Expanded to make it easier to read (and I took these photos right off the TeeVee screen with a digital camera, so yeah, I know they suck):

Yowsah! Not THAT'S what I call a game that gives you some real life experience! I tried this with virtually any women in the game that I was able to talk into comin' home with me, but unlike my real life battin' average, only about one out of every six decided to deliver the goods. I thought it was funny that the game portrays the one Western character (Dona, a chick with a huge afro and even bigger boobs who wants to become a samurai) as the biggest tramp-she practically drags you onto the old futon. Now, just as a further experiment in social engineerin', the Brickster decided to try to bring home two chicks and see what happens. Things went south quickly at this point, with both of 'em gettin' pissed and runnin' off-as the on screen message succintly sums up, "Shi*-that didn't work." You can even talk some of the gals into livin' with you, where they start to show their real personalities after they've landed you-they steal money from your safe, break swords, steal swords, eat your food, wreck your house, insult you, and kick you. If ya left 'em there long enough, I bet they'd get really fat too. I ended up passin' on the whoopee factor and moved this teen gal in as my surrogate daughter-she doesn't do any of that negative stuff. She even goes out to help plow the fields in the village and gives you all the money she earned, so you can go out and spend it on booze and women. Damn, I gotta get with Ko on havin' a daughter like that...

December 21, 2009-Hey guys! As luck would have it, the Brickster’s newest film ties in with one of the hottest topics on the SA. I’m referrin’, of course, to Korean Admiral Yi, whose reputation among the people of Korea was exceeded only by his love fer hisself. In these tough economic times, The Studio has decided to throw in their lot with a Korean production company. They’re plannin’ a sequel to the recent Korean blockbuster comedy maxi-series, “The Immortal Yi Soon Shin”. Here’s the official press release:

Following in the footsteps of the recent Korean blockbuster comedy maxi-series, “The Immortal Yi Soon Shin”, is the sequel-starring Japan’s most famous foreign film actor!

Brick McBurly IS “The Immoral Yi Soon Shin”

Yes, that wacky Korean Admiral and his crew of lovable misfits are back for more mischief, but this time on the BIG SCREEN! Think that the legend of Admiral Yi ended with his death at the battle of Noryang? Well, guess again, Bucko! Admiral Yi, nauseated by the fawning and unwanted attention of his legions of hero worshippers, has taken a page out of his idol Elvis’s playbook and FAKED HIS OWN DEATH! That’s right-the good Admiral is ship-shape and ready to take the fight to Japan! With his handpicked crew of jolly jack tars, Yi stows away on a Japanese boat filled with Korean captives on its way back to the Land of the Rising Sun. And wouldn’t you just know it-that ship is FILLED with Korea’s most gorgeous starlets! While Yi and his lusty crew throw themselves into the task of liberating the gals (from their virginity), Korean Rear Admiral Kim Ledbotum suspects that Yi is still alive and, determined to court-martial him, sets out in hot pursuit. Ledbotum chases Yi from one part of Japan to the next, leading to the climatic showdown taking place during the Great Miyako Pillow Fight! Can’t you just FEEL the excitement in this excerpt from the script?


Yi writing in his battle record superimposed over a collage of action shots


However, about four hundred, exhausted women, finding no way to escape, deserted their pillows and fled ashore, while the remaining Japanese women (one large busted, seven medium, and six small) who had been showing their behinds during the battle, seeing from afar the whoreable sight of burning passions and falling trousers, hauled their asses very fast and fled in all directions. Memo to self: look up definition of 'run on sentence.'

Can Yi and his new Japanese allies, the Shrine Maidens of Izu, along with Elvis (played to perfection by the Brickster’s feisty sidekick, Hikonyan), possibly stand against the might of the Korean navy? Make sure to stick around for the stunning conclusion, where it’s revealed EVERYTHING in world history originated in Korea!

And who better to play Admiral Yi than the only man with an ego as big as his-that being jidai-geki star Brick McBurly! The Brickster has been graciously lent out to Gochu Productions to bring Admiral Yi’s glory to full mast on the wide-and LONG-screen! The Brickster’s take on Yi is historically accurate down to the...biggest detail, whether he’s engaged in a dancing contest with Kato Kiyomasa or getting revenge on the insane evil monkey god Hideyoshi by playing ‘Dock The Turtleboat’ with Nene! Yi frees the slaves! Adopts all the Korean war orphans with Angelina Jolie! Invents a cure for cancer! Introduces the Schoolgirl Sailor Suit to Japan while finding a new crew! He even turns himself into an atom bomb and blows up Japan (they got better)! One thing’s for sure-there’ll be no buggery or god-cursed sodomites* in this film-just good old fashioned fornication on the high seas!

*Obscure Shogun Reference, if you’re keeping score

Co-Starring Koyori McBurly as Izu High Priestess Makura Nage
Special Appearance by “Crouching Tiger” Woods as Yasuke
Coming your way in 2010

December 14, 2009-Guys, you know how it is-do somethin’ once, and all of a sudden you’re stuck wearin’ that label for the rest of your life. Well, recently the Brickster guest reviewed Z-Man’s board game ‘Genji’ for the Samurai Archives and now it looks like he’s been labeled with the tag of ‘game reviewer’. Check out all the stuff I’ve had forwarded to me the last couple ‘o weeks:

There’s Daimyo, Rice Wars, Bushido, Senji (an amalgamized ‘SENgoku JIdai’, accordin’ to legend), Samurai: The Card Game, Oshi (or "O shi*!" as the Brickster likes to call it when he's losin'), and HeroCard: Rise of the Shogun (with its ‘Prince’ and ‘Miko’ expansions). Heck, some of ‘em ain’t even in English! And from the looks of ‘em, there’s nothin’ to do with romancin’ the ladies (like Genji was), either. I’m not sure that I’m qualified to review a game like Rice Wars, where the object is to manage your fief’s farmland effectively and yield the most rice (and presumably NOT get laid in the process). I think maybe some rice counter like Tatsu or even LtDomer (who rumor has it has been hidin’ out in a sekrit lair in Iga the last coupla’ years) would be better off doin’ it. At any rate, the art direction and components of these games are gorgeous, and even though Bushido is in German (although I hear it’s bein’ released in English soon), you could use the box to knock a bank robber unconscious-that’s how much stuff it has inside. With the New Year and Christmas comin’ up, these games might make the perfect gift for that special someone.

December 7, 2009-Currently I’m rackin’ my brain (such as it is) tryin’ to think of a good gift to get Koyori for the New Year holiday. Ko’s not like other chicks-she’s classy and intelligent, and even worse, won’t wear a g-string even if you get it in her favorite color. Further complicatin’ matters is the fact that she’s a Rich Man’s Daughter, so she’s used to gettin’ everythin’ she wants, even if it costs an entire B-Movie actor’s monthly salary. A Romantic Evenin’ is out, since the Brickster provides those on a regular year-round basis. Ditto on the flowers. I do a lot of ‘splainin’ and apologizin’, and flowers are an integral part of bein’ forgiven for whatever it was you were alleged to have done, even though it wasn’t really your fault, really, and I was just playin’ Good Samaritan helpin’ that gal’s asthma by loosenin’ her bra. No expensive chocolates either, since I don’t want her ass to get any bigger than it is now, cause it’s currently at the optimum size on the Brickster’s Gluteus Goddess scale. So, what to do?

I’m thinkin’ that the answer has to lie in buyin’ her some nice designer clothin’, and what woman can resist matchin’ stylish shoes? And lo and behold, the perfect solution presented itself-and of all places, in a cosplay catalog. Check it out! What gal wouldn’t be thrilled to get this? In shiny gold, and check out that fancy footwear! Heck, the model even LOOKS like Ko. I’m sure when she opens up this treasure on New Years Day, she’ll be gigglin’ with delight and the envy of every woman on the block (which she kinda is anyway, since she’s married to the Brickster). Just in case she don’t like it, I do plan on removin’ the blades from this little ensemble before givin’ it to her. I’d hate to see my adorable little sweetheart with a murder rap hangin’ over her head, and the part about me bein’ dead doesn’t sound so great, either.

November 30, 2009-Now that I’m not only a movie reviewer but a game reviewer, I figured I’d try my hand at book reviewin’. I’m startin’ off with Kenny Swope’s new book on the Bunroku/Keicho wars (Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s invasions of Korea in 1592 and 1597). The book’s entitled “A Dragon’s Head and a Serpent’s Tail”, but really oughta be called “A Dragon’s Head, a Serpent’s Tail, and a Horse’s Ass”. The Horse’s Ass in question here would be that same Kenny Swope. OK, I am bein’ a bit harsh and unfair here, but no more so than Swope has been to the historians who tackled this subject before he got around to it. Just who is Swope, you might ask? He’s an Associate Professor of History at Ball State University and this is his first book. He’s notable for viciously rippin’ previous books on the Korean Invasion from Stephen Turnbull and Samuel Hawley, stoopin’ to takin’ potshots at Hawley on Amazon. Of course, this was all to set hisself up as THE go-to guy for the conflict, which he not so subtly did in his Amazon review by tellin’ readers to “look elsewhere for da bomb”. But the final product comes across as Swope’s love letter to the knucklehead Wanli Emperor-and the book is so biased and overwhelmin’ly pro-Ming, ignorin’ all evidence to the contrary, that it can’t be trusted on even the simplest points. We’ve already had the ridiculously biased Korean book “Admiral Yi and His Turtleboat Armada”-Swope’s book fills that niche nicely from the Chinese perspective. Readin’ Swope makin’ excuses for every Ming failure shows that he has a definite future as a spin doctor in the White House, but not as an historian.

Of course, as invariably happens, the reviewer becomes the reviewed-and Swope has done THE EXACT SAME THINGS he accused Turnbull and Hawley of doin’. It’s pretty damn funny. Want some examples? Sure ya do. Swope rips Turnbull fer glossin’ over Japanese war atrocities, statin’ that Turnbull attributes them to the lower ranks. In his book, Swope does the same thing with the Ming. And when the Japanese do somethin’, it’s an atrocity (which it was)-when the Chinese do the same thing to their Korean allies, it’s called an ‘abuse’. And Swope claims these ‘abuses’ were performed by the lower ranks, not the officers, just like Turnbull. Swope also tore Turnbull a new one for writin’ from a Japanese perspective and usin’ primarily Japanese sources-and then admits his book is “primarily from the Ming perspective” and that he uses primarily Chinese sources. Hawley was insulted and written off as havin’ written a cobbled together general narrative-and Swope states his book is intended as a “narrative of the First Great East Asian War for the broader community of military historians”. Looks like Kenny’s bitter reviews have come home to bite his own meisterwork in the ass. And did I mention the maps in the book are useless and suck?

For those of you that don’t consider Swope much of a historian (ie, most of you), just ask him-he’ll tell you how good he is. At one point in the book he writes “My spirited exchanges with Prof. Han Myonggi have become the stuff of legends”, firmly establishin’ Swope as a legend in his own mind. You can tell he’s a Chinese historian, since this kinda self promotion is a lot like would-be Chinese Emperors who declare they have the Mandate of Heaven. My pal Tatsu, who’s reviewin’ the book for the Samurai Archives, says that Swope reminds him of Romulus Hillsborough both in his glorification of an historical figure (in this case, the goofy Wanli Emperor) and in repeatin’ certain words and phrases ad nauseum until it drives ya nuts (with ‘superior’, ‘crushed’, ‘valiantly’, and ‘crack’-which Swope musta been on while writin’ this crap-bein’ his favorites). Me, I think Swope is to Chinese history what Stephen Turnbull is to Japanese History-someone that’s keepin’ a spot warm until a REAL historian comes along. Or Hawley, whose book “The Imjin War” remains the gold standard in English on the subject.

November 23, 2009-Since Tatsu has about as much romance in his soul as Curly from the 3 Stooges, he did the sensible thing by askin' the Brickster to write this review for Genji (created by Dylan Kirk for Z-Man Games). Since nobody'd ever believe me if I told you the game's premise in my own words, I'm takin' it straight from the rule book (my comments in parentheses):

"1010 AD: In the Imperial court of old Japan, one book title is on everyone's lips: The Tale Of Genji, the story of the greatest lover in all Japan. In a world where nights are filled with furtive romances (and women afraid of Ashigaru breakin' in), all men at court want to imitate Genji's success. The most prolific lover will go down in history as the real Genji!

You are a courtier in the court of Emperor Ichijo in a time in Japanese history when poetry and the arts reigned supreme. Your goal is to increase your reputation at court by secretly visiting Princesses and winning their hearts by writing them the greatest love poetry. At the end of the game, the player who has the most Reputation Points is the winner!"

What the hell? You're supposed to win a Heian broad's heart by spoutin' poetry? That trick NEVER works, Bullwinkle. Well, except in the modern day after they invented the electric guitar, when it's a no-miss proposition. I mean, a game dealin' with romance like the classic 'Office Party' or 'Around The World In Bed' needs to have a bit of drinkin' and hands on treatment. And lookin' at the poem cards included with the game, the Brickster didn't see the word 'Nantucket' once, any word that rhymed with 'China', or for that matter any lines that rhymed at all. Just a bunch of crap about flowers, spring breezes, and Dew on sleeves (and I know for a fact Mountain Dew wasn't around in those days). It was obvious that I was gonna need a woman's help to get my head inside the game. Normally I'd use Koyori, but she had went back to Japan after her photo shoot and I was still in the US doin' haunt publicity. Instead, I asked my pal Sonja (the same one from a coupla blog entries ago) to help me out. As you'll recall, Sonja's a part time haunt actress and a full time exotic dancer at Racer's gentlemen's club in Sparta, KY.

Anyway, the Brickster suited up in his authentic Heian court robes and Sonya wore her traditional Heian women's wear-a black leather bustier/hot pants combo and knee boots with stacked heels (and the heels ain't all that were stacked, I'm happy to say). We figured that's what they wore under all those robes-I was gonna ask Tony Bryant or Josh Badgley to confirm this for me, but since the literature on the era never says that it wasn't used, that was good enough for us. We opened the game and right away noticed that the components (82 Poem Cards, 6 Bonus Cards, 12 Princess Cards, 4 Season Cards, 3 Fashion Cards, 6 Pawns, 6 sets of markers, and rule books in English, Japanese, and French-hah! what do the French know about romance?) were of high quality and well done, with attractive Japanese style artwork and symbols. We also noticed there's not a gameboard-you make your own usin' the 12 Princess cards. This is kinda nice since you can in effect vary the gameboard with each play, and it simulates the Heian man's propensity for walkin' over women like they weren't there. After readin' the rules and seein' that you could only take the part of a male courtier, I wondered if Sonja would be OK with romancin' other women. She said that it wouldn't be the first time and that was fine with her. We decided to invent an optional rule on the spot-that every successful poem placed would result in that player downin' a glass of Shochu. After all, what's Japanese entertainment without a drinkin' game added?

The game system really grew on the Brickster fast. In the tradition of the best games, it's simple to learn and difficult to master. There are four seasons (turns), and the players make the rounds of the 12 Princesses, makin' up poems as they go and tryin' to score by puttin' their marker down with every success. The game system captures the vagrancies of Japanese poetry perfectly-a poem that's a big hit with one Princess might flop with another, and even become out of style or become flat with the change of seasons. Each Princess has her personal likes and dislikes-for example, since the Brickster likes romance and fall, he chose as his 'home' the Princess that prefers those. Since strippers don't believe in romance, Sonja took the Princess that loves springtime and nature. Each poem card represents a 'beginning' or 'end'-you can combine two to form a complete poem, or leave it unfinished (either completin' it later with a better card or riskin' lettin' an opponent finish your verse). Each card is suitable for a specific season or trend (like romance, nature, or melancholy), and you score points based on that. So a poem that has symbols for spring and melancholy on it might be a huge hit with a Princess who loves the two, and the effect is multiplied if it's spring and the current fashion is melancholy. But play the same cards in fall to some happy broad that prefers romance with the fashion bein' nature, and yer gonna look like the Shinin' Prince of jackasses.

Poems stay on the board, and half the fun of the game is challengin' the other player's poems and makin' them look bad-you not only get to 'steal their material' (by takin' one of the cards), but get to kick them out of the 'mansion' and rev up yer love machine for the Princess in question. Since the poems generally stay on the board until thus removed, you can wait a season and when that brilliant poem of spring sounds like the babblin' of Renfield from Dracula in summer, it's easy to blow it off the board and bring the Princess into yer lovin' embrace. Bonus cards can be played for 'refined calligraphy' or 'signature stamp'. There are also special 'flower' cards that can really score big, simulatin' the cut seasonal flowers a courtier might send to a Lady with his poem. After four turns, the player with the biggest reputation is the winner-this is based on 'Most Beautiful Poem', 'Cuckoldry Bonus' (I oughta clean up there), and points for winnin' each season. If you have a handful of garbage, you can spend a turn 'studyin' the classics' and draw new cards. This may all sound complicated as hell, but it's not-a stripper and a grade-Z movie actor learned it within a turn, so everyone else should have no problem.

Our playthrough started out enthusiastically, with me fallin' steadily behind as I was payin' more attention to lookin' at Sonja's ass than my poem cards. But as the wily Brickster had counted on, the successful poems Sonja placed and the attendant penalty glass of Shochu slowly worked its magic-she became more giggly, sloppy in her play, and began to hang on every word as the Brickster gave dramatic readin's of each of his poems in authentic formal high pitched courtier's speech-and she don't even understand Japanese. By the time Autumn rolled around, I knew by the gleam in her eyes that the three dollars I had spent on Shochu at I-75 Cork 'N Bottle's import section would not be wasted. When I triumphantly placed a double flower poem in season on a Princess who loved both and scored a whoppin' 12 points (the max), Sonja was moved to tears and could contain herself no longer. In a case of life imitatin' art, the poem that broke her will to resist was

"Entranced by your name,
Oh lovely maidenflower,
I have plucked your bloom,
Please do not let it be known
That you lured me from my vows."

Well, I'd say that summed up the real life situation pretty well-and provided the biggest score of the night, not just in game terms either. The part about keepin' her damn mouth shut was a nice touch, too. What happened really wasn't my fault-I'm a firm believer now in the mystical power of poetry to seduce women. In fact, I'm thinkin' they shoulda named the time of Genji the 'He-in' era.

All in all, the game was elegantly put together and does give players a basic understandin' of how Japanese poetry of the Heian era worked. It's a helluva lot of fun to play as well, with a situation that's always in flux and as unstable as the whims of a woman. While I'm not sure the general public will be seekin' it out, I can see it becomin' the hit of the Pre-Modern Japanese Studies (PMJS) list. Almost every member there is obsessed with poetry, Genji, or both to the exclusion of everythin' else. Their idea of a fun party game is tryin' to come up with 1,001 different translations for a three word poem and then arguin' about which one was best. Now, they have a workable alternative. Genji gets a big 'thumbs up' from the Brickster.

November 16th, 2009-Here's a sneak peek at the first bit of animation to come out of the long delayed anime version of 'Abarenbo Gaijin'. This particular bit is from the episode entitled "Koyori's Dream". In it, she stumbles across some of the Brickster's preferred readin' material from the future and then begins to pine for a tan, long blonde hair, and a rack that just won't quit. Of course, this turns out to be the dream of a fool as the Brickster thinks she's perfect just the way she is. I'm told this initial animation was created quite some time ago, but the hold up occurred when the animator became mesmerized by it and couldn't take his eyes off the screen. No one noticed until he died of starvation and someone began to complain about the smell.

[BRICK'S NOTE 2-20-11] 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 viewing Koyori's enhanced, ample bosom won't result in a slow, wasting death for the men (and certain women) in the audience, we'll put it right back in it's placeholder.

November 9, 2009-Last week my alleged pal Tatsu over at the Samurai Archives did a bit 'a editorializin' on Animeigo's press release for the Tora-san boxed DVD set. I kinda have my doubts this was in the original:

"Tora-san is billed as "Japan's Most Beloved Loser" (at least before Brick McBurly showed up)!"

Well, thanks a million. That just ain't right! Let's do a scientific comparison of the Brickster and Tora-san. Tora-san is loud, obnoxious, attracts trouble wherever he goes, doesn't fit into polite society, acts like a big goof around good lookin' women, borrows money and mooches off his friends, loves a good laugh, is drunk most of the time, and embarases the hell out of his family. Now, the Brickster, he...well...well, OK, there are some superficial similarities, but in the only two categories that are important we see what separates the Brickster from Tora-san.

1) In the Tora-san movies I've seen, Tora-san hasn't delivered a royal ass-kickin' to some jackass, much less filled up an entire movie with them.

2) Tora-san never scores. NEVER. Even when a woman voluntarily enters a Love Hotel with him. What the hell kind of salesman is he supposed to be? The Brickster, on the other hand, ALWAYS closes the deal, if you get my drift. Now, while I'm not much of an accountant like that rice-counter Tatsu is, I'd say that alone puts me in the Winner's Circle.

So as you can see, Tora-san really doesn't have much in common with the Brickster at all. Plus his movies make more money than mine. Tatsu, you suck, but you've got a cute wife, so I guess you can still hang out with me, long as you're buyin' an apology round.

November 2, 2009-Well, the Halloween season just wrapped up, and the Brickster ended an exhaustin’ round of doin’ haunt publicity for haunted attractions in his American hometown of Cincinnati. It was cold, wet, and nasty, and I caught the dreaded H1N1 at some point but managed to soldier through my obligations. Even with that, it was a helluva lotta fun, and was topped off by a great Halloween party over at the home of one of the actresses from one of the bigger events. Sonja’s a stacked Goth chick that plays vampires at different area attractions and works the rest of the year as a stri…err, exotic dancer at Racer’s gentlemen’s club in Sparta, Kentucky by Kentucky Speedway. Since I knew there was no way I’d get back to Japan in time to enjoy the annual Japanese Halloween tradition of Obenjo Kusanosuke’s ‘Tales By Midnight’, I figured I might as well enjoy a good old-fashioned American style Halloween celebration.

So with Koyori in tow to enjoy her first taste of what a real Halloween celebration was like, the Brickster set out for Sonja’s ‘Club Blood’. Ko’s outfit was basic but had me in stitches-she had on one of the custom women’s ‘Brick Layer’ T-shirts that you’ll soon be able to buy in the Samurai Archives store. The Brickster did things right, hittin’ Halloween Express right before it closed for the night and walkin’ away with this gem of a costume at 50% off (at left is the header card photo from the costume bag).

I gotta tell ya, the Snake Charmer costume was simply the BEST. COSTUME. EVAR. Women are absolutely mesmerized by it-the only thing I’ve ever seen that can reel them in faster is an open wallet full of cash. They can’t help themselves-they’re drawn to come over to touch and fondle your pet Trouser Snake. Now, I had Ko right there ridin’ shotgun on me, so that’s as far as things went, but for the savvy shopper who’s smart enough to leave his wife or significant other at home, the possibilities are endless. The only thing ya gotta watch out for are folks followin’ an alternative lifestyle. Guys, perfect that steely, threatenin’ glare that says ‘Don’t even consider it, Bub-I’ll end your life’ for any man you don’t know that wanders near. Now, women battin’ for the other team are sometimes harder to ID and head off, so there’s always the chance that one of them might attempt inflatable reptilian homicide with a sharp object and deflate your dreams of feminine conquest. The good thing is that once you’ve been at the party a coupla minutes a crowd of straight chicks should have gathered by then-their built in radar will kick in and they’ll usually place themselves in harms way to ensure the safety of the sacred spittin’ cobra. You can also make yourself the focus of attention for an impromptu ‘ring toss’ drinkin’ game. All in all, the Snake Charmer costume is a great boon to horn dogs on the town, and has the added benefit of allowin’ you to drive with no hands.

October 26th, 2009-As promised a coupla weeks ago, I managed to filch a new piece of 'Beavis & Butt-Head Do Edo' conceptual artwork from Obenjo Kusanosuke's sekrit underground lair. It proved to be child's play lurin' the 7' 4" tall Obenjo into knockin' hisself out on a low doorway after we'd knocked down a few cans of Sengoku Coffee laced with Shochu. And after goin' through his filin' cabinet, I found this new gem produced by Lord Baka Tono:

Mike Judge might have created B & B, but only Obenjo has truly realized their potential. And that picture of the Shogun on the wall behind their sofa kinda reminds me of someone-Ashikaga Yoshimasa, or that yakuza-lookin' gaijin my stunt hawk Tetsuko stole a pizza-man from in Kyoto a while back. Anyhoo, I'm framin' this masterpiece and stickin' it up behind my own sofa.

October 19, 2009-There’s a great new product out there that’s guaranteed to make forkin’ over yer dough on a monthly basis a real pleasure. What in hell could that be, you ask? Why, Brick McBurly checks, of course!

Brand new from Hardland/Clarke Checks “Stars of The Silver Screen” series, Brick McBurly style checks will have women the world over eagerly reachin’ for their checkbooks to catch a glimpse of the Brickster in four scenes from Abarenbo Gaijin Season One. And as long as that checkbook’s out, what more apropos way to use them than orderin’ a dozen or so Brick McBurly T-Shirts? It’s a natural! For years, people have found themselves a few dollars lighter whenever they encounter the Brickster-just ask any of the hundreds of people I’ve borrowed money from. So it won’t be nothin’ new to ‘em when catchin’ a glimpse of me costs them a few bucks.

Ain’t it ironic, though, that hardly anyone in Japan has a checkin’ account? Still, I’m sure my legions of Japanese fans will order them as novelty items. The Brickster hisself ordered a couple of boxes to use when he’s visitin’ the States and can’t get out of havin’ to pay fer somethin’. Guess I really should open up an American checkin’ account somewhere to back them up.

October 12, 2009-Most of you already know that my agent is the well known Japanese talent hound, Obenjo Kusanosuke. What you may not know is that before that he actually operated in the black, workin’ as a localization expert for many American TV shows and cartoons imported to Japan. Recently when I dropped by his house to mooch a few bucks for the geiko hangin’ out at the Lucky Star, I found a few pieces of concept art lyin’ around I figured I could make a few bucks off of sellin’ on Yahoo Japan auctions or eBay. Most of you know that MTV exported Beavis and Butt-head to Japan a few years back, but they did it in a pretty straightforward way. I think Obenjo’s plans for ‘em were a lot more intrestin’, to wit:

Koyori says that Obenjo’s experience with Beavis and Butt-head uniquely qualified him to be my agent. I’m not sure what she means by that, since I’ve only done a little work in animation (I mean, what woman wants to see a cartoon version of the Brickster when she can ogle the real thing?). But it’s still flatterin’ bein’ compared to two such titans of comedy. Damn, they’re smooth! Obenjo’s got more of this stuff lyin’ around-I might post more of it at a later date, especially if he lets his guard down and leaves the room fer a few minutes.

October 5, 2009-Koyori makes me let Hikonyan have his own page on since she thinks the little bugger is just SOOOOOOO adorable and cute. While at times I wish the Ii-sponsored huckster would take that fabled trip through the Sakuradamon, it hasn’t turned out so bad since every time the white tub o’goo tries to one up the Brickster, he usually ends up shootin’ himself in the foot. I guess I can count myself lucky that Ko didn’t develop an infatuation with one of the smarter mascots, like Shima Sakonyan.

But as luck would have it, the Brickster accepted a job over a few bottles of sake as the Em-cee for a recent Japanese TV Special without readin’ the fine print in the contract…and this is what stared him in the face the day he set foot in the studio for rehearsals:

Now, while this ain’t as bad as signin’ a contract to appear as the lead in a Shinsengumi yaoi film, it’s more than enough to give Tony Bryant nightmares for the rest of his life. And if that didn’t do it, this video will:

Damned if it doesn’t look like a Japanese version of one of those Disney ‘Monsters Vs Aliens’ CG animated films. Can you imagine turnin’ this group of characters loose in an American neighborhood for Halloween? And of course, front row center hoggin’ the spotlight is that big ham Hikonyan with his gal pal Yachinyan. I can spot Ishida Mitsunyan and Shima Sakonyan along with a bunch of other mascots I’d rather forget.

Sadly, while the gatherin’ of them all in one spot at one time was reminiscent of a similar plot put together by Vlad Tepes in Wallachia several hundred years ago, the outcome wasn’t nearly as upliftin’. Nope, they sang and danced badly, and worse, I was under a contractual obligation to…to…ENCOURAGE them. Oh, the shame! How will I ever show my face down at the Lucky Star tearoom ever again?

Or maybe it’s just a sign that the Brickster needs to get a mascot for his show. I’m thinkin’ a Pam Anderson in-her-younger-days look-alike with a schoolgirl uni would fit the bill nicely, or somethin’ symbolic and subtle, like a giant dancin’ hot dog.

September 28th, 2009-Since as you all know by now Abarenbo Gaijin Season 3 has been pushed back to early 2010 (thanks to the lousy economy), the Studio's decided to come out with a theatrical release of the show to tide things over and keep interest high. In the tradition of many Japanese TV series that do the same thing, it'll result in some nice CG and stock footage that the weekly show can recycle, makin' it cheaper to produce. The title'll be "Abarenbo Gaijin: Swords Touching Across Time On The Mystic Island Beyond The Looking Glass". Yeah, it's wordy, ain't it? And I'm happy to report that swords ain't the only thing that are gonna be touchin'. The basic premise of the movie is that the evil kami Beechou that has the hots for the Brickster (raisin' the question of whether such a wise being can truly be evil) has seen Koyori in the mirror of Amaterasu. She puts Koyori into a coma and ensconces her on the Mystic Island so as to eliminate the competition. However, she's underestimated the Brickster's devotion to his gal (not to mention the fact that she's holdin' the winnin' lottery ticket in the Ako Han Sweepstakes, worth a cool million Ryo). This is another clever cost cuttin' measure since Ko only has to appear in the beginnin' and end of the film, with a body double used the rest of the time.

The Brickster sets out to find the gorgeous Koyori and awaken her from her stupor with a kiss...not to mention some other time-tested esoteric Kama Sutra techniques. Along the way, the Abarenbo Gaijin universe takes its first steps outside the pre-modern eras of Japanese history as the Brickster frantically uses his arcane Shingon scroll and his pal Seimei's dubious onmyodo skillz to travel through dimensions and time lookin' for that damned Mystic Island. Got any idea how many of them there are out there? Some of the worlds include WWII era Japan, a world where spandex clad teams of super heroes battle aliens and monsters, a Manga world (this part's kinda like Roger Rabbit-the real Brickster interacts with long legged chicks in schoolgirl uniforms with swords and eyes the size of dinner plates), the legendary Great Miyako Pillow Fight, and even briefly the Brickster's own time as he reunites with his mentor, elderly professor Chiba Tsunetane. The big surprise arrives when it's revealed that the Professor's deceased daughter (who was mentioned WAY back in episode one of the weekly show) was the reincarnation of Koyori, and holds the key to her revival. Well, I guess it ain't gonna be such a surprise now-but anyway, the Brickster foregoes stayin' in his own time to learn the sekrit that will save Koyori (and maybe have a little fun with her reincarnated self-I mean, it's not like it would really be cheatin', or anythin'...).

Both Seimei and Koyori return from the TV series, but there are new characters as well. Pictured is the Brickster and his new sidekick, the ghost of Aruga Kosaku, the Captain of the WWII Japanese Superbattleship Yamato. Aruga decides it'd be lots more fun to scare the hell out of civilians and help out the Brickster than to continue sulkin' in the sunken hull of the Yamato. Hilarity ensures, and the Captain's wacky antics even attract the notice of a well-known group of paranormal investigators and eliminators who I ain't allowed to mention yet since we haven't nailed down a licensin' deal. We'll probably just go the Chinese route and use the same group with new names to save money. Anyway, this classic'll be hauntin' movie screens this holiday season in Japan-I think it might be runnin' on a double bill with a Hamataro film or somethin', since the kids'll love it.

September 21, 2009-Like I’ve written before, one of the things I’m expected to do when we ain’t busy shootin’ an episode of Abarenbo Gaijin or a movie is to go out and work in the Studio’s theme park in Kyoto. This is actually a lot of fun, since most of it is just minglin’, signin’ autographs, and posin’ for pictures with fans. Durin’ the week it’s usually just ojis or obas millin’ about, but there are a lot of hot chicks on the weekends, makin’ things even better. For the most part, I just stay in character and walk around the Yoshiwara district of the “Edo Town” part of the park. We’ll stage a fight occasionally between the Brickster and one of the samurai characters or have me hawkin’ some silly product in an impromptu street demonstration. Occasionally I’ll work a booth where the folks can win prizes, like the ‘ninja star toss’ or the ‘water shoot race’. Sometimes I’ll go into the walk-through “Obakeyashiki” (that’s “haunted house” to us Westerners) and play a monster-it’s a lot of fun chasin’ gigglin’ schoolgirls from one end of the house to another. But today, me’n Ko were workin’ the laser tag arena as part of the ‘celebrity’ team. It’s set up so that, dependin’ on what the payin’ customers want, their team can take on a squad comprised of actors from the Studio, choose sides and split us up (the women always want me on their team-the men always want Ko with me as a second choice), have two or more teams, or even every man for himself. It’s fun, but since the genius who designed the enclosed, sealed laser tag arena didn’t install air conditionin’, it can get hotter than hell inside on a warm day. Check out the Brickster in the pic-he’s lookin’ a tad like a broiled lobster.

Anyway, today the folks attendin’ the park from the Lucky Star teahouse split up into teams and added a few Studio Celebs to either side. Me an’ Ko were on Team Red along with noted idiot Ishikawa Raizo, and three of his co-stars from the “Flaming Rider” series were on Team Green. It was a hard fought game, and I was rollin’ my eyes throughout the whole ten minutes when I saw Ishikawa was constantly shootin’ at me, his teammate (for which you get zero points). I figured the game would score out pretty evenly, but when I got my scoresheet at the end of the game, was dumbfounded to find Team Red had lost by a huge margin-292,676 to 187,234. Everyone on both teams had at least 45,000 points-Ko had about 67,000 and Ishikawa had 68,000. Everyone, that is, except the Brickster. I had a grand total of 27 FRIGGIN’ POINTS-yeah, that’s right, 27, with no zeros. I was the laughin’stock of the assembled laser warriors. Now, the Brickster ain’t one of those hyper competitive guys who feels he absolutely has to be first in everythin’. Heck, I’ve even been known to happily take a laser tag dive in order to help some guy impress his gal. But 27 points for me to 68,000 from a loser that normally couldn’t hit the floor if he fell down drunk? Heck, I’m a Westerner, and as Japanese people know, all Westerners own at least three guns and know how to use them. A little closer look at the scoresheets showed that the tallies for Team Red didn’t add up to the Team Total and neither did Team Green’s. Then when the Brickster turned in his vest, my brother in law Nobu (workin’ the cash register) told me the laser pistol had been disconnected from the power pack! We rewound the tape and saw that that sneaky bastard Ishikawa had initially recharged his laser gun at a Team Green station, effectively makin’ him one of their members. So not only was he playin’ for the other team (much as he does sexually) unbeknownst to any of his former comrades, but he had sabotaged the Brickster’s gun, makin’ me a sittin’ duck. Well, I wasn’t gonna let such an insult go by-Raizo woulda told everyone at the studio what an idiot I was and I’da never heard the end of it.

So as you can see in the pic, Raizo kinda met up with an unfortunate accident when he stepped outside the arena for a moment to enjoy the air conditionin’ in the lobby. I’m not exactly sure what happened-maybe he fainted, or was knocked up or somethin’. They did find a coupla’ lumps on his skull that somewhat matched up with the outline of a laser tag pistol, but of course, they couldn’t prove a thing since Nobu said that Raizo slipped on a pool of condensed fog juice. And after the Lucky Star guys from Team Red found out how they’d been shafted, they revived Raizo and then drug his carcass back into the arena for a 9-on-1 rematch/beatdown. While normally the prospect of bein’ on the receivin’ end of a 9-on-1 scenario would thrill Raizo, he was reduced to a blubberin’ wreck after gettin’ trashed 766,497 to 6 and havin’ it broadcast to the Big Screens around the park. It’s a good thing he wasn’t able to turn the laser pistol on hisself and enjoy a self-inflected trip to the Pure Land, since I mighta found myself forced to fill in for his sorry ass on the “Flaming Rider” set.

September 14, 2009-
This week, the Brickster wants to give kudos to his pal Tatsu from the Samurai Archives. Seems that Tatsu’s gonna be writin’ a historical analysis of Bushido for the February release of Animeigo’s “Bushido-The Cruel Code of the Samurai” DVD. Now, I’m sure the nice people at Animeigo would have far preferred a rousin’ film commentary track from the Brickster, but it’s to their credit that they were able to conceal their disappointment and throw Tatsu a bone. Hopefully it’ll perk up his spirits-Tatsu’s got this gorgeous and brilliant wife that he only sees about a month out of the year since she’s a doctor here in Kyoto and he can’t get leave from his job in the States. I think this qualifies him to be the textbook definition of ‘idiot’, but luckily for Tatsu she’s a sweetheart who finds a way to visit him. He’s supposed to be comin’ to Japan early next year, at which time the Brickster, Obenjo (who I think is goin’ by the handle ‘Rekishi No Baka’ or somethin’ these days), and the rascally Ashigaru will give him the grand tour of Tokyo’s more intrestin’ spots and show him how life is passin’ him by.

September 7, 2009-I know that, like me, many of you were crestfallen when you found out that not only has the ‘Ninja Vixens’ series on DVD seemin’ly reached its end, but that the ‘Lady Ninja Kasumi’ series has also wrapped up with the recently released part four. What’s a guy to do when he has the urge to watch an action film featurin’ big-boobed kunoichi fallin’ out of their skimpy outfits? Well, fear not, my brethren, because the well ain’t quite run dry yet.

Pickin’ up pretty much where ‘Lady Ninja Kasumi’ left off is ‘Lady Ninja Kaede’. Now up to two parts, this series features all the things you look forward to in a ninja film Ichikawa Raizo ain’t in. Namely, big-boobed kunoichi fallin’ out of their skimpy outfits. Just one look at the DVD covers oughta tell ya that they’re goin’ to be deliverin’ on all they promise.

And ya never know who might be makin’ a cameo in one of these films. Why, if it weren’t for the fact that I’m signed to an exclusive contract with the Studio that Ko’s dad owns a chunk of (that I would be immediately fired from if he found out I was moonlightin’ with another studio), you might even see the Brickster appearin’ as the mysterious daimyo with the face wrap and the black tabi who appears at the 20:16 point in the DVD’s runnin’ time. I gotta say, whoever he is, (hyuk, hyuk) that guy sure has style and savoir-faire.

August 31, 2009-
One of the things the Brickster likes to do to draw information and inspiration for my own TV series is to watch the old classic jidaigeki TV shows from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. There are the usual suspects, like the TV versions of ‘Lone Wolf and Cub’ and ‘Zatoichi’ along with stuff like ‘Shadow Warriors’ and of course, my fav’rit, ‘Abarenbo Shogun’. But I really like to scope out the lesser known series since they tend to be a bit quirkier and a lot more original. A series like ‘Sure Death’ or ‘Kirisute Gomen’ lends themselves to more out-there storylines and action. Right now I’m totally engrossed in ‘Shokin Kosegi’ (‘The Bounty Hunter’), the TV series based on a series of movies starrin’ Wakayama Tomisaburo as bounty hunter Shikoro Ichibei.

Ichibei’s motto is ‘all men are equal and every life is worth the same’ (course, this do-gooder concept is somewhat undermined by the fact that the crooks he hunts down all have different prices on their heads). The portly Ichibei is the principal of a school largely made up of orphans and poor townspeople’s children. To foot the bill for this noble undertakin’, Ichibei finds it necessary to moonlight as a bounty hunter, takin’ down the most dangerous criminals around. The show has a great mixture of the traditional American Western with the samurai film, a connection that’s usually implied in a lot of movies and TV shows, but rarely made implicit. The music has definite spaghetti Western flair, almost every episode involves extensive gunplay with outlandish long barreled revolvers and other exotic firearms, and the landscapes and forsaken towns where the bad guys invariably hide out are straight out of an early Clint Eastwood movie. Ichibei rides a horse, carries a lasso and a samurai sword, wears Western clothin’ complete with a billowin’ serape type wrap, packs plenty of shootin’ irons, and tops it off with a standard ronin style straw hat. Every week there’s also a guest bounty hunter that either joins up with Ichibei or competes against him, and they all have some sort of cool gimmicky weapon or technique. There ain’t no lack of ass kickin’ and killin’ in this show, that’s for sure. The stories are solid with a nice mix of rotten bad guys, innocent people drawn in, and people forced into a life of crime who are basically decent. Likewise, you can never be sure if you’ll have a traditional Western happy endin’, a traditional Japanese unhappy one, or somethin’ in between. Ichibei has a heart as well-he never takes unfair advantage of a foe or ally, and will always give his enemies the benefit of the doubt or a chance to redeem themselves.

What’s even more endearin’ to the Brickster is that like ‘Shadow Warriors’, the show also has a large dose of laughs. Since Wakayama almost always played some sort of super-serious badass character, it’s great to see him get a role where he can indulge himself with some comedy, and while he ain’t quite on a level with a true master-like, say, the Brickster-he conducts hisself admirably. As ‘Principal Bear’ he’s continually bein’ berated by his staff and students. Watchin’ him run out of his office like a little kid because “We’re having yams for snacks tonight!!!!!”, pushin’ his way to the front of the line, and engagin’ in a yam tug of war with a five year old is hilarious! Likewise, when he tells a student he needs to listen to an instructor and exercise to lose weight, the instructor tells him he could stand to lose some lard as well. Ichibei’s then stuck doin’ calisthenics in the courtyard until he seizes upon an excuse and goes scurryin’ off. The school’s staff are a bunch of clowns, too, with a goofy headmaster, a wuss samurai teacher, and a tyrannical but sweet and gorgeous secretary/accountant who continually holds back funds from Ichibei’s ‘allowance’ when he screws up a job.

But the best aspect of the series by far is Judy Ongg as Kagero, Ichibei’s Phys Ed instructor and ninja in residence. Not only is she a livin’ doll (not your stereotypical hairy bull-d of a female gym instructor with BO), but she does all the real work trackin’ bad guys down for Ichibei. Late in the run of episodes I’ve got, she even becomes the star of the show. Wakayama must have been busy with a film, since he begins to only appear at the beginnin’ and end of an episode. He’ll usually tell that week’s guest bounty hunter that he’s too busy with the school to go out on a job, but he should take Kagero along. You wouldn’t have to tell me twice! Unlike most women seen in jidaigeki films, she normally eschews a kimono for an outfit that kinda looks like somethin’ Tonto would wear (and also allows her most magnificent posterior to be on display fer yer viewin’ pleasure). And even better, as Ichibei tells one bounty hunter, “Take Kagero with you, but be sure to keep your hands off her-she’s still a virgin”. A hot ninja chick AND she’s a virgin?!?!?!? Oh, my flutterin’ heart be still! If she told me to exercise, you can damn well bet I’d be lettin’ her lead me in Jumpin’ Jacks.

August 24, 2009-The Team Japan gig worked so well that my handlers at The Studio thought it would be a great idea to extend it to other sports. However, there seems to be somethin' lackin' for some of these other passtimes-for example, there ain't much in the way of Japanese football (and no, soccer ain't football) for me to suit up for the benefit of the guys in the NFL. Same for basketball-besides, I ain't worn shorts since summer camp back at Camp Forest Green. The final blow to the program was dealt when we did a test shoot for Team Japan's Goodwill Ambassador to the NHL. Somehow, I think the feelin' of camaraderie and goodwill kinda gets lost along the way.

August 17, 2009-
Well, now that my vacation’s out of the way and Hikonyan has been appropriately ragged on, I guess I can finally get around to writin’ about my experience of bein’ Team Japan’s Goodwill Ambassador to the 2009 MLB All-Star Game in St. Louis last month on July 14th. As you’ll recall, on my trip cross country from Ko’s Maxim photo shoot in LA to St. Louis I was made the fall guy for some chick who wanted to trade sexual favors for snack foods; go down (she wanted to) a coupla’ entries for the lowdown on that.

Anyway, I did manage to make it to the All-Star game on time and visited the clubhouses for both the American and National Leagues. Of course, even that didn’t come off without some glitches. Just about the time I was gettin’ ready to visit the enemy in the American League clubhouse, that grandstandin’ publicity hound and banty popinjay Obama Bin Laden decided to pull rank and go in there instead-and there’s no way the Secret Service was gonna let any non-player visit the clubhouse at the same time. I can understand-bein’ shown up by the Brickster would be quite the humiliatin’ experience for the Prez. This did lead to quite a bit of confusion, though, and if you watched the game you probably saw some of it on display. Durin’ the game they showed a clip of Obama introducin’ himself to Suzuki Ichiro (he, of course, bein’ the Seattle Mariners All-Star Right Fielder and a national hero in Japan). Ichiro had the most hilarious “WTF?!?!?!” look of surprise on his face I’d ever seen! Turns out that Ichiro was a big fan of the Brickster (rumor has it his contract with Seattle calls for them to burn every episode of ‘Abarenbo Gaijin’ onto DVD as soon as it’s aired and Fedex it to whatever city the M’s are playin’ in) and had been told that I was on my way into the clubhouse. When he was told someone wanted to introduce themselves, he turned around expectin’ me-but instead was confronted with the phony grin of a politico sniffin’ out a photo op. If you listen closely and can understand Japanese, you can even hear Ichiro exclaimin’ “Who the hell is this loss?”

Despite Obama’s diplomatic faux paus, everythin’ turned out OK. Ichiro and I finally got to meet and I signed a few DVD boxes for him, and in return got a signed baseball from him (see picture). What a clown-he even signed it “Joe DiMaggio”! We had a good laugh over Obama’s bumblin’ antics and even lined up Ichiro for a possible cameo on Season Three of “Abarenbo Gaijin”. I passed out Team Japan hats to all the guys from both teams (just to remind ‘em who kicked their ass in the WBC). Then I went out and took battin’ practice with the big boys. I’d deem my session in the cage a success, since I drilled some talkin’ head from Fox Sports Net in the nuts with a sizzlin’ line drive and almost took out a groundskeeper when the bat slipped durin’ a hard swing and went flyin’off like the rotor from Traffic Copter One. The night ended on a somewhat sour note when my boyz from the NL lost yet again, 4-3. They ain’t won the game for 15 years or so. They shoulda’ sent me up to pinch hit-as any woman could tell ya, not only does the Brickster swing some serious lumber, but he’s never struck out. Not even once. If that ain’t Big League, I don’t know what is.

August 10, 2009-The Brickster was gonna write about his stint back in July as Team Japan’s Goodwill Ambassador to the MLB All-Star Game (again), but I’d like to address a weightier issue this week-namely, what a big dumbass Hikonyan is. Now, wastin’ primo space on the McBurly Monogatari to whine an’ cry about some alleged ‘imposter’ Hikonyan is bad enough to begin with. But it gets even better. If you click on the link in the bar above (‘Hikonyan’, which takes ya to ‘Hikonyan’s Guide To Japanese History’) and scroll down the page a little, you’ll see a bunch a bunch of pages from a kid’s book that purports to show the ‘sekrit origin of Hikonyan’. But get this-the title of the book is ‘Hikone No Yoi Nyanko No Ohanashi’.

Yep, that’s right-Hikonyan’s featurin’ the imposter’s book front an’ center on HIS OWN WEBPAGE. Ha! What a dumbass! And he calls ME stupid? Talk about bein’ hoisted on your own retard or somethin’. When contacted for his reaction to this startlin’ revelation, Hikonyan had this to say: “NOOOOooOOOooOOooOooOoOooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

August 3, 2009-Hi, everyone! HiHiHiHiHi! It’s me, Hikonyan, glorious vassal of the Ii and stalwart defender of Hikone Castle! Brick and Koyori are on vacation this week, so guess what? C’mon, guess! That’s right-I get to write this edition of McBurly Monogatari! So instead of Brick’s normal idiotic ramblings, you can read mine instead! Errrr…what I mean is, you can read about something of substance for a change. For example, let’s tackle an issue that’s been on everyone’s mind for quite some time now. I’m speaking, of course, about the wave of Hikonyan imposters and wannabes that are trying to cash in on my reputation and hard work. They’re even lower than grey market chanbara dealers! Nyan nyan!

It was bad enough when a bottom feeding tiger from Kyushu gave himself the name Higonyan in a blatant attempt to mislead consumers into thinking he was somehow related to me. Now, I can sympathize-basing your persona on Kato Kiyomasa, a disloyal and rather thick-headed samurai who makes Brick look like Confucius and that didn’t know the first thing about dancing, cavorting, and glad-handing (all necessary mascot skillz), isn’t that great of an idea. But they could have used a little originality and overcame that-say, having Higonyan being the tiger that hunted Kiyomasa and wearing his skin instead of vice versa.

But now there’s an even bigger threat to my integrity-a blatant imposter who not only tries to look like me, but also claims to be the real thing. This would be the black hearted felonious feline Hikone No Yoi Nyanko. And what’s worse is that many of my fans are unknowingly accepting him as me! I don’t get it myself-we look nothing alike, as seen in this photo comparison. Just look at him-you can tell he just doesn’t have the physique to bust a move or the talent to rock a rhyme. Those shifty eyes are a telltale sign that he’s got ties to the yakuza. I bet he’s gay, too. This whole thing has erupted over a tangled legal situation where my original creator decided that he got screwed when the merchandising dollars began rolling in. Subsequently he claimed that he held the copyright on all aspects of me except for the three poses he originally submitted for the mascot contest that gave birth to the legend that is I. I think the technical term for that specific legal argument is “bullshit”. While I don’t claim to be a prognosticator, I CAN foresee a future that has my foot up his back passage.

Things have gotten so bad that it’s threatening to destroy the economy-NHK even devoted a segment of its nightly news program to the Hikonyan crisis:

Accept no substitutes! Don’t settle for anything less than the original, one and only Hikonyan. Keep your children safe from the subversive influence and questionable sexual practices of that rat bastard Hikone No Yoi Nyanko. Make wise souvenir purchasing decisions and join me in eradicating the vermin that infests the shelves of the local conbini. I’ll mercilessly destroy and eliminate all pathetic poseurs and impure imposters! There can only be one King of the Couch-all others must die. Death to them all! Sally forth and let loose the cats of war! I’m Hikonyan, and I approved this message.

July 27, 2009-Most performance artists tend to go into seclusion after they’ve pulled off the role of a lifetime. Such was the case of Senor Backstroke, the bald naked fat guy who decided to take a dip in the moat at the Emperor’s Castle in Tokyo, climb the stone walls, and avoid cops sent to apprehend him for a coupla hours. If you missed this truly awe-inspirin’ once-in-a-lifetime escapade, go click on the word ‘Awesome’ in the bar above, scroll down a couple of entries, and check out the video, story, and pics. Go ahead…I’ll wait. Hmmmm-hmmmm-hmmm-hmmm….

OK-now that you’re up to speed, I can report that the pride of Spain has resurfaced after an absence of several months. As you can see, Senor has expanded his repertoire and taken his act to the common people. News reports have him poppin’ up all over and puttin’ his wares on display for the unwary citizens of Kyoto. Here’s the only extant photo of his one man crusade against decorum, caught in the background of a photo snapped by a schoolgirl as she took a pic of her pals:

His antics initially received a lot of press-primarily because at first it was assumed it was the Brickster in action. However, interest quickly evaporated among the ladies when they found out this wasn’t the case. After all, it was obvious from the chrome dome and the flabby physique that this wasn’t the well coiffed and buff Brickster-not to mention the fact that I wouldn’t ever pull a stunt like this in front of young, impressionable kids. There’s plenty of time for that sort of thing once they grow up. So now, Senor Backstroke labors in obscurity. He’s kinda like a poor man’s version of the Burger King, doin’ his best to surprise and delight his marks-although from what the gal who took this pic told me, he ain’t exactly servin’ up a Whopper fer yer viewin’ pleasure-more like somethin’ off the kid’s menu. It’s somewhat disappointin’ to see the guy who pulled off the greatest krazy stunt EVAR show that, in the end, he was nothin’ more than another one hit wonder.

July 20, 2009-I was gonna talk about my gig at the All-Star game as Team Japan’s Goodwill Ambassador this week, but after the last coupla’ entries I received some emails raisin’ an excellent question. Basically, they all read, “Brickster, where the hell was Koyori when you were getting yourself into trouble trying to score a Frito Lay, so to speak? I can’t see her letting you do something that stupid if she’d had been there, taking on the traditional woman’s role of saving men from their own idiocy”. Well, that’s true-Ko is known for tryin’ to keep the Brickster on a very short leash. But for once, she was off tendin’ to her own career.

As you can see, Ko was puttin’ her wares on display for all the horn dogs around the world by doin’ a photo shoot for Maxim. And if I do say so myself, the results were spectacular-in my eyes, she’s the hottest babe to ever grace the pages of that fine example of American men’s culture. I sure hope they let her keep the outfit, cause I have some big plans involvin’ her and it when they return to Japan this week.

However, in Japanese society, it’s never good for a man to be upstaged by his wife-especially a virile he-man like yers truly. So I had to figure out a way to get some media buzz of my own-fast. With Ko lookin’ so fine, it wouldn’t be easy. Luckily for me, I was scheduled to attend a ceremony at the Studio where I was to be awarded my first gold record (for “House of the Gaijin Bum”-see the Monogatari entry from a few months ago). Since I owed it all to the housewives and schoolgirls that dutifully took the Brickster’s download and put it on their MP3 players, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to do an impromptu photo shoot of my own. So here’s a little preview of that-

I bet within a week it’ll be the desktop wallpaper on the computers of virtually every OL and hausfrau in Japan. Probably the same for quite a few folks pursuin’ alternative lifestyles as well, but what they hell-they buy movie tickets, DVD’s, and CD’s too.

We also finally wrapped up several half completed projects, and began work on a new film. Since the movie’s about ninja, the title is sekrit and can only be whispered down a well at midnight. But here’s a teaser promo still featurin’ one of my co-stars-somebody I think everybody at the Samurai Archives might know…

July 14, 2009-
The Brickster'd just like to congratulate his boys on the National League Baseball All-Star Team, who continued their proud tradition of handin' the game over to the American League, losin' 4-3. They haven't won for almost 15 years. I took a special trip to the States for THIS?!?

There were some laughs provided as recently fired sportstalk show host and loathsome toad Paul 'Fluffy' Daugherty's homoerotic obsession with Reds Second Baseman Brandon 'Gametime Burger' Phillips continued. He devoted an entire column of his inane ramblin's to an extended whine about how poor ol' Brandon got jobbed when it came to selections for the All-Star Team. Yeah, Paul, arrogant guys who bat in the .260's with an OBP in the .330's and that routinely pull huge boners on the basepaths are really tough to find. There must only be, say, two or three hundred of them in the Majors. While I know Paul's just defendin' his future husband, I found it amusin' that Phillips didn't even make it into the top nine (of 16) in fan votin'-and the player's vote stiffed him too, since they all realize he's an overglorified hot dog.

Then on top of that, we get Obama Bin Laden shoved down our throats before, durin', and after the game. I don't know about the rest of you, but the last thing the Brickster wants is to have some peacock of a politician in love with himself (Democrat, Republican, or otherwise) tryin' to use a sportin' event to boost their ego and get their mug on the tube.

July 6, 2009-I'm sure you all saw this news item from a coupla' days ago about a little mishap the Brickster ran into while visitin' the States to attend the MLB All-Star Game as Team Japan's Goodwill Ambassador. If not, watch the video. Feel free to ignore the first 25 seconds or so-I'da edited them out, but that ain't part and parcel of my mad skillz.

Now you'll hear the REST of the story. While passin' through Texas on my way to St. Louis from LA, I stopped to tour the local Frito-Lay factory where my fav'rit drinkin' snack, Ruffles, are made. Well, really, I just needed to use the bathroom, but ended up winnin' the drawin' they had for a box of free Frito-Lay products. Not a bad thing to have along on a cross-country jaunt, so's the Brickster threw the box of chips in the back seat of his rental and headed off.

About an hour later I stopped off at Denny's for a Grand Slam, and out in the parkin' lot I was approached by this 30-somethin' chick who was fondlin' her own boobs through her top and thrustin' them at the Brickster. Well, naturally enough, I thought she was havin' trouble breathin' and I got behind her and started givin' her the Heimlich Manuever. Then my pants sorta fell down, and well, you know... it was the sort of accident that could happen to anyone, and has to Obenjo on several occasions, and nothin' really was goin' on there, really.

So a coupla minutes after nothin' really went on, this female cop shows up and sees the Brickster pullin' his pants up in this chick's car after he had ducked in there to straighten things out. Seein' where this was headin', I decided to take the high road and told her I was Ashigaru. But this cop was one of the three people that had seen the low-budget American horror movies I made in the 90's and recognized me, and even worse, musta been battin' for the other team since even the promise of some quality time in the Brickster's penal colony and a nice measure of "chip dip" didn't get her off my back. Just about the time I thought it was gonna take Lowell "The Hammer" Stanley for me to see the light of day, this broad's supervisor showed up and turned out to be the third person (and straight), since he just laughed, told her to let me go, and booked the chick I thought was chokin'. Choker tried to throw me under the bus by tellin' the cop that I had posed as a Frito-Lay employee and offered her my box of Frito-Lay stuff for sex, but he knew a story when he heard it. I mean, just take a look at her in the video-she ain't all that and a bag of chips. And like the news commentator says, there was some really good stuff in that box, not to be traded lightly. Hell, in Japan I could get a top-of-the-line Korean hooker for a box of strawberry Pokky, a bottle of Poccari Sweat, and a promise of a role in my next film. Not that I'd know anythin' about stuff like that. And even if I did, what would make tradin' chips for sex any different than helpin' out one of those bums by the side of the road holdin' a "Will Work For Food" sign? Hell, it's a public service-the Brickster's bringin' his "economic stimulus package" to bear, so to speak.

But as it turned out, the female cop was bitter about the whole situation and leaked it to the local press. Although it might end up bein' to my advantage since Ko's dad wants to use the buzz it created to have me star in a spicy remake of "Goodbye, Mr. Chips".

June 29, 2009-I know whatcher thinkin’ right about now. “Damn, Brickster! Why didn’t you post a warnin’ or somethin’? That pic made me hose down my laptop with my mornin’ cornflakes!” Well, consider yourself lucky-I have to work with these idiots. Yep, the studio made the mistake of givin’ Ishikawa Raizo (who’s made a career of ridin’ the coattails of screen legend Ichikawa Raizo) carte blanche in developin’ a weekly kids superhero show to pad out their cable channel, even though they had me under contract, the hero and idol of Japanese boys ‘n girls everywhere.

The show’s called ‘Flaming Rider’ and features 5 of these clowns mounted on tricked-out Segways with flame throwers (and I have a feelin' that ain't all that's bein' mounted). Pictured here (on the left) is Raizo as Captain Shinnyuu. You don’t even wanna know what the ‘N’ on the other guy’s helmet means, but I bet you can guess. Well, maybe it ain’t THAT bad-it’s actually Nageyari. Now, I would imagine it ain't the SA's Nageyari-but come to think of it, he did go to Kyoto and then disappeared from the face of the earth, so maybe...One thing’s for sure-the Studio sure is savin’ a ton on costumin’. The boys (there ain’t even the usual token chick member) of Flaming Rider prance around the globe usin’ their control of magnetic force to battle evil and pull down the trousers of unsuspectin’ sararimen everywhere. Seems to me it’s more like a giant fantasy scenario for Ishikawa and his pals to scope out each other’s ‘magnetic poles’. Somewhere, evil mutant leader Magneto must be puttin’ a defamation suit together. The big, traditional ‘transformation scene’ near the end gives a whole new meanin’ to the term ‘cluster’. I predict this messterpiece’ll be responsible for givin’ nightmares to more kids than Ringu, Juon, and Hikonyan's Christmas Special combined.

Of course, bein’ under contract and a real man, I get stuck appearin’ in one of the episodes as the bad guy for that week. I don’t know if they’re takin’ their inspiration from Dick Tracy, Frisch’s, or the front of my pants, but my character’s named ‘Big Boy’. Even Ko has to take a turn as an evil heterosexual Queen hell-bent on world domination. Although at least in her case, Queen is a title, not a description.

June 22, 2009-Looks like Google’s attempt to sabotage still lies several weeks into the future and won’t take place in June as they had originally stated. Seems they haven’t quite got the automatic transfer from ‘pages’ to ‘sites’ to work as well as they had originally hoped. It does seem that the Brickster’s site will make the changeover, whenever it happens, relatively intact. The text, pictures, and vids will all be there (but probably not laid out the same). The visual presentation will be different-for starters, there’s a damn navigational sidebar that I won’t be able to get rid of. Every page will now have to have the same background, color, etc-and I won’t be able to use the kewl 50’s retro look for the front page. In other words, the whole mess will be barely functional but hardly stylish. It’s a classic case of corporate America tryin’ to shoehorn creativity into their standardized, uniform vision. Still, it’s comfortin’ to know that the Brickster’s accumulated store of wisdom and good works will be around fer the edification of future generations.