The plight of a hard working editor

Hiroko Matsukata is single and a workaholic. The 28-year-old is one of several editors at the magazine, Weekly JIDAI, which covers political scandals, food trends, sports and scantily clad models on certain pages.

It is not unusual for her to pull all-nighters, subsisting on natto hand rolls. Yep, natto. The sticky soybean, which is an acquired taste.
She earned the nickname, Hataraki Man or working man from fellow employees because she works really hard and doesnt think too much of those who cruise through their jobs.

We see her get excited about stories, work like a maniac, interact with her fellow editors and bemoan the time she cannot spend with her equally busy boyfriend.

Thus goes Hataraki Man, one of those slice-of-life animes geared for an older set. Dont get me wrong. The animation looks sharp and the character designs are true to the manga version. Theyre normal looking folks, if you get my drift.

She goes drinking sometimes with the tubby editor who deals with the food section and the models. Theyre pals only. In an earlier episode, she went out on a stakeout with the prickly Fumiya Sugawara, whose job seems to be going undercover or doing stakeouts to get photos of people caught in the act.

Im predicting sparks will eventually happen between them. Its a clich in anime. The couple who gets on each others nerves eventually falls in love or feels some sort of attraction.

There are only 11 episodes but I didnt feel the need to rush back to the store after watching three episodes. Part of my disinterest is that the show hits too close to home for me. Ya see, I watch anime because it has nothing to do with my real life. I doubt that giant robots would suddenly attack the towns I cover or purple-haired school girls with magical powers would soon attend the local middle school.

I write for a living and I deal with more eccentric characters than Hiroko does so her pals and sources leave me bored. The fact she works through the night isnt unusual in our business either. And I was appalled that her fellow employees seem amazed she works that hard. They should be embarrassed theyre not working as hard as she is.

At the JIDAI, she and her co-workers are called editors when they would clearly be reporters here. I was also surprised when she sent an interview back to a government official so he could approve it after they chatted. I know nothing about Japanese journalism so Im not sure if this is common practice over there or just something the shows writers made up. I can tell you that we never do that in American journalism.

Maybe I will watch the rest of the show this summer when I have some extra time. Right now, its sort of a yawner for me.

A little Jrock to end the day

I still consider “Shell” by BANA one of the better anime songs I’ve heard. The song was used in the series, “Witch Hunter Robin”, which is readily available here on DVD. The soundtrack should be easy to get too.

It’s the guitar part that I like so much about the song. That and the fact the singer doesn’t sound like a squeaky gerbil. Here’s the opening animation to the show courtesy of some fan who put it up on YouTube.

Robin does some weird thing to the TV screen. I suppose she’s getting all swoony over Amon who broods, shoots and generally looks cool during the entire show. But who wouldn’t swoon over such a bishounen (beautiful boy) , neh? And like any brooding anime hero, Amon wears all black plus a trenchcoat. I’m getting the vapors now. Just kidding.

A sudden bout of insanity

I’m usually a cheap person who blanches when my friends spend oodles of money on bags, clothes, shoes or jewelry. The most I ever spent on shoes was $48.95 and I nearly broke out in a fever when I forked over the money. But when it comes to my hobbies, I lose my head and start blowing money on items even if they only have a remote connection to my current obsession.
This long preamble is my pathetic excuse to explain away my latest purchase. While waiting for the tax guy to do my taxes this weekend, I wandered into a store specializing in cartoons. The store had a replica of Edward Elric’s pocket watch issued by the military to all state alchemists.

To you non-anime folks, Edward is one of the heroes in “Full Metal Alchemist” which I consider one of the great anime shows created recently. And here I was just looking for some keychains featuring a comic relief character from “Bleach.”

The sales gal said it was $50. I wavered for a bit (maybe five minutes) before I caved in and bought the watch. Sure, the watch runs a minute late than my wristwatch and could use some polishing but it’s perfect. Comes with two chains. I attached it to my black leather trenchcoat because my skirts don’t have pockets. I LOVE IT!

I asked a co-worker, Watchara, to take pictures since the ones I took turned out terrible. Another friend asked me if I was going to the anime convention in Long Beach this July. I’m not sure since I attended my first convention last year in Anaheim and got weirded out by the hordes of fans who came dressed as their favorite characters. That’s too much for me. Plus I also found no bargains among the anime DVDs and mangas for sale which disappointed me. If I do attend, the watch will come with me.

And that is how I waste my money. I’m such a sucker for anime merchandise. Now if I can just find that bag that has, “Anime. Crack is cheaper” on the front and my day will be complete.