Gaijin Smash

Gentei

Posted in Blog by gaijinsmashnet on October 24, 2008

If there’s anything Japan loves, its “gentei”.
“Gentei” basically just means “limited” – so limited time offer, stuff like that. Its not unique to Japan of course, in America we had lots of limited time offers as well. Thing is though, if whatever it was proved to be popular enough, it would transistion from limited time offer into a permanent staple. Anyone remember when the McDonald’s Monopoly Game was limited time only? Or how about the “special” first week run of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?
…But not Japan. If Japan says gentei, they mean it – before you know it, it will disappear just as fast as Macaulay Culkin’s acting career. I remember when I did my study abroad 7 years ago, there was a variation of a drink called Qoo – it was peach flavored. You must trust me when I say that this was the most delicious shit, ever. Ambrosia of the GODS level. As if Zeus himself came down from Olympus and was like “what’s up guys, you gotta drink some of this shit, its the bomb!” I would buy a liter bottle from the nearby supermarket, and it would literally be gone within an hour. Both Americans AND Japanese would raid my fridge for a swig, and then I’d be left with an empty Peach Qoo bottle. Think about that for a sec – the Japanese, so reserved and worried about what other people may think of them, had no problems straight up jacking my peach drank. That’s how ridiculously good it was.


When I came back to Japan some 2 years later, naturally one of the first things I did was to search for some Peach Qoo. But I guess it was gentei, as it was just nowhere to be found. There was Apple Qoo and Orange Qoo and Yogurt Qoo and Muscat Qoo, but never peach. I’d ask the store clerks too, and they’d just give me this funny look as if the stuff never existed at all. …I’d bet good money that these selfish clerks were just hording cases of the shit in the back, and would indulge in Peach Qoo orgy baths after the store closed. After I left they’d just laugh and say “silly Gaijin, Peach Qoo is for Japanese!” Maybe I should have shown up with a baseball cap hiding my Gaijin features. If it worked for the Trix rabbit…
Much of Japan’s gentei revolves around the four seasons. Of course. Because Japanese people love the “unique” and “special” Four Seasons of Japan. As if the Earth somehow rotated around Japan, and all the other unfortunate countries of the world are stuck with one bland mono-season (with my apologies to readers in places like Hawaii and Singapore that truly do have mono-seasons…). I find the “Four Seasons of Japan” to be a load of rubbish anyway – Japan really only has two seasons – “natsu” and “fuyu”, which directly translated means “really farking hot” and “freeze your small intestines off cold”. Now, there is like a week of transistional weather between farking hot and fatal cold, where the weather is actually decent. Perhaps this is what Japanese people refer to as Fall and Spring. I dunno, personally, when I think of season, I think of a period of time much longer than a week. I would much rather call Fall and Spring in Japan “Harsh Weather Interludes.”
…But anyway, I digress. Japan’s big on the four seasons, so of course this is linked in with the gentei – many restaurants change up their menu for winter, spring, summer, and fall, with each offering a special gentei seasonal dish. And as usual, that gentei dish is the most delicious thing ever, but the very nanosecond the season changes over, that dish vaporizes into thin air. Last summer, Starbucks offered a Banana Cream Frappuchino or something, and it was really, really good. I can still remember the day I went to get one mid-September and was sorely disappointed…
Me: Yeah, I’ll have the Banana Cream Frappuchino…
Clerk: The what now?
Me: Banana Cream Frappuchino. You know, its got bananas…cream…perhaps some element of a coffee of some sort…
Clerk: …I have no idea what you’re talking about.
Me: The Banana Cream Frappuchino! I had one like two days ago!
Clerk (digging deep into the recesses of her brain): Oh…well, I still don’t know about this drink you speak of, but that was our Summer Menu. We’re on the Fall Menu now. How about a Chestnut Latte?
Me: How can you be on the Fall Menu, its still like eleventy billion degrees outside!
Clerk: But, its September, therefore it is Fall now. See, I wore my coat to work today. Fall.
Me: I don’t care what season it is, I just wanted a delicious Banana Cream Frappuchino…
Clerk: I simply do not understand why you would want to drink what is clealy a summer drink, when we are now in fall. Don’t the tastebuds of your tongue now yearn for Chestnut Latte?
And notice how this was last summer. I waited a year for that sucker to come back, but summer rolled around and the Banana Cream Frappuchino was never heard from again. Banished I suppose to the forbidden hell where left socks, television remote controls, and Billy Dee Williams all disappeared to.
Amazingly enough, despite Japan’s committment to making gentei disappear forever, there is one champion, one beast who fought his way out of Gentei Hades and now walks among the regular menu items: the McDonalds Mega Mac. Yep, The Mega Mac. This monstrousity was so popular that McD’s had no other choice but to add it to the regular menu. Not only that, but I guess to fill the gentei quota in the universe, they introduced other Mega burgers – the Mega Teriyaki, the Mega Sausage McMuffin, and even the Mega Mac with egg – for those of you who felt you just weren’t dying fast enough. Even in America – poor, gluttonous, over-stuffed America – we didn’t think “Hey, you know what this Big Mac is missing? Twice the meat!” But not only did McDonalds Japan do it, but the Japanese people ate it enough to break the gentei curse. …How Japanese people remain so thin and live so long will continue to remain at the top of my Japan Oxymorons list for the foreseeable future.
***
One of my good friends here went back to America last summer. He holds a rather unique title of having lived in Japan for 3 years, but never having not even one Japanese girlfriend. He’s a very cool guy, speaks great Japanese, and is as good-looking as a man can admit to another man being good-looking can be…but it just never happened.
During his final months here in the country, we were thinking of making him a shirt with “gentei” printed on it. The idea would be that he could tell girls that he was leaving Japan soon – thus the gentei. Seeing as how Japanese people love gentei, we thought it would make his stock skyrocket. We never got around to making the shirt, but I think it would have done pretty well, honestly.
Now, I’m all married now, so I can no longer indulge in such rampant acts of debauchery, but if one of you eligible bachelors out there, on your next girl hunt, would like to use the pick-up line “Hey baby, my dick is gentei.”, and then report your results back here…well, *I* certainly would be very appreciative.
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As always, thank you for the continued donations! Unfortunately, I didn’t reach the target for the work story, so that tale will remain untold. But I will continue to update the site with other new content the best I can.
Again, thank you very much for the donations. Honestly, they help me to pay my rent right now.

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99 Responses

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  1. Liv said, on October 24, 2008 at 10:22 am

    GENTEI?! GENTEI?! That’s what all the limited time only products are called? Darnit, Az, I was quizzing students for days and no one could tell me anything about why their country is making new products every 2 weeks. Some students suggested “kongetsu no aji” ant “hitotsu dake” but no one even came close to saying “gentei.” As for a reason, all anyone would tell me was, “Japanese like new things.” Baaaahh … I gotta stop talking to people who can’t speak English. Or get cracking on my own Japanese.

  2. Francisco said, on October 24, 2008 at 10:27 am

    hmmmm
    maybe i should try the gentei trick this year when i go to osaka.

  3. Joe said, on October 24, 2008 at 10:39 am

    that guy must’ve been stroking the one eyed snake a lot, or did he date other gaijin?

  4. Fulluphigh said, on October 24, 2008 at 10:45 am

    Az, You’ve posted this before. I know this has been posted before…
    Somewhere, I’ve seen it. Delicious read all the same, of course.

  5. Toomin said, on October 24, 2008 at 11:09 am

    My buddy tried the Mega Mac when we were in Japan this summer… he was so sick that night, lol.

  6. Random commenter said, on October 24, 2008 at 11:09 am

    FIRST!!!!!!!!
    “If Japan says gentei, they mean it – before you know it, it will disappear just as fast as Macaulay Culkin’s acting career.”
    how are you not making a career as a poet?

  7. Chris said, on October 24, 2008 at 11:10 am

    You’re looking for a certain amount in donations to tell a particular story?
    That just rubs me the wrong way.
    Why not put up stories people want to read, get more readers, and hopefully make money that way.
    Or break away from Rudius Media, run the site yourself like you did before, and keep 100% of the ad revenue. Wasn’t your old site more popular than this one anyways?
    Or stay with Rudius but use their sway to actually get a book deal.

  8. Random commenter said, on October 24, 2008 at 11:20 am

    FIRST!!!!!!!!
    “If Japan says gentei, they mean it – before you know it, it will disappear just as fast as Macaulay Culkin’s acting career.”
    how are you not making a career as a poet?

  9. Pandora said, on October 24, 2008 at 11:48 am

    WHERE ARE THE PICTURES FROM YOUR WEDDING?!?!?!
    I appreciate that you updated and all, giving me something OTHER than work to do at the office, but I WANT PICTURES!!!!

  10. Grip said, on October 24, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    I wish you luck, from one broke guy to another. I can’t remember where, but i once heard the quote,” Smooth seas do not make skilled sailors.” After you get back on your feet financially, you should be mentally prepared to go through the next great depression(will probably happen in america soon).

  11. Brian said, on October 24, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Hahaha, man, that’s the best pick up line ever.
    You can use this for leverage to obtain the hoarded Peach Qoo. They cant deny it exists now! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QGZTk3RUsU

  12. dan said, on October 24, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    AZ,
    Quick question for you — how were you able to land a job as an English teacher in Japan? I am graduating college next year and want to teach english abroad, preferably in Asia somewhere.

  13. Boogie said, on October 24, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    What about the wedding pictures you promised?

  14. grace said, on October 24, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Hey! Singapore also has the heatwave and the monsoon season (the month where we have thunderstorms everyday!) 😀

  15. Anonymous said, on October 24, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    Bah… so the story of why your job was that bad that you had to quit and risk your last months pay will forever remain one of those things at the back of your mind that you will never know, but will always bother you whenever you think about it? You cruel bastard…
    Seriously though, how did things go with getting that last pay check? And have you had any luck at all finding more work yet? I hope your boss isn’t still being an asshole and not paying you, and I hope he doesn’t give you a bad reference or whatever. The dude may be asking for one of the most brutal Gaijin Smashes of all time..
    Best of luck with it all anyway, and we look forward to hearing about the wedding.

  16. b0mb3r said, on October 24, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    lol if your talking about gentei check this out
    http://kotaku.com/5066911/the-gaijin-gaming-discount
    nuff said.
    yes i feel the pain of gentei when they don’t offer my favorite bread at diners.

  17. Stan said, on October 24, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    OK. Remember the novel 1984 by Orwell? You know where everything changes based on the needs of Big Brother: black becomes white, white becomes black and each time it was always thus? Well, that was the feeling in reading this one. No mention of pictures. Was there ever a mention of pictures? Naw, that was in an alternative universe. I couldn’t even concentrate in reading this ’cause I was like, “So, what about the pictures?” Disappointing, my friend. Worse than not having an update? Having an update with no mention of pictures.
    And careful, Az, you’re approaching Sale of Soul territory with the bit about the work story. Either tell it or don’t, but don’t tie it to a funds drive. Pics, yeah, cause your space isn’t usually about pics. But it is usually about stories so linking the telling or not telling of the story to a funds drive: not cool.
    That said, I’m going to use your very funny gentei line with my girlfriend and see what happens. “Chin Chin wa gentei desu, baby! Better come and get it McQuick!”

  18. Mil said, on October 24, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    Hi Az, are you still going to post your wedding photos?

  19. Justanothermom said, on October 24, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    The baseball cap may have worked for the Trix Rabbit (since all he was trying to hide were his long ears), but I think you’d have to go a step or two farther, which may not work out too well (I imagine a full body suit shaded in a Japanese-type flesh tone that makes your face look like it’s wrapped in hosiery). The resulting look may end up causing them to call the cops rather than share the awesome goodness of the Peach Qoo with you (that is, if it’s as awesome as you describe).
    You’ve been gone a while again; did you find new work, or have you been enjoying your newlywed status?

  20. neodorian said, on October 24, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    There’s a clothing store here in Baltimore called Gentei and it deals in lots of trendy pop-art type clothes. I guess I get the reference now.

  21. Danno said, on October 24, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    Waaait a minute. I hope you’re not trying to pass this off as new. I recall reading this over a year ago.

  22. Marc said, on October 24, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    Congrats, my friend! I hope the reception wasn’t full of mega-macs and sake…although, that wouldn’t be so bad now that I think about it. Food drunk and drunk drunk? It’s a win-win situation! Anyways, best of luck to you and yours.

  23. Joe said, on October 24, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    Be glad you’re not in America right now. Things are crazy over here with election nonsense 🙂
    If you want to encourage donations, you should post a little meter with what % you’re at. Hope you can pay the rent! Lots of folks over here are struggling with that too, these days. There was even a big story about someone committing suicide over it.

  24. Roocat said, on October 24, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    I have read your blog for years and really enjoyed it. I was disappointed in this one though because to me it seemed like so much of a rerun. I didn’t go through the archives and find the exact one, but I remember a post talking about the “gentei” limited and seasonal items before.
    I do think it is an insult to your readers to offer them the story of your work ordeal then tell then they didn’t give enough even though you admit it helped pay your rent. If you chose not to want to discuss it I understand everyone has a right to a personal life of course. I would at least like to know what happened with the last check since you were talking about that on the blog willingly.
    No offense is meant and I do love your blogs and hope you continue to write. Sorry for posting anonymously, I couldn’t get the link to typekey to work to create an account.
    Roocat

  25. Patrick said, on October 24, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    As always a good entry. If I ever visit Japan, I will get a shirt with “Gentei” printed on it and let you know if it works.

  26. Anonymous said, on October 24, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    hey az, have you posted up any of your wedding pics yet? i’ve been reading through some of the comments of the other posts and sounds like it may be posted up somewhere? anyone got a link?

  27. Anonymous said, on October 24, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    hey az, have you posted up any of your wedding pics yet? i’ve been reading through some of the comments of the other posts and sounds like it may be posted up somewhere? anyone got a link?

  28. anon said, on October 24, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    I did a spell at Kansai Gaidai last year. The Mega Mac is actually one of my fondest memories (I actually can’t remember the last time i’ve even been to a mc’e dees in AMERICA). I’m dissapointed that there’s no posted pic of the deliciousness that is the Mega Mac, but thats why theres google image search.
    Anyway, I hear you on the Gentei stuff. Maybe thats what keeps the Japanese economy doing well?

  29. nunka said, on October 24, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    For those saying this is a repost… not quite. I’ve been rereading the archives recently and while there was a post about gentei a while back, it was slightly different. Still had the story about Az’s friend leaving Japan, though.
    We, your rabid and adoring fans, require sustenance, Az. 😦

  30. katzgoboom said, on October 24, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    Didn’t you already do a post about gentei?
    Only it was more focused on condoms.
    The idea that ANYONE is going to use 2000 condoms in 2 years is hilarious.

  31. Nanite said, on October 24, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    Forget the work story. Take up a collection and tell us about The Octopus.

  32. Chibi said, on October 24, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    hehe, I have been living in Japan and know exactly what you are talking about. it is as bad now that now when I have gotten back to my home-country my girlfriends friends ask for gentei-Moomin stuff (living close to Finland) and want me to send some of it.
    trouble is, we do not care one little bit about gentei so no stores says what things are gentei and what things are not.

    and Japan has way more than four seasons, at least if you visit shops. first it is Halloween, then it is Christmas (even though it is like beginning of November), New Years, White Day… and so on. and the settings in the shops change overnight… what do they do with all the unsold products??

  33. feitclub said, on October 24, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    The Mega Mac I can do without (I tried once when it was still gentei and I could barely get my mouth around it) but the Mega Muffin is awesome. THere’s no such thing as too much egg.
    My favorite gentei item was one of the myraid of Kit Kat flavors Japan is so lucky to have. Three years ago, they had a Maple White Chocolate Kit Kat. While the White Chocolate flavor is now a mainstay, the maple syrup kicker is gone forever, it seems.
    And I hear you on the seasonal bullshit. My students always argue with me when I say “it’s summer” in September, no matter how insanely hot it is outside. I’ve compromised by sticking to the equinoxes – that is, even if it’s over 90 degrees on September 24th, the Autumnal Equinox has come and gone, so it’s autumn.

  34. John U. said, on October 24, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    No work story?
    Well, I guess we know who doesn’t care about us in this long, loving relationship.
    I’m leaving. And taking the children with me.

  35. Cait said, on October 24, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    Az…
    I must say I am disappointed.
    I donated to you 100 euros on 19 September 2008, which was at that time around 15k Yen. A bunch. And I did not collect anything. That was my very own personal money, and besides from being in financial trouble now myself, I gave it willingly, because I wanted to give you something in return for some years of splendid postings here.
    Now you are asking people to donate for pictures and stories and you really think 15k Yen from just a single person is not enough to provide both some pictures from your wedding AND a little insight on a story you made us all curious about?? I wonder what other people donated; must have been some two sens…
    I don’t want to moan for the money; it is gone now, it helped someone at least a little, even if you must have come to think that now we are here to earn you your rent and stuff… And I hope for Karma to once return my helpfulness to me as well… But the least you could have done would have been posting these fotos you promised us all and tell us a little about how you are doing and whether you are alright. Instead you wouldn’t post anything for more than a week after your wedding, letting everyone wonder if you’re still alive, then you come back, ask for more money and what we get in return is a (I must admit, entertaining) story, we have all been reading some time ago with the very same words and the very same story about this shirt for this guy’s penis????
    You really can’t be serious about this… Do you so much as care for your readers or has an absence of money let you gone insane?? It really is an entertaining story, but did you really think we wouldn’t notice?? That’s very sad. 😦
    I hope you will get a nice grip in due time… If everything that is going to await us here will be reheated soup then I cannot go on calling this blog project here one of the most entertaining and worth reading of all time, anymore… Sorry.
    I would love to hear from you anytime soon. From you, not your reheating bot.
    Kindest regards from Europe… 😦

  36. Anonymous said, on October 24, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    “As always, thank you for the continued donations! Unfortunately, I didn’t reach the target for the work story, so that tale will remain untold”
    NNnoooooooooooooooooooooooo

  37. Anonymous said, on October 24, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    “As always, thank you for the continued donations! Unfortunately, I didn’t reach the target for the work story, so that tale will remain untold”
    NNnoooooooooooooooooooooooo

  38. Amanda said, on October 25, 2008 at 2:08 am

    I can’t believe that Peach Qoo left the shelves when I left Japan about 6 years ago. I’ve been dying to go back for it and my life is practically ruined now that I know I won’t find it! Hope they at least still have that peach chu-hai I used to drink.

  39. evil_tennyo said, on October 25, 2008 at 2:26 am

    still wish they brought the Mega Mac over… but hell, someone would prob sue them for some stupid reason or another >_<
    as for that banana cream frap, I know what you’re talking about! Actually here (in Vegas) they still have that on the menu. If i could, i’d send ya one lol

  40. Kev said, on October 25, 2008 at 3:20 am

    In reply to Chris’s comment {“Rubed in wrong way”}
    I just want to say that I support Az’s donations. Just think back in the old days when writers worked on patronage. This is exactly the same thing. If you like the stuff Az write, then create incentives for him to come up with more great stuff.

  41. Kevin said, on October 25, 2008 at 3:28 am

    If you insist on doing a donations-for-editorials thing, why not make it so after you receive $500 (or whatever amount you decide) in donations, you post the work story, then at $1000, you post something else? Seems a bit fairer than losing an editorial forever because a certain unknown amount of dollars wasn’t raised in a certain unknown amount of time.

  42. HiEv said, on October 25, 2008 at 5:35 am

    Fulluphigh, you’re probably thinking of “You Are What You Buy” from a year ago:
    http://www.gaijinsmash.net/archives/post_1.phtml
    He briefly described the Japanese love of gentei at the end of that post.

  43. Zarrah said, on October 25, 2008 at 5:36 am

    “Japan really only has two seasons – “natsu” and “fuyu””
    So true. I’ve been here one month and I’ve found every day is either too damn hot or too damn cold.
    And I TRIED a Mega Mac after hearing you talk about it, and since I PAID for it and I’m a student, I made myself eat the whole thing. Hi, two hours of lying on my bed, groaning in pain.
    Really, I think when something is too big to actually fit into your mouth, eating it is probably a bad idea.

  44. Fellshadow said, on October 25, 2008 at 6:19 am

    Man, there was Peach Qoo here? I would kill to try that stuff, the Apple Qoo and Orange Qoo is delicious. Tokyo has everything, so maybe I’ll be able to track down some Peach Qoo.
    And I don’t know how America doesn’t have the Mega Mac…Canada has it, its been on the menu for at least a couple years now. The only difference is that its called the Double Big Mac.

  45. Brett said, on October 25, 2008 at 9:20 am

    Could your friend be gay? I’m sure there are gay gaijin somewhere in the Land of the Rising Sun, and perhaps he’s just not telling you.

  46. Marina said, on October 25, 2008 at 10:39 am

    Strangely enough, McD’s over here in Serbia introduced the Mega Mac about a year ago too. I don’t know a living soul who can eat it, but it’s still on the menu, although I wouldn’t mind if they filed it under “Gentei” too…

  47. Danno said, on October 25, 2008 at 10:44 am

    I hope you’re not trying to pass this off as a new article… cuz that would be lies.
    It’s a great article, but saying it’s new would make it sour.
    Where them pictures at, dude?

  48. MarcelSlofstra said, on October 25, 2008 at 11:12 am

    Az, i’m really really really sure i have read this before. Surely, you aren’t recycling old blogs?

  49. Anonymous said, on October 25, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Heheheh, I remember the Mega Mac; they have it in South Korea too. And lemme tell ya, it completely *blows* the rest of the McD menu out of the water. It has more cheese, more meat, even a different type of sauce (and I *swear* I tasted sour cream in there)…it’s just awesome and win at the same time.
    And I’m not sure if I just kept nailing them during a sale or what, but I was getting Mega Mac meals for 3,000W (about $3.30 at that time) each time I went to the McDonald’s at Seoul Station, when the regular Big Mac was going for about 5,000W…needless to say, I took the upgrade. 😉

  50. Anonymous said, on October 25, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Heheheh, I remember the Mega Mac; they have it in South Korea too. And lemme tell ya, it completely *blows* the rest of the McD menu out of the water. It has more cheese, more meat, even a different type of sauce (and I *swear* I tasted sour cream in there)…it’s just awesome and win at the same time.
    And I’m not sure if I just kept nailing them during a sale or what, but I was getting Mega Mac meals for 3,000W (about $3.30 at that time) each time I went to the McDonald’s at Seoul Station, when the regular Big Mac was going for about 5,000W…needless to say, I took the upgrade. 😉

  51. Pissed said, on October 25, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    I hope you at least gave the people who donated the story. What you are doing now is terribly lame. Either put out a book so we know that we can pay a certain amount and actually get a product or do something to increase your ad revenue. But asking people to pay per story like this is AWFUL.
    I didn’t donate anything but this whole thing about pandering for money is getting old. I don’t understand why you had the wedding to begin with if you knew you would need help paying your bills. I know it doesn’t really matter, but I am done with this blog.

  52. Joe said, on October 25, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Hey Az. You should find the kanji for gentei, slap it on a shirt, and put a link to one of those stores that sells it to raise a few bucks. I’m sure you can figure out MS Paint enough to slap together a graphic that looks decent enough for one of those t-shirt sites…
    I bet that someone would buy them and the word isn’t even in my dictionary, so it’s not like most of us could make them ourselves…

  53. Shelby said, on October 25, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    Az, as a fellow ALT teacher (but in the States) who absolutely loves her job (though that part isn’t shared, I suppose, haha), I’ve always loved reading your blog. Always. From the facepalm moments to that little owl you received so long ago, I’ve felt you could compact so many of my experiences, feelings, and passions with your natural hilarity and pop culture references.
    But I have to agree with other readers when I say that this last entry’s ending disappointed me. Offering up wedding pictures for donations was fine, of course, because we all knew how hard you were taking it with the wedding plans, the job move, etc. But this really felt like you’re just milking us for donation money and guilt-tripping us for not helping you “enough”.
    Remember that most of your audience are college students/fellow ALTs just scraping by, and what little we did donate was done out of the kindness of our hearts and our appreciation for you taking the time to share with us your entertaining experiences. None of us is made out of money, least of all your readers. We’ve all been through hard times, but baiting isn’t the way to go about it, especially if you don’t “hit your target”. How much is one story worth, in dollars? I just don’t like the questions these things raise. Surely there are other ways for you to make a steady but fortunate small income on the side without making your readers feel like bad friends.

  54. Aaron said, on October 25, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    “You’re looking for a certain amount in donations to tell a particular story?
    That just rubs me the wrong way.
    Why not put up stories people want to read, get more readers, and hopefully make money that way.
    Or break away from Rudius Media, run the site yourself like you did before, and keep 100% of the ad revenue. Wasn’t your old site more popular than this one anyways?
    Or stay with Rudius but use their sway to actually get a book deal.”
    I believe this guy summed it up perfectly, and please post some pictures I’d like to see the happiest day of your life.

  55. anonanon said, on October 25, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    Insult? Come on. Az can post whatever he feels like and use any method he wishes to get some dough out of it, as far as I’m concerned. Frankly, if I would have written so many excellent entries throughout the years, I’d probably be quite frustrated by the amount of cash flow the activity generates (not that I have a clue, but still). But I’d imagine blogging is a tough business to be in from the money perspective. Have you considered writing a column for Japan Times and/or putting some more relevant ads on the site? I’ve never been tempted to click on a single one you currently display (Laser Hair Remover? What does it have to do with gentei? :)).

  56. anon said, on October 25, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    I remember seeing the MegaMac on the Mickey D’s menu when I went to Japan over the summer and my friends and I were wondering how many Japanese it would take to finish it. How in the world does something like THAT stay on the menu? Oh Japan…

  57. Onslaught Six said, on October 26, 2008 at 12:46 am

    Also agree on the general douchebaggery of the pay-me-or-don’t-get-awesome-story-content thing. I hate this crap. Using the proverbial Twinkie on a stick to try and drive us to give you more money is really low, especially when you sit there and admit that it’s paying your rent now, and when you haven’t posted the pictures you already said you would.
    I think what leaves the worst taste in my mouth is that we’re given no active measure of ‘how much’ we have to give to receive this alleged story, or what the progress is, or any kind of actual cutoff date for when we can donate to. It’s basically the worst situation I can conceive.
    So, in short, you should probably just not give shitty stipulations like “Pay me or you won’t get this awesome content!” in the first place. Those who want to donate will donate, and those who don’t want to will not. I will say right now that I will not ever give you money without a physical product (A book or something) and no manner of metaphysical Twinkies will change my mind.
    And also, it’s a horrible model in the first place, because like I said–I’m not going to donate, but if a bunch of other people do, I still get to see the content. There’s no equality in that at all, and it’s a bad model. If you want to give out exclusive content, it needs to be exclusive to those who have given, or else it should be free for all. Plus, those people donated money to you on the pretense that maybe, just maybe, they’d get some content…and now they have nothing to show for it. Which makes you look like a greedy bastard in return.
    Now, I like you, Az, and I’ve been a big fan of yours for a while, but this is still a serious kink in your system. I’m not saying you should stop accepting donations, but stop promising exclusive content if you “get enough.”

  58. Anon said, on October 26, 2008 at 1:34 am

    Peach Qoo, eh? My first trip was a couple years too late for that one it sounds like, but back in Summer of 2004, there was Fanta Peach.
    And “peach” isn’t the lame run of the mill yellow peach found everywhere in America. Oh man, white peaches are great. White Peach Fanta is even more awesome. I bet the Qoo was white peach too, right?
    I won’t make any other comments on your writting, because I love your style and I’ve been reading your stuff since back on the other site… but a quick mention about how you talked about the gentei MegaMac before would have prevented some of the above comments. I felt like there was some deja vu for a second there too.
    Keep up the good posts, as always I enjoyed it. And man the mention of the awesomeness of white-peach drinks finally made me comment. In 2006 there was some peach drink in 100 yen shops, I think by Sangria. You might want to see if they still have it. Sorry I don’t remember which 100 yen chain it was.

  59. Jacinda said, on October 26, 2008 at 2:28 am

    Trust me – compaired to Australia Japan has four seasons 😉
    But what you say sure is true. I miss my cookies and cream kitkats … and the ebi wrap from KFC *sad face*

  60. Anonymous said, on October 26, 2008 at 4:16 am

    I think a goal meter or a % of $$ goal or something like that would help a lot with donations. It would give us a better idea of what you’re looking for. As for the work story, could we get a mull again perhaps?

  61. Anonymous said, on October 26, 2008 at 4:16 am

    I think a goal meter or a % of $$ goal or something like that would help a lot with donations. It would give us a better idea of what you’re looking for. As for the work story, could we get a mull again perhaps?

  62. Ivan the Terrible said, on October 26, 2008 at 5:51 am

    Oy. Az, if I might make a suggestion, in the future, either set up some kind of meter to let us know how much we need to make you add the ‘optional content’ or allow the possibility of the ‘optional content’ to remain until the amount has been reached. Giving us no clue how much you’re looking for and no hint of when the offer expires, then going, ‘Oops! Too late!’ is foul play.
    Or better yet, just ditch the optional content and only talk about what you want to talk about. It’d be interesting to hear the story about your old workplace, but I don’t like the feeling of tossing you cash to hear stories you don’t feel like talking about. I’m guessing in the long run it’d really kill your enthusiasm for blogging.
    Waiting anxiously for the pictures, too! We made THAT deadline, goddamit, and the last image I think you’ve posted is the one of you molesting snuzzlebunnies.

  63. ChriS-X said, on October 26, 2008 at 6:44 am

    huh, megamac? then i dont think you have met the quad stacker! 4 pieces of beef and cheese with bacon and bbq sauce! in a bun! now that’s clogging your arteries. think there were so many complaints that they actually took it off the menu

  64. mick said, on October 26, 2008 at 11:45 am

    “Or break away from Rudius Media, run the site yourself like you did before, and keep 100% of the ad revenue. Wasn’t your old site more popular than this one anyways?”
    yup, rudius sucks anyway. he’s the only good one here, the other good writers silently left rudius long time ago, some of them having new sites now. i guess they had their reasons…
    “Or stay with Rudius but use their sway to actually get a book deal.”
    how many rudius writers did ever get a book out, except tucker himself? i wouldn’t put high hopes in this… although i would surely love to buy az in bookform by the way.

  65. Mel said, on October 26, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    Are you filling out the absentee vote, Az?
    it doesn’t seem like the wedding broke your bank to a million pieces. Congratulations!
    I wish you a non-gentei marriage.

  66. Kyle E said, on October 26, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    I might just have to make that shirt…

  67. Starbucks Barista said, on October 26, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    I’ve been a Barista with Starbucks for a little more than 3 years.
    The Banana Creme Frappuccino was a limited type deal with the world, I think. We had it for a summer, then dropped it.
    Just like Chantico, Mint Mocha Chip Frapps, Blueberry Green Tea Frapps, Dolce De Leche Frap/Latte.. the list goes on.
    The pulling of an item from Starbucks is a Corporate decision and not because of where a particular store may be located.
    Just thought I’d let you know, Az.

  68. Pat said, on October 26, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    Why don’t you make that shirt and offer it on an online store. Team up with Topatoco or something.

  69. Johi said, on October 26, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    im going to japan and make a new best seller:
    GENTAI HENTAI!!!

  70. Anonymous said, on October 27, 2008 at 12:17 am

    RIP McTasty

  71. Anonymous said, on October 27, 2008 at 12:17 am

    RIP McTasty

  72. Anonymous said, on October 27, 2008 at 3:55 am

    are you watching bloody monday? it almost feels like they’re trying to make a japanese 24, but with a young hacker guy instead of a badass agent.

  73. Anonymous said, on October 27, 2008 at 3:55 am

    are you watching bloody monday? it almost feels like they’re trying to make a japanese 24, but with a young hacker guy instead of a badass agent.

  74. Baka To The Future said, on October 27, 2008 at 8:07 am

    I have Billy Dee Williams’ signature pinned somewhere…unless it vanished into The Great Void as well.
    Maybe I could summon him back with it?

  75. dez said, on October 27, 2008 at 8:26 am

    Here in Australia we have the Quad Stack Burger at Hungry Jacks (aka Burger King). Same as the Mega Mac it seems. I think people complained a lot about health issues and Australia’s growing obesity.
    http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=U8VZW6jLBpw

  76. simon said, on October 27, 2008 at 9:00 am

    So you take our money and then tell us we didn’t give you enough? You can not be serious? The very idea of charging your fans for a blog is rediculous, but to have the nerve to then tell us we didn’t give you enough. If you had principles then you’d give back the money we donated to you, after all we paid you for a service(you writing the story) not just to help your rent.

  77. Stan said, on October 27, 2008 at 11:33 am

    Az, it occurs to me that you must be getting hammered with the new marriage, the financial stresses, and job search etc. (A new marriage is stressful even when it’s a happy one. It’s a major transition in life.)
    So it’s gotta be hard keeping your eye on the ball with your site in the midst of such challenges. Don’t lose heart because you’re also getting a bit hammered in the comments with people – me included – being disappointed re the pics and the stuff about cash for content. It can’t be easy figuring out what the right balance is. And know that people are disappointed precisely because reading your site has added tremendous pleasure to your readers over time.
    Take the time you need to take care of yourself and your new family and also take your time with figuring out how best to decide what and how you want to do things with your site. All your readers ask is that you be fair and open with whatever approach you decide to take. You’re known for being a straight-shooter and a funny clever one. So just continue to be a straight shooter. That way you manage people’s expectations and avoid unnecessary disappointment. Disappointment in waiting for a new entry goes with the territory. We can handle that.
    Best wishes from near the soon-to-be Obama Whitehouse.
    (Az’s Note: Thank you.)

  78. Anonymous said, on October 27, 2008 at 11:59 am

    I know exactly what you mean about gentei products. When I first went over to Japan I discovered these incredibly yummy flavored chips which I could not get enough of. Then one day a few months later I walk into the 7-11 to get some more and they were gone! The worst thing was when I went everywhere trying to find some no one else knew what I was talking about. I started to feel like I had just dreamed the chips into existence.

  79. Anonymous said, on October 27, 2008 at 11:59 am

    I know exactly what you mean about gentei products. When I first went over to Japan I discovered these incredibly yummy flavored chips which I could not get enough of. Then one day a few months later I walk into the 7-11 to get some more and they were gone! The worst thing was when I went everywhere trying to find some no one else knew what I was talking about. I started to feel like I had just dreamed the chips into existence.

  80. Sven Viking said, on October 27, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    I don’t mind the methods used asking for money — Az needs money right now, and it’s not as if he hasn’t provided us with a ton of free content, so in my opinion he’s entitled to be a /bit/ sneaky :).
    Agree that the teaser with an unspecified deadline/limit (that’s suddenly missed because the unspecified amount given wasn’t good enough) is foul play, though. I’m wondering if he just had second thoughts about how legally safe it would be to publish the details, myself (could be wrong of course).
    Not that I’m going to stop reading or anything, it’s just rather cruel :P. Don’t know if you realise, Az, but among other things, you’re a protagonist to us. Withholding details of important events affecting the protagonist can be a great narrative technique (intriguing!) so long as they’re revealed later in the story — otherwise it’s just a disappointing plot hole ;).

  81. Paul said, on October 27, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    also, kinda dissapointed in the no updates thing, i donated 50 $ myself, even if it was only me and that other guy who said he donated thats, like 20k yen, which should be worthy of something. =/
    And even if we did donate enough for wedding pictures, did you post them? most of us can’t find them?
    Also the mega mac has been the double big mac in canada for as long as i can remember going to macdonalds as a kid, like ten years ago.

  82. anonymous said, on October 27, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    You know, I’m pretty disappointed with all the lame comments. Is it a bit ‘douche-baggy’ to ask people for donations while promising something and then not delivering? Yeah, a *bit*. But you know what? People are allowed to be douche-baggy when their life sucks. It’s even more douche-baggy to think because you donated some money that you own Azrael and can control him like a puppet.
    This reminds me of some shareware I bought a few years ago. I’d been using it for *years* before I finally paid up (the author didn’t insist on some annoying pay reminder). Soon after I paid, he quit supporting the program, citing life issues. I know some people got real angry saying we paid good money for this blah blah. But they’d been using it for years too. I wonder, what did they expect? It was well worth the money. And the author had made it available for years before he started asking for donations. Sound familiar?
    Saying you understand that the money is well spent (like some guy above) but then whining about it immediately after that…that kind of undercuts the first part, eh?
    For full disclosure…I never donated any money. I might, who knows. But if I do, I’m not going to expect to have a say in what Azrael does or doesn’t do. I consider it a *donation*. He’s free to do with it what he wishes (e.g. buying a Streetfighter 4 arcade machine).

  83. punmeister said, on October 29, 2008 at 8:29 am

    Have you seen Tropic Thunder yet? Don’t go smashin Matty before you have.

  84. Aaron Bossig said, on October 29, 2008 at 11:56 am

    The Mega Mac? Damn… I remember when we had that in America… for like a week. It was awesome. I always eat two Big Macs in a sitting anyway, why not just combine them into one burger? McD’s won’t hear of it. What the FUCK is wrong with the world when Japan gets a giant cholesterol bomb and the US gets stuck with “standard” burgers?

  85. d said, on October 30, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    hey az,
    have you tried the peach qoo drink with jelly in it? it’s just as delicious as the peach qoo but with that freaky japanese touch.

  86. Justin said, on October 31, 2008 at 4:21 am

    I love gentei. NO! I HATE gentei!
    Gentei makes you remember things forever, and when you find something similar, it’s even more of a joy.
    Yet, its so sad to eat that last gentei chip or drink that last drop of gentei soda. All I’m able to do is gaze longingly at the empty gentei chip bag and empty bottle of gentei soft drink. So sad.

  87. Jake said, on November 1, 2008 at 2:35 am

    i don’t see the big deal over the mega mac, its not the big at all.

  88. Jonadab the Unsightly One said, on November 1, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    I would have classified California, or at least the coastal portion thereof, as one of those monoclimatic regions, with basically just one season year-round (summer).
    Also, I’m a little confused by your mention of a Japanese “freeze your small intestines off” season. They might have a bit of that from time to time up in Hokukaido, but I was under the impression you were located in the Kansai region, where the average overnight low in the coolest part of the year is still well up into the “warm and melty” range. When did you encounter this “fuyu” of which you speak? Did you move north? Do tell.

  89. Anonymous said, on November 2, 2008 at 10:24 am

    dude! if your talking about gentai don’t mention trix! they don’t sell them in canada anymore and it’s my greatest dismay. i’m considering going to seattle just to hoard a crate of them…

  90. Anonymous said, on November 2, 2008 at 10:24 am

    dude! if your talking about gentai don’t mention trix! they don’t sell them in canada anymore and it’s my greatest dismay. i’m considering going to seattle just to hoard a crate of them…

  91. Scribelrus said, on November 2, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    Ahh, the test market conundrum. If enough people don’t get it constantly, Seattle dumps it. I don’t think we had the banana cream frapp in Cali, but I could be wrong.
    And hey, you can probably get it again, sort of. Ask the barista to dump one of the bananas from the Vivanno in some cream base. Might not be the same, might be better.
    I had my own Peach Qoo. Triple chocolate thunder ice cream. Damn.

  92. Anonymous said, on November 3, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    I think you can get that Qoo stuff in China (or at least some similar rip-off), but I could be wrong since I never thought it was that great.

  93. Anonymous said, on November 3, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    I think you can get that Qoo stuff in China (or at least some similar rip-off), but I could be wrong since I never thought it was that great.

  94. Kyodai said, on November 5, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Qoo is like mana in liquid form. It’s the best drink in the known universe. Ever wonder what people are drinking out of potions in Final Fantasy? Qoo. It’s that damn good.

  95. Hikkikomori said, on November 12, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    QOO!! ;_; ❤
    But apple is for me, though. ¦D

  96. Christy said, on December 31, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    I know that drink you were talking about! There were some in HK as well. Yeah, it seems to have disappeared now…:(

  97. Keith said, on January 16, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    There’s still Qoo in Singapore =).

  98. Jeanne said, on April 21, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    Az,
    I’ve found the MegaMac in the US. It exists in Alabama as the “Double BigMac” – and only 49c more than a BigMac, to boot!
    My husband and I were on a road trip and were driving through Alabama when we found it. Needless to say, we were both intrigued and ordered it. Also needless to say, our chests hurt for a good 24hours following the psuedo-MegaMac adventure.
    We live in Atlanta, and have asked around if McDonalds here could make “Double BigMacs” on special request, mostly for jokes, but we usually just get an odd look or a laugh. 🙂
    Sorry for the late comment, but I had to share with you!

  99. Tim said, on November 23, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    I know this is coming in a little late, but Billy Dee Williams got transported to the Command & Conquer universe. It made every cutscene quite amusing.


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