Unbridled Cynicism

less bullshit, more often?


Completely burnt new years day yesterday, think I stayed inside for the whole time. Wake up 06:50 this morning after 3.5hrs sleep :( At least I got my laundry done.

Subway to Tokyo, then shinkansen. First ticket booth gave us a sub-optimal routing, I checked Hyperdia app and found a route that leaves sooner with faster trains. Damn, man; Hyperdia makes you feel like you carry the power of gods in your hands.

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Caption: My first view of Fuji-san, we’ve never done the full-on tourist thing on previous trips. What a beast.

By the time we get to Maibara it’s snowy on the ground - excellent.

Arrive at Kanazawa-eki, there’s some great architecture right off the bat. The city has a very modern feel, unlike other places, which simply feel a bit dated, or have a lot of old buildings hanging around.

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Caption: Kanazawa station main entrance, it’s just as crazy as it looks

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Caption: Two massive tree trunks support the opening to the station concourse

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Caption: This fountain displays the time and “Kanazawa”, amongst other things

We’re off to see Kanazawa University, which is the setting for Angel Beats!, the anime of mixed merits. Kanazawa doesn’t really do trains, so it’s a modest bus ride from platform 6, just outside the JR station.

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Caption: The nameplate rock, which in the anime is partially ruined, masking the name

A lot of key locations in the anime are readily recognisable, though some are pure fabrication. One things they got right was the size of the campus - it’s massive. I’ve no idea how it compares to UNSW, but there’s no shortage of areas to walk around.

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Caption: Obligatory bridge photo from the ED - the sky was being wonderfully dramatic, but it’s no summer sunset

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Caption: Covered break area with permanent christmas tree-like fixtures. Floodlights presumably make this more festive come nightfall

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Caption: “Snake, you need to cross the connecting bridge between Shell 1 and Shell 2…”

Actually, Kanazawa University (“KinDai”, because of the kanji) has two main bridges, connecting the North section to the Central section, and the Central Section to the South section. Only the North-Central bridge features in Angel Beats! (though it’s very prominent).

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Caption: Let’s Go!

For all the nice buildings, KanDai also has a lot of buildings that strike me as being a bit “Russian”. If you ignore the things attached to them, they’re exceedingly brutal and functional.

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Caption: I’m thinking of The Snow Level from the movie Inception

That building there just screams to me “bunker halfway up a mountainside buried in snow”.

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Caption: This one is definitely an administrative outpost

I spotted a set of steps up a hillside while we were wandering around a carpark in the far southern reaches of the campus. Six flights of very steep, snow-covered stairs later, we found ourselves out of breath and surveying the terrain, all the campus below us.

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Caption: Sometimes 10mm just isn’t wide enough. Nothing, however, does justice to the brilliance of the sky we saw.

We had to start trekking back to the Central section of the campus to catch the 17:00 bus back to Kanazawa-eki. Being winter, the sun was already dropping fast, but as we crossed another snow-covered stretch we were greeted by a rather fine display.

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Caption: The sun sets over a row of facility buildings in the distance

I keep making all these jokes about KanDai being an enemy facility to be invaded, but just tell me you don’t agree in light of the following evidence:

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Caption: Nuclear contaminant storage, likely a byproduct of a research reactor

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Caption: Testing grounds for small-scale Nuclear/Biological/Chemical agents

On the way back we noticed that KinDai is a funny place. For one, there’s a distinct lack of vending machines pretty much anywhere. The other thing was a guy playing sax, from the time we arrived, until the time we left. He must’ve been there for at least a few hours straight, just chilling out and practising. You could seriously hear him pretty much all over the campus.

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Caption: KinDai is big enough to have its own branded manhole covers

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Caption: Like a Boss! I’ve never seen this one before, so I had to try it. It was smooth and creamy, thumbs up

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Caption: This was cute, we spotted this poster in the bus shelter. Students can get cheap/free licenses for MS Office and Windows. We’re stumped as to why the place isn’t full of Angel Beats! art

Thoroughly exhausted, we resolve to have dinner at the family restaurant next door to Toyoko Inn, then not go out again.

I’d not had the proper FamiResu experience yet, so I wasn’t sure quite what to expect. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a lot of things felt very familiar from Working!! and other shows. This particular one made me think of Index for some reason (where Accelerator and loli-Misaka visit), but I suspect they’re all really the same.

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Caption: Ichigo parfait for dessert - what the hell else would you order?

It’s a very comfortable sort of place, if nothing “special”; I can see the appeal. This joint, Cafe ガスと (“Gust”? “Gusto”?) has a deal where you pay a couple hundred yen for unlimited softdrinks. This is pretty fantastic, as they’ve got the usual carbonated stuff along with the superduper instamatic coffee/tea/cocoa/etc. machines. 2800yen for both our meals (curry, pizza, hamburg steaks), my parfait being 500yen of that.