次の駅は_です

The next station is _

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I couldn’t resist getting a couple of B-Train Shorties whilst out in Japan on my last visit; new to my collection are the Enoshima Electric Railway Type 1000 and Kita-Sanriku Railways Type 36 models.

Whilst some people see B Train Shorties as a way to collect and run long trains that you wouldn’t normally have space for, my philosophy is that by collecting trains from light railways you can squeeze model railway fun into really small spaces and enjoy the hobby almost anywhere!

Filed under model railways trains b train shorty enoden sanriku enoshima bandai n gauge japanese

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The JAM (Japan Association of Model Railroaders) 14th International Model Railroad Convention is on from the 16th to 18th August. If you’re in Japan and have the opportunity to go, I’d recommend visiting as I would be doing just that if I was in Japan! As for me, I’ll keep an eye on the internet in the days following it and blog for you any interesting news or photos from it.

The JAM (Japan Association of Model Railroaders) 14th International Model Railroad Convention is on from the 16th to 18th August. If you’re in Japan and have the opportunity to go, I’d recommend visiting as I would be doing just that if I was in Japan! As for me, I’ll keep an eye on the internet in the days following it and blog for you any interesting news or photos from it.

Filed under model railways japan convention trains japan association of model railroaders

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Rail Wars! Episode 7 Review

We’ve arrived at episode 7, just over the halfway point of the series. Is there light at the end of the tunnel or is it an express train coming right at us?

I’m actually pleased to say that this episode was fairly decent and for once actually makes me want to see the next episode. That’s largely because this episode ends on a cliffhanger and this is the first time in the series that an episode has ended like this. I much prefer it when an episode ends with a situation that can only be explained in the next episode, rather than than covering fairly unconnected stories on an episode-by-episode basis.

There’s also a good balance of drama, characters and fan-service in this episode. There’s just no getting away from fan-service but it certainly does help when there is some meat on the bone of the plot and other interesting events to back it up with. And this time around, there is both drama of the action kind and of the character kind. It’s great to see characters recognising each other’s existance and actually reacting to one another in a more naturally human way than we’ve seen to date.

Since this is Rail Wars! there are also trains as well as doting females and there are at least a handful of trains featured in this episode, as well as some facts for railfans to take interest in.

I don’t like handing out too many spoilers but if you are dubious about this review and need to know a little bit more about the episode, it centers around Naoto’s unit being sent for advanced Public Security Force Training. Naoto’s motives are however brought into question and the women in his life begin to realise that it’s not so easy to co-operate with each other after all…

I really would like to leave you with the best quote of the episode and this time around there are a few quotes that are vying for the spot, making it harder to choose. I have however decided to settle with Naoto’s quote “Thank you, gravity!” - totally not in the context that first comes to mind!

Previous Episode: Rail Wars! Episode 6 Review | Next Episode: Rail Wars! Episode 8 Review

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It’s a Pla-rail train… but not a toy, a real-life train! JR West have stripped out the seats and converted the end car of one of their 500 series Shinkansen trains into a Pla-rail themed playroom complete with Pla- rail layout. It looks fun but, like many of the recent ‘Joyful Trains’ that have been announced, it is also a sign that the 500 series is coming towards the end of it’s life.

Sources: http://ajw.asahi.com/article/business/AJ201407030073 | http://plarailindonesia.com/plarail-playzone-dalam-shinkansen-500/#more-1738

Filed under plarail tomy shinkansen trains kids toys japanese

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Rail Wars Mages Game's TV Ad Streamed

Before you get too excited, there doesn’t look to be much of trains in this game. It appears to be mainly a ‘dating sim’ style of game and takes it’s cues from the anime. If it was loaded with Vania600 art instead then it’d be an instant get.

More interesting is the fact that the first run comes with two special versions of the Tomytec Hakotetsu. I will probably keep an eye out for these separately on the secondhand market!

Filed under rail wars! anime game tomytec RAIL WARS! レールウォーズ

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Rail Wars! Episode 6 Review

When you start this episode up, you might think you’ve accidentally selected the wrong episode to watch - you’ll soon realise you haven’t, and how quickly you realise depends on how much of a ‘densha otaku’ you are.

With Naoto detained in his house after the episode’s antics, I’m actually pleased to see more of Naoto’s room and to see that it’s not quite as bare as it first appeared. It also has Mari in it and I’m glad to see her return - even if it is temporary - rather than being a ‘one episode filler’ character. We get to see more of Naoto’s model train collection which includes another camera-equipped train and is HO gauge - this must be where most of his salary gets spent!

Outside of Naoto’s house, the episode visits Akihabara (my personal Mecca) and the now closed Transportation Museum which for some reason that I didn’t know existed but unfortunately will never actually be able to go to.

We get to see the characters (including some of the side characters) out and about in their casual clothes. It’s actually nice to see characters out of uniform; it definitely makes them feel more human. Even Iwaizumi gets a tiny amount of screen time and he has a (rather unusual) sporting achievement - I’ll leave what it is for your viewing pleasure.

The basic plot of the episode is centered around misunderstandings, leading to some slightly crazy chase sequences and ridiculous excuses (cats!) for Koumi to lose parts of her clothing. Unfortunately the actual episode plot feels rather contrived because of this and when there is actually a threat, it lacks so much context that it just becomes pointless.

Despite my gripes I do feel that this episode is slightly better than the last episode but I put that feeling down to the characters and the environment rather than the story. I’m also glad to see Sakurai not being the target of the service overload this episode, which I feel is much more respectful of her nature.

Previous Episode: Rail Wars! Episode 5 Review | Next Episode: Rail Wars! Episode 7 Review

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