On Friday, December 9th, 2005, several members of the crack Horror.com reporting team were wandering the streets of Tokyo looking for something to eat. Eating isn't exactly a horror related activity (unless you hit the wrong curry place in Tokyo, but that's another story). As the team exited the JR Yamanote train at Shibuya Station, they were stuck by a shocking sight - Tokyo Zombie!
It wasn't actually a bunch of Japanese zombies, or even one zombie that were waiting in Shibuya - but, it was almost as good. What Horror.com stumbled upon was a promo event for the upcoming Japanese horror movie "Tokyo Zombie". As we have reported previously, the based-on-a-manga horror-comedy is written and directed by Sakichi Sato (Ichi the Killer", "Gozu") and stars Tadanobu Asano (Kakihara from "Ichi") and Sho Aikawa ("Dead or Alive", "Gozu", "Rainy Dog", etc.)
Enough about the movie, though, back to Shibuya. On the street near the famous Shibuya Crossing (think "Lost in Translation") the people behind the movie had set up a booth where they were selling all kinds of Tokyo Zombie goods. They had t-shirts, pens, pins (yes they sound the same, but different items we assure you), key chains, books, soundtrack CDs, stickers, bags, comics - actually, maybe we should make a list of things that aren't available with the lovable Tokyo Zombie guys on them. That list might be shorter.
Most impressive of the items that they were offering turned out to not actually be for sale at the Shibuya promo booth. The booth people had this Tokyo Zombie flier they were handing out that had pictures of these urban vinyl Tokyo Zombie Bearbrick action figures. There is one that looks like Tadanobu Asano and another in the likeness of Sho Aikawa. Imagine how impressed your friends would be if you reached into your pocket and pulled out a tiny Kakihara - with an afro (removable no less!) It doesn't get any more hardcore than that around Horror.com HQ.
So, why aren't the Horror.com offices crawling with these little figures today? Well, most members of the Horror.com crew are not exactly fluent in Japanese, so it's still not clear what went wrong. Were they sold out? Not yet released? Just didn't like the Horror.com crew? No one knows for sure, but we'll have more info on the Tokyo Zombie figures once someone around here figures out how to speak Japanese - give us about six years!
Meanwhile back in Shibuya, they were also doing some sort of contest at the promo event. Pull a slip of paper out of a bag. If it says something in Japanese on it (not sure what), then you might win something Tokyo Zombie related. In fact, one member of the Horror.com team did win a prize. The winning slip pull caused the Zombie booth-people to ring a bell loudly and even blow some sort of airhorn. What did that lucky Horror.com-er win? A Tokyo Zombie sticker. Not the best prize in the world, but made more exciting by the sudden loud sounds and laughter by passers by. The fact that the sticker says "Tokyo of The Dead" at the top added to the thrill of victory!
While the Horror.com staff hung around the event and tried in vain to talk to some people about the movie, hordes of Japanese horror fans (and j-girls who just thought the Zombie fighting characters were "kawaii") swarmed around and bought lots of merchandise. Japanese schoolgirls came and went, packing their designer bags with Zombie-related goodies. Don't take our word for it, though, check out the not-that-exciting video and the slightly-more-exciting Tokyo Zombie Promo Picture Gallery and pretend that you were right in the middle of the action with team Horror.com.
And don't worry, the Horror.com team eventually found a place to eat in Shibuya - no curry this time!