On the gaming side of life, I just found a used copy of Ikaruga (斑鳩) at a local games store. Ever since I got into shooters a year ago, and then tried this game at the arcade, I've been trying to find a copy. This one cost about 5000 yen, which is a bit steep for a used gamecube game, but considering how hard it is to find, It's not too expensive.
The graphics are really sweet, I keep getting impressed at how good this game looks, especially the 3D background animations and the light effects.
I thought I should try to describe what exactly makes Ikaruga such a unique and fun shooter, but I realized it's pretty well described already in its wikipedia entry, so check it out.