He nearly stepped back from her enthusiasm about his Japanese heritage. Growing it up in the American suburbs, it had hindered more often than not and had caused others to make assumptions about him that were probably fully based on stereotypes. Ren went to Japan a few times to visit his family that still lived there, but he hadn't really fit in that country's society either. His cousins thought he was kind of weird, but were happy to send their American (even though he didn't look American by their standards) cousin manga, DVDs, and hard to find toys.
"N-no." He held up his hands in a sort of defensive pose. "I was born in America. My parents are from Japan though. I'm actually from the Midwest. Not really all that cultured." He smiled a little to reassure her that her high opinion of him was completely wrong. Wait, isn't that what his father would do? Tell people to think less of him? That was the last thing he wanted to be, his father.
"I don't know what happened to the pictures though...unless the whole building was high on some sort of mass drug intake." He shook his head. He had used before, but he had never seen anything like what had been on every floor of the building. He remembered smells and the tastes of what had been as if it had been burned into his memory. If everything hadn't changed back, he would almost think he had fallen down the rabbit hole.