Sounds pretty wicked!! I really hope it goes through.
Just back home from work; I stayed a little later because I found some game models online from games like resident evil/ kingdom hearts and although bringing them into Maya is messy (games take the quads out of the meshes so the deformation is weird.) But I decided to try out a botched rigging attempt on it, and characterized it and it worked. Threw some motion capture over Chris from Resident Evil, and although it's a bit wonky (30 second skinning) it actually wasn't as bad as I expected the results to be and was pretty cool! :3
Or I have bad timing. I'm just getting back to being active after my cold, and looking into maybe traveling to the UK this year if I can swing the time/money. Some of my friends are also looking into it and it would be great to coordinate this especially since one of them lived in London for a few months and could show me around.
If he lives anywhere near a school that teaches Japanese I think he might want to pop down to their school bookstore to see what textbooks they have available. Usually teachers know what's good and what's not.
What were your textbooks called? He's ordering a few off of Amazon. He already has a few of the intermediate books.. but just curious as to what you might've thought was helpful. I thought it looked good because one is a workbook and the other is a textbook..