So, I heard back yesterday from the representative guy in Japan who translated my Visa stuff for me: I got the Certificate of Eligibility that I can now use to get my Visa once the certificate reaches me here in the States (has to be mailed from Japan :P) Yay!
Also: I bought my plane ticket! Given that the time is quickly approaching, I was getting near the point where I would lose any real "early booking" discount and the prices would have jumped up a decent amount. Now that I have the certificate I need, the chances of being denied the actual Visa are near nonexistent, so it was in my best interest to buy a ticket now :)
To the flight info! I'll be flying out of MCI at 6:00 AM--which of course means I'll need to be there at like 4-something in order to make sure everything is set. I'll have a 2.5 hr layover in Texas at DFW airport (and that 2.5 hrs will probably be just BARELY enough time for me to get my bags, check in for the international portion of my flight, change terminals, and deal with customs/security). After that, I'll have a roughly 14 hr flight to Narita Airport in Japan (about 1.5-2 hrs outside of Tokyo) and I'll hit the ground there at 1:25 PM Japan time (I have no idea what that will be here in the states. I guestimate about 3:30 AM central time, but I'm not 100% sure on that)