Oishii June 03, 2007

Welcome back to Japandemonium! Sorry about missing last week. I went to a party in NYC that was held at some doctor's house. Well, he said it was physically impossible for the Flash to create enough centrifugal force to generate wind currents. I almost puked in disgust right there, but since I'm polite I waited until I was on the subway. Anyway, long story short, I accidently knocked over his flux capacitor during my demonstration and found myself transported in the future, just far enough to be a viable excuse.

Next week may see another absence of a column because I must travel to Florida. A relative of mine is having her 100th birthday, so the entire clan is gathering applaud her tenacity. It is kind of impressive though, she was actually around for the initial announcement of Duke Nukem Forever.

The Top 10 is packed with RPGs this week, which is nice to see. Also, Sony has finally broken in the some reigning slots on the chart.

Position Title Publisher Platform
1 Shining Wind Sega
2 Odin Sphere Atlus
4 Final Fantasy Tactics The War of the Lions Square Enix
6 Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings Square Enix
8 Super Paper Mario Nintendo
24 Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker Square Enix
29 Pokemon Diamond Nintendo
32 Pokemon Pearl Nintendo
34 Final Fantasy Square Enix
42 Persona 3: Fes Atlus
Source: Dengeki

In July of this year, Wani Books will be releasing a special PVC statue of historical figure Guan Yu Yunchang, a central character from Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Dynasty Warriors, two series of games based on the era surrounding the Han Dynasty. The aforementioned statue is pictured below.

Now, astute readers may notice that Guan Yu was not a woman. A popular sub-genre of comics has seen historical Chinese figures changed into women and borderline exploited for entertainment. One of the series I am translating is about this, includes a bi-curious Dhong Zhuo, and will be released in America this year.

What this means is that the curvaceous figure below is actually Guan Yu, or at least an artistic interpretation of him. Many characters from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms era have received this treatment, and the movement is gaining momentum. It's a strange thing to say the least, and I still can't decide if it's a harmless twist on Chinese history, or a complete bastardization.

The statue makes me feel a little better, though.

Source: Dengeki
MGAME JapanA new battle between the forces of light and darkness begins ... again. The latest magazine spread detailing the mysterious Dissidia: Final Fantasy once more highlights Mr. Light Warrior, Garland, Zidane and Kuja. Some extra game screens are littered throughout, but as for new details on the game? Sorry :(

We know it will feature one-on-one battles between Final Fantasy favorites in a fully 3-D battle arena. We can glean a few more character details from this article as well. The Warrior of Light is based on the basic Fighter or Warrior class. During battle, he will have the ability to power up into the Paladin job class, receiving a new set of special abilities. Zidane is designed to be an unparalleled speedster that can strike fast and get away quickly. Garland will be able to employ a wide variety of attacks using his gigantic shape-shifting sword. He will also have some attack magic, including a water-based spell: Tsunami. Kuja will be a magic-heavy player, with access to spells like Holy and Flare. He can fly at will to chase down enemies and attack with high-damage magical abilities.

Source: Dengeki
Square EnixI was kidding when I labelled the Final Fantasy series a "Viral RPG," but Square Enix may be heading in that direction after all. On June 1st, Square Enix launched The Shochu Bar, an interactive, online bartending school. Located at, Square Enix and SG Labs have teamed up to allow you to take on the role of a bartender and learn all about mixed drinks, cocktails and spirits. Best part is, there's no cover charge!

So what's the catch? Well, they have labelled this an "Adgame" where the Ad stands for "Advertising." Don't worry about endless ads for "powering up your longsword," as they are injected directly into the game as the different products you use. In this way, companies feel they can get a lot of exposure for their beverages as players learn about unique drinks to make with them. It sounds like a fun game to tinker around without fees or annoying banners in the way. Although, I'm a little miffed they made this despite rejecting my idea to add Pringles as a craft-able item in Final Fantasy XI.

Source: Famitsu

Remember those so-called "recipes" I posted? I forgot to mention that I'm not liable for any damage to yourself or your kitchen... pretty sure I wrote it in the last column somewhere. Regardless, I received a real recipe from one of our talented readers. I thought I'd throw it up for you to try.

Eric Dalmedo writes:
Hello I just wanted to make a correction.

Shin Ramen is from Korea and the directions on how to make the perfect ramen are as follows:

1. Cut up some onions and a little bit of scalion if you have it
2. Cut up like 2-4 bite size pieces of pork and put inside
3. Open the little packages that you get and dump it into the water then let the water come to a boil.
4. Once boiling if you have it put in 3-4 pieces of dumplings then add the ramen noodle.
5. Crack an egg into a separate bowl, stir, then pour into the pot that you are cooking in.
6. Let sit for another 3-4 minutes and then you have Korean style ramen.
7 Eat and make sure you have Kimchi on the side for real authentic Korean style.

You eat Shin ramen like a Japanese ramen. No can do buddy.



P.S. If you are really brave put in one spoon of Korean hot pepper paste when water comes to a boil.

Now that recipe totally sounds plausible. The hot pepper paste sounds delicious, I just love spicy food. I ate curry all the time in Japan, but I could never find any spicy enough. Everytime I tried a new dish I would taste it, become disappointed, and throw it in the face of the nearest Japanese person. I'm American, so I can do that. Finally, they released a new "spice-level" for my favorite brand: Lee Curry. Until that day, it only went up to 10, but this one was a whopping 20 on the spice-scale. It had a little picture of Harry Truman giving the thumbs-up on the back. I knew I had found a worthy adversary.

So I brought my new delicacy back to work to try. The contents included one bag of curry, along with a new addition: a lil' old packet of sauce. This was the bonus sauce that kicked the meal up to level 20. The surface of this packet was covered in warnings that desperately tried to dissuade any hapless connoisseur from ingesting the contents. But like I'm going to let some stupid packet tell me what to do.

I never thought such a small amount of sauce could have much of an effect so I dumped it all in. Once again, American. The first bites were delicious. Curry always likes to lay low until you've had a significant amount and unleash its terror all at once. When I passed that threshold, it was like a tsunami of anguish. How could something be so delicious yet so painful? It was like there was a party in my mouth and the jacuzzi exploded. I was sweating worse than Edgar at an antlion farm. I cried real tears.

And it was the best goddamn curry ever.

I'll spare you the aftermath of my heavenly curry experience, so here ends this column. Next week is up in the air because of my trip, but I may squeeze something in. Otherwise, it's the last big event of the summer, I'll be all set in my new house with Internet, and should be good to go for columns.

Mata ne,

Bret "CactusLeaf" Mayer

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