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Dengeki Rankings I Square Enix to Launch Variety Show I Final Fantasy VII: Before Crisis Chapter 9 I Front Mission 2089 Info I Final Fantasy II Goes Mobile I Culture Corner: Ask Sensei I Sayonara
JAPANDEMONIUM
Keitai March 7, 2005


Konnichiwa

This week has not been the best of weeks. I caught my first cold in I don't know how long, and it pretty much made me feel worthless all week. It was particularly bad when it moved from being a chest cold to a head cold while I was working. Trying to teach while sick does not make for a fast day. Time went by so slowly, and I was more than happy to get home.

Of course, when I got home, I started playing Xenosaga II. It seems that it is the opposite of sleep. You play, and you just do not get sleepy. So, I played a little more thinking that I'd get sleepy if I just play a little more. Around four in the morning, I realized this plan was not working. But speaking of work, I had to go to work the next day. That meant that I was both sleep deprived AND sick. Let me tell you how fun THAT was. Ugh...

But I managed to survive a couple hard days of work, and now I'm at the end of my weekend. That means that I get to write yet another Japandemonium column. It's a pretty nice way to end the week really.

The only other thing I've got is that the weather is getting nice in Japan. It is nearly spring. We still get some cold days, but we were a whopping 15 C today. That'd be around 60 F for you Americans. Not bad weather at all.

Unfortunately, it's a bit of a thin week. Strangely, all of the news is Square Enix related, and most of it is about cell phone games. That just happens to be where the column gets its name; Japanese cell phones are called 'keitai.' But that said, I suppose we should get this mobile party started!



 Dengeki Rankings

This week, we see the loss of a legend. Pokemon Emerald has finally dropped off the chart. It might pop back on again next week though. I can see the Japanese crawling back to stores apologizing and asking for another chance. We'll have to see...

But yeah, this is a week with a lot of RPGs but not as many as last time. The chart looks nice and full, but the games are going pretty quickly. I've not seen a game hold onto the number one spot two weeks in a row in a long time.

And before anyone asks, the chart has two Megaman games. One is a plain-old-RPG and the other is an action RPG. I'm not sure why there's two of them either.

But anyway, it's time to see some numbers!

Position Title Publisher Platform
2 Megaman.exe 5: Team of Karnel Capcom
17 Wizardry Xth: Academy of Frontier MichaelSoft
27 Super Robot Wars: Original Generation 2 Banpresto
28 Popolocrois: Pietro Monogatari SCE
29 Megaman.exe 5 Team of Pruus Capcom
35 Gladiator - Road to Freedom Aatein
37 Radiata Stories Square Enix
41 Dragon Quest VIII Square Enix
50 Digital Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner 2 Atlas


Source: Dengeki Online



 Square Enix to Launch Variety Show
Square Enix

Square Enix is once again trying to branch out into a new media format. This time, it's TV in the form of a variety show. The show will be called "Heavy Metal Thunder," and it will air in early April. The show's host will be the Japanese idol, Yoko Kumada. Surprisingly, the show will air on Tokyo TV at 1 am, but that's actually a popular time slot. Many popular shows are broadcast after midnight.

The announcement for the new show was made in Shibuya at a special press event. As a sneak peak of sorts at the show, Yoko Kumada was also present and had an interview with the with some guests including the Sex MachineGuns, the popular rock band behind the show's theme song.

Square Enix has had luck in trying to branch out into other media forms in the past and enjoyed huge successes in manga with Fullmetal Alchemist, a series that has spawned an animated series and two games.

Also announced was that a game was in the works based the show, but no details about the game were announced. It'll be anyone's guess as to how they do it. I'll check to see if I get TV Tokyo, and I'll do my best to watch it order to give firsthand information about it when it airs.

Sources: Eurogamer



 Final Fantasy VII: Before Crisis Chapter 9
Square Enix

Yet another chapter of Final Fantasy VII: Before Crisis has hit DoCoMo i900 series cellular phones. On February 28th, the newest chapter became available for download. This time around, there's a bit more story to uncover as the leadership of the Turks shifts over to Hidegger and the internal workings of the Turks organization begins to fall apart.

Like in previous months, the fee is 525 yen to keep the story going.


Source: Impress




 Front Mission 2089 Info
Square Enix

Square Enix is starting another online game that will only be accessible from the DoCoMo 900i/901i series cellular phones. This time around, it's Front Mission getting the mobile treatment. Front Mission 2089 will allow players to choose to side with the OCU or the USN. After choosing a side, players will engage in missions with graphics that are on par with PSX game with a battle system resembling Front Mission 1st.

New missions can be downloaded each month, and the price will be the standard 525 yen.


Source: Impress



 Final Fantasy II Goes Mobile
Tales of Legendia

In still more Square Enix news, a new mobile version of Final Fantasy II is appearing on DoCoMo i900 celluar phones and appears to be a modified port of the Wonderswan Color version. The game was made available for download on March 4th, and costs the usual 525 yen.

Source: Impress




  Culture Corner: Ask Sensei

This week, I've got a few questions. I'm still working on Xenosaga II so if anyone wants to discuss that one, another week should do it. Anything else is fair game though. You can also leave questions on the boards. Last week's column got a lot of board activity, you might want to check it out. It can get kinda heated in there though...

In other news, next week is White Day. Feel free to send me some love related questions. It'll be fun.



Katakana Again


No, I definitely know the dots with the letters and stuff, I was talking about the bullets between words. So are the bullets just for some words? Anyway, I'd say I've completely mastered each Katakana, with the help of official charts, a website that can help you check the word by moving your pointer over it, and of course the art books I so love. How long did it take you to learn them all? A few days? How easily do you find you can read them; can you read them almost as fast as English?

Anyway, I think you'll find Xenosaga Episode 2 is a dissapointment, sorry to say. The first disk ends quite abruptly, with my clock running at 6 hours. Of course, I didn't do any side quests on the first disk, but it's not like you need to do them right away anyway.

Jatsuya


Sensei

I know I've already answered this personally, but it had a few things that looked column-worthy.

As for the bullets, they are used to separate names. As far as I know, that's the only place they are used. Also, thanks for the link. I'm sure many people will enjoy that.

As for how long it took me to learn them, hrm... a couple weeks? I learned them in Japanese class as a senior in high school, so it took as long as it took for Sensei to teach them to us. Now that I live in Japan, my katakana ability has increased a lot. I can read entire words now instead of letters. For example, when I see ramen, I read the word ramen rather than ra a me n ramen. It's the way we read English. We don't read letters, we take in words as a whole. But sometimes, I sitll sound out words that I don't recognize.

As for the Xenosaga bit, I'm on disc two, and I love it. The voices are pretty bad, but I love the actual game. If I weren't writing Japandemonium right now, I'd be playing it.


X Box Again


Hmmm...Here I am thinking your name in katakana should be "Jyorudan," not "Jyoudan," but I've never known a Jordan who went to Japan. It just sounds so similar to the phrase "Jyoudan ja nai wa yo!" which roughly means "I ain't kidding." Do you get a lot of jokes from fellow gaijin? One of my classmates in Japan was named Beverly and she was told a lot of people would call her "Bebori" because of the TV show "Beverly Hills 90210."

As for the question about poo, I would like to share some of my own experiences. I lived in Japan for a semester in 2003 and one of the unique souvenirs that I brought back to my family was the kin no unko, or golden poo. It's a cute little gilded ceramic poo that sits on a little cushion, and they come in both normal size, cellphone strap size and large size. It's one of those souvenirs that gives you a laugh whenever you see it, like those rubber monkey keychains they sell outside the Eiffel Tower in France. (Do they still do that? And if anyone knows what I'm talking about, let's go get a frontal lobotomy together.) Anyways, I bought the golden poo at Kiyomizudera in Kyoto.

Which brings me to my question: Do you like visiting temples and shrines? I thought of them as rather calming, especially as a hectic day. Kind of like-jyoudan ja nai wa yo-a sort of holy nature preserve or something.

Bucket-chan


Sensei

If my name had a 'ru' in it, it would be putting a stress on the 'r' which my name just doesn't have. As for the joke bit....

**Everything goes black and white for flashback mode... We see a much younger Jordan in his high school Japanese class. He is about to introduce himself to some natives using the language he learned on his first day of Japanese...**

Jordan: Hajimemashite. Watashi wa Jyoudan desu. Douzo yoroshiku.
Japanese girl: *giggle*
Japanese boys also start laughing
Japanese girl begins writing kanji 'jyoudan' on the board.
Jordan: Sensei, why are they laughing?
Sensei: But Jyoudan-san, didn't you know that in Japanese your name means 'joke?'
Jordan: So I just said 'Hello. It's nice to meet you. As for me, I am the joke. Please favor me.'
Sensei: Hai
Jordan: *turning pale* I don't think I like this anymore...

**End flashback mode**

As you can see, I've had my troubles with my name, but I eventually got used to it. After a while, I used the kanji 'jyoudan' as my signiture. If it weren't for the negative response I'd get, I'd be using it as my hanko. Somehow I think 'Jyakuson' using the characters for 'young' and 'respectful' are just a BIT better. I still sign some things like letters with the 'jyoudan' kanji.

As for going to temples and shines, yeah, I do like them, but I find that when I really want to relax, I go to an onsen. I live next door to one, so it's quite convenient. I can see how some people would feel a bit uncomfortable with the whole public bathing thing, but it's really relaxing. The sauna and outdoor bath are worth 300 yen any day. I go every week. In fact, I just got back from an onsen a few hours ago. I love it!

Oh, and thanks for the Golden Poo information. I've never seen them here, so I don't really get it. But then again, there's a lot that I don't get....


Why Japan?


Heylas There Jordan-

As someone that has lived in Japan since being a pre-teen, I'm curious, Why do so many people want to come over here and teach English? Why do I see such an interest in teaching English in Japan, but not perhaps Korea? Is it really just because of Anime and games?

Do people really have some conception that Anime and game-playing are like free-flowing love here that everyone partakes in? Do they realize that intense anime otakudom is pretty much regulated to hikikomori and others of the such? Do people know that the way to be cool in Japan with the youth right now is through hard-core hip-hoping and being a thug?

It's interesting because throughout my life in Japan I've basically seen these people that want to live in Japan and Japanese that want to live in a western nation meet at Cross-roads. The Westerns meet/date/etc these Japanese for a way into the Japanese culture, whereas these Japanese are doing the same seemingly for a way out of the culture.

I understand the Japanese motivation for wanting to get out of Japan, I was hoping if you could help me with the vice-versa(and why not prehapes korea, where game playing and manga/anime are just as big?)

Just curious on your thoughts
Thanks!

Dan


Sensei

You've got a good question. I'll do my best to answer it, but I do think that many gaijin that come here are interested in Japan for the wrong reaons. You mention anime and video games, but for so many of us, that's one of the things that interested us in Japan in the first place. It was one of the things that made me interested in Japan. I'll also admit that some boys come here to date the women. It's true that Americans have no trouble getting dates. I could have had more than my fair share if I were single.

But, I don't feel that everyone comes merely for those reasons. I came to experience the culture. I'd been interested in Japanese culture since I was a kid, and this seemed like a good reason. It's also the reason I'm staying. Living in Japan was just an adventure I couldn't pass up, and it's something I'll never get to do again.

As for why Japan is more popular than Korea, I think it has to do with marketing. Korean culture is just not as marketed in America. I can think of plenty of sushi restaruants, but I can't think of anyplace where I can get some kimchi. The only korean restaurants I know are in Japan.

Then, you also have to consider the teaching angle. Americans get JET, GEOS, AEON, NOVA, and a whole host of others just begging them to come. I don't know any for Korea, but I'll admit that I didn't look. I'm sure a google search would come up with plenty. But I think the main thing is that Japan is more present in American culture. We see it everywhere, and we just don't see Korea.

I hope that answers your question. If you want to discuss it further, send me another email. I'd love to see your views on it.


Overnight?


Hi Jordan,

I read that you ordered an American Game and got overnight shipping. Did you order that in Japan and if you did Where? I am in Korea and I want to order American version Games but I have no idea where I can order them. Could you pass me that info if possible.

Thanks,

Eric


Sensei

Sorry, the game you were referring to was Xenosaga. I ordered that while I was still in America from EBGames.com. I've not ordered any games online in Japan. Your best bet is to order them from American places, ship them to friends back home, and then have them ship them to you. It's how I got some of my games.

Wish I could be more helpful....


Japanese and RPGs... who would have guessed


Hi!

I've watched a lot of Japanese horror movies and played the survival horror games like the Resident Evil series. I feel that the horror video games coming from Japan feel a lot more like they are based of Western horror movies than Japanese ones. Do you think this is so? If yes, I'm curious as to why this might be.

Teresa


Sensei

I've never watched any Japanese horror movies, but I've seen a few American ones. So I think you might be on to something. I guess it's that American horror movies kinda define the genre. You also have to consider that the American market is bigger than the Japanese one, so it makes sense to market them that way. The Japanese will think it's 'cool' because of the American influence, and you score both times.

I never really thought about it before, but I hope this helps!



 Sayonara

Sorry the column is a bit thin... There just wasn't any good news available. Hopefully, we'll get some news for next week. Until then, I guess we can always have another big debate on the forums... THAT was sure new to me.

Oh, and be sure to catch next week's column. It'll be on White Day, so there will hopefully be plenty of love in it. In fact, if all goes to plan, there will be.

Catch you on the flip
Jordan "Sleep or Xenosaga?" Jackson




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