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Dengeki Rankings I More Namco X Capcom Characters Announced I Gundam RPG in the Works I Tir Na Nog V Info I One Piece Dragon Dream Info I Shining Road Chapter 4 I Atelier OST in the Works I Culture Corner: Ask Sensei I Sayonara
JAPANDEMONIUM
Mobile Suit April 19, 2005


Konnichiwa

Another week has passed in sunny Niihama, and it has been a so-so week. The weather's been great, but I've had all sorts of problems from just about every part of my body aching to nose bleeds. I'm not exactly sure why my body has decided to revolt, but I don't like this one bit. I also don't like that I took my last Tylenol today. I can only hope that I don't have any more splitting headaches for the next 10 days. It was so bad today that I could barely function. I'm not sure if it's a migraine, but whatever it was, it hurt. A lot. Fortunately, a trip to the bath house has more or less fixed me up. I feel a lot better now, and I'm cleaner too!

In other news, I finally tracked down a copy of Wipeout Fusion. It is everything I was hoping it'd be. Graphically, the game is strong, and the sound track is some really good drums and bass. But I'm surprised at how hard the game is. I'm having a lot of trouble in only the second class of five. I think that the other classses may be hard to get used to, but I think this is the hardest jump. As I pass the classes, I'll learn the tracks and how to control my ship. I can see that I am going to need to learn the layouts of these tracks to make it.

As for the title of the column, it shouldn't come as any surprise. Anyone that knows me can tell you that I have an obsession with Gundam. I just polished off my third full Gundam series in about a month yesterday. This only leaves me with the current Gundam SEED Destiny and two other series before I will have watched every single Gundam series except for SD Gundam. For those of you that aren't familiar with Gundam, that's a lot of episodes. I'd estimate 500-600 episodes in all.

And one more thing, would you like to win some gashapon? Are you any good with photoshop? If so, you should enter the 'Make Jordan a Sig Pic' contest. Basically, make me a sig pic, and if I pick it, I'll send that person some gashapon of their favorite anime series if possible. As for me, I obviously love Gundam, but I also like Trigun, Cowboy Bebop, Azumanga Daioh, and DDR. That should give you enough material to come up with something. Depending on how many entries I get, I may award gashapon to more than one person. This is your chance to get something really cool from Japan for free. I'll send the gashapon home with my family, and they can send them to you. I should also note that this IS open to staffers also. Anyone that can make me a sig pic is welcome to give it a shot.

Now that you're all fired up over my contest, let's get this party started!



 Dengeki Rankings

I called last week's chart a copy of the previous week's chart, but I was wrong. This week is a copy. No new RPGs on the chart, and none fall off. Almost all the games are in the exact same place where they were. Only a couple games fell faster than the others, around them, but aside from that, the order is unchanged.

Since there's not much to talk about on the RPG side, I'll talk about non-RPGs. The top spot is held by Mobile Suit Gundam: The One-Year War, and it retells the story of the original Mobile Suit Gundam series in video game form. Also on the chart is Wipeout Pure, and I can say that I contributed one of the sales that put it in the 15th slot. The game is absolutely gorgeous, and it deserves to be up there.

That said, let's see some numbers!

Position Title Publisher Platform
8 Wild Arms 4th Detonator Media Play
9 Shining Force Neo Sega
11 Megaman.exe 5: Team of Colonel Capcom
14 Egg Monster Hero Square Enix
24 Tales of Eternia Namco
28 Phantom Kingdom Nippon Ichi
31 Pokemon Emerald Nintendo
38 Shinten Makai Generation of Chaos IV: Another Side Idea Factory
42 Megaman.exe 5 Team of Pruus Capcom


Source: Dengeki Online



 More Namco X Capcom Characters Announced
Namco X Capcom

With the release date just over a month away, Monolith Soft has released the names of a few more characters that will be in the upcoming Namco X Capcom. This game is an SRPG featuring over 200 characters from many of the famous series from their respective companies.

On top of the previously announced characters, the game will include:
Namco Characters
  • Tobi Mayso from Baraduke
  • Hiromi from Burning Force
  • Tarosuke from Youkai Douchuuki
  • Taira no Kagekiyo from Genpei Toumaden
  • Klonoa from Klonoa
  • Gantz from Klonoa
  • Taki from Soul Calibur 2
  • King from Tekken
  • Felicia from Dark Stalkers
    Capcom Characters
  • Hideo Shimazu from Rival Schools
  • Kyoko Minazuki from Rival Schools
  • Rock Volnard from Rockman Dash
  • Roll Casket from Rockman Dash
  • Captain Commando from Captain Commando
  • Even with all these characters announced, the vast majority are still shrouded in mystery. Personally, I'm holding out for the Prince and the King of All Cosmos from Katamari Damacy. It would make my day.

    Namco X Capcom is set for a May 26 release in Japan for the Playstation 2. A North American release has not been announced, but I'm not holding my breath. Cool as it may be, it looks like I'll be going at this one in Japanese.

    Source: Game Watch | RPGFan







  •  Gundam RPG in the Works
    Gundam True Odyssey

    Gundam is arguably the most famous of all mecha anime in Japan. It has spanned many TV series and video games, but none have been RPGs...until now. Bandai has announced a new Gundam RPG called Gundam True Odyssey: Ushinawareshi G no Densetsu. It translates to Gundam True Odyssey: The Hidden Legend of G in English.

    At this time, only a short teaser site is up. So far, there are no details about the game. It's not even announced what system the game will be for. The only information given is the game's logo and that more information will be released on April 25th. You can be sure that I will have continuing coverage when some details are announced.


     Tir Na Nog V Info
    Tir Na Nog V

    The Tir Na Nog series is getting a fifth installment. This Celtic-themed PC RPG will have randomly generated maps and dugeons, and there are eight different storylines with which players can follow. Up to 80 characters will join your hero in your quest, but only some of them join automatically. For others, you will have to jump through a few hoops to get them. There will also be bonuses for those with saved data from Tir Na Nog IV.

    Tir Na Nog V Is set for a May 27 release in Japan. Those curious as to what the game looks like can check this media update.


    Source: Game Watch



     One Piece Dragon Dream Info
    One Piece Dragon Dream

    Bandai is releasing another RPG of the popular One Piece anime series. One Piece Dragon Dream will be released for the GameBoy Advance and is a sequel to One Piece Ocean Dream on the original Playstation.

    The game's story will be completely original. You begin the game as Robin, but one day, all the memories of your team members are stolen by a stranger playing a "Dragon Flute." All of the members leave the pirate ship, and you must restore their memory by getting them to go back to past adventures and face old opponents. In all, the game will have over 50 characters from the anime series, and characters will be able to team up to make powerful duel combos in battle.

    The game is set for an April 28 release for 4800 yen, but if you're anxious to take a look at it now, you can check out this media update.





     Shining Road Chapter 4
    DoCoMo I've got yet another cell phone RPG for you. This time it's Shining Road, and it's already available for download if you should happen to have a DoCoMo 900i series phone.

    The game centers around a treasure hunter named Arfen as he explores dungeons with a crew of unique party members. This newest chapter also brings more challenge because it brings some stronger monsters to the table.

    Shining Road chapter 4 was available for download on April 14 for the low price of 315 yen per month.

    .

    Source: Game Watch




     Atelier OST in the Works
    Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana

    A vocal collection OST for the Atelier series called "Volkslied" is in the works. The disc will have 10 tracks with music from all eight Atelier games including the upcoming Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana 2. This OST will hit Japanese shelves on April 20 for 3150 yen.

    Source: Game Watch






      Culture Corner: Ask Sensei

    Well, it looks like from my email that I'm still getting a 100% approval rating on my special reports. You can expect to see more of them in the future. I've already got the next three planned out. I just have to take the pictures.

    In other news, I'm going to plug my contest again. Want some free gashapon? Make me a sig pic and you might very well win some. I need to go on a gashapon buying streak anyway. I'll gladly buy a few extras.

    So with that, let's get to the letters. But don't forget to ask questions and stuff. I need plenty of those to answer.



    Glad you like 'em!


    Hi Jordan! I hope your Monday went by smoothly and that you have a great week ^_^ I meant to write this sooner but didn't get a chance. I wanted to say thanks for the pretty pictures! They made me want to visit Japan even more and left me in awe of the sheer beauty of springtime over there. Now I KNOW I must go in spring. I have a few ideas for special report topics. How about giving us a glimpse of the houses over there? I'm very curious as to what the architecture over there looks like, inside and out, so the pics of your apartment count too. Do they really have some strange toilets there? I think I saw one that you had to use standing up in a book! Also, are there any temples near where you are? That would make for a really pretty picture essay too! Even if this sounds a bit weird I would like to see those vending machines you mentioned before in your column or diary, or maybe even some UFO catcher machines/gashapon machines! I would like to see common everyday like things, like supermarkets, restaurants, laundries, streets, anything that gives everyone who's never been to Japan a glimpse its like being there. In a totally different subject, I was wondering what some of your favorite games are (rpg's and non rpg's). I'm a fellow DDR fan, and like to use it as a part of my exercise routine since its just so much fun! *_* What else do you like to play? Hey that's another idea for pictures, arcades! Show us any weird machines they have over there. Well, I will leave it at this for now, take care!

    Jaa ne,

    Heartly_unangel


    Sensei

    Glad you like the Special Reports! I really enjoy doing them, and now I've got yet another excuse to try to find cool places to take pictures.

    As for your ideas, it seems that we're thinking along the same lines. I've already got plans to do many of those. I was toying around with the idea of a gashapon/vending machine one, and it seems like it's for good reason. The arcade one is a good idea though. I hadn't thought of that. It very well may appear in a future column. Thanks for the idea!

    As for the DDR, sadly, it doesn't really exist over here. I found a poorly maintained 4th Solo machine that's 100 yen for two songs. It was almost enough to make me cry. I spent hours searching for a machine, and finding that is even worse than not finding anything. I would gladly make trips to an arcade for exercise if I had one. I'm slowly losing weight as it is. I can't imagine how much I'd lose if I threw in a few of my typical 45 song workouts. I'd lose another 20 pounds like I did when I started playing DDR.

    As for the other genres I play, I play just about anything really. A lot of the staffers mainly play RPGs, but I've not bought any of those in a while. I play a lot of fighters with the Tekken series as my favorite. Some of my favorite series include: Metroid, Sonic, Megaman, MGS, and Zelda. I'm not very big on racing, but I do play Mario Kart and Wipeout. Basically, I play anything but sports games and first person shooters. It's hard to play an FPS on a controller, and with a Mac, I can't really play them on my computer.

    Thanks for writing!


    Multiparter


    Well, since you write your not getting a lot of e-mail, I figure I'll ask a few questions...

    These may seem odd, but I've wondered about this. When you walk down the street, do people tend to move out of your way? I hear they tend to (I guess not out of disrespect or anything) sort of move out of the way if there is a gaijin in the crowd.

    As for the other question, I guess coming from a western perspective, what is the oddest food you have eaten and or seen while you have been there? Also, just how big are the hamburgars over there?

    Oh, and another one. Have you ever seen any anti-Korean protests and the like over on the news or other places over there? In my art class we were discussing some of the current events of the world and my teacher said there has been a slight under current of animosity between the Koreas and Japan for a while. Anywho, have fun over there.

    Theresa


    Sensei

    Wow, three good questions! As for the first, I've not really noticed it here. Niihama's pretty small; there's just not a lot of people on the street. And even when they are, I'm always on my bicycle. In Osaka, I'm always in such a hurry that they don't have to move out of my way. I run around them. Such is life when you're trying to catch a plane.

    It's interesting you'd ask about the hamburgers. They come in two styles. One is the hamburger that we know. It has a bun, and you hold it in your hands. But most hamburgers in Japan have no bun, and they put a fried egg on top. I'm not exactly sure why, but you learn to go with it. They're pretty tasty though. As for the size, they're about the same size as a normal hamburger in the states. They aren't big like a Whopper, but then again, neither are the regular burgers. What you DO get are things like the Tomago Double Mac. It's a double cheeseburger with an egg on it. It's surprisingly good.

    Strangest food? Hands down, it's natto. Natto is fermented soy beans. It smells awful and it's kind of sticky. They say it's really healthy, but I couldn't get past the texture of the sticky 'neba neba.' Trust me, you do NOT want to go there. I had one bite, and I'll never try it again. How some Japanese can love the stuff is beyond me.

    Lastly, I have in fact heard anti-Korean protests. The Yakuza frequently drive around in this big Jeep with a bunch of speakers on it, and they bark out something that's hard to make out. All I can tell is that it's angry. Even the manager says it's hard to understand because the sound quality is so poor. Personally, I hate the ones that do it. I also hate the cars that drive around advertising pachinko parlors. Pretty much, I hate any car with mounted loudspeakers that drives around, but it's a frequent sight in Niihama due to Japan's lack of a cable TV system. That's the best way they can advertise and garner support. Ugh.

    Thanks for writing!


    More Gundam!


    At the Saturday Bandai panel before the Anime Dating Game, I asked a Bandai rep if there would be a .hack MMO (a la The World) or ANYTHING else .hack, and his reply was "Who knows?" But he did mention a Gundam MMO being in the works.

    Tony


    Sensei

    I'm thinking this might be the game I reported on earlier in the column. At any rate, I'm interested to see how it works out. I don't play MMOs due to the fact that I like having a soul, but I do like to read about them. I'll be keeping an eye out for the Gundam one. Thanks for the info!


    Another multiparter!


    Ah, greetings to you honorable sensei! Many thanks for running a culture column - your wit and wisdom never cease to amuse and inform this humble student. Ah, at any rate... I have a few questions for you (I hope breaking them apart makes it a little easier for you to read). And apologies in advance for question two.

    Obviously such a thing is subject to the individual, but in general, would the denizens of Japan be offended by a gaijin in traditional Japanese clothing? Or would they find it admirable that the gaijin was trying hard to adapt to their culture? I plan to go to Japan someday and I love to wear kimonos, yukatas, and happis (much to the dismay of my loved ones who think it's bizarre to wear such things to the supermarket, kuku), but if the Japanese would find that offensive, I'll try my hardest to hold in my happi-loving urges until I return home.

    Since it's important to be prepared for anything one might encounter, I have to ask the obvious question: is an attractive person really at the surely over exaggerated risk of being ogled and/or fondled in Japan? The only people who have ever told me anything about this were trying to scare me out of going to Japan or books trying to do the opposite, so I'd really appreciate a neutral viewpoint on this.

    Do you know anything about Japanese adoption? Websites, policies, public attitude - anything that might be useful? And also, do you think a Japanese child would be excited by the prospect of being adopted into an American family?

    Sorry for the long letter - I appreciate your help though! Please keep up the good work on your awesome column! Treat yourself to a box of pocky, alright?

    Godspeed and God bless,

    Kyrie


    Sensei

    Wow... I never thought I'd get this kind of question. I suppose I'll begin at the beginning. It's definitely OK for gaijin to wear Japanese clothing. I plan to buy a yukata this year. I would have gotten one last year, but I kinda came in at the end of the summer season. I buy one this year and get plenty of use out of it, and I already have a happi. Don't worry, you'll be A-OK about buying any form of clothing you see fit.

    As for being groped, I'm pleased to say that I've never been groped, fondled, or had any kancho attempts yet, but I'm also male. From what I've heard, it IS a problem for women. A lot of men like to try to cop a feel on trains and stuff. There are so many stories about it because it's true. You might get away with it because you're a gaijin, but I don't know for sure. Be aware that it COULD happen.

    As for number three, honestly, I can't answer that one. I don't know much about adoption law in America, let alone Japan. You'd best talk to an expert in the field. You could always adopt an American-born Asian. That could work. But aside from that, I can't give you anything to go on. I do wish you luck in your endeavors though.

    Thanks for the questions, and God bless!



     Sayonara

    Another week comes to a close. It's been kinda rough, but I think this one might be better even if it's starting on a bit of a rush. I didn't have enough energy to finish my column before bed like I usually do, so I had to finish it before work. Add in the fact that I need to hit the grocery store for more eggs and milk so I can make another batch of my famous strawberry pancakes, and it means my day starts off in quite the rush.

    Catch you on the flip
    Jordan "Send me some sig pics!" Jackson




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