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Dengeki Ratings I New Growlanser Details Unveiled I Rune Factory Pre-Order Goodies I Devil Summoner Cosplay Costumes I Valkyrie Profile Goes Soundtrack Crazy I Hudson Putting Nostalgia On Mobile Phones I Tales of the Tempest Gets Beastly I Shining Wind Blows In New Kingdom I Culture Corner I Sayonara
JAPANDEMONIUM
Hamigaki June 8, 2006


Konnichiwa

I was thinking last night that I'd been back in America for four months as of last night, and I've been in Indiana for almost a month. I never would have imagined that time would have moved so fast, but it seems that it has no desire to slow down. It feels like I will be celebrating my the anniversaries of me going to Japan tomorrow and my homecoming the next day. I guess the reason time moves so quickly is that I stay pretty busy. I'm gathering information for our upcoming move to Philadelphia. I'm amazed that I'll be moving to the other side of the country soon. It seems that I'm never content to move across the street or even across town; I have to travel a minimum of ten hours before I can call someplace home. In fact, the one time I DID move across the street, I first had to move back to Indiana for the summer before returning back to New Orleans to my new apartment. Such is my life, I suppose.

In gaming news, I am still playing Blade Dancer, and I still like it. The battles are a lot of fun, and the voice acting is awesome. I am eagerly awaiting Disgaea 2 simply for the voice acting. NISA does the best job localizing games out of any company I know. Though I don't quite recommend Blade Dancer quite as high as Disgaea, I would recommend it to anyone with a PSP. It starts off a bit slow, but the game really grows on you by the end. It will be getting a favorable review when I finish.

As for this week's title, it literally means 'tooth polishing'. It's the word they use for brushing their teeth. The reason I picked this word of all words is two fold. Picking a column title can be pretty hard and is sometimes the hardest part of the column. While thinking of what to name this one, I was brushing my teeth. That made me think back to my time at GEOS. Since I wasn't allowed to chew gum in the school, I had to bring a toothbrush and leave it in our kitchen. I'd brush my teeth after each meal to ensure that I had clean breath. I always thought it was a pretty normal thing to do, but three young girls in first grade would always come to watch me brush my teeth after dinner. They seemed to think seeing me brush my teeth was the funniest thing they had ever seen. To this day, I don't get it, but sometimes when I brush my teeth, I close my eyes, think of Akihi, Mariya, and Rio, and smile to myself.

That said, let's get this party started!



 Dengeki Rankings

Though there is a newcomer to the chart, it still stays in the single digits. Not surprisingly, New Super Mario Bros. maintains its hold on the top of the chart. According to Dengeki, it has sold just under 1.3 million copies. That is roughly one percent of the population, and the game is not even a month old yet. While it may never hit triple platinum like Dragon Quest VIII, breaking the one million mark is nothing to scoff at.

Let's see those numbers, shall we?

Position Title Publisher Platform
10 Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Special Portable Square Enix
11 Pokémon Ranger Nintendo
15 .hack//GU Vol 1 Namco Bandai
18 Dragon Quest: Young Yangus and the Mysterious Dungeon Square Enix
22 Mother 3 Nintendo
24 Magna Carta Portable Banpresto
26 Sunrise Eiyuutan 3 Sunrise Interactive
39 Final Fantasy XII Square Enix
42 .hack// Vol 1 x Vol 2 [PS2 the Best] Namco Bandai


Source: Dengeki Online



 New Growlanser Details Unveiled
Japandemonium

Atlus has announced two new female characters named Vanette and Romina for its upcoming game Growlanser V: Generations. They will both play important roles in the story, but no details have been revealed.

What has been revealed is that the game will feature a coliseum like other games in the series. In it, players can take part in several competitions ranging from fighting various foes, trying to score the most damage in a single hit, to winning battles within a certain time limit. The prizes will include experience points, money, and also sometimes rare items.

Growlanser V: Generations is currently set for a release on August 3 for the standard 7140 yen. Considering it was not at this year's E3, it is unlikely to see a release in this half of the world anytime soon.






Source: Famitsu



 Rune Factory Pre-Order Goodies
Rune Factory

Marvelous Interactive has announced the pre-order goodies for Rune Factory. Those that wish to be among the first to own the game will get a "Prologue Comic," a 64-page booklet that includes character designs, profiles, and a two-part original comic that adds to the game's storyline.

Rune Factory is the first adventure RPG in the long-running Harvest Moon series and will be hitting Japanese shelves on August 24 for the standard portable price, 5040 yen.








Source: Famitsu



 Devil Summoner Cosplay Costumes
Devil Summoner: Kuzunoha Raidou

Hot on the heels of the recent Culture Corner discussion of cosplay, Cospla, a company specializing in cosplay costumes and accessories, is bringing the uniform worn by Kana, the heroine of Devil Summoner: Kuzunoha Raidou, but it won't come cheap. Those wishing to have their costume ready made will have to pay 22,050 yen for the shirt and 13,650 yen for the skirt. For those keeping score at home, that's roughly 300 US dollars for the full outfit.




Source: Famitsu



 Valkyrie Profile Goes Soundtrack Crazy
Valkyrie Profile: Silmeria

Do fans love Valkyrie Profile: Silmeria music? Square Enix seems to think so. Starting July 12, the first of four soundtracks for the game will hit shelves, with a new soundtrack coming every two weeks after. The first is titled Valkyrie Profile 2 - Silmeria - Original Soundtrack Vol 1, and it will set fans back 3465 yen and come with a special collectors box. Volume 2 will only cost 3360 yen, and it will be followed by the "Valkyrie Profile 2 - Silmeria - Arrange Album" for 2940 yen on August 9. The set will be completed on August 23 when the "Valkyrie Profile 2 - Silmeria - Voice Mix Album" hits shelves for yet another 2940 yen.




Source: Famitsu



 Hudson Putting Nostalgia On Mobile Phones
Hudson

Hudson is releasing six classic titles to i-mod mobile phones. Among them is Tengai Makyou Ziria, a game that recently saw a remake for the Xbox 360. Those wishing to have it on their phones can do so for a one-time fee of 525 yen.



Source: Famitsu



 Tales of the Tempest Gets Beastly
Japandemonium

It was previously reported that some characters in Tales of the Tempest could change into beast forms, but how it happens has remained a mystery until now. While in battle or one the world map, players must go to the menu and select the "change" command. Naturally, this form offers a sharp increase in power, but it comes at the cost of being unable to use special or ranged attacks.

Tales of the Tempest is currently set for release sometime this year in Japan. No announcement has been made for a North American release, but even with the spotty release history for the series, I think it has a better than average chance of seeing the other side of the Pacific.






Source: Jeux France



 Shining Wind Blows In New Kingdom
Shining Wind

Sega has announced a few new tidbits about the upcoming Shining Wind. It is already known that the game will have a country of Beastmen, but there will also be a country comprised of humans called Filias. The country was ruled by a king, but he was recently assassinated. His son, Crown Prince Karis, was injured in the same incident and has yet to recover, so the country is currently led by Queen Kalurakulan with her advisor, the retired Cardinal Raidel.

So far, the Japanese release date and suggested retail price for Shining Wind are unknown. Interested fans can keep their eyes on Shining World, the the new website for the Shining series.






Source: Famitsu



  Culture Corner: Ask Sensei

This week, I've got two letters that were sent directly to me and one that I picked up for being on webmaster@rpgamer.com. Since I promise to answer all questions, I, uh, feel honor bound to give it the best shot I can.



Octopus Tacos


Dear Sensei

I just want to confirm something. For a couple weeks now, Roku of Points of View has been talking some strange stuff about taco and octopus. Correct me if I'm wrong, but "tako" does mean "octopus" in Japanese, doesn't it? If so, does it originate from another language? If it does mean octopus, then I wonder why Roku has been so vague about the explanation for so long, even making some odd story about tacos fitting in microwaves as his finale. I'd ask Roku himself, but right now, the guy kind of frightens me a little ^^.

Alan


Sensei

I'm pretty sure that Roku was just being kind of silly in his column. As a fellow columnist, I understand how hard it is to think up a decent title each week. Granted, mine might be a bit harder since my title is almost always in Japanese, but still. Sometimes people just get in a strange mood and pick unusual titles.

As for 'tako', it does in fact mean 'octopus'. I wouldn't worry about it too much aside from that, but I will say that Roku, and a few other staffers, got a chuckle out of your letter.

Sorry there's no grand meaning behind it, but thanks for the letter anyway.


The Perks of Being on Webby@


Did Cloud die in FF7 Advent Children cuz i didnt no what was goin on in the end? Is he gonna be in the new FF7 game or no cuz if not i'll be really ticked off !!!!!

Sal


Sensei

It is clear that Sephiroth won, and the world exploded. But don't worry, Cloud ducked just in time, so he's safe. Unfortunately, your princess is in another castle.

Thanks for writing in!


American Anime


Jordan,

Howslife? Mine's pretty busy at the moment, so this will be another short one. I actually forgot to mail yesterday and it seems that you don't have an update yet, so I hope this'll make on time!

I actually had no idea asking how much discount one gets is a secret, so sorry for asking! Thanks for your answer anyway! The reason I ask is because games here in Holland are so expensive, most new games are 60-65 EURO, so that's about 75-90 USD. Even if you get a discount of 20% you're probably better off buying stuff online, so here it's not that worthy to work in a videogame store for the discount only.

Hmmm, what to ask this week? I got one... what do Japanese people think of American or actually, non-Japanese cartoons? Are cartoons that are popular in the West also popular there? Like Simpsons, Futurama, Disney-stuff, Dexter's Laboratory, Spongebob, etc.? And are they actually dubbed over there? I guess it would be a laugh to watch and a hear a Japanese Spongebob! I wonder how jokes are translated (we already know what the opposed is like!)?

And oh, is it true about the metros/trains having specialized personal who make sure the all the people are pushed in so the doors can be closed at the busier times? Have you ever experienced crowded trains?

I think it's one of shortest mails, but at least there's something to reply to. Thanks for answering another e-mail and have a nice week?

Douggie

PS. Would you ever cosplay yourself and if you did - do you have a nice picture of it?

PS2. About that DoCoMo, it surely looks nice! For some reason I always expect Japanese to have more functions and more stuff for their mobile phones, but I guess it's just the same as the rest of the world, but a fact is that they do have about 1000x more games on it. Or am I wrong?

"We all know that birds fly, but now can
you tell me where they are actually flying to??"


Sensei

Games are certainly more expensive in almost every country in the world than they are here. Really, most things are more expensive everywhere else, and I can only assume it's because Americans won't put up with higher prices. We whine, moan, and complain if things are bottom dollar, so companies have to cater to us, I suppose.

In Japan, some American animation is quite big. For starters, Disney is absolutely HUGE there. Among Disney films, The Aristocats is really popular right now. Or to be more exact, one character, the kitten Marie, is popular. The Japanese have a trend of taking a single cute character and somewhat ignoring the rest.

Another cartoon that is still wildly popular is Tom and Jerry. I had a couple students with Tom and Jerry themed pencil boxes, and one student drove a Tom and Jerry edition Pajero. The Pajero was a pretty popular compact SUV (like a RAV4), and most of them had Tom and Jerry on the back.

And though this is a comic, Peanuts is hugely popular in Japan, but they slightly changed the story. In America, it's about Charlie Brown and his friends. But in Japan, it's all about Snoopy, and other people just happen to hang around him. For whatever reason, Snoopy is one of the most recognizable characters in all of Japan. He's literally everywhere.

As for the train pushers, it's true. I've never seen it myself, but I've seen pictures. I was in Tokyo for Golden Week, and that's when the city is nearly empty. They also have special cars for women only to prevent random gropings.

Since you ask about DoCoMo, I do think they were the best. AU had some cool phones, and Vodaphone had the best camera phone on the market, but the mobile phone is totally different in Japan. While it's true that most Americans have a phone, it's pretty much just a phone. In Japan, their phone is pretty much a tool for everything. They use it as a camera instead of buying a separate one, they serve as electronic dictionaries for nearly everyone, phones are calculators, everyone sends text messages via them, and people use their phone for just about everything else, too. The Japanese have truly taken the idea of mobile phones to heart, and I wish it'd take off in America, too. But it seems that Americans are content to have a digital camera, a portable gaming system, and a PDA in our pockets next to our phones, so the demand for our phones to rival Japan just isn't there. We have the technology to do it, just people aren't ready to use their phones like everyone else in the world does.

And finally, I have cosplayed, but I don't have any pictures on hand. In the past, I have been Son Goku of DBZ fame, Lieutenant Thomas Shubaltz of Zoids, and Speed Racer. I would cosplay more, but I just don't have the time nor the talent to make costumes. My wife has also been Plum from Chobits, and she was quite cute, too.

Thanks for the letter. You barely made it, but the fact that this week's column is a day late due to family visiting made it that much safer. Try to get your letter in early next week. I'm not sure I'll be doing the column, and if I do, it'll have to be early.



 Sayonara

There you have it. Sorry this is going up a day late. With family visiting, it's hard to get away to work on stuff. Considering I normally live at least half a country away from some of the people that were here last night, I felt I should spend time with them.

Next week's column may or may not be done by me. Caroline flies in on Thursday night, so it's up in the air as to whether or not I can finish in time. I suppose it largely depends on how much material I have for it. I'll see what I can do.

Catch you on the flip,


Jordan "Nice to meet you. I'm an assassin." Jackson




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