satsuki no nijuunananichi

It's very likely that anyone who's interested enough in Japan to want to live here should know about seiza. That's the traditional manner of sitting in Japan, resting on the knees with the shins flat to the ground, ankles bent back, and legs crimped. Japanese children practice sitting like this from an early age. They kind of need to, since (as most Westerners will attest) it soon becomes incredibly painful if you're not used to it.

It's not my favorite method of sitting, and not for the reasons already stated either. A lot of my younger students will dutifully sit seiza-style during a lesson. But as soon as anything really interesting is pulled out, they'll lean forward, and the seiza turns into a "on elbows and belly" position instead. That's not allowed in class, as it's considered improper in Japan, and also it tends to let a few kids crowd out everyone else during story time.

I usually encourage my kids to sit cross-legged in lessons, with occasional success. A couple times in the last week, though, a new word started popping up in class whenever we had to sit on the floor. Tousanzuwari. I ask around and it turns out this is the semi-official word for sitting cross-legged in Japanese, though I can't find it in my dictionaries. It literally means "how daddy sits," and pretty much implies that only old farts who go out drinking with their buddies every weekend sit like this (because they're too drunk to sit properly and/or don't care).

Well, I don't drink, and I'm not old. Farting... I'll plead the fifth on this one. But I still sit cross-legged by preference. I value my knees too much to submit them to the seiza treatment.

Who here has played Persona 4? Who remembers the Midnight Channel, that creepy urban legend TV show of doom? Well, this little article's going to sound pretty appropriate.

Persona 4 is coming to the small screen. The production side is being left up to Seiji Kishi, who did Seto no Hanayome and Angel Beats!, along with the AIC ASTA division of the Anime International Company. The art direction for both characters and personae will be done in cooperation with the original designers from Atlus, and Masashi Meguro will be handling the music along with the original staff.

Persona 4 the Animation will begin airing from October, and if it keeps the same general time slot as Trinity Soul, then it'll be showing sometime between 10 and midnight. Mayonaka terebii, indeed....

Source: Dengeki Online
5/9 ~ 5/15 5/2 ~ 5/8 Up / Down Title Publisher Platform
1 1 Last seen at 4 Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 Professional Square Enix
5 2 Last seen at 2 Patapon 3 SCE
8 4 Last seen at 1 Final Promise Story Imageepoch
10 * New Arrival Doki-Doki Suikoden Irem Software
11 7 Last seen at 6 2nd Super Robot Wars Z - Destruction Chapter Bandai-Namco
15 13 Last seen at 18 Monster Hunter Portable 3rd Capcom
16 11 Last seen at 22 Pokémon Black/White Nintendo
20 18 Last seen at 21 Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection Square Enix
21 * New Arrival Disgaea 2 Portable (PSP the Best) Nippon-Ichi
Off-list 9 Last seen at 5 Pokémon Typing DS Nintendo
Off-list 23 Risen from the depths Inazuma Eleven 3 - The Ogre Level-5
Off-list 30 Last seen at 23 Persona 2 Innocent Sin Atlus

Last week I decided not to do a column because I had only one game item to report on, and I thought that it would be better done on the main page. That game was Super Robot Wars OG Saga 2 for the PS3, and the comment thread does a better job of explaining it than I ever could. Instead, this week I'm explaining just one facet of the game's upcoming release. This one.

This is the SRTOG2 Complete BD Box, and it retails at 41,790 yen. That's approximately USD $510.

Why would anyone shill out that much for a game release? Well, let's do the math. The game itself costs 8329 yen, which is just over 100 dollars. With it comes a variety of other items, such as a booklet and art by Risa Ebata (character artist for Macross Frontier and Dancougar Nova). The big thing is that it also comes with all 26 episodes of Super Robot Wars OG - The Inspector on four Blu-Rays. Now, this series isn't out on DVD just yet, but the first two volumes are already listed in the index at the big video store in downtown Kumamoto. From that, I can tell you that volume 1 (with just two episodes) will cost 4100 yen (about $50), and that volumes 2 through 9 (with three episodes each) will cost a bit over 5000 yen apiece (about $60). Take sixty, multiply by eight, add fifty, and.... we begin to see that the Complete BD box is a real bargain, especially since it's likely to be out before the entire anime series is released on DVD.

So, any takers?

Source: Famitsu Online

It's really nice to have a series which I know I can fall back on. It's even better when that series has more cheesecake than a pastry shop. Yes, it's time to return to Queen's Gate Spiral Chaos. Yet another cameo character has been added, this time from the fighting series BlazBlue.

Enter Noel Vermilion. I'd try and explain her backstory, but a quick trip through the BlazBlue wiki has left me more confused than anything else. It's convoluted, to say the least. She's a young officer from an organization called the Novus Orbus Librarium. She's looking for a guy named Kisaragi. She really likes guns. Stuff blows up.

One other cameo character to be recently announced is Iroha, from the series Samurai Spirits. From the backstory given, she sounds like she was based on the traditional story "Tsuru no Ongaeshi". She certainly fits the image of Queen's Gate.

In the spirit of fairness, we should also mention some of the new and original characters for this title. The next two ladies are not cameos, they're enemies.

Aine the Gravity Gunner and Humina, Reaper of the Battlefield, are the two newest baddies to grace the field in Queen's Gate. As always, the devs like to keep things interesting.

Queen's Gate has inherited one of the funnier features of its predecessor, it seems. The first game, Queen's Blade, featured a boss button to help the player avoid embarrassment if someone were to see them playing a game full of incredibly buxom half-naked women. In the first game, the boss button took the player to a faux 8-bit RPG screen. This time around, it looks more like Mega Man.

Source: Dengeki Online

A bit over two weeks ago, Strawberry Eggs posted a video in a news article which detailed some of the customization options available in the upcoming Grand Knights History. There was one detail on the customization that we missed, however, and it has to do with class features.

Take these three, for example. They are all Knights. They just don't happen to be all the same sort of knight. Grand Knights History allows the player to choose between multiple types within a single character class, with different skillsets. The three Knight types shown above are the Heavy Warrior, the Paladin, and the Battle Maiden.

I don't believe it's been mentioned whether or not this title has an alignment system, but the selection of types makes me wonder. The Archer types shown are the Hunter, the Sniper, and the Honorable Highwayman (personal favorite of many possible translations).

To round out the cast for today, we have the Wizard types: the Magician, the Witch, and the Cleric.

There are certainly more type sets to play around with, and I'm sure we'll hear more about them in the coming weeks. For now, let's enjoy some screens.

The last two screens shown feature a new character, Mira the Witch. This mysterious young lady is currently terrorizing the Empire, so it's not likely that she'll be helping the player out anytime soon.

Source: Famitsu Online

Earlier this week, someone on staff added a whole slew of screens for Falcom's upcoming Ao no Kiseki. I kind of wish they'd added the source for these screens, because I'm not sure if they reveal anything beyond the fact that the game looks really cool. Well, see for yourself:

For that matter, I don't really know who any of these people are.

Though now that I look at them more closely, I realize I do recognize a few of these faces, mostly from research into the next bit of Falcom-related material. In its soon-to-be thirty years of doing business, Falcom's garnered a very vocal and supportive fanbase. Apparently Falcom keeps a weekly rating on the popularity of female characters in its games. Dengeki reported on this last week, so here are the ratings for May 9th to May 15th.

Ranking Name Game
1 Renne Trails in the Sky
2 Estelle Bright Trails in the Sky
3 Feena Ys I
4 Tita Russell Trails in the Sky
5 Noel Seeker Zero no Kiseki
6 Reah Ys I
7 Lilia Ys II
8 Elena Ys: The Oath in Felgana
9 Kloze Rinz Trails in the Sky
10 Kia Zero no Kiseki
11 Anelace Elfead Trails in the Sky
12 Li Xia Mao Zero no Kiseki
13 Arwen Zwei!! 2
14 Princess Cecilia Trails in the Sky
15 Gueld Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch
16 Ries Argent Trails in the Sky
17 Parin Gurumin
18 Tia Ys SEVEN
19 Mail Popful Mail
20 Chris Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch

Finally, we have some swag, courtesy of the Good Smile Company. Yes, it's time for more Nendoroids!

No word on if these ladies will be making an appearance in Nendoroid Generations, but I'm betting not.

Source: Reuters
Xocolatl the Question-Bearer!

Dear Gaijin,


Dear Xocolatl, thank you for not being scared off by the April Fool's column. I'm dividing your letter into parts for easier answering. Thanks!

What's the most popular form of entertainment in Japan? (TV, game, live shows?)


Well, I'm probably not the most qualified person on the planet to answer this, but... Like many things in Japan, it's a matter of which demographic we're talking about. Games and manga are obviously big with the younger generation, but the older generation outnumbers the younger by a large margin, and the middle generation aren't getting any younger either... Japan is constantly churning out dramas, so someone must be watching them. The undisputed rulers of daytime television are the "talk" shows, which often combine aspects of a Western talk show, amateur documentaries, and B-list celebrity game shows all in one package.

What kind of things do people like to watch? Sports? Action stuff? Comedy?


Sports are big, especially baseball. All major Japanese games are televised, as are any US games that have Japanese players involved. Also, many weekends the networks will have high school tournaments televised as well, at least the high-level ones. Japanese action shows tend to be a bit hit-or-miss, possibly because of Japan's standard low production values. Comedy is probably most prevalent, with various stand-up and manzai routines, plus the ubiquitous "talk" shows. Note that these comedy shows aren't necessarily funny. They're just intended to be. Also, every New Year's Eve, there are two special TV events. One is musical, with lots of J-Pop and enka involved. The other is prizefighting. Both are practically tradition at this point.

And finally, why is it that Japanese TV shows often have those little words and scripts going on screen everywhere?


The thing about Japanese is that regional dialects can have some definite differences in pronunciation and minor grammar. This is especially prevalent with older citizens, or folk from the far ends of the islands. Since the government has always held the Tokyo primary dialect to be standard, they try to enforce this by subtitling everyone and everything that speaks in an official news broadcast, with the subtitles in standard Japanese. Sometimes it's helpful, sometimes it's ridiculous. But again, it's gone on long enough that it's practically tradition, and you'll see it in all sorts of live shows. Often though, it's not about checking grammar anymore. It's usually about adding visual emphasis, or as an instant replay of some B-list celeb's reaction to a surprising reveal on a "talk" show.

Thank you,



Thank you for writing in!

Wheels the Dragon Slayer!

Hey there Gaijin,

Is this pitch a bit late? Why yes it is. All I can say in my defense is that Avadon: The Black Fortress is a huge game that's been sucking up a lot of my time. Well that and class, it turns out Cryptology involves a whole heck of a lot of math. Enough about that though...


Oooh, cryptology! I'm afraid I've never been good enough at the higher levels of mathematics -- not enough for that field at least. Cryptozoology on the other hand... well, that's the matter of the day, now isn't it?

I present to you: 7th Dragon: The Hunt



What was so great about 7th Dragon was the way it took the guild and class system of the Etrian Odyssey series, and seamlessly fit it into a Dragon Quest style adventure (not precisely of course, but that's the closest comparison). So what this game will basically do is take the same idea and apply it to the monster hunter formula. So we'll have the same sorts of classes (Knight, Mage, Healer etc.) along with the guild structure, only this time of course a player will only control one character at a time. We can apply pretty standard RPG combat here of course, as we won't be trying to change the boat in that area too much.


Standard RPG combat of what style? I'm going to assume action/RPG, since we're still talking MH clone here.

So then the crux of things would be the dungeons. Like in 7th Dragon, the world will be filled with those annoying flowers that cause damage. In a game with action based combat, this will make battles even more intense, trying to fight Dragons and maneuver through them, making clearing them out just as important. Normal monsters would show up again, as a way to grind for experience and gold.


Did you hear that they're doing away with flower-induced environmental damage for 7th Dragon 2020? Apparently too many fans complained. Still, I also think it would be good to include the anti-human flowers as a terrain hazard and general impediment.

Multi-player would be pretty standard, allowing players to unite in dungeons. With the count of Dragons left in the world returning, dragons defeated in multi-player would apply to all of those involved. Since players can only use one character at a time, party makeup will be very important. However,to make it easier for players to level up multiple characters in their guild, experience gained can be distributed as you see fit between guild members upon completion of dungeons.


Hmm... or make the system even more equipment oriented, so that good armor and weaponry can support a lower-level character until they reach a point where they gain better skills?

The crafting element will be a bit muted in this clone, as guild management and character building will fill that sort of niche a lot. So we'll add in a simple weapon/armor upgrading system, allowing players to get various drops, only from the dragons, that can be combined with weapons to modify properties such as damage type and resistances.


I dunno. I'd include some basic materials from lower monsters and the environment, and premium materials from monsters. Equipment made from the basics would be limited in use, but dragon equipment could be much sturdier?

The overworld map will return here, allowing for some exploration similar to many open-world rpgs. Multiplayer can also occur here, in two flavors -- either forming a party at specific gathering spots and then venturing forth, or joining one of many servers where you will be exploring the same world as others and can run into them to assist (or even do PVP) or trade items and such. This will give the game an optional MMO feel. The crux of the game will still be joining with others to tackle the big dragons in dungeons of course.


Sounds good to me!

That's about it, I have a feeling that probably wasn't worth the wait, but I hope you enjoyed it!



Hey now, don't knock yourself. It's always nice to have letters for this section. Thanks! I'll get back to you for more crazy kaijuu action and the next challenge, okay?

It's been a rainy May here in Japan, and the official rainy season hasn't even started yet. As far as odd weather patterns go, this one's not so bad at least. Just wet and cool.

And that's the news from Hi-no-Kuni,

Your man in Japan,

Gaijin Monogatari

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