hazuki no mika

When you move to Japan, there are a lot of things to consider healthwise, but one always seems to be forgotten. We're not talking radiation; that's a localized issue for now. Instead, we're talking about fluoridation. Japan doesn't do it. Approximately one percent of the country has fluoridated water, and that's most likely because of natural mineral sources in the groundwater. Attempting to research the topic via Wikipedia gets one a large page on lawsuits pertaining to the fluoridation controversy, which caused a halt to the practice in the early 1970s.

There's one thing that I and many of my friends have noticed, though. Stay here long enough, and the edges of your front teeth start to go translucent. It's kind of freaky when you first notice it, but after a while it becomes just one more thing about this country. And it's not like any foreigner really needs to be embarrassed about teeth over here. The Japanese have some of the worst teeth in the industrial world, with examples of misaligned choppers all over. It's so common that it's become a charm point for the current generation. Google "Japanese snaggletooth" sometime to see what I mean.

The reason I'm thinking about fluoridation this week is more personal. Basically, my long-unfluoridated incisors have started to erode at the ends, chipping unexpectedly and freaking me out a bit last weekend. I went to the dentist on Monday to have one tooth capped over with a filler, and also got a cavity repaired while I was there. It only cost me 1400 yen (about US$17), too. I have a scheduled cleaning for next week.

You'd think that more people would be taking advantage of some good, inexpensive health care over here, but I've never once had trouble getting a walk-in appointment with a dentist in this country. Astonishing, really.

It should come as no surprise that I've already seen this summer's Pokémon movie. I've used it as a topic for several classes in the past two weeks. At the end of the final credits, a teaser for next summer's movie popped up for just a few seconds. Here's what it revealed.

It's not that surprising, actually. Of all the major legendary Pokémon of this generation, Genosect is the last to become available. Nintendo isn't waiting till next year to give copies of this antediluvian monstrosity away, however. From August 11th to September 7th Genosect will be available as a free download to any copy of Pokémon Black 2 / White 2. Also, till August 10th, a singing Piplup will also be available for download.

So to anyone out there with a Japanese copy of the game, have fun!

Source: Dengeki Online
7/23 ~ 7/29 7/16 ~ 7/22 Up / Down Title Publisher Platform
2 * New Arrival! Persona 4: The Ultimate in Mayonaka Tournament Atlus
3 * New Arrival! Nayuta no Kiseki Falcom
5 3 Last seen at 1 Pokémon Black 2 / White 2 The Pokémon Co.
9 4 New Arrival! Digimon World RE: Digitize Bandai-Namco
14 2 New Arrival! Rune Factory 4 Marvelous AQL
17 14 Last seen at 5 Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry's Wonderland 3D Square Enix
18 13 Last seen at 4 Little Battlers BAKU BOOST Level-5
20 * New Arrival! Persona 4: The Ultimate in Mayonaka Tournament Atlus
23 28 Last seen at 13 Monster Hunter Portable 3G Capcom
29 9 New Arrival! New Class of Heroes Acquire
Off-list 12 New Arrival! Record of Agarest War Mariage Compile Heart
Off-list 23 Last seen at 7 Etrian Odyssey IV Atlus
Off-list 27 New Arrival! Ni no Kuni - Wrath of the White Witch (All-in-One Edition) Level-5

Many months back, we mentioned that Level-5 was doing the animation for Gundam AGE, and that plans were in the works for an RPG spin-off. Well, the two spin-offs are soon to arrive on PSPs around Japan, so it is definitely past time to show what's going on.

To recap a bit, Gundam AGE is a multi-generational story that follows the adventures of a dynasty of heroes across fifty years of war. Universal Accel and Cosmic Drive are two side-stories contained within the AGE plotline, and while the plot details are still rather thin, it does seem that all three generations of the Asuno family will be joining in. The screenshots definitely show a young Flit Asuno, first hero of the series, as well as several Gundam variants piloted by him, his son, and his grandson over the course of the series.

The story may in fact be the least important part of this game, though. The game's combat appears to be based heavily on the model found in Level-5's Little Battlers, which means that there's an emphasis put on action and multiplayer combat. There's a story mode that is used to develop and train combatants, but there's also a crossplay mode that is solely for co-op and battle royale play. The differences between the two games is still largely unknown, though they have different cameo Gundam appearances. Universal Accel will include Gundam types from the Universal Century series, while Cosmic Drive will have Gundams from the SEED and 00 series.

The download versions of these games were supposed to be made available next Thursday, August 8th, but apparently something changed during the month of July, and now both physical and downloadable copies can be purchased on August 30th.

Source: Dengeki Online

For a while now it's been obvious that Project X (Cross) Zone was a spiritual successor to Namco X Capcom. The similarities only grew as more gameplay details were shown. With that said, it's a mystery why it's taken the marketers so long to announce that these two characters are making an appearance.

Reiji Arisu and Xiao Mu were the non-cameo protagonists of Namco X Capcom and went on to be party members in the Endless Frontier games. Their eternal nemesis Saya has yet to show her foxy self, but it's only a matter of time. I do wonder if the developers are going to include the events of the two EF games in their official backstory for this game. That opens a few interesting possibilities.

But that's not all. The cameos never really seem to end with this game. Next up is another character from the Devil May Cry series, a woman who prefers to be know simply as Lady. Apparently there are reasons for her to dislike her given name. She's a devil hunter, but one who is friendly to the Son of Sparda. Hopefully she'll be just as amicable to any other semi-demonic entities in the cast.

We already know that Mega Man X and his pal Zero will be showing up in PXZ, but that doesn't mean the other MegaMan subseries won't be represented. From the MegaMan Legends series comes Tron Bonne and her army of little LEGO men Servbots.

And then there's Bahn, sometimes called "Genghis Bahn III" (by himself). He's a character from Fighting Vipers, an arcade fighting title that I have never heard of before. He seems to get along well enough with the Street Fighter crew, at least.

Finally, there's Rindou Amemiya, from Gods Eater. As to be expected, his weapon is oversized and very toothy.

Also, the following screens are all taken from the opening animation to the game. Enjoy.

Source: Dengeki Online

The Summon Night series is a well known one in Japan, with eleven titles released over multiple platforms. The only ones to make it stateside, however, were Twin Age for the DS and the first two titles in the Swordcraft Story spinoff series for the Game Boy Advance. The last published title in the series was in 2010, when Summon Night Gran-These became possibly the final RPG to be released for the PS2. Last week, however, Bandai-Namco had an announcement to make.

The main Summon Night series has a new entry on the PSP, though the actual release date has not yet been determined. As with most of the rest of the series, Summon Night 5 is most likely set in the world of Lyndbaum, a sort of magitechnological steampunk-ish sort of place where people regularly summon spirits from one of several satellite realities: one of "living" mechanical beings, one of fairyfolk, one of creepy monsters, and one of angels and demons.

Along with this, Bandai-Namco announced that Summon Night 1 & 2 will soon be released on PSN as downloadable titles (they're already available on the DS), and that Summon Night 3 & 4 will be released separately as PSP titles. The download titles will be available from August 29th, with a 50% discount for the first month (i.e. until September 29th). Summon Night 3 will be out in October, while Summon Night 4 will be out in November.

Source: Famitsu Online
Title Publisher Release Date Platform
Tales of Graces F (PS3 The Best) Bandai-Namco 8.2.12
Tales of Vesperia (PS3 The Best) Bandai-Namco 8.2.12
Zill O'll Infinite Plus (Koei-Tecmo Select) Koei-Tecmo 8.2.12
Dragon Quest X Square Enix 8.2.12
Tristia of the Deep Blue Sea CyberFront 8.9.12
Neosphere of the Deep Blue Sky CyberFront 8.9.12
Grand Knights History (PSP the Best) Marvelous AQL 8.23.12
The Witcher 2 Chunsoft 8.23.12
Hyperdimension Neptunia V Compile Heart 8.30.12
Elminage Strange Tales: The Pillar of Heaven Starfish 8.30.12
Gundam AGE Universal Accel / Cosmic Drive Bandai-Namco 8.30.12
Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers Atlus 8.30.12
Source: Dengeki Online

Still surviving the summer over here. I can't really complain about the heat, considering what friends and family are going through back home. My regular route to work is leaving me drained, though.

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

Your man in Japan,

Gaijin Monogatari

Discuss this column Previous Updates Your In-House Translator
RPGamer Message Board Prev. Column | The Archives Michael Baker
© 1998-2017 RPGamer All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy