The title for this post was going to be a homage to Nagato Yuki’s awesome guitar skillz, but I couldn’t quite get the pun together O_o. Anyways, the useful part of today has been spent tapping away at the computer listening to “God knows…” and “LOST MY MUSIC” on loop in Winamp, with the occasional strains of “Koi no Mikuru Densetsu” creeping in when I got tired of them. (Thanks go to Jason for posting the links for those mp3s ^_^).

Watching the concert scene for the third successive time got me thinking back to a post I wrote notes for ages ago but then lost my notebook; on why a person like me who is into rock and metal also loves J-pop and J-rock when the genre differences are evident even to society isolated hermits. First, I should give a disclaimer: all R ‘n’ B and rap fans (and I’m not talking about “Rhythm and blues”, you people can stay), please stop reading now, for fear of severe insult.

As I said before, I am a massive rock fan. I also love punk, ska, metal (not death metal though ^_^), jazz and rhythm and blues, and even barbershop. Basically, I tend to like music that shows off musical talent, and though I acknowledge that R ‘n’ B takes some musical talent, I can’t believe that it is a major issue (I assume the major selling point of R ‘n’ B is the size, shape and consistency of the female singers’ butt). Rap as well, I’m sure takes talent, but musical talent it is not.

So why oh why would I like J-pop and J-Rock which is obviously not written by the performers for the most part (since the performers are either idols or seiyuu and probably have no music writing talent whatsoever). As an example, let me take apart one of the Haruhi Insert songs to show people why I like it so much.

Aya Hirano and as yet unknown backing band sing “God Knows…” (actually, seriously, if anyone knows the backing band or the writer of either/both of these songs please tell me. This information seems to have slipped me by)

1. Starting Riff
I have to admit I was impressed by the starting riff, simply because it was quite technically fiddly and shows off immediately that the guitarist knows what she (I’ll stick with the anime band genders for now ^_^) is doing. However, in contrast to its technical difficulty, it doesn’t overshadow the other parts, most notably the drums which are simple and effective at highlighting changes in tempo and verse/bridge transitions with changes in rhythm. Bass is technically rather disappointing, but then I always criticise this – there aren’t many good female bassists ^_^;;

2. Verse – “Kawaita kokoro de kakenukeru/Gomen ne nanimo dekinakute”
Aya Hirano’s singing fits this song. The high female vocals fit most J-rock rather well, since the songs are more upbeat and happy and don’t require growling. Conversely, however, female vocals do not suit Western rock as generally it is more minor (and dare I say “emo”), so high female voices don’t provide the bass rumble that goes well with the music. Gruff female singers who smoke more than 40 a day such as The Distillers and The Donnas are exceptions to this rule. Guitar and drums play simple rhythms with good buildup to the bridge.

3. Bridge – “Muku ni ikiru tame furimukazu/Senaka mukete satte shimau”
Nothing special here. Leads on nicely from the verse with a new drum rhythm and a good transition into the chorus with the drums. I’m not sure if they are using simple shift harmonisation (i.e. Aya is harmonising with herself shifted to a different key) or if there are really 2 singers. Either way, female vocal harmonisation makes me cry with joy. Beat is insistent and gets under your skin, making you want to tap your feet and nod your nead in a rock-music fashion. If you’re tapping your feet now there’s no hope for you now…

4. Chorus – “Watashi tsuiteku yo donna tsurai/Sekai no yami no naka de sae”
The swell building up during the verse lets loose with a flurry of drums and power chords. Fans like me start waving their fists in time with the music in front of their computers and anyone who was tapping their feet in the bridge starts fully rocking out. Most of all, Aya Hirano’s powerful vocals really shine through here. The power lacking in most female rock vocalists in J-rock shall not be spoken of in her presence. The emotion she puts into the Engrish at the end puts a tear to the hardened rocker’s eye.
(Opening Riff 2, Verse 2, Bridge 2, Chorus – Not included in TV version – i.e. I don’t know the lyrics ^_^;;)

5. Middle 8 – “Anata ga ite/Watashi ga ite hoka no hito wa”
After the second verse, Haruhi takes a break in the middle 8, which, again is pretty standard – Measured beats by the drums back emotion filled lines as a prelude to the final repeated choruses. Meanwhile, Yuki’s guitar howls in the background and Aya Hirano hits a high note harmony with such power that even Matt Bellamy would be impressed. Shivers run down the spines of the crowd. (NB – NOT an emo-distortion)

6. Tension stop (well, that’s what I call it anyway) – “Dakara…/Watashi…”
I love “tension stops”. I have no idea what they are called in the music business, but I coined the term to encompass parts in (mainly rock) songs where the usual beat is abandoned for a few bars and the pause in between notes which are not of the expected length builds tension in the crowd, which causes people that know the beat already to flail their hands in the air in time with the off beats. That would be me, of course ^_^.

7. Outro solo
Hammer on/pull off galore as Yuki’s fingers become a blur in this outro solo. Haruhi’s rhythm guitar even joins in at one point ^_^. Bass still boring though. End on a lovely discordant, but melodic chord. Blogger lets out a sigh of pleasure. End of Song.

Hmm, that was fun to write ^_^. I do like overanalysing music. Maybe I will do a similar one for “LOST MY MUSIC” sometime. (when I can be bothered)

Anyway, my point is that Japanese rock (and indeed some examples of pop) music is not unusual. In fact, I could probably name 10 songs off the top of my head in Western rock where all of those devices were used (except the female vocalist, of course!). However, the genius in which some Japanese rock and pop songs are written, I believe, is embedded in the way they embrace Western culture.

Let me give you an example. I went to Japan last year, and one of the things that made a great impact on me was bakeries. You can’t go 500 yards inside any largish Japanese town without finding at least one bakery. And these aren’t your regular run down British affair, oh no. Bread is an extremely big business in Japan (as are cake stores), but the types of bread on offer may surprise many Western bakers. For instance, Kare-pan; a deep fried doughnut type bread with curry inside, when the most adventurous thing we put inside ours is jam. Even more controversial, Meron-pan – the fusion of two different kinds of dough (cookie dough and normal sweet bread dough). Also, the existance of potato croquet and yakisoba sandwiches.

It’s as if Japanese bakers took one look at Western rules for baking, gave it the finger and just did whatever they wanted. In the UK: starchy things like potatoes in sandwiches? BLASPHEMY!

It seems that they have taken the same approach to their music as well. Since J-Rock/Pop is a relatively new phenomenon, it too suffers from the same fate of Japanese “mix ‘n’ match”, and unlike the boringly uniform UK pop music (which is now almost completely R ‘n’ B), you get exciting mixes of styles from sugary sweet pure pop songs like “Miko miko Nurse”, Pop-ska in the form of “Guri guri” (Sato Hiromi), even Pop-jazz in the case of Scramble by Horie Yui (the first School Rumble OP). Happy bouncy rock songs such as “LOST MY MUSIC” are written and suit the female vocalists that sing them, something not found in Western rock at all. Guitars, often with rather good soloage feature heavily in J-pop, to excellent effect and overall, the effect, in my opinion is rather refreshing.

Japanese rock pop will seem to cover multiple genres of music, since J-pop has no real concept of the genre boundaries and just seems to play what sounds good – For instance, compared to “God Knows…”, “LOST MY MUSIC” has a definite punkish feel to it thanks to the off beat drums, but still maintains a very “rock and roll” feel of guitars and vocals.

The thing I really love about Japanese pop-rock is simply that the songs are really upbeat and happy, something I think is really missing from the rock music coming out today, which is getting more and more emo as we speak. In short, J-rock makes me happy. And it knocks out solos that would make a Western indie band tremble at the knees. Also, untrained female voices harmonise much much better than untrained male voices, which is always a plus in my book.

If I had to make a concluding comment, I would have to say that J-pop/rock is by no means better than Western music, but it’s habit of going against conventional musical ideals and mixing styles means that once in a while it comes up with absolute jewels which are refreshing in this age of conformity (at least in the UK, anyway ^_^).

Apologies for the long ramble, just think, it would have been longer if I had analysed “LOST MY MUSIC” as well ^_^. Oh, and as a knee-jerk complaint – all you Japanese “band” girls who pretend to play instruments in your videos – don’t bother. Just do what you’re best at and look pretty with your strange synchronised dancing and maybe we’ll forgive you for not being able to play your instruments.

That is all.

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Finally catching up to my blog reading after a weeks break, I was rather amused by Hung’s post on 10 skeletons in his closet, the least of which was his massive backlog of anime. The thing that amused me most about it was that I was guilty of all of them except the “Not watching Mai HiME/Otome” ones…In fact, I’d go so far as to say most people were ^_^.

Anyway, most people who have watdched my blog any more than a few weeks will probably have noticed that I have a penchance for rather bad anime. However, I trawled through my archives to find ten anime that I am honoured ashamed to have thoroughly enjoyed. Warning though, reading this list may leave people with the resounding urge to slap me silly.

10. Uta~Kata

Actually, this one probably isn’t very controversial. What really amuses me about this, otherwise rather droll anime is the hundreds of people on teh intarweb trying to read meaning into the ending ^_^. Obviously the whole point of the anime is getting Ichika to cosplay in cute costumes and the tenuous subtext between Ichika and Manatsu. Is having sex with part of yourself just masturbation? You decide.

9. Maburaho

I wasn’t actually ashamed of liking this until Hung posted that the worst anime J.C.Staff have produced were Ikkitousen and Maburaho. Honestly, I rather enjoyed this series, mainly because at least they didn’t just go: “Oh, childhood friend, obviously she wins” or “Oh childhood friend, looks like you lose”. Wai for threesome ending ^_^. Also, Rin and Kuriko should then forget about Kazuki and go and explore their yuri desires. Just a thought.

8. Tsukiyomi Moon Phase

Well, the reasons for being ashamed of this show are many – the least of which being the spawning of “Nekomimi-mode” memes everywhere. I shall sum up why this anime rocks in an equation – Tsundere+loli+vampire+nekomimi = WIN. That is all.

7. I My Me! Strawberry Eggs!


Only in anime could a storyline about a teacher who becomes a transvestite to work at a girls school actually work. I mean, if you think about it in real life, when they discover at the end what he’s been doing, no one would have felt sorry for him. They would have hunted him down like a dog, beat him with sticks, put him on the “dangerous paedophile” list and emasculated him with a pair of bricks. Well, maybe not the last part (ouch).

6. Hanaukyo Maid Tai / Hanaukyo Maid Tai La Verite

Two words “Triplet maids”.

Would that be Trincest?

Also, over the top yuri lust between the security chief Konoe and her kouhai Sanae. The virtual reality scene in La verite – Hilarious. And she didn’t even need to say “Oneeeee-sammaaaaa!!”

5. Guardian Hearts

Now we’re definitely getting into fluff territory here ^_^. I have absolutely no idea why I like Guardian Hearts, except that the OP is good and it takes the piss out of magical girl shows. Oh,and Kotono is the greatest miko ever. Seriously.

4. Green Green

I can’t remember who in my anime society recommended this, but I have to remember to thank them. Actually, fanservice aside, Green green actually has an excellent plot. Just a plot that involves a lot of nudity. And female naked bodies rubbing against each other. And a baseball bat. Also, to get a real feel of the fanservice, you also have to watch the Character DVDs, which avoid “hentai” by a thousandth of a hairs breadth. Best character in it? Togemura san. A girl and her cactus – inseperable.

3. Onegai Twins

Actually, I was going to include Onegai teacher in here too, but I was told that actually, it’s ok to like Onegai Teacher. I love Onegai Twins just because of the hilarious plotline – Two girls are in love with you – you can only bang one of them, and its a 50/50 chance that it’s incest! Go go Incest-chan! Seriously though, the Japanese take incest far too lightly. There’s an awful lot of cousins falling in love in anime…that must be taking its toll on the anime gene pool. Pretty soon anime is going to be turning up with girls with 6 fingers or something. Though that would be pretty useful from a yuri point of view ^_^.

2. Popotan

Time travelling Christmas shop? Check. Busty Older sister? Check. Insecure middle sister in dubious relationship with best friend? Check. Precocious younger sister who has probably had more sex than the rest of the family combined? Check. Stoic, flat-chested maid? Check. What do you get? POPOTAN! Despite the fanservice (I seem to be saying that a lot) Popotan has really heartwarming storylines and I even cried a few times. I would even go so far as to say that it is one of my all-time favourites. Yes, I know its from a Hentai game. Yes, I know Mii is 10. Yes, I know Mai and Konami are rampant lesbians. Where fanservice and story meet – you get Popotan.

1. Ikkitousen

Yeah, you knew it was coming. I like Ikkitousen. *Runs away from mad crowd wielding torches and large wet fish* Because obviously, if your Ki protects your body, then powerful blows would only damage your clothes, right? Or maybe school uniforms in Japan are just particularly flimsy. Anyway, how can you not like an anime with a bondage obsessed leather clad eyepatch maid (Ryoumou)? Especially when she gets yuriraped by Ryofu Housen – one of the few actual lesbians in anime. Actually, I lie. The anime isn’t all that good. The manga, however, is great.

Honorable mentions:

Magical Canan – (The non hentai one) Actually, this anime is too bad even for me to bear. However, the other half loves it for no reason. Similarly, Nymphs of the Stratosphere (Magical Cloud Nymphs, as she likes to call them)

UG Ultimate Girls – Started well, but if they had removed UFO-man completely and just had Vivi and Silk have giant yurisex all over the city I think people wouldn’t have thought it was such a bad anime.

Amaenaideyo! – Interesting simply because of introducing a new fetish which I hadn’t heard of before – Huge eyebrows. Ew.

And now I run away in fear of apt retribution

Ix

The Return of the Geek

June 23, 2006

I return!

Just arrived back from Cambridge today, significantly less emo than when I left (Thank god) and perhaps regretting making that last post. I love all my Cambridge people equally, geek or not ^_^ (But geeks do have far more extensive manga collections to peruse). Anyway, I am at my true home in East London now and away from my real computer, which is back in Leamington Spa so this is just going to be a mini post about my hijinks in Cambridge, (which are vaguely yuri-relevant ^_^;;)

Firstly, I feel the need to recommend the town to everyone. Cambridge is great and I miss it sorely, and everyone should go; including the Americans that read this. Just don’t ask where the university is – that is a schoolboy error.

First day I got there we (other half was there too) went to Jesus Green to the Rock Society picnic, at which we had been informed that there would be lesbian jelly wrestling. I was somewhat skeptical that a) the mechanics (and staining possibilities) of jelly wrestling, b) the likelyhood of there being actual lesbians there and c) the likelihood of jelly wrestling actually taking place at all. However, having arrived, we soon discovered that Rocksoc not only had brought the paddling pool, but also had researched the exact type of jelly used in professional jelly wrestling – complete with risk assessment form >_<.

And the jelly wrestling did actually take place. With an appreciable amount of lesbians, I might add (though I believe most of them were dubbed temporary lesbian status for the duration of the picnic). And I beat my girlfriend and a drunk guy. Go me ^_^/

| It’s amazing what happens when you qcf+punch

| Aww…I love you too *huggles*

| “No girls! We’re trying to do the waltz here, not the foxtrot! Pay attention!”

| Me and the missus in “get a room” mode
So after that, I did lots of “stuff I always do in Cambridge” like going punting on the Cam, visiting various friendly types and staying with my previous anime society and losing atrociously at Guitar Hero. (Damn you James.) Then I went to June feast at my old college which was remarkably decadent (The port was 29 years old O_O)

And then I went home. And now I don’t have to touch medicine again for 2 months; WOOOO! Fantastic.

Basically, now I am happy. And I realised that I don’t actually have to write anything to get people to view my blog, since for some reason I got the most visits ever yesterday – when I hadn’t written anything for 6 days. Lol.

Ix

PS. AGH I FORGOT I HAVE A PROJECT TO DO OVER SUMMER DAMN DAMN DAMN -_-.

Having visited Leamington Peace Festival today, where all the ‘alternative (read: Goths/Hippies) throw off their “normal person” guises and throw on their party clothes for the day, I was reminded again on my previous rantings on how and where anime geeks such as myself fit into such a conformist society.

Now as a medical student, I am subjected to a special slice of student society. The stereotypical medic male, for example, although empathetic and kind, is also confident, popular, tall and sporty; 4 things I could never aspire to be (especially “tall”). In fact, they resemble closely the popular people in secondary school that the wannabe pikeys (townies, schemies etc.) were trying their best to emulate. On the other end of the medical student scale is me; the slowly dying out breed of academic medic: good at the theory, rubbish at the ‘dealing with people’ thing. Needless to say, I don’t get along that well with the opposite end of the scale. Though I’m sure that if I stuck with that class on “getting blind drunk and vomiting into a gutter” class in my first degree I would have fared much better ^_^

And then there are the girls. The stereotypical girl that makes it into medschool is kind, people-centred and decidedly ‘easy on the eyes’ (testament to perverted old doctors on the admissions committee, no doubt). Unfortunately, they prefer their friends to be tall, popular, sporty, confident and tall. And find watching said guys getting slaughtered on vodka and throwing up into a gutter a great turn on. Or so I’m told.

Suffice it to say I’m not particularly good friends with them either.

But no! You might say, “We know this already. Surely you can find solace in the alternate types”. I mean, its not like rock music lovers, metallists and hippies aren’t ten a penny in university campuses. My only problem with them is that most of the time “alternate” music fans are generally just conformist, but in a different way. And when I talk to them, I still get a distinct feeling that I really should have stuck to that “Getting blind drunk” class. And maybe taken a module in “Cannabis and how to use it”.

I sincerely apologise for this rant, since I know deep down that I am just being a bit of a social snob. I mean, fanservice anime with gratituious yuri and medicine are not favourite subjects of many. Truth be told, I’ve never been close enough to a particular archetype to really fit in to any particular niche. I’m nowhere near good enough on the guitar nor smoke enough weed to be a rock type; I don’t wear enough black (any more) to fit in with goths. And the only language I can code in is Qbasic. (and even then not very well).

What I truly need are lots of non-conformist people that will listen to what I say without getting bored and have interesting views of their own. And possibly also like fanservicey anime with lots of yuri. Unfortunately, like that fabled condom machine in the Vatican, these people are not easily found. Since I am lucky enough to have some friends (and a girlfriend) of that type, I should really stop complaining; but I just felt in a whiny mood today.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a Guitar Hero match with my previous anime society to attend. And I intend to win. ^_^.

PS: Apologies for the rant, hopefully the next post will make up for it, but I will be away for the next week or so in Cambridge visiting Cambridge Uni comics and animation Society, and so updates are unlikely.

Woo! I made it to 1 month without going insane ^_^… I’m sure that in time I’ll get tired of posting on this every day, but for now its a good hobby that keeps me going, especially through the exam period when I’m supposed to be studying…hmm. Studying or prattling endlessly on about anime to complete strangers I think is no contest.

Thank you everyone for visiting, especially in the last few days (for some reason my readership has doubled in the last couple of days…) and here’s hoping that I’ll make it to the next month without going crazy. Hopefully with a purchase of a laptop during the summer and being able to work and post outside in the sunshine I might not go as crazy than composing posts for hours at home every day >_<. Also, though I am 1 month further towards blogsuki membership, Jason just keeps moving the finish line further and further away (is it 1 year now?). But I’m OK being an underdog blog. Really I am. *sob*.

Right, thats the rubbish thank you post out of the way, real post later today when I’ve recovered from my pathology exam.

Oh and I will probably start archiving my recommended fanfiction here soonish; as soon as I’ve worked out the best way to do it on WordPress.

Ix

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Reading “Anime on my mind” this week, it came to my attention that a second shamelessly yuri anime was being shown this season: Simoun, so I downloaded the Doremi fansubs and watched the first few episodes…here’s what I thought – Not only do the characters fly around in things that look like Disc Doctors, all the ship designs and things look far too much like they were taken straight out of LAST EXILE. I mean, the Craftsmen’s nations ships, you can’t tell me they don’t look like vanships. And the Simouns look remarkably like those white thingys that Dio and Co. fly around in (sorry about my crap knowledge, EXILE fans)

But the similarity does stop there, thankfully. The entire thing is (rather shakily) based around a race that are born as women and choose their gender when they get to the age of 19, though they lose the ability to blow up hundreds of enemy ships at once while shouting stupid technique names like “SHARK REMERGION!”. And also, for some reason, being able to pilot one of the ships requires the 2 pilots to kiss beforehand, so changing gender results in a great reduction in creamy yuri goodness.

So you can see already that this anime is going to be filled with gallons and gallons of pseudo-lesbian tongue wrestling and shoujo ai relationships until one of the two goes to the spring, becomes a man and shafts the poor other girl senseless with his newly gained manhood (actually I think they didn’t film the last bit)

Despite this excellent premise, the Craftsman’s (I assume they’re all women too, so shouldn’t “Craftswomen’s” be more appropriate?) Nation seems to have little going for it, except having its ships and people blown up repeatedly by, like, 1 enemy craft and the wonderful voice of Mamiko Noto voicing someone we haven’t even met yet. If the anime doesn’t go into a bit more detail about them and we see both sides, it will be extremely disappointing. A bit of Romeo and Juliet cross-sides loving is due here I think…

 

So how does it compare to the other great yuri anime of this season – Strawberry Panic?(Or Full Yuri Panic! as I have otherwise named it)

Lets compare!

  1. Outrageously thinly veiled lesbian subtext Vs. Frankly pornographic amount of girl-girl tongue fencing

Vs.

 


Simoun obviously wins on the yuri-snogging count, but does it beat the cute one-sided longings of Tamao and Yaya-chan and the first girl-love of Hikari and Amane-sama? Especially episode 8 of FYP! when Tamao chased Nagisa round all episode to share an umbrella and Shizuma complained that her umbrella was too big…

Answer: Full Yuri Panic! WIN, 5 points! Although I do love the girl on girl action in Simoun, it lacks resultant storyline to back it up. For FYP! to spend an entire episode on the love shared beneath an umbrella is bold and pretty funny. And Yaya/Hikari is shaping up to be my favourite underdog pairing ever.

2. Cookie eating loli Vs. Slightly mad plush bear obsessed loli.

 


I have to admit, the loli with the plush bear in FYP! did scare me a bit…Isn’t Astraea only secondary school and above, meaning that she is at least 11 and still kookily weird for her age? *shivers* On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with the loli in Simoun (Except that she’s possibly said one word in 2 episodes) Also, she has Ichijou Karen hair (of School Rumble fame).

Answer: Simoun WIN, 5 points! Stoic snacking loli beats scary bear confiding loli

3. Two best friends and a tsundere Vs. Emo girl, genki girl and rampant lesbian

Vs.

 


How does the Yaya-Hikari-Tsubomi triangle shape up to Neville the emo girl and her Pair Amuria(who is obviously rampantly gay) and the new girl Aeru who (thank god) chooses blowing things up over becoming a man. Obviously I am pre-biased to vote for the Yaya-Hikari-Tsubomi fiasco, since I am a massive Yaya fan, but since Simoun hasn’t had enough time to develop its storyline and since there has already been three comsummate kisses in their love triangle, they need some weight too…there’s still room for some rampant lesbian shower sex there too.

Answer: FYP! 3 points, Simoun, 2 points (for potential)

4. Bonus Points

 

Erii (Simoun) -2 points for becoming a man (NOT HOT)


Chikaru (FYP!) +2 points for being ULTRA DETECTIVE COSPLAY HAWT

 

FINAL RESULT: Full Yuri Panic!: 10 points, Simoun, 5 points

STRAWBERRY PANIC WIN!

Undoubtedly, at this early stage, Strawberry Panic provides far more yuri excitement than Simoun, for, although it does lack girls indulging in Sapphic desires around every corner; it does have Yaya-chan. And Yaya > all.

Ix

PS. Damn I wish that I could do “Excerpts”, ‘cept this theme doesn’t support it and its the only one on WordPress.com that I actually like. Oh well, people will have to be stuck reading my whole articles until I actually bother to find some server space then ^_^

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Having been inspired by Digikerot’s comment on the Negima game I was blogging about a few days ago, I was considering the real enigma that’s bugging me about the Japanese game industry. Obviously, I don’t pretend to know the answer, so I would be very happy to hear people’s comments about this.

As everyone knows, Japan is the mother of all gaming – Most of the biggest gaming companies; for example, Sony and Nintendo, hail from that country and most of the games they have produced are now part of gaming legend. Japan not only gave rise to definig console, but also to defining game genres, such as the rise of the rhythm game in Parappa the rapper and later, Dance dance revolution. Not to mention the Role Playing game – Japan still managing to release benchmark games for the international market.

Even in 3D gaming Japan has been at the forefront. Although first person shooter type games such as Halflife and Doom were due to American developers, Japan dominated the 3D isometric platformer market with titles such as Super Mario 64.

Anyway, let me get to the point, through my inane (and no doubt inaccurate) rambling. If Japan can create such beautiful masterpieces of games such as Final Fantasy, how come the anime game industry is dominated by dating sims and ero-games??

Surely fans of anime are, if anything as likely to want to play as their favourite anime character in a 3D platformer, or RPG, for example, rather than a plain old visual novel, with very little actual gameplay – You might as well start releasing more manga ^_^. I know that the number one explanation for this is that “3D platformers and RPGs cost so much more to make than a dating sim with no moving pictures and text only”, and up till recently, I fully supported that view.

However, reading the blog of the Negima game changed my mind.

The Negima project is undoubtedly backed by huge amounts of money. Akamatsu is probably one of the most famous mangaka, not only in Japan, but all over the world, therefore the money backing this project must be stupendous. However, the second Negima game just takes the biscuit. If you have enough money to make a lame mini-game based fanservice beach game in 3D, then surely you have enough money to make a full 3D adventure? Even a short one would satisfy me. Or even a 3D battle game of some variety – I’m sure that wouldn’t have taken much development.

This rant comes even fuller force after reading about the doujin group (Tasogare Frontier and 07th Expansion) who produced the visual novel for Higurashi no naku koro ni (The anime of which I am greatly enjoying at the moment). As I read about recently, the same circle has recently released a demo for Higurashi daybreak.

Now if even a doujin circle not backed by hundreds of thousands of yen can make such a great looking game, then where does the Japanese game industry stand?

My second question is an obvious one: why is it that the Japanese anime industry and Japanese game industry have rarely joined forces to produce good games based on anime. The only games that come to mind are several based on Sailor Moon and other “vintage” anime (which were far from good), but recently, very very few at all. Have the anime and game industry fallen out for some reason?

All I can hope for is that some day, otaku like me will be able to purchase quality action and adventure games based on the anime we love.

Ix