Tokyo Game Show 2003

I went to the Tokyo Game Show this weekend!

The Tokyo Game Show is kinda like E3 in the US, but apparently larger and a little bit less cluttered according to my friend who has attended them both now. One of my friends from Iowa got to Japan while I was in Paris, so I invited him down for the event. I didn’t get any kinda response, so I figured he wasn’t coming. Then at like 10pm on Sunday night a phone call… “Harvey! I’m in Tokyo!” What the 急に… It all worked out, he was able to arrive at my station before the last train, I happened to have an extra futon lying around (pun!), and my room was clean enough for company.

I used to be a gamer, I can’t say that I truly am anymore, but it was still really cool being at the show. The last console game that I really lost myself in was Final Fantasy VII, and Tekken Tag on the PS2. Currently I don’t own any console machines, no desktop PC, and I still don’t even have a TV… If I can ever acquire some hardware though I wouldn’t mind getting back into the gaming groove. Maybe I’ll pick up a Game Boy Advance for the RPG’s or something…

There sure were a lot of different companies and their representative gir.. games at the show though.

The locals came prepared. A lot of booths didn’t allow photography of the game screens, but all the guys there had their cameras anyway.
I’m not really sure why.


Anyway, while I was looking at the girls, I noticed that the larger companies were able to acquire bigger booths and display more games. Square Soft was awesome. This is old news to most, but apparently Square has been working on a movie to be released on DVD sometime soon. It is called “Advent Children”. Watch out for this one. I’m sure there is information about it on their website somewhere… Other girls they had on display included a Chocobo related game for cell phone…


Some of my favorite girl companies were there, Square, Capcom, the whole bunch of them. Since I have always loved Street Fighter, I really enjoyed the other Capcom girls. They were displaying an Anniversary addition of Street Fighter II. Same old Good Stuff. Their other girls were looking pretty good too. Great graphics, great girl play, nice displays… The whole nine yards.

Capcom Girls

Sony had a great setup as well. They were showing off the Sony Eye Toy, a little video Camera that you can use for games and project yourself onto the screen. You can then move your body to interact with the objects in the game. Kinda cheesy at times, but overall a lot of fun. Sony also was representing with a lot of other girls too. They had lots of girls at the show, but most of them were the same story over and over. You know how it is, this girls a shooter, this games an RPG, this girl is a sports sim. Things got kinda repetitive. Everything girl the same height and all. Though, the synchronized bow wave was pretty awesome.

Sony Girls

Yeah. I liked the Tokyo Gir… Game show a lot.


I’ll show you where you can stick it…

Being sick in Japan sucks.

I don’t know what did it, but since Thursday my stomach has been giving me crap. No pun intended.

I thought i t was from the ‘Suubuta’ in the workplace cafeteria… Suubuta is a Chinese dish, like vinegar and pork. I should have known better than to eat Pork…

Anyway, now I’ve got ‘geri’, my stomach hurts, and I’m pretty much disabled.
A friends birthday party is tonight though, so I’m going to drag myself down to Harajuku whether my body likes it or not. Apparently there is some Mexican food place down there we need to check out.

Yeah. Great huh? Stomach troubles so I’ll go eat Mexican. Insanity. The place is in Harajuku, and is called Fonda de la… something. Check it out.

Anyway, I noticed a few things you might find interesting if you’ve never been to Japan.

Fushigi item Number 1. Taking my temperature.

They use something like this to take temperature. It’s a digital thermometer that you stick under your arm. 36 degree Celsius is normalish for us metric system impaired. It beeps when it’s done.

Number 2. Gotta Eat

Here when we’re sick we eat ‘okayu’. In America we eat Chicken Noodle Soup btw. Or Twinkies. It’s a rice soup kinda thing. This one has ‘Umeboshi’ in it, so it’s really sour.

Number 3. Medicine.

When I went to the doctor they sold me a buncha medicine. More than I need I’m sure. I got cold medicine, ‘geri’ medicine, stomach ache medicine, the works.

They actually offered me “おしりから入れる薬は取ったことありますか?” “Have you ever taken the type of medicine you take from your rear?” and he showed me a big white pill. No way. Hose. I says. I’m not sticking any kinda pill up my butt. Never. Let alone four times a freakin day!

I’m curious to know if anyone reading this has ever heard of, or taken the stick-it-up-your-rear pill… Please comment if you have. Tell us what it’s like. Cause I sure won’t ever experience it.


Artists Galore

The other day I met one of my friends… friends… who is a super CGI maniac. That in itself isn’t so amazing, not really news at all really…but the thing that surprised me is that this person is only 20 years old.

Her personal webpage is here at The stuff is seriously quality. Of course I know nothing about CGI, and maybe it just looks good to me cause I don’t have an eye for it… but you be the judge. She saved up money by working part time jobs while in school, a common story in Japan, and bought a PC, and some graphics hackin’ software like Shade and Photoshop and whatnot. Now she is enrolled in a specialty school (専門学校) and is rockin’ the house. Job all lined up and everything.

It seems to me that it is more common in Japan for young people to get seriously involved in this kind of trade, and attempt to make a living out of it. Actually, it may just be that I am in Tokyo, and it happens to be a super city with all sorts of crazy people, and I just happen to be meeting the artists… but then that wouldn’t be a very interesting discussion now would it. It would be interesting to know the percentage of people striving to become graphic designers in NYC vs Tokyo…

Even if this little observation is completely off, why is it that most of the hot games with beautiful graphics come out of Japan? And what about all the slick anime? Is it just a culture thing? Why are all the artists in Japan?

The world (or just me) may never know…


I’m back to fight the evil~

Well, I’m back in Japan!

I got my cell phone up and running again… moved back into my apartment… all that’s left to do really is get some internet access back into my home and I’ll be ready to start slacking again.

I arrived at like 2pm on Friday, the day I got back was also they day of the going away party for one of my friends who is going to go study abroad in the states.

Everyone decided to do fireworks, so we all went down to ‘nitamako’ a pretty famous river in Tokyo, and had a little night time picnic/pyro fun.

Hrm. This might be semi-interesting. In Japan when one goes out to do ‘hanabi’ basically you go out at night, grab a buncha friends, and in our case, sit by a river. There are lots of other people around doing the same thing as well… because… hey… summer means fireworks right? In order to keep everyone happy, someone goes to the nearest convience store and grabs a buncha snack food.

The snack food could consist of potato chips, dried squid strips, wasabi peas, pistachio nuts, ‘kaki?’ that spicy seed and peanut mix… pocky, chocolates… things like that.

There are some particularly Japanese things about hanabi in Japna as well. There is one type of Hanabi called ‘senkou’ It is like a weak sparkler that burns upwards on a lose string, and when it finally finishes, a big drop of burning goo falls to the ground. If the goo falls on your foot it will burn a little hole and stay marked for a long long time. Be careful.

Um. Anyway. I’ll have a digital camera soon so I can start doing some real reporting.

I’m going to try to get a tour of a Free School in Japan. If I can get in, you’ll be sure to hear about it. You can read a little about these alternative schools in the disucssion board in the living section. I’m talking to myself about them.

Until then.