satsuki no touka

Recently we had the Japanese long holiday period known as Golden Week, which this year amounted to a five-day holiday. It's a time for a lot of families to travel, relax, have fun... as long as no one's in the education business. Non-chan only had one day off the entire week, and that was because she put her foot down and told the other basketball sponsor to handle Tuesday. As for myself, I was busy advertising.

The unfortunate reality is that private English classrooms don't have potential clients beating on their door every day, though I have had a few walk-ins so far this year. Instead, I have to pound the pavement with chirashi (small advertising flyers) that go in people's mailboxes. That's how I spent Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and some of Friday — not to mention the time spent handing things out in front of elementary schools the week before. I started out with four packs of four hundred chirashi each, and now I'm down to one.

The big problem is that while the areas I'm canvassing have lots of kids, a lot of the houses do not. Last week I visited some of the oldest parts of the city, where the street plans haven't changed considerably for a few hundred years. There's at least one religious marker in the area that dates back to the mid-sixteenth century. So, walking through these areas tends to be a big investment in time and paper, and I need to be careful with how I pass things out.

Fortunately, it's pretty easy to tell the houses with kids from the ones without. Aside from the obvious presence of things like colorful little bicycles or toys on the front steps, a lot can be told just from the style of house. Young families moving into a new home usually want a new home, so any house that's obviously been constructed within the last five years gets consideration. Pensioners living well off the retirement fund may also have new houses, but those are easy enough to discern, just by looking at the gardens. The grandmas and grandpas in this country love their little bits of landscaping and flower-arrangement, and I've seen some very impressive acts of horticulture this past week.

One part of Golden Week is the annual Children's Day celebration, which means carp-kites and pennants at every house with children or grandchildren. Apartments are more difficult, but there are specific styles of construction that correlate to singles, small families, or business dormitories. The public housing sections are best avoided, because there are so many apartments that may or may not have children, or may or may not even be inhabited. I've had the best luck with those on the weekends, when the kids are all running around outside, and I can simply hand out flyers to people that way.

Suffice to say I've lost a good amount of shoe leather this past week. My phone's pedometer has me down for an average of thirteen kilometers a day for the week, and my legs are feeling it. Time to sit down with some video games!

With all the big news of Yokai Watch finally coming to the West with its third installment (both in terms of publishing and actual in-game story), there's one bit of detail of the series that we haven't mentioned on this site yet. That would be the case of the spinoff title announced at the same time: Yokai Watch Busters: White Cat Gang / Red Dog Squad. Let's discuss this, shall we?

This is an action RPG spinoff from the main series starring the mascot character Jibanyan and his comrades as they try (and fail) and try again to stop rampaging hordes of overpowered yokai from terrorizing the town. Some of these suped-up monsters appeared in the extra material added to Yokai Watch 2- Shin'Uchi (the third and complete version of YW2), while others look to be new. In particular, there's the monstrous version of Whisper the Ghost, which bears an alarming resemblance to the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. The guys at Level-5 must be serious Ghostbusters fans.

From what little has been shown of the gameplay, this looks to be another co-op monster-bashing RPG experience. Basically, it's Level-5's take on what Monster Hunter pioneered, and the company's take on the sub-genre is sure to be surreal. Just look at the trailer.

Yokai Watch Busters - Red Cat Gang / White Dog Squad will be on sale July 11th.

Source: Famitsu Online
4/20 ~ 4/26 4/13 ~ 4/19 4/6 ~ 4/12 3/30 ~ 4/5 Up / Down Title Publisher Platform
1 * * * New Arrival! Bravely Second Square Enix
2 * * * New Arrival! Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory II Compile Heart
9 6 9 14 Last seen at 19 Youkai Watch: Shin'Uchi Level-5
14 * * * New Arrival! Toukiden Kiwami Koei-Tecmo Games
17 8 7 5 Last seen at 1 Bloodborne From / SCE
18 9 10 4 Last seen at 2 Sword Art Online: Lost Song Bandai-Namco
22 14 6 3 New Arrival! Xenoblade Chronicles Nintendo
26 12 4 1 New Arrival! Super Robot Wars Z-3: Celestial Prison Chapter Bandai-Namco
28 10 1 * New Arrival! Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin From Software
29 13 2 2 New Arrival! Super Robot Wars Z-3: Celestial Prison Chapter Bandai-Namco
30 18 21 24 Last seen at 21 Digimon Stories: Cyber Sleuth Bandai-Namco
31 25 24 22 Last seen at 23 Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D Nintendo
33 23 23 21 Last seen at 17 Yakuza 0: Chikai no Bashou Sega
37 21 15 13 Last seen at 7 Sword Art Online: Lost Song Bandai-Namco
40 35 33 45 Last seen at 32 Pokémon Alpha Sapphire The Pokémon Co.
42 30 37 36 Last seen at 37 Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Capcom
44 29 19 12 Last seen at 4 Theatrhythm Dragon Quest Square Enix
45 41 43 51 Last seen at 39 Pokémon Omega Ruby The Pokémon Co.
Off-list 33 * * New Arrival! Dragon Quest VII: Warriors of Eden (Ultimate Hits) Square Enix
Off-list 38 31 28 Last seen at 20 Final Fantasy Type 0 HD Square Enix
Off-list 40 40 41 Last seen at 30 God Eater 2: Rage Burst Bandai-Namco
Off-list 46 39 37 Last seen at 26 Yakuza 0: Chikai no Bashou Sega
Off-list 43 32 32 Last seen at 27 Dragon Quest Heroes Square Enix
Off-list 50 45 42 Last seen at 28 Etrian Mystery Dungeon Atlus
Off-list Off 44 29 Last seen at 13 Disgaea 5 Nippon Ichi
Off-list Off 49 50 Last seen at 31 Dragon Quest Heroes Square Enix

Last September, Mediascape announced a collaborative effort with Zun, the creative force behind the ludicrously popular indie game series, Touhou Project. Originally titled "Zun X Playstation", it has more recently taken the name "Play,Doujin!" (sic). The project takes doujin (amateur / indie) game projects from the Touhou fanbase and helps publish them on the PlayStation Network. Somewhat predictably, two of the titles currently up for the project are bullet hell shooting games similar to the Touhou series, and one more is an action fighting game with flashy spell effects. The fourth is a dungeon-dive RPG.

Aquastyle's Fushigi no Gensoukyo - Tower of Desire has been through several iterations on the PC indie scene in Japan, so it's pretty well polished as a game, and it seems to have everything a Touhou fan might desire — tons of varied characters from the Touhou series that are well represented in the sprites, portrait art, splash page art, and video sequences. The gameplay seems pretty good, too. Just look:

It's definitely set from the Chunsoft mold of Mystery Dungeon et al., but with all the enemies being Touhou girls — and that series has a very expansive cast list. The heroine of the story is Reimu Hakurei, a recurring protagonist and shrine maiden who manages the borders between the human world and the spirit world of Gensoukyo. One day, she happens across a strange golden sphere, full of spirit power. She takes it to her friend Rinnosuke, who specializes in the assessment of items both magical and mundane, but the strange sphere possesses him. Presumably the power that's affected him is the thing behind the titular Tower of Desire, as well as the force that's making all the ladies of Gensoukyo fight therein.

Fushigi no Gensoukyo - Tower of Desire will be available on the PS Vita online store on June 25th.

Source: 4Gamer; Aquastyle HP

It's been a while since we looked at Popolocrois Farm Legend, that oddball little crossover title announced last summer. Well, it's going to be on shelves in about a month, so it's time for some screenshots! What do these images tell us?

They tell us that the game is cute, which we already knew, and that battles follow a tactical model, which we didn't. Special tricks and side quests are also in evidence, reinforcing the resemblance to the Rune Factory games. In short, I hope this gets localized, because it looks like the sort of thing some of the RPGamer staff would really get into.

Popolocrois Farm Legend is due out June 18th.

Source: Dengeki Online

Since we don't have much else to present this time, here's an oddity I discovered recently. Sitting at the top of the June release dates on the Dengeki site is a game with the longest title I have ever seen. Seriously, this might well be a contender for longest game title ever (and if there's a longer one out there, I'm not sure I want to know about it). From D3 Publisher, we have a love-romance adventure game (i.e. a dating sim) for the PlayStation 3 & 4. The title is...

"Natsuiro haisukuru ★ seishun hakusho ~ tenkou shonichi no ore ga osananajimi to saikai shitara houdou buin ni sa rete ite gekisha shounen no hibi wa sukuupu dai renpatsu de igai to motemotenanoni nazeka maimemorii wa pantsu shashin bakkari to iu genjitsu to mukiainagara kangaeru hito natsu no shima no gakuen seikatsu to sekirarana koi no yukue.~"

While Japanese books, movies, and games often have full sentences for their titles (e.g. Ore no Shikabane wo Koeteyuke, or OreShika for short), they don't normally have full paragraphs. This one is just plain nasty to translate as well, because if it's one thing the Japanese language does not do well, it's nested clause structures in sentences. Parsing this out took me far too much time, and even now I'm not one hundred percent sure I got it right. But for the record, here's how I think it should go in English.

"Summertime High School ★ A Young Man's Notes ~ How a New Exchange Student Like Myself Ran Into His Childhood Friend On The School Tour, Then For Some Reason Became Super-Popular With The Girls For His Daily Scoops On The School Photography Club Even Though He Only Takes Panty Shots, And What He Thinks As He Goes On Dates During His Summer Of Island School Life.~"

I previously posted this on the Say Anything thread on the forums, and I agree with ACP's response that after reading the title, it feels like you've already played the entire game. This title is also notable for pretty much breaking the HTML formatting on any area of the Dengeki website that needs to show it. On the release dates list, where most titles need two lines at most (including notes such as Ultimate Hits, etc.), this one took up seven lines. That is nuts.

It should be noted that 4Gamer limits the title to just Natsuiro haisukuru ★ seishun hakusho and adds a kanji at the end that essentially means "yada yada yada", but in a polite way.

This one's got me kind of conflicted now. On the one hand, I really don't care for this style of game at all, but on the other, I'm really curious to see just what the heck is up with that title.

Source: Famitsu Online
Title Publisher Release Date Platform
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster Square Enix 5.14.15
Code Name S.T.E.A.M. Nintendo 5.14.15
Borderlands Double Deluxe Collection Take-Two Interactive Japan 5.14.15
Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Spike / Chunsoft 5.21.15
Disgaea D2 Nippon Ichi 5.28.15
Source: Dengeki Online

Sorry to be a little late again, but shikata nai tsutai. Better late than never!

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

Your man in Japan,

Gaijin Monogatari

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