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JAPANDEMONIUM
 
kannagi no juuninichi
Kowagari
Konnichiwa

It's October, and that means there's plenty of Halloween stuff going on in my classroom. One of the big themes this month is "scary stuff," and I'm hit with a bit of a conundrum. You see, while there are several words in Japanese that mean "to be afraid," there's only one that I have ever heard used: kowagaru. This is some sort of verbed form of the adjective kowai, which means "scary." When you put the two of them into the past tense, you get kowagatta (I was scared) and kowakatta (It was scary). At the normal rate of speech in this country, these two words are very difficult to tell apart, and to be honest I'm not sure if a lot of my students even realize that they're separate words.

It's always been hard for me to get my students to tell the difference between "scared" and "scary," for that matter. After all this time, I've finally got a hammed-up routine to help me through my classes. This year, I even found a new leading man for my silly in-class theatrics.


One of my prizes from this year's Tokyo Game Show was a hero's head on a stick. We're calling him Mr. Hero, but he's also referred to as kowagari-yuusha, or the scaredy-hero. This guy is scared of everything: my stuffed pig, the teddy bear, particularly threatening three-year-olds who shout "GRAR!" at him, and anything else that I decide is funny. I'll have him run away, hide, or just faint dead away. And then there's the mis-en-scène.




We have one forest backdrop, one scaredy-hero, and five scary Halloween characters to spook him with. Depending on the class, I'll use variations like making the werewolf friendly, or having Mr. Hero fall in love with the witch (only to make her very angry). I've also decided that Mr. Hero likes pumpkin pie, so the Jack o'lantern is scared of him for a change.

Thank goodness that kindergarteners are easily entertained.

10/1 ~ 10/7 9/24 ~ 9/30 Up / Down Title Publisher Platform
3 * New Arrival! Summon Night 3 Bandai-Namco
4 * New Arrival! Sol Trigger Imageepoch
11 12 Last seen at 9 Pokémon Black 2 / White 2 The Pokémon Co.
14 7 Last seen at 1 Final Fantasy III Square Enix
17 * New Arrival! Students of Round - Eternal Legend Kadokawa Games
19 14 Last seen at 4 Medabots 7 Rocket Company
20 17 Last seen at 5 Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Spike / Chunsoft
23 - Where'd THIS come from? The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Bethesda
25 4 New Arrival! Ys Celceta Falcom
28 19 Last seen at 17 Monster Hunter Portable 3G Capcom
29 24 Last seen at 16 Dragon Quest X Square Enix
Off-list 29 Risen from the depths Little Battlers BAKU BOOST Level-5

There is no word as yet that the PS Vita port of Atelier Totori: Adventurer of Arland will be leaving Japan, but we do have news about a few things that have been added. First, we have some things that impact the game directly.







Apparently a new adventuring area has been added. Assuming that the name is supposed to be German or quasi-German (usually a safe bet with this series), then the name of the area is "Alt Galaxen." It's intended to be a difficult, high challenge area, complete with its own boss encounter. Adventurers beware.

The other item of note is purely cosmetic, however.





the player can now dress up Totori as a nurse, or choose to put her in a swimsuit instead. It's probably just for show, since anyone who's played this series knows the importance placed on cuteness by the alchemists of Arland.

Atelier Totori Plus will be in stores at the end of November.

Source: Famitsu Online

At TGS I had the opportunity to try out Fantasy Life, but the demo didn't let me stray far from the first city. Afterwards, I received a nice folder that had a full map of the Fantasy Life world on it. Here's one of the other spots to visit in the game.


This is the town of Port Polt, haven to traders and pirates alike. I have the feeling that my fisherman character in the demo would be seeing a lot of action around here. There are palaces, pirate ships, and airships all over, and at least one plot hook involving a romance between a buccaneer and a lady of society.







Fantasy Life is still on course for a late December release. I'm sure we'll be seeing more locales soon.

Source: Dengeki Online

The Summon Night series is all about the spirits, which should come as no surprise given the name. Summon Night 5 is no exception. The world of Lindbaum has always been connected to many other realms, but always most strongly to the four alter-worlds: the worlds of the Spirits, the Fey Beasts, the Demons, and the Mechans. In SN5, summoners usually have a partner, called a Cross, who has been summoned from one of these worlds.



These are the protagonists. Or at least, one of them will be the protagonist. The choice is up to the player. Either way, they live with their sibling (gender also negotiable) in Seivarl, the City of Boundaries. At a young age they made contact with the alter-worlds, and their summoned Cross has grown up alongside them ever since. Around the time the game starts, they have just started their higher education at the school of summoning.









These are the partner characters. I am not sure why they have humanoid and cute forms, but I bet it's something of story importance. In order, we have Spinel, Perrier, Kagerou, and Dice. They each have their own generic Japanese personality archetype that expresses itself in their speech patterns, which the article indicates by noting how each of them refers to the protagonist.

That's all we know about this game at this time. It will be a tactical title like the rest of the main Summon Night series, but as of now we have no screenshots to back that up. We don't even have a tentative release date as yet. We'll let you all know whenever more is announced.

Source: Famitsu Online
Title Publisher Release Date Platform
Sol Trigger Imageepoch 10.4.12
Students of Round - The Eternal Legend Kadokawa Games 10.4.12
Summon Night 3 Bandai-Namco 10.4.12
Toki to Towa (Time & Eternity) Bandai-Namco 10.11.12
Bravely Default: Flying Fairy Square Enix 10.11.12
Project X Zone Bandai-Namco 10.11.12
Fable: The Journey Microsoft Japan 10.11.12
Legend of Heroes: Rei no Kiseki Evolution Kadokawa Games 10.18.12
Cardboard Senki W (The Little Battlers Double) Level-5 10.18.12
Shiren the Wanderer 4 Plus Spike / Chunsoft 10.18.12
Borderlands 2 Take-Two Interactive 10.25.12
Dark Souls - Prepare to Die Edition From Software 10.25.12
Source: Dengeki Online

It's that spooky time of year! Are there any strange Japanese tales or weird monsters that you've always wondered about? Feel free to ask! I might even know the answer. Maybe.

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

Your man in Japan,

Gaijin Monogatari

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