I absolutely love libraries. Sometimes they’ll randomly get the most exciting things! I’ve been following the manga/anime series Wandering Son (Japanese title Hourou Musuko) for many months now, but I never expected my local library here in Brisbane, Australia to order not one, but multiple copies of the first two volumes! As such, I was finally able to sink my teeth into this series, which has been hailed in Japan and abroad as being a heartfelt and honest coming-of-age story that tackles issues surrounding gender identity.
|Venusaur by Mare Odomo|
|Dragonite by Chie Y. Boyd|
|Gloom by Julianna Brion|
|Clefable by Katie Turner|
For a mere 550 points (funny how every region uses a different “currency”), one of these babies could be yours. Well, if you live in Japan and haven’t spent your hard-earned coins on one of the many other awesome rewards that’s come out in the past few months.
What I find most exciting about this is the fact that you can completely customize what decal you want, the shirt color, and even the size. Don’t like the color combinations above? No problem, just head over to the Club Nintendo site and play around with the colors and images until you find something that you like. Just don’t blame me if, in doing so, you get really depressed about the fact that we’ll probably never see these outside of Japan.
It’s pretty obvious what I’d pick, but if you’re curious, I’d definitely have to go for the purple Animal Crossing cat. It’d look best on a pink or light blue tee, don’t you think? My runner up would have to be the heart capsules, but the Game & Watch one is pretty cute, too…
Man, I don’t even like polos!
I don’t believe I’m the only one who noticed that the new art direction for the sequel to Little King’s Story, titled The King, The Demon King and the 7 Princesses: New King Story (now that’s a mouthful), differs significantly from the original. Case in point:
|King Corobo from Little King’s Story|
|“New and improved” King Corobo|
I would be lying if I said I didn’t like his new character design at all, as I actually quite like the illustration above, but the fact of the matter is the original had such a unique, quirky art style that has been completely thrown out the window. I assume the majority of the reasoning behind the vast change in art style stems from the fact that anime/manga style art appeals to a much wider audience. With developer Cing dissolved, Marvelous Entertainment probably has free reign to do what they wish with the intellectual property rights. As such, we get this:
|In-game screenshot from Little King’s Story|
|New King’s Story. As you can see, the in-game graphics are ever-so-slightly more realistic.|
|Basically what I look like when I try to play video games|
I debated calling this article “why I suck at video games” but that would be defeatist, now wouldn’t it? But let me take a moment to me recall a recent scenario for you:
|And what self-respecting Japanese game
would be complete without a cute princess?
I suppose we all knew it’d happen eventually, but if you haven’t heard, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy will be coming out in the US and Europe sometime this summer! How’s that for great news? To celebrate, hit the play button on your favorite Final Fantasy track and take a look at some of this awesome merchandise I managed to wrangle up!
|You can purchase it online here!|
I personally like the color on the tumbler, but prefer the simplistic design of the mug. But it’s hard to pass up chocobos!
But better yet, perhaps you already have a trusty water bottle you’d like to spruce up a bit? In Japan they have bottle cases like these all over the place:
Love the addition of the plush music note!
There is certainly a lot of drink-related Theatrhythm Final Fantasy merchandise, isn’t there? But never fear, the usual cute keychains have also made an appearance:
I’ll be honest – that’s not my favorite Final Fantasy moogle design (I’m actually partial to the more rabbit-like moogles from the Ivalice Alliance titles, but don’t tell anyone I said so), but the chocobo is pretty darn adorable. I particularly like the contrast of the yellow and blue.
And last but not least, we have a special item that I could only find on Kuma’s Mad Dog Blog, a Square Enix blog dedicated to their merchandise (the previous two photos were also taken from there):
A tote bag?? Better yet, an unreleased tote bag?? It’s a little known fact on the internet that I am actually obsessed with tote bags. They’re good for groceries, books… everything, really! Ok, I’m a little obsessed. But I do love something that’s both cute and functional, and tote bags really do fit the bill. According to Kuma’s Mad Dog Blog, where this image was posted on March 15th, it’s a brand new item, and currently no more information is available, so we’ll have to wait and see when and where this is released. Admittedly, it is a little on the plain side, but I think owning a Theatrhythm Final Fantasy tote bag trumps all. I think I’m going to make it my personal mission to make sure I get my hands on this lovely thing.
Do any of these items catch your fancy? What would be your ultimate Theatrhythm merchandise? I wouldn’t mind some stickers…
Before today, I hadn’t paid any attention to the upcoming Japanese 3DS title, Code of Princess, but as soon as this box art appeared, it immediately went on my radar.
|I particularly like the pink haired lady in the middle.|
|Nothing quite like a swashbuckling guy with big pants and feathers in his hair.|
Where on earth do I start? Well, admittedly, her sword and cloak are both pretty amazing and display the kind of detail that I love, but my positive comments end there. Not only is she wearing less clothing than is physically possible, but Kinu decided her only armor would be in the form of gauntlets, which is pretty much worthless considering how little else she’s wearing. And, though the box art for the game features this lady, who is the main character Code of Princess, in a relatively active fighting stance, this official art, which has already been made into a resin figurine in Japan and is the most popular result when searching Google for Code of Princess images, is about as passive as it gets. She’s not only holding her sword in a pathetic excuse for a defensive pose, but she also has a frightened expression on her face, with her arm extended backward in a way that sexualizes her more by rendering her powerless, if that’s even possible. I hate to dwell on issues such as these, and of course I know Kinu Nishimura has done her fair share of “sexy” illustrations (999‘s Lotus, anyone?), but this image takes the cake for portraying a female main character in the worst possible light.
Well, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest… Is there anything else good I can say about this game? For those who aren’t familiar with it, Code of Princess is a 2D brawler that shares many similarities with Guardian Heroes. It also touts an extensive 4-player multiplayer mode, and I’ve got to say, even the gameplay looks pretty interesting:
Mark that one down in the books, folks: I said even the gameplay looks interesting!