MenaRD wins EVO Japan 2024 SF6

EVO Japan 2024

I attended EVO Japan this year. Like previous years, I again volunteered to help the tournament. You can read about my experience volunteering for EVO Japan 2023, or EVO Japan 2018 right here on this very blog if you like.

For fighting game stuff, I make pretty extensive use of Twitter, so I will structure this blog post around Twitter posts, add some additional commentary, and throw in some more pictures. Hopefully that is an approach that will work well!

Overall Thoughts

EVO Japan was at a new venue this year, Ariake Gym-EX, and was a very well run tournament. Vendor demos for Riot’s 2XKO, SNK’s City of the Wolves, and Bushiroad’s Hunter X Hunter were popular, and there were many interesting vendor booths to check out. A massive improvement in air conditioning meant that the venue was comfortable for all three days (if a bit hot at the end of the Finals day for SF6), nice food trucks gave nearby options to eat, and selling alcohol on premises was a good idea, even if I didn’t make as much use of it as I thought I might. Over 9,000 attendees, about 1,000 of them from overseas, means that there were lots of fun and interesting people to meet and talk with.

I continued my streak of going 0-2 at every major tournament I’ve ever been to, one of these days I’ll get a win. I plan to continue volunteering so that I can make some sort of contribution to the community. If you took the time to stop and say hi, thank you! I appreciate it. I had a very nice three days, and was super happy that I was able to connect up with friends from near and far.

Friday, Day 0

Start of my Day 0 Twitter thread with Google Map screenshots

On Friday volunteers were asked to come to Ariake Gym-EX at 1pm. Since I live on the Rinkai line, this is a pretty easy trip for me, just four stations. The walk to Ariake Gym-EX is about fifteen minutes or so. I liked to go by Ariake Garden, a big shopping mall, so on that day I first went for lunch there. It was nice to have a large shopping mall somewhat nearby – about a ten minute walk – because there are restaurants there, and on the first floor a large supermarket. Every morning I’d stop and buy some snacks, and a few bottles of water (58 yen each – compare to the 300 yen at the venue).

I really like Afternoon Milk Tea, and buy these for work / home.

Even though this is fairly nearby, I think on Day 1 and Day 2 I didn’t take the walk back here to get anything just because it was more fun to hang out at the venue.

On the walk from Ariake Garden to Ariake Gym-EX I spotted this sweet car just sitting in a parking spot. Must be nice to have the money for a car like that. I’m not sure how I’d fit my wife, both my kids, grandparents, and their dog into it when the family goes for vacations though.

Nice car! Nobody commented on my EX Gym joke.

I had to wait around for a while to enter, since the organizers are strict about timetables. In previous years there have been lots of people that volunteer to help out, but this time the group was split into people that helped all three days (primarily people from the Umebura Smash Brothers tournament community). They were paid, and were required to work all three days, full time (well, not required, I’m sure they could have some schedule flexibility).

Pictures from EVO Japan 2024 Days 0-2
The entrance to EVO Japan 2024

This year there were only five or six unpaid volunteers from the community – many fewer than previous years! I wonder if that is because people didn’t apply, or weren’t aware, or what. No problem though, we got the information about what we would do – basically, pack the goodie bags that were handed out to everyone – and that we wouldn’t need to do anything else. The volunteer pass we got would get us into the venue for all three days (no special seat status on the last day).

On breaks I would check twitter. I really loved this small world story from Sherry.

At the venue I happened to see @jenixo0, a paraplegic gamer who has been active in the Japanese FGC for a number of years. In particular, he’s involved with HACHIMANTAI 8 FIGHTS, a barrier-free fighting game tournament. I’m really impressed with how much he has been able to accomplish, and I’m very happy he took the time to stop and take a picture.

Really happy to meet Jeni!

After that I just spent hours packing goodie bags. It was fun talking with the other volunteers – at least one that I’ve seen at the past three EVO Japan events. Otherwise I don’t have much exciting to add. It started out as just six of us packing bags, but later the paid volunteers joined in, and by the end of the night there were maybe 20 or 30 people packing bags. We made a bit over 10,000 bags that first day I think.

The first day the place was super active, and the booths were still coming together. It’s really amazing how quickly all that infrastructure needs to be put up and torn down!

Saturday, Day 1

Unlike past events, I didn’t have to run any pools at all, so I was free to do whatever I wanted on Day 1. So I did!

The ePARA group put on an accessible controller tournament.
Pictures from EVO Japan 2024 Days 0-2
The Fatal Fury City of the Wolves demo area.
I took a picture with Terry Bogard.

I walked around, and took a picture at the SNK booth. I thought of waiting in line for the Fatal Fury: City of Wolves game, but the line was 90 minutes and I figured I’d come back when it was shorter (spoiler: it only ever got longer!)

The Hori booth had lots of great stuff.

The Hori booth had lots of great stuff, and I ended up buying a controller that I probably didn’t need, but do want. I have the Fighting Commander Octa and like it, but since it doesn’t have a right analog stick it really is only good for fighting games. I sometimes play other games (well, not really but I want to get out of Act 2 of Baldur’s Gate 3 some day), and want to have that second analog stick. The sliding 3DS style stick on this controller felt really good, so I decided to get it.


I’m a big fan of Mutekijikan, a brand that does fighting game related stuff. The brand name means “Invincibility Frames”. I’ll sometimes tweet about some of the stuff they do in English, and always make sure to stop by the booth to talk with the owner. Very nice guy, and they always have interesting people at the booth. They were giving out fans with their “Fighting Game Girl” (Kakuge-chan) mascot, and that fan really came in handy on Day 3 (spoiler: the air conditioning was great the first few days, but during SF6 the mass of body heat was too much).

The line for the EVO Official Goods booth was crazy long.

I decided to hop into the line for EVO Official Goods next. Based on past experience when I was busy running pools, the official goods booth would often sell out of stuff I was interested in, so since I had no obligations I thought I would get that out of the way. The line was crazy, I was there at least an hour and a half. Some things sold out while I was in line, and I probably got in the line at 9am. I managed to get the things I wanted (one of those sweet reversible jackets, a High Score Girl Tote Bag, and a towel) so that was cool. I am bummed that a friend messaged me asking to pick some stuff up and I didn’t see the message until after I was done. I decided to hop back in line for them once I finished the Hunter X Hunter demo. (Spoiler: I waited another hour or so in line and right when I got to the front what they wanted sold out).

Lots of great cosplay at EVO Japan!

I was walking around and saw Shino_cos posing for picture at Harada’s Bar. I should have asked to get a picture with her Eliza, but I was too shy. She’s been on the Harada’s Bar Youtube show in the past, and it’s always fun hearing about how the cosplayers choose the characters they want to cosplay, and how they bring the characters to life.

I always cheer for Itazan!

I’m a big Itabashi Zangief fan, and got a picture while he was getting ready for his match. He has a very interesting joystick he’s been using lately that was custom-made by Gafro who is always making interesting controllers.

A drink bar!

This year there was a Drink Bar which sold alcohol as well as water and stuff. It was a bit on the pricey side at 300 yen for one water – I would usually pick up 58 yen bottles from Aeon instead. Still, there is something to be said for convenience.

I am not good at tag fighters

To play the Hunter X Hunter demo you needed a ticket that they handed out with a time slot to play on it. I got a pretty early one, and played. I’m not the right person to make judgements on that kind of game, but it seemed ok to me. It does look better in motion than it does in pictures.

I never got a chance to go to the Capcom booth.

I wanted to check out the Capcom booth, but it was very busy. The lines were always long because they were doing a promotion where you would get stickers for the number of wins you had, and if you got 5 wins in a row I think they were giving out shirts.

The City of the Wolves demo was incredibly popular.

The City of the Wolves line never did get shorter. (Spoiler: they did actually get shorter on Finals day). I was in line for a bit over two hours. I had a fun time chatting with people. The reason the line was so long was because everyone got 15 minutes on a setup, and if you were alone, you got your own setup to play against the CPU. I really enjoyed City of the Wolves, and I was surprised by that – I normally just like Street Fighter games. The game looks great, and feels responsive. I’m very slow at picking up on systems, and really had a hard time understanding the Rev system, though on my second time through thinking of it like SF6’s Drive system helped a bit. I’m just slow though, so it is very hard for me to get much out of demos, but I definitely liked this game, and absolutely will pick it up.

The two above are Neo Geo Now on twitter, and uploaded that video to their YouTube.

You also got a tote bag if you filled out their survey after playing.
Guard crush exists too.

Olaf on twitter was looking for information on Guard crush, and while I’m terrible at fighting games and generally useless, I was pretty sure I could get the CPU to guard crush me. I’m embarrassed at how long it took for me to figure it out – you need to be in Overheat mode (the Burnout mode equivalent) and then the guard bar starts to deplete. I was just blocking and thinking “that bar isn’t going down!” Once I figured that out though, it was ok. I hope that was useful for the SNK fans!

After playing City of the Wolves I ran into Mai Shiranui!

I’m always interested in fighting game cosplayers. It’s so amazing to see people recreate these characters in real life. I’m pretty shy, so usually am not very good at asking for pictures, but I tried to do a bit more of that this time.

Food trucks were nice.

I was really happy to see food trucks at the venue. I had lunch at Rocket Chicken, and it was really good stuff. I had to ask for ketchup on my fries, and they said “lots of ketchup on the fries?” to which I answered in the affirmative – but it ended up being a very small amount. I should cut back on salt anyway, so it’s fine.

King of Fighters XV Pools

I had King of Fighter’s XV pools at 4pm. I haven’t played much King of Fighters in general – I did play Fatal Fury 1 and Fatal Fury 2 back in the arcade when they came out, but I didn’t like them as much as I liked the Street Fighter series. As I got busy with college and my PhD, I just never really got into SNK’s games, especially when I thought of having to try to learn three characters. At last year’s EVO JP, I heard that you could get a sweet shirt for signing up for KOF, and I decided to sign up this year for that reason. I also bought KOF XV, and put about three hours into it, just enough to learn my team: Shermie, Angel, and King of Dinosaurs. It’s an awesome team.

I was pretty sure I would go 0-2, and I did! I really wanted to win my first match because then I would have had to play Score, and I thought that would have been the most hilarious thing ever, but I lost. Also, the pools started about 50 minutes late, which wasn’t great. There wasn’t much communication about what was going on. My understanding is that some pools were delayed to get matches on stream, but I don’t know the veracity of that statement.

Street Fighter 6 Pools

My SF6 pools were at 5:30pm. With my KOF pools starting at 4:50pm, I didn’t want to stick around for round 2, so I headed over to the SF6 area. The SF6 pools started on time. The SF6 side of things was run on a tight schedule, and I didn’t hear anything about problems. For myself, I went 0-2, but I was a bit frustrated because I thought I could have won both of my matches if I had just played a bit better. Looking at that now though, of course I could have won had I played better. At least I’ve successfully going 0-2 in Street Fighter in every one of my EVO JP appearances, so that streak remains unbroken.

I also saw some tweets by Daigo and Go1 talking about how well things were run. Daigo particularly was interested in what settings were used in order to get such good low-latency displays and good sound. I didn’t see anyone complain about how the SF6 side of things was run, which is great. I did see some people complaining about KOF, but based on everything I heard while I was there, that was really the only blip.

The pools had some great matches in them.

Walking around, there were lots of people watching pools. Dogura commented on how many people were interested in Shaka’s match. Shaka is a FPS streamer who is really popular in Japan. A while back he joined the Crazy Raccoon Cup for SF6, and got to be quite good. Japan has been very successful at doing different things to draw in non-traditional fighting game audiences, though I can’t say why that has been more successful in Japan than in other places.

A.K.I. meets A.K.I. voice actor.

Hiro to Hiro is a cosplayer and voice actor that often joins locals in Tokyo, and was in A.K.I. cosplay on Saturday. Faye Mata is the A.K.I. English voice actor. Nice to see them together!

In the evening I met up with some friends for dinner in Shibuya. Great time.

Dinner with friends in Shibuya
Dinner with friends in Shibuya

Sunday, Day 2

Headed out for Day 2.

There was some great High Score Girl art on the way in. There was also a signing from the artist that I wish I had looked into – I bought one of the High Score Girl X EVO tote bags too.

Pictures from EVO Japan 2024 Days 0-2
High Score Girl

On the first day I didn’t get a chance to try out Riot’s fighting game 2XKO, so I headed there first thing in the morning.

I played 2XKO.

I’m not great with tag-team fighting games, they just never were something that I played a lot of or was good at. This game is really pretty, and looks amazing. I didn’t have long to wait – maybe 10 minutes, and then I was paired up with a stranger to play. He apparently didn’t know that it was a team game, and didn’t tag me in once during the whole time. I was able to do some assists here and there, but once he died and my character came it, I didn’t have a teammate to work with, so I felt like I only had access to half the game. It was still fun, but I think this game will be great when you are sitting around with your friends and are able to talk to each other. I don’t think it will be as good if you are paired up with random people.

After playing the game, if you answer a survey you get a Gacha coin, and can use that to get a League of Legends pin. I got Ahri, who is apparently pretty popular and rare. Nice.

Nice Chun-Li cosplay!

Looking at the picture now, I didn’t even register that she had a hedgehog on her head. I asked for a picture with Chun-Li, and she was super nice. In a later tweet she said that I was the first person to ask to take a picture with her, which surprises me. Looking at tweets from cosplayers at EVO JP, I’m surprised at how many cosplayers are really excited and happy when people ask to get a picture with them. I always feel like I’m intruding.

Later on I stopped by the Qiddiya city booth. While I’m not a fan of Sportwashing – check out this Freakonomics episode on the topic – they did put together a nice booth. On the topic of Sportwashing, I feel like if we know what is going on, it is less effective, and I am more inclined to take money while being clear that you should not change your view of the regime, or at least try to understand why Saudi Arabia is spending so much money in sports and eSports. It’s always interesting to look at where money is coming from and try to understand people or companies motives.

Gobou, Daru I-No, Leffen, and Lord Knight

That said, I wanted to go and rest in the Qiddiya booth because they had some nice bean bag chairs. While I was there, I realized they were doing a meet-and-greet with Guilty Gear players. I was shocked because first, I knew all the players, and second, I really liked them all! Gobou is my favorite player – his crazy antics and amazing Goldlewis and later Asuka play are super fun to watch. Even more than that are the amazing expressions and how emotive he is. I met him and said I’m a big fan of his 顔芸術 – facial expressiveness – and Daru I-No right next to him cracked up. I like Daru’s I-No a lot too. I also got to greet Leffen and Lord Knight – I’m amazed that Leffen has been able to transition so well from Smash to Guilty Gear, and he’s an interesting person. Lord Knight is a great content creator and good at Guilty Gear. It’s impressive to be able to handle both.

Hiro to Hiro A.K.I. and Otemoto F.A.N.G.

I also got a nice shot with Hiro to Hiro’s A.K.I. with Otemoto’s F.A.N.G. lurking in the background. I’ve seen Hiro to Hiro at a couple of locals around Tokyo, she’s always nice and excited about Street Fighter. Her A.K.I. cosplay is amazing, and she has a great Cammy too. I think at EVO JP last year I ran the pool that she was in, and she showed up as Cammy, and of course, played Cammy. She’s currently a Master rank (though, like me, somewhere below 1500 MR).

I spent some time watching SF6 pools, but didn’t have a real game plan. I could have looked at and found Itazan pool and watched his run, but there are so many good players, there are great matches going on all the time so it is a bit hard to focus on what I would want to see. I do wish we got more matches on stream, but it’s understandable that you can’t get everything. There were three main Japanese streams, and I think one English one (which I have coming up on my “Watch Later” list). If you wanted to get all the important pool matches you would have needed a couple more SF6 only streams, and a crazy amount of logistics to make all that work.

Always fun chatting with Akiki.

I stopped by to say hi to Akiki-san when she was free. Akiki-san is Sako’s wife, and does a lot of work behind the scenes organizing for Team FAV’s Street Fighter group. Ryusei was there, and he had a whole bunch of fans interested in getting pictures with him. I’m always surprised at how tuned in to twitter Akiki-san is, she catches everything.

I wandered around the side tournament area for a bit, and there was lots of interesting stuff going on there. I should have paid more attention to side tournaments, I would have liked to have entered the SF4 and SFV tournaments, but I assumed I would be running pools so didn’t put much thought into it. There were also the traditional non-traditional games like Catherine, which would have been fun to watch.

I think I’m hilarious.

There was also a cosplay contest and cosplay parade, which I missed, but I got some nice pictures when I saw groups. I should have asked them for their twitter accounts! I was a bit better about that this time than I have been in previous years.

I met the actual Shinhoroko!

One person I was excited to meet is David Evelyn, a professional manga translator. I started following him years ago because he did something fighting game related, and I’m always happy to see his success translating big manga series. Nice guy, I hope we get a chance to hang out more!

Lunch and the afternoon on Day 2

I had thought to go back to Ariake Garden for lunch, but it is a bit of a walk, so I decided to use the food trucks again. The weather was really nice, and there is a nice park like area outside, so I grabbed a bench and had a Pita Kebab. I was lucky enough to find East_ML and his friend (A Different Kind of Fight?) and we chatted for a while. I met East years ago at Akihabara e-Sports square, and he’s since gone on to a successful YouTube channel talking about collectable card games.


I saw Cammy on my way back in to the venue, and asked for a picture. Again, I didn’t get a twitter account. I saw a couple of these kinds of anime face-masks, and I’m surprised at how good they look. It is a bit unsettling though.

At some point, I absolutely decided to go back to Ariake Garden to get some water and other drinks. On the first day I bought a 300 JPY bottle of water, but I thought to last for the rest of the afternoon and evening I’d need more than one bottle so in that case it was worth the 10 minute walk. In the park next to Ariake Garden there was lots of interesting stuff going on – this is “Golden Week” in Japan, a week with three public holidays so lots of families travel or look for interesting things to do with kids. One of the events was a “Dino Camp” and there was a whole squad of Dinos out there doing exercises of some kind.

Sol and Jack-O.

I did not ask many people for their social accounts. I felt like I did a better job at it, but that just isn’t the case looking back at my timeline.

I sought out this Lily cosplayer since I’m a Lily main.

I saw an amazing Lily cosplayer – @Chia_ring (Cheering?) and got a nice picture with her. I should have asked for some full body shots, she had the pogamoggans as well. I think she won’t mind if I embed one of her twitter posts, so I’ll do that. I found a great tweet from Yuka Kuramoti, who is also a Lily main (better than me for sure!) and I’m sure like me she was super excited to get a picture with Lily. They are both having so much fun!

The crouching medium punch is OP.

I also got this great shot of Luke. Even with the nerf to crouching medium punch, that thing is too strong.

I can’t believe I met Kissy!

I also made a point of asking for a picture with @kissy_696, who I’ve followed for quite a while because of her Chun-Li cosplay. My twitter is basically fighting game players, organizers, a few computer science / programming people, and fighting game cosplayers.

At the 2XKO booth with LOL characters.

At the 2KXO booth there were cosplayers from the game. I later found out that one of the cosplayers is Kishico.

More fun stuff going on in SF6 pools.

I’m a big Yuka Kuramoti fan. She is a Gravure Idol who married pro gamer Fuudo. It was a real surprise years ago when that happened – good on Fuudo! I think the first time I encountered Yuka was at one of the Akihabara e-Sports square locals, I played against her for multiple sets in the SFV days, with my Platinum Zangief against her Mika. Her Mika was better than my Zangief for sure, and I was impressed with how she was able to hit confirm standing strong into EX Shooting Peach. Anyway, I’m also impressed with how she has been aggressive with her career – she has done interviews talking about how she really had to hustle early on in her career, talking about buying real estate in Tokyo, and she has been very open about how she is on the Asperger’s spectrum. She and Fuudo have a two year old son, and he was recently diagnosed with Asperger’s as well. This video talks about their son’s Asperger’s diagnosis (Japanese language) and how that has impacted their family. I watched it yesterday, and it was heart wrenching when Yuka said that she feels like it’s her fault that their son has this condition. I think it is important to talk about mental health and to be supportive of everyone. We’re all different, and we should try to support each other and help one another out – and certainly we can welcome everyone into the community to play games! In Japan people don’t usually talk openly about mental health, and I think it is really brave for Yuka and Fuudo to do that.

She’s also very active with the eSports team she founded, G-Star Gaming. They are a female gaming team, and I know Betty had one really hype match on Stream at EVO JP 2024. So, all that said, I was happy that I could catch a picture of Yuka supporting Fuudo in his pools. She always has cute hand-made fans (this one says “Do the Just Cool!”) to cheer him on. Yuka also entered the tournament, finishing in 769th place out of 5,089 with 3 wins and 2 losses (better than my 0-2!)

Candy Cabs on the main stage.

I sat down to watch the SF3: Third Strike finals. That game is really beautiful, and I’m really happy we still have people playing it in big profile tournaments. It was great seeing real candy cabs getting set up on stage, by none other than Matsuda-san, the owner of the Game Newton arcades. He is in charge of the tournament organization, and there are lots of people that are involved in organizing, and showed up to EVO to run brackets and make sure the logistics work because of him.

Interesting side story!

During the breaks in the action I checked out twitter, and lots of interesting things were going on. I thought this story about a junior high school student winning the Money Idol Exchange side tournament was great. I need to go back and watch that archive.

I didn’t get a chance to see Hiro to Hiro’s A.K.I. cosplay in person.

I did get a picture earlier with Hiro to Hiro’s A.K.I., and I also wanted to see SharpAt90‘s A.K.I., but never ran into her either. I totally see how you could just spend your entire EVO JP experience engrossed in the cosplay side of things – and I saw at least one or two photographers doing just that. Anyway, the picture above is great, one of the top A.K.I. players in the world getting real life level 3’d.

Watching some pools with friends.

There were lots of people watching SF6 pools. I ran into some friends and watched for a bit myself.

A real X68000 out in the wild.

I saw this guy – later I found out it was Pipipi – playing a fighting game on this real X68000 hardware. He’s got a YouTube channel and I’ve queued up a few things to watch from that. He’s got a Capcom Power Stick (apparently both MegaDrive and Super Famicom versions) connected up to that thing, and is playing SFXVI, an X68000 version of street fighter, and he does some development on it as well. Nice!

I did ask if I could take a picture, and got consent.

I also found this nice backpack. I want one! I think you can slip a tablet into the pocket and use it to play games, but I didn’t ask. I really need to work on engaging people for longer conversations.

Ryan is great.

I also want to echo this sentiment that Ryan put out on Day 2: things were incredibly well run at this EVO Japan. While there were some delays in KOF pools, that is the only negative thing I heard. Well, also complaints about the EVO Official merchandise selling out quick. There were also tweets from Daigo and Go-1 talking about how the tournament was well run, and the hardware was great too – set up to 120 FPS and nice audio (both Sony monitors and Sony headphones). I’m glad to see that people thought things were improved this year.

I finally got both tags for once.

I’m mostly spending my time watching games or in line for a booth, but those don’t make for good pictures. So it looks like I’m just chasing after cosplayers to get pictures, but that’s not the case! Anyway, I’m glad to get pictures with Chun-Li and Reina! Reina from Tekken 8 was really popular for cosplayers, I think I saw three or four different people cosplaying her.

I appreciated the in-theme groupings.

I was also happy to get this Street Fighter themed group – I felt bad for stopping them, but they were all great and I was able to get all their tags. I loved the Dictator Cammy outfit – that’s a deep cut!

Pajama mode Juri

Juri was also a popular character. I had seen on Twitter that Fightingramiko had been practicing to be able to do that pose – that’s amazing! I wish I had half that kind of flexibility.

Inami is great, she posts amazing Kung-Fu videos to twitter.

Inami was at the Mutekijian booth. If you haven’t seen her stuff, definitely check it out. She posts amazing Kung-fu videos replicating fighting game character moves and other stuff.

A great Marisa cosplay.

Marisa is a new character in Street Fighter 6, but is pretty popular. I like that she is a female big body character, and isn’t played just for laughs. She’s presented as both strong, and attractive. It’s great to see cosplayers showing their take on how to re-create her too!

I was at the last one of these!

At some point I saw that they were going to film a Harada’s Bar episode, so I sat down since there were only like 6 or 7 people there. I was in the front row, super close to the cosplayers and Harada (there were 3 cosplayer guests, Shino_cos as Eliza, and I don’t recall the other two). I didn’t take any pictures, and now wish I had. It was a nice 40 minute chat session. Harada signed one of the cardboard “Harada’s Bar” coasters, and I really should have said hello or asked him for something, but based on his “Don’t ask me for Shit!” t-shirt, I’ve just always been intimidated by him.

AnimeIlluminati after party

In the evening I went out to Akihabara for the AnimeIlluminati after party. I’ve never been able to make these before, either I was too late to register or I was busy volunteering / cleaning up the hardware to make it out. Since I didn’t have any obligations this time, I was able to make it (I signed up when Jiyuna announced it) and I’m glad I made it. There were lots of great people there, friends I’ve known for a while, and people I’ve only known from twitter.

Real proof of the Small World theory.

In a testament to the “It’s a small world” theory, I met Eugene who actually went to the same high school I did back in New Jersey. That just really blew my mind. Of course, by the time he went it was West Windsor Plainsboro North high school, when I was there we didn’t have a North / South split at all, but still. Absolutely crazy. It was lots of fun meeting and talking to all sorts of people – even super famous fighting game personalities – and even though I drank too much and got home too late, I’m very glad that I went.

Monday, Day 3

I started the day when I saw a post by Jeni about his crowdfunding campaign to go to EVO Las Vegas. It was long and interesting, so I translated it and made a blog post: Jeni’s crowdfunding campaign to go to EVO 2024.

I’ve got the Ky Kiske cologne too.

I thought it would be fun to use some of the Guilty Gear Sol Badguy cologne, so I did that, and then headed out. My plan for the final day was to just watch the finals. I came across a very funny post by Dogura, so I wrote a blog post / twitter thread on that: “Dogura Style” and Dogura’s advice to be careful at tournaments. I’m really glad I got my blog back up an running; I use twitter a lot (well, for fighting game stuff) but I really like having control over my own data. WIth a blog, even if twitter dies and all these embedded tweets disappear, I still have the bulk of the writing down, and I can always go and link in pictures from Flickr. If Flickr goes down though, I’m in trouble because I don’t want to pay for the massive amount of storage I would need to host my pictures on my VPS. Hard disk is very expensive for some reason.

Ibuki and Jin!

I saw Ibuki going nuts over Eddy, accompanied by a Jin. I asked to take their picture, and wanted to capture a shot of Ibuki looking intently at Eddy. It was great. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the Ibuki is @ryitaros, who I have followed for a long time because of her great fighting game cosplay. I should have asked Jin for his account too. I saw Ryitaros later in the day and she had changed into (I believe) Asuka from Tekken, I wish I had a chance to stop and tell her how I appreciate her cosplay, but again, I didn’t want to intrude.

I was free before the Guilty Gear finals, so I went and did another round of City of the Wolves, about an hour wait that time. It’s a good game!

I watched the Guilty Gear finals, and that was great. I skipped out on Tekken and went to the Qiddiya booth again to sit in more comfortable chairs. One complaint is that the folding chairs are tied together (to make sure the seating rows stay in place) and where I was sitting I was between two Americans, the chairs are a bit narrow. In previous years I had smaller people on either side, and didn’t notice it as much. Great matches in the Guilty Gear finals though, Tempest NYC really ripped through everyone.

Chocoblanka at the EVO Japan 2024 Victrix Booth
ChocoBlanka at the Victrix Booth

I stopped by the Victrix Booth and said hello to ChocoBlanka who was there. I’m really impressed with what she and Momochi have been able to do with Shinobism, giving talks around Japan about e-Sports, running a team that helps mentor younger players, and organizing offline and online events. Their streams are fun too, though I sometimes worry about the performative “couples arguments”. Always great to see Shinobism doing well!

I had some nice chats with people in the Qiddiya booth, and @tyler_island introduced himself and brought me a beer. That was very kind of him. He wasn’t the only person that recognized me and introduced themselves, I think maybe 6-10 people stopped me over the course of EVO JP and were appreciative of the information I collect about fighting game events going on in or around Tokyo. I really just decided a decade back that I wanted to make the information that I wish I had when I first started looking for things in Tokyo more accessible to English speakers, and I’m glad that people have found that useful.

Another one that stands out to me is Yuu, who is a big Itabashi Zangief fan (just like me!) and wanted to thank me for putting English subtitles on Itabashi Zangief’s YouTube videos – I just do the shorter edited videos. She has been using that to study English. I won’t comment on whether that’s a good way to do it or not, but I’m happy to see that it’s useful!

MenaRD wins EVO Japan 2024
MenaRD wins EVO Japan 2024 SF6.

I got situated for the SF6 finals, and really enjoyed that. One thing that I really appreciated compared to the previous year is that the air conditioning was great for the whole event, except for at the end of the SF6 finals. The place was just packed and people were super excited, it got a bit on the warm side. I was glad I had my fan that I picked up from the Mutekijikan booth. After things were done I decided to head home – I would have loved to meet up with people afterwards, but I had three days of late nights and early mornings, and work on Tuesday, so I got home at a reasonable hour (about 10pm I think).

Final Thoughts

On the way home!

I always enjoy EVO JP every time I’ve been. I would love to go to EVO Las Vegas, but I don’t think that is in the cards. It’s hard enough to get three days away from the family when I’m just riding the train four stops, I don’t see how I could swing a week in Las Vegas.

I enjoy volunteering to help run things and make a contribution to the community. I certainly won’t do that as a player, so helping run the logistics or whatever else I can do helps me feel more useful. There was a great bilingual help crew this year headed up by “Nihongo OK” @vayseth. I was glad I got a chance to chat with him as well.

The tournament was very well run, with maybe some hiccups on King of Fighters, but no major issues as far as I could tell. There were lots of things to do – on the second day there were casual stations, and a Bring Your Own Console section. The vendor booths had interesting stuff going on, the demos were popular, and I wish I had more time to spend at the EX-Arcadia booth where they had a bunch of their games. The location change was good in that they really addressed the air conditioning not working compared to Tokyo Big Site, and having food trucks outside was good too. The nearby Ariake Garden has lots of restaurants, and I made good use of the Aeon supermarket on the first floor.

It’s always fun to meet people that I just know from twitter, and watching high level play in person with a crowd that is excited is a lot more fun than watching alone at home. I’m looking forward to EVO Japan next year and Capcom Cup and Street Fighter League finals in Ryokoku Kokugikan is going to be amazing.

Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom! Please feel free to leave a comment!



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One response to “EVO Japan 2024”

  1. DR Avatar

    Man this looks like so much fun. Great write up~!

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