September 27, 2018

What might the Capcom SFV Arcade Cabinet mean for SFV in Japan?

Capcom announced that they would release an Arcade Cabinet Version of Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition at the Japan Premiere. The audience was super excited about it. I've been living in Japan for the past 12 years or so, and had some thoughts on the announcement. I've been a big fan of street fighter since I first ran into it at a local Pizza Shop in West Windsor, New Jersey, and played a lot of Champion Edition, Super, and Super Turbo through college. Then I went off to grad school, and doing a PhD took up a lot of time, so I didn't get to play much. I kind of missed SF3 more or less. I did have a summer internship in Japan where I played a bunch of Zero2 in the arcades, but I would only occasionally go down to China Town Faire in New York, and when I did I usually played Super Turbo. So I was out of the scene for a while.

When I moved to Japan, that was just when CapCom was running location tests for Street Fighter 4, and I went to one of those. It was great. I played a whole bunch online for years. I never knew about the scene there though because it isn't obvious how you are supposed to learn where all the action is at. I would just go to my local arcade after work, and play there. When Street Fighter V came out, I got that and played online. In the past two years though, I heard on the Jump In Podcast about the Akihabara eSports Square offline local, and I realized that I wish someone had gathered up information about locals and arcades in English. So I started to do that. I also started to write blog posts about offline events happening in Tokyo, hopefully to help others find out what is going on. As a Street Fighter fan living in Japan, I'd like speculate a bit about what this announcement might mean.


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September 26, 2018

2018 October and November Fighting Game Events in Tokyo

Previous: 2018 August and September Fighting Game Events in Tokyo | Next

Seems like I've gotten into the habit of tracking FGC offline events in the Tokyo area. This isn't a comprehensive list, but feel free to contact me if you want me to add anything.

Very generally:

  • On Tuesdays there is a DBFZ, Tekken7, and Soul Caliber event run by Jiyuna and MajinObama at Red Bull Gaming Sphere, Map. It is actually officially sponsored as well!
  • On Wednesdays SFV (Fighter's Crossover Akihabara – FCA is the event name) at Akihabara ESports Square (the place, Map) starting from 7pm.
  • On Thursdays there is usually a SFV event at Red Bull Gaming Sphere, Map
  • Studio Sky (Map) announced on 2018-09-14 that they will be an open esports space, and as part of that I'm not yet sure of their schedule.
  • Shot Bar Lucy has different events on different days, and usually on Friday night is an all-night event featuring various games (Map), Calendar.
  • The Plaza Capcom at Kichijoji (Map) has the Capcom eSPORTS Club which has free SFV setups, and often runs events.
  • Game Bar Cross-up in Umeda, Osaka (Map) usually does SFV on Tuesday, Guilty Gear and BlazBlue on Wednesday, and KOF14 on Thursday.

I don't really track free play events or tournaments at arcades - there are lots of them. maplejpca tells me that there is a free play UNIST every Friday night from 8pm to 10pm at Sega Nishi Shinjuku. The arcade scene is vibrant, and you are likely to find competition at any arcade, but some are more well known than others. You might want to check out

  • Mikado Arcade, Map Takadanobaba
  • Taito Station Shinjuku East Exit, Map
  • Various arcades in Akihabara, Club Sega, Hey!
  • Various shops in Akihabara like the retro game store Super Potato, Map
  • Play Spot Big One 2nd, Map. Out in Chiba, but good place for 3rd Strike or Melty Blood. (Thanks Arlieth!)
  • Game Newton, Map. Lots of ST setups.
  • Your Warehouse, Map Kawasaki (For the crazy design)

Todo:

  • Look up Walker Gaming schedule
read more (3295 words)

September 24, 2018

My comments on the 2018 Japan Premiere and Tokyo Game Show

I was a volunteer for the 2018 Japan Premiere, which was held at the Tokyo Game Show. I took a few pictures, and thought I would write up me experience here.

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September 23, 2018

A series of Momochi Tweets about the 2018 Japan Premiere

At this year’s Japan Premiere 2018 Momochi tweeted a bunch of interesting tweets. I’ve collected and translated them here. English after the embedded tweets.

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September 14, 2018

Studio Sky transforms into "Gaming Office Studio Sky"

2018-09-14 at about 2pm JST, Momochi announced that Studio Sky is undergoing a change.

Here is a rough translation.

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August 21, 2018

August 17, 2018

A report on the signing ceremony for the "Japan and Saudi Arabia eSports Match" agreement.

4gamer.net posted an article about a new Japan - Saudia Arabia eSports venture that will take place in January 2019. Ian Walker started an interesting twitter thread about the FGC and taking money from Saudi Arabia. I think he has a good point there, but since this is the second time I've seen someone talk about this article, I thought I would put up my translation here so people can see the source, and then talk a bit more about the implications.

My translation follows. As always, all mistakes are my own, I'm not a professional translator, etc. I haven't done any real editing on this, and it is a bit rough in places.

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July 26, 2018

Why would a 5th grade girl enter a Pro Gaming team? We ask her what she thinks about it.

Fugu here. I thought this was an interesting article, so I decided to translate it. The US equivalent school year might be either 5th or 6th grade. All errors are mine, I'm not a professional translator, constructive criticism is welcome. In interviews like these, the interviewer will often directly address the intervee by name, I might drop that to make for a more natural sounding interview at times. If I use "you", it will generally be ths subject of the interview, Honoka-san, unless it is clear from previous context. Please see the source article at inside-games.jp for a much nicer formatted version with nice pictures.
Momochi (left), Honoka-san (middle), Touru-san (right)

Momochi (left), Honoka-san (middle), Touru-san (right)

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July 25, 2018

2018 August and September Fighting Game Events in Tokyo

Previous: 2018 June and July Tokyo FGC Events| Next

Seems like I've gotten into the habit of tracking FGC offline events in the Tokyo area. This isn't a comprehensive list, but feel free to contact me if you want me to add anything.

Very generally:

  • On Tuesdays there is a DBFZ, Tekken7, and Soul Caliber event run by Jiyuna and MajinObama at Red Bull Gaming Sphere, Map. It is actually officially sponsored as well!
  • On Wednesdays SFV (Fighter's Crossover Akihabara – FCA is the event name) at Akihabara ESports Square (the place, Map) starting from 7pm.
  • On Thursdays there is usually a SFV event at Red Bull Gaming Sphere, Map
  • On Friday there is usually a SFV event at Studio Sky (Map). Studio Sky announced on 2018-09-14 that they will be an open esports space.
  • On Sunday there is usually a SFV event at Studio Sky (Map).
  • Shot Bar Lucy has different events on different days, and usually on Friday night is an all-night event featuring various games (Map), Calendar.
  • The Plaza Capcom at Kichijoji (Map) has the Capcom eSPORTS Club which has free SFV setups, and often runs events.
  • Game Bar Cross-up in Umeda, Osaka (Map) usually does SFV on Tuesday, Guilty Gear and BlazBlue on Wednesday, and KOF14 on Thursday.

I don't really track free play events or tournaments at arcades - there are lots of them. maplejpca tells me that there is a free play UNIST every Friday night from 8pm to 10pm at Sega Nishi Shinjuku. The arcade scene is vibrant, and you are likely to find competition at any arcade, but some are more well known than others. You might want to check out

  • Mikado Arcade, Map Takadanobaba
  • Taito Station Shinjuku East Exit, Map
  • Various arcades in Akihabara, Club Sega, Hey!
  • Various shops in Akihabara like the retro game store Super Potato, Map
  • Play Spot Big One 2nd, Map. Out in Chiba, but good place for 3rd Strike or Melty Blood. (Thanks Arlieth!)
  • Game Newton, Map. Lots of ST setups.
  • Your Warehouse, Map Kawasaki (For the crazy design)
read more (4433 words)

July 13, 2018

Capcom supports SFV as an eSports game in Japan

A note on word choice: I used the word "eSports" here a lot. People have strong feels about that word. I don't mind it so much, and I could just as happily write "popularizing fighting games" or something. I certainly don't think eSports means you need to wear a suit, I think you generally should always be respectful of people regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, age, or sexual orientation, but eSports probably does have more of a monetary aspect in it than the grass roots does.

I've noticed lately that Capcom Japan has been doing some good things to support SFV as an eSports vehicle. A lot of people are concerned that any eSports activity around fighting games should keep in mind the grassroots origins of the Fighting Game Community, and I agree that is important. I do think there is space for a variety of content around Fighting Games, and while I love the Open Tournament format, I also see room for other kinds of events and entertainment. I'll write a bit about some of what Capcom has been doing, which is decidedly on the eSports side of things, but I still think is good for fighting games, and the community at large.


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June 25, 2018

Yoshimoto Gaming BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle tournament

The tournament is Single elimination, First to Two, random stage. Loser can change characters.

VOD up on youtube, with top 8 beginning from 3:19:50. Teddy Bui had a great comment with the players and timestamps, which I used to put this together.

Koji KOG (Waldstein / Tager) was in the tournament, but lost just before Top 8. I always loved Koji KOG's T.Hawk, and I love that he's got the big body team in this game.

The commentary team says that all the people in top 8 are well known, but with my Street Fighter background, I don't recognize the names. :-( Before the top 8 everyone introduced themselves. Lots of people from the Kanto (Tokyo) area. Kubo is from Nagoya. Dojidoji says that he has enjoyed this game so much he only gets 3 hours of sleep a night. I was hoping they would talk about the rules for this top 8.

Before the finals

Top 8:

Results:

  • 5 Taro (Yu/Tager)
  • 5 Minami (Ruby/Es)
  • 5 ROW (Ruby/Carmine)
  • 5 Dojidoji Otoko (Yu/Hyde)
  • 4 Ho-Chan (Ruby/Jin)
  • 3 Makkoi 8-sei (Ruby/Gordeau)
  • 2 Senaru (Waldstein/Vatista)
  • 1 kubo (Hyde/Ruby)

Kubo received a Yoshimoto Gaming jersey (which he is obligated to wear at EVO - the website had some interesting information about the conditions, and that was one of them) and financial support to go to EVO. Kubo says that he plays other games as well, and will continue to play BBTAG and other games. Ozawa from Arc System Works gave a little speech afterwards too, and said that Kubo was very active in the Cross beta test period, thanking him for that. He says that the DLC released on the 19th was cleared to use at EVO, and thanks everyone for coming today.

The tournament was at Akihabara eSports Square, and Kagecchi helped organize it. I don't think he gets enough recognition outside Japan for the work that he does for the scene - he puts on the weekly Fighter's Crossver -Akihabara- locals, and often organizes other events, like the USF4 side tournament at 2018 EVO Japan. Please thank your local TO and go to your local tournaments!

June 23, 2018

Interview with Itabashi Zangief: You can't win just by "being good".

This interview is from entrenet.jp. Published on 2018-06-22. I could not find an attribution to the interviewer, but if you know who it is, please let me know and I'll update this post.

I'm an unabashed Itabashi Zangief fan, so I really enjoyed reading and translating this. I'm not a professional translator, and I take some liberties here, but I think the feel of the article comes across. The original article is formatted a bit better, but this gets the information across just fine.

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June 12, 2018

Sako and Ryuusei join FAV Gaming, and we talk to them about it

Sako and Ryuusei have joined FAV Gaming to start their fighting games division. This famitsu article has an interview with them, and I thought it would be fun to translate it.

Just a little bit of background information on G'z Brain: they are a publishin / web site / marking / consulting company that is most well known for publishing the Famitsu gaming magazine, and are part of the larger Kadokawa publishing family of businesses.

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May 27, 2018

About Japan's RAGE Street Fighter V All★Star League powered by Capcom

RAGE is running an "All Star" League for Street Fighter V in Japan this year. This post will talk a bit about what RAGE is, provide information in English about the event, and include links to streams. I'll keep the post updated with new information as I see it. Many of the source links will be in Japanese, but I'll note when there is an English link.


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May 13, 2018

2018 June and July Fighting Game Events

Previous: 2018 April and May Tokyo FGC Events | 2018 August and September Tokyo FGC Events

Seems like I've gotten into the habit of tracking FGC offline events in the Tokyo area. This isn't a comprehensive list, but feel free to contact me if you want me to add anything.

Very generally:

  • On Tuesdays there is often a DBFZ event run by Jiyuna and MajinObama at Red Bull Gaming Sphere, Map
  • On Wednesdays SFV (Fighter's Crossover Akihabara – FCA is the event name) at Akihabara ESports Square (the place, Map) starting from 7pm.
  • On Thursdays there is usually a SFV event at Red Bull Gaming Sphere, Map
  • On Friday there is usually a SFV event at Studio Sky (Map).
  • On Sunday there is usually a SFV event at Studio Sky (Map).
  • Shot Bar Lucy has different events on different days, and usually on Friday night is an all-night event featuring various games (Map).
  • The Plaza Capcom at Kichijoji (Map) has the Capcom eSPORTS Club which has free SFV setups, and often runs events.
  • Game Bar Cross-up in Umeda, Osaka (Map) usually does SFV on Tuesday, Guilty Gear and BlazBlue on Wednesday, and KOF14 on Thursday.
read more (4102 words)

May 2, 2018

Various things happening in Japan and Fighting Games

It is currently "Golden Week" in Japan - a time at the start of May when there are three to four National Holidays, so it is easy to take a day or two off and get a long vacation. All sorts of fun stuff happens during Golden Week, like it being almost impossible to get airline or shinkansen tickets, hotel reservations, or find any sort of place that isn't packed with people. In the Fighting Game community, a bunch of events are taking place (I track events I know about in a different blog post). I thought it would be useful to highlight a few of things that have been happening or will happen, and write a bit about them.

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Storm Kubo's post about Vietnam's Saigon Cup

Not too long after the Saigon Cup, Storum Kubo posted an entry on his blog about the trip. I thought it was fun, and have translated it. I am not a professional translator, just a regular old Street Fighter fan who has some familiarity with Japanese. I'll translate thinsg that I think are fun and put them here. I saw this and thought it was a very fun and funny look at Storm Kubo's trip to Vietnam, and helps you get an idea of his character a bit outside of the game. Original article on Storm Kubo's blog. Many thanks to Storm Kubo for giving me permission to do the translation.

read more (818 words)

April 14, 2018

What was EVO Japan aiming for? We ask steering committee president Hameko.

I saw this article about the goal of EVO Japan on twitter, and was interested. I've never been to EVO, and I was super excited for the chance to attend and volunteer at EVO Japan. One of my goals was to have a good time, help foreign attendees navigate the event, and share my love of both fighting games and Japan. So I'm curious to hear what the actual steering committee was thinking about. The article was written by Sawatari Masashi and published on the Alienware Zone Japan site.

As always, this is a personal translation, I'm not a professional translator, and any mistakes or misrepresentations are entirely my own.

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April 6, 2018

The Garcia Girls visit Japan

1 Arrival, 2018-03-27, Tokyo

Sunrise Express

On Tuesday, March 25th our cousins, the Garcia Girls, came for a visit to Japan. We often stay at their parents' place in Washington state when we visit, so we are super excited to show their kids around Japan. Their flight was supposed to arrive at about 5pm, but it was delayed by an hour and didn't get in until 6pm. When I asked them for the reason of the delay, I was pretty surprised: they had been in the air for almost an hour, then turned around. The airline said that they let off a sick passenger before they got going again. I've never seen such a thing happen myself.

I was happy that I recognized the girls, and they seemed to know who I was, so there's that. We headed down to the train station and waited in line to change in the vouchers for the JR Rail Pass. Anyone coming to Japan to visit should at least look into getting a JR Rail Pass. For about the price of a round trip Shinkansen ticket from Tokyo to Kyoto you can get a ticket that lets you ride JR trains for free, even including the Shinkansen (except for the fastest service, "Nozomi" trains, which sadly are also the most frequent). It is an amazing deal, which probably explains why we had to wait for about an hour to exchange the voucher. Once we did though, we were able to go to the Narita express and they could ride that for free.

We met up with Lisa and Alan, and then had Ramen for dinner.

We had a busy evening planned, although that was, to some degree, an accident. I knew that they left on the 24th, and told Lisa that is when they would get here, but of course the flight lands a day after it arrives. Since we were going to travel with them, we thought it would be fun to make it unique, and also do some things that we would enjoy. Alan really loves trains, so we made a reservation on the Izumo Sunrise Express, which is an overnight sleeper car train. They have various classes of service, and we reserved four individual berths. Each berth was super tiny - I could only stand up in the doorway, the rest of the berth was the bed, and my shoulder could almost touch each wall when in bed. It was longer than I was though, for which I was grateful. Lisa and Alan slept together - and the mechanics to get that to work must have been pretty difficult. She said she didn't get much sleep with all his moving around.

The Sunrise Express does have a shower on it, but you have to pre-purchase tickets for the shower from a vending machine. By the time we had settled in the tickets were sold out. Too bad. I hear that the showers are only six minutes long, but I'm sure the girls would have appreciated a shower after the long flight from Seattle. Sadly, they didn't get one.

I changed into the Yukata provided with the berth, prepared for bed, and then laid down. It was a strange feeling, trying to sleep on a moving train. We stopped every once in a while, and I realized that, but I feel like I got some refreshing sleep all the same.


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March 24, 2018

Fighting Game Events in Tokyo, 2018 April and May

Previous: 2018 February and March Fighting game events in Tokyo | Next: 2018 June and July Fighting Game events in Tokyo

Seems like I've gotten into the habit of tracking FGC offline events in the Tokyo area. This isn't a comprehensive list, but feel free to contact me if you want me to add anything.

Very generally:

  • On Tuesdays there is often a DBFZ event run by Jiyuna and MajinObama at Red Bull Gaming Sphere, Map
  • On Wednesdays SFV (Fighter's Crossover Akihabara – FCA is the event name) at Akihabara ESports Square (the place, Map) starting from 7pm.
  • On Friday there is usually a SFV event at Studio Sky (Map).
  • On Sunday there is usually a SFV event at Studio Sky (Map).
  • Shot Bar Lucy has different events on different days, and usually on Friday night is an all-night event featuring various games (Map).
  • The Plaza Capcom at Kichijoji (Map) has the Capcom eSPORTS Club which has free SFV setups, and often runs events.
  • Game Bar Cross-up in Umeda, Osaka (Map) usually does SFV on Tuesday, Guilty Gear and BlazBlue on Wednesday, and KOF14 on Thursday.
read more (3185 words)

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