AROUNDERS TERRA BATTLE by Earthbound Papas

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I was lucky to view the concert from the front row, besides the small bunch in the center. <3

 

To celebrate the 1,000,000th download milemarker of Terra Battle, the new smartphone created by Sakaguchi Hironobu and his team at Mistwalker, the special mini-concert performed by Uematsu Nobuo and his Earthbound Papas band was held last night at the Apple Store in Omotesando, Tokyo.

Attendance to this event was completely free through the Apple Store Omotesando Website. All you had to do was reserve a ticket in advance, although they quickly “sold out”. Strangely enough, reservations became available before the previously announced time, which could be why I was able to get a ticket. I was extremely nervous whether or not my reservation went through because of this.

I arrived on site around 6:00pm, an hour before the concert was said to begin. I think there may have been a little miscommunication about this, though. Typically for any given concert, you will be informed on the time when you can enter the facility (会場 kaijou) and the time when the actual concert will begin (開演 kaien). My memory could be failing me about this, but I don’t think we were ever informed on the entrance time. Then again, it’s taking place in an actual Apple store, so they have to be open for business all day, so… xD

Anyway, those who reserved a ticket were directed to get into a line that stretched to the very back of the store. We only waited there for a couple minutes until meeting with a staff member to check your name with the master list of RSVPs. It was all very high tech, using iPads to enter names and sign in each individual. Very cool and handy!

When I was allowed to enter the reserved area, there was still a lot of open space, and I easily made my way to the front of the area. There was exactly enough space for one person at the very front, stage left. :D

As I settled in a little bit and managed to take off my jacket without bumping into the people beside me, I could enjoy the pre-concert tuning the band members conducted for at least the first 30 minutes after I arrived to my viewing space. They played many tunes only halfway, but there were at least two tunes that were played all the way through, one of which was Aeris’ Theme from FFVII.

After the sound check had concluded, the boys left the stage via the door stage right, just below the stage. Since this particular Apple store had all but one perimeter wall made out of glass, I noticed a couple of the boys walk outside and down the road for a quick breather. ^^

Anyway, as far as concerts go, the show itself was quite enjoyable with a rather subdued crowd. That’s what’s very interesting about many concerts in Japan–the majority of the crowd will listen quietly to a performance with very minor reactions. The largest movement the people in the crowd ever made was possibly bobbing one’s head in tune to the music. This is very common in Japan. It felt very strained to even “whoooo” during their entrance. xD

Since this was just a mini-concert, they were only able to perform a total of 7 songs. Here’s a brief look at each of the tracks:

1: [テラバトル] Terra Battle / Main Theme
2: [地平線を超えて] Beyond the Horizon / The Maker’s Beckoning
3: [戦いの波形] The Waves of Battle / Braving the Battle
4: [エアリスのテーマ] Aeris’ Theme (FFVII)
5: [剣と槍と弓と] Swords, Spears, and Bows / A Battle of Teamwork
6: [全てを賭けて] Risk it All / The World’s Awakening
7: The Man with the Machine Gun (FFVIII, Laguna’s Battle Theme)

I’m going on memory regarding the YouTube links to the tracks above, so please excuse me if I made any mistakes matching themes to the titles.

Once the concert had officially ended, Sakaguchi Hironobu walked on stage to thank everyone and also announce a very special occurrence of the day–> it was Uematsu-san’s birthday!! Yay! Sakaguchi-san handed him a large bouquet of flowers and Narita-san began playing Happy Birthday on the keyboard… but the crowd wasn’t able to enter into the song very promptly… but I tried to sing as loudly as I could. xD

Then all the boys left the stage area, and the host from the Apple store concluded the concert by asking people to not loiter around the exit. He was very clear in stating that this was THE END of the concert, as sometimes people tend to expect an encore. xD

Many, many people still hung around thereafter, taking photos of the boys cleaning up after the event, but I left rather quickly thereafter.

All-in-all, it was a great concert, and boy, did it go by quickly!! Their next concert will be held in Mexico in April. Safe travels, boys! I look forward to seeing your show again in Japan sometime!! <3

 

External Links


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Game Watch
SocialGameInfo
Aplista


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* I took all the photos on this page except for the one on the very top, which was actually taken by Fujioka Chihiro, the percussionist of the band that night, who took the photo after the soundcheck.

The Interviews: Yoko Taro

This is a really cute interview with Yoko Taro at The Interviews Website. A lot of what he says here is really comforting. I’ve had similar worries for quite a while… :/

Here is my translation. <3

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Good afternoon, Yoko-san. I’m currently working as a planner for a social networking game. Biologically speaking, I am a woman, so do you think it might be possible to get a hug? (heehee)

I have a question for you. After working in the gaming industry for five, ten years, was there anything that troubled you? Because at this point, I’m really worried about this. Along the way, I wanted to join a consumer-based company, and therefore joined the company I belong to now. (It may be horrible to say, but I joined this company with the thought of gaining knowledge and experience before attempting to get a job at the company I really wanted to work for).

I also thought about what sort of games I wanted to make, but after working my first job for two years and only dealing with things day-by-day, I feel like I’ve fallen into a sort of desperation.

Although this is the industry I wanted to enter and work in, right now I feel like my future and goals are so unstable; everything seems so fuzzy that my future seems pitch black. It’s really rough. How do you cope with these kind of feelings when you think of the future? Please tell us.

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Hello, I’m Yoko. Since this seems like a question about worries, it will be a challenge for me to answer this quickly.

First of all, about the first point: “After five, ten years, was there anything that troubled you?” I don’t often think about the long-term, so I don’t really know. As I’ve grown older, I hear people around me talk about things like “I wonder how many more games I can make before I die,” but I don’t really have such a vision.

So, lazy as I am, I’d like to give you four points to think about.

* The first point is “You can do it… maybe.”

I first started out as a CG designer. I wanted to make some really awesome CG! …or so I thought, but technicality and ability-wise, I wasn’t all that great, just going with the flow until I ended up as a game director.

In this sense, when you become an adult there have been many people who thought “This is different than I originally planned”. But, well, it still seems like everyone is happily living their lives. Many choices might pop up that you couldn’t possibly have imagined when you were younger, which can be enjoyed simply as they are.

Even if your future is different from what you imagined it to be, I don’t think it’s “pitch black”.

* Secondly, “your job should be what you want to do”.

I’m the sort of person who cannot do something that I don’t want to do. I was also horrible at studying for exams and filling out the paperwork for tax returns. Even when I became an adult, when I worked “a job that I didn’t want to do”, it was crazy how much my performance fell, and there were many times that I didn’t work at all for a week. No, I should stop that story here.

If you don’t work, you’ll starve and die. Since we can’t have that, you’ll have to do some sort of work. But if it’s not a “job you want to do”, nothing interests you.

Of course, it’s quite obvious that the world is not full of jobs that you might want to do. That’s why I tried so hard to change the “job I didn’t want to do” into a “job I wanted to do”.

I don’t mean to say that you should frantically tell yourself, “This job is so cool cool cool cool cool!” For example, you could incorporate some of the things that you want to do. If you like robots, you should make robots. If you like dark stories, then you should write dark stories. Stuff like that.

Many things have happened, I both succeeded and failed in this effort. My superiors got angry, and I got fired, well, it’s like old-time banjo. Simply to say the least, the process of the challenge for me was an enjoyable time.

A single lifetime is quite long, so we cannot continue breathing with just goals alone. You shouldn’t continue a job that you don’t want to do for a long time. You can either try to change the contents of the job or quit and start something new-—but in any case, it’s probably a good thing to actively try to change something.

* Thirdly, ……We’re only on the third point. Um, let’s see…… Oh, right. The third point is: “You are the protagonist.”

When you’re young, it may seem like the right path in life includes “going to a good school” and “joining a good company”, but this is merely the well-beaten path that some old people told us about.

Of course, that path may be the safest route to choose, but there are countless other paths you could take. If you’re suffering from not being able to see your future, then you need to find the right place where you can. You could change jobs, maybe your current job could improve, you could start your own business, or maybe you could get married and start a family.

Which path you take or what goal you arrive at is not important. It’s not about finding the correct path in this world but rather to set forth along your own path. If you fail, you can always go back and choose a different path. We only live about 80 years anyway. If you think there’s time to worry, then don’t you think it would be efficient to try out various other things?

And if that doesn’t work, then maybe it’s better to go out to a bar late at night, have a drink, eat some rice and ramen, and then try to fix things the following day. Maybe.

* Oh, shoot. I guess you tend to get long-winded the older you get.

This is the last point.

The fourth point I’d like to tell you is: “If you are a woman, then it’s OK to have a hug anytime.”

Thanks.

Source: The Interviews

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call (3/18)

New song downloads for March 18, 2015:

FFX-2: real Emotion (BMS)
SaGa 2: The End of Battle (BMS)
Romancing SaGa 3: Devil Lord Confrontation II (BMS)
Chrono Trigger: Boss Battle 2 (BMS)
Chrono Trigger: Corridors of Time (FMS)
Secret of Mana 3: Meridian Child (FMS)
Nier: Shadowlord (BMS)
Live A Live: The Bird Flies in the Sky, The Fish Swims in the River (FMS)

Source: Square Enix | Square Enix YouTube | Dengeki Online

YoRHa DVD – Review

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At long last, we’ve got the YoRHa DVD! I was looking forward to it ever since I went to see the stage play in person back in October. I’ve talked about the details of what’s included in this release before, so I won’t repeat myself on that again.

Instead, I’d like to share just a few thoughts I had while watching the DVD.

First off… I’m very disappointed. The video quality is so subpar, I am shocked that such a recording even exists. I haven’t seen video quality this bad since watching ancient .rm videos in the early 2000s. The video quality was also different when I played it on my Blu-ray player as opposed to on my computer. The quality on the Blu-ray player was obviously pixelated. I took the following photos with my iPhone to show the level of pixelation.

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And this is an example of the “zebra” type pixelation that was rampant in almost every frame when I played it on my computer.

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The picture overall looked cleaner when I played it on my computer, but the level of zebra striping was so frequent, it made watching the video at all very difficult.

I don’t understand how such bad quality would have been okayed to go into production. I ended up paying a total of 8,468yen for this DVD set to receive such a subpar item; I am very upset. I don’t have cash to just throw away like this, but that’s pretty much how I feel.

Yes, it was great to be able to see the play again–and I still think the Earth production was the best. The story, characters, music, etc. were really great, anyway.

Thou Shalt Not Die, Chapter 3 – English

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Hi, everybody! Here’s the new, 3rd chapter for the month of February! Please click the image above to read the chapter!

I wanted to get this out a couple of days ago, but the cold that I’ve had for over a week suddenly went nuts over the weekend and slowed me down. Sorry about that.

There were a couple points that I wanted to address about Chapter 2.

Some people were interested in or confused by the reversed text in some of the pages. This was not my idea. The original Japanese is exactly the same. The reasoning behind this is to allow the reader to understand the foreign language those characters are speaking–in this case, it was meant to be Portuguese. It took me a little while to realize this myself, but since the original manga did not offer any help in figuring this out, I didn’t feel the need to do so. There is some fun in solving a puzzle on your own, right?

Secondly, I heard some people were curious about some of the dialogue bubble text, how some of the text was enlarged and arranged in weird ways. Again, this was not my idea. The original Japanese basically did the same thing. I probably couldn’t duplicate the technique exactly the same, but I think it retains the original design well enough.

Thirdly, I heard some concerns about all the violence in this manga. I do understand it may be too much for some audiences, but I wanted to remind everyone about the origins of this manga. It is published in Square Enix’s monthly “Big GanGan” comic anthology. Big GanGan is the monthly and slightly toned down version of “Young Gangan”, a bi-weekly magazine specifically geared toward young men. Both of these publications have a good deal of violent material as well as sexy images of young women. So, given where the series is published, you should have a pretty good idea of what to expect in terms of subject matter–plus, it is yet another story idea by Yoko Taro. If you know nothing about him, I’d suggest reading a little bit about his previous works in the “Drakengard” and “Nier” series (both video games).

And lastly, for anyone who has a problem with the quality, style, or whatever about this production, I gladly welcome constructive criticism. Unfortunately, my desired audience is not the typical manga enthusiast but rather the fans of Yoko Taro and his works. This does not mean that I do not care about other readers. I certainly do, but as one, single person, there is only so much that I can do. I do not work on a team. I do this for the sheer pleasure of doing it. I learn a lot throughout its production, and although it’s a lot of work, it’s also a lot of fun!

So please be kind in your comments. I am doing my best, and if that’s not enough for you, I’m very sorry.

Take care and enjoy!

YoRHa – DVD Release Update

Although the announcement in Vol.03 of ILCA P@pper stated that the stage play “YoRHa” would be released on DVD today, February 28, there had been no information about where or how to purchase it until this tweet from Haruna Arai, the young actress who played Term B in the Earth cast:

But, lucky us! The site is now up and you can order the DVD here: yorha.com/dvd.

2 DVD disc set of Earth and Heaven casts, priced at 6,800yen*. Comes in a tall DVD case with B5 insert booklet. Orders can only be made within Japan as far as I can tell since payment is only accepted upon arrival (about 1 week).

* Total Break-down of Cost:

  • DVD: 6,800yen
  • Tax: 544yen
  • Shipping: 800yen
  • C.O.D. Fee: 324yen
  • TOTAL COST: 8,468yen

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