Japanese Gaming Article in PiQ Magazine (the last issue)
  • Quick update: An article I wrote on tabletop gaming in Japan made it into this latest issue of PiQ ( http://piqmag.com/ ), the July/WALL*E issue.

    Unfortunately, the 4th issue will be the last. Too bad, the mag seemed pretty interesting: General geek culture, with directed interviews and the like (Mike Mignola interviews, inside info, etc). So while better than "just reading this stuff on the internet", it seems that it didn't have time to find its niche. Plus, it was created as a replacement to Newtype USA rather than its own thing, and apparently that crowd was disappointed about the lack of anime content. Too bad.

    But hey, I got promptly paid for my article, and they were a really great staff to work for. So I wish them the best if they move on to another venture.

    -+-+-+-+-+-

    Also, that's the kind of article that got me ramped up about writing about gaming in Japan. I started years ago for the comic release of "BASTARD!!" in the US, Jason Thompson(?)(then with Viz), a talented comic author and all-around cool guy, signed me up for a series of articles about RPGs and roleplaying in Japan, and that fired me up back in 2002-2003 or so.

    The only unfortunate thing about the situation was that, honestly, BASTARD!! is a worthless piece of shit. The first say 1-2 years of content (and the Anime!) are hardcore heavy metal fantasy awesome, starring a Fire Mage instead of a Hulky Barbarian type. But shortly thereafter, it hits the serialized manga mediocrity level pretty fast.

    The art is pretty, his concepts and art of angels, floating citadels, bloody battles and the like are fucking awesome and metal, even years into the book (on a lark, back in like 1996 I picked up the latest of the series, then "Graphic Novel #17 or #27 or something). But the manga became a platform for the author's Giant Tits Fetish, and that was that. The young maiden's (maidens', actually) boobs get ridiculously bigger (and more exposure time too!) over the months and years, until even 8-10 years ago the hardcore of the hardcore fans of the series from the beginning simply gave up, washing their hands of the mess, as the story simply made no more sense anymore, and wasn't even entertaining anymore.

    BUT, at least the first run of the comics were pretty decent for the first year or two of the material, and it went hand-in-hand with RPG stuff (because it was spawned out of classic D&D. And heavy metal music).

    I'm going to be writing more articles here as free time becomes available. And I've also lined up a podcast interview over at Yellow Menace (an awesome site BTW, check it out!). I'll drop the details when that goes live.
  • Bastard!! is what got me into anime and manga because I only knew the early tankuban and stuff. I was digging some of the tit fetish for a while but I had to give up. Even the old mailing list and fansite for Bastard!! I was a part of just plain crumbled. I may never realize why I wanted the Bastard!! board game.

    On a side note, I have all of the Bastard and Bakuen Campus Guardress LDs if anyone's interested.
  • Nice article!

    I ran out and got it right after I read your post.
  • I'm going to have to go buy this when I get a chance. I can actually use it for the introduction of my thesis project.

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