This January 2018, Japan will see no less than 39 stores opening dedicated to the sublime series, Cardcaptor Sakura. It’s all part of the launch of the new Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card TV anime which will also be launching in January. Harajuku icon store, Kiddy Land, are the ones behind the new upcoming stores which will begin to open from January 8th, 2018.
After a relaxing 2 days soaking ourselves in an onsen, we zoom back to Tokyo courtesy of the shinkansen. No time to relax though as with 2 days to go in Japan, it’s all down to the shopping! We hit Harajuku first before getting some dinner in Shibuya followed by shopping then some dessert 🙂
For today’s adventures, we hit up Harajuku, land of shopping, crazy fashions, one of the busiest shopping streets ever and loads more. See what we got up to, what we were looking for and just how much shopping was done 🙂
Idols, J-Pop, Mirage Masters and Japanese locales, this game is on the fast track to becoming my favourite Wii U game so far. Let me tell you why.
Developer Atlus have crafted something really special in Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, splicing and skilfully blending two fan favourite series’ with Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem. The end result is something that shouldn’t work as well as it does but comes charging out of the gates and stands as a shining example to the dedicated team who know their stuff at Atlus.
The game revolves around evil entities known as Mirages and the people who can vanquish them, Mirage Masters. Humans with a Performa power harness this ability to use the good Mirages to battle against the evil Mirages. The beauty comes from having characters such as Tharja, Chrom and more from Fire Emblem to dish out the physical side of damage in battles. The Shin Megami Tensei element comes to the fore when your characters are using magic in battles.
The game features RPG elements in that after each battle, you can level up your character and abilities, although for the most part this plays out automatically without letting the player select which core abilities to upgrade. This is ok though as the characters maintain a nice balance throughout the adventure and never come across too overpowered.
Speaking of the battles, the battles play out in very Persona-like dungeon environments that are easy to navigate thanks to having a very handy map displayed on the Gamepad. The battles are fantastic and I found myself experimenting with different characters and their abilities in order to trigger the Session sequences. These sequences are basically where the fighters in your team jump into the fray after you attack, resulting in some very satisfying combos with some really cool animation scenes. There are some beautifully animated cut scenes as well, which help in giving the story a nice flow. They add a stunning anime style to the game as well.
And looking at the Gamepad, it’s also used to display text messages from other characters providing handy info and tips along the way. It also progresses the story along, adding a nice narrative element to the game. I’m around 10 hours into the game and thoroughly enjoying it. I’m a sucker for any game that faithfully recreates the streets and characteristics of Tokyo. I believe it really helps with the immersion into the game and also gives me nostalgic value when playing as well.
All in all, this game features some awesome character designs; beautiful anime cut scenes, stunning battles with well-choreographed animation. The soundtrack from the Avex Group is a standout with the composition being handled by Yoshiaki Fujisawa, previously responsible for Love Live!
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is a game that crafts an unforgettable experience with a couple of series’ that on their own are amazing and fun to play. Put them both in the same game and really, you couldn’t ask for more.
Thanks to Nintendo Australia for providing me with a copy to review and a copy for my recent giveaway as well.
Final score: 8/10
I’ve said this before but Japan LOVES their collaborations. Whether it’s anime x with a fast food outlet or something along those lines, there’s always something new coming out. Recently we heard of a new collaboration between the hit series, Attack On Titan, and Araiguma Rascal/Rascal the Raccoon, a popular and long running series on Japanese TV. This year marks the 40th anniversary of Rascal the Raccoon so the powers that be put their heads together for this joint venture.
On May 1st, a temporary store will open its doors selling Attack on Titan x Rascal the Raccoon items. The store will be opening in Harajuku (where else?) and will see items being sold with illustrations combining both series’.
The AoT characters seeing a crossover are Armin, Eren, Hange, Levi and Mikasa.
One of the amazing amazing quirky features of Japan would have to be the unique fashion sense. You see this replicated in popular culture in the West as well and in movies. One new fashion trend emerging now is a fusion between otaku elements from anime, manga, gaming plus more with the crazy cool fashion twist from Harajuku. The movement is gaining so much popularity that a store recently opened called Park Harajuku where you can nab some fashions for yourself.
Here’s a video hosted by Elleanor from TokyoFashion.com who recently featured in a new Crunchyroll show called Crunchyroll x Tokyo, catch it here.
The J-Pop Harajuku Kawaii Amabassador, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, is performing in Sydney, Australia on the 23rd of March as part of her current world tour. Japandaman HQ was lucky enough to snag a few minutes of her precious time for an interview which she graciously agreed to. Many thanks to Katey Smile for assistance with the questions, Handsome Tours and Angela Henley Publicity.
Japandaman: Are you excited to come to Australia?
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu: Yes very much! This will be my first time in Australia so I am very excited to meet local fans! I’ve never been to the Southern hemisphere so I am wondering if the climate is really opposite from what we have in Japan. Last but not least I would love to see sharks and koalas!
J: Who are your current influences?
KPP: I just love Katy Perry. Her cuteness is just perfect in every way. She is also a very humorous and kind person. Of course I respect her very much as an artist.
J: What is your favourite music video and song that you’ve released?
KPP: “Mottai-Nightland” video expresses the world of fantasy I love so much. On the other hand “Fashion Monster” is the very first video that I could express rock and the world’s quite different from the colourful popness like in other videos. Still it is very hard to pick which one is the best though.
J: What is your favourite costume that you’ve worn?
KPP: I love the Fashion Monster costume. I tend to wear quite colourful and ‘full of pop’ costumes but with Fashion Monster I wanted to challenge something rock and cool so I feel very attached to the costume.
J: Did you think you would end up being this successful when you started on You Tube?
KPP: I haven’t expected anything like this when I first uploaded the “PON PON PON” video on you tube. So I was honestly surprised to see the attention from overseas. I feel very fortunate that people find out about me on the Internet and they come see me on stage when I am touring their local cities for the first time.
J: Which artist would you like to collaborate with?
KPP: I cannot imagine to collaborate with anyone yet.
J: You have many fans that don’t speak Japanese but love your music, why do you think this is so?
KPP: I sing mostly in Japanese but the lyrics really don’t have a clear meaning. You can just enjoy the way it sounds. I think that’s why people enjoy my music even if they don’t speak Japanese or they are too young to understand the language.
J: How do you come up with the ideas for your clothes and music videos?
KPP: I get a lot of inspiration when I am going through the Internet. I pick up some pictures or videos I liked and I just talk with my stylist. Often our discussion starts with me drawing my images.
J: What else would you like to achieve through your music?
KPP: I want to achieve a lot of things through my music and fashion. Other than that I am not really interested. I just don’t want to be a jack-of-all-trades.
J: Outside of music, what’s next for you with your fashion projects?
KPP: I always want to design a costume like no one has ever seen. It is boring to keep doing the same things so I want to keep challenging new things.
Kyary, thank you so much for your time. We at Japandaman and all our readers appreciate it and wish you all the best with your world tour.
Here’s a quick TV spot featuring everyone’s favourite Harajuku J-Popper, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. The ad features the kawaii ambassador as a magic girl complete with flying broomstick and monkey mascot.
Bonus kawaii points if you can tell me what the song playing is?
The Harajuku Kawaii Amabassador, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, has taken the covers off of her latest PV and it’s quirky, features a polar bear and full of kawaii goodness!
The PV is for her new song, “Yume no Hajima Ring Ring”, which loosely translates as “The Dream’s Beginnring-Ring” and will also be the main track from her latest CD single which launches on the 26th of February. Enjoy the video below!
Everything is all good on the Kyary front for fans in Australia with the announcement that the Harajuku singer will doing a concert in Sydney in March. In fact, tickets went on sale today. But even better is news of her new single have started to emerge.
The track, “Yume no hajima-rinrin”, is being put together by the usual team of Yasutaka Nakata who are no strangers to the pop world helming projects for Perfume and capsule on a regular basis.
The single drops on February 26th as a physical release in the form of CD and a CD/DVD bundle with limited and regular releases as well.
M1：Yume no Hajima-Ring Ring
M3：Mottainai –extended mix-
M4：Yume no Hajima-Ring Ring –instrumental-
M5：Slo Mo –instrumental-
The track also doubles at the commercial song for the CHINTAI’s room rental search app which has a promo clip as well. You can see that below.