Street Fighter News

Street Fighter is a franchise comprised of 3 movies, 2 anime series, 2 manga series
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It took me awhile to write and edit, but I have finally gotten my content all together and have wrapped up writing most of my experiences at this year's FanimeCon 2011 in San Jose, Califorina. In this first of two segments that highlights my four days of wandering around, taking photos, and interviewing people for this feature, I will discuss what I saw at FanimeCon cosplay-wise, from the basic cosplayers to the elaborate cosplays that left people standing there in amazement. In addition, I have two of the interviews that I conducted for this feature, as well as some cosplay photos that I took during my travels around the San Jose Convention Center over the four-day duration of FanimeCon. I hope that you enjoy reading this feature as much as I did writing about my experiences.

One of many awesome, elaborate cosplays that I came across at FanimeCon 2011 xD
One of many awesome, elaborate cosplays that I came across at FanimeCon 2011 xD

Introduction

This year, I was able to make the pilgrimage from my hometown of Chico, California down to San Jose for FanimeCon 2011, which ran from Thursday, May 27th until Monday, May 30th at the San Jose Convention Center in downtown San Jose. From the moment I first reached the Convention Center at roughly 11:30 AM Friday morning until I got on the 12:50 PM AMTRAK train back to Sacramento on Monday, I was amazed and thrilled to be surrounded by roughly 15,000 or more fellow anime/manga fans doing what they do best: partaking in four days of Con madness. I was surrounded by a horde of people, ranging from photographers to cosplayers to members of the media and everything in between as FanimeCon 2011 officially got underway at 2:00 PM Friday with the Opening Ceremonies. Armed with my 2009 Canon Rebel XSi D-SLR camera, a pair of 18-55mm and 55-250mm lenses, and two 8GB memory cards that could hold 1,350 images apiece, I set forth into the masses and began my 4-day adventure at FanimeCon 2011, taking cosplay images, conducting interviews, and helping my new friend (and fellow photographer) Sam Lau with his photoshoots outside of the Convention Center with dozens of cosplayers.

Two of the many Black Butler-related cosplays seen at FanimeCon 2011 (Grell and Ciel)
Two of the many Black Butler-related cosplays seen at FanimeCon 2011 (Grell and Ciel)

Cosplay at FanimeCon: From the Basic to the Amazing!

When I attended the opening day of FanimeCon 2010 last year (from 8 AM until 2:30 PM), I managed to walk around the Convention Center taking images of various cosplayers that were making the rounds of the area before I had to leave. This year, I decided to employ the same strategy that I had used for the 6 hours of the previous year, by making constant loops of the 1st floor, 2nd floor, and outside of the Convention Center, taking images of any cosplay that captured my attention or was worthy of being captured with my camera. This year, I began to notice after several hours that there were a ton of VOCALOID, One Piece, Black Butler, and various Final Fantasy cosplays (ranging from FFV all the way to FFXIII) at FanimeCon to behold, and they seemed to be the most popular series/franchises to cosplay as this year. I lost count of how many different cosplays from different series that I came across, but I am quite sure that it was quite a high number in the end. Some of the best cosplays that I came across were from the VOCALOID, Eureka 7, One Piece, Black Butler, Final Fantasy, Puella Magi Madoka★Magica, Code Geass, Street Fighter, Rozen Maiden, and other franchises that I could not name (not familiar with them)

One of the many cosplayers participating in a photoshoot (Cosplaying as Luka Megurine of the VOCALOID franchise)
One of the many cosplayers participating in a photoshoot (Cosplaying as Luka Megurine of the VOCALOID franchise)

In addition, the types of cosplay that I came across at FanimeCon were quite amazing, from the basic cosplays that new cosplayers or low-budget cosplayers donned for convention all the way to the elaborate, high budget cosplays that had photographers swarming them like flies, all trying to capture images of their amazing cosplay from whatever series/franchise it was from. There were dozens of scheduled cosplayer gatherings being held at FanimeCon, which allowed for a large number of cosplayers dressed as the characters of their favorite franchises to participate in mass photoshoots and to interact with each other under the leadership of the leader of their gathering. I managed to attend 5 gatherings (VOCALOID, Pokemon, K-ON!, Valve, and Black Butler) at FanimeCon this year, taking image of the large number of cosplayers that participated in each of their respective gatherings. One of the people that I managed to interview for my feature was the leader of the VOCALOID gathering that was held on Friday at 5:30 PM, and our brief interview is as follows:

Here is Chirstina, cosplaying as Hatsune Miku and leader of the VOCALOID gathering at FanimeCon 2011.
Here is Chirstina, cosplaying as Hatsune Miku and leader of the VOCALOID gathering at FanimeCon 2011.

ShadowKnight508: So, what got you into cosplaying at FanimeCon?

Christina: Just going to the convention and seeing the cosplays and like "That looks like fun!" *laughs*

ShadowKnight508: So, what got you into cosplaying as VOCALOID?

Christina: Um, I dunno...I just love Miku, she's a great character. Um, I'm not really sure...she is just like my favorite, so....*laughs*

ShadowKnight508: So, what was your budget and what was the effort needed for your cosplay?

Christina: Um...budget was about...I wanna say around $200+. Um, it was originally about...maybe I think $75 for the wig and like $80 for the cosplay itself plus shipping, so and then I added on props later, so that total is around $50 or so.

ShadowKnight508: Thanks for participating, Christina! Enjoy the rest of your Con!

Working with Sam Lau (Cosplay.com)

Around 2 PM on Friday afternoon at FanimeCon 2011, I came across a Sucker Punch photoshoot that featured a Babydoll and other cosplays from the film. As one of the cosplayers posed with a rifle on a bike, the wind began to swirl quite strongly, sending one of the reflector screens that one photographer had set up flying. I grabbed onto it and put it back in place, holding it still until he was finished. After the shoot was over, he introduced himself to me as Sam Lau, a photographer from Toronto, Canada who was attending FanimeCon 2011 to take images for his profile on Cosplay.com. I decided that he was a neat guy to hang around with, so I asked if I could become his assistant/partner for the day. He agreed, and from that point on, I was assisting him with his photoshoots for the remaining three days of the convention. We took many images as a team, with me assisting him in his shots by holding/angling the light reflecting screen or holding the screen with a Pocket Wizard-enabled flash for additional lighting. While he packed up after he had finished, I would take my quick shots of the subject and then proceed off with Sam to find the next cosplayer to shoot. We spent the most time with a Sailor Mercury cosplayer (Sailor Moon), taking her images at the fountains at the Cesar Chavez Memorial Park and in the one fancy area of the hotel that Sam was staying at.

His images (which turned out much better, due to his impressive Nikon camera and incredible lenses), can be found on Cosplay.com under Baron Karza, his profile name.

Over the 4 days we worked together, we took images of at least 60 different cosplayers, most of which had some stunning outfits or amazing props to go with their cosplay. Below are some of the many cosplay photos that I took at FanimeCon 2011 this year. The rest (meaning the other 150 or so) can be found on my DeviantArt profile (which will be linked down below the images):

Overall, my experience at FanimeCon 2011 was a great one, for spending almost four days engulfed by all things anime/manga with over 15,000 people is nothing short of epic. I took roughly 500 images at FanimeCon, with around 280 of them turning out to be the best of the bunch, so those 280 or so are being uploaded onto my DeviantArt account (around 70% of them are loaded up as we speak). In part two of my feature on my trip to FanimeCon 2011, I will post the other three interviews that I managed to conduct, more cosplay images, photos from several of the gatherings, my Con pass, the FanimeCon 2011 guidebook, and show the band of religious protestors that show up and heckled the con attendees (which led to some funny moments with cosplayers mocking them, horsing around them until the cops showed up, and ended with a Jesus cosplayer walking in front of their group, arms spread wide and looking towards the heavens as the crowds cheered him on).

ShadowKnight's DeviantArt Profile: http://www.shadowknight508.deviantart.com

*ShadowKnight508 is a frequent user of AnimeVice, with almost 24,000 Wiki points worth of work to his name and many blogs to his credit. You can find him watching anime, taking photos, gaming, or working on the Honey Blonde/Maid Bride wiki pages.*

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Straight from Japan, UDON Entertainment will be releasing a story based on the gaming era we all know and love. Street Fighter II characters assemble to tell us various stories in this 2-volume manga; Street Fighter: Gaiden.

The official UDON site announces: 

"Written and drawn by Mami Itou (Darkstalkers/Red Earth, ROBOT, Pilgrim Jäger), Street Fighter Gaiden spotlights the World Warriors’ adventures outside the tournament scene. The series is made up of short stories each devoted to a classic Street Fighter character. Fan-favorites like Ryu, Ken, Chun-li, and Guile each get their due, as do many other skilled fighters. Cammy teams up with Delta Red against the narcissistic Vega, T. Hawk has a desert showdown with Balrog, Fei-Long teaches everyone what it truly means to be a martial artist, and Ryu & Ken face off together against their deadliest rival – Akuma! "


Fans of this highly popular Capcon game are sure to enjoy this new book. It's two volumes containing stories about those characters we all love to control into jump-kicking. The first volume of Street Fighter: Gaiden will be in stores on November 24th, 2010 and the second volume is set to be released on January 2011.  
So, come November will you be buying this new manga?
 
-- Geo  (  sora_thekey ), long time user, blogger, wiki editor of the Whiskey Media Sites, and 24/7geek!  
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... Unsurpisingly
 
(via kotaku)
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BANG ZOOM! ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCES SPECIAL STREET FIGHTER EPISODE OF “MANGA MINUTES”

 

New Episode Coincides With Debut Of Capcom’s Street Fighter IV Video Game And Spotlights Related Manga And Anime On Popular Manga.com Web Site

 

Burbank, Calif. and New York, NY, March 16, 2009 – Bang Zoom! Entertainment, a leading full-service audio post production company and producer of original entertainment content, has produced a special new episode of “Manga Minutes” focusing on the popular Street Fighter video game, manga, and anime properties. Video game manufacturer Capcom recently released the highly anticipated Street Fighter IV, the next iteration of the genre-establishing fighting game series. This marks the first new video game entry announced for the property in nearly eight years, following the acclaimed Street Fighter III Third Strike. The Street Fighter episode is available at: www.manga.com/channels/manga-.

 

“Manga Minutes” is a fun, new web-based series that complements Manga Entertainment’s destination site, Manga.com.  “Manga Minutes,” which has been nominated for a 2009 Webby Award, features a unique blend of video, product-related information and other editorial content and offers fans a customized way to experience a wide range of manga and anime. “Manga Minutes” is hosted by Yoko and Rogue, a duo of lively, animated hosts and showcases reviews of anime, manga, and video games from a variety of publishers. Manga.Com is the official site of Manga Entertainment, a leading publisher of anime titles such as Ghost in the Shell, Astro Boy, Ninja Scroll, Blood: The Last Vampire, and many more.


Street Fighter revolutionized the fighting genre and created a global legacy since its debut over 20 years ago.
Street Fighter started a phenomenon in arcades in 1987 and went on to spawn several successful sequels that continue to be played. The massive popularity of the game further inspired a feature-length anime film, a live-action movie starring Jean Claude Van Damme, a manga series, and an array of trading cards and other collectables. 

 

“The massive international fan base for Street Fighter epitomizes the synergy between video games, anime, manga and film and the special feature on Manga Minutes gives a fun and informative look at how this unique game has impacted all these genres,” says Grant Luke, Capcom Sr. Product Marketing Manager.

 

“Licensed content from throughout the “Street Fighter” franchise has been amongst of the most successful in the broader Manga Entertainment library of content,” said David Katz, Executive Director, Digital Media for Starz Media’s Manga Entertainment. “We celebrate the release of Capcom’s ‘Street Fighter IV’ with this special ‘Manga Minutes,’ as well as special promotions we have on Facebook (“Street Fighter” wallpaper), YouTube (Street Fighter playlist on Manga Entertainment’s YouTube channel), and more at Manga.com.”

 

Street Fighter IV is the latest in the wildly popular franchise and promises to deliver an extraordinary experience that will re-introduce the world to the fast-paced action of virtual martial arts. Capcom brings 25 fighters, including the return of the original 12 World Warriors, Ryu, Chun-Li, and more. The characters and environments are rendered in stylized 3D computer graphics (CG), while the game is played in the classic Street Fighter 2D perspective with additional 3D camera flourishes. Mixing tried-and-true classic moves and techniques with all-new game play systems, Street Fighter IV brings a brand new fighting game to eager fans around the world.

 

Street Fighter has captivated millions of players around the world for more than two decades and the enduring popularity of the related anime and manga have prepped nearly two generations of fans for the debut of Street Fighter IV,” says Eric P. Sherman, President of Bang Zoom! Entertainment. “With plenty in store for the new game and lots of other related genres to explore there is plenty to get excited about in this latest Manga Minutes episode!”

 

 

About Capcom
Capcom is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment. Founded in 1983, the company has created world-renowned franchises including Resident Evil, Street Fighter, Mega Man, Breath of Fire, Devil May Cry and the Onimusha series. Headquartered in Osaka, Japan the company maintains operations in the U.S., United Kingdom, Germany, Tokyo, Korea and Hong Kong. More information about Capcom and its products can be found on the company’s web site at
www.capcom.com.

 

About Manga Entertainment

Manga Entertainment Ltd. is an entertainment company specializing in the production, marketing and distribution of Japanese animation for theatrical, television, Internet, DVD and home video release worldwide.  The Manga film library is marketed and distributed in the U.S. through Anchor Bay Entertainment.  The company is headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in London and Tokyo.  Manga Entertainment is a division of Starz Media LLC (www.starzmedia.com), a controlled subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation, attributed to Liberty Capital Group.

 

About Bang Zoom! Entertainment, Inc.

Headquartered in Burbank, California, Bang Zoom! Entertainment, Inc. is a leading and award winning full service audio post production studio working in the fields of feature films, television, electronic entertainment, anime and direct to home entertainment projects. Founded in 1993, Bang Zoom! Entertainment maintains operations in the U.S. with three buildings, six recording/mixing stages and a staff of just under 200 actors, writers, directors and technicians. Bang Zoom! Entertainment is committed to carrying out innovative projects that contribute to the promotion of global cultural awareness. More information about Bang Zoom! Entertainment and its products can be found on the company’s web site, which is located at www.bangzoomentertainment.com.

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I am going to do two episodes today of various lengths and one episode by Friday – so by next week Monday this aspect of this ongoing series will end so it will be picked up in a later date. Therefore, the next post of the Era of the Lost and Generic (these will be parts three and four) will be on here and Cartoon Electro so that the epilogue of that series will become either episode 6 or 7 of Virtuous Queen.

Before all this, we are going to take a short trip back to the 1970’s – remember last episode that 1970’s Japan was undergoing a conversion to the right (i.e. back to a monarchy) and those that stood against them (i.e. the counter cultural folk) were fighting back. The whole world was going through massive changes and to give you aspects of the worldwide view of these, there needs to be a time line of events. (Even though the era started around 1957 – 1965/66 are the years were it got started)

1965:

January 4 - U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaims his "Great Society" during his State of the Union Address.

January 26 - Anti-Hindi agitations break out in India, because of which Hindi does not get "National Language" status and remains one of the 23 official languages of India.

February 21 - Malcolm X is assassinated in Manhattan.

March 7 - Bloody Sunday: Some 200 Alabama State Troopers clash with 525 civil rights demonstrators in Selma, Alabama.

March 9 - The second attempt to march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, under the leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr., stops at the bridge that was the site of Bloody Sunday, to hold a prayer service and return to Selma, in obedience to a court restraining order. White supremacists beat up white Unitarian Universalist minister James J. Reeb later that day in Selma.

March 17 - In response to the events of March 7 and 9 in Selma, Alabama, President Johnson sends a bill to Congress that forms the basis for the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It is passed by the Senate May 26, the House July 10, and signed into law by President Johnson Aug. 6.

May 22 - The first skateboard championship is held. In addition, several hundred Vietnam War protestors in Berkeley, CA, march to the Draft Board again to burn more cards as well as Lyndon Johnson in effigy.

August 11 - The Watts Riots begin in Los Angeles, California.

1966:

March 26 - Demonstrations are held across the United States against the Vietnam War.

March 27 - In South Vietnam, 20,000 Buddhists march in demonstrations against the policies of the military government.

March 29 - The 23rd Communist Party Conference is held in the Soviet Union; Leonid Brezhnev demands that U.S. troops leave Vietnam, and announces that Chinese-Soviet relations are not satisfying.

May 15 - Tens of thousands of anti-war demonstrators again picket the White House, then rally at the Washington Monument.

May 16 - In New York City, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. makes his first public speech on the Vietnam War.

August 7 - Race riots occur in Lansing, Michigan.

August 16 - Vietnam War: The House Un-American Activities Committee starts investigating Americans who have aided the Viet Cong, with the intent to make these activities illegal. Anti-war demonstrators disrupt the meeting and 50 are arrested.

1967:

April 4 - Martin Luther King, Jr. denounces the Vietnam War during a religious service in New York City.

April 15 - Large demonstrations are held against the Vietnam War in New York City and San Francisco.

May 6 - Hong Kong 1967 riots: Clashes between striking workers and police kill 51 and injure 800.

July 12 - The Greek military regime strips 480 Greeks of their citizenship.

July 13 - The Newark, New Jersey race riots occur.

July 15 - The Detroit race riots occur.

July 23 - 12th Street Riot: In Detroit, Michigan, one of the worst riots in United States history begins on 12th Street in the predominantly African American inner city: 43 are killed, 342 injured and 1,400 buildings burned.

July 24 - During an official state visit to Canada, French President Charles de Gaulle declares to a crowd of over 100,000 in Montreal: Vive le Québec libre! (Long live free Quebec!). The statement, interpreted as support for Quebec independence, delights many Quebecers but angers the Canadian government and many English Canadians.

August 1 - Race riots in the United States spread to Washington, D.C..

September 17 - Jim Morrison and The Doors defy CBS censors on The Ed Sullivan Show, when Morrison sings the word "higher" from their #1 hit Light My Fire, despite having been asked not to.

September 18 - Love Is a Many Splendored Thing debuts on U.S. daytime television and is the first soap opera to deal with an interracial relationship. CBS censors find it too controversial and ask for it to be stopped, causing show creator Irna Phillips to quit.

October 8 - Guerrilla leader Che Guevara and his men are captured in Bolivia.

October 9 - Che Guevara is executed.

October 16 - Thirty-nine people, including singer-activist Joan Baez, are arrested in Oakland, California, for blocking the entrance of that city's military induction center.

October 30 - Hong Kong 1967 riots: British troops and Chinese demonstrators clash on the border of China and Hong Kong.

Vietnam War: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson holds a secret meeting with a group of the nation's most prestigious leaders ("the Wise Men") and asks them to suggest ways to unite the American people behind the war effort. They conclude that the American people should be given more optimistic reports on the progress of the war.

1968:

January 19 - At a White House conference on crime, singer and actress Eartha Kitt denounces the Vietnam War to Lady Bird Johnson while attending a "ladies' lunch".

February 8 - American civil rights movement: A civil rights protest staged at a white-only bowling alley in Orangeburg, South Carolina is broken up by highway patrolmen; 3 college students are killed.

February 11 - Border clashes take place between Israel and Jordan.

February 13 - Civil rights disturbances occur at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

March 8 - The first student protests spark the 1968 Polish political crisis.

March 12 - U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson edges out antiwar candidate Eugene J. McCarthy in the New Hampshire Democratic primary, a vote which highlights the deep divisions in the country, as well as the party, over Vietnam.

March 19–23 - Afrocentrism, Black power: Students at Howard University in Washington, D.C., signal a new era of militant student activism on college campuses in the U.S. Students stage rallies, protests and a 5-day sit-in, laying siege to the administration building, shutting down the university in protest over its ROTC program, and demanding a more Afrocentric curriculum.

March 21 - Vietnam War: In ongoing campus unrest, Howard University students protesting the Vietnam War, the ROTC program on campus and the draft, confront Gen. Lewis Hershey, then head of the U.S. Selective Service System, and as he attempts to deliver an address, shout him down with cries of "America is the Black man's battleground!"

March 22 - Daniel Cohn-Bendit ("Danny The Red") and 7 other students occupy the administrative offices of the University of Nanterre, setting in motion a chain of events that lead France to the brink of revolution in May.

March 31 - U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson announces he will not seek re-election.

April 4 - Martin Luther King, Jr. is shot dead at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. Riots erupt in major American cities for several days afterward.

April 11 - Josef Bachmann tries to assassinate Rudi Dutschke, leader of the left-wing movement (APO) in Germany, and tries to commit suicide afterwards, failing in both, although Dutschke dies of his brain injuries 11 years later.

April 11 - German left-wing students blockade the Springer Press HQ in Berlin and many are arrested (one of them Ulrike Meinhof).

April 11 - U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968.

April 23–30 - Vietnam War: Student protesters at Columbia University in New York City take over administration buildings and shut down the university (see main article Columbia University protests of 1968).

May - May of '68 is a symbol of the resistance of that generation. Agitations and strikes in Paris lead many youth to believe that a revolution is starting. Student and worker strikes, sometimes referred to as the French May, nearly bring down the French government.

May 17 - The Catonsville Nine enter the Selective Service offices in Catonsville, Maryland, take dozens of selective service draft records, and burn them with napalm as a protest against the Vietnam War.

June 5 - U.S. presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy is shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California by Sirhan Sirhan. Kennedy dies from his injuries the next day.

October 2 - Tlatelolco massacre: A student demonstration ends in a bloodbath at La Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Tlatelolco, Mexico City, Mexico, 10 days before the inauguration of the 1968 Summer Olympics.

October 5 - Police baton civil rights demonstrators in Derry, Northern Ireland, marking the beginning of The Troubles.

October 16 - In Mexico City, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, 2 black Americans competing in the Olympic 200-meter run, raise their arms in a black power salute after winning, respectively, the gold and bronze medals for 1st and 3rd place.

October 16 - Kingston, Jamaica is rocked by the Rodney Riots, provoked by the banning of Walter Rodney from the country.

1969:

April 9 - The Harvard University Administration Building is seized by close to 300 students, mostly members of the Students for a Democratic Society. Before the takeover ends, 45 will be injured and 184 arrested.

April 9 - Fermín Monasterio Pérez is killed by the ETA in Biscay, Spain, being the 4th victim in the name of Basque nationalism.

May 10 - Zip to Zap, a harbinger of the Woodstock Concert, ends with the dispersal and eviction of youth and young adults at Zap, North Dakota by the National Guard.

May 21 - Rosariazo: Civil unrest breaks out in Rosario, Argentina, following the death of a 15-year-old student.

June 18–22 - The National Convention of the Students for a Democratic Society, held in Chicago, collapses, and the Weatherman faction seizes control of the SDS National Office. Thereafter, any activity run from the National Office or bearing the name of SDS is Weatherman-controlled.

July 20 - Apollo program: The lunar module Eagle lands on the lunar surface. The world watches in awe as Neil Armstrong takes his historic first steps on the Moon.

July 24 - The Apollo 11 astronauts return from the first successful Moon landing, and are placed in biological isolation for several days, on the chance they may have brought back lunar germs. The airless lunar environment is later determined to preclude microscopic life.

August 9 - Members of a cult led by Charles Manson murder Sharon Tate, (who was 8 months pregnant), and her friends: Folgers coffee heiress Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, and Hollywood hairstylist Jay Sebring at Tate and husband Roman Polanski's home in Los Angeles, California. Steven Parent, leaving from a visit to the Polanskis' caretaker, is also killed. More than 100 stab wounds are found on the victims, except for Parent, who had been shot almost as soon as the Manson Family entered the property.

August 10 - The Manson Family kills Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, wealthy Los Angeles businesspeople.

August 15–18 - The Woodstock Festival is held in upstate New York, featuring some of the top rock musicians of the era.

December 6 - The Altamont Free Concert is held at the Altamont Speedway in northern California. Hosted by the Rolling Stones, it is an attempt at a "Woodstock West" and is best known for the uproar of violence that occurred. It is viewed by many as the "end of the sixties."

1970’s:

March 31 - Japan Airlines Flight 351, carrying 131 passengers and 7 crews from Tokyo to Fukuoka, is hijacked by Japanese Red Army members. All passengers are eventually freed.\

May 1 - Demonstrations against the trial of the New Haven Nine, Bobby Seale, and Ericka Huggins draw 12,000.

May 4 - Kent State shootings: Four students at Kent State University in Ohio are killed and 9 wounded by Ohio State National Guardsmen, at a protest against the incursion into Cambodia.

May 6 - Arms Crisis in the Republic of Ireland: Charles Haughey and Neil Blaney are dismissed as members of the Irish Government, due to accusations of their involvement in a plot to import arms for use by the Provisional IRA in Northern Ireland.

August 26–30 - The Isle of Wight Festival 1970 takes place on East Afton Farm off the coast of England. Some 600,000 people attend the largest rock festival of all time. Artists include Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Doors, Chicago, Richie Havens, John Sebastian, Joan Baez, Ten Years After, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Jethro Tull.


Japanese Counterculture: The Fleshbombs Second

That was just several aspects of life that the world went through – and where Gekjia was formed. One of big stars of the style and one of Japans most famous manga artists is Miyaya Kazuhiko. As the author of Manga Zombie states:

Miyaya was especially drawn to the image of the downtrodden loser, desperately trying to make a comeback. His fictional heroes and his real-life hero were losers in the end. Just like the Japanese Empire was the loser, in the end. For Miyaya, this was an integral part of the fascination. Like Mishima, he was spellbound by the titanic violence and energy of pre-war and wartime Japan. Like his hero, he searched for some way of focusing that energy and violence on the present day, and reviving it some form - if only on the page. In different ways, both of them paid the price for their delusions. The gekiga in the title of the series Nikudan Gekiga (Fleshbomb Gekiga) is a play on words meaning 'starving to death'. This may be a pointer to Miyaya's state of mind - he believed in illusions, but he knew at the same time that they could never be real. Just like pre-war Japan.

The style he employed was more towards a very graphic and loose model of human structure. His drawings of men were wrinkled, haggard. Strong in looks but weak in the whole structure of things. He borrowed a lot from the literary works of the that time, mostly from in Toyko and Osaka; from such men as Oe Kenzaburō, Haniya Yutaka, Mishima Yukio and Tsukamoto Kunio. Along with the Rolling Stones and John Cotrane his works brought the Gekiga style to a new era.

Manga Zombie author continues…

The savior of gekiga didn't have to wait long to gather a great many disciples around him. The core of the group consisted of artists who worked as his assistants before going independent - Sakaki Masaru and Hiroki Mafuyu. Other gekiga artists like Fukushima Masami and Nakajima Norihiro (both covered elsewhere) were not so directly affected by Miyaya's style, but they were certainly conscious of his work as they drew their own material. For a time, the mags were flooded with wannabe Miyayas. And for a time, Miyaya was up there with Tezuka Osamu, the revered 'god of manga' himself.

Just a side note – Tezuka did three important works during this time that set the stage for manga and anime to come. The first was Buddha. The second being Ode to Kerhetio, and the third was MW. One Anime that did air at this time that was partly from the Gekiga style was Marvelous Melmo – which in turn created a famous trick, the panty shot that is now a part of the whole aspect of the anime realm. Its still one of the most controversial anime series in recent memory – not since Evanglion in 1996 and others in the 2000’s (which lead up to Jikan’s editing in 2008) that there has been a backlash.

Nevertheless, even love can boom in the dark world:

Miyaya's work got a lot more political between 1969 and 1970. This shift was accompanied by a love affair with a woman called Nishiyama Naoe, and this was probably one reason for the change. For Naoe was the daughter of Nishiyama Kōki, a hardline right-winger who had major backroom influence in the political world. Japanese ultra-rightist groups form an underworld of their own, with their famous black 'sound trucks' as their most visible symbol. The trucks still ply the city streets, blaring propaganda and WWII marching songs - with the police turning a blind and fairly sympathetic eye. The movement's foot soldiers are a saddish mix of dropouts, nutcases and members of various downtrodden minorities, but the top brass live comfortable, well-connected lives. Nishiyama pere was one such man, the head of a group called the Shōwa Restoration Union - the idea being that the emperor should take all political power back again. There were lots of radicals before WWII who believed in this idea, and it was sometimes hard to tell the extreme right from the extreme left among them. In the post-war period too, writers like Mishima Yukio found inspiration and food for their obsessions in radical emperor-centered fantasies. It was fairly natural that Miyaya, who was smitten with Mishima, would fall for a woman with Nishiyama Naoe's connections.

However, the path of true love doesn't always run smooth. Naoe's father was incandescent with rage when he heard of the proposed match between his daughter and Miyaya. So, the pair was forced to elope to the large industrial city of Nagoya (think Pittsburgh) in February 1971. (Miyaya covered the story in his autobiographical Like a Rolling Stone (1969) and again in 'Live and Love' (Sirene, 1978). Happily, Nishiyama Senior soon bowed to the inevitable, and wedding bells rang out a few month later. The ceremony was lavish, and the tabloids had a field day. Headlines about the "Gekiga Artist Planning Revolution" and the "Right-wing Big-wig's Daughter" confirmed Miyaya's A-list enfant terrible status.

The marriage made Miyaya a stand out artist. Even some European countercultural magazines, covered the story (it was a part of a longer range based story on Japan’s changing dynamics)

However, as all artists go through – he headed into a slump:

Miyaya kept pushing the limits of the gekiga genre through the mid-seventies. But not all of these works sold well, and gradually he made his style more purely entertaining. This was to keep Naoe and himself in the style they were now accustomed to. One of the outcomes was the series 'Wrestling Circuit: Hell Version' (Puroresu Jikoku Hen), published in 1973 in the mag Gekiga Gendai. It was scripted by Kajiwara Ikki, his writing partner since 1968. As the title suggests, this is another behind-the-scenes look at pro wrestling, based on the life story of the villain Nikkei (ethnic Japanese) wrestler Great Togo. However, Kajiwara just couldn't seem to get the main character both right, and Miyaya bowed out of the series. Although the series continued with a fresh artist called Ishiwata Shūichi, it was eventually pulled.

Miyaya's comment on the failure of the project sounds pretty thin - that he was writing "gekiga for the hard core fans, not hit comics for the masses". This was not the only damage his career suffered around this time. Another series in the mag Gekiga Sunday, which had been developed as a masterpiece, was cut. The series, 'The Geocentric Theory' (Tendōsetsu), was a hardboiled story about a politician's bodyguard versus a right-wing gang out to assassinate his boss. One part of the plot acts as a chilling prophecy of real-life things to come: the gang plans to plant nerve agent on the bullet train. Twenty years later, the religious cult Aum Shinrikyō attacked the Tokyo subway system in the same way, using the nerve gas Sarin.

There is a concept in recent years and its becoming almost a quaint observation: Artist as Prophet. This is nothing new – Edgar Allen Poe did it in his last work, George Orwell did it in 1984, William Gibson in Necromancer. That is a study that must be looked at…

But Miyaya comes up with something big:

The gekiga genre entered its golden age in the late seventies. A string of artists found a forum for their highly experimental work in the youth-oriented Zōkan Young Comic, published by Shonen Gekiga-sha. They included Hirata Hiroshi, Sakaki Masaru, Suzuki Ryosei and Ishii Takashi. They also spread the good word about current underground American artists like Frazetta and Richard Corben. These were legendary times for hard core gekiga fans, who read manga like some kind of new bible.

Needless to say, the folk at Zōkan Young Comic followed Miyaya's career with close interest, and 'Wrestling Circuit: Hell Version' made a big impression. The magazine now gave him a chance to    break out of his ongoing slump by commissioning a three-series Fleshbomb project. The result was his masterpiece, which came out as 'Fleshbomb Life: Onizō's Story' (Nikudan Jinsei Onizō Hen), 'Fleshbomb Life: Resurrected Motherfuckin' Giants Baseball Team' (Nikudan Jinsei Fukkatsu Mamauri Giants) and 'The Fleshbomb Age' (Nikudan Jidai).

Part One - Onizō's story - is a wrestling adventure, but Miyaya's take on the sport is well ahead of its time. This was an age when pro wrestling had a large, fanatical and naïve following. By contrast, Miyaya was one of the first commentators to look at wrestling as a performance art, and to accept that the games were rigged as a matter of course. In a kind of high-octane version of Fight Club, a handsome but third-rate wrestler called Yashagami Ryūzō spends his time out of the ring taking on lions in a series of fights to the death. These underground bouts finally make a superstar of him. (In his looks and career, the hero weirdly foreshadows the real-life career of the wrestler Ōnita Atsushi.)

Speaking of which – there is a book that came out about 10 months ago – that dealt with Chris Benoit and what might have lead him to do the heinous acts he did. It talks about Japan as well, and boy – it’s really, really close to what Fleshbomb Life Onizo’s Story is about(there is another Wrestling manga and it gets really close – almost to the point of maybe the artist was a insider in the wrestling industry back then- to what this book was stating in the Japan side of Chris Benoit’s career). The book is called aptly: Ring of Hell by Matthew Randazzo V – and is available on Amazon and other bookstores of note.

Continued:

Part Two takes us into the world of baseball, hence the title Mamauri Giants - a pun on the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants. The hero, Donoue, is a pitcher (oddly resembling Giant Baba) with a serious problem: he's not confident about his looks or his abilities. This causes him serious problems on the field, until Yashigami Ryūzō - the hero of Part One - takes him in hand. Thanks to Ryūzō's mind control, the wimpy Donoue turns into a ferocious, straight-down-the-line winner, a champion worshipped like a god by the fans.

Indeed, the whole story has a rater trippy, religious feel to it. Ryūzō is an ex-wrestler now able to let his pent-up inner violence really rip; Donoue, as the story progresses, reaches the point where he takes on yakuza in hand-to-hand combat to the death. But when these ultra-violent scenes are being splashed across the page, we find inserts picturing Donoue's state of mind - with the pitcher floating in space, in yoga poses. This probably means that Donoue's mind is now approaching some sort of unity with the divine. But why is he in space? And why the yoga? Maybe it was just the drugs kicking in for Donoue (and Miyaya himself).

This lead into the biggest work Miyaya ever produced:

Part Three of the 'Fleshbomb Life' series was titled 'The Fleshbomb Age' (Nikudan Jidai). It's a form of nightmare, you could say - Miyaya's apocalyptic alternative rendering of Japan's twentieth century, in all its pulverizing violence. The story features a writer called 'M', who resembles Mishima Yukio in more ways than just the initial. He doesn't just look like Mishima. He also leads a fanatical private army much like Mishima's Shield Society - a group of muscular young men bedazzled by the author, who dolled them up in outrageous Captain Scarlet/SS-style uniforms. This time round, M is the mentor figure to a washed-up boxer called Takei Suteo. Under M's guidance he makes a miracle comeback, culminating in a bout against the former World Champion.

Meanwhile, M's private army kidnaps a gaggle of the nation's best and grayest politicians and financiers, forcing them into Tokyo's Budokan arena. There, they're forced to watch the fight of the century - a loser-dies gorefest between Takei and the World Champion. But why, why? M explains that the show is all about "giving some bollocks to a society that's descended to brown-nosing the impossible". Which straightens things up immensely.

One thing does become clear when the revels begin in the ring - Takei has surpassed his mentor to the nth degree. With his back to the wall, the only thing that can save the challenger is his iron will and honed-to-perfection physique. A final last-chance punch finds the champion's jaw, and he drops KO'd to the canvas! At the very same instant, Takei's life deserts him. He's given it his all.

The 'Fleshbomb Life' series brought Miyaya a second round of commercial success, and in this final installment you can see a return to his former radical, experimental style. In terms of his career this was a disaster, and he would later end up on the ropes himself because of it.

Aspects of battle scenes, dramatic endings and so on, were taken from this particular work – into the Kinnuman Anime – Dragon Ball Z, Fist of the North Star; multitudes of other Shohen/Seinen anime and  OVA’s. Those aspects later became integrated in later American series such as Gargoyles, The 1990’s versions of the Superman and Batman animated franchises, TMNT  2k3 and so on. They also entered the Video Game world, Via Devil May Cry, Street Fighter Series, Metal Gear Solid and Xenogears.

However, Miyaya got divorced. Naoe was out of his life. He became isolated and drew more manga dealing with it. He continued to write about his past – about the love that got away. He entered more and more into depression but still kept a reality. In the end he was left out:

For good or ill, the old radicalism of the sixties - with its heavy overtones of machismo - was on the way out. New critiques like postmodernism and feminism moved center-stage. What emerged from the wreckage was the otaku cult, trapped in the endless apocalypse of the everyday. The otaku set off on a vector away from the body and from heartache, in quest of the perfect fantasy image of safety: the pubescent computer-graphic idol. Left high and dry, the gekiga mags changed course or died. Such were the eighties.

Miyaya followed his own extremist path to the end of the line. However, his narcissism led him back toward himself. In addition, now he got there, he saw something that even he could not draw. The implosion was magnificent.

That is the story of the majority of the baby boomers who were in the artistic milieu. Many of them (after the 1970’s) imploded, while others made the 80’s an interesting time to behold. By the 90’s they were gaining power and making money hand over fist. A counterculture without them was no culture at all. They stopped it at its tracks. This is what pretty much happened to most of the artistic industries in that twenty-year period. It is a sad end.

But, maybe he has a little spark left:

Still Miyaya soldiers on in some unknown location, despite his divorce and rumors of his death. He has announced that he's still working, and storing up material for future publication. When I heard that, I was overjoyed in a simple, straightforward way. Hope at last for Fleshbomb gekiga! But at the same time I wondered why Miyaya has kept going in this extremely difficult genre. What is he going to draw now that Naoe's out of the picture?

This generation needs to hear it – now more than ever.

Next Up – Hell Boy to Death Note...and Ge Ge Ge... and other ghosts of note.

Until Then, this is

NovidAnon

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Here is a new version of a series of works I like to call Reality Series - something I do over at Cartoon Electro (The first of these is Star Ocean) its based on a Idea from the TV Tabloid "The Insider" in where on a 5 day period they focus on a certain topic (not on like newspapers used to do).
One reason I created this account (or should we say WE the unmentionable of the Internet) was because there is a certain culture - call it the ECW Mutants, or what have you that fall through the cracks of the society that through out most of its history has been in the hands of those who felt humanity were nothing more than cattle - now more than ever.

The whole mass of humanity got the first taste of Anime back in the early 60's - Through shows like Astro Boy, Gigantor and what not. But the whole counter culture life style of the United States was being felt all over the world, Paris was burning in 68, so was Italy - Britain was going through the mod era as most of asia was embroiled in war.

Japan, in the mean while - was going through one of its several counter cultural and sexual revolutions. (go buy the game Yakuza and play it to the end you will see what I mean), and from 1968 to 1981 the manga and anime business went through a time of immense change.

One of the major changes was a style called Gekiga, and its effect on both sides of the industry are still being felt today, but not in the way that certain critical scholars and authors believe it should be. 

In 2007, Comic Press posted parts of a book called Manga Zombie - the book took a look at artists that were at best mishandled by the leaders of the manga world. In this ongoing series, Virtuous Queen will take a look at the book, what effect these series had on others and why i think the Gekiga style needs and should be the corner stone of Anime and Manga...

Japanese Counterculture: The Fleshbombs 


These were the dark days son. The real shit. The good shit. The shit you missed out on. 

Or, not really missed out on because they live in different ways. 

In the 1970's there was an artist by the name of Fukushima Masami, and he created several manga - one called "The Rapist Monk" the other being "Slasher Nun" and one called "Saint Muscle". According to the author of Manga Zombie about "Slasher Nun" :

The Slasher Nun started life as the heroine of a picaresque tale of derring-do, set in the stirring days of the Meiji Period. This was a clamorous age between 1868 and 1912 when feudal Japan opened itself up to western influences, good bad and indifferent. The tale is set just north of Tokyo, in the yakuza mafia underground. The heroine, Onatsu, is abandoned by her Mafioso husband, who wants to further his nefarious career. Justifiably upset, she slashes him to death and, child in tow, embarks on a pious new career of her own - as the death-dealing Slasher Nun. The resulting heady brew graced the pages of the well-known artistic magazine Manga Comic, under the title Hitokiri Ama. (This work is technically classified as a gekiga, a hardboiled genre with higher production values and artistic input per page than a typical manga.)

However, this was just the beginning. A run-off version of the manga in book form takes things a stage further. Here, the Slasher Nun sports a three-fingered claw for a right hand, and comes from a hidden community of deformed villagers. 'Slasher Nun' is already developing what we have to hail as the Masami Touch: a forceful blend of disturbing women and grotesque villains, a twinning of beauty and cruelty. In his preface to the book, Fukushima declared: "I only went into manga to make money. The manga is all. The artist doesn't matter."

This nun, is a proto version of several recent series most especially Murder Princess

He also talks about "The Rapist Monk": 

The hero is a mysterious monk called Ryusui, battling the powers that be on a personal quest to break through to true Buddhism. He is Brother Ryusui, and always surrounded by many woman. Maybe he is practicing the Diamond Sutra in the true sense of the word. Because he justifies murder if it helps turn his ideals into reality.

Part I is set in the early 1800s. In Japan this was a decadent age. It was clear that the shogun's regime was starting to crumble. The monk Ryusui walks the land from one end to another spreading poison wherever he goes, in a study of the aesthetic of evil. When corrupt officials try to crush the people's sexual drives, Ryusui chants the Sutra of Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy - and sends the bad guys packing with his supernatural powers.

Part II is set in a prime nerve center of the Japanese erotic imagination - O-oku, or the shogun's harem, a strictly girls-only space (except for the shogun, of course) in the bowels of Edo Castle. Time has moved on, and the government is now in a state of ever-accelerating collapse. Ryusui makes his entry and takes the fight to the shogun's chief counselor Ii Naosuke. With the collusion of the grand harem mistress Himekoji, he kills the head counselor and seizes power behind the scenes. However, his real target is Edo Castle itself, and the shogun's court.

The plot now careers from (kind of) historically accurate to wild fantasy. Two real-life characters appear as fellow-conspirators against the shogun: Saigo Takamori, a fiery samurai radical, and Katsu Kaishū, the shogun's wily naval commander. Ryusui joins their grouping. (In western terms, this would be something along the lines of the Incredible Hulk teaming up with Jimmy Hoffa and the CIA to assassinate Kennedy.) And together, they do it! The shogunate is overthrown, and the way to a New Japan is opened. At which point Ryusui is confronted with a new enemy - a savage brain-sucking barbarian by the name of Boolliver. They fight. To the death. We last glimpse the victorious Ryusui disappearing into the flaming depths of Edo Castle...

Ryusui comes back to life for Part III, which is set in the late 1800s. Japan is now open and westernizing rapidly, which gives the hero a new set of opponents. Among them is the "Merchant of Death" Iwasaki Yataro, founder of Mitsubishi, and the real-life Scottish merchant Thomas Glover, who was on the scene in Nagasaki at the same time.

The finale sees Ryusui back in Tokyo, bent on overthrowing the government yet again. Crashing a waltz gathering of Japan's new elite at the Rokumeikan dance hall, he faces the ghost of the grand harem mistress Himekoji in the ultimate showdown...

The changeover from feudal to modern Japan was a real event, and a real revolution. The fictional character Ryusui's ultimate aim is to keep the cycle of revolution spinning until it hits anarchy. Hell opens up all around him on his journey through the story. But it doesn't feel like a tragedy - more like a heart-stopping dash through great danger to a new world. Created by some earthshaking, chaotic Power.

Sounds fun, dont it - remind you of something folks? 

To take a little aside the fleshbomb style never really went way - it was transmuted - from series like Muscle (Kininuman and Kiniuman Nisei which aired in the US as Ultimate Muscle) to Street Fighter - which used a lot of the Gekiga artistry in its very early ears, to the one manga every man should read - Berserk which is the last of the great Gekiga and that was influenced by Guin Saga, which is the Japanese version of the Conan series. The fleshbomb style is also seen in another great work called Fist of the North Star. Yall know that one. Yall should know that one. But these works were somewhat close but not as extreme (exceptions being Berserk and Fist of the North Star) to Slasher Nun, Saint Muscle or Prince Shotoku (which is very screwy because the whole work is almost a version of the Babylon story of Gigiamish) 

So, what happened to this man?

From 1978, Fukushima went into a severe slump. Even when his name appeared on magazine covers, there was no sign of his manga inside. Friends like the songwriter Nakanishi Rei held events like the Come On Fukushima! Party, but the creative juices just weren't flowing any more. He published a few works over the following years - 'Love-hate Sisters' (Aien Shimai) and 'Scorpion Nun' (Sasori Ama) - but they lacked his old power. Running in the magazine Young Comic, the series 'Isaac's Ark' (Isaku no Hakobune) was canceled in mid-series in 1980. This began a decade of silence for Fukushima, broken only in 1990 with the book 'Resurrection Crest' (Yomigaeru Monshō). Then the silence began again.

Such is fate. A Fleshbomb manga artist like Fukushima is pretty much bound for destruction. Drawing at the extremes he went to would warp anybody. But the manga scene without him has suffered a sharp, severe temperature drop. I first started searching for Fukushima in person in 1995. The night before I started I had a dream about him, covered in blood, screaming Pay me, if you want to know about me! I got as far as his ex-wife, a music teacher in Saitama (near Tokyo). She assured me that her ex-husband was on the verge of a comeback. I believed her, and the Fukushima Renaissance Cult was born at that moment. The mission: bringing back total manga, affirming the entire range of humanity, good and bad. It developed far beyond my imagination. As The Rapist Monk puts it "Extremism makes miracles".

But....

Just as I was screaming "Coooooooooome Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!" (in the 1997 edition of Manga Zombie) - whaddya know? A gaggle of publishers were thinking along the same lines. As a result, Ohta Publishing Co. brought out a reissue of 'Saint Muscle' to healthy sales. The following year, Suiseisha published my survey work Fringe Culture, which covered Fukushima Masami among others. So, interest in this artist was definitely on the rise again at this time - at least among a few offbeat sections of the media. When - gasp! - the maestro himself got in touch with Ohta Publishing, in July of 1998. Meaning I got to meet him, along with one of Ohta's editorial staff. Unfortunately, he never divulged the real reason he'd remained silent for over a decade. But he did let us know he was planning a comeback. (The interview was published in the magazine Quick Japan.)

Another Fukushima manga run by a Kodansha mag fared even worse. Comic Afternoon dropped 'Super-Citizen F' (Chō-shimin F) after a single episode. Fukushima just couldn't seem to take his chances and turn them into achievements. Why not? No doubt there are a million reasons, but the heart of the problem is that Fukushima couldn't produce anything to beat his earlier creations, like 'San Muscle' and 'The Rapist Monk'. His whole style changed after 1978 - more delicate lines, more female leads. He was trying to negate his earlier work, and if anything that was the ultimate cause of his repeated slumps afterwards. Violence and supermuscles were the whole essence of where his art was coming from.

He must have realized this himself, because 'The Rapist Monk Returns' (Nyohanbō Returns) marked a real comeback of his earlier style. The series made its abrupt appearance in Sasuperia, a porn mag not on sale in general bookstores. As the title suggests, 'The Rapist Monk Returns' follows the modern-day adventures of the resurrected hero Ryusui. The series got a lot of attention from people in the scene, but sadly the magazine itself failed to survive the year.

All is not doom and gloom in the Fukushima camp, however. The third reprint of 'San Muscle' came out at the end of 2006 to good reviews. And it seems to me that - at long last - Fukushima Masami has got a handle on what kind of work he should be drawing. As of now (2007), he's in the process of working up his next manga. I expect lots of supermuscles, lots of violence...

There are many others that followed his style - these series will take a look at time in the coming weeks and months. Until then - 

Novid Anon

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I did the GameSpot.com review for Street Fighter HD this week, and it’s safe to say that I freakin’ love this game. It’s gorgeous, sounds great and, well, it’s hella Street Fighter. The refinements are impressive, the slick online multiplayer still has me hooked (intruding on time I should be spending with other games), and the fights feel so, so, good.

People have been complaining about the $15 price tag, which I deliberately avoided mentioning in the review. The deluge of “expensive” games on Arcade and PSN have been getting a lot of unecessary flack lately, but I think that Braid, Castle Crashers, Penny Arcade and Street Fighter are all totally worth your money. Fifteen bones seems like a lot to ask, but I think that console gamers aren’t accustomed to spending that much on something that isn’t off of a retail shelf. Steam offers similarly priced games of comparable quality and I’m suckered in to them every time. And I love it.

It’s only $15. I make more than that in an hour at work, and if I can get a great game like Street Fighter or Castle Crashers for an hour of work, and then suck HOURS of fun out of it with my friends, that’s a steal. Even Braid, which was short and single-player-only, was worth the cash. In fact, I played it twice. I played it for review at Nukoda, and then again because I enjoyed the puzzles and art so much. I’ll never play Braid again, ever, but I absolutely got my money’s worth from Jon Blow’s mini-masterpiece, and I’d happily pay 20 or 30 for whatever he makes next, regardless of length. If your getting a game with lots of fun, a great look, or just general high quality, isn’t that enough to warrant a purchase? You could be playing and having a ball instead of moaning and complaining on forums and blogs about how you’re going to “vote with your dollars” and refuse to support such an outrageous release.

But the rest of us will be happily punching jaws and cutting cutesty knights with a little hole in our wallets, and a big batch of awesome on our hard drive.

Please play Street Fighter. I’ll play with you, if you want, but this is such an excellent remake that I am CRAVING more from Capcom. Bionic Commando is probably my favorite arcade game of the year that doesn’t have “HD Remix” in the title. Even 1942, as hand-hurting as it was, still entertained and impressed me. Capcom is on the right track and I’m dying for more. Vote with your dollars and donate cash in exchange for excellence.

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