The party that was the San Diego Comic-Con is over, and now it’s time for the J-List staff to rest and recuperate before heading back to Japan. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hi at the show!
The final day of Comic-Con is always a busy one, with hundreds of fans coming by for last-minute purchases at our booth or to chat with us about our products. When the show is finally over, though, it starts to get really sad in the cavernous San Diego Convention Center as everyone breaks down their booths (and zombie props), boxing everything up on palettes for transport to the next show. This year was extra sad, however, because my Twitter feed had alerted me that Nintendo president Satoru Iwata had lost his battle with cancer at the young age of just 55. Mr. Iwata was an amazing force behind gaming, helping to create many of the company’s most iconic works, from Kirby to hit Zelda and Mario titles to the Pokemon games and the DS and Wii, which more or less defined the childhoods of many reading this now. It was a very sad day for gaming, and we’ll all miss Mr. Iwata’s awesome contributions to our lives.
There are certain things we all know about the Japanese. They are always extremely polite and are also very hardworking, which frankly makes it a pleasure for me to run J-List every day. Another trademark of the Japanese is the famous difficulty they often have differentiating between L and R as used in English, which brings us such errors as a website my daughter frequents which features a button asking users to “crap!” if they like the content (they meant clap), or the time my wife asked for “gross lipstick” for Christmas (happily, we realized she was asking for gloss lipstick). The reason L and R are hard for the Japanese to differentiate is that they’re represented by the same sounds in Japanese, namely らりるれろ ra-ri-ru-re-ro, pronounced with a leading consonant that feels like a cross between a D, and L and an R. Just as the Japanese have difficulty with L and R, we gaijin mess up certain aspects of the Japanese language that are unfamiliar to us, for example long and short vowels, which are very important phonetically in Japanese but not so much in English. Another example is the word for “cold”: Japanese has two words, samui referring to coldness in the air, and tsumetai, which is coldness to the touch, and no matter how many years they study, foreigners will nearly always reach for the wrong word, it seems.
One of the most popular games at the summer convention was Starless, the gorgeous game from the creator of Bible Black, Sei Shoujo. The game is wonderful, exploring all manner of themes in a way that only this artist can, and the Limited Edition comes with a large Japan-style box and amazing artbooks that recreates all the art from the Japanese artbook, plus includes an interview with the artist in English. Order the game now, if you haven’t already!