Early Game and Comic Gaiden: MCU

Magazine/Site: Continue
Date: 05/26/2021

COST visits the homes of a retro game freaks and talks about Famicom Manga!

Computer & comic love! MCU in da Continue!!

Earlyyyy! Oh yeah! Can I come over to your house and read your game manga?

Home Visit Guest: MCU (Kick the Can Crew)

Lone Woman Guest: Mari Haruki

Planning/Writing: COST, Ban Jackson, DJ Fukutake, Uchida Meijin

Start the Intervieeewww!

(Meijin) This is our location scouting for homes to visit of celebrities who love games! Granted, it’s a parody of a certain TV program.

(Ban) Congratulations on your marriage, Ariyoshi Hiroiki! …Something like that?

(Meijin) No, this just happens to overlap. But our guest has also appeared on that program, and our guest this time is…

(Fukutake) It’s MCU from Kick the Can Crew!

(Ban) MCU’s love of games was featured on the program Ariyoshi Hanseikai. But he lost a game competition against Takahashi Meijin and had to go through a “purification ceremony” where he wasn’t allowed to play any games for a full month.

(Meijin) And the final day of that is today. So I’m a bit worried that he might be weirdly stimulated…

(Fukutake) Well unlike that TV program, we’re going to be reading game manga. I’m even excited about MCU making his debut in Continue.

(Ban) Fukutake, you’ve formed a musical group with MCU called Bio Miracle. So it’s quite a coincidence that you’re both here for this.

Bio Miracle of course references the Famicom Disk System game Bio Miracle Boku tte Upa!

(Meijin) And what’s more, just like the TV program we keep mentioning, we also have a “lone woman guest!”

(Haruki) Hello, I’m Mari Haruki, and I’m a retro game streamer!

(Ban) On the show, that’s a very Miyuu Ikeda-like position. Why is it that you’re able to play retro games so enthusiastically despite being so young?

(Haruki) I grew up in a bit of a strict household, so the first game system I had was a Game Boy. But my friend had a Super Famicom, so when I went over there, I was able to play Super Bomberman and Tokimeki Memorial.

(Meijin) But you had a desire to have some home consoles too, right?

(Haruki) I always told myself that I would buy them when I could afford to on my own! Then I started working at a part-time job when the PlayStation 3 came out, so I bought the Super Famicom that I lusted after back then, because I really wanted to play Super Bomberman. That’s where it all began.

(Meijin) You bought a 16-year piece of hardware back in 2006!

(Haruki) From there I started looking into all sorts of game systems. So I bought a Famicom, and then the Mark III, the PC Engine, etc. I just kept on buying them.

(Fukutake) You can download and play retro games these days, so you’re unique in that you like to play these games on the original hardware.

(Haruki) I think that downloading them is fine. But for me, if I’m going to play them, I’d rather do it on the original hardware.

Haruki plays through many different games on her channel, but recently she’s been playing the new Rushing Beat Ran in honor of the upcoming new game in the series!

(Fukutake) So using the actual hardware is part of the fun. And that said, we’re almost at MCU’s house.

(Ban) Soon that room covered in games, that we’ve seen in so many videos, will be there before our eyes!

(Meijin) I’m a little bit nervous! Alright…hello, MCU!

To the Hyakujuu Kingdom

(MCU) Thanks for coming by. I’m honored to get some game related work on the last day of my purification ceremony.

(Meijin) I’ve been watching your videos during this period in which you can’t play games, and it comes through that you’re very on edge.

(MCU) I’m taking this unusually seriously. I figured it’s okay to turn these game consoles on if I don’t use them myself. It’s kind of like Mindseeker.

(Fukutake) But that’s a game about psychic powers! (Laughs)

Mindseeker on the Famicom

(Haruki) (Looking around the room) It’s a Sega Mark III! I never get tired of playing this thing!

(Ban) How long has this room looked this way?

(MCU) Probably for about 10 years. Though some of the stuff in here I had as far back as when I was living with my parents.

(Meijin) Is this a room specifically for your collection?

(MCU) I don’t have any games in here that I haven’t played, or merch from any game that I don’t know anything about. I don’t buy anything just because it’s new and popular. It’s more like I’ll buy it if I play it once and find it fun.

(Fukutake) It’s all from the viewpoint of a player.

(MCU) I don’t consider myself to be a collector. Because if you go down that road, there’s just no end to it. For me it’s not anything like “I want to collect Famicom games that have the boxes and manuals”, but more like “I want to surround myself with things that I like”. I have no interest in getting things that are only complete in box. I like all sorts of different things too, like anime and Sanrio. I guess it just feels like I really specialize in games.

(Ban) You have merch from Space Sheriff Gavan (Uchuu Keiji Gavan), after all. This room is packed full of things straight from a young boy’s heart.

(Fukutake) There are an amazing number of things here that are signed, as well. Even though they are just physical items, the fact that you have so many of them signed by the creators is proof that you really love games.

(Meijin) How does your family feel about this…?

(MCU) I’ve gotten a lot of game related work recently, so they don’t say too much about it. But since there are some things that I just keep buying, they do ask me what the deal is with that. And the biggest example of that is…

(Haruki) That would be the 628 copies of Mero! Pro Yakuyuu that they talked about on TV!

A song that MCU made specifically about how many copies of Mero! Pro Yakyuu he has called “Nanbon atte mo Komaranai” (“No matter how many copies I have, it doesn’t bother me”)

(MCU) And one of my obsessions is dressing up in ‘80s fashion when I play games. When I do that, I put on music from the ‘80s and ‘90s and turn down the lights.

(Fukutake) That makes it like the arcades of that time! (Laughs)

(Haruki) Atmosphere is important! I can’t help but wish I had an arcade cabinet though.

(MCU) My favorite titles to play on this one are Wardner and Argus. And I usually put on some Ryoko Hirosue…or whatever. Another thing I’ve been into lately is buying things that go with my Famicom cartridges and displaying them alongside the games.

Ryoko Hirosue’s second single “Daisuki!” from 1997

(Ban) You even have a copy of the original novel next to Yamamura Misa Suspense: Kyoto Hana no Misshitsu Satsujin Jiken!

(Fukutake) It’s like a concept display. Having fun just buying things just to display next to games as decorations is certainly the mark of an experienced person.

Early MCU!

(Meijin) Now, I’d like to ask MCU some questions about early manga and games. For starters, did you read CoroCoro Comic when you were a kid?

(MCU) I sure did. I loved Choujin Kintaman, Akanbe, and Ojama Yuurei-kun. Yuurei-kun was…kinda risqué. I read that one in private.

(Meijin) Which boys’ manga magazine was your favorite?

(MCU) Shounen Jump was the king, but I really liked Rumiko Takahashi, so I read Shounen Sunday.  There are a lot of titles I like in Shounen Sunday, even now.

(Meijin) What was the first game console that you ever bought? Certainly, it must have been the Famicom?

(MCU) I went with my parents to buy a Famicom when it first came out, but it was so popular that it was sold out everywhere. But since I was so obsessed with CoroCoro Comic, I absolutely had to bring home some game console that day. So…I ended up getting a Super Cassette Vision.

(Fukutake) It was Epoch’s home console that competed with Nintendo’s Famicom and Sega’s SG-1000.

(MCU) But if I’d just said “Eh, this one is fine”, I knew my parents probably would have told me to think it over first. So instead, I said “Oh, it’s a Super Cassette Vision! I really wanted this one more!”

(Fukutake) You pretended that you really thought that! (Laughs)

(MCU) It was a bit of a compromise. And sure enough, I was the only one in my class that had a Super Cassette Vision. Comic Bonbon didn’t talk about the Super Cassette Vision at all. But that’s why my longing for the Famicom is still so strong now. The reason that I still love video games so much is because of the way things were for me back then.

MCU has done quite a few videos on his favorite software for the Super Cassette Vision

(Meijin) Which game magazines did you read?

(MCU) The one that I always got was Game Boy (published by Magazine Box). And the reason for that is because they always had 2 to 3 pages dedicated to the Super Cassette Vision.

(Meijin) So your choice in magazines was even connected to the Super Cassette Vision!

(MCU) I even called Epoch because I wanted more information on the system. I finally bought a Famicom when I got into middle school, and the first game I got was Touch: Mystery of Triangle.

(Ban) Just as I’d expect from someone who read Shounen Sunday! But the game strayed pretty far from the source material, didn’t it. What did you think of it once you’d played it?

(MCU) Well I mean…it’s all I had to play! But I don’t think I ever beat it.

(Haruki) I finished it! If you can put aside that it’s related to Touch, it’s a pretty fun game!

(Ban) Given that he bought it because he liked Touch so much, he probably can’t do that! (Laughs)

(Haruki) If you think of it just as a game…

(MCU) Yeah, that’s true. Though I don’t really understand how item use works in it! (Laughs)

Famicom Dream

(Meijin) So the manga we’re going to be looking at together is a compiled volume of the famous Famiman!

(They all read it together)

(Meijin) Famicom Rocky is a volume that gathered up the previously uncompiled chapters.

(MCU) I was able to meet Asai Motoyuki, the author of this manga. I’m a member of Retro Consumer Aikoukai , but I did a live performance for one of their in-person events, and he was there. The way he included fake tricks that didn’t work in the actual games drove me nuts, though! (Laughs)

(Meijin) Famicom Fuuunji was published in a special separate volume.

(MCU) The best chapter was the one that featured a game that’s in my Famicom top 20: Pocket Zaurus: Juu Ouken no Nazo. I played that game a ton. The music was great, and I loved the fancy stationery.

(Meijin) I also selected two extra volumes from Takahashi Meijin Monogatari.

(MCU) Super Senshi Retsuden was really funny too. Takahashi Meijin was a really harsh instructor to Famicom obsessed boys in that comic, though obviously he was nothing like that in real life! (Laughs) But young boys took his advice surprisingly seriously back then.

(Fukutake) Takahashi Meijin was a hero to you back then, wasn’t he?

(MCU) He’s still a hero to me now, as you can see by the fact that I’m abiding by what he told me to do right now. Back then, Takahashi Meijin’s words were law. But thinking about it, Super Adventure Island was a little too fiddly! Wouldn’t that make Takahashi Meijin angry? In those comics it would have made him take a dump on top of a desk, or blow through a sign, or something.

(Ban) He’d probably be called an “ugly man” by the other characters, too.

(MCU) If I were made into that sort of a manga character, I’d have 10 pizzas that were all the same toppings anonymously delivered to the editorial department. And they’d all be teriyaki mayo.

(Haruki) That would sit in your stomach like a rock! (Laughs)

(Fukutake) On the other hand, Takahashi Meijin was a dependable big brother figure in CoroCoro’s Famicom Shounendan.

(MCU) That was so good! Mori Meijin and the Abe Corps even showed up. Famicom Star was in full force back then.

(Meijin) The 5 of them united to clear 10 games. I’d love to do the same thing with all the people that we have here today.

(Haruki) But it seems like we might fight over the game choices on that list! (Laughs)

(Note) In the manga, Mori Meijin determined the following pairs of games that a given player could end up with: Tower of Druaga x 2, The Goonies and Obake no Q-tarou, Spelunker and Super Mario Bros, or Bomberman and Kung-Fu. Mori Meijin himself played Challenger and Zunou Senkan Galg.

(MCU) I’d absolutely hate it if I ended up with Tower of Druaga x 2!

(Meijin) As far as the reason that was chosen…it was to potentially get the in-comic idol Yuka Izumi’s song “Famicom Dream” get made into an actual song.

(Ban) Even though the only established lyrics were the intro and outro.

(Fukutake) MCU could cover up the parts that are lacking! (Laughs)

(MCU) The first part is “A fairy is headed your way, riding on dreams. Flying forever”? That’s the first line in the manga, but I’d use it for the bridge. The outro is “In the light and wind that we run through; I rush with a cartridge in one hand. Famicom Dream” That could possibly be the hook. She does it as a duet with Takahashi Meijin, so we could have him sing that part, and then maybe have a rap after it…? (Laughs)

Games and Manga Are Awesome!

(MCU) Read manga together like this makes me see how serious and comical they can be…their use of Takahashi Meijin is really amazing. You can really feel just how big his heart is. But he did get famous for that, after all.

(Ban) That’s the same Takahashi Meijin that you had a video game battle with on Ariyoshi Hanseikai.

(MCU) It was an honor for me. I felt just like Mori Meijin.

(Meijin) And finally, we have a chapter of Konami Wai Wai World from a special volume of the Famiken Ryuu strategy guide manga.

(MCU) This is my favorite out of everything we’ve read today. It’s so awesome!

(Fukutake) What makes it so awesome?

(MCU) Ryuu goes into the video game world and turns into Konami Man! And then he fights enemies with all his might, he mourns when friends die…And amidst all these hard developments, you suddenly get some game PR lines that say “Imagine, you can enjoy everything from adventure to shooting games. Wai Wai World is awesome!” …What angle were they looking at this from, exactly? (Laughs)

Konami Wai Wai World on the Famicom

(Fukutake) The angle that wants you to suddenly start playing that game! (Laughs)

(MCU) Well, they sure got me. If you don’t do things like this well, I can’t get into it. But I’ve realized all over again just how great Ryuu is. I’ve cleared Wai Wai World, and the difficulty is just right. It’s a fun game that’s worth playing. You can enjoy everything from adventure shooting games, after all!

(Ban) Ahh, right to the point!

(MCU) I just thought I’d try to lighten the mood a bit.

(Meijin) That’s a rapper for you! To close things out, we’re going to be playing a game based on a manga with MCU! …Of course, I’m joking, because MCU still isn’t allowed to play video games. So Miss Haruki will be playing by herself instead. Now then Miss Haruki, which manga-based game would you recommend to MCU?

(Haruki) The game I chose is…Ranma ½: Aka Neko dan teki Hihou for the Super Famicom! A lot of the Ranma titles are fighting games, but this is the first Ranma RPG. You can turn into a man or woman with a kettle item, so it’s full of the essence of the source material. Among character RPGs, it’s very high quality. You can have a lot of fun with it even if you’re not familiar with Ranma!

Ranma 1/2 Aka Neko dan teki Hihou on the Super Famicom

(MCU) I really like Rumiko Takahashi’s work, and that includes Ranma.

(Haruki) Great! My favorite character is Shampoo!

(MCU) Same here. But I’ve only played the Ranma fighting games, so the choices are pretty grim.

(Haruki) It’s also not a very difficult game, so I hope you give it a try once you can play games again!

(MCU) Yeah, it looks fun! The characters and dialogue are big, so it doesn’t look like it would be too annoying. But…but the first game coming off this being an RPG might be a little rough! (Chuckles) I think I’d probably rather play something a bit more refreshing first! (Laughs)

That’s it for the interview! And in case you wanted to know, the first game MCU played was the Famicom version of Fantasy Zone!