Gaming Bento Buffet

Explore the Japanese Gaming Culture and Gaming Anime

Konnichiwa minna! Many of us in the anime community are gamers and also love gaming anime. In this bento we look at weird games you can only get in Japan, explore gaming hotspots in Tokyo and Japan as well as places where gamers like to eat, we recommend a few gaming anime, listen to some game anime AMVs and discover what our anime challenge this month is. We are YOUR source of monthly Japanese and anime news and culture. Itadakimasu!!

Monthly News

Black Summoner reveals trailer

The upcoming anime, Black Summoner, is based on a series of Isekai light novels written by Doufu Mayoi and illustrated by Kurogin. It follows the adventures of a boy who wakes up in another world without remembering who he was in his previous life in Japan and adopts the name, Kelvin. Kelvin learns that he exchanged his memories of his previous life for high-level skills in magic and summoning, he dons black clothing and starts his new life as an adventurer, where he soon becomes known as … hey, why don’t you watch the anime or read the light novel and find out yourself!!!

Black Summoner’s cast includes Koki Uchiyama (Jujutsu Kaisen, Haikyu!!) as Kelvin, Manaka Iwami (Fruits Basket, To Your Eternity) as Efil, Reina Ueda (Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, SSSS.Gridman) as Melfina and Yume Miyamoto (SSSS.Gridman) as Rion. The anime will premiere in July.

Lucario promotes rajio taiso

In Japan, they practise a type of warm-up at schools or workplaces in the mornings called rajio taiso or radio callisthenics. It used to be commonly practised but then COVID-19 happened. To promote fitness Japan Post Insurance decided to partner up with everyone’s favourite Fighting/Steel-type Pokémon, Lucario to help everyone get their stretching exercises in and become more healthy.

Lucario is perfect for the job since he has the abilities of Steadfast or Inner Focus, precisely skills that school children need to nurture as they grow up. In the video down below we see Lucario’s ambassadorial inauguration ceremony, making it the ambassador for rajio taiso as well as a demonstration of rajio taiso Lucario held at Aoyama Gakuin Elementary School in Tokyo. Lucario plans to visit schools, participate in the award ceremony for the 9th National Elementary School Radio Calisthenics Contest over the summer, and a lot more to insure Japan’s youth become fitness aware and keep cultivating healthy lifestyles. Ganbatte, Lucario-san!

xxxHolic Live-Action movie!

The upcoming live-action movie adaptation of xxxHolic released a trailer video to whet our appetites. The trailer shows off the live-action exclusive character Akagumo

in the manga, Kimihiro Watanuki is a high school student that has been able to see supernatural entities his whole life and finds it disturbing. He accidentally finds a house where Yuuko Ichihara lives, a witch that grants wishes but they always have a price. When Watanuki asks her to remove his ability to see the supernatural she agrees but only if he pays by working for her (he becomes a cross between part-time cook, housekeeper and barman because Yuuko loves her sake). He is thrown into an awesome adventure, every day is abnormal in that house because she keeps on sending him on supernatural errands, which is ironic in the sense that to remove his ability he becomes more and more wrapped in the unseen world of ghosts, spirits and demons. He is luckily not alone in most of his quests as Watanuki’s love interest, Himawari Kunogi and a classmate whom he despises, Shizuka Domeki joins him in these adventures as per Yuuko’s request. XxxHolic is a supernatural drama with slice-of-life elements that draws from various superstitious tales and folklore, especially Japanese lore.

The new character exclusive to the live-action movie, Akagumo is played by Hayato Isomura (Atsushi Rendo in live-action Tokyo Revengers). Watanuki is portrayed by Ryunosuke Kamiki (live-action adaptations of March Comes in Like A Lion and Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable, Your Name’s male lead, Taki’s voice) Yuko will be played by Ko Shibasaki (Mitsuko Souma in Battle Royale). The movie is directed by Mika Ninagawa, (Netflix original series Followers) and Erika Yoshida (Lupin the Third: Part IV and Tower of God) is writing the script. The movie is scheduled to premiere in Japan on April 29.

Watch Dogs Manga!

Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs game franchise is getting a manga. Watch Dogs Tokyo, as the manga is called is going to be set in Tokyo and will debut in Japanese on April 12. It will feature the villainous Bloom Corporation from the Watch Dog games. The games have so far been set in Chicago, San Francisco and London. The new Manga series will be drawn by Kamo Syuhei (Gangsta: Cursed) and written by Shirato Seiichi and will be released on the KurageBunch website.

Manga Mogura RE shared a plot synopsis:

“It will be about a special new infrastructure system from a company called Bloom Japan used by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to change people’s lives. However this new system does in fact also harbour a great darkness.”

It is currently unknown if the manga will release an English version.

Disclaimer: The following game trailer has scenes of blood, intense violence and the use of drugs and alcohol. Viewer discretion is advised.

Only in Japan – Weird Video Game Edition

Japan is a gaming mecca offering a multitude of games but are you aware of the bizarre, weird and sometimes disturbing side of games in Japan. We take a look at a few games that may make you question the sanity of the game creator or your own…

LSD: Dream Emulator

In Japan, there is a walking simulator that can be seen as a trippy work of art – Asmik Ace Entertainment’s LSD: Dream Emulator. In it, you explore a series of first-person environments intended to make you feel like you are tripping on LSD. Rumour is that the game is based on the Asmik Ace Entertainment artist Hiroko Nishikawa’s dream dairies. The game has no real objective apart from wandering about confused. Our staff member ookami actually played it a few years back, and here are his thoughts on it:

“The game is trippy, it does not matter if you go to the same place in-game, it will be different each time, and sometimes the game surprises you with weird videos – from a video of Pigeons being pigeons to graveyards being well graveyards.”

Ingame, you just walk around but touching or walking into something may teleport you to a new environment, like one moment you are in a building and you touch a picture of the sea, but you are teleported to a desert, according to ookami’s experience. The game is a visual and audio experience that can be fun, but sometimes you wonder if Nishikawa is still sane because the ‘dreams’ go beyond reason. This game has a huge legacy as you can find many ‘clones’ based on it on the internet to download for free.

Seaman

The late Star Trek icon, Mr Spock aka Leonard Nimoy lent his beautiful brooding voice to this 1999 classic game, Seaman, produced by Dreamcast. It is a glorified pet simulator where, you, the players are the caretakers of a bizarre fish-man hybrid that looked as if it climbed out of a Salvador Dali or Hieronymous Bosch painting that is controlled with a microphone that was included with the game. The game was the creation of Yoot Saito, and was so popular that it even had a sequel on the PS2 in 2007.

Hatoful Boyfriend

If you love dating sims this game may appeal to you, it is about a teenager meeting and wooing amorous… birds. Will you find the bird of your dreams?

There are many games just as bizarre in Japan than these three we mentioned in this edition of Only in Japan, they can be fun, but they can be downright freaky too. We hope you enjoyed our look into the bizarre side of Japanese gaming. 

Links of The Month

As our research team worked on this month’s bento we came across a few useful sites. Ranker’s list of the best Anime Video Games of All Times made us remember some of the anime games we played throughout the years and also showed us what we missed. MMOBOMB also appeared on our radar with their list of the Best Free anime games for PC and browser, there are some great game titles and we played quite a number of them. Lastly, we found a great video of 40 of the best anime openings of the current anime season, many of them are on our own recommendations list for the spring season. 

The Best Anime Video Games Of All Time

Best Free Anime Games for PC and Browser in 2022!

Top 40 Anime Openings of Spring 2022 (Final Ver.)

Kakkoi Kulture: Exploring Japan's Gaming Culture

Japan has a blossoming gaming culture and there are a lot of places gamers can go shopping, eat explore at their heart’s content. These places are also the reason many gamers across the globe want to visit Japan. Japan is the birthplace of gaming icons like Mario, Sonic as well as Pokémon so here are a few places you can add to your bucket list if you are a gamer planning or dreaming to visit Japan.

Akihabara district

If you are a gamer that happens to get a chance to travel to Tokyo, you would be absolutely crazy if you miss the chance to travel to the Akihabara district. A multitude of stores in Akihabara is solely dedicated to gaming and gaming merchandise. Shops sell games, game consoles as well as accessories at unbeatable prices and lots of arcades to get lost in playing crane games and arcade games, rhythm games and more.

Square Enix Café

Just the name Square Enix is bound to catch someone’s attention because it is the company that breathes life to games such as the Final Fantasy franchise, the Kingdom Hearts franchise and Nier Automata and you’ll be happy to know there is a chain of cafes dedicated to everything Square Enix. In Tokyo, there are two branches of the Square Enix Café – in Akihabara and Shinjuku.

Pokémon Centers

Pokémon maniacs dream of catching them all and what better way to do it than at one of the Pokémon Centers all over Japan. You can find apparel, homeware, toys, Pikachu-themed chocolates or switch consoles, plushies and other lifestyle goods to make your house or room into your own Pokéheaven, and you can even play a Pokécard match or two there if you are lucky. At Tokyo’s branch you can chow down on Pokémon-themed food and drinks and the franchise mascot Pikachu himself will welcome you at the door.

Net cafes

In Japan, there are also Net Cafes, a refuge for gamers that offers game consoles, manga libraries, showers, private rooms… “Say what?” you may ask, thing is internet cafes in Japan is a whole new level of awesome. 

Free breakfast at net cafe
Japan’s Internet Cafe With Private Capsule Room

There are more places to explore that are gamer-friendly, Japan is quite a mecca for gamers that cater for all kinds of gaming enthusiasts. If you are a gamer, Japan’s THE visit destination for someone like you.

Recipe of the month: Gaming Restaurants

We continue our tour of places where gamers can go with restaurants where gamers can go to eat. Instead of the usual recipe of the month, we explore eating spots where you can treat your imagination with food from your favourite game. Some of the food in these videos look super yummy and it makes the gamer in you just itching to get over to Japan to try out that burger and drink inspired by your favourite NPC or monster.

Japanese Gaming Restaurants
Hunter's Bar- Monster Hunter Concept Cafe

Top Five Gaming Anime

Gaming anime is a very broad anime genre, some are about game developers, gamers in the real world, hikikomori trapped and shut-in or gamers that get trapped in a game world in an isekai twist. This month we bring you our selection of the best in Gaming anime and we include the rating from My Anime List so you can get an idea of just how high these anime scored on that anime platform. 

Welcome to the NHK Ranking 8.32
Recovery Of An MMO Junkie (Net-juu no Susume) Ranking 7.57
D-Frag! Ranking 7.53
Accel World Ranking 7.25
Sword Art Online Ranking of 7.20

We also bring you two extra recommendation videos one of a gaming anime movie and the other a gaming donghua as honourable mentions.

Summer Wars Ranking 8.05
Kings Avatar Ranking 7.91

AMV of the month: Game anime AMVs

We have some great amvs for you this month. First up we have scenes from the anime D-Frag! the song is Emptiness and the artists are One True God & Roniit,  our second video feature the ever-popular Sword Art Online featuring the talents of the band Fireflight with their song Unbreakable. Be sure to visit One True God and Fireflight’s YouTube channels too as they have some great music.

D-Frag!
Sword Art Online

Anime Challenge: Recovery Of An MMO Junkie (Net-juu no Susume)

Our challenge for May might be totally relatable to many of our fellow AnimeFanatiks that are both working stressful jobs and MMORPG gamers. The anime is Recovery Of An MMO Junkie (Net-juu no Susume). The anime is about 30-year-old Moriko Morioka, a successful but stressed office worker in a corporate capacity. She decides to quit her job, which she had for 11 years. She discovers MMORPGs and joins an online game called Fruits de Mer, and starts playing as the male hero ‘Hayashi’. Little does she know that somewhere in the same city a timid 28-year-old office worker named Yuuta Sakurai also joins the game with his Avatar Lily. Their new lives both in-game and IRL (in real life) begins, an adventurous journey we are bound to enjoy watching.

Recovery Of An MMO Junkie (Net-juu no Susume) is a manga series by Rin Kokuyō. In June 2018, Comico ended the manga due to Kokuyō’s failing health. The anime adaptation of the manga ran from October to December 2017 and was broadcasted on Tokyo MX and other stations across Japan. According to My Anime List, the anime’s score is 7.57, proving that it is a much-loved series.

Anime Birthday of the Month: Konno Yuuki (Sword Art Online season 2)

Our birthday girl of the month is Konno Yuuki, the tragic heroine from Sword Art Online. She was an avid gamer known as her handle Yuuki in games such as Serene Garden, «Asuka Empire», Insect Site, and ALfheim Online (ALO). We met her in the Mother’s Rosario side story and the Sisters’ Prayer side story in the Sword Art Online series. She was the younger sister of Konno Aiko and one of the three founders and the 2nd leader of the Sleeping Knights guild, a group of terminally ill patients who met in Serene Garden, a virtual hospice for the terminally ill, and played various virtual reality games as a form of palliative care.

After two years of visiting a variety of virtual worlds, Yuuki and her guild eventually arrived at ALfheim Online, where she became known as Absolute Sword due to winning sixty-seven consecutive duels on the street, including one against Kirito. She was also known for creating the eleven-hit Original Sword Skill named Mother’s Rosario in the game. She spent her last moments of life while logged on to ALO in Asuna’s arms, surrounded by her friends and more than a thousand other players. Her birth date was May 23rd 2010 and she died at age 15 on March 29, 2026.

She first appeared in the Sword Art Online light novel Volume 7, Chapter 3 in the Sisters’ Prayer Prologue, in the manga she appeared first in Mother’s Rosario Manga Stage.001 and in the anime in Sword Art Online II Episode 19. She also made an appearance in the game Hollow Fragment.