Browse Category: Fandom

Shit My Japanese Elementary School Students Are Into: Disney Tsum Tsum

DSC_0441

The Japanese branch of Disney is it’s own unique animal. More than one original character or product line has started here in Japan and moved back overseas after experiencing wild success. Duffy the Disney bear is one many will know. Duffy started off in the Tokyo Disney theme parks as a Japan-exclusive toy. His accompanying story book was also very Japanese. In his origin story, Duffy is made by Minnie to keep sailor/fisherman Mickey company at sea. Duffy was so effective at showing Minnie’s love for Mickey that, in the story, she ended up making one for everyone she loves. Hence, millions of Duffys in the park for sale to show Minnie’s love for you. And, while you’re at it, purchase some Disney costumes for him why don’t you! The anime spin off of Lilo and Stitch also brought us new siblings for Stitch in different cute colors. You couldn’t enter an arcade for years without seeing Stitch’s original Japanese companions.

Now, the progenitor is the Disney Store instead of Disneyland. Meet Disney Tsum Tsum: A series of plush toys with an accompanying smartphone game.

tsumutsumu-14

The above trailer is also the opening sequence for the game. Notice how it takes place in the Disney Store itself.

The title likely comes from the two verbs “Tsumu”, one meaning to pile up and the other meaning to gather. The adorable little hamster like Disney characters pile up and you must gather them by drawing lines between like-character faces in a manner similar to games like Tetris/Jewels/Candy Crush.

tsumutsumu-01

You start with Mickey as your hero character and can unlock other characters with earned game money as you play. Currently most of the main characters of the old Disney line up are available including Mickey, Minnie, Goofie, much of the cast of Bambi and most of Winnie the Pooh. Also, Perry the platypus. Because Perry has captured the hearts and minds of every little girl in my 6th grade class, somehow.

tsumutsumu-02

Lines of five or more characters earn “bombs” that eliminate the characters around them for extra points.

tsumutsumu-03

Get enough of your hero characters in a round and you can use their “skill”. Mickey’s skill is his hand. Anywhere the hand touches, points.

tsumutsumu-04

 

After one minute, the game is over. Perfect time for a kid’s attention span.

The obscene cute and short time frame of each round would make one think this is the shit with elementary school kids. And it is. But weirdly enough I’ve seen equal numbers of junior high and high school kids on the bus and train playing this on their smartphones as well. The reason is likely due to the account creation process. While most games ask for an email or Facebook login stateside, here in Japan the smartphone based social networking app “Line” is where it’s at. You need a Line account to play. Teenagers all have Line accounts as if they didn’t it would be social suicide. The end. I’d been resisting Line for ages. The last thing I thought I needed was another social networking app that I wouldn’t use. But, the Tsum Tsum toys at the Disney store were too cute to pass up. I caved. Well played Disney.

Speaking of which, the toys.

There have been three waves of characters in the past six months or so, but there are still more characters in the game than on store shelves. Slowly but surely they’re taking over all the Disney stores in the Tokyo area. I can’t wait until Olaf gets added! My Pooh is the cutest cute that ever cuted. The small size toys are about $5 in yen and thy go up from there.

Watch out America. If this comes stateside, you will be lost to the cute.

Sailor Moon Merchandise in the Wild, May 2014

The gachas are out now for the outers figure set. My favorites weren’t in this set, but I had to get one.  For science.

And the overall display in the Kiddyland in the Odaiba Venus Fort mall. While I was deciding which strap to use for my work ID, the ladies next to me had a whole conversation about didn’t you hear they’re making a new one of this? Oh, yes. I loved this when I was in school. Which one was your favorite? Oh, look they even have Saturn! So sweet.

Sailor Moon Merchandise in the Wild, April 2014 Edition

As the lead in to the new anime comes closer, the merchandise has picked up steam. This week everyone was in a tizzy over the Isetan Sailor Moon boutique. Honestly, most of that they sold was a little too plain for the prices they were charging. The $1,000 princess dress was good, but not that good. I would have indulged in one of the custom patterned dresses if they hadn’t been so small.

On a separate outing (to buy my boyfriend businesswear no less!) I spotted not one, not two, but three gashapon machines selling the Tuxedo Kamen figures. Right, now they are well stocked! Where was this tenacity for either of the two compact gashas?

Even better, Kiddy Land has a whole swath of merch out on display. It’s real! It’s really real!

But even greater, the stationary is up in the local shops. I might just see these on my students’ desks this year!

And the Peach John Catalog with the Sailor Moon lingerie is in the convenience store.

How wild will it get when the show actually airs!

Kaguya 12/16

Kaguya-hime Monogatari Pamphlet, Goods, and Review

Last month Kaguya-hime Monogatari came out in theatres and after a years long wait to see Ghibli’s take on The Bamboo Cutter’s Tale I wasn’t sure what to think. I first became aware of this popular Japanese legend many, many years ago as a tween because of Sailor Moon. This movie was not Sailor Moon. It wasn’t even really any version of The Bamboo Cutter’s Tale I’ve read.

The first half of this film beautiful. The watercolor artwork is gorgeous. Seeing the little Take no Ko raised by her elderly adoptive parents is sweet. Her playing in the mountains is adorable. It’s beautiful film magic for about half an hour or more. She makes babies cute even to a jaded elementary school teacher like me. But, when she moves to the city to take her place in society, the movie breaks down. Kaguya falls into despair over her restrictive society life and then leaves without even meeting the emperor. Instead, she lusts after a childhood friend and does not offer him immortality or anything. What’s all this! I left the theater feeling not at all resolved and a little sad.

I’m still singing her folk song, though. It’s an earworm of Totoro proportions.

The theater program book follows:

And, isolated pictures for your enjoyment:

Yamashiroya 5/9

Sailor Moon Merchandise in the Wild

I was lucky enough to day, it being a Saturday during fuyu yasumi one day after payday, and head into town to look for toys. I’d already ordered the best looking Sailor Moon merchandise from Bandai directly, but it’s just so exciting to see something I’ve adored for so long have it’s time in the spotlight again.

My first stop was Yamashiroya in Ueno. I’d seen shots on Twitter of their Sailor Moon display and sure enough just in front of the register on a middle floor was a full display of stationary, figures, nail art, plushes, and even a few items from the PGSM days. Next, it was on to Akihabara. The official website for the new Sailor Moon gachapon toys lists Yodobashi Camera stores as being a guaranteed sellers of the three new lines. But, the wand charms set for sale during the last half of December were already sold out. Boo. They still had displays of the figurines up, though.  Getting the henshin compacts when they come out in January is going to be a challenge… Unless I buy online.

I also came across two displays of Sailor Moon merch by accident. There was a full display of the Creer Beaute make-up line in the Akihabara Station drug store. And, along Chuo Dori there was a comic shop advertising they had the new, reprinted Sailor Moon manga. Our girl is back!

Nakayoshi Postcard Front

Sailor Moon Postcard in Nakayoshi January 2014 Issue

Nakayoshi January 2014
Nakayoshi January 2014

The official Sailor Moon website advertised that this upcoming issue of Nakayoshi, the manga magazine that originally published Sailor Moon in the 1990’s, would have a Sailor Moon related thing in it. It’s just a postcard, though. Silly, really. I almost forgot to post it. Fun tidbit though: When I bought the Nakayoshi a little girl about 8 years old was in the book store and bought the same issue. She was tickled pink that a grown up foreign lady was interested in the same things as her. I bet she felt super grown up in that moment. VEry sweet.

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Stationary Unboxing

sailormoonstationary-19

 

I got my Sailor Moon stationary! Of all the merch coming out for the 20th anniversary, this is the stuff that has got me most excited so far. There’s just something sleek about it. The pointer is the best and I wish I still have the time and money to cosplay because of it. The pen is too cute and I don’t want to use it yet. The brooch postits are like velum, but the packaging is so adorable. The brooch notepad will get used immediately. The paperclips are heavy duty. The small item containers are actually rather cheaply made. And, the stickers are just to cute for my smartphone. Photos below.