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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Video Game Encourages You To Shoot AKB48 J-Pop Girls

If you have ever been so distraught with the state of Japanese music's J-Pop, and particularly cutie-pie girl group AKB48, that you have wanted to pick up a gun and go on a shooting rampage - good news. Now you can. Sort of.

Though, while I sympathize with your feelings of disgust with J-Pop, your feelings of rage are misplaced, and you should talk to someone in a professional capacity.

For the rest of you…

At video arcades in Japan starting in April of 2014, you will be afforded the opportunity to rid yourself of teen angst or the opportunity to play the hero with a new stand-up coin-op video game called Sailor Zombie AKB48 Edition.

This is a video game that encourages the player to shoot members of the Japanese girl pop group (J-Pop) AKB48 in the face with a gun. It's not a real gun, though.

Plus… you are shooting them to save them. Or, if you hate J-Pop, you are shooting everything else and dooming them to an unpleasant fate where the girls are full-blown zombies.
We wear white to show our purity. A few members of AKB48 who might be over 21 channeling the spirit of Al Jolson.
Here's a primer:
  1. AKB48 is female pop group - many of them jailbait in age - that is best described as more sizzle than steak, but is still one of Japan's most popular musical groups out there, with an ever-expanding and ever revolving door of members. All of them are super cute/sexy, a designation I apply depending on the legalities of their age. They are the world's largest musical pop group, by members. I think.
  2. As of November 2013, the group has 89 members, whose ages range from early teens to mid-20s.
  3. AKB48 is named after Akihabara in Tokyo where the group's theater is located. 
  4. The idea of AKB48's producer Akimoto Yasushi (surname first) was to manufacture a girl group that (unlike a regular Japanese pop group that gives occasional concerts and that is mostly seen on television), would have its own theater and perform there on a daily basis; the fans would always be able to go and see the girls live.
  5. In the Sailor Zombie AKB48 Edition video game, there are seven members of the AKB48 group who are 3D-rendered as zombies, whose job in the game is to eat your brains. That's all they want to wrap their lips around no matter what you are hoping for.Your job in the video game is to take aim at the zombie girls and shoot them in the head with a gun.
  6. The gun actually contains a serum or vaccine which will cure the victims of their zombification. It will turn them back into pretty girls who in real life will not talk to you. You should bring them flowers. Read THIS.
  7. The seven members of AKB48 in the video game are the real-life (surname first): Oshima Yuko, Watanabe Mayu, Kashiwagi Yuki, Kawaei Rina, Iriyama Anna, Kojima Mako, and Nishino Miki. The video girls have a zombie skin complexion, but have the bods of the real-life singers.
  8. The seven zombie girls are all dressed up in sailor outfits… which I take it to mean they are dressed up to look like Sailor Moon - or perhaps like Donald Duck. You will recall that Donald doesn't wear pants, showing his tail feathers to anyone who wants to peek.
  9. In realty (?) the zombie girls are dressed up like Japanese high school students (please let them be high school students - not junior high school students!)
  10. Zombie AKB48 girls? Yes, you have to try and save them, but they are trying to kill you. Why would the owners of the AKB48 want to sully the girl's brand by having them appear as killer zombies?
  11. Was the game created without the knowledge or permission of AKB48?
  12. No. The game is manufactured by NEX Entertainment and Namco Bandai. I may not be familiar with NEX, but I am familiar with Bandai… a quality and long-lived video game manufacturer that I am sure is quite familiar with copyright laws. I am sure they would have received permission to utilize the likeness and brand of AKB48 in the video game - especially since it bears their name!
  13. Now, let me channel my inner teenaged girl for half a sentence: Hey-ehhhh! We all know that h8trs gotta h8 and playahs gotta play, but is there enough of a market out there for people who need to play a video game that saves these pop stars from zombification? Will people play just for the opportunity to see the girls die (only once - then it becomes stupidly obsessive, and you have a problem), or will you play because you like looking a scantily-clad Japanese girls with decaying skin who don't want to do anything but eat your brains; or do you like playing hero to save the pop princesses?
  14. If you want to play the hero, on February 14 and 15, visit the Makuhari Messe Convention Center for a sneak peak.
  15. The game debuts at the arcades in Japan sometime in April 2014.
  16. By the way, if you want to look at sexy Japanese women, stop playing video games and take a look around Japan… or just go for a walk in a part of town where you can buy Japanese cuisine… or, watch the car movie The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift. Purchase a box of tissues first. You'll see what I mean. 
I'm pretty sure that green rimmed hole allows people to look in from the outside. Yeah... "look" in.
Look… I am all for maximizing the dollar value of your brand. I get it. The management team of AKB48 is doing just that with this video game. The group is the reigning 2013 Japan Billboard artist of the year, after all.

Here are the ghouls in the video game:
Breast mousepad of Oshima Yuko I've ever seen. They're real because she's 21 or something like that. She also sports my favorite hair style. You have to look higher... Higher... Higher... high... aw, forget it.

Watanabe Mayu from her 2012 Playboy shoot - so she's legal!

Kashiwagi Yuki... is that a book?! With real paper?! I love women who read! Or want to learn how to read.

Kawaei Rina, 18. This is why men get in trouble. She enjoys riding her bicycle and looks forward to finishing grade 11 soon.
Happy birthdayyyyyyy, Mister.... President. There are way better pix of Iriyama Anna, but I really wanted to do the stupid joke.

This is what Kojima Mako will look like if you can save her from being a zombie in the video game - minus the stupid thing in her hair. I hope. I think it's to stop zombies from eating her brain. It's working... I'm barely hungry.

OMG. That water is so blue! Kidding! I love that Nishino Miki loves peace. I would love a piece of ... wait, just how old is she?
But… who conceived of this? Was it AKB48 themselves?
"Put me in a video game where people can shoot me in the face! I like it when people shoot all over my face. What does vaccine mean?"

Some of AKB48. Which is your favorite? I like Third from the Top the farthest left. Please let her be legal.
Was it the management?
"I don't care what the game is about - give. money. me. now."

Or… was it NEX or Bandai?
"Our concept artists just like to draw sexy chicks... so how about a *yawn* game where you have to shoot the bad guys who are bad girls? Won't that be different? Okay... maybe the bad girls are really good girls who look really hot and under-age? Ding-ding-ding-ding! Hey... Ryuichi! What's the name of that J-Pop group you like to dress up as? AKB48? Okay. How about we make it where you have to save members of AKB48 from being zombies by shooting them with a serum? And Ryuichi... dude... you shouldn't dress like that at work. You should dress more conservatively... like a real Japanese man... with a dress that covers your knees."

And, since it appears likely that it was one of these two companies, it begs the question - Why?

Looks like some of the schools I taught at. 
Why create a video game with members of AKB48 as zombies?

The girls are - supposedly - good looking… I know the point is to turn them back from ugly zombie killing machines to beautiful J-Pop stars… but how does this promote the brand in a positive way?

Is there singing involved in the game? You know… you save a member and then she sings one of the AKB48 songs? I would assume each song is a minimum of three-minutes long - and that's an eternity on a video game where the main goal is to grab your money, so I'm sure if there is any singing it only lasts 10 seconds or so.

Or maybe... as the image at the very top suggests, the AKB48 zombie girls are dancing and moving all over the place like in that Michael Jackson video Thriller (best music video. Ever).. and maybe their song is singing in the background while you try and shoot them with your vaccine - or whatever the hell you want to think it is.

Would I play a video game like this? No. Would I play a game like say LEGO Lord of The Rings… especially if a bonus character would be a member of Led Zeppelin (a lot of their songs are based on that book)? Yes, I would… but that wouldn't be the reason for me to spend money on the game. It should be fun.
Remind me why I left Japan? Oh yeah.. the court order... I can not state that any of these pictured girls are of legal age. Ogle at your own risk. My cheque's all have that smiley face. We're a perfect match! Oh yeah... the wife has that as a tattoo. Never mind.
I can not say if the Sailor Zombie AKB48 Edition video game is fun or not. It depends on the player and their likes, dislikes and expectations.

If anyone should happen to play the game... drop me a line and let me know if you found the experience enjoyable - and why.

Cheers,
Andrew Joseph

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