Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Still Alive

When I originally started this blog, I honestly only thought that my friends back home and maybe a few random people here and there from the US fighting game community would read it. As a result, sometimes when I write stuff about people that I encounter within the blog itself, I dont think much about typing personal things about them or things that might offend them or hurt their feelings. The purpose of this blog was to originally keep in touch with people I know and to offer anyone who is interested, some insight on what goes on in the Japanese Guilty Gear community as well as some interesting experiences I have in Japan. I never intended to hurt or offend anyone but perhaps I have. To anyone that fits that description, I am sorry. At any time I write something in here and you happen to read it and find it is about you and you wish me to remove anything, please let me know. Im gonna be more careful from now on about some of the stuff that gets included in here.

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Moving on.... I know I said I was going to write a blog entry about Frosty Faustings, but quite frankly I just didnt have any time to do so and I honestly dont think it would be that interesting of a read. We did lots of chilling, playing casuals, getting fucked up together, and all the usual good stuff that goes on at major tournaments. I only entered the GG tournaments and SFIIHDR cuz I was pretty busy running stuff but I had a great time. However, I just want to give a huge thanks to everyone who came out to my tournament. Espessially to those people who ran tournaments and brought equipment for us to use. I truly appreciated your help and couldnt have done it without you. It was a real community efford and I certainly cant take all the credit by any means. Also a big thanks to those who came to compete. It was great seeing a lot of people I know from the US fighting game community after over a year and a half of not seeing any of them. Thanks for all the good times and memories and I will see many of you again soon if I can make it out to EVO again and I also plan to run Frosty Faustings again next winter.

Heres some brief results from Frosty Faustings from each tournament

GGXX AC singles (42 entrants)
1. ElvenShadow (FA)
2. Cue (ED)
3. AKA (ED)
4. SH (BA)
5. Josh the Funk Doc (AB)
5. Blacksnake (VE)

GGXX AC teams (8 teams)
1. Chicago Smoke (Elvenshadow (FA), Blacksnake (VE), SH (BA))
2. Fat stinky blunts (Bob Washington (AX), CUE (ED), Simon Yoo (SO))
3. Washington Funk (Josh Funk Doc (AB), Stark (AX), Talore (BA))

Street Fighter II HD Remix
1 Floe
2 AKA
3 dfly
4 Keits
5 SuperFX
5 Sonny
7 ElvenShadow
7 AVX

Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike
1 Grego
2 Shaaaady
3 MURPHAGATOR
4 Cameron B
5 Simon
5 dfly
7 John
7 Humbag

Marvel Vs Capcom 2
1st Mark "GLB" Villanueva (lost to no one; Santhrax/MSP/Matrix)
2nd Tony "noise54" Kao (lost to GLB 2x; MSP)
3rd Marc "MadBooFace" Ansay (lost to GLB and TonyK; Magneto Sentinel CapCom, SSCable)4th Derek "Dereklearnslow" Douglas (lost to MBF and TonyK; MSS, SSCable)
5th Juan "beatofdevil" (lost to GLB and Derek; Magneto Iron Man Doom, MSP)
5th Mike "Geronimo" Villanueva (lost to TonyK and MBF; Santhrax, Mitsu, Row, Toi, Illan)
7th Allen Ansay (lost to ? and beatsofdevil)
7th "The Branten" (lost to ? and Geronimo; MST)

Tatsunoko Vs Capcom
1 Floe (Joe/Chun, Ryu/Chun)
2 Grego (Karas/Chun)
3 The Branton (Karas/Batsu)
4 j1n (Rock/Ryu)
5 Random1234 (Karas/Ryu)
5 Keits (Polymar/Alex, Roll/Casshern, Gold Lightan)
7 PBJ Mixah (Chun/Batsu)
7 AVX (Karas/Chun)

Arcana Heart
1 meta (Fiona, Lieselotte)
2 Capps Indigo (Heart, Kamui)
3 orka (Fiona, Maori)
4 Random123456789 (Kamui)
5 NappyJin (Lilica, Kamui)
5 Necrosis (Konoha)
7 pbj_mixxa (Saki, Heart)
7 PaRt2 (Konoha)

Capcom vs SNK 2
1 John C.
2 VDO
3 Jose (Apples)
4 AVX
5 Grego
5 Hector
7 Roberto
7 Arturo (bombchivo)

Fate: Unlimited Codes
1st - meta (Leysritt)
2nd - devildigimon (Luvi, Kirei, Random)
3rd - eric(?) (Archer)
4th - pbj_mixxa (Rin)
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And now... getting to this past weekend. It was nice to go back to Tokyo again to chill after not being there for 3 weeks. When I arrived in Shinjuku, I popped in Sportsland real quick to see if there were any tournaments. I noticed there was a GG tournament scheduled for Sunday, but this time I was smart enough to read the whole thing and noticed it was another one of their ladies only tournaments. However, they had another tournament listed for Saturday and it was a G3 ranbats for AC. There wasnt much comp there at the moment though, so I left and headed to Vegas.

There was a good crowd at Vegas and not only that, but there were tons of people playing GG! More people were playing GG than BB even. Lots of old school well known players were there as well. I sat down at a cab and Nemo was sitting next to me and said hi. My first game was against Nakamura and I lost to him a few times in a row. I decided to try to play against someone else for a bit to get warmed up a bit more before taking on Nakamura again. I then proceeded to beat an Anji player and a Bridget player and then the Anji beat me in a rematch so I got up. I then noticed Mekemeke and MIU were here and were chilling over on the other side of the cabs. I talked with both of them at length about some various things. They filled me in on what was up with the G3 situation. There will probably be a total of 4 ranbats. Among 4 different prefectures (Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba, and Kanagawa) a team will be selected from each of them from the ranbats results and then they will compete in the finals at a later time. There will be 4 rounds of ranbats total and points are accumulated from all 4. I had already missed the first ranbat that happened while I was away. The one tomorrow would be the 2nd of the series. I was also talking with MIU about SBO and he told me that he is actually planning on focusing on qualifying for TvC over any other games this year! Unexpected but it will be cool if he can make it in.

I went back to play Nakamura again and got a win on him. At some point while I was playing, I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around to see Rod (Honnou) and Tomoko! Rod wasnt sure if he was gonna make it out tonight becuase he is changing host families and will be living in a different location and needed to move his stuff out tonight. However, since Tomoko is such a nice girl, she helped him take some of the stuff off his hands so that he had time to play a bit and go drinking. Rod went to walk her to the train station and then came back. We played casuals a bit more and I got a ton of games in with Mekemeke. I was going pretty even with him for a while and it was back and forth. After a while, he started to break away a bit and would win like 3 or 4 games for every one game I got on him. I was starting to get a little burnt out on playing. After playing for a while I was getting really hungry, so Rod and I decided we would get some food. I went over to say goodbye to Mekemeke. I was about to apolagize to him for not playing so great towards the end but he ended up saying that I was playing very strong and thanked me for the good matches. I told him Rod and I were gonna go eat and he ended up asking if he could come with us!

So the 3 of us set out and Mekemeke took us to this really great Udon resturaunt that isnt all that far from Current. I got this awsome cheese Udon. We sat and talked a bit about various things and then it was time to go drinking. Mekemeke said he needed to g back home so we said goodbye and then Rod and I headed to Current.

As soon as I walked in, Mogi greeted me very enthusiasticly and gave me like a zillion hand shakes! It was nice to be back there again. Masami was also there working the bar and a few regulars were there like Mai, Yone, and a few others. I also saw John (the guy who I went to Sector 7 G with that one time with Maiyuko, he does photography work for Monty) so I went to say hi. While I was talking to him, all of a sudden this huge big guy comes up to me and get all up close to me and shit. Something certainly seemed off about him and then he like grabbed me and started like semi hugging me. I was just thinking like wtf!?! Then John told me not to mind his friend because he was very drunk and is also almost completely def. He kept trying to say all this stuff to me and I had no idea wtf he was saying because he was talking so quietly. After a few minutes of him giving me that drunken close talking routine, I finally made out him saying "a Jew can always spot another Jew. We recognize our own kind".... and then I was like "...but I'm not Jewish..." and then the guy got this look on his face like I just told him his dog died or something. I wasnt quite sure how to react to that but I couldnt help but find the whole thing kinda funny in a way. Shortly after, John and him left cuz I think his friend was too wasted and they had somewhere else to go or something.

We spent the rest of the night just talking and chilling with everyone. Masami started drawing peoples pictures. He started with Rods and then he drew me and it actually looked a lot like me. Then people started drawing shit on eachother and I dont really remember exactly much else. At closing time I just headed back to the manga kissa.

I woke up the next day, got some food and a cigar for later, and then headed to Sportsland. No one was there yet so I then went over to Vegas where lots of people were playing casuals to warm up for the G3 ranbat. I played for a couple hours. Mitsurugi was there and was beasting everyone with his Zappa. Once it was about time for signups to start, I headed over to Sportsland. People flooded in quick and before no time the place was absoloutly packed with GG players. Most of the usual big name top players were there among tons of other people I dont know or recognize. MIU was there to run the tournament (poor guy never gets to enter anything cuz hes always running shit, but he doesnt seem to mind). The tournament was supposed to start at 2:30 but ended up starting about an hour and a half late. After everyone picked a random number from a container to determine bracket placement, MIU made the brackets and came back a while later. I ended up having the very last match to play in the bracket. I think something like over 80 people showed up to this tournament! I only got a few games of casuals in this whole time cuz the wait to play was just insane.

After checking the brackets, I saw that my first match was to be against an Eddie player and that if I won, the next guy who had a bye was also an Eddie player. As I was walking away from the brackets, someone came up to me and started asking me some stuff. He said his name was Takare and that he was the Eddie player who I would have to face if I won my first match. Out of no where, started asking me about Latiff! He saw the evolution match videos and was asking where Latiff was from. I told him he lives in the US but is originally from somewhere in the middle east (I couldnt remember what country). I guess he admired his Eddie or something. I then asked him if he knew anything about the Eddie player I would be fighting first round (named Tsu) but he said he wasnt familiar with him. We wished eachother luck in the tournament and went back to watching casuals.

After a long wait, it was finally time for me to play my tournament match. I won RPS and chose my side. The first round was real close and I felt like I had it but I missed some execution stuff and it slipped through my fingers. I won the 2nd round. The 3rd round started off bad and I was down by lots of health. I stuck it out there and held on as long as I can with almost no life bar and started to make a come back but it just wasnt enough and I was taken down by Eddie. was pretty disapointed because it was one of those matches where I honestly felt like I could have had that but I just let it slip by and fucked too many things up. The guy was pretty good but I didnt feelt overwhelmed at all. But thats the way it goes, im not in the US anymore, and while it was nice to have that cushion of double elim 2/3 US tournament format one more time, its back to Japan where once you lose one time you are done. In any case, he won, and after my first match I was already out of the tournament. I think my chances of qualifying for G3 are pretty much out of the question at this point since I didnt even go to the first tournament and lost first round in this one, so theres no way ill get enough points most likely. Ill still go to the other ones just to compete anyway but im not actually expecting to get into G3. I didnt even know it was going on right now so I guess I cant say I was all that let down, but it would have been nice if I got in.

I stuck around and played a few more games of casuals here and there when I could squeeze in a turn. I also played a few games of BlazBlue for the first time in almost a month. I fought against ABEGEN's Tager and came within a small fraction of a life bar from beating him somehow. Shoot was sitting next to me and gave me props for playing well but I still dont feel like I know wtf im doing in that game. I rematched him again and lost worse, and then lost in an Arakune mirror match. I then decided I had enough BB and went to play some more GG casuals. En-Slayer was there and was beasting on people with a 30 win streak. I came within pixels of beating him and then Karun faced him the next match and ended the streak. Oh well.

Once the tournament was over (which happened at sometime during when I was playing casuals and not paying attention) I checked out the brackets to see the results. The finals were vs Mitsurugi playing Zappa vs Mochi playing Bridget. Mochi won! Ive seen Mochi around and he is a good player, but given who was all there, I certainly wouldnt have expected him to take the whole thing! I also checked and Takare beat Tsu but then got elimintated 2 matches later. I dont really remember any other specifics about who beat who.

After that, it really started to clear out so I went to Vegas assuming that everyone went there to play cuz its cheaper... and I was right. Anyone who had fears that the Guilty Gear scene in Japan is dead can lay those fears to rest. Its Still Alive! and its doing quite well. I think that having GG announced as a game for SBO again really breathed some new life into the game and maybe the initial hype of BB is starting to wear off for a lot of people. Vegas was just absoloutly packed with GG players playing casuals for hours even after the ranbat was over.

I spent a few hours there afterwords playing but my execution was pretty off all day and I was letting the tournament loss really bother me so I just wasnt much in the mood to play and wanted to start drinking. Matt mailed me and said he would be on his way soon so I waited for him at Vegas. While I was waiting, I decided that since I was playing so shitty anyway, I might as well have fun playing shitty, so I bought a bottle of whiskey from the conbini and a redbull to chase it with and just started swigging descreteley at the arcade while I played. Matt showed up slightly after I started getting drunk.

I had wanted to rematch Tsu after my loss to him in the tournament but I never got the chance... until now. Unfortunately I was already pretty drunk and had already sorta given up for the day. I played him a couple times but he was beating me pretty bad. I couldnt tell at the time, but he was either playing way better than in the tournament, or I was just playing like crap. I think it was more of the later cuz Matt could be quoted as saying "I was just throwing myself at him" and "It was painful to watch". I guess thats what happens when you play in the state I was playing in. After losing to him maybe like 3 times, I just decided to stop for the day. Someday I will have the chance to rematch him again when I am sober so I figured why keep embarresing myself. It was really early, probably only about 8 or 9 pm, but I just wanted to go to Current and keep drinking.

Matt and I arrived at Current and it was a metal event night. It was probably the most packed metal event I have ever seen there! I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that we got there so early, a lot of people take the last train back so we got to see more people there that we normally would miss when we show up at our usual time. All the metal event regulars were there in addition to a few regular regulars. Snus man showed up breifly with some snus for us (which was awsome cuz we were out) and SPG Chris was there too. The most interesting thing of the night was that one girl who sorta looks like my girlfriend slightly showed up, I will refer to her as Ryoko II. Im not gonna get into a lot of details, but lets just say she was hitting on and kissing just about every single guy in the bar, she went outside and gave someone a blowjob and then stopped halfway through (at least this is what the recipient told me) and later we saw her leave with these 2 Japanese guys.

After the place closed, Matt, Chris, and I went to PSY but they were only opened for like a half hour and closed early due to a special event going on the next day called Escape From The Bar. This event to be a 6 hour long concert with several different bands, most of them being made up of the bartenders of PSY and GODZ and regular customers of those bars. We had plans to go to it as well.

As we left PSY to head to get some drunken food, we noticed that one of the guys we saw leave the bar with Ryoko II was walking around by himself. We said hi to him and he told us that she ditched him for the other guy and they went to a love hotel. He should probably consider himself lucky cuz he might have been spared from some STD or some shit.

I was gonna go to the manga kissa to sleep, but Matt convinced me to go stay at his host familys house again since we were both gonna wake up and go to Escape From the Bar together. I was still kinda jet lagged and wanted to take a shower so I agreed to stay there.

I got a good nights rest. I woke up and took a shower. Matt said that for some reason, no one else was home... except for us 2 and the families dogs. As we were walking down the 5 flights of stairs to leave, one of the dogs (hes a pretty large dog) was chilling on the stairs. He started growling at me and I was first, so I had Matt go before me. As we walked passed the dog, he started growling really fiercely and Matt had to hold him back. As I opened the door to leave and started walking out, he lunged at my leg and tried to bite me but missed... luckily. Fucking dog. I dont really feel like staying there again after that shit. I imagine it had to do with the owners not being home but getting attacked by a large dog isnt the most comforting thing.

We headed back to Shinjuku with just enough time to get some quick food and head to the concert venue. We couldnt find it at first. We called Rod cuz he said he was gonna go too but he ended up having stuff to do with his new host family. After searching a bit more, we found the place. It was actually very close to where Mikado and Vegas are. It was called MARZ. It was 3000 yen to get in plus one mandatory drink ticket. It was only like 4 pm but I figured if I have a drink ticket, I might as well start drinking! And thus began what would eventually turn into a 13 hour long drinking session!

Tons of people I know from GODZ, PSY, Current, and Zin were all at this show to come watch people they know perform, or perform themselves. A few bands comprised mostly of PSY and GODZ staff played longer sets and then there was a special gigs section where various people just got on stage and played one ore 2 songs and then the next group went on. A few of the acts were pretty crappy while some other ones were pretty amazing. One of the main bands played a 30 minute jam version of the Metallica version of the song Astronomy. Most of the stuff being played was actually covers. Some of it was pretty good, most of it was music I liked. I think the award for worst performance had to go to this group of guys who did Anarchy in the UK and the singer couldnt even remember half the lyrics... it sounded pretty shitty. Ai was there and played keyboards with her band. They only played one song and did a cover of Rising Force. I wish they played some more cuz they were really good.

During most of the special gigs section, I stood up on the balcony with Matt, Heidi, and Masami, who was video taping some stuff. After special gigs ended, there was an intermission where I walked around and talked with a few people. There was an afterparty scheduled to go down after the show. They were asking for 3000 yen to get in but I found out it was all you can drink so I was considering going. Then later I found out from Heidi that it was only 2 hours long, so I figured it would be best to go to Current instead. Unfortunately for Heidi, she already bought her ticket and would be stuck going even though she kinda didnt want to and was afraid to ask for her money back.

After the intermission there were 2 more bands. I had no idea there were even any headline bands, but these 2 bands were more professional while the rest of the ones were all amature. The first band was called Grais. I never heard of them before but they surprised the crap out of me! I guess if I had to describe their style, it was kinda like a mix of punk/swing/and metal, and it sounded pretty awsome. It was just a trio, and the bass player had a giant stand up bass and it looked cool as hell! They played for a while and then it was time for the final act. I Metallica cover band called Hatallica. When I originally heard there was a Metallica cover band playing at this event, I thought it was just one of the amature bands, but these guys ended up being really professional! They sounded almost just like the real thing. The singer sounded just like Hetfield which is pretty amazing coming from a Japanese guy who doesnt really speak English. He had this crazy looking mullet which was hilarious. The band played the following set

Creeping Death
Fule
One
Master of Puppets
Seek and Destroy
Battery
Enter Sandman
Whiplash

After the show, Taka was telling us how like these guys are considered the best Metallica cover band in the world or something. I dont know who determinedt his or if its just his pride of them being as Japanese band getting in the way, but I wouldnt doubt it.

After the show, Matt and I got some food at Yoshinoya and then stopped in at Vegas cuz Matt had an urge to play and we hadnt played any games all day. Vegas was dead as hell. Probly cuz it was a Sunday night (even though the next day is a national holiday, which is why I was still in Tokyo at this point). Only one guy was playing GG and Matt played against him, so I just got on the BB machine and played one game and lost. After already drinking for the past 6 hours, I didnt feel like playing much anyway.

After that, we headed to Current. It was a good night which started off with lots of regular and then after the Escape From the Bar after party was over, tons of people flooded into Current since GODZ and PSY were closed. I drank a TON of alcohol and have no idea how I didnt pass out or throw up after drinking for a total of 13 hours. I finished off the night at Current with a shot of Wild Turkey in hopes that we could find somewhere else to keep drinking after they closed at 5.

Matt, Taka, and I headed to Sector 7G cuz it was the best place I could think of that was opened till 6 with PSY being closed but for whatever reason, they closed early tonight too. Disapointed, we headed to get some drunken food and called it a night. Taka lost his voice and was speaking in what sounded sorta like a whisper-death metal growl and it was pretty hilarious. We parted ways after eating and I headed to the manga kissa once again for sleep.

The next day I woke up, Vegas was dead. I got some food, did a little shopping, came back, and it was still kinda dead. I played a few Faust mirror matches against this one guy whos often at Vegas as well as a few games of BB and a couple more games of GG vs some people. Matt showed up after a little while but Vegas was still kinda dead. At around 4:30 I just decided I was gonna go home early cuz I wanted to see my girlfriend so I just said bye to Matt and headed back to Gunma.

Next Friday night is Megu and Yone's birthday party at Current but it turns out I have an enkai for work so I cant go unfortunately but I will probably be hitting up Tokyo Saturday morning for some more wacky adventures. Keep playing that Gear, everyone. Shit aint dying yet!

1 comment:

HeartNana said...

Yeah i completely understand having a first round tourney loss here bugging you. Waiting to play and going out of your way to some big event, only to lose 2 or 3 rounds and be done is really discouraging. Just keep at it, and I'm glad for you sake that GG is in SBO, cause it went from being DEAD here to being really popular again. Don't give up on BB tho!