Important Importables: 10 weirdest examples of Japanese DS boxart

March 28, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports: 10 weirdest examples of Japanese DS boxart

Section: Exclusives, Originals, Features, Columns, Japanese Imports, Handhelds, DS & DSi & DSi XL, Genres, 2D, Action, Board, Puzzle, Game-Genres-Other

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Sometimes North American box-art can be, well, let’s say questionable. But when it comes to outrageous and outlandish game covers, Japan will always win. Sometimes the covers barely even relate to the game in question, other times they just feature such outlandish characters that you have to really stop and stare to be sure what you’re seeing is real and not some kind of mirage.

So this week, Hot Japanese Imports is going to do its first Japanese box art feature. We’ll take a look at 10 examples of incredibly weird, sometimes disturbing, DS game covers. Of course, there’ll be mocking as well.

English of the Dead DS10: Zombie Shiki – Eigo Ryoku Sosei Jutsu : English of the Dead

Weird, yes. Weirdly awesome! It’s an education/zombie killing application from Sega that’s a lot like House of the Dead and it’s educational spin-off Typing of the Dead. Here, Japanese speakers learn to speak English through zombie slaying. The cover is appropriately epic, with a zombie wearing a graduation cap and glasses adorning the cover.

It’s not really that good for learning Japanese though. Some parts of it are, but other parts have you trying to match kanji to English words, and that only works if you know what the actual kanji is.

Gakkou no Kowai Uwasa Hanakosan ga Kita9: Gakkou no Kowai Uwasa: Hanako-san ga Kita!!

Gakkou no Kowai Uwasa: Hanako-san ga Kita!! gets a spot on the list partially for it’s incredibly strange cover designs, and also partially because of the origin of the game and series. How often do you see a post-apocolyptic setting, along with a badly dressed little girl and floating dust bunny? Not often enough! It’s a visual novel with some mini-game elements and, oddly enough, it’s actually a port of an old Sega Saturn game from Capcom! And yes, the DS cover art is nearly identical to the Saturn’s art. Also, it’s based on an anime series of the same name.

As for the series, it’s based on a Japanese urban legend passed along by school kids. The legend is that the girl’s school bathrooms are haunted by a ghost named Hanako-san, who opens and closes the doors and brings misfortune to (or kills) students who disturb her or call her by name. She has a haircut and outfit similar to the girl on the game’s cover. She supposedly stays in the third floor restroom, if there is one, in the second stall.

Puyo Puyo 78: Puyo Puyo 7

Puyo Puyo is a great series of puzzle games. Match the colored blobs, bring down a rain of colorless blobs on your unsuspecting opponent, sometimes see a storyline with cute characters – lots of good stuff. The Japanese box art for the latest Puyo game leaves something to be desired.

I mean, sure, it showcases all the puyos. But they all look so surly! Only one kind has a naturally mean expression, and here they all look like they’re out for blood. It’s the kind of cover you’d expect to see on a Killer Tomatoes game box. Those puyos are out for blood!

Yume wo Kanaeru Zou7: Yume wo Kanaeru Zou

This one’s weird simply because it looks pretty sacrilegious. There are probably a lot of people out there who wouldn’t be too happy to see a badly-drawn representation of Ganesha chilling on a DS box, smoking a cigarette.

As for the game itself, well, I haven’t been able to find too much information on it. It seems like it is strongly related to a Japanese self-help book called Yume wo Kanaeru Zou. The book also inspired a Japanese comedy series out there by the same name. One part of it was about a worthless man who meets Ganesha and then decides to make something of himself. The second part was about a woman who’s both dumped by her boyfriend and loses her apartment in a fire on her birthday, wishes for happiness and then meets Ganesha. There’s also supposed to be an anime based on it too.

Nihon Keizai Shinbunsha Kanshuu DS6: Nihon Keizai Shinbunsha Kanshuu: Shiranai Mamade wa Son o Suru Mono ya Okane no Shikumi DS

It’s actually an economic and finance application designed to teach people about managing money and understanding how the economy works. How a picture of a horribly drawn man and his dog falling into a pitfall explain that, I don’t know. It’s just weird.

5: Bikkuriman Daijiten

For number five we’re turning to sacrilege again with Bikkuriman Daijiten, a DS game that’s a bit of an enigma since there’s no intelligent information anywhere online desribing it. So, we’ll have to go solely on boxart.

Apparently, it’s a game with religious themes, since we’ve got God (complete with halo, star and impressive beard) smacking a demonic, vampire-esque, umbrella wielding man with a cane. He also has an angel at his side, and some kind of masked man on his back.

In short, Bikkuriman Daijiten‘s cover depicts one of the most comical scenes of divine retribution and judgement.

Juggler DS4: Juggler DS

This is the reason people are scared of clowns. Need I say more?

Nobody needs to have Mr. Creepy-Clown watching them while playing slot machines. I’d say its a punishment no one deserves.

Go Sukashi Kashipanman3: Sukashi Kashipanman DS

Bikini-clad girl with gills? Check.

Warrior dude with starfish mask, belt buckle and protective cup? Check.

Incomprehensible box art filled with tons of text and weird images, including two dudes who look like jellyfish hanging out in the background? Check.

Yup, Sukashi Kashipanman DS has got it all. It’s supposedly a mini-game collection where Sukashi Kashipanman, a parody of all those Japanese superheroes, does super-deeds to help people.

The game’s based on an actual character, which actually has his own anime and manga series. In fact, you can even see the series in English! There’s an American live-action version of it called Go Sukashi!

Akko de Pon Ikasama Hourouki2: Akko de Pon Ikasama Hourouki

These people need help. Just look at them. They are bonafide freaks of nature, and have all been compiled and shoved into a single DS cartridge. Looking at it, you’d like its a plastic surgery simulation where you have to help fix these people so they can fit in with the rest of society. It’s not, by the way. It’s a mahjong game, and those lovely people are the characters you can play as, or against.

I can’t even imagine what it’d be like to play Akko de Pon Ikasama Hourouki. Somehow, I think it’d be like playing Mahjong with an uglier, Japanese version of Mr. Bean.

Watashi no Pony1: Watashi no Pony

And Star-Fish’s wildly pink Watashi no Pony takes first place! You may not agree with me, but it’s my column, so there. For this cover art, it’s all about the color choices and the pony. First of all, it’s a pink explosion! I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much pink, and so many hearts, on a game cover before! We could have a contest, asking people to guess how many hearts are on the cover! (Hint: there are more than 70!)

Of course, nothing tops that pony’s expression. Those soulless eyes and that forced smile. That pony knows its being humiliated and ridiculed. And one night, when you least expect it, it is going to rip itself off of that game box and wreak pink havok upon the world.

Oddly enough, the game is a pretty normal horse-pet simulation. With normal colored horses.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Hot Japanese Imports samples some Japanese candy.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week Hot Japanese Imports talked about Vanillaware

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Full Story » | Written by Jenni Lada for Gamertell. | Comment on this Article »


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