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More talkin’ ’bout manga peeps won’t care about

I don’t want to make this a routine, but you might have guessed (because I’ve become incredibly predictable ever since I exchanged my personality for nerd-ass obsessions) I bought another Japanese gaming magazine for the sole Bomberman comic in it: the August 2007 issue of Fami2Comic.

It’s kind of interesting comparing this to the Dengeki Nintendo I also acquired for the same silly reason; despite being an offshoot of Famitsu, the hot shot magazine whose reviews were taken as gospel for years until people realised, huh, they sure do like bribes, don’t they, Fami2Comic feels like the definition of “second-stringer”. You look at that other blog post and the games its manga were based off, and there wasn’t a game there that wasn’t some manner of international success. Fossil Fighters probably ranked higher than Bomberman during that period in terms of awareness and popularity! (during that comic’s run there was only ONE Bomberman game on shelves… in Japan, Europe and Australia only. welp!) There are four years between the two issues, mind – Dengeki’s lineup might’ve been trash when this one came out for all I know.
I thought it’d be amusing to do another quick looksie at the manga Fami2Comic has to offer, and it’s probably the only spotlight they’ll be getting on the English internet anytime soon, so why the heck not.

Kirby & Dedede’s Pupupu Diary (カービィとデデデのプププ日記)

The mice from Squeak Squad steal the show. People love Kirby so this as a manga is a good get. They’d hardly make twenty billion different manga of a franchise people hated, right? It’s still ongoing and there’s a beefy article on the Japanese Kirby Wiki, though it’s never been fully collected.

Hajime no Ippo Revolution (はじめの一歩 レボリューション)

Little babby Ippo gets bullied, so he shadow-punches falling leaves as practise for an upcoming match. A promo for the Wii game, most likely a one-off. Sadly not a stealth pilot for Makenouchi Ippo Babies.

Animal Crossing: Tonba Village (どうぶつの森 とんぼ村だより)

Sable (or Mabel) makes clothes and consults Katrina for some reason. It’s another Animal Crossing ongoing! I ain’t arguing, I’m the sort of dope who loves reading about the series rather than touching the games. There was a collected edition of this series released not long ago, but it appears to be incomplete. If it’s been running monthly since 2007 (or earlier?) until at least 2014, that’s a heck of a lot of manga to be missing out on!

Kurikin: Nano Island Story (くりきん ナノアイランドストーリー)

Based off a game that has absolutely no gameplay footage on YouTube, but has a full English Wikipedia page written about it for some reason. Kids do battle with cyber-bacteria, I guess. Has more appealing and expressive art than the game itself, in my opinion. Not a one-off, as it says it will continue in the next issue – but for how long? (that was probably the last one. DS games had a real quick turnover from my experience!)

Shuugou Zen’in Gagtte!! Rockman! (全員集合ギャグって!!ロックマン!)

A bizarre gag manga featuring a crossover of Mega Man characters, with Battle Network‘s MegaMan.EXE and GutsMan.EXE hanging out with Legends‘ Tron Bonne. Everyone enjoys a fun pool party until MegaMan farts and kills everyone. True story.

River King: Mystic Valley (川のぬし釣り こもれびの谷せせらぎの詩)

Hat-wearing boy hooks a bigass fish. Bird-boys and catgirls are involved. A tie-in for the DS game, though it claims it’ll return in the next issue.

Monster Rancher (モンスターファームDS)

I had to double-check this was Monster Rancher and not something else – it’s strange to think this series remained a thing in Japan, but quietly sunk beneath the waves overseas! A heck of a lot of talking between two kids, and that weird armadillo thing shows its face occasionally. Continued in the next issue, apparently. A tie-in for the first DS game; only the second one came out in English.

Touch! Bomberman Land (Touch!ボンバーマンランド)

Cheerful White, Cool Black and the gang see the sights in Star Bomber’s Miracle World theme park. Giant Gold has a gun at one point. Promotional tie-in for the DS game of the same name, and probably the most boring comic of the bunch. I want my 500 yen back!

Touch De Uno! (タッチ・デ・ウノー!)

Based off the DS port of the SEGA arcade game, not the card game (though .emcee‘s got that covered). Anime girls very vaguely based off the in-game avatars solve puzzles, I guess. For only five pages it’s shockingly incomprehensible. Good competitor with Bomberman Land for most boring comic of the lot.

Rockman ZX (ロックマンゼクス)

The final chapter of the fight between these good guys and that other bad guy, presumably! I still need to play the ZX games. This got fully collected in two volumes not only in Japan, but in America as well, published and translated by Udon Entertainment! Can’t speak for whether or not it’s worth reading, but hats off for the effort!

Hero Battle Coliseum (ヒーローバトルコロシアム)

An original comic not based off any source about kids doing battle against each other with digital monsters. There’s a Japanese Wikipedia article that’ll tell you all about the characters and not a whit about the premise.

Cat Gamer Tako (きゃっとげーまー タコ)

Another original creation. What if your cat was a gamer too? Make that your next elevator pitch for whoever is willing to give you money. Or maybe just use it to break the ice with a stranger at the bus stop.

Of the twelve manga in the magazine, only half of them are confirmed ongoing serials and not just promotional one-offs (or two-offs), and one of them ended this issue! To its credit, only three of the games featured in the manga never saw international release, so it’s not a total washout of obscure trash… but I’m wondering who picked up the magazine thrilled at the idea of a Touch De Uno comic or an adaptation of Bomberman Land (I’ll admit, I wasn’t expecting much from it!).
That said, I do respect that – these DS games are getting released one way or another, so they gotta do what they can to make it appealing to potential audiences, sales pitch be damned. How do you make a comic out of Monster Rancher? Heck if I know, but that game’s gotta get promoted now, now, now! Now I want to see a fanzine all about promotional tie-ins for games that are the furthest you can get from “relevant.” How do you make the likes of Mousetrap Motel on Game Boy look appealing within the confines of an eight-page comic?

I hummed and hawed about the ramifications of uploading these in the last post, but screw it, I’m hankering to make a page for various random scans, so these will be up on the site in full sometime or another. Until then, you can check out the whole magazine (and various other dopey scans, including Dengeki Nintendo) on MEGA. They’re raw scans so they’re huge and uncropped and not rotated or anything, but where else are you going to find them? They might get cleaned up in future if I make time for it.
While I’m offering previews of upcoming guff and having Bomberman as the unintentional catalyst of blog content, here’s a sneak peek of the media page for the Bomberman Shrine Place. It’s exciting unearthing all these different takes on Bomberman stories throughout the years, even if it is costing me funny money and I can’t even read the dang things. In future I hope to flesh it out into individual pages for each series and get things translated – and hey, if you’re a translator and interesting in helping, get in touch! Money’s on the table, probably!

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