Friday, May 28, 2021

Dumplings Before Flowers

I was hoping to get my deep dive into Japanese Superheroes and Superhero Tabletop RPGs started before the Memorial Day weekend but a busy work schedule and the wealth of information I found has forced me to push the posts back a bit.

Additionally, I'll be working an overnight, dog-sitting for a client at their apartment and won't have full access to my computer or my research materials until next week. I am really sorry about the delay but really looking forward to sharing all the cool things I've discovered. 

I'm honestly a little bummed about it because I've been so busy this month that I haven't gotten to all the things I've wanted to discuss by a long shot. My total number of posts for the month is a bit below my recent average; again, frustrating as I have so much more to say. Luckily views are still pretty high, though not nearly as high as last month (which I mostly attribute the lower post count). 

To end this minor update on a positive note, as I am feeling positive overall, I will say I am eager to not only cover Japanese Tabletop RPGs in the Superhero genre but onward we'll be looking at Science Fiction, Steampunk, and more! Plus, I've got ideas for many other subjects beyond Japanese TRPGs, I hope to revisit some past unfinished projects, and I have a few thoughts on my next big game.

For now, a safe and restful Memorial Day everyone,

Barking Alien

By the way, this is the 1500th Post I've made on this blog.


  1. That's cool. We'll still be here when you have some free time. A thought I had about this current direction you're taking the blog - and forgive me if I missed an announcement along the way - but are there any genres/topics that the Japanese TTRPG market covers that we don't? If so, that might make another article for you.

    1. Wow, so funny you should ask! I was thinking about that very subject while writing this post. I was even going to include 'Games Only The Japanese Have' as one of my future posts.

      The truth is, I have come across game concepts and takes on genres we haven't seen in the States (at least not to my knowledge) but I would be reluctant to say they are in wholly unique genres.

      For example: Nechronica is clearly a Horror RPG and we in the US have Horror RPGs, yet I've never seen one in America quite like it. A favorite Japanese Sci-Fi TRPG of mine is called, 'The Trouble With Aliens'. It is definitely SF but it isn't Traveller, Star Wars, or Star Trek. It's more like an inverted Men-in-Black that plays like Paranoia.

      In Japan it's not so much what the genre it but how they use it.

  2. Well, I remember that Japan has Maid RPG. Not sure there is an equivalent in the US. The closest game I know would be 'Lycéennes RPG', a French game about High School girls (and AFAIK, there is an extension to play Magical Girls).

    1. MAID is definitely a good example of a uniquely Japanese RPG. As is Golden Sky Stories, which is essentially a Modern Fantasy game but how the components are applied and the lack of combat makes it pretty different from what we see here in the US.

    2. There are schoolgirl-centric games such as Hellcats and Hockeysticks, but none of these, as far as I can tell, capture the "anything goes plotwise" attitude of the MAID rpg.

    3. Weirdly, one of the few genres you don't see in Japan very often (especially nowadays) is the 'Anything Goes' Anime game.

      Mike Pondsmith's 'Teenagers from Outer Space', clearly inspired by Urusei Yatsura and other Action Comedy Anime and Manga of the 1970s and early 80s is no where to be found in Japan.

    4. Mike Pondsmith has also created a DragonBall RPG. I don't think it was sold in Japan.
      I also know that there are at least 2 different GUNDAM RPG in Japan (and maybe a 3rd one), one using a modified Mekton system, the other being a fully Japanese created game. I think that R.Talsorian bought the right on the Mekton one, but they never went to sell actual books.
      I also remember seeing a Battletech book in Japanese with most of the 'Mech images redone (IIRC those pictures have never been used in a US book).

    5. You are correct Alqualonde, there is no Japanese Dragonball RPG in Japan, though I understand ours (from R. Talsorian) made it over there. I have no idea how it did there but I haven't seen any coverage of it in the Japanese RPG magazines or forums.

      I've discussed both the Japanese Gundam RPGs (of which there were indeed three - the last using Mekton Zeta) and Battletech in the past, though perhaps not at great length. I might go back over them at some point by cover Mecha focused Japanese TRPGs.