gogatsu no juu-go-nichi
Kumo no ito

Japan is gearing up for summer, and the temperatures are rising. With them come all sorts of lizards, bugs, and other things crawling out from under the woodwork. On Wednesday, I got to chase one fine specimen out of my classroom with a broom.

To give a frame of reference, this lady's leg-span is about as wide as my palm. Thankfully, I was able to convince her to crawl onto a broom and then safely deposit her on the other side of the school's fence. This type of spider may look scary, but they eat so many other kinds of unwanted pests, like roaches, that I'd rather not kill one. If you look closely, you can see that she's holding something. That vague white thing under her is an egg case the size of two American quarters stacked one on the other.

Anyway, that was my adventure for the week. On with the column!

Wave Hobby Corporation recently released promotional materials for the next figurine in their Persona 4 series: Rise Kujikawa. The glasses can be removed and replaced at the owner's discretion. Because you know it's all about the glasses.

Position Up / Down Title Publisher Platform
2 Down from 1 Pokémon Dungeon - Sky Explorers Nintendo
7 Down from 4 Mario & Luigi RPG 3 Nintendo
22 Down from 19 Valkyria Chronicles (PS3 the Best) Sega
23 Down from 6 Home Tutor Hitman - Fate of Heat II Takara Tomy
25 Up from 30 Pokémon Platinum Nintendo

Last week, I promised more NuGa-Cel if I could find the material, so here it comes! First, here's a selection of outfits being modeled by the heroines.

Next we have some screens. A lot of the action seems to take place at Minato Tower, a thinly disguised knock-off of a more famous piece of Tokyo architecture.

And lastly, some more art for all you ravenous fanboys to drool over. I'm not into this style personally, but hey, it takes all kinds, no?

Source: Dengeki Online

Earlier this week I found some nice new pictures of SaGa 2 on Famitsu that I was going to post, but Green Nu beat me to it. I'm still ready to comment on one of my top favorite series of all time however, and all I can say is, wow.

With this remake, SaGa II Hihou Densetsu (Legend of the Treasures) gains a tertiary title -- Goddess of Destiny. There's still no word on how much has been added to the story, but my money is on "a lot."

Back to the pictures. While the battle interface is completely different, I'm seeing some similarities sneak through. In the first two SaGa games, each enemy sprite in battle actually represented a group, and different weapon types might target individuals, groups, or everything on screen. With the new interface, enemy groups remain a part of battle, while adding the ability for monsters to flank your party (and probably affect one's ability to run from battle). Other aspects of the battle look to be brand new, though I'm not sure what everything in those screens means. Yet. This one's going to be a first-day purchase for sure.

Oh, and go check out the game's official site. The music remixes are excellent.

Source: GAME Watch

This week, Bandai-Namco Wii-leased their classic arcade-style dungeon crawler, Tower of Druaga. For 800 Wii-points, Japanese players can experience the game that inspired the 2004 PS2 title, Nightmare of Druaga.

Source: Dengeki Online

Our last item for the week is an update on Trinity Universe, again mentioned last week. As we've already discussed all that's known of the game's concept, story, and characters, it's time to look at the pretty pictures.

Source: Famitsu Online

Y'know, I don't think I've had a letter for Culture Corner in over a month now. Things are getting lonely over here in Japan, so please, please feel free to write in! Commentary, questions, just saying hi -- I don't care.

And that's the news from Hi-no-Kuni,

Your man in Japan,

Gaijin Monogatari

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