Archive for the ‘Video Games’ category

My Facebook Wall: February ’11

February 28, 2011

My friends’ quotes, both questions and responses, are in italics.

3: I’m having a wonderful time at Chinese New Year! I just wish my stomach was bigger without looking bigger, like a Final Fantasy item bag that can fit 99 potions.
5: For want of 20 cents of Oversized Envelope postage on a card I tried to send from one side of Carmel to the other over Christmas, the Postal Service Returned to Sender…I’d written down my Taipei address, and it finally arrived here on Friday.
6: I’ve finished my post-vacation vacation. Chinese New Year is everything the not-quite-Irish want St. Patrick’s Day to be: feasting, family, fireworks, fine arts, and fambling (that word means “low-stakes gambling with family,” and I just invented it to finish my alliterative flurry). Let’s make it an American holiday and call it “Taiwanese New Year.”
6: The difficult stories to translate aren’t the ones with big words; they’re the ones with people doing unusual things. “That can’t be right…I’d better check that sentence again.”
6: Chrono Trigger fans will appreciate this mashup.
7: Five months after moving in, I finally met the friendly compsci student living in the room across from me. I bump into my other neighbors regularly, so he must be teleporting in and out. 可見 he is Neo, and I am part of The Matrix. No he’s actually traveling through the internet connection. After all, he’s compsci.”)
8: Congratulations to the Green Bay Packers, the only team in major American sports owned by its own fans (as stockholders) rather than some millionaire!
9: If our perception of time accelerates as we age, then perhaps babies have trouble sleeping because 24 hours feels like a week to them.
11: It’s my lucky year! Bob Dylan is performing in Taipei April 3, and tickets go on sale on Monday at noon! (On the 14th, “Not so lucky after all. The concert sold out before I could get a crack at any tickets!”)
12: Philosophical question of the day: Can one truly has cheezburger? If you could, you wouldn’t have to go back to the site for more, right?
14: Etta James – My Funny Valentine. Honorable Mention: Outkast’s “Happy Valentine’s Day”
15: Tonight’s youth ministry featured a topic not yet explored in my tenure: One of the kids asked about the compatibility of Socialism with Catholic social teaching. A fantastic question owing to Fr. Ted’s statement (“Socialists would like gov’t to mandate support, and the Church teaches it is our moral obligation to assist those less fortunate”), the first Christian communities described in Acts, the Christian Democratic parties of Europe, liberation theology, the Catholic Church’s relatively close relationship with the Democratic Party prior to Roe v. Wade, and the paucity of discussion of Rerum Novarum. They discovered that over the last 150 years, several popes have written very thoroughly on the subject – and said many of the core assumptions of Socialism make it incompatible. Such as the rejection of private property and Original Sin.
16: For the record, I was rooting for the humans in this latest Jeopardy exhibition.: According to the news, “Watson appeared to have breezed through Double Jeopardy, but that was apparently not the case. During the course of the game, Watson had crashed multiple times during the taping, said NOVA producer Michael Bicks, who had been at the taping of the show. The half hour match took four hours to tape, he said.” Ahh, good. There is still time left for humanity.
17: Because I am no longer a resident of Japan, my hard-earned Japanese driver’s license is no longer valid, but I can only get an International Driving Permit from my own country. The return postage will cost more than the application itself.
18: “I hate hotel pillows with a vengeance. They are the first things I examine when I go into a hotel room, and my heart sinks when I discover that they are too soft or too hard.” -Professional golfer (ergo frequent traveler) Colin Montgomerie. A little too intense, but can anyone else relate?
18: Fox News is the most biased & evil news network I have ever seen. And that means you are blessed. It’s a brutal world outside America’s borders, my friend.
19: I like it when the traditional farmers’ calendar matches the actual weather. Today was 雨水, and there was plenty of Rainwater, all right.
19: In response to criticism of Sonic the Hedgehog: I was too young to know any better when I played them, but the music, especially #2’s (scored by Dreams Come True, one of the biggest Japanese bands of the ’90s), has always stayed with me. Maybe the BGM is what made the games fun to play, actually.
20: One of my teachers said to me one day, “杰輝, I don’t think you like sleeping.” I said, “Of course I do! Who doesn’t?!” I never get around to actually doing it, though, so maybe she’s right.
20: No matter how many times I practice ordering curry over the phone, they can always tell I’m a foreigner. It’s not just your accent. It’s your insufficiently supplicant tone of voice.
20: It would’ve been even more mind-melting if Blake Griffin had dunked over this.
20: Joe Posnanski: Thoughts in a Bookstore
21: I loved the dunk contest yesterday. Serge Ibaka was the best last-place finisher ever. Everyone was so creative that I couldn’t get to sleep right away because my brain kept coming up with new dunks.
22: On Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s Future: If you’re going to push the limits of your mandate, you do it immediately after taking office because if you fail, there’s still time for everyone to forget what happened, and if you succeed, you have more power than you imagined. It’s right out of “The Prince.”
23: Fresh mind, thawed body: first workout of spring.
24: Question of the Day: If you could have a fully-functional Zelda item/gadget, what would it be? (No, you can’t choose the Triforce. You can choose the glass bottle, but you’d be dumb) I used to daydream about having a hookshot, and [a fairy in a bottle for resurrection] would be fantastic. I thought of the Moon Pearl, which would allow me to keep my form if I had to enter the Dark World.
25: Taiwan’s GDP grew 10.82% last year.
26: I’m finishing out the month at a monastery in the countryside (台東)!

On Final Fantasy XIII-2, Game Production, Shooters, and Zeldas

January 23, 2011

The Disappointing 13th Final Fantasy Gets a Sequel…
…and yet Firefly got canceled. I wish Square had had these funds back in my childhood when they had to pick and choose which games to localize. Their first move should be posting their NES and SNES catalogs on the Wii. That’s easy money. They don’t even have to pay to translate the old games they didn’t localize because fans have already done all that for free!

Is Game Production Going South in the Major Studios?
Game production is like movie production now because the technology is so complex. When your budget is big, you’re also more risk-averse. Big name titles prop up many a company’s bottom line even if the ideas in those series are already exhausted.

There are still great original games being made, like Flower, Ghost Trick, and Mother 3, but you have to be more discerning and buy based on word on the street.  The gaming review industry is still more centralized than book and movie reviews, which means the company can potentially pay off the big magazines for high ratings.  (Some fans suspect Famitsu in Japan of reviewing major-label games dishonestly, but only James Cameron would have enough money to pay off all the contributors to Rotten Tomatoes.)

I wouldn’t be surprised if the DS became the home of innovative game production. It’s inexpensive to develop for, has the biggest customer base, and isn’t as limited as its handheld predecessors.

Why Are Shooting Games So Much More Popular in America?
My blind speculation is that most kids in Japan have never even fired toy guns before: their superheroes and historical idols use fists, katanas, or Kamehamehas, and firearms are illegal in the country. I went out to the shooting range with the Boy Scouts, but their Scouts sure don’t. In Detective Conan, for the most part the criminals have all the guns; Conan kicks soccer balls or fires a tranquilizer dart. Even the giant robots (Ultraman, Gundam, et al) are anthropomorphic and use a lot of hand-to-hand combat. So Japanese gamers naturally wouldn’t have the same familiarity or excitement toward first-person shooters that we do, and some would feel uncomfortable about playing those games.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the PastZelda 3 vs. Zelda 64
Miyamoto wouldn’t want us to fight over these two games, and surely he wanted every title to be better than the last one, but there are some things about A Link To The Past that I hope current players would appreciate. One is its consistently beautiful soft 2D look. Over the course of the game, you see the whole color palette. There are a ton of items, all of which all have their own uses. There’s so much to do in the world, which at the same time isn’t too big to get around. The bosses all required strategy, and the dungeons could be real challenges: I remember the ice level in particular. The 360 degrees of movement you have is nice (though you can only regularly attack in four perpendicular directions), and the play control is quite responsive. 3-D Ocarina of Time relies on targeting, which is cool, of course, but limiting in its own way because the target guides you.

Perhaps Zeldas don’t age as well as Marios and Sonics. JUMPING is WHAT MARIO DOES! so Super Mario World is ageless, and the fun of Sonic is barreling forward as fast as you can, whether in two dimensions or three, but by nature, the more Link can do, the better. That said, A Link to The Past was special, and Link’s Awakening on the Game Boy was also fantastic. That one had a lot of unique features and was practically the only game in my Game Boy besides Tetris. Also, the SNES and GB Zeldas had great plots: simple but moving.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Final Fantasy II’s Beginning and Mine

January 1, 2011

Final Fantasy II Box Art


Since I didn’t grow up a prince, this was my first encounter with palace intrigue. I was six years old.

My parents didn’t like to buy me games, but they did let me rent one whenever we went to Blockbuster.  It would have been cheaper for us to buy this one right off the bat, though, because I took it home six times.  Eventually, Mom was so tired of hearing about it that she agreed to buy it if I finished a packet of elective addition and subtraction worksheets. The classical box art isn’t the kind of design you’d expect a small child to like, but I recognized the title because I’d watched my neighbor Brian play Final Fantasy I, and I thought the curtain-colored red background and the radiant sword in place of a T were pretty sweet.

I never got farther than five hours into the game in one weekend, but that was just enough because the opening story arc is so meaningful. It’s about a knight’s contrition, penitence, and redemption. There’s (movie preview voice) Murder! Betrayal! Camaraderie! Adventure! …And Love!

The translation could have been more clear, concise, grammatical, and appropriate with its diction (“You spoony bard!”). Compared to my reading material in first grade, it was like Mozart versus Barney the Dinosaur. This game and its successors introduced me to adult themes and vocabulary. I matched up the natural and emotional imagery of the church hymn “Be Not Afraid,” in particular, with scenes from this game. The Pope would have been surprised to hear that, but my imagination didn’t have anything else to work with. I drew swords in class – on paper, I mean – and designed games in the car all the way through elementary school. You bet I still have those spiral notebooks. Scholars might need them some day!

Yes, Final Fantasy II was text-heavy, but so is my brain, and the cinematic presentation kept things exciting. (The game opens with music, a fade-in, a cool vehicle going somewhere exciting, and a fight, just like the movies!) The graphics are simple, but I responded to them. I saw sadness in the knight’s side profile and flowing locks and loving concern in his lover’s 256-pixel icon. As a game player, I was in control: I could go to wherever I liked and talk to whoever I liked. That 3-dimensional freedom is more engaging than a book, where the only direction you can go is forward in a straight line. If games hadn’t created interactive worlds where talking meant reading, teachers would have had to invent them.

If my mind ever goes, find this game in an old curiosity shop, put a Super Nintendo controller in my hands, and bring a voice recorder for yourself because it’ll all come back to me. My brain responds to blue dialogue boxes with white text like Pavlov’s dogs responded to dinner bells. “This was the game that started it all,” I’ll say, and by then we’ll know what “it” was.

If you’d like to continue watching this game, NextGen Walkthroughs has recorded it all while graciously omitting the voice-overs that spoil so many game videos.

How Video Games Pass on Traditional Culture

December 4, 2010

You’re a king or queen, and the gods offer you a choice: either your country’s name or an aspect of its culture can be passed on forever. Which would you take?

I ask because these are a few songs I know by heart.



There are musicians and professors who would be ecstatic to know I’m familiar with these styles, but I don’t know where they are. These songs come from the Genso Suikoden games on the Sony PlayStation. The music of cities that once were fills the streets of cities that will never be.

Modernization is a scapegoat for the demise of traditional culture. You’ve probably read an article or two about an old master who has devoted his life to his craft but worries it’ll die with him because the young don’t appreciate it. As legitimate as his feelings are, in some ways this is the golden age for the preservation of traditional culture. The arts that have survived until today can now be digitally preserved forever.

Gregorian Chant fans probably wrung their hands when organs were installed in chapels, but I heard chant live in my church here in Taipei last night. If something is unique and beautiful, someone will pass it on or revive it. Even if people don’t understand its origin, it will enrich them. If you were a creator, you wouldn’t mind that, right?

To keep a kid interested in a fantasy world for forty hours, especially when he’s passed through some already, game developers need to cast a wide net. I was taught about Leviathan, Odin, and the Minotaur in high school English class, but I’d already seen them years before in video games. I once spent a summer day when I was ten sitting on the floor reading this cover to cover. Now it’s practically an encyclopedia. I didn’t know I liked opera until I played this. I’ve always wondered where I could get clothes like this:

Secret of Mana Cast

Some American gamers have studied China’s Three Kingdoms Period through Dynasty Warriors. I lead this post with music from Genso Suikoden: the title and concept of that series come from another of the four great classical Chinese novels, Outlaws of the Marsh.

Final Fantasy IV Baron Throne Room
Final Fantasy IX Bahamut v. Alexander

It goes the other direction for the Japanese with mythology and medieval fantasy. Final Fantasy IV was made twenty years ago, Final Fantasy IX ten. (Yes, that castle has wings; it’s alive.) When I was six, I took the Western fantasy trappings in RPGs for granted. When I played them as an English teacher in Japan, I was shocked by how exotic it all must have been to my peers there. Not only the settings but also the language were foreign: scores of English words, like “Fire,” “Potion,” “Monster,” and “Cure,” were transliterated directly from English. Japanese kids have seen a lot more of Europe than they think.

For you music fans, here’s a sound test of ethnic music: city themes for seven games of the early to late ’90s.

Final Fantasy IV: Kingdom of Fabul
Secret of Mana: The Little Sprite
Wild ARMs: Seaside Town
Final Fantasy VII: Cosmo Canyon
Grandia: Prayers of Gumbo
Chrono Cross: Termina: Another
Xenogears: Dazil, Town of Burning Sands

All told, there’s enough material out there for a dissertation or two. I’m grateful for my education from school, but I’m also grateful for my education from Sony and Nintendo, which made the past so much more vivid than textbooks ever could.

Grandia

November 13, 2010

Harry Potter, Moulin Rouge, Final Fantasy 7, Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, Ani DiFranco, Ender’s Game, Rent: these things were huge among my friends ten years ago. Their impact was broad, but more importantly it was deep. Music, movies, and video games are treated as Entertainment in most newspapers, and that makes sense because Work and Family override all other emotional concerns for adults, and they care about Politics and Business as much as those can affect the same: Entertainment is a way to relieve stress on weekends. Adolescents, though, don’t have the same responsibilities and pressure and don’t have the same reasons to care about Politics and Business, so the role of “Entertainment” is much bigger. Naturally, the more exciting, stimulating, and skillful the art is, the better…and the more persuasive it is. For me, the arts [including games] were teachers. They showed me colors and worlds and feelings I’d never seen before, things that couldn’t be contained in the four walls of my home or the four corners of my town. Phrases like “art imitates life” or “life imitates art” didn’t make much sense to me because what was on the screen sometimes felt so much more real.

I don’t mean it’s immature to deeply appreciate art: otherwise, orchestras would never get standing ovations. The engine for some of my best friendships has been people sharing with me the music, games, and art they loved. Art is always important, but perhaps the way you relate to it changes: When you’re older, it takes you back, and when you’re younger, it drives you forward. It’s easier, when your experiences are less broad, to say “THIS is what it’s all about” or “unless you see this, it’ll be hard to understand me,” or to see something that changes who you are forever.

For me, it was a game. It was the summer between junior high and high school.

Grandia Album Cover

This opening video got me so excited that I started my game right away and saved over my little brother’s file, which already had 30 hours of work on it. I hope I can make that up to you some time, David!

In the end, most adventure games boil down to good and evil, and this one does too, but the best bring something extra. Lunar had humor, Final Fantasy Tactics political intrigue, Xenogears baroque complexity, Final Fantasy 7 gritty realism, but this game is about limitless adventure. Justin is a young man who “adventures” around town with his childhood friend Sue: your first task in the game is to find a “legendary” sword (a broom) and shield (a trash can lid). They go to visit Grandpa, a retired adventurer, and while spelunking in nearby mine discover that it has the ruins to an ancient advanced civilization, and that The Empire happens to be making a military-motivated archaeological dig as well…one thing leads to another, catapulting Justin and Sue out of their town and into the real world, which just gets bigger and bigger and bigger. The picture above, of the three looking over a jungle during sunset, comes after you’ve scaled a massive, massive wall called “The End of the World” and you’re looking out over the other side. So it wasn’t the end after all: in fact, most of the game is still before you. Eventually it’s too much for Sue, who has to go home, but by then Justin is already close to Feena, a girl a couple years older than him who’s already a famous adventurer…and things go from there.  As my friend Jericho says in the comments, a boy becomes a man.

I didn’t realize, when I played this game, that I would turn out so much like Justin. I didn’t realize I was growing up in a time when it was easier than ever to travel the world and immerse myself in different cultures. Or that the Internet was making society more open than it ever was before. It didn’t occur to me to go to college out of state, or to live in Spain, Japan, and Taiwan while traveling to a dozen other countries: no one I knew did that. It didn’t seem possible.

But the game opened up my mind. I knew while I was playing it that there wouldn’t be anything else like it. I felt like they made it just for me. Every new scene, new city, new race, and new character got me more excited. The environments were vast and expansive, with so many trap doors and treasures hidden in corners: it gave a feeling of freedom that wouldn’t be topped in an adventure game until Dragon Quest VIII. The cities were huge and bustling and full of people whose lines and lives changed as the game progressed, and sometimes you could help them out, so you wanted to talk to everyone. Grandia took 60 hours to finish, but I played it twice. It was exhilarating.

I have wonderful parents, and I grew up in a beautiful town, but kids need to push against something even when there’s nothing there to resist. I wanted to be a legendary hero. Ironically, I didn’t do a lot of physically thrilling and dangerous things then, not even roller-blading or skateboarding – I’m not that coordinated, and it was faster for me to take journeys in my head than to get the hang of those kinds of things. I was into Matt Christopher sports stories, then fantasy novels like LOTR and Redwall, and most of all video games, where the bright worlds, creative creatures, and dramatic scenes were animated right before me, and with my controller I was a part of it.

Like many people, the first game I ever played was Super Mario Bros. 3, at my teenage next door neighbor’s house. I was 6. I loved watching them play so much that once I came into their house uninvited to ask if we could play. The family was in the middle of a barbecue with friends. That didn’t go over so well. My parents noticed me looking at a picture strategy guide for Mario 3 every night, and Santa Claus gave me a Super Nintendo with Super Mario World that Christmas. It was my happiest December 25th ever. I was a little like this guy.

I spent a lot of time playing outside, sometimes sports but more often imaginary adventures. My friend Brian and I spent hours outside making up our own adventures, and then we’d play video games inside to get more ideas. When Brian wasn’t around, I played by myself. I filled hundreds of notebook pages with pictures and stats for imaginary video games and stories, rather derivative of the games I was playing, but the scholars will forgive me: I was 8!

I had imaginary adventures at school recess a lot, too, and sometimes a few friends joined in. Once I turned “Killer Instinct” into an adventure and two friends and I jumped around punching air for 20-hit combos for a week. One time it was raining, so we had indoor recess in the gym, but in my mind I was in the desert, so I was crawling around on the floor saying “Water!! Water!!” People thought this was hilarious so eventually 20 boys were doing it. Then I wanted to move to the next stage of the game, and they were like, “Huh?” I liked the attention so we went back to the desert.

Grandia: Justin and Feena

A few years later, after I’d had a couple relationships myself, I started to really appreciate the relationship between the two main characters. Do opposites attract, or should you be with someone who’s like you? I think the answer is “both.” He’s more reckless and she’s more prudent. Her emotional intelligence is way higher, but she also has more anxiety, and he can reassure her. Most importantly, they have the same goals and passions, and so it’s natural for them to spend the rest of their lives together.

At first, he’s not thinking about love at all. The love song I included is beautiful but idealizes what actually happened on the beach: she wanted to tell him her feelings, and he was all “Feena, what do you mean?” I was jumping up and down in my chair as he continued to not get it. But then, I felt like I -needed- love at the time. Someone can instead be so happy with his or her current life that romance isn’t even on the radar. Then a deep friendship, and perhaps a life-changing event (5:00-9:00), can make life even better.

When I was in Japan, I bought a PlayStation and the Japanese versions of the games I played in school. It’s my sentimental collection. I won’t have time for them unless I want to, say, teach my kids Japanese, but they helped me get where I am now. I’d like to let the creators know that some time.

Postscript: Another explanation of why video games are so popular
It’s important for people to get a feeling of achievement from somewhere. Kids, especially. Some are good at sports, and some are good at school, but everyone needs to be good at something. In a vibrant, connected community, kids can try things like arts and crafts, music, science projects, and building model airplanes, so maybe everyone finds something they can do. Games make a great substitute for everyone, though. The best are mental challenges, no different from puzzles. When you succeed, you feel happy about it. It was because you worked hard, organized well, or had a good idea. When you fail, you can move past it. One of the rough things about team sports and school competitions is that everyone sees you fail, and it’s embarrassing, but in a game, your defeats are private. Grandia, for example, had a great battle system. It was unique and had a lot of freedom, but the underlying structure was still strong: it felt like there was something to achieve, but achieving it wasn’t that frustrating. If you lost a battle, it was because your strategy could be better: there was always a way to win. Ideally, young gamers can find work and other activities that give them the same positive experiences.  A lot of people my age are going to play games their whole lives and also be very successful.

Falling Seven Times, Rising Eight: A Founding Father of Video Games

November 1, 2010

Source: 読売新聞 七転八起 「ゲーム時代 先取り」 辻本憲三 69歳 カプコン会長

Kenzo Tsujimoto

A Founding Father of Video Games
Kenzo Tsujimoto, Age 69, Chairman of Capcom

“Managing a confectionery got me into video games.”
After graduating from high school, I worked at a relative’s wholesale store until I opened a confectionery in Osaka at the age of 25. But it was the cotton candy machine, not the treats, that brought the kids into the store. After you paid, the bowl would spin, and it was sort of like a game. After I realized that, I turned the management of the store over to my wife and started hawking those machines.

While I was traveling the country, I turned a pachinko machine into a 10-yen-per-spin game, and the kids would try their luck on it over and over. “What people want most, after food, clothing, and shelter, is enjoyment,” I thought, so I resolved to go into the gaming business.

At first I purchased game machines and resold them, but after receiving thousands of orders from across the country, I thought it would be more profitable to make the machines myself, so in 1974 I established a company. Soon after that, “Space Invaders” arrived. After we licensed it from Taito, there were a huge rush of orders.

But the boom wouldn’t last long. Copycat games flourished, and we ended up with a supply glut. After covering our losses, I stepped down from the company.

Resurrection Thanks to the Goodwill of a Competitor
After I lost my job, Mr. Michael Kogan, President of Taito, reached out to me. He said that he would invest in anything I wanted to do in the gaming industry. I was so grateful. He passed away soon after, but even now, I visit his grave whenever I travel to Los Angeles.

Riding the Wave of the Gaming Age
With his investment, I founded Capcom in 1983. That same year, Nintendo launched the Family Computer [US Name: Nintendo Entertainment System]. At first, we designed games primarily for arcades, and when they were hits, we released them on the Famicom [NES].

I anticipated the demand for games that were like Disney movies, so I pushed for clear and colorful graphics and that feeling of liveliness and immediacy. The fruit of our efforts was Street Fighter 2. It hit the arcades in 1991, but its release on the new Super Famicom [Super Nintendo] made it a huge hit.

Strike Two
But our developers’ tight grasp on production rights started to noticeably increase our costs and damage the company. A number of games were losing money. As a result, we seized the authority from those administrators and halted production on our unprofitable products. Opposition inside the company was strong, but I firmly stated, “If you can’t go along with this, then quit.” Some did.

Becoming the Chairman in 2007 and Working for the Future
We split the responsibilities of the President into the roles of CEO and COO, and I dedicated myself to being Chief Executive Officer. I don’t move around as much now, but in my opinion, by focusing on the numbers I can watch over the company more now than I did as President.

I want to retire early and pass a good situation on to my successor. Since our company grew so quickly, however, we don’t have many managers in their 50s, and those in their 40s and below need more training. I’ll keep my nose to the grindstone so I can ensure stability for the most important members of the company, our shareholders and customers.

Kenzo Tsujimoto with Daughter

Hideki Kishimoto, a staff writer for the business section who is based in Osaka, conducted this interview.

Kenzo Tsujimoto was born in Nara in 1940. In 1960, he graduated from Unebi High School in the same prefecture. He sold game machines and established Capcom in 1983. He has held his current position since July 2007. Since 1997, he has served as Director for the Association of Copyright for Computer Software, organizing countermeasures against game piracy and the like. He is also a wine aficionado who privately established a brewery in California.

Capcom is a domestic game producer. Its name is an abbreviation for “Capsule Computer.” By referring to game software as a “capsule,” it refers to said software as a finished product and warns against illegal copies. “Devil Kings,” its 2005 game about the Warring States Period, caught the attention of young women and helped reignite interest in that era. Its revenues in the third quarter of 2010 were 66.8 billion yen, its highest ever. Company headquarters are based in Osaka’s Chuo District. (more…)