Sunday, December 22, 2013

No Con Kid eps 1-4

While Yuusha Yoshihiko was a great love letter to Japanese RPGs, No Con Kid is a love letter to Japanese gaming in the 80s. While I did not grow up in Japan, Japanese games and 80s anime and tv shows like Ultraman were such an influencial part of my childhood and this child is pure nostalgia for me. While there's no anime and tokusatsu in No Con Kid, its the whole pop culture vibe that permeates this show that makes it so nostalgic.

Hottest thing a girl can say to a gamer in the 80s.

Haru says, "Then I will level up while you guys study."

" Don't worry, I won't move the story forward." RPGs back in the day require a lot of grinding. I remember my cousin taping a button down to auto grind in Phantasy Star 2. Nowadays I find grinding stupid and one should be able to finish RPGs with just the correct tactics.

No Con Kid which is short for No Continue Kid, tells the story of three friends; Kid the best player at this game center, Reiji the son of the owner of the game center played by Hotoke from Yuusha Yoshihiko and Haru, a girl who is the second best Xevious player at the game center. It was a time when games were about high scores and no internet to share hints and tips. A time where fellow arcade gamers shared tips in a notebook at the game center.

The Xevious face off.

I love how they use actual games in this dorama not just as a backdrop but also to tell stories with a couple of game face offs. Street Fighter 2 better be in future episodes because that game really changed arcade gaming. Episode three with the line about the pacman safe spot is so kokoii! Watching this show is just 80s nostalgia porn.

I am listening to Ito Tsukasa as I type this. :)

I look at all the games and props and think how much fun it must have been being the set decorator in this dorama. They even managed to procure the manual for Pole Position. I like how No Con Kid talks about the advent of the Famicom and whether it would threaten the arcade business as people could play Xevious in the comfort of their own home.

Episode 4 is about DragonQuest II being on sale with our two dudes having exams coming out. Best episode so far and I just want to blog about this series before I continue watching. I can talk more about the story after I finish watching.

No Con Kid is a dorama for people who grew up in a time when politicians used Game Centers as an easy target to get in the news. Its a show  for people who have marathoned RPGs at a friend's place by taking turns because games are not cheap. Its a show for people who've played games again and again until they got good enough to easy clear the game. No Con Kid is a show for gamers who look back with fondness at a time when unlimited continues and regen health did not exist.

What is your Dorakue (DragonQuest) command?

Reiji has leveled up!

I have no idea how No Con Kid would play to people who aren't old school gamers. There are so many gaming references that make this story about 3 friends so enjoyable for me. If you think Game Center CX is one of Japan's greatest programs, this dorama is for you. I think basic Japanese is enough to watch this show so I encourage everyone to give it a try.


Mano Erina + Patlabor = Wet Dream. Teaser trailer is out. So far so good. Hopefully it doesn't turn into another Yamato. Hopefully Oshii Mamoru will keep the CG shots to a minimum like Gantz since it only has a budget of $20 million.

Mano Erina + Sono Sion didn't turn out as good as I hoped but it feels like a godsend with my favourite idoru first working with my favourite director and now acting in a movie sequel to one of my favourite old school animes directed by the dude who directed GiTS. Its coming out in Japan as a seven part movie series starting in April. I'm sad Mano-chan quit singing but its worth it for Sono Sion and now Patlabor!


kondthol said...

Glad you enjoy No Con Kid. The only thing that buggers me is that the 3 main actors are far too old for their characters (they are already 20s while theirs are middle schooler), but I find it very funny and adds to the hilarity of the show. Hope someone pick this one up to be subbed

Jesus Christ Supercop said...

This new Patlabor seems to have a very different tone than the series. It has no colors, the uniforms are dull and militaristic and the teaser makes it seem like some kind of epic action spectacle.

But it's a continuation of Patlabor 2, which pisses all over the first movie, the series and the OVAs by being too pessimistic and gloomy. Oshii hasn't done anything lighthearted, that I can recall, since the first Patlabor movie.

Aside from the (hopefully not awful) novelty of seeing Patlabor in live action, I'm not looking forward to this.

Akiramike said...

kondthol, the story goes from 1981 to present day.

JCS, 20 million is not much for 7 movie action spectacle. It'll have to be about the characters just like the series.

Anonymous said...

Rootabega sez:
Really enjoyed this review for No Con Kid, especially the great screencaps. I'm not a gamer (say what?), but I used to be really into it, peaking at the same time NCC starts. I watched the first ep and really loved it. My favourite aspect so far is hearing the video game sounds. The incidental music is by the other dude from Denki Groove (i.e. not Pierre Taki).