Bamboo Bounces Back

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In a week where illness knocked out the man with the MangaGamer plan, our fearless leader Bamboo delayed his second livechat for a day. As Kouryuu and Evospace took their places to translate with a boost from Shini and livetweets from Agi, would they be able to face the otaku hoards? Find out after the cut.

First and foremost, Bamboo appeared in his Panty and Stocking T-shirt and greeted everybody with a reminder that he’ll be at Anime Expo next week and professed his desire to meet as many of the fans as possible. He also apologised for not replying to comments on the forums lately due to the upcoming Japanese release of OVERDRIVE’s new game, Mighty Morphin Hentai Rangers Dengeki Stryker.

Speaking of Dengeki Stryker, the first question was whether or not the title would have a Western release, and Bamboo confirmed it to the world: MangaGamer will indeed be selling the English language edition, “so please look forward to it!” He also reminded everybody that Evangelion‘s Megumi Ogata (the voice behind Shinji Ikari) has a role in the game, and demanded everybody show her some respect! When asked if this meant questions about Kamen Rider were now fair game, the reply was: “I dunno much about Kamen Rider but if its something i can answer. lol”, proving once again that our boss has a good sense of humour.

Bamboo then moved on to Go! Go! Nippon!, confirming that the game won’t be available for AX but hopefully (“We’ll try to [finish] this game”) for Otakon and that it’s for everyone overseas. Describing the game, Bamboo extended a friendly hand, “For those who have difficulty coming to Japan, we made this game to kind of experience what it’s like here.” He also confirmed that the core game is complete and hopes to demonstrate it soon. Being a guidebook, the gameplay is short, and the estimated runtime will be confirmed once Bamboo has a chance to play it through all the way. Likewise, in making an iOS edition, “[Apple are strict about] iphone applications so even if its a bit erotic, it gets rejected.” The possibility of creating DLC patches with additional locations to explore such as Nakano Broadway was also discussed, and it was reiterated that the core game is going to be very cheap to buy.

Returning briefly to AX, Bamboo reminded everybody of our panel on Sunday, 3 July at 10:30PM PDT in LP2 (LACC502)  and that he’d be taking Q&A with Tororo-dancho from Circus as well as providing updates from the Japanese side of the industry. Bamboo also shared an anecdote: “I was happy to see a fan who said he liked Kira Kira when I was about to get into a Taxi at AX last year.”

In terms of our upcoming visitors, and what it means for licensing: “There’s a possibility that companies like Clochette will release games with us, but we mostly take guest companies to AX to show them what the American market is like…It’s like a future investment to show them around and get them interested.”

On the subject of overseas events, Bamboo confirmed that OVERDRIVE visited Japan Expo in Paris a few years ago, but because France isn’t exactly what you’d call an English speaking environment, he’s iffy about going back. For now, his core focus is on the American market (plus he loves visiting the US.)

One viewer commented on Bamboo’s guitar collection, asking about his musical interests and talents, to which he humbly replied “I’m *** at playing the guitar and singing… orz”.

The topic then shifted towards the ongoing recovery from the March earthquakes, and Bamboo stated that it had a direct affect on everybody in Japan, hence the slower turnaround of some of our recent games. He also pointed out that game sales in Japan have fallen as a result as well: “It’ll probably take a while for us to fully recover from the quake. I went to Sendai last weekend and it was horrible. I’ve never been to a war zone, but it must be like this… It’s as if a typhoon hit your house.”

Bamboo then was asked about Tokyo Governor Ishihara’s recent comments and Bill 156 and its impact on OVERDRIVE and MangaGamer’s releases, but he pointed out that for foreign releases, they aren’t particularly relevant.

Speaking of cute girls, our very own Comko entered the conversation as a viewer asked about the possibility of seeing her in games. While there’s nothing planned for her beyond appearing on our website at the moment, Bamboo did get a laugh out of seeing her naked on 4chan.

In terms of the Japanese industry creating games with internationalisation in mind: “There’s a cost and language barrier for japanese developers to start thinking about overseas, and things are hectic at the moment within Japan. There are some developers who are interested, but it all depends on the demand and what they consider a success in terms of overseas sales. We need to make a good case to do business for that if we want  to succeed in such circumstances.” He did confirm, however, that OVERDRIVE had non-Japanese audiences in mind when making Go! Go! Nippon! and Dengeki Stryker. Bamboo also professed a desire to study English, and asked for a cute English speaking girl to help. A viewer then offered to hook Bamboo up with his sister, a prospect our humble boss most graciously approved of.

Will there be more Higurashi? If you show demand for it (ed: read that as “buy the original and Kai”).

As some people may know, OVERDRIVE and Age are holding an event together on 24 June. Will there be an announcement? No, but “negotiations with Age are going steadily.” For what? Keep your eyes peeled!

In terms of contacting old eroge makers, Bamboo’s connections and associations only started in the early 2000’s, so vintage eroge would require opening a number of new lines of communication.

The subject of 999 came up, and Bamboo hopes that its exposure will help Kara no Shoujo upon release. (ed: Hint – Got friends who have 999 on their DS? Tell them to buy KnS!)

Taking a break from Q&A, Bamboo announced that after many delays, the comics section of will be opening in a month, and the video section will be open soon as well. While Bamboo’s not in charge of those areas personally, Kouryuu and I have seen the list of launch titles, and there are some real corkers and steamy classics there.

When asked how Bamboo became an eroge developer and what his family and friends think about it: “I was originally a creator of playstation games, but I was tricked into joining a bishojo game company! My friends and family are like, do what you want. Since I sing songs and stuff as well as make games, I’m in a bit different  situation. It takes a lot of work to start a company, but I’ve been able to make a living for the past 10 years by doing so.”

The discussion turned to the recent trend amongst us and our…er…friends(?) elsewhere of licensing projects which have fan translations and using those scripts and whether the threat of an unofficial edition made licensing easier. Bamboo replied that: “It depends on the company, and since the translation quality varies, we have to check it thoroughly anyway… and of course the Japanese companies are suspicious of the unofficial translations. Since the Japanese release is first priority, the overseas market is considered secondary.”

In a moment of candor: “Just a reminder, MangaGamer is still in the red, so please purchase our games. >< If you can, try to help us by boycotting illegal download sites.” (Ed. Seriously, please do. I like my job…) Bamboo also commented that OVERDRIVE games don’t make us extra money over anybody else’s as they’re used as experiments for releases and therefore use a lot of MG’s in-house resources, so share the love (and your Euros) equally.

Our best selling titles: #1 Koihime, #2 Shuffle. Worst selling: That’s a secret. Bamboo also pointed out that Navel’s president may not even be aware of how well his game’s doing for us, as he’s the most laid back company president Bamboo knows.

The next one loses something without the video, so complain to Kouryuu that we can’t cut it out.

Q:  What plans do mangagamer have against piracy?
A: Kill them all. (Yes, Bamboo answered in English.)

Chances of an Edelweiss or Kira Kira anime? Doubtful: “It’s really expensive to produce an anime. Even for a 13 ep show, it costs like a million dollars to create.”

Bamboo’s favourite eroge heroine: Multi from To Heart.

OVERDRIVE Nendroids? Bamboo’s up for it, depends on GSC. That said, OVERDRIVE have no plans to directly sell goods overseas. According to Bamboo, even figures and merchandise made in China have trouble clearing US customs.

In terms of upgrading prior releases to newer, expanded editions (e.g. DC to DCPC), it depends on sales. At the moment, it’s unlikely: “It’s costly for us to localize a title and if it fails, it hurts us bad…”

We know some of you have been asking for it, and the official line about Shin Koihime Musou: “We don’t have any plans to release Shin Koihime Musou at the moment, but since the sales were good, I’m sure we’ll start talking about it soon or later.” That said, “About the voice acting issue: since the voice actor agencies are hard-headed, they demand a lot and thus we have to release some games without voices.”

BL games? “We don’t have any plans for BL titles because I don’t really know how well they’ll sell…” (Ed. Are you out there, girls and gays? Show us you’re out there and that you’ll buy this stuff if you want it!)

Our friend Zalas from encubed inquired about games with further gameplay: “It’s difficult because porting them is a lot of work, and the game company needs to be really interested and has to help us. I personally would like to make a bishojo game like Fallout 3… if I had that kind of money.”

Will OVERDRIVE be making another music themed game? “For sure. As long as I’m still interested in playing music.” Soundtracks from MG? “We’re worried about piracy since they’d probably be uploaded on an illegal site as soon as it goes up. Thanks for the comments tho, really happy to know that American fans care about my songs.”

For everybody who’s been wondering what’s up with ef… “minori told me we should have something to look at soon. They’re taking everything seriously; sorry about the delay (although i have no control over it).”

In terms of hard copies, the future of LE’s are currently residing in the hands of DC/DCII. For standard editions, “we’re negotiating about future hard copies, but ideally I’d like to release all our games in package form. The most difficult thing, though, is how we’re going to sell them, since there isn’t really a concrete sales route other than at conventions.”

And on that sombre note, Bamboo brought proceedings to an end, thanking everybody for visiting and reminding them to come back to for the next broadcast.

Also, though there’s no translation in the video itself, those who understand Japanese can watch Bamboo in the livecast here.

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  1. Wow, MangaGamer has been trading for how many years now and they still haven’t even made a penny?

    • They most likely have made a penny, but its the ole ‘You gotta spend money to make money’. I’m assuming they’ve gotten out of the red, licensed more titles, gone back in the red, ect since profits aren’t probably stable enough to keep them out of the red permanently.

  2. Interesting read, even though I was there during the live chat. Apparently there were a few things I missed live.

    “A viewer then offered to hook Bamboo up with his sister, a prospect our humble boss most graciously approved of.”
    Negaotiations with my sister are going steadily.

    “Speaking of cute girls, our very own Comko entered the conversation”
    So her name is confirmed to be Comko?

  3. The live chat was very interesting and I look forward to attending more in future.

    I really hope more people buy the Higurashi games. I’d love to see an English release of Higurashi When They Cry Rei, as well as other 07th Expansion titles (Higanbana no Saku Yoru ni, perhaps?). At any rate, more all-ages titles would be great!

    @Nurio: Haha, let us know how your sister gets on with Bamboo. xD Also, yeah, I suppose she’s being known as Comko now. 🙂

  4. ” Bamboo did get a laugh out of seeing her naked on 4chan.”

  5. Seems like it was an interesting chat with lots of good info on Go! Go! Nippon! as well as other stuff, shame I was unable to get involved 🙁

    Although I’m not surprised, I have to be honest and admit to being slightly disappointed that MG is going to continue with the US being the main (only?) thrust of marketing and sales rather than looking at the West as a whole, but then as I say I can’t say I’m too surprised but I do personally think it’s a lost opportunity that could generate sales especially as Europes’ (in particular) Manga and Anime sales are higher than the US.

    All in all though, seems like an informative chat. Now let’s just hope that Go! Go! Nippon! is available as a hard copy from MG in Europe, preferably at the same time as in the US.

    • I’ll find the proof later but Europe has worse sales than the United States in terms of Anime but better sales in the manga department. Although recently the titles (and prices) have been lackluster and most people are simply not able to afford either in both countries.

      America is also easier to get games released into. In Europe don’t they have a policy of no “weird porn”. America as of the moment does not have that policy…

      I’m actually interested in Go Go Nippon but unless it is less than 10 dollars it will probably go over my budget. I am interested in KnS though…which is only because of that damn trial. It got me interested and now I get to spend more money that I honestly don’t have until I go back to my job in August.

      I’m a member of a club in the US for anime and I am putting on a visual novel day. I’m buying a bunch of cdrs and putting demo/trial versions of various games on the disc and then giving them to the people that bother to stay for the event. hopefully interest some new people into the visual novel fandom.

      • “America is also easier to get games released into. In Europe don’t they have a policy of no “weird porn”. America as of the moment does not have that policy…”

        Funny, I perceive this almost opposite. I think in America there can be a lot of commotion over a little nudity. I remember there being a poll on what parents don’t want their kids to see. The top-voted answer was “Two men kissing”* and the lowest-voted answer was “Someone’s head being blown off”.

        (I realize that “Two men kissing” is not really erotic, but it does show how much anything like this is out of the comfort zone of “the typical American” according to the poll.)

        And here in The Netherlands, woo boy… Almost all the movies have full-frontal nudity as if it’s the most normal thing.
        Sure, In America there may be movies like American Pie where there are breasts aplenty, but still… I can’t say USA is the country most tolerant towards nudity and sex.

        • I agree with you, though there may be some people who think they are living in a “land of the free”. They’re not.

        • I can still remember an article written by a guy from IGN. Years ago he was visiting Leipzig, Germany because of Games Convention and he was really surprised of the ads here and there showing women in underwear. So he came up with something like “So the Germans like bras but no guns. Not a bad attitude!”. I had to smile.

          • Yeah, I’d say in Europe people like guns less and nudity more, and it seems the opposite in the USA.

            Of course, that differs a little from country to country (Europe) and state to state (USA).

          • TBH, I prefer tits to guns…guns are cool and all, but tits are epic. I guess that’s why I’m considered a liberal…

          • Of course, just as it differs from country to country (or state to state), it differs from person to person as well.
            But if we look at the bigger picture and generalize like heck, then I think we’ll see the USA is more opposed to nudity.

  6. I really appreciate that picture!

  7. If Mangagamer is focusing on the American market, I really wish they would have fixed prices in dollars, so I could know how much I am paying for a game at any given moment and so I could avoid the currency conversion fee from my credit card. The first time I looked at the MG site, that was a big barrier that made me not want to purchase (and being a straight female was a big enough barrier already). I didn’t make the plunge until I discovered they had an all ages version of KiraKira, about a year later.

    I’ve said this before, but I sure would buy BLs games…probably the moment they were released.
    And I think it’s awesome that bamboo’s favorite bishoujo heroine is Multi, because she is my favorite too! He has great taste!

    • Totally agree, if MG wants to increase the sales in the US market, they should add the fixed price in US dollars. The fluctuating exchange rate and conversion fee really put off a lot of potential buyers from the US.

      • I really don’t think changing it into dollars will all of a sudden win over thousands of sales. If the euro sign is somehow the deal breaker for you, then you have a lot of other issues and I don’t think buying from Manga Gamer is on that list.

        Plus, the USD is listed right beside the euro price and I’m quite sure that’s updated daily if not more. If the price conversion fee is what you’re worried about, then you may want to get a card that doesn’t charge for that. I make frequent enough international purchases, my card doesn’t charge for currency conversion and I get airline miles with no annual fee…

        Not quite rocket science…

  8. So, unable to contain my curiosity, I went on a search for this mentioned image of Comko.

    I found it.

    Oh my…

  9. I’d be interested in BL titles, but I’m not sure if you guys should try to acquire any at this point in time. I’m not sure how many other BL fans would buy them and I really wouldn’t want you guys to get deeper in the red. I’ll start doing my part to help you by purchasing some of your stuff. I’d asked this on another post but I didn’t get an answer so I’ll ask here. Does Mangagamer accept prepaid credit cards? I hope so because that’s the only way I’ll be able to support you guys.

    • I’m pretty sure they do, i believe I’ve seen posts where peoples cards didn’t work and the suggestion was to get a prepaid card instead.

      and yes <3 BL titles! If your going to support any of their companies, I'd choose Baseson. Baseson has a BL brand (Baseson~Spice~), although its not the greatest BL brand out there it's a start.

      • I’m glad they do so now I can help support them. Oh yeah, I’ve heard of Baseson’s BL brand and of their game Shinkon-san ~Sweet Sweet Honeymoon~. I’m not particularly interested in it or any of Baseson’s titles to be honest, but I guess one can’t be too picky when it comes to BL titles. When it comes to BL games I’m more interested in Tennenouji’s Luckydog1 or Core’s Messiah.

        I had planned on just buying Kara no Shoujo for now. I want to help it sell well so we can get the sequel and other Innocent Grey titles. I suppose I can buy some other titles as well though. Maybe Shuffle since I’d love to see Oretsuba brought over. And of course, I’ll probably purchase some Overdrive games too.

  10. Nintendo Maniac 64

    What?! When did this chat happen – I check the blog every single day, and nothing was mentioned! How the heck was it known that this was going to occur?

  11. Nice read since I wasn’t there for the live chat.

    “I was originally a creator of playstation games, but I was tricked into joining a bishojo game company!

    lol think this is the funniest thing I’ve read in a while. On the other hand, oh how I would love to join a bishojo game company! If only the majority of americans would stop being shy about liking cute female characters.

  12. Good to hear the news about Dengeki Stryker. But I’d really like to play Deardrops soon.. ~_~

  13. Nice Live.
    My only disapointment was the No i got for the Goodies sales in west… Too bad ;'(

  14. I don’t know where to ask this, but are you guys planning to translate D.C2 Spring Celebration?
    I’d love to have it translated, because I want to continue the story of D.C II.. Would definitely buy it for alot in that case!

  15. Hilarious =D

  16. reading this kinda made me want to buy 5 copies of KnS lol, to make sure we get more good games. But seriously, will there be a way to buy a game as a gift, to a friends account, similar to the way you can do it on steam.

  17. It was a nice chat even I had to stand up 3:45 AM.^^; The time for us Europeans isn’t that perfect yet.

  18. this was very entertaining to read.

    I may have missed the stream again…but this was entertaining enough

  19. Megumi Ogata’s in Dengeki Stryker? I can’t wait for it! She’s one of my favorite seiyuu. Who does she voice?

  20. Our best selling titles: #1 Koihime, #2 Shuffle.
    It’s a lie,SHUFFLE! sells to date over more 10000 copies against “only” over 2000 copies of Koihime -.-

    Chances of an Edelweiss or Kira Kira anime? Doubtful: “It’s really expensive to produce an anime. Even for a 13 ep show, it costs like a million dollars to create.”
    Thanks for the heavens,anime versions for KIRA*KIRA and Edelweiss had going to be an big shits like anime versions of SHUFFLE!,Da Capo,ef,Wind…

    • “It’s a lie,SHUFFLE! sells to date over more 10000 copies against “only” over 2000 copies of Koihime -.-”

      I can really imagine you singing “I’m a Yagami girl, in a Yagami world” right now…
      Those numbers you mentioned couldn’t (sadly) be further from the truth.

    • I would love to have access to your inside information, I mean how else could you have exact numbers for the sale of Shuffle! & Koihime…

      Yagami world must be wonderful…

    • The Wind and Da Capo anime were terrible…

  21. ef anime is actually masterpiece

    • How so? It made Kei look like a bitch. Took out loads of info on Yuuko’s story. The animator tried his hardest to show shots of the sky(So artistic,right?)

      • Protip, Kei IS a bitch…

        • How is she anymore a bitch than Miyako?
          She asked the protag(Her childhood friend) to see here basket ball game. Miyako comes in and tells protag he can’t or she will leave and offers sexy time.

          • Kei did much worse things to Miyako just because she wanted Hirono-kun for herself. Miyako was only afraid she will lose Hirono-kun after all that Kei said to her.

          • Miyako’s sexy time was much sexier than blue-balling Kei’s…

          • Protip, the quickest way to a guy’s heart is through his pants (don’t pretend you didn’t know that).

            Kei had HOW many years and didn’t even realize that?

  22. Nintendo Maniac 64

    In other news, I find bamboo’s comments on Steve Jobs’ strictness interesting because Android is nowhere near as strict, and yet bamboo didn’t acknowledge the platform at all!

    May I remind him that, in the US, Android matches iOS in terms of market share:

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