Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Difficult Decision

This weekend, the plan was to meet up with Kyle (Stunedge, the Ky player from the US), and Axel (an Eddie player from Singapore) to team up for the 2 tougeki tournaments this weekend. However, I had an enkai to go to on Friday night first. The enkai was for the PTA so there were lots of parents of the students there in addition to the teachers. Seeing drunken PTA moms flirt with teachers is pretty amusing. I ended up getting convinced into staying all the way till the 3rd party and didnt leave till after 1 am (and the enkai started at 6:30). I knew I would be pretty fucked if I woke up with a hangover in the morning and had to take a 4 hour train ride to Chiba with not much sleep, so I drank one of those anti hangover drinks before I went and it worked like a charm.

I woke up the next day at around 7:15 am and was able to catch a train that left at like around 8:30. When I was about to get to Ueno station, I got a call from Axel saying that he was going to also arrive at Ueno soon and he wanted to meet me there, so I said I would wait for him. After waiting for a little bit I tried to call him to see where he was at, but for some reason when I tried to call the number back it kept giving me error messages. Probly something to do with the fact that its a singapore phone number or something. I waited around for like maybe a half hour or more and I really didnt want to be late to register for the tournament, so I figured it would be best to just keep going. He knew where the tournament was so I figured he would find the place OK on his own. After some more time on the train, I finally arrived at Yachiyodai station in Chiba at about 1:15. I had no idea where exactly the HAP game center was so I called Kyle to see where he was at and if he had an idea of where to go. He said that he checked and that the game center was near the west exit of the station. There were sorta 2 west exits... one was like the southwest exit and the other was the northwest exit and they were seperated by the train tracks. I went out at the northwest exit and started to walk around for a bit. Eventually I found a pachinko place and figured they might be a good place to ask. The guy at the pachinko place told me that there was a game center on the other side of the tracks at a big shopping mall called something ELM. I went to check it out and there WAS a game center on the top floor of the mall... but it wasnt the right game center and it didnt even have Guilty Gear. From there I asked the dude working there if there was another game center and he pointed down the street out the window and said it was a little ways down. I walked that way and saw a small green sign that said GAME. I went inside and it ended up being just some Karaoke place with like 2 cabinets in the lobby heh. After that I headed back to the original area I was looking in and called Kyle back. He said he would be arriving soon but there was only like 15 minutes left before signups were scheduled to end. At this point I still couldnt get a hold of Axel and I figured it was hopeless and we werent even going to get to enter but I kept searching anyway because I still wanted to get there. I walked around on the other side some more and eventually I found it with about 1 minute to spare before signups were over. (It turns out the place was across the street from the Karaoke Game place I was at earlier but my stupid ass just didnt notice it....). I dashed inside and went to the desk to register and I was able to sign our team up right before they were ending signups.

Right after I signed us up, Kyle called me saying he arrived at the station. I left to go get him to show him where the place was. When we got back inside we went over to the are where everyone was crowded around the one single guilty gear cab they had, but despite only having one cab, they had a great viewing area with benches and the cab was hooked up to several monitors for easy viewing (but having one cab still means long wait on casuals). It ended up turning out that Axel was actually there the whole time and arrived way before I did. He said that when he called me earlier, he didnt say he wanted to meet at Ueno. I guess I mis heard him since he has an accent and its sometimes difficult for me to hear it. He had already signed our team up earlier so I was worrying for nothing, but I hadnt heard from him so I had no idea. I told the chick at the counter that we already registered twice and to remove one of the signups.

There were a few really good teams at the tournament. Basara was there with a team (I forgot who he teamed with). Sharon and Inoue teamed up with Karun this time. Kaqn formed a team with Kishitaka and TEN. HH was there as well, and his team was Ririko and... SAVP! And guess what! SAVP has a name! Ok get ready... here it is. SAVP's real name is....................................................................................

CGB Spend... er, I mean Masutani. Before the tournament started I only got to play one game of casuals against some Slayer player who I lost to. Axel played him as well and lost. Kyle spent most of the time before the tournament playing Arcana Heart 2 vs the CPU for whatever reason. Eventually it was time for the tournament to start. Some noteworthy matches I saw were Kaqn OCVing a team of KY, JA, VE with his HOS, and he didnt lose a single round. There was also this crazy Sol player (who wasnt Kusoru) who made this huge comeback for his team and reverse OCVed some other team. Karun also OCVed a 2 man team of DI and PO. Not long after that, it was time for our match, and we were the 2nd to last match to play for the first round. We had suspected it since we hadnt seen them play yet, and our suspisions were indeed correct... that our first match was to be against HH/Masutani/Ririko. We let Axel go first since Eddie has no bad matchups and its a safe opener. The first match was Axel's ED vs Ririko's BR. Axel won a round and it was a close match but he wasnt able to beat her. Kyle went next because Ky is pretty good against Bridget. Unfortunately Kyle lost as well. Now it was up to me to pick up the slack. I lost the first round and then won the 2nd round. The 3rd round was going well and I managed to bait one of her bursts in the corner. When I went to punish it with standing kick (which would have killed her right there), I accidently got some other move, I think jumping kick or something, and it whiffed. She was then able to pressure me for a while but I blocked well and eventually snuck in a throw after she hit me with a blocked Bridget ass poke move (9p). Up next was me vs Masutani. The first round was very close but I ended up losing. The 2nd round I guess wrong at the start of the match and got knocked down right away and he pretty much just locked me down the entire round. I managed to hit him and didnt get perfected but he dominated the majority of the round and I couldnt recover from my early mistake. I was pretty disapointed that we lost first match but since it was vs such a strong team I tried to not let it really bother me so much and figured we would do better tomorrow. After we lost, we decided to just leave because we wanted to play casuals and the tournament was going to take forever on one cab. (Note: Masutani once again didnt say a single word to me the entire time).

After we left, we headed to Akihabara to play some casuals, and Axel wanted to meet Ogawa. The other guys went right into Club Sega but I went to Hey game center which is like 2 buildings down real fast because the SFIV location test was going on there this weekend and I just wanted to pop in and check it out. There werent any new characters and nothing looked EXTREMELY different since the previous info that I knew about the game. Most of the changes from the last test were character balancing tweaks. There were some new colors for characters and some of the graphics and character models looked a bit more polished. I didnt intend to stick around and wait in line to play, but I just wanted to check it out real fast (I figured id get the info from SRK later and would much rather just practice GG for tomorrow's tournament). After only about 5 minutes, I headed to Club Sega. Unfortunately, Ogawa wasnt there but there were plenty of other various players. While I was playing on one of the cabs, I got an email on my phone. After I won my match, I checked it real fast and it was from HH. He asked me if I would be entering the next Chiba B-5 series tournament which would be in Narita tomorrow. He said that he wanted me to join his team and that it would be himself, Ririko, and me. This came totally out of nowhere and the last thing I was expecting was the team that defeated us in todays tournament to ask me to join them in place of the guy who actually beat me. However, given the way Masutani always operates, im sure he simply just told them that he was gonna team with someone else tomorrow or something. In addition I guess Ririko thought I was good since I beat her, and HH had sorta toyed with the idea of teaming with me in the past. This sounded like a GREAT team and I was pretty excited. BUT.... at the same time, I had already made a promise to Kyle and Axel that I would team with them tomorrow and we would enter the Saitama series B-4 finals at Saitama POPY. So now I was faced with a rough decision.... do I go with the strong team that has a much higher chance of victory... or do I stay good on my word and keep my promise. I felt like leaving those guys would be sorta a douchebag move since they both just arrived in Japan from other countries and seemed like they really wanted to team with me. At the same time I was thinking to myself... "fuck that, play to win!" I pondered this for about 2 hours while I was still playing casuals. During this time, I played Axel several times and he picked about 4 different characters on me but he didnt beat me. He had told me that Singapore only had like 6 guilty gear players in the whole country and no one uses Faust so he doesnt know the matchup at all. I played Kyle like once or twice but he wasnt able to beat me either... though Ky is pretty bad against Faust. After a little while, both Kyle and Axel were playing on 2 cabs next to eachother. While they werent playing a match, I showed them the message I got from HH because I wanted to see how they would react. Both of them just didnt really seem to think much of it based on their reaction. Then they went back to playing. I wanted some advice so I went outside to call Matt (he wasnt gonna come drinking tonight since he was drinking too much the night before.... wuss (just fuckin with you Matt :P)). I explained the situation to Matt and asked him what I should do. I asked him that if I decided to go through with teaming with HH if he would team up with Axel and Kyle instead so that they wouldnt be screwed without a full team. He said that he would be willing to do it but that he didnt really want to since he sorta had plans to do some other stuff tomorrow. He also said that if he was in Kyle and Axel's situation, he would have told me to team with HH, but I already knew that. This is a little different I suppose given the circumstances (Axel is only going to be in Japan till after next weekend). In the end I knew this would have to be my decision alone. Ultimately I decided ditching those guys would be kinda an asshole move and I didnt wanna inconvenience Matt either so I figured it would be a selfish decision. I figured it would be fair to at least give them another chance since they lost to Ririko and shes really good. I grudgingly sent a reply to HH saying that I was very surprised to hear that he wanted to team with me, and that the truth was that I wanted to, but that I would be unable to due to the fact that I had already promised today's team mates that I would team with them again tomorrow at the Saitama Popy tournament. I also asked him who won todays tournament. He replied saying "I see, Karun/Inoue/Sharon won." Shortly after this, it was getting later and people were starting to clear out. Axel and I wanted to go to Shinjuku to play at Vegas before heading out to Current (Axel figured it would be good to stick with me since he doesnt know his way around, even though he doesnt really drink), but Kyle said he has stuff to do so he was gonna go back to his cousin's place where he was staying.

Axel and I headed back to Shinjuku and arrived at Vegas. There were a good ammount of people there and among them were Nakamura, Zero, Komayuki, Nemo, Nanashi, and Kazuki (who had like a 30 win streak when we arrived). I didnt actually get to play against most of the people I mentioned above since some of them were sorta doing more watching than playing and there were lots of other people there. Nakamura told me that he would be entering the Saitama POPY tournament tomorrow with his ussual team. After playing for a little while, it got slow and most people had left, so it was time to go to Current.

It was a busy night at Current and a bunch of the ussual regulars like Antii and a bunch of his Finish friends, Chip, Sawa, and a ton of girls I know that go there often were there. In addition to that, the tables in the back were full of random people I dont know who were there for some sorta wedding party or something. Sushi and Mogi were bartending as ussual. Axel is a nice guy but hes very quiet and shy and pretty much has only gotten drunk like once in his life. He said it was off of some crazy 14% abv beer imported from India that he chugged like really fast and ended up getting sick and throwing up or something so he was weary to drink again after that. I convinced him to get a beer and just drink at a slow pace and he would be fine. I also tried to get him to talk to some people. Throughout the night he made an effort to talk to a few people like Chip and some girls. I had a good time as ussual just getting fucked up and chilling with everyone as I always do. We stayed till 5 am and headed to the ussual manga kissa across from Vegas where I always sleep. This was Axel's first time sleeping at a manga kissa so he was a bit weary about having his stuff get stolen while he was sleeping but I assured him that he had nothing to worry about as I had been sleeping here every weekend for like the past 9 months and have never encountered the slightest bit of a problem doing it.

After about 5 and a half hours of sleep, we woke up and headed for Saitama Popy. I called Kyle and told him to meet us at Omiya station. He said that it might take him slightly longer to get there since he was a bit farther. We had to transfer to a private train line from there and then once we were to arrive in Iwatsuki (the station closest to POPY), the plan was to take a cab since the game center was far as hell from the station and I didnt want to go through that shit again that happened in the "Adventures in the Inaka" blog entree again. Axel and I arrived at the station and waited around for Kyle for a good while. We had time to get some McDonalds and go to the ATM and a bunch of other stuff. While we were waiting for Kyle, several Guilty Gear players passed by us as we were standing around and waved hello to me. Eventually, like one minute after the train we were planning to catch left the station without us, Kyle showed up. We had to wait around for the next train but eventually we arived at Iwatsuki station. We immedietly got in a cab since we were getting close to the time when signups would end. Kyle told the cab driver the address of the arcade and the cab driver ended up getting lost and drove around in circles for a good while. We eventually wound up at the parking lot of a place that we figured was down the street from POPY but we couldnt turn right because of a divider in the road, so Kyle got out to walk down the street a little to see if it was down there. He came back saying he didnt see the place. We drove around a bit more and wound up going in a big circle again and eventually we found the arcade. It was pretty much exactly where Kyle walked up to but he didnt notice it for whatever reason.

When we arrived at the arcade we were able to register. The place was fucking packed! Appearently, Saitama POPY will close down very soon, so many of the players came out to todays tournament in order to play there one last time, as it is a pretty well known arcade with a big history of great tournaments. They fortunately had 5 cabinets going so there was plenty of opportunities to play casuals even with all the people there. Just about every big name team I can think of showed up to this, except for HH's team. I figured that as a result of this, they would end up winning todays tournament for sure. Before the tournament started I got a small win streak and ended up beating Nakamura, ABEGEN, and a few other people. The tournament was capped at 32 teams and there ended up being a full bracket. They left one cabinet for casuals during the tournament and it was run on the other 4 cabs. It didnt take very long for them to call our first match. It was to be against ABEGEN's team, and he was teaming with a Ky and Axl player (but I dont remember their names). We figured that I would be able to beat ABEGEN and the Ky player and that Kyle could beat the AX since he said he knew the matchup. Since Eddie is good vs anyone, we let Axel go first with his ED and would counter pick from there if he lost. They selected their AX player first. So first match was Axel vs Axl (lol). Axel won a round, but and it was pretty close but he unfortunately lost. Kyle went next since he said he could handle Axl (I can sometimes beat good Axl's but I still hate the matchup). Kyle actually came really close. There was one point where Axl whiffed something and Kyle punished him with a weak combo that lead to knock down. Kyle could have actually killed him right here if he just did a stronger combo since he had the bar to do it and could have really done anything he wanted. I guess ill chalk this up to nervousness but in the end, the combo didnt kill him, Axl comes back and kills Kyle. At this point I was feeling dejavu from yesterday all over again. I really didnt want to lose first round again. I played against the Axl fairly well, winning the first round. 2nd round I lose. 3rd round, I was at a huge disadvantage and was way behind. I hit him with a forward HS and did a huge combo on him and was making a nice comeback. At one point I ended up above his head while he was in the corner. I was gonna come down on him with pogo forcebreak but it came out as regular air dust and I got hit by a chain on the way down into bomber loop for the lose. At this point I just felt numb and really upset and just walked away from the cab without saying a word to anyone and just went to go play some casuals. I really was regreting my decision to not team with HH at this moment. As the tournament went on I just didnt really give a crap about paying attention to the matches going on and just wanted to play casuals. It got a little later and I asked emailed HH, asking him who won the tournament in Narita. Much to my surprise, his team didnt win. The winning team was Kuni, Taku, and Chikkusa. I was honestly a bit happy to hear that they lost because if they had won I really would have regretted my decision even more. Though I really cant say if having me on the team would have made a difference or not. HH told me they ended up teaming with Masutani again afterall. I asked him if he would like to form a team with me and Ririko for next weekend but he said that Ririko already made plans with a completely different team and that HH himself wanted to team with some old friends. He claims that he feels his Dizzy is weaker than it was last year and he feels like a liability. He also told me that he likes my Faust and he expects to see good results from me soon. Whether this is all an excuse because he doesnt really wanna team up with me or if he really means it I have no idea, but Ill just take his word for it.

Anyway... I didnt pay much attention to most of the tournament but the finals for the preliminary were between FAB/Nakamura/Shoot vs Komayuki/Pan Shokunin/Keba. I did watch this. Nakamura took out Komayki and Pan and what seemed like was going to be an OCV resulted in a reverse OCV as Keba's ABA went and ended up defeating Nakamura, Shoot, and finally FAB in a close match. It was really hype and everyone was making lots of noise. After the prelim, there was a lot of down time until the actual finals would start. We stayed and played a lot more casuals for a while. Eventually when it did start, i still really just played casuals mostly. I did watch one match where Osaka B took out Komayuki on pogo stance for the entire full 2 rounds. Kyle left slightly before us. It got a little later and Axel and I called a cab and took it back to the station. Since Axel is staying here from Singapore and his friends (they dont play guilty gear) who he was going to stay with arnt coming till Wednesday, I agreed to let him crash at my apartment in Gunma for a few days. We stopped and got some food at Sukiya and then headed out on the train. When we arrived at Takasaki to switch trains, we ran into Amy, one of the other teachers in my town. We talked with her on the way back and eventually arrived in my town and got off. We pretty much just went to sleep after we got back since I had to work early in the morning.

Axel has been at my house since then and we played a lot of casuals. He left this morning. Between that and work being busy I havnt really had much time to type up this entree till now. Next weekend there will be 2 more qualifiers in the Chiba B-5 series with the finals being on Sunday. I am not yet sure who I will be teaming with since I promised Umemura and Shiratori that I would team with them again sometime. I guess ill wait and see what happens....

Monday, May 19, 2008

Saitama Omiya and Fukaya Tougeki quals

Earlier this week I went through my phone and just emailed everyone I figured might team with me, asking if they wanted to join forces this weekend. On Friday I got a reply from Umemura (the Baiken I teamed with last weekend) saying that he could team up for Saturday but would be busy sunday. He said he had a friend who plays HOS who didnt have much tournament experience but was good. Komayuki (the Eddie that was with me and Umemura last weekend) had a different team already planned for this weekend.

On my way to Tokyo on the train, Matt emailed me saying he wanted to meet up in Shinjuku to go drinking and play games so I said I would go to Vegas and he could meet me there. When I got to Vegas there were a good ammount of players but Matt wasnt there yet, he was still at an Izakaya doing nomihodai (all you can drink). HH and Imo were there and so was Komayuki and various other players. At one point I got a call from Shiratori (the I-no I teamed up with several times before from Tochigi). He said he would like to team up with me for the Sunday tournament. However, he said Eve (our ussual ABA player) wouldnt be able to make it, but that he had a friend named Ma who plays Venom who is good and he would join us. So now I was set with 2 solid teams for the weekend. After that I went back to playing. I played against HH's Ky and won. Then he rematched me and beat me and someone else got on the cab. I played more people and then I later battled his Dizzy on a different cab but lost 2 times in a row. The side I was on had a HS button that only worked like 50% of the time and it was getting frusterating so I decided to just not play on that cab anymore. Then I played against Imo's Zappa for like 5 matches in a row. Just about every single round (and this is not an exaduration) I would be beating him and would need like one more hit to kill him, but he ALWAYS just managed to come back and pull a win out of his ass (aside from the times I actually won the round). After losing to him like 4 or 5 times in this way, I finally beat him and then he left cuz it was getting late. It started to die down and I was beasting on the last few people that were still there pretty effortlessly so I told Matt I was just gonna go get some food and then head to Current, and that he should just meet me there.

On the way to Current, I stopped at a resturaunt just down the street from the bar. I had some kickass katsu curry and then headed out. As soon as I left the resturaunt, I passed by a group of 3 gaijin. I overheard one of them saying "we need to find a watering hole around here". I passed by them and thought about it for a second and figured... alright ill be a nice guy and help them out. I went back over to them and said "you guys looking for a bar?" and they said yea, so I told them to follow me. After about a minute of walking we arrived at Current. The most notable thing about these guys is that one of them was cosplaying as Naruto with a wig and everything. I mean... ok, I can see cosplaying at an anime con or something, but what kinda dork shows up to Japan and just walks around the street dressed as an anime character? LOL! The guys told me they were on vacation and one of them just arrived a few hours ago. I took a picture of te Naruto guy and I will put it on my pictures page soon. After we walked in, Mogi asked me if these guys were my friends but I was like... nope, just random gaijin! Current was fairly packed and there were lots of regulars. The 2 Norway dudes that were there a few weeks ago (the ones that went to do Kara0ke with Matt and those chicks after the bar closed from before) were there. Eventually Matt showed up too. We all talked for a bit and then eventually this group of 4 young Japanese girls shows up and they sit at a table in the back. Naturally the Norway guys and Matt now wanted to go sit at the table next to them so I went over to join them. Some of the girls said they remembered seeing me at Current before but I dont even remember them at all. They said I was wearing a Street Fighter shirt, so it must have been me haha. I dont think I actually talked to them before though so whatever. After talking to the girls for a while, eventually the Norway guys were making out with 2 of the chicks. One of them who is a 27 year old virgin, at one point, had the chick like straddling his lap for a while. Unfortunately for the Norway guys, these chicks were total novices when it came to drinking and it didnt take long for them to start going in the bathroom and throwing up. I guess the poor guy is destined to become a 28 year old virgin. After that we didnt see them for a while but eventually we found out they were sitting outside on the balcony by the entrance on the stairs just trying to sober up until the bar closed.

Saturday I woke up and headed to Omiya in Saitama for the tournament that would be at Game Garage game center. When I got there, not many people were there yet but FAB/Nakamura/Shoot were there playing casuals. I signed our team up and then started to play some casuals. I noticed that FAB team had left. The reason why is because this arcade only had one AC cab set up and it was set on one coin equals 2 credits, meaning you had to wait for someone to lose twice before the next person could play... this resulted in very long waiting times. At one point no one was playing so I got some icecream from the vending machine (this was my breakfast). While I was eating, a bunch of people started showing up and FAB team came back but couldnt find another arcade. Now there was a very long wait to play. Eventually I was about to play but Shoot wanted to play at the same time so we did RPS to decide and he won so he went. Shoot lost and then I went next. I beat whoever it was (I dont remember) and proceeded to stay on the cab for 15 wins in a row and eventually lost to some good random blue Axl player. During this time, Umemura and our HOS player (whos name was Gin, but is not the same person as Slayer Gin.... who was also at this tournament btw) showed up. After I lost to Axl I told them Im weak but Umemura was like, you just got 15 wins, you arnt weak at all. I asked HOS Gin how long he has been playing Guilty Gear and he said for 8 years since the original Guilty Gear. This guy doesnt have much tournament experience I guess but he certainly has been playing for a long time. He played against the Axl and almost beat him and was looking good. Then Umemura played the Axl and won in a close match and stayed on for about 4 wins or so. Finally after like an hour, the people at the game center changed the board inside the Melty Blood cab next to the AC that was just sitting there not being played, and put in another AC. I have no fucking idea why they didnt put it in there in the first place since it was taking forever to get a turn in. Gradually more people began to show up and eventually it was FUCKING PACKED! This was the only tournament going on today in this area so TONS of teams came. In fact, today's tournament had 41 teams (123 people). All the big name teams were there today like FAB, Sharon, Osaka B, Imo, Kazuki, En, and tons of others. Machaboo showed up as well to watch. The 15 win streak was the only casuals I got to play since there were just too many people. While we were waiting for the tournament to start, a dude came up to me and introduced himself saying he was Ma, the Venom I would be teaming with tomorrow. He had a completely different team for today. Also, at one point, i went up to my teammates who were standing around watching casuals and SAVP(socially awkward venom player) was standing next to them. As I approached them and SAVP saw me coming his way, he thought I was trying to go talk to him and started to turn the other way and walk away from me, but then when he saw that I was talking to the other guys he went back to where he was! Fuckin hilarious. (Later on in the day, Umemura would ask me who I teamed with the previous week, and I told him I was with ABEGEN and SAVP, but I told him I didnt know his name and explained the whole story. Umemura said he probably isnt used to being around gaijin and probably feels awkward around them or something, but he thought the guy was strange too, lol). There was this one Anji player there who was just tearing it up. Im not sure who he was but he had 19 wins and was beating lots of top players. He eventually lost to Osaka B.

Tournament starts. One of the first matches I found to be amusing was this one Jam player who was going against ABEGEN's team. The Jam player kept talking shit and yelling stuff over to them while they were playing. Then when he fought ABEGEN, he did a slidehead and knocked him down into OTG to heatfist combo, and then just proceeded to repeat the same thing on wakeup and Jam just kept getting knocked down in this way about 5 times in a row, resulting in a perfect. Too bad he couldnt do that to the Jam we lost to last weekend. Shortly before our first match, a team of guys came up to me out of no where and said they were from Shakujikoen and remembered me from there and were complimenting me on my Faust and were all like shaking my hand and being all humble and stuff. Then they called our match. Our first match would be against a team of ABA, Ky, and Testament. Gin went first and just RAPED this Testament player with his HOS. If youve ever seen that vid of Hase just beating the shit out of a Testament player in the corner and absoloutly predicting every single thing he does... this was the same thing.. but with HOS. Tournament experience or not, Gin is a beast. Up next he played against Ky and handled him as well. Finally, Gin played against ABA but he lost. Then Umemura went next and also lost to ABA. I was last and managed to take ABA down with good zoning and strategically baiting her stupid auto guard forcebreak. My team was very happy that I won. During the time between this and our next match, Osaka B and Nakamura both scored an OCV for their respective teams. Also, I didnt see the match, but I looked at the bracket and noticed that Sharon/Inoue/Basara lost first round to some random team of CH/BA/SL. I wouldnt be surprised if they all just got beat up by Slayer. Our next match was against a team of Potemkin, Eddie, Testament. I decided to go first since I know all 3 of these matchups pretty well. They put their Eddie player first. The 1st round I was doing well and eventually I got Eddie in the corner. I was about to hit him with a mixup and kill him, but then I got hit by an off screen bomb that I threw but failed to notice for whatever reason, which resulted in me losing the round. The 2nd round I pretty much just ended up blocking something in the corner which led to him not letting up the entire round and I really just couldnt move end eventually got hit by an unblockable and died. I was pretty bummed because I knew I could have beat that guy. Umemura went next with his Baiken and managed to take Eddie down. He then went and beat Testament. Unfortunately he seems to have a lot of trouble against Potemkin and lost. The final match was Gin vs PO. This was probably one of the closest tournament matches ive ever seen. Gin was rushing him the fuck down really well but PO took a round. It eventually went down to the last round with both characters having like no health at all. Next hit would determine the winner, but Gin got pot bustered and lost. I was dissapointed cuz we were so close and I really liked this team. I thought we were really going to make it to the finals. I sorta blame myself for losing to Eddie right away.

After we lost, there was still going to be tons of time till the tournament ended since they had it split into 5 brackets and the winners would play off in a 5 team round robin finals... which was not going to be short. Gin said he knew of another arcade close by where we could go play casuals so we headed out together. When we got there, a few players including ABEGEN were there. This place ALSO had it set on one coin equals 2 credits AND the rounds were set to 3 rounds, which resulted in it taking forever, once again, to get a turn. We played for a while and at one point, most people left. A testament player left with his game still going so I got on the cab and played his Testament and then Gin played against me and picked Millia (2ndary vs 2ndary, since I used to play Testament often but havnt been using him at all since I got to Japan). I beat his Millia but then he picked Sol and I lost. ABEGEN had also left with his Potemkin still active on the other cab so I just got on the cab and started playing against the computer with his PO. Then some guy actually put money in the machine and played against me and he ALSO picked PO (which seemed to be his main). I dont know what the hell was going on, but I actually WON a Potemkin mirror match against this guy and I DONT EVEN PLAY PO. AT ALL! I just did random slide heads and pokes, and would just do really ghetto tick throw setups into pot buster and even empty jump into pot buster and he just fell for it a lot LOL! After that he rematched me and won and then I picked Faust on him and beat him. Shortly after, more people came back and eventually Machaboo, Basara, Ririko, and a few other people came. It was getting late and after a little longer, Umemura and Gin were ready to leave. I said goodbye to them and they both said they enjoyed teaming up with me and would like to team up again in the future. Neither of them could enter tomorrow's tournament and I already had a team anyway. I played a little longer and then decided to leave. My friend Liz emailed me and said she wanted to meet up for a few drinks at Current.

I took the train back and eventually arrived at Current and it was pretty much completely dead. There were only a few people there. Liz was already there, talking with Taka and Sushi. She was only able to stay for about an hour since she had to catch the last train to get to the hostel she was staying at and she had plans to go to the Design Festa convention and Tokyo Big Sight the next day. I talked with Taka and Sushi for a bit and then Matt showed up with this French dude he knows from his college. Shortly after, the French dude left because he had to go look for his twin brother who was with them earlier at an Izakaya, but had left because he was angry at Matt for talking about some chick's huge rack right in front of her in English assuming she wouldnt understand due to her being Japanese. We stayed at Current a bit longer but no one was showing up so we decided that we would check out GODZ. Taka, Matt, and I walked over to GODZ and went inside but it was just full of some dudes and Matt was determined to talk to some ladies, so then we checked out PSY but there were just 2 guys in there so we left there as well. Everyone was hungry so we stopped at McDonalds real fast and then we were gonna go back to GODZ, but I recieved an email from Chip, saying he just got to Current. Taka wanted to go to GODZ but Matt wanted to go back to Current. I didnt give a shit so I just flipped a coin and Current ended up winning so I went back to Current with Matt. When we arrived, in addition to Chip being there, these 3 hot Japanese chicks had showed up too. We spent the rest of the night talked with the chicks and Chip and Sushi. At one point, Sushi had one of the girls go behind the bar and was letting her DJ for like a song or 2. While he was helping her find a CD on the CD rack, he somehow strategically was able to use his cellphone to take a picture of underneath this chicks skirt and got a nice clear panty shot. The girl had no idea he took the picture. This girl will now be known as Pantyshot cuz I dont know her name. Sushi is like THE stereotypical lecherous old man (but hes not that old yet... probly in his 50s) but I still love the guy. Eventually Taka came back to Current as well. The rest of the night was just more drinking and talking and eventually we left. As we were walking back towards the station I told Chip about SAVP and he thought it was pretty funny too.

The next day I woke up with about 5 hours of sleep. I headed to the station and got on a train to Fukaya, which was about an hour and a half ride. I slept for most of the way there. Eventually I got there and was able to easily find the arcade as it was very close to the station. As I was walking in, I noticed they had some gachapon machines outside in front, and among them was a machine of STREET FIGHTER II sound effect keychains! These sound effect keychain things are pretty common in Japan and they have various kinds for different anime and video games. This was the first time ive seen Street Fighter ones. Without hesitating I bought like 6 of them. I got Ken (shoryuken!), Ryu (hadoken!), Sagat (Tiger uppercut!), Dhalsim (yoga fire!), and Honda (hundered hand slap sound, you can mash it for the full effect). When I got a double of the Ken one, I decided that was enough. There was a Chun-li and Guile one too but I didnt get them. (Side Note: back when I was in Osaka, I forgot to mention that I found a machine like this that had sound effect keychains for the original Super Mario Bros. I got the coin and the pipe which are both awsome. If you ever manage to get the pipe one, next time you get it on with your girlfriend, make sure to press the pipe sound effect when you stick it in her. Trust me... coming from personal experience, its pretty fucking hilarious!).

So after that I actually went in the arcade and saw Shiratori and Ma and said hi. They already registered our team and lots of other players were already there (most of them were all the famous broken teams that I had mentioned from yesterday). I asked Nakamura who had won the tournament yesterday since I never found out and he said that the winning team was Osaka B/Shuumatsu/ASA. This place had 2 AC cabs. En-Slayer was on one of the cabs with a 16 win streak. I played against him and lost to him in the last round by a pixel. Then Ma played against him and beat him with his Venom (this was the first time I actually saw Ma play so I was very happy to know I had another great team for today!). Shortly after, Gin (original Slayer Gin) showed up and asked me if I could team with him today but I told him I already had a team. Shoots Axl got like 8 wins and lost to Kami-chan. There was also a funny match in casuals of an I-no player vs a HOS player (I dont know their names) where the HOS player beat the shit out of the I-no player first round and taunts after the match, giving I-no half meter next match. Then at the start of the next round, I-no does a super right away but HOS just empty jumps straight up and air dashes right over and punishes I-no. However, I-no ends up winning the round anyway and then taunts HOS at the end, giving him bar. The next round, I-no just rapes the shit out of hos and he dies with a full bar and didnt even use a single bit of meter the whole round, lol. SAVP was there again, and at one point, I walked over and stood like sorta near him cuz i was trying to get a better view of one of the matches that was going on. As soon as he noticed I was standing near him, he fucking walks all the way around the crowd of people and goes to stand on the other side! A little later, shortly before the tournament was about to start, Shiratori and I were watching Ma play this video Majong game. It looked kinda old and it had these lame pictures of these slutty girls, and as you cleared pieces off the majong board it revealed more of the picture. Your reward for winning a stage was seeing their titties. When he won the first game, I pretended to twist the chick's nipples and they all were laughing. Then this one guy pointed out that her nipples were dark (the Japanese have this thing where they think having dark nipples means a chick has fucked lots of guys, while pink means virgin) and I yelled out "joro!" which means whore. They found this amusing as well. Eventually Ma got owned by the majong game on level 3 and the tournament was about ready to start.

There were 24 teams total (todays tournament had a cap on teams while yesterdays did not). One of the first matches was Kazuki team vs Kami-chan team. Yossan OCVed all 3 of them (Oguma, Kiro, Kazuki) with his I-no. He also double perfected Kazuki. Our first match was against Kishitaka's team. I dont know the names of his team mates but they were ED and DI. We decided to have Ma go first with his Venom and they put their Dizzy player first. Ma said he cant fight Dizzy at all and he gets raped by her. Then Shiratori goes next and manages to take Dizzy down but then he loses to Kishitaka's Sol. It was now up to me to handle this shit. I went next against Kishitaka and pretty much beat the shit out of him. Then I went against Eddie and was determined to not lose to another Eddie player this weekend in a tournament. I won the first round. 2nd round I had him down to very low life but he came back and won. Final round I took care of that shit and he died while trying to fly over my while i was in pogo stance and he got hit by a hammer ftw. Everyone who was watching was getting pretty hype during my matches. My teammates kept saying how strong I was after that and I was just like.... naaa. Shortly after this, En-slayer team (En, Mugen, Limekey) eliminates FAB team (FAB, Nakamura, Shoot). We had a little time to kill before our next match so Shiratori and Ma were playing a Ufo catcher machine that had these little paper slips and you have to try and get as many as you can with each grab. If you get enough of them you can use them to get whatever prize from the machine you want. They both spent like about 1000 yen probably and got a bunch of paper slips. Then they called our next match shortly after... which was to be against Yossan/Imo/Kami-chan team. Shiratori decided he wanted to go first. First match was Shiratori vs Imo. Imo wins. I asked Ma how confident he is vs Zappa and he said so-so. I decided I would try since I was coming so close to beating Imo in casuals on Friday night. The first round was long and epic. I fought off so many dogs and zoned very very well. I needed like one more hit to kill him........ but just as almost every single fucking round as before... he came back and killed me. The next round, I pretty much just died to a big ass Roah combo which I couldnt even burst out of. Ma goes next and he just went into fucking beast mode and RAPED Imo in the corner for 2 rounds. It was just some straight up "balls in yo face" Venom action. I really wish I would have just let Ma go first against Ino because up next was Yossan and Ma lost to him. I probably would have done better against Yossan than I did against Imo. In any case, that was the end of it. After that, Imo team gets OCVed by a Jam player named Jam Ojisan (which means Grandpa, so his name is basically Jam Grandpa). Also, Sharon/Basara/Inoue get OCVed by a Slayer named Kakeru. It was then time for the finals, which would be a 3 team round robin. The 3 teams were:
Komayuki(ED)/Keba(AB)/Jam Ojisan(JA)
Kakeru(SL)/Kubo(AB)/and some Jam player whos name I didnt catch

First match, unknown Jam beats Limekey and En, Mugen beats Jam, Kakeru beats Mugen. Next match, En beats Komayuki, Keba beats En, Mugen beats Keba, Jam Ojisan beats Mugen.
Final match, unknown Jam beats Keba, Jam Ojisan beats other uknown Jam, Ojisan beats Kubo, Kakeru beats Ojisan and Komayuki. The winning team is Kakeru's team (NOTE: at the time of writing this, the tougeki site results have not been updated, I will edit this entry with the winning teams name once I find out).

After that, Shiratori and Ma cashed in their paper tickets from the UFO catcher machine. Shiratori, being the Nightmare Before Christmas fanboy that he is, got a bunch of Jack skull things. Ma got these cosplay outfits they had in the machine. They had a nurse, a doctor, a flight attendant, and a pilot. I asked him if he was going to give them to his girlfriend and he said he has no girlfriend. I wonder what else a Japanese dude is going to do with female cosplay outfits 0_0. He selected the flight attendant and the doctor and gave me the doctor one as a gift for being on his team. Ill see if I can get my girlfriend to wear it haha. After that they needed to leave so I shook their hands and thanked them and they said they would like to team up again sometime. After that, since Fukaya is pretty close to Gunma and is on my way home, I was able to stay and play casuals till like 10 pm. I got a lot of good games in, but just as all the other fucking arcades in Saitama, they had it set on 2 credits per coin and 3 rounds so it took forever to get a turn in once again. This is like the 5th Saitama arcade ive been to that does this.
On my way home when I transfered trains at Takasaki, my friend Cynthia was on the train again as well, going back to our town, so we talked on the way back.

Next weekend on Saturday will be the first tournament in a brand new Chiba block series and Sunday will be the finals of the Saitama series that I played in this weekend. Kyle (Stunedge) from the US will be coming to Japan as well as Axel from Singapore. I will form a new team with them for next weekend. I have a good feeling about this team.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Pancakes with MIU (and some tournaments and stuff)

Thursday night I suddenly recieved a random email from none other than MIU. He asked me if it was still ok to come stay at my apartment (I had invited him last year to come out and play casuals and go drinking but he had to work afterall so he couldnt come). MIU finally had one of his first days off during a weekend ever since SBO qualifiers had started. He had plans to enter the final Gunma/Tochigi series tournament this weekend in Maebashi, which is only a 45 minute train ride from where I live. I asked him if he wanted to team up but he said that he already promised someone else he would team up with them. I actually had an enkai to go to that I just found out about earlier that day, so I told him I would see if I could cancel the enkai and tell him the next day.

The next day (Friday) when I got to work, I asked if it wasnt too late to cancel going to the enkai and explained that a friend was coming from out of town. It turns out that I was able to cancel so I sent MIU an email at about noon, telling him it was ok to come over. I asked him what time I should expect him. He didnt reply to my email until around 6 pm. Appearently he had just gotten off of work. He told me he would arrive around 10 pm. I was honestly expecting him to come much earlier. Had I known he would come at 10 I could have actually gone to the enkai anyway and just left after the 1st part. I asked him to bring his stick so we could play some gear, but he replied saying that since he was coming directly from work (he lives 90 minutes by train in the opposite direction from his job) he wouldnt have time to go get his stick. That meant no casuals so I just decided to get drunk. I bought a bunch of beers for us to have together anyway so I figured id start breaking them in. Eventually my girlfriend came over and we spent some good quality time together. Eventually MIU sent me an email with an update of his current location, and it turns out with the train he was on, he wouldnt be arriving until about midnight. When he arrived at the station, my girlfriend drove us in her car to the station to pick him up. When we got back to my place, I served him a beer and some food that we had left over from the dinner we made earlier. After that, I made everyone ice cream sundaes. We sat around and talked for a while about various stuff. MIU was telling me that this may be the last SBO with Accent Core and they might replace it with Blazblue next year. Though of course nothing is certain yet. Eventually my girlfriend left cuz she had to go to work early the next day. After that, MIU showed me some random funny MGS3 gameplay video of someone stuffing an entire locker room with soldiers and then planting bombs all over and waking them up and sadistically killing them all off. I was getting tired from drinking all evening so soon after that we went to sleep. I set him up a place to sleep in the guest room.

The next morning we woke up and I let MIU take a shower first. Just as Prince had done for Charlie Murphy, I made us some motherfuckin pancakes! Thats right, p a n c a k e s. After I took a shower and got dressed we headed out. On the way there on the train I asked MIU who his team was. He said it was Abegen and some friend of Abegen who was a Slayer player. I had no team but was hoping to find one at the tournament. Eventually we arrived at Maebashi station and we had to take a bus ride from the station as the arcade is like a 40 minute walk (which is why ive never been there before). When we got there, I was surprised to see such a nice arcade fairly close to where I live, the place was huge and it had 4 AC cabs (though I dont know if they normally have 4 or if it was just for todays event). There were tons of powerful teams there such as Imo's team, Kaqn's team, Nanashi's team, FAB's team, and Machaboo's team. When we arrived, Kaqn seemed very surprised to see MIU, sorta like one of those "HEY! no way! Its this guy!" moments. I said hi to Kai (spikey hair potemkin) and asked him who ended up winning the Fujisawa finals in Kanagawa that I left early at last weekend. He busted out his SBO qualification card and told me that he, Nanashi, and Maruken had won. He said they just showed up to watch and play casuals. I congratulated him on his victory. I played casuals for a bit and did fairly well in general. I got one game in with MIU and beat him by a little bit (this was the only time I would play him all weekend). A little bit after I had played some casuals, this one guy came up to me and asked me if I would join his 2 man team. I of course said I would be happy to. His name was Umemura, a Baiken player who was quite good (I lost to him by a slight bit in casuals) and his team mate was an Eddie player named Komayuki who was also good (though I managed to beat him in the game of casuals we played). They had these 2 girls with them, one was Komayuki's girlfriend and the other I guess was her friend but I noticed Umemura and her were flirting a bit. Umemura said he lived in California a while back for 2 years to study, so his English was fairly decent, though he mostly spoke Japanese with me anyway. Slightly before the tournament was about to begin, I went to go to the bathroom. I noticed that my camera was not in my pocket, and I was pretty sure that I had put it in there when I left my apartment. If I did, it means it fell out of my pocket on the train or the bus, which probably means im never gonna see it again. I wasnt sure if it was at home afterall though so I decided to not let it ruin my weekend and just see when I got back home.

When they called our first match for the tournament, I noticed that our team name was Iron Maiden! I was like WHOA sweet. Turns out that Komayuki was a big Maiden fan and was actually at the same concert at Makahi Messe that I went to. Our first match was against a team of DI, BR, TE. Umemura wanted to go first and he proceeded to OCV their entire team in the order listed above, and he perfected the Testament 1st round. I was pretty excited about that shit. I told Umemura good job on the OCV and he asked what that means and I said, one character victory. He thought it was cool and told me that in Japanese they call it "santate." I asked MIU how he was doing and he said that his team had lost their first match and was already eliminated. I felt kinda bad for him since this is like one of his only chances to try for SBO. Our 2nd match was against a team of R (JA), ein (PO), FC (VE). Umemura was hungry to rape some more people so he wanted to go first again and we had no problem with that. He went first against Venom and defeated him. Up next he went against Potemkin but unfortunately couldnt beat him. I sorta wanted to go next but then Komayuki told me he wanted to go and that his Eddie would handle Potemkin. I told him to go ahead and he ended up beating PO so that was all good. Up next was their Jam player who pretty much just rushed Komayuki down really hard and he ended up losing. The final match was me vs Jam. 1st round I played well and patient and zoned her out and won. 2nd round I was doing well but it was close but I got hit by the flame pillar super for the lose. 3rd round was much like the 1st round and eventually Jam was killed by a bomb bag that she tried to jump into and it chipped away the last pixel of life she had left. My team mates were very happy that I beat Jam. Throughout the entire time we were playing, Komayuki's girlfriend had this inflatable cat paw magic wand that she probly won from some UFO catcher machine and was doing this like cutesy victory dance where she sorta hopped on alternating legs from side to side and waved the wand around and made some typical high pitched Japanese girl sounds whenever someone on my team won. While I was fighting Jam the girls kept saying "Mike kakuii!" Our next match was the semi finals. We went against a team of 赤燈(CH), スーパー皇太子 (AX), S大佐(PO). We were having a hard time deciding who we thought the team was going to put up against us first (all SBO tournaments are double blind pick, you only play RPS to choose sides). Umemura asked me who I thought they would put and I said I wasnt sure but that Axl would be a good choice since hes well rounded and can handle any of our characters. We decided the logical choice would be to put Eddie first since he is more or less the same in that regard. It turns out I was indeed correct and the first match was Axl vs Eddie. Unfortunately Komayuki was not able to defeat the Axl player. Umemura said he would be able to take out the Chipp player (as I had told him how much I fucking hate Chipp) so I went next in hopes of defeating Axl. The first round was close but I lost. 2nd round was also close but I won. The last round I got hit by a huge bomber loop combo early on and had very little life left. I played extremely patiently but when you have low life left and Axl is poking at you from half screen and you are in the other corner with Faust, there isnt much you can do. I tried to get some items out and ocasionally did without getting punished but I wasnt getting anything that would let me get an opening. After a lot of turtleing I eventually was taken down. Umemura went next but he also fell to Axl resulting in a "santate". This was the 4th time now that I have made it to the semi finals of a SBO prelim and lost. Bummer. The other semi finals match was Machaboo's team vs FAB's (FAB, Nakamura, Shoot) team. Much to my surprise, Machaboo OCVed their entire team. The finals went like this, Tatsumi beats the Axl player in a close match (I guess Millia is a tough match for Axl?), but she then loses to Potemkin. Then Natsume defeats PO and CH for the win.

The final 5 teams in the semis were:
Machaboo team (Tatsumi (MI), Natsume (DI), Machaboo (KY))
Kazuki team (Kasuki (DI), Kiro (FA), Oguma (JA))
Hase team (Hase (SL), Seta(FA), PON(PO))
random Inaka team (Kakeru (SL), Humo (AB), Goroo (JA))
Heavy Metal Venom (HMV) team (VE, SL, JA) (I took a pic of their names but its blurry and I cant read it)

I went to get some food at Sukiya (which I found out has a kickass taco salad!) and when I came back, Hase team was fighting Kazuki team. First up was Kazuki vs Hase. Hase perfects Kazuki first round but Kazuki comes back and perfects Hase 2nd round. 3rd round Hase wins. Up next Hase defeats Oguma as well. Finally Kiro goes against Hase and wins in a close match! It was a great match and I was very impressed. He then proceeded to beat the other 2 guys for a reverse OCV! Up next, after seeing Kiro beat Hase, I was surprised that when Kazuki team went against Heavy Metal Venom team, they got OCVed by the random Slayer on his team! Next was Hase team vs HMV team. Seta's FA beats HMV Slayer and then beats HMV Jam. then HMV himself goes and beats FA but is next defeated by Hase in a very close game. Next was Kazuki team vs Machaboo team. Kazuki beats Tatsumi but then Machaboo OCVs their entire team. HMV team was going to fight Machaboo team next. Before the match, HMV said to me "Give me Chicago power!". I put my hand above his head and channeled the spirit of Blacksnake into his body with cheesy sound effects (sorry Prucha if you felt weak suddenly for a few minutes last Saturday, now you know why!). Up first, Tatsumi defeated HMV Jam. Next was HMV himself, and using the Chicago powers of Blacksnake he defeated her. I yelled Chicago power after he won and he gave a thumbsup. Unfortunately I guess the power had left him because he then was defeated by Machaboo in a close match who proceeded to defeat their Slayer player as well. Next was Hase team vs random inaka team. Seta's FA beats Kakeru and Goroo but loses to Humo as does Hase. PON wraps it up by defeating Humo. Up next, Kazuki team gets OCVed by Goroo's JA. Final match was Hase team vs Machaboo team. Hase beats Tatsumi and then Machaboo beats Hase, followed by PON and finally Seta for the OCV. Machaboo team wins the qualifier undefeated and Machaboo himself didnt lose a single tournament match the entire day! Amazing!

After the tournament, I asked my team mates if they would like to team up again tomorrow but they both said they probably couldnt because their girls would get mad from too much Guilty and not enough quality time or something and it was also kinda far for them. However, they said they would like to team up again so we exchanged email. I decided to ask Abegen who his team was for tomorrow's Ikebukuro Tokyo final C-2 block tournament since i knew MIU had to work so he wouldnt be teaming with him. Abegen said he hadnt decided on a team yet and his Slayer friend couldnt play either. He said he would be happy to team up with me but we would need one more person. I told him that we could team up with my friend Matt but Abegen said he would prefer someone with a bit more tournament experience. I told him I would go through my phone and email a bunch of veteran players I had teamed up with in the past (or had tried to) and I would let him know when I found someone. I played casuals for a bit longer but it was getting late and I had a long way to go still to get to Tokyo so I headed out. As I waited for the bus across from the arcade, I noticed there was still about 15 minutes till the next bus and I knew that by the time I got to Tokyo there wouldnt be much time for casuals so I bought a 180 ml bottle of whiskey and decided I would polish it off by the time I arrived in Tokyo. While I was waiting for the bus I emailed a bunch of people in my phone. The only one to reply was Gin, he said he would be cool to team with us for tomorrow so our team was set. Abegen said he was fine with teaming with Gin. When I got to the station platform to get on the train, I noticed a team of players that had walked by me as I was waiting for the bus. I asked them if they walked the whole way but they said they took a cab. They didnt know about the bus. They came all the way from Miyagi prefecture for this tournament which is fucking far... like a 3 hour trip on the shinkansen. I talked with them for a bit and then got on the train and eventually made it to Tokyo pretty late.

I met Matt at Las Vegas game center for some casuals. I told Matt that I found a team for tomorrow and asked him if he was upset but he said he was fine with it because he made plans to go bowling anyway. I was already nice and drunk from finishing all that whiskey so I played a few drunken games of casuals for about a half hour and then the place started to die. We then proceeded to head to Current. On the way there, I got a reply from HH saying he couldnt team with me tomorrow. Current was fucking packed! I dont know why but it just was. Lots of random people I had never seen before but also a ton of regulars. Antii was there with a new group of random Finish people he knows (I think Antii has to know every single Finish person in Japan). There was this random drunk young Japanese girl who was like headbanging and dancing furiously and we all thought she was going to just collapse at any moment but stayed strong the entire night, much to our surprise. At one point, Matt told me and Antii to come meet this one Japanese girl. He told us she was actually a man and she said it was true. All of us were like... no way... cuz she looked pretty damn convincing. I asked her if she still had her johnson and she said she indeed did! Guess its not a she at all in any sense of the word! Not much else to talk about, the night was fun and I got really wasted. This one chick was trying to get me to go home with her but I didnt really feel like cheating on my girlfriend and I wanted to get up in time to get to the tournament so I avoided that, even though she tried to follow me and Matt when we left, but her friends called her back to go by them so we escaped.

The next day when I arrived in Ikebukuro, I got lost trying to find Ikebukuro GIGO game center since Ive only been there twice and both times I went, someone was with me who knew the way. I eventually found it and it was just FULL of people. There were still a few slots left to enter the tournament but the guys there were being dicks and not letting people sign up unless all 3 of their team mates were present at the time of sign up. Abegen and Gin were not there yet. I sent them both an email telling then they had better hurry since we only had 20 minutes left to register before it ended and that I couldnt do it without them there. Abegen made it with about 5 minutes to spare but Gin said he probably wasnt going to be able to make it on time. We then knew we had to find someone else. I saw socially awkward Venom player (from now on his name will be SAVP until I find out his name, which I still havnt found out to this day) who I teamed up with before there. I said excuse me to him but instantly he put his hand up and said he wasnt entering before I could even say anything else. I dont get what this guys deal is. Then Abegen went up to him like 2 minutes later and told him we needed a 3rd and asked him to join us and he agreed! This guy is so random, he goes from asking me to be on his team, to suddenly being like talk to the hand, to then 2 minutes later agreeing to team up with me when Abegen asks. I dont know if I will ever understand SAVP. After we registered and the tournament was right about to start, Gin showed up. I apologized to him and told him we found someone else to team with since he was late. Registration had already ended so he wouldnt have been able to play anyway. This tournament had just about everyone in it, including RF! He just randomly came up to me out of no where and said hi before the tournament started. I guess he was just in town for the weekend or something but he didnt go to the Gunma tournament. There was also a team that came all the way from Taiwan. Hot Zappa and her ladies team was there, and just about all the other big ussual top player teams. Inoue and Sharon dropped Osaka B to team up with HH. Osaka B joined Shuumatsu (brown Testament) and ASA (potemkin) team. As far as high level comp goes, this is probably the single most fierce tournament I have entered ever. There was a total of 28 teams.

Our first match was against the team from Taiwan which consisted of IN, ED, JA. I told my team mates that I know all 3 matchups fairly well so I said I would go first. I went against Ino first and lost the 1st round but then got my shit together and won the next 2 rounds and beat him. Then basically the exact same thing happened with Eddie and I beat him too. Finally against Jam, I lost the 1st round by a pixel. Then I lost the 2nd round as well. The Jam player wasnt doing anything very fancy but was just extremely careful and patient. SAVP went next and came like within one hit of beating Jam but also lost. Finally Abegen went with his Potemkin and pretty much lost due to the fact that every time he did a slide head, Jam would just instant air dash over to him and combo his ass really hard. Abegen sometimes has days where hes a fucking beast, and other times he just seems off. I guess this was one of those days. I was pretty dissapointed to get reverse OCVed first round, I really thought that after I took care of the 1st 2 guys, that my team was going to take out Jam since it was really one of the more solid teams ive had. Abegen told me he would like to team up again sometime in the future. SAVP said nothing and I didnt even bother to ask because I already know his answer. Whether or not I randomly team up with him again is a mystery.

After we lost I pretty much just played a bit of casuals and then I went to get some food since I didnt eat yet. Theres a Shakey's Pizza just like the one I went to in Kyoto down the street from GIGO so I went there and got all you can eat again and got stuffed as fuck to the point where I was feeling pretty sleepy. I went back to the arcade and played casuals and watched most of the matches. GIGO has flat screens on every wall of the place so it was really easy to see what was going on from just about anywhere as they were all displaying the tournament. At one point, Shoot had a 17 win streak with his Axl and I managed to beat him. A little while after he came up to me and asked if that was me and I said yes and he told me I had a very strong Faust. RF was teamed up with JT and someone else and they all got taken out by a Chipp player! I dont know who he was but he was good. Im glad to see that im not the only Faust player that has trouble with Chipp. I really do think its a bad matchup for Faust. Another interesting match was when Shuumatsu OCVed Sharon, HH, Inoue with his Testament! I was very surprised. Funny how Osaka B was telling me how they decided to kick him off the team because he was too weak and they end up getting OCVed by his new team mate. This was like the semi finals, and the finals match was Shuumatsu team vs some other team who I dont know who they were, someone told me they came from Tachikawa (part of Tokyo). The team had a Baiken player whos name was like Rokugo or something, and he OCVed Shuumatsu's entire team, which was a surprise since Shuumatsu had just defeated Sharon's Baiken.

To be honest, I didnt pay extremely close attention to the finals since i was playing casuals most of the time, but I did watch a lot of the matches, but I was too lazy to take notes on them so I dont remember everything exactly. However, one of the teams in the finals was Ririko (the female Bridget player, I think thats her name) team. When she fought against Zero's team, she had this HUGE comback against Zero. She had like no health left in the 2nd round after losing the 1st round and came back and beat him. EVERYONE was getting HYPE! I hope they have vids of it later. Right after that, she perfected KA2 in the 1st round but then he ended up beating her, it was kinda sad. KA2 then beat the rest of her team of Ky and Faust. Anyway, as the round robin progressed, Zero's team was undefeated and R-1 (Millia) team had one loss. The match of these 2 teams would be the final match of the tournament, and R-1 team had to beat Zero team but could only lose one time or else their record would be worse even if they still managed to beat Zero's team. Zero went first and lost to R-1 team's Slayer but then Haken beat Slayer and R-1 and it just ended there since they failed to win without losing twice. The winners were Haken (PO) / Zero (HOS) / KA2 (JA), so they have now qualified for SBO as a result of the Tokyo C-2 block finals.

Shortly after the tournament ended I pretty much had to leave since the last train would be coming soon. I took a nap on the way back up till Takasaki station where I transfered trains and my friend and fellow ALT Cynthia was on the same train going back to our town. We talked on the way back and then I dropped her off at her place on the way home. When I got back to my apartment, my camera was indeed not there, meaning I must have lost it on the train or bus. Fuckin 200 bucks down the drain. I guess at some point ill eventually buy a new one but there might not be many picture updates for a while.

Next week there are 2 more qualifiers in the Saitama series that started off with the Tuesday tournament of Golden week that I went to. I plan to go to both but my team at the moment has not been finalized, but I probably have some options. Stay tuned for more SBO action.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Golden Week Kanto Tour

Golden Week is a time in Japan in which there are a ton of holidays back to back. As a result, I had a 4 day weekend and every day was an SBO qualifier in a different prefecture. I started off as usual in Akihabara on Friday night for casuals. There were various players there as always. At one point I had a 17 win streak. Eventually I finally lost to Bleed's Johnny. After that I went over to the cabinet next to that one where Abagen was playing and had a 16 win streak. I proceeded to beat him and end his 16 win streak. After more time had passed and winning a few and losing a few, towards the end of the night I played a bunch of matches against various people, mostly a female HOS and a blue Eddie player and got another 20 win streak. It was getting late and people were heading out so I just got up and left the cab without losing.

After that I headed to Current. It was nice to go there after a 2 week absence. Mogi and Sushi said they were wondering where I was last week since I pretty much have gone there every single weekend since I found the place haha. Anti was there as well as Chip. Anti was talking with some of his Finish friends who were visiting Japan on vacation. He was telling me that he was going to go on a road trip for the rest of spring break starting the next morning. I told him to check out Rock Rock when he goes to Osaka. Eventually I took Anti to GODZ cuz he had never been there, we stayed for a beer and watched some good live metal DVD footage on their big flatscreen TV. Chip showed up and joined us for a bit later but then we went back to Current for one last beer and it was closing time.

Saturday, I headed over to Shakujikoen for the qualifier. This was the arcade where I first met Matt as well as Gin a long time ago during the DF2 quals period. I had pretty much emailed just about everyone I had ever teamed with before who I had the email for (except for Basara) earlier in the week asking them to email me back if they would like to team up at all over the course of the long weekend. Everyone had either told me that they couldnt play or didnt reply, with the exception of Shiratori who said that he was good to team up with me and Eve (Ibu) again for the Gunma tournament which would be on Sunday. As a result, the plan for today would be to enter with Matt who had preregistered at the arcade for us the night before and hopefully find a 3rd person at the tournament. Shortly after I arrived at the arcade, it was already packed. I played a game against a good Skeletor Zappa (the blue and purple color, it reminds me of Skeletor from He-Man) and came a pixel away from beating him. About a minute later, the Venom player who I had teamed up with twice in the past (once with 012 and once with JT at the Game Chariot tournament recently) came up to me asking if I had a team. I told him I had a 2 man team and he asked if it would be ok to join my team. Of course I said its cool. Matt shortly arrived after that. I told him to go say hello to the Venom player and introduce himself because hes on our team for today. I still dont know the guys name because I never can find the opportunity to find out as he signs up on the sheet in all Kanji that I dont recognize and hes not a very talkative guy. Matt went up to him to say hello and the guy just sorta like mumbled and stuff and just stopped talking. At first I used to think this guy didnt like me because he considered me deadweight and crappy ever since the 012 tournament since he would never talk to me, but now it became appearent that this guy just has really bad social skills or something. I looked at the signup sheet and there was another 2 man team he could have joined, but the fact that he asked me to team up with him at least shows he doesnt think I suck.

Anyway... the tournament eventually started with a total of 23 teams divided into 3 brackets. Our first match was against a team of May, Bridget, Aba. Matt went first against the Bridget player and beat him in a close match. He was very happy since this is the first tournament match he has won with his HOS. Up next Matt went against the May player but lost. I hate May with a passion so I asked our Venom to go next. He busted her up pretty good and moved onto the ABA player who he also defeated and ended the 2nd round with a perfect. The match that took place after ours in our bracket would determine who we fought next. I watch carefully and one team had a pink May who OCVed the entire other team. I wasnt too happy about that. Gin was there as well btw, but he had never gotten back to me after I emailed him. His team lost first round. After that, our next match was against a Potemkin, May, Faust team. Matt went first again this time against PO and lost. Then I went against PO and beat him. After that the bastards threw their pink May player at me and I was defeated. However, Venom was able to defeat May and also made short work of their Faust player, so we were able to advance. After a little bit of time our next match came. It was against Machaboo (KY), Tatsumi (the cute female Millia player), and Natsume (DI). Matt once again went first. He fought against Tatsumi and lost. Our Venom told me he hates fighting Millia, and so do I as her and May are my most hated characters but I said fuck it and went next anyway. First round I beat her pretty well with good zoning. The next round was extremely close and we both had pretty much no health left at the very end of the round. I was in the corner and super jumped to throw a bomb bag and she got up in my face and we both got hit by the bag as it exploded. Initially I had no idea who won or if it was a draw game, then I pressed a button and was pleased to see Faust air recover, marking a win against Millia. Up next I had a fight Natsume's Dizzy. The first round went well and I won. The 2nd and 3rd rounds I unfortunately lost. Too much random Dizzy garbage on the screen and I couldnt get in on him. Up next, Venom managed to take out Natsume in a close game. Finally was Machaboo's Ky. The first round, Venom took the round, and lots of people started doing a chorus of low pitched "oooooo!" The 2nd round, Venom lost by just a little bit. The last round was hype as hell and Venom needed one more hit to defeat Machaboo. They battle for a while constantly successfully blocking eachothers shit but Venom just couldnt manage to land that last hit and eventually Machaboo got his last hit in first. Had we won that match, we would have gone to the finals.

The 3 teams to make it to the finals were the brown Testament player named Shuumatsu team (hes the guy who defeated me at the last chance DF2 qualifier, hes good and is around a lot and his team also qualified in the series that ended at Game Chariot earlier. He has a good Potemkin named ASA on his team and a good Chipp... im not sure who it was but might have been Minami-Chipp). The other 2 teams were Machaboo team and Zero's team (with Haken (PO) and Ka2 (JA)). The first match was brown testament team vs machaboo team. Tatsumi lost to Chipp, Machaboo defeated Chipp and PO, Shuumatsu defeated Machaboo and Natsume. Up next was Zero team vs brown Testament team. Zero beats Chipp, Po beats Zero, Ka2 beats Po and Shuumatsu. Finally was Zero team vs Machaboo team. Tatsumi beats Zero, Ka2 beats Tatsumi, Machaboo beats Ka2. Up next in Haken vs Machaboo, a whiff burst somehow goes right through a heavenly Potemkin Buster which I found shocking. Round 1 ends with one second left as Haken squeezes in the last hit in the corner. Machaboo dominates round 2 but Haken comes back to take round 3. Natsume vs Haken was next and Haken comes out ahead, despite the unfavorable matchup. The result is Zero/Haken/Ka2 winning the tournament.

After that, me and Matt went to get some food, this time at a much cheaper but still good Yakiniku place. Shortly after we sat down, Gin and a bunch of top players showed up and sat at another table. After we finished eating we went back and played casuals for a few hours. I have no idea why, but for some reason EVERYONE was just picking May. Even tons of people who I know for a fact arnt even May players. It was pretty fucking annoying. Its like they were all trying to fuck with me but didnt even know they were doing it. Fucking Shakujikoenmae game center May-fest 2008. A ton of people were also picking Slayer as well. There was another cabinet sorta off the the side from the other 4 and I ended up playing against this one Venom player who I beat 12 times in a row until he eventually gave up. After a little more time it was getting late so Matt and I decided to head out.

We had to pass through Ikebukuro to get back to Shinjuku so we decided to go check out Paradise City since Matt said he knew where it was. If you remember last time, I tried to find the place a long time ago, I never found it and it turned out that it was closed. When we got there there were a few people there, the place was nice but much smaller than Current. We had a few beers (they have Kirin Heartland on tap, nice) and talked about Guilty Gear and other random shit for a while and they were playing a shit ton of Mr. Big songs for whatever reason, which is cool with me.

Eventually we decided to head back to Shinjuku and get some more games in at Vegas. HH was there and I ended up getting a lot of games in with him and beat him a few times. I perfected him the final round of the last game I played him in and he left. He said nothing to me the whole time and I had emailed him again with the other people just to ask if he might want to team up this time but obviously he didnt want to heh. Since I knew I would probably have to fight Kazuki's Dizzy the next day at the Gunma tournament, I was glad to get some Dizzy practice in. After that we headed out and went to Current.

Current was good times, we just pretty much hung out and chatted with the 2 Finish guys that were there the night before, as well as some of their other Norweregian friends. There were also these 2 hot chicks at the bar and one of the Norwegian guys who I was told was a 27 year old virgin was trying to hit on one of them. Appearently hes a shy guy or something. We talked about random shit throughout the night but one of the things that stuck out was when this one Norway guy was talking about when he tried Meth once. Ive never done Meth and never will cuz that shit is fucking retarded but he was describing his experience saying how doing Meth feels like you are taking a shit ALL DAY for HOURS. Matt and I found this increadibly hilarious and couldnt stop laughing. The drunken young Japanese guy that passed out and had to be carried out of the bar at closing from a few weeks ago was there again too. Once again, this guy was already plastered. He kept coming over to our table and trying to get everyone to dance with him. Eventually at some point he vanished and I didnt notice him leave, but I cant really say I was sad to see him go, haha. Anyway, as the night went on, Matt started spitting some game to the 2 hot Japanese chicks at the bar which was good. He told me one of them works at a makeup store or something and the other one works at an S&M bar in Kabukicho... hot. Her name was Beni. Eventually it was time to go and everyone sorta headed out together. As we were walking down the street we passed a Karaoke place and they all decided to go do some Karaoke. I declined and said I was just gonna go to sleep since I had to get up and go to Gunma tomorrow for the tournament and it would take an hour and 40 minutes and I was getting picked up from the station by Shiratori so I didnt want to be late. After I got to the Manga Kissa and went to sleep, I was woken up about an hour and a half later by my cellphone vibrating. Matt had sent me an email that said "When Beni said goodbye to me she grabbed my junk." I found this amusing and went back to sleep.

Sunday, I woke up and decided it was time to buy a new backpack. I dont think I mentioned it before, but during my time on my Kansai trip, at some point, a hole started to form in my backpack and as time went on, it got bigger and bigger. A few weeks ago I put some tape over it and it more or less fixed the problem, though it looked ghetto as fuck. However, all day yesterday, the zipper on my backpack kept undoing itself and it would take lots of tries to get it to zip properly. I didnt want all my shit to spill out so I figured it would be a good investment to buy a cheap backpack rather than losing my mp3 player or DS or something. After I bought the new one for like 2000 yen, I didnt really want to have to carry the old one around. It was worth saving since the main compartment was still fine so I could at least use it for something in the future if need be. I went back to the manga kissa and in the stairwell in the hallway, there are some big orange cones blocking he upwards stairs to the top floor since its just used to store garbage. I rolled the empty backpack up and shoved it into the bottom of the cone and turned it into a free storage locker! I figured no one would find it and if they did I honestly didnt really give a shit.

After that I headed to Shinjuku station and took the train out to a part of Gunma I had never been to in the Ota area. As I was transfering to the 3rd and final train of my trip, about 2 minutes after I got on the train, in walks Kazuki and his team. They wave hello and go sit down at the other end of the train. Shortly after we arrived at Nannakano station. Shiratori and Eve were there waiting for me. As we were leaving, Shiratori pulled up his car along Kazuki and his team who were sorta standing around on the corner. He told them its 7 km walk to the arcade and asked if they needed a ride. They said sure, so after he dropped me and Eve off at the arcade, he went back to pick them up. Such a nice guy. The arcade was called Lupan122. We played casuals for a bit but they only had 2 cabs and there were lots of people so I didnt get to play that much. In addition to Kazuki's team and the usual Inaka suspects, Machaboo's team ventured out to this one as well. 24 teams entered total. Our first match was against a team of Eddie, Millia and Baiken. Shiratori went first against the Millia player and defeated him. Up next he went against Baiken and lost. Eve said he hates Baiken, and while I struggle with the matchup from time to time, I said id do it. I went against Baiken and got sorta beat up the first round. The 2nd round I was losing but I really didnt want to lose the tournament first round so I sucked it up and was patient as hell and just zoned her out and stayed back in the corner waiting for something good to happen with my items. I eventually got him poisoned and he was down to very little health. After a little bit of footsies and poking at eachother, he eventually ran into a mini Robo-Ky and I was able to combo him off of it for the win with having only a pixel of life left myself. The 3rd round I felt a new hope arise within me and I Fausted his ass. Up next was Eddie. First round I won pretty well. 2nd round I was winning but fucked up and he managed to squeeze in a win on me. 3rd round I raped him really bad and almost perfected him. My team was pretty proud of me. Our next match was against a team of May, Axl, Potemkin. Shiratori went first again with his I-no and beat Potemkin first, perfecting him in round 2. Up next he went on to defeat May and then Axl for the OCV. Shiratori was in beast mode. Once again the poor guy was tired from working late the night before and was sorta resting between matches but that didnt hinder his performance one bit. During the time when this match was going on, on the cabinet next to us was Machaboo team vs Kazuki team. All 3 of us somehow wound up in the same bracket and the winner of this would decide our next opponent. I didnt see the whole thing, but Kiro's Faust beat Natsume and then Tatsumi and that was the end of it. I didnt see who beat Machaboo, but it didnt matter cuz they were finished. Up next was Kazuki's team. As usual, Shiratori went first. I was a little worried as he told me he lost to Kazuki twice last year in SBO quals as well. The first round, Shiratori beasted and took down Kazuki. Unfortunately he lost rounds 2 and 3. Up next, Eve went with his ABA for the first time all day in the tournament. Eve got beat down 2 rounds in a row. I was last and had to try to OCV their whole team. I was able to get in Kazuki's face and rushed him down and took the 1st round. 2nd round and 3rd round he did a much better job of keeping me at bay and eventually killing me. After this (which was the semi finals)... Kazuki's team went on to the finals which was another 3 man round robin. He proceeded to OCV both of the other teams in the finals as well. There was just no stopping him. Everyone except for me, Shiratori, and this one May player in the finals couldnt even take a round on him. He was just in ass rape Dizzy install beast mode. The 2 teams he OCVed in the finals were ED TE DI and MA CH VE. After he won, they had the other 2 teams fight to determine 2nd place though it didnt matter anyway. The May team beat the Eddie team. After that we pretty much just left right away cuz Shiratori had to get home. I asked them to contact me if they can ever team up with me again in the future. Shiratori told me he always has to work late on Saturdays (which I believe, since the poor guy is always exhausted at every tournament weve gone to which has always been on a Sunday) so he would not be able to team up next Saturday for the Gunma/Tochigi series finals. I didnt realize this at the time but in retrospect, I wonder what he was planning to do then if we had actually won today... In any case they said they would contact me again when they could team up again and would like to sometime in the future. We took a group photo in front of the station after they dropped me off and said goodbye and then I got on the train for another long trip back to Tokyo.

After I got back, I headed to Las Vegas in Shinjuku again to meet up with Matt for casuals. There were various players there but no one there that I particularly recognized. After a while, Kiro showed up. After I lost to someone, I went over to the other side to play against his Faust. We had a LONG session of Faust mirror matches and just kept battling eachother. It was pretty epic. Most of the matches were very close. We went back and forth but he won like the first 2 and then I got like 4 in a row. Then he would come back with a couple and I would then win some, and for the most part I was consistantly ahead by about 2 or 3 wins most of the time. Towards the end though, he cut down my 3 win lead by following it up with 6 wins in a row and he was then ahead by 3 wins. I played him in one final game were I won all 3 rounds cutting his lead down to 2. After that he got up and left and waved goodbye on his way out. Kiro is a beastly Faust and I remember back when I first fought him during the DF2 qual at Mikado a long time ago where I could hardly even touch him. I beat him once back then but it took me like tons of tries to end his epic win streak at that time. Now I am easily on his level for sure. I was glad to see that I had improved so much. Around the end of my long duel with Kiro, Matt wanted to start pregame drinking before we went to Current so he went to the conbini to buy some booze. He came back with a bottle of gin and some Mitsuya Cider. I chugged half the cider and then he went into the bathroom and poored half the bottle of gin in each of our bottles. We stayed and played casuals for a bit longer and got nice and sauced. It had been a while since I played sorta drunk and it reminded me of back in he day in Chicago when we always used to enjoy some good brews while we duked it out at Prucha's or my old apartment. I could still play good buzzed.

Eventually, Matt and I stopped at a resturaunt on the way to Current to grab some food. While we were there, I recieved an email from Gin. He asked if I could team up with him for the tournament tomorrow in Kanagawa. I told him I had a 2 man team and he was welcome to join us. He then asked if it would be possable for me to join him with another Axl player instead. Matt told me to just go ahead and play with those guys. I asked him if it was really ok cuz I didnt wanna be a dick and just ditch him, but he told me he just wants to see me make it to SBO so he was totally ok with it. After that we finished our food and got to Current. That night at Current was good times but pretty standard. Chip showed up with Sawa and some other regulars I know were there, but nothing extremely note worthy happened. However, because I was already drinking tons of hard liquer earlier, I didnt wanna switch to beer and risk getting a hangover. I decided to order some hard liquer based drinks instead of beer. When I ordered one, Mogi was shocked and did like a double take. Ussually I just show up and he already starts pooring me a beer. It was a nice change to have something different but beer is still the best. I got drunk as hell though since hard liquer ussually tends to fuck me up more. Good times. Eventually it was time to head out and everone left. Matt said he MIGHT go to the tournament anyway but wasnt really all that sure about it.

Monday, after waking up I headed right for the station and took the train on about an hour trip to Fujisawa station in Kanagawa prefecture. Shortly after ariving I found FunFun Game center. They had 3 cabinets and tons of people were there playing casuals. Machaboo was on one of the cabinets playing HOS for some reason, and he had a huge win streak. Several people tried to beat him including Mitsurugi with his Zappa but failed. I played him once and lost in a close one. Eventually I played him again and beat him, ending his win streak at 29 wins. Eventually I saw Gin and he introduced me to our Axl player whos name was Hikaru. There was also this one guy there who came up to me and said he remembered me from one of the Tochigi tournaments. He asked me if I wanted to team up with him today but I told him I already had a team. I told him I could call Matt over to team up with him and he asked me to try, but Matt didnt reply and was probably passed out and still drunk from the night before. There was also these 2 guys there who came up to me and said they were from Kansai. They remembered me from a-cho. They said they were here for golden week weekend. Their names were Kuni (a Baiken player, and not the same person as the famous ST Zangief player), and Tomoko. They told me they would not enter tomorrows tournament because they were going sight seeing but they told me if I was ever in Kansai again that they would like to team up with me.

Eventually it was time for the tournament to start. This tournament was the only qual going on in the area today and was also the final qualifier for the Kanagawa series so ALL of the good teams were there. I knew today was not going to be easy. One of the first matches to happen was Nakamura (MI)/FAB (PO)/Shoot (AX) vs Tatsumi/Machaboo/Natsume. First match was Nakamura vs Tatsumi mirror match. During the first round, Nakamura's stick died. They had to stop the match and repair the controls. This would be the first of many times this happened on ALL 3 cabs throughout the course of the day. I have never been to a tournament where the controls have broken more than at this tournament. Eventually the match continued and Nakamura beat Tatsumi, Machaboo beat Nakamura... and I didnt see the rest because they called our match. However FAB's team ended up winning. Our first match was to be against En-Slayer, Mugen (BR), and Limekey (AN). I always seem to have the unfortunate luck of running into this broke ass team in tournaments. Hikaru went first with his Axl against En-Slayer. He put up a good fight but lost. Gin said he wanted to go next and attempted the Slayer mirror match, but En-Slayer is far superior to Gin's Slayer, so he unfortunately was defeated. I was to go last. The first round I did pretty well and almost won. The 2nd round I got put in the corner and he just proceeded to keep me there for the whole round. My big stupid mistake was trying to throw out a standing kick to have it get stuffed by a forward punch for the lose. I hate Slayer.

After we lost, I stayed and watched the rest of the prelim. Kaqn was there with his team of a Dizzy player and an Eddie player. However, instead of picking Millia, Kaqn has pulled his HOS out of retirment for this tournament. They went against a team of Anji, Jam and someone else. Anji beat Eddie and Dizzy. Kaqn proceeded to beat the Anji player. During the match, people were shouting in Japanese "Your not Domi!" at the Anji player from across the cab haha. Kaqn OCVed the rest of the team. His HOS was in top form. Another noteworthy match was OsakaB (FA)/ Inoue (HOS)/ Sharon (BA) vs a team of some black Dizzy, a Slayer and someone else. Sharon and Osaka B both lost to the black Dizzy. I was shocked cuz I had no idea who he was. Then Inoue cleaned up the rest for them for the win. Up next was En-Slayer team vs FAB team. En-Slayer beats Shoot's Axl but then loses to FAB and gets perfected in round 2. Mugen then faced against FAB and wins round 1 by running away all day and winning by time over with a pixel of life left. Mugen proceeded to win round 2 and take down FAB. Up next was Nakamura. He must have been nervous because he went to go use the toilet before his match. When he got back they checked the stick and then he faced Mugen in a crazy intense match. Mugen was losing but had a big comeback and defeated Nakamura for the win. For Osaka B's team's next match, they faced a team from Shizaoka of green Dizzy, white Testament, blue Zappa. Osaka B went first against green Dizzy and lost by a pixel. After seeing him lose to 2 Dizzys in this tournament I didnt feel so bad anymore since it seems im not the only good Faust player who has been losing to Dizzy this weekend, though I wanted him to win of course. Up next Sharon takes out Dizzy and then loses to white Testament. Inoue goes next and also loses to Testament. I was surprised by the result. Up next was Imo( ZA)/Yosan(ED)/Kami-chan(SL) vs En-Slayer team. Imo beats Limekey, then Mugen, and then En-Slayer for the OCV. The Zappa beasting was relentless. En-Slayer won the first round but then lost to the 2nd round by dog bite loop in the corner and then Raoh finished him off in round 3. Following that was Shizaoka team vs Kaqn team. Shizaoka green Dizzy beats black Kaqn team Dizzy in a mirror match. Up next Kaqn takes out green Dizzy and it was a very intense match. Up next, Kaqn fights blue Zappa and wins round 1. Round 2 he gets perfected by the onslaught of the dog. Final round, Kaqn wins it. Finally he faced Testament. He was winning the first round but then got hit but a big tree that he forgot about and lost. He then perfected Testament 2nd around and won round 3 as well. The amazing thing about Kaqn is even when he loses a round and is getting raped, the guy never looks worried and always keeps his cool. Hes ALWAYS smiling. Up next was the finals of the entire tournament.... Kaqn team vs Imo team. Imo starts off by defeated Dizzy. Then Imo defeats Eddie with more dog rapage. Kaqn then proceeds to take out Imo. Next was Kaqn vs Kami-chan. Round 1 was close as hell and Kaqn lost by a pixel. Kaqn fought hard but lost round 2 as well. The winners of the tournament were Imo/Yosan/Kami-chan. After this, it was time for the finals 5 team round robin to start. Since the cabinets were all broken and they were just running it on one cab with the others out of use, I knew this was going to take forever, and it was already late and I wanted to play some casuals. I decided that I was just gonna leave and go back to Vegas to play instead of watching. I said bye to a few people on the way out and headed back to Shinjuku. (At this time I do not know who won as the results have not yet been updated on the Tougeki website).

After I got to Vegas, I played for a good while and won a lot of games. There was a good HOS player there and a good Axl. Me and the Axl took turns fighting HOS and eventually I beat him and he left. Then I played a bunch of games vs the Axl. He was really good and had lots of tricks but I was doing very well against him. At one point he came over and told me I was strong. I asked him if he wanted to team up for tomorrow but he said he wouldnt be entering. Eventually we played a little more and then he left. I grabbed a sandwich and a redbull and was drinking it outside and then the Axl came out of no where and started talking to me a bit again but still said he probably wouldnt enter. It seemed like he wasnt confident enough in his skills to try for Tougeki but I think he could have done well... too bad.

After that I went to Current. It was a pretty standard night. I talked with this one girl I know for a bit. Eventually she was tired and left and there were only a few people in the bar. There were these 3 young college girls and they were talking with me for most of the night. Not really much else to mention. The place closed and we headed out and I went to sleep.

I woke up on Tuesday and retrieved my rolled up backback from he orange cone. It was still there and no one probly even noticed it... sweet. After that I headed over to Ageo at Purabo game center in Saitama for the next tournament. This would be the first tournament in the Saitama series that would be going on for the next couple weeks. I had no team for today as Matt had a picnic to go to and no one else could team with me. When I went to sign up there was a 2 man team among all the other teams. I tried to find them to ask if I could join them but they were no where to be found. I went to play some casuals and Hase was there beasting as ussual with a big win streak. I lost to him. Then on the other cabinet (there were only 2) there was a default color Dizzy who had 17 win, I beat him 3 rounds in a row and ended his streak. Eventually after a while, the 2 man team returned and they said it was ok to team with them. They were 2 young guys from Saitama. Ura (venom player) and Mame (Eddie player). The tournament was capped at 16 teams and the bracket was completely full. Our first match was vs I-no, Zappa, Johnny. Mame went first with his Eddie and struggled against Johnny and lost. I could tell he wasnt very good and his pressure was kinda weak and he kept dropping combos. I went next and OCVed their entire team with ease, perfecting the Zappa and winning every round. After that my team kept telling me how strong I was and said I should go last next time. After that, there was this yellow Sol player and everyone was getting really rowdy as hell while he was playing. He kept yelling "VORUKANIKU!" and "SHORYUKEN" randomly and didnt do any DPs haha. He ended up losing though, I was sad cuz he was amusing and I wanted to see him play more. Our next match was vs HOS, SL, ED. Ura went first with his Venom vs HOS and did ok but lost. up next, Mame went and got beat down. I was last and won the first round. The next 2 rounds were very close but I lost. I was bummed but those guys were a pretty weak team to be honest so maybe it was for the best. My team left as soon as we lost. After that, Shuumatsu team was there and he OCVed the HOS team that beat us. Then eventually it was the finals of ASA(PO)/Yukine(JA)/Shuumatsu(TE) vs another team of Nanariiranperuuji(MA) Beni tsuki karen(DI) and Shirushiru(ED). PO beats MA and then loses to ED. TE beats ED and loses to DI. Final match was DI vs JA. Final round Dizzy does flame super and Jam does puff ball forcebreak and hits her, but eats the flame super and loses. MA DI ED win. Hase didnt even play the entire time, I think he just showed up to watch or something, otherwise im sure he would have won.

After it was over they just had casuals going, but for some reason they had the machines set on 2/3 rounds but it was 2 credits for each coin, so everyone was playing classic US casuals style 2/3 two round matches. I lost a few, won a few. As time went on more people cleared out and I got to play alot. At one point I had like 12 wins in a row on these Baiken and Ky players. Eventually someone picked Eddie on me and I narowly lost. After that I played the Eddie a ton. I beat him 4 times in a row and finally lost to him but then I had to leave because it was getting late.

Thats about it. Long post... but it was a long weekend. Next weekend is the Gunma/Tochigi series finals in the capital of my prefecture, Maebashi, which is only 45 min train ride from where I live. After that, the Tokyo C-2 series final is at Ikebukuro GIGO on Sunday. I will be at both. No idea who my team will be but im sure ill figure something out.