Kawaii Character News – February, 2017

Contents

  1. Farewell, Tamagotchi Department Store Harajuku
  2. Review of Digimon Universe Appli Monsters
  3. Tamagotchi Movie Ticket for Spring!

A little late, but Happy Valentine! This issue of Kawaii News is all Bandai. I suppose it has the biggest number of photos & the most amount of writing in the Kawaii News history because I have so much to share! This February is bitter sweet for tamagotchi fans as the headline tells you, but I won’t make you just sad. Enjoy!

1: Farewell, Tamagotchi Department Store Harajuku

The news shocked tamagotchi fans all over the world; our beloved Tamagotchi Department Store Harajuku (Tama Depa) closes at 19:00 on 26 February, 2017. After the closure, we will buy tamagotchi items from Bandai’s online shop.

Tama Depa Photo Album for Memories

First of all, I’d like to keep the precious photos of Tama Depa in this article FOREVER.

Tamagotchi Department Store Harajuku was an official shop of Tamagotchi run in Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan.

Welcoming Mametchi

Mametchi had the welcoming board for us. Memetchi and Kuchipatchi were on the floor, and they were sometimes wearing seasonal costumes like Santa hats.

Memetchi
Kuchipatchi

The newest version of tamagotchi was fronting the customers coming in.

The store was full of tamagotchi items. What’s important is that most of them were limited items available only here.


Tama Depa was not just a shop, but also a center of tamagotchis. Behind the cash register, there was the Tamagotchi History display that used to be Tamagotchi Store Tokyo (also called Tama Sto).

Tamagotchi History was also on the pillars.

There were 2 Tamagotchi mix Stations for us. Personally, I was happy to have a chair to use it. In the generation of Tamagotchi 4U, there were “Touch Spots” instead.

Being in Tama Depa was really like traveling in Tamagotchi Planet.

 

We were able to learn how Tamagotchi Department Store in Tamagotchi Planet is like from the picture over Kuromametchi.

We looked for “Hidden Mametchi” on the floor. On the ceiling, Tamagotchi Planet was seeing us.

What cannot be missed in Tama Depa was the Tamagotchi Donuts. There were 2 types of sets; Mame-Love Set and Mame-Kuchi Set.

Mame & Love Set

We needed to wait for 15 to 20 minutes to eat the cute donuts, so I often went shopping in Takechita Street with the them in my hand.

I remember I had Mame & Kuchi donuts with viewing fully blooming cherry blossoms (sakura) in Yoyogi Park.

Also, it is my sweet memory that I sat down on a bench in Omotesando Avenue, which is “Champs Elysees in Japan”, and opened the pack.

The donuts were not just cute but also organic, so they always made us smile.

Why Closing?

Second, I’d like to talk about the reasons for this sad closure.

Bandai doesn’t provide any reason why they close the store, so what I can is guessing it by myself. But I don’t think my idea is pointlessTama Depa was in too good a place.

The location of Tama Depa Harajuku is just in front of Harajuku Station.

Harajuku Station seen from the inside of Tama Depa

Moreover, it’s LESS THAN a one minute walk from Takeshita Street.

The building that Tama Depa is in (Left) & the entrance gate of Takeshita Street (Right)

Can you see what I’m talking about? Takeshita Street is the coolest street in Japan, so Tama Depa Harajuku was in the best of best places IN JAPAN.

Remembering Tamagotchi Store Tokyo which sadly closed in June, 2016, it used to be in Tokyo Station. It’s the very central station among the 142 JR stations, 285 subway stations and some more stations of private railways inside Tokyo!

If you run a store in a super popular place, you need to sell much to pay for the high rent. I’m sure that Tamagotchi is a very important brand for Bandai because they display Mametchi on the logo at the entrance of their headquarters. However, I guess it was hard for them to run stores in such places just for pride.

The point is that I don’t think at all that Tama Depa is the only store that couldn’t have enough sales in Takeshita Street. I have seen many other shops that left soon after their opening. For example, a shop related to idol singers opened near Tama Depa some years ago, but it has gone. The idols were so popular that anyone knew them in Japan at that time, but I doubt the shop lasted for a year. Takeshita Street is basically a place for fashion, so it is NOT rare nor shameful that shops of pop culture or food leave there.

What I Want to Say to Tama Fans in the World

In conclusion, I’d like to emphasize I do not accept the news so negatively from the viewpoint of a Tokyo local. Although it’s so sad that we can no longer enter the real wonderland nor have the cute donuts, we have another future. Go down this article, and you’ll find the news of Tamagotchi movie coming this spring. I believe Tamagotchi is still doing well. Tamagotchi’s little brother is, too, as I write in the following.

Thank you for dreams, Tama Depa Harajuku!

Leave your love to Tamagotchi on the comment!

Useful Links




2: Review of Digimon Universe Appli Monsters

This is not a brand of cuteness, but I cannot help talking about Digimon, Tamagotchi’s little brother.

“Digimon Universe Appli Monsters (Appmon)”, a new anime series of Digimon, started last autumn. I found this anime because of Tokyo Direct Diary project, and I really thanked my good luck – I must say it is amazingly interesting.

What amazed me are the 3 things in the following.

(SPOILER ALERT! I referred to the contents of Episode 8, 15 and 18 in (2), Episode 16 and 19 in (3). (3) contains the essential information of Appmon’s world revealed in Episode 16. What I wrote in (1) is the characters’ profiles and the beginning of the story.)

(1) Excellent as a Story

The key of Digimon anime series is “chosen children”. Appmon follows this tradition.

When Haru got the Appli Drive from a vending machine, he was asked by the unknown device, “Are you a main character?” Feeling that he plays a supporting role in the entire of his life, he always dreamed of becoming like the heroes in books. When he chose “YES”, he became the buddy of Gatchmon and the story began!

Also, Appli Drive asked, “Do you want to make someone smile?” to Eri, who used to watch music videos when feeling alone. To Torajiro, who was born in a strict family of sado (matcha ceremonies), the question was, “Got the rhythm?”

Did you give up to become yourself you wish to be? Let’s ask “YES / NO” to ourselves.

As the anime industry grows up, I find some “animes for intellectuals” these days. My Neighbor Totoro is a movie that I want to see once a year at least, but I feel that many recent works of Studio Ghibli smell like “authority” because they are too artistic. It is necessary for us to have deep knowledge about movies, arts and philosophy to understand them fully. Although I regard this kind of works as one good choice for anime, I can’t fell in love with them from the bottom of my heart. Considering this circumstance, it is precious for me to enjoy the Appmon story that is simply interesting. I feel so encouraged when I watch the episode on Saturday, which I think is very important.

(2) Realistic Settings

AI (Artificial Intelligence) is a trending topic in the web industry of today. Apps, as well. Although Appmon is a fantasy, its stories are very realistic to the point I feel it can happen.

For example, in Episode 18, panic occurred in the bay side district in Tokyo because of the treasure hunting game app. Apparently, this episode is inspired from Pokemon GO! Last summer, panic really occurred in Odaiba, Tokyo, because there were rumors that Lapras appeared there.

Appmon has given me some warnings in today’s digital life as well. Especially, Episode 8 and 15 scared me because evil appmons were laughing at humans who are controlled by wrong stupid information so easily. Since I started to watch Appmon, I have rebuilt my web security again and again. If you do, too, you’ll understand why I put a sticker on the web camera of my laptop I’m using to type this.

(3) The Evil is appropriate for an anime AND SO STRONG!

Leviathan is the AI which is the top of evil appmons. According to Episode 16, it was originally part of Minerva, a good AI, but it thought it should break the rules of the society to become endlessly intelligent.

The point is that Leviathan is a machine that is out of humans’ control. Its purpose is simply becoming intelligent, not violence itself. For children’s TV programs, how to describe “evil people” is always the problem. Defining “evil” is a never-ending theme for human beings. To make the matters worse, it is not acceptable for today’s people to finish the evils by aggression. Thinking this way, can you see? It is no problem to destroy Leviathan.

What’s amazing is that this doesn’t mean Appmon is a childish anime at all. Leviathan is surprisingly powerful. For example, in Episode 19, Leviathan damaged more than 900 MILLION smartphones all over the world! Haru and his friends stopped the danger, but Leviathan’s company took over Waffle Corp, their rival company, by damaging trust. Now its OS has a 90% share in the mobile industry, so Leviathan successfully ruled 90% smartphones in the world! I really look forward to seeing what happens next.

I’d like to give Appmon the highest rating of mine. Appli Monsters is on-air on TV Tokyo and YouTube.

Link: Digimon Universe Appli Monsters Official YouTube Channel – You can watch Episode 1 and the latest episode for free.

3: Tamagotchi Movie Ticket for Spring!

I promised you that I wouldn’t make you sad in this article. Look at this, I got the movie ticket of Cocotama & Tamagotchi Movie coming in late April! Yay!

This if the Movie Ticket!

The title is, “Tamagotchi Secret Present Delivery” (my own translation). It looks so cute! Cocotama is the TV anime that started instead of tamagotchi in 2015. I must study it before I go to the movie theater!

It is going to be released on 28 April, 2017, when there are some public holidays in Japan. I’ll make sure to review it on Kawaii News of May, so stay tuned!!!

 

This issue was so BIG because I uploaded so many photos and wrote much at the same time. It was inevitable because I had so much to share with you in my mind! Hope you enjoyed it and see you soon in March!

Let’s Keep Connected with Tokyo Direct Guide/Diary!

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