For me, it is definitely Tamagochi. So this post will be highly about my hobbies. Let me warn you that people are talkative when it comes to hobbies!
|Mametchi in Tamagotchi Anniversary Event in Odaiba|
What is Tamagotchi?
Tamagochi made their debut to the world in 1996. The name comes from “Tamago (= means egg)” plus “watch.”
It is a toy to raise a virtual/digital pet on your hand, released by Bandai, one of the Japanese leading toy companies. With being introduced by a popular Japanese singer on TV, and by word of mouth, Tamagotchi’s popularity among kids, teenage girls and even adults spread all over Japan and in 30 foreign countries.
|The original tamagotchi in 1996 (White)|
It was so popular that the market was always short of the products. Especially popular colored Tamagotchis such as this first white ones were priced more than 10 times as the true price.
Talking about my own sweet memories, Tamagotchi was my childhood itself. I was totally absorbed in hatching eggs (= tamago in Japanese,) raising those pretty, simple and mysterious pets on my little hand.
My favorite one was not the one in the photo, but a white one with pale pink and blue spiral patterns. And my favorite character was Mimitchi.
|Mimitchi & Tamagotchi History Displays|
I’d read Tamagotchi picture books about their home planet. I’d collected stickers and stared at them for hours. Tamagotchi’s town was like an amusement park. Speaking houses. Sea of juice. Star ships. Even hospitals are amusing. And the planet itself is living, too!
Pokemon was popular among my friends at the same time, but I loved cute Tamagotchis better than Pokemons, who always had matches. I knew Tamagochi world more than anyone in my class.
Tamagotchi was a treasure box of imagination.
This first Tamagotchi boom is on every article like “What happened in that year?”
Bandai failed to manage the unexpected boom, so, to my sadness, Tamagotchi disappeared in 3 years.
However, they caught a rumor that Tamagotchi was still popular among some high school girls, so they planned a lot this time.
Finally in 2004, Tamagotchi returned to the earth!
After that, Tamagotchi appeared on many kids’ magazines, has had 2 anime movies and some Nintendo 3DS games. TV anime program is on-air now.
For me as an old fan, I find some differences from the original. For example, there was not any idol Tamagotchi on Tamagochi planet I used to know. No jewel-like-heart-shaped-beads on Tamagotchi series I’d love in my childhood. It’s times.
But I believe it is still a world of wonder at the bottom. Plus, I am so happy to meet my beloved Mametchi and Kuchipatchi again.
So I decided to visit Tamagotchi 18th Anniversary Event in O-daiba!
It was held at Diver City Tokyo Plaza, one of the 4 big shopping centers in Odaiba.
Diver City is known with the Full-Length Gundam in the garden. Tamagotchi Birthday is on the screen.
|Full-Length Gundam in Diver City, Odaiba, Tokyo|
I tried the rental Tamagotchi 4U, the latest verstion, there.
I was impressed that the developments of technology has enabled us to get close to Tamagotchi planet.
When I was a big fan of old Tamagochi, they used to be displayed like these. Monochrome, a few dots. All I did for them were taking foods to them, play with them, discipline and healthcare.
And today, they are…
Beautiful!! A lot of expressions!
(Oops, don’t compare the 3rd character. They are different characters. Please compare yllow Mametchi and green Kuchipatchi!)
Today’s Tamagochis live in a colorful room with Tamagotchi planet furniture and go out to restaurants, shops, parks and game centers on our hand!
It’s true that things have changed.
Let’s think positively.
The wonderland, a treasure box of imagination, has come to my hand!
And one thing surprised me.
Ariana Grande, an American pop singer with super high tone voices, is singing the ending theme song of “Go-Go Tamagotchi!” the TV anime.
Undoubtedly, Ariana Grande is a worldwide singer.
Her latest album (November 2014) My Everything was on the TOP of the hit chart in the US. Talented as a vocalist, she is now called, “Next Mariah Carey.” More about her career, please go to her official website.
Yes, she is a Super Star.
It is very abnormal that an English song is featured in an anime because theme songs have to describe and carry the anime characters’ feelings and dreams to people watching it. It’s too difficult and painstaking in leisure time for people, especially children, to understand words in a foreign language. It is not time to study English!
Why on earth did it realize, then?
Actually, Ariana Grande is a big fan of Tamagotchi, and when she visited Tokyo in January 2014, she went to Tamagotchi Department Store in Harajuku and got a lot of items there.
When Bandai Tamagotchi staff members learned so, they were so pleased and gave an original strawberry-designed Tamagotchi as a present to the American diva in February, when she visited Japan again. She got impressed with it, too.
After that, Tamagotchi anime team offered her that she would sing the ending theme song and Ariana willingly consented to it.
At last, the cute, cool and stylish ending anime was completed.
I like it very much.
I believe that it was a challenge to mix up “Baby I”, an American R&B song, with an anime. It is quite new for the entire of Japanese anime industry.
Now in the story, one of Mametchi’s friends is a violinist, so I suppose little children can explore Tamagotchi world even if they can’t understand English.
The ending video is completed to be visually fun, dreamy, colorful and cute.
I think it’s surprisingly successful. It was a breakthrough as well.
Tamagotchi Department Store in Harajuku was under renovation and is going to re-open on 29 November, 2014.
The very front of Takeshita Street! It’s the coolest street in Japan and many international tourists visit there.
I’ll visit there as soon as possible.
Tamagotchi has come back to my life and gave me a lot of dreams, wonders and imaginations.
Love you! And thanks to you, too!
Descriptions of Diver City Tokyo Plaza
Shopping: 10:00 – 21:00
Food Court: 10：00 – 22：00
Restaurants: 11：00 – 23：00
Access: 3 – 5 minutes walk from Daiba Station of Yurikamome Line or Tokyo Teleport Station of Rinkai Line.