Happy Birthday…Manaka Takane

By Ishaan . October 7, 2009 . 1:01am

You remember all those reports that came out of Japan a year or so ago, claiming Monster Hunter on the PSP was a "social phenomenon?" I think Love Plus just took its place.


Yesterday, October 5, just so happened to be the birthday of Manaka Takane, one of the girls you can date from Love Plus. Unsurprisingly, Japanese gamers (of the 2ch variety, naturally) celebrated. But unlike the last time we reported something of the sort, yesterday was a much more personal affair.




Andriasang has the details. Like for instance, this one guy who bought Takane a birthday cake, flowers and a perfume for a total of ¥5,000. But wait! Given that he can’t eat more than 1/4 of the cake — possibly, Andriasang speculates, because he’s an older gentleman — he has to wait till night time to trash the leftover cake without his family finding out.


Wonder how his family feels about the celebration in the first place.


Something to note: Love Plus has been the subject of all but the first "Games are evil" posts we’ve done so far. Congratulations Konami — you have produced the evilest game we have ever known.

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  • Oh, man, Ishaan, this is nothing. For one thing people have been celebrating fictional character birthdays for years (they can be pretty fun!). Another, well, check the Tweet I sent ya ’cause this is gonna rock your Love Plus socks off!

    • Well, I wouldn’t call it _nothing_, Matty. =) Cuddling up next to your DS by candlelight with a body-pillowcase plastered with your favorite “萌え”[Moe] anime star is just a bit out of the ordinary. It’s definitely different than just saying “Hey, today is Dante’s birthday. Awesome!” Though I’m interested to see this other thing you mentioned.

    • Oh God, that is disturbing. It’s like a little Love Plus harem!

    • Aoshi00

      Originally I wanted to get import this on day 1, but it would have to wait due to the tons of games that are coming out between now and year’s end. It wouldn’t feel right to neglect the girls, lol.

      Yeah, I totally agree w/ Matty, that’s the first thought that came to my mind, fans have celebrated anime characters’ birthday for a long time, wishing them Happy b-day, or making knick knacks and drawing fanarts. Guess the cake and the whole shebang are kind of elaborate, at least people can’t call him cheap for getting Wendy’s.

      • You should see the “elaborate” pics I’ve collected. I guess I keep them to serve as some sort of ‘motivation’, but I kind of want to put a cupcake in front of Tron Bonne or my little Arino-Kacho figure!

        At the very least, it shows that the biggest nerds can also be the ideal romantics and know what love is~! …lol

        • Aoshi00

          I don’t think I remember many anime chars’ b-days, except Hunter x Hunter’s like Mar 3, Apr 4, or May 5 or something for Gon, Leorio, Kurapica, & Killua..

          I would never do stuff like this, but I have a few anime goddesses of my own (from anime I grew up watching).. like Ayukawa Madoka from Kimagure Orange Road, Nadia from Secret of Blue Water, or Tokiko from Busou Renkin. What’s striking though is Love Plus just came out and doesn’t have a very long history, compared to other famous staple anime heroines who have existed for a long time, so seeing such strong attachment from these fans, the game must be pretty good.

          • I think it’s more that the game is perfectly suited to your stereotypical hikkikomori’s lifestyle. Of course, it must also be very good or people would’ve ignored it entirely.

            To be honest, I was excited for it initially…and maybe on some level I still am curious to see what it’s like. But I’ve read so many disturbing things about the hikkikomori lifestyle of late — widespread cases of domestic violence for instance — that thinking about it now makes me nauseous.

            It dawned on me that Konami knew all along who their target audience for this game was, and they catered to them perfectly. Now I’m questioning if what they did was irresponsible or not…

          • I have it and it plays pretty much like someone here once said; a cross between Tamagachi and your dream girl. I can’t really see myself sticking with it for too long, but its a little addicting. Rinko is cute and all, but she’s no matty-material! So, for myself, it isn’t so much that you have a game centered around a virtual girlfriend, but the gameplay of trying to woo her in itself is what is interesting to me.

            That concept used in visual novels is one of things that makes it unique and interesting. Yeah, sometimes it can be really broken (I guess that depends on who wrote it), which can be frustrating as hell if you choose to do something and it the result can have the opposite effect. Despite that, seeing this implemented in gaming systems is something I’d love to see more of – fleshed-out, of course.
            …and by that I don’t mean just for the “Sex-Box”.

            Oh, and yeah, this can be seen as totally exploiting the crowd of this type of stuff. This has been going on for a while now, even really niche/seclusive circles, and I hope it doesn’t go too far. As to this having not only a negative, but damaging effect …there are many points to touch on and the process remedy it will go along the lines of “If you give a mouse a cookie…”.

        • (Can’t reply to your comment below.)

          I just had Chris talk me out of writing an editorial on whether or not Konami are being socially irresponsible by putting Love Plus out there. I guess a lot of the things I read about that sort of lifestyle really touched a nerve and got me upset that a publisher would willingly exploit an unhealthy lifestyle for profit…as naive as that sounds. :/

          • It’s a sad situation, and even sadder its being slowly addressed, if at all.
            I have a friend in Japan right now that is getting desperate just trying to get a sense of it. Can’t really help them if they don’t come out, you know?

            Truth be told, I can relate. Spent a while doing nothing, being a total NEET, got sick of it and pulled a Robert Downy Jr. and snapped out of it (and a piece of fish).
            Like Mama always told us, Ishaan, “boy, don’t go playing near the edge!”. But, yeah, addressing this is difficult when there are so many ins and outs around it, but at least there’s (or should be) a public understanding of it instead of misconceptions of these people being freaks or something.

          • I can relate, too. I think that’s why it got such a strong reaction from me. For me, I think it’s a side-effect of this profession and other stuff I want to do career-wise. It’s really scary when it dawns on you just how thin that line separating us from them is.

            The problem is, the Japanese media and authorities like to pretend the problem doesn’t exist…which isn’t too surprising, really, if you’re familiar with how Japanese culture is in general.

            It’s times like this you really appreciate companies that try to do the right thing and help turn the situation around. Games like that “How Money and Things Work DS” and also stuff that encourages more social activity. It’s not easy to fight social trends.

            Speaking of…you remember how many people were pissed off by Hiroshi Yamauchi’s comments on what RPG players were like way back in the early console days? In retrospect, you could almost say he was right to an extent. :/

  • So, when is Atlus or Xseed or Ignition going to be localizing LovePlus? :)

    • Fat chance of that ever happening. :(

      Best we’ll get is the fan translation.

  • nyoron

    Oh man.

    I hope that fan translation finishes some day!

    • maxchain

      I hope any project VN Translations is working on gets finished! They’ve got an awful lot on their plate all of a sudden…

  • Kris

    Whenever I think I’ve seen the full extent of otaku devotion, Japan keeps raising the bar a little higher.

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