Friday, March 11, 2011

Clueless Gaijin Gaming: Mami Inoue Kono Hoshi ni Tatta Hitori no Kimi

This week, I'm sitting down with one of those odd PC Engine discs I picked up not in spite of, but because of, the fact I had no idea what to expect from it.  As it turns out, Mami Inoue Kono Hoshi ni Tatta Hitori no Kimi stars the erstwhile Japanese idol Mami Inoue, and plays like a digital comic, with crude juxtaposition of cartoon artwork and digitized photos of the star.  The title screen is in Japanese, English and, for a change of pace, French (a language I can translate -- it says, "I will never forget my little girl Mami", an odd comment given the fleeting nature of Japanese idol fame):

Playing this Super CD-ROM release with little knowledge of Japanese or the questionable talents of Mami Inoue is a bit like traveling from the Horsehead Nebula in search of entertainment, only to find oneself trapped inside the headquarters of the Bay City Rollers Fan Club.  Ms. Inoue was 16 years old when this disc was put together, with the requisite Tiger Beat vibe, and the storyline casts her into a series of improbable adventures.  (There are apparently three different episodes on the disc, but I was satisfied to have made my way through one of them.)

We start by getting Mami onto the bus and off to school, where she mopes through class until she's allowed to go downtown to drink tea and shop for clothes, giving the lie to the fabled Japanese work ethic.

The storyline is occasionally interrupted by long stretches of fan service (the legitimate kind).  Here, we get to listen to Mami Inoue make enthusiastic (which I like to pretend are snide) comments about a bunch of funny and occasionally grotesque fan art submissions:

And then we get to hear her sing an absurdly country-western Japanese pop song illustrated with digitized still images:

And just in case we think she's too girly, she shows off her muscles with faux attitude and Pippi Longstocking hair:

After the cartoon storyline gets seriously underway, Mami gets to show off her abilities by imitating (badly) a variety of animals -- here, she summons a whale to dump some escaping men into the sea:

And she rides a dinosaur through feudal Japan, scaring the local authorities:

And she shows off a bunch of images from her childhood family album, including the obligatory gratuitous topless shot:

Then she comes home and we can finally shut the machine down after the credits roll:

I decided not to.

If you've read this post, you've seen most of what Mami Inoue Kono Hoshi ni Tatta Hitori no Kimi has to offer.  But just in case any of my readers are in the market for odd Japanese pop music collectibles, you might be able to find a copy for purchase here or here:

Mami Inoue Kono Hoshi ni Tatta Hitori no Kimi PC-Engine SCD

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