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Cho Aniki - The Strangest Game Ever? 39

Thanks to NFG Games for their newly-posted detailed look at Ai Cho Aniki for the PC Engine / TurboGrafx, a side-scrolling, bodybuilder-filled shoot-em-up where, as the author explains: "The game starts as many do, in space above some clouds with... floating heads, swords and a strange guy on a half-moon who throws babies at you." The extremely odd graphical presentation, encompassing "burly men, angels, [and] machines with faces", even extends to the game's front cover - and it's not the only version for the PC Engine, even. There's also now a PlayStation 2 sequel, called Mighty Brothers: The Legend of the Holy Protein, due later this year.
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Cho Aniki - The Strangest Game Ever?

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  • by LordOfYourPants ( 145342 ) on Friday September 05, 2003 @07:48AM (#6877961)
    I have nothing to say about the game itself. It looks strange, but nothing mind-blowing.

    On the other hand, I am interested in the title and its translation.. "Chou Aniki: Sei Naru Protein Densetsu. In English, the title translates to Mighty Brothers: The Legend of the Holy Protein."

    Does this title sound as cheesy/campy in Japanese as it does in English? Or is there some element of Japanese culture which makes this title acceptable and taken with a straight face?

    I've noticed this with other old-school game titles as well, such as "Space Mega Force." Even modern games with Engrish-sounding titles such as "Dance Dance Revolution 2nd Remix Append Club Version" have me wondering if it's done intentionally or not. I'm sure an arcade game which has probably sucked up millions of dollars in money can afford to hire a person for oh, say, 2 minutes to come up with a somewhat literary translation.
    • All your base are belong to us?
    • by NEOGEOman ( 155470 ) on Friday September 05, 2003 @08:37AM (#6878243)
      Most all Japanese learn rudimentary English in school. Most all Japanese don't learn much more than that. This tends to result in a lot of English in games that is, at best, not quite right. But who cares, really? The tiny handful of people in Japan who know better get over the whole "Engrish is funny haw haw" thing in a matter of weeks and find better things to be disgusted by. The average Japanese on the street sure doesn't care, they're just pleased, I imagine, that their highschool English lessons proved useful at all. Accuracy is irrelevant.

      And if the game makes it big and is exported overseas it will already have name recognition that's only spoiled by correcting the oddities in the title.

      Comments could be made about most of the gaming fanboys still struggling with the concept of apostrophes and therefore unqualified to ponder the nature of the titles, but that's perhaps a matter for another time.

      And yes, "Legend of the Holy Protein" sounds as bizarre in Japanese as it does in English - but the entire series is based on some pretty strange subject matter. This title is no doubt intentionally laughable.
    • by aitsuda ( 633462 ) on Friday September 05, 2003 @08:38AM (#6878253)
      Sei Naru Protein Densetsu sounds if anything cheesier in Japanese. Certainly cheesy as fuck. Dance Dance Revolution yadda yadda yadda sounds...well, like a game title. There's a whole (and well documented) culture of using English for effect in Japan which can lead to all sorts of strangeness which doens't sound like English as such to Japanese people, but fits within the vocabulary of decorative items / game titles etc. Can make for some weird language to Western ears (but then there's the whole issue of people in the west tatooing themselves with Chinese / Japanese characters they don't understand [] so who am I to badmouth Japanese use of English?)
      • by Captain Rotundo ( 165816 ) on Friday September 05, 2003 @10:43AM (#6879467) Homepage
        I have often found it odd that a lot of poeple find "engrish" extremely funny (and some in an offensive derogetory way) but have no problem butchering other languages or thinking its 'hip' to have a random chinese character that they can not read tattooed on them.
        • Heh... very good point. Americans do that to Spanish in Mexico all the time. They think it's funny. We think it's rather annoying. It's extremely rare to find a US person that wants to really learn to speak the language or try to get the accent right. I find that the reversed situation is rarely the same. Then again, we have more need of learning proper English than US people have of learning proper Spanish.
          • Actually, I have made an effort to assure that my Japanese accent sounds as generic as possible (Tokyo). Most non-native English speakers that I know of hardly make an effort to have their English sound correct. When you approach them about this (for example, Andy is not pronounced on-di, it's ANN-di) they get pissed off.

            It's possible to learn to speak proper English with a terrible accent. It takes a little more effort to learn how to pronounce our words correctly, though.
    • I'm reasonably sure the entire Cho Aniki series, titles included, is a joke item.

      As for the other things mentioned... really, the only awkward phrase in that DDR title, besides, well, DDR, is "Append".
      And as for phrases like DDR, games are rarely renamed for US release anymore, as the Japanese version has typically already attracted a fan base.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      re: Dance Dance Revolution Second Remix Append Club Version

      That's totally normal, if you read it with punctuation. Behold!

      Dance Dance Revolution: Second Remix - Append Club version

      Look at that, it actually makes sense now. It's an "Append" disc to the Second Remix. You switch to it from the Second Remix version of the game. And it's mostly Club music.
    • Hmmm perhaps, it would appear that way, however these games don't seem to be streaming out of that part of the world, so I don't think that would be the case.

      Now (going to get flamed for this) sexual differences.... that may be a stronger possibility, I mean a guy squatting with a pilon on his head and wearing nothing but a bannana hammock? Then two guys wearing nothing but bannana hammocks while one cuts flowers that were growing out of the other ones head?

      I think in the review, Daemon, hit the nail rig
    • "I have nothing to say about the game itself. It looks strange, but nothing mind-blowing."

      What about if you travel back in time a few years? It's all relative.

      - You're not seeing it in motion. Part of the surprise was that it probably did more than what was expected of the TG-16.

      - It's being compared to games of the time. Today it's probably not a big deal.

      - The artist that did the artwork was well respected.

      Food for thought.
    • "Aniki" is actually "big brother", making the uhh.. dominating aspect of it even clearer. I'd also assume that Protein refers to a protein drink, capturing the bodybuilding aspect.

      So yes, campy as fuck I'd imagine! :]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 05, 2003 @08:24AM (#6878153)
    "Holy Protein", yeah that's what I told her.
  • Cho Eniki []

    That game is strange...

    The names are similar though - related perhaps?
  • I loved the Jeff Minter games. It's great to see something new coming out which is similar in strangeness.
  • I had this game (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mr. Darl McBride ( 704524 ) * on Friday September 05, 2003 @11:13AM (#6879754)
    I had this game. I believe the pronunciation is "choh an eeky" where "choh" rhymes with "show."

    The play is actually very fun; it's a classic Turbo Grafx shooter in its own right. But the greatest strength is the music. I still listen to it today -- much of the time, it's positively trippy, filled with angry grunting and screaming and what sounds like a band organ gone awry. Other times, it borders on techno. If you get a chance, get your hands on the MP3s (or a whole disc image!) of this one. You won't regret it, so long as nobody catches you listening.

  • Seeing this story reminded me of a review [] from the SomethingAwful ROM Pit of a SNES game called Cho Aniki - Bakuretsu Rantou Hen. It seems to be in the same series, except it's a one-on-one fighter a la Street Fighter II. The ROM is worth a download for a laugh at the blatant homosexuality everywhere if nothing else.
  • Aside from extreme cases like Boonga Boonga, which isn't really a playable game as much as a novelty, are we forgetting about Panic!, Master Red, Wizball, Gorf, Qix?

    I mean, Kid Icarus is arguably as weird as this is. You fight an eggplant, for the measurable sake of crap.
  • Source []

    Game Plot: This should serve as an example of why you should not download files from sites in Poland, especially when the file is described with a string of text similar to this: "sjavjenky rommy... boljay noxwob. bolshi fight za homosex (!!!)". This game is quite literally the single most concentrated mass of gay that I have ever in my life encountered. It's like a huge, flaming gay star exploded and collapsed in on itself, sucking itself down into a black, gay hole. The incredibly flagrant homose

We gave you an atomic bomb, what do you want, mermaids? -- I. I. Rabi to the Atomic Energy Commission