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January 22nd, 2013 | EarthBound, Interviews, Itoi

A while back I posted about how Chewy met Shigesato Itoi and discussed stuff with him, including her experience with EarthBound and how many fans there are outside of Japan. She later discussed her experience and what she talked about with him on the Fangamer podcast (see here).

In one of those posts, I said: “Chewy did briefly talk to him about the fans in America and elsewhere, but that’s a story for another day that maybe she should tell.” Well, now it’s time to get into that back story… but let’s let Itoi tell it for us 😛 (And as translated by Chewy!)

Just a few hours ago, Itoi posted part of an interview with Fumi Yoshinaga, a Japanese manga artist. Itoi interviews all sorts of people for a living, so this is nothing particularly noteworthy, but during the interview the topic of how foreigners view Japanese creations came up, and then Itoi suddenly starts talking about Chewy and overseas EarthBound fans:

Yoshinaga: Foreigners are really straightforward, so I feel like I want to ask a foreigner―for motivation when I’m writing. I love watching American dramas, but it makes me wonder when they go out to eat one day, and the next day they’re lovers.

Itoi: It’s really something. And when they’re mad, it’s written all over their faces.

Yoshinaga: It is.

Itoi: It’s easy for us to understand them, but it makes me feel like they’d have a hard time understanding us.

I met with an American recently―a woman in her late twenties. She’d grown up with an American version of an old game of mine, fell in love with Japan, and found a job out here. She’s since lost her job and had to go back to America, but we met before she left.

Just the fact that a child in America could get so engrossed in a game that someone like me made―it was a little mysterious to me. Then she told me how things were for her.

Not everyone blatantly reveals what they’re thinking, she said. Things always felt somewhat out of place, but one day she played that game and felt she had finally found a game for her. And now, fans of that game get together once a year for a convention.

She said there are a lot of people like that. Another thing that made me happy was when she said, “They’re growing in number.”

Also, she said that when she came to Japan, it was always comfortable. (laughs)

“They were actually all like me. ” (laughs) I was so happy when I heard that. She’s back in America now, but she said she’s going to find a job out there and save up some money so she can come back to Japan.

We talked about how there are more ways to do things than just being frank and open, saying everything on your mind, clashing with one another and just finding a compromise.

I asked what the biggest difference was with my game, and she replied, “The humor.” They’ve got humor of their own overseas, but my humor isn’t in other games. So I guess it’s true that the kinds of things that make us laugh or feel bashful seem to go hand-in-hand with what makes them laugh or feel bashful.

All I can say is wow! Chewy made a huge impression on him – way to go! It’s clear now more than ever that Itoi is finally aware of the huge following his games have outside of Japan and how important they are to a lot of people. Exciting stuff 😀

 

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53 Comments to Shigesato Itoi Learns about Overseas Fans


Onion said on Jan. 22, 2013

Go Chewy!!!!!!

boundearth said on Jan. 22, 2013

It’s awesome knowing that Itoi finally realizes how much of a following this game has here.

nightshade said on Jan. 22, 2013

Chewy should get a medal if this all turns out to be a localization of a Mother game.

HpBoost said on Jan. 22, 2013

What a wonderful recognition – congrats, Chewy!

Christie said on Jan. 22, 2013

Congratulations, Chewy! This is Turing out to be a dream come true for you and the rest of the Mother fandom!

Leeaux said on Jan. 22, 2013

Chewy, I’m extremely jealous, he makes you sound like old friends! I’d love to hear how you actually met up with him!

Chewy said on Jan. 22, 2013

Congratulations, Chewy!
……..This is all just an out of body experience, I feel the need to congratulate whatever person I’m watching do this. 😉

Leeaux: The whole story’s in the podcast! 🙂

Anonymous said on Jan. 22, 2013

Man this site has been fun to follow lately. Every time I start to lose hope on the chances of a rerelease something like this comes up. It’s really great how Itoi’s now aware of the western fanbase, and how he talked about Chewy. Things feel different now, like we might actully have a chance now when it comes to the games getting a rerelease 🙂

Anonymous said on Jan. 22, 2013

Thank you Chewy! I hope…no I know your efforts are working!

Kyosuke said on Jan. 22, 2013

I got tears in my eyes!

Fuffelpups said on Jan. 22, 2013

Now you must do an interview with Chewy, how she feels that she could be person who got the ball rolling. (^_^)

skyrunner14 said on Jan. 22, 2013

This added fuel to my “OH MY GOD WE’RE GETTING AN ENGLISH MOTHER REMAKE” fire. Made my day so much. Seconding that Chewy should get a medal or something. Maybe a badge on the forum.

CrouchingMouse said on Jan. 22, 2013

I’ve always found it bizarre how a lot of Japanese people think foreigners are basically a different species. They’re so shocked for whatever reason to find out that we like some of the same things as them and that we do some things the same way. There are obviously a lot of cultural differences, but I don’t think there are as many as people make it out to be.

That being said, this is pretty cool to hear. Sounds like Itoi has had his eyes opened a little to another perspective, and that’s never a bad thing.

Max said on Jan. 22, 2013

All I can say is: thank you, Chewy, for making such a big impression on Mr. Itoi.

METC said on Jan. 22, 2013

that begs the question, and pardon me if it’s something you’d rather not talk about, but what made you leave Japan? Itoi said you lost your job, but I doubt you actually got fired for anything, I mean aren’t you supposed to be the best around, Chewy?

Nester said on Jan. 22, 2013

“She’d grown up with an American version of an old game of mine, fell in love with Japan, and found a job out here. She’s since lost her job and had to go back to America, but we met before she left.”

Chewy, wasn’t your job working for Itoi? From the podcast I had the impression that he was your boss.

LabrynianRebel said on Jan. 22, 2013

“but it makes me wonder when they go out to eat one day, and the next day they’re lovers.”

One of the main things that annoy me about dramas in general.

Mrs. Saturn said on Jan. 22, 2013

Wow, way to go, Chewy! That whole exchange made me smile. It’s really great to see how Itoi is discussing American fans more and more, along with this “republication” business. What an exciting time to be a MOTHER fan! 😀

Chewy said on Jan. 22, 2013

METC: It’s a long story involving budget cuts. I worked for the government and “internationalization” is the first department to get cut because its importance is underestimated.

Nester: I work for them on a freelance basis.

Permafry_42 said on Jan. 22, 2013

If Itoi does announce an American republishing of the Mother/Earthbound series, we should do a fundraiser for helping to pay for Chewy to go back to Japan so that she can, on behalf of all Mother/Earthbound fans outside of Japan, thank Itoi for the republishing. It would be the least we can do to thank Chewy for getting the ball rolling!

Satsy said on Jan. 22, 2013

^ I would totally support this. That said if nothing else I’d support her how I could to just get her to the Christmas party there when that comes up again. 😉

AdmiralCrunch said on Jan. 22, 2013

PKSeige B where we ship Chewy instead of music and artwork? Let’s make it happen! Just need to make sure not to ship neglected class…

Radiostorm said on Jan. 22, 2013

I think if this incident has taught us anything, it’s that telephone, snail mail, and petitioning campaigns don’t work. We should all be trying to directly confront Itoi instead. At work. On his lunch break. In the bushes outside his house. At intimate family gatherings. We have to let him know face-to-face that we love the Mother franchise, and that love may or may not entail making a doll out of his hair.

Nester said on Jan. 22, 2013

^ Best. Comment. Ever.

NecrosaroIII said on Jan. 22, 2013

Radiostorm, that is called stalking, and it is creepy AND illegal.

Pokey Means Business said on Jan. 22, 2013

I have to agree with Necrosaro. That comment was pretty unsettling…

DelectaBit said on Jan. 22, 2013

Am I the only one that realizes Radiostorm was joking?

Max said on Jan. 22, 2013

I’m assuming that Radiostorm was totally being facetious.

Satsy said on Jan. 22, 2013

The comment about ‘making a doll out of his hair’ should have tipped people off.

I mean yeah I understand some people got weird with the last siege, but you can’t assume every crazy comment is serious.

Radiostorm said on Jan. 22, 2013

No emoticon can express how much I’m enjoying the reaction to my earlier post. Whomp whomp.

Chewy said on Jan. 22, 2013

Hey, that stuff worked for me.

kenisu said on Jan. 22, 2013

This is so amazing. It reinforces my hopes that the States, and maybe other countries, will be involved in the MOTHER revival.

righteousNess said on Jan. 22, 2013

Is anyone like, reeeaaallly hoping the Nintendo Direct tomorrow has some Mother news?

MarioMario1009 said on Jan. 22, 2013

@righteousNess I would really like to see something big! It’s all about upcoming Wii U stuff, so anything could be possible.

Opinionated Vector Chimera said on Jan. 22, 2013

Chewy :O

Banana Kid said on Jan. 22, 2013

Chewy is the second most awesome Starman Club member after Tomato.

Seifer said on Jan. 22, 2013

Way to go, Chewy. When you compare this to years and years worth of “Siege” efforts that amounted to a passing mention of “Starman Club”… Your efforts left so much more of an impact, it’s astounding. Bravo.

ninteNess said on Jan. 22, 2013

actually many followers and not only in USA, also in Latin America (I’m Mexican and I have a group of fans of the mother of only 129 people in 6 months ….. and even find missing thousands)

EpicJackman said on Jan. 22, 2013

My hopes rocket higher than a bottle rocket now! (Bad joke is bad.)

Runaway dog said on Jan. 22, 2013
Banana Kid said on Jan. 22, 2013

The UFO is a big hint….but WHAT THE HELL DOES IT SAY?!?!?!?!

Permafry_42 said on Jan. 22, 2013

Definitely going to watch it, but I don’t see why they would be announcing it already. I would assume they would be wanting to simultaneously release it for wii u and 3ds, but i guess we’ll see. Its nice that its in the morning this time (for PST) instead of during the middle of the night. If it is an earthbound announcement though, get ready for the flood of fans going insane from the sheer awesomeness of it all =D

DelectaBit said on Jan. 22, 2013

As far as I can tell, that isn’t Mother-related at all. Looks like an all-new RPG from Monolith Soft. May be a followup to Xenoblade, a new Baten Kaios, or a new IP entirely. I’m not really expecting to see any Mother stuff during tomorrow’s stream.

Banana Kid said on Jan. 23, 2013

Well, somebody bloody translate it already!

BusterTheFox said on Jan. 23, 2013

I’m still swooning over Pokémon Direct, personally. xD As a huge Pokémon fan. Mother is my #1 favorite series, though, so if they give out announcements like that back-to-back, it would be dangerous for my health. I still fan-girl shriek when I see stuff about X and Y. And I’m a guy. 😉

Mill said on Jan. 23, 2013

Good, good. Let the impact of overseas fans flow through him.

Earthbounder said on Jan. 23, 2013

Does anyone else like the American version of ness more than the Japanese version?

mike said on Jan. 23, 2013

mother 2 just appeared on the japanese nintendo direct for the wii u virtual console

marlon said on Jan. 23, 2013

Itoi just announced something big on his twitter! From the looks of it, it involves Mother 2 on wii u, but not entirely sure since it’s in Japanese.

Gradon said on Jan. 23, 2013

As said above, Mother 2 has been announced for Wii U Virtual Console in Japan only at the moment. I’m shocked that Mother 3 didn’t come before that tbh. I suppose this is the first step for anything new from the Mother series.

The Great Morgil said on Jan. 23, 2013

I found it amusing how he thought all Americans act a certain way based on TV dramas, only to find out he was wrong when he actually met on of us. But then, i’m sure there are a lot of Americans who similarly have false impressions of Japan based solely on anime.

SSJPabs said on Mar. 28, 2013

” We talked about how there are more ways to do things than just being frank and open, saying everything on your mind, clashing with one another and just finding a compromise. ”

There are! But I much prefer this way to others.

[…] Twitter and a Miiverse permitting non-Japanese fans to correlate with him directly, Lindsay Nelson spoke to Itoi about a masses of neglected Earthbound fans abroad while she was in Japan operative on his Techo […]


 

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