Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Cryptic Notes in Fukuhara-san's Room

It is clear upon entering Fuku-san's room that he is a video games fan, from the two game posters he has stuck up on his wall.

Virtua Fighter posters in Fuku-san's room
Left: In Fuku-san's room, a promotional poster for the original Virtua Fighter
Right: Fuku-san is apparently a fan of Pai Chan
The first poster shows a promotional image for Virtua Fighter, which looks to be the Sega Saturn version - Akira's hands are rendered in a chunky block style (as compared to the arcade version where he has individual moving fingers).

Akira (Sega console version)
Left: The arcade Akira has individual fingers...
Right: but not so for Akira in the Saturn version, who has blocky hands.
Image credit: gamemaster14neo
The poster next to that on the wall is a CG image of Pai Chan, one of the characters that appears in the game.
Pai Chan
Pai Chan
Image credit: crazyasianfan4
Turning our attention to the far wall, a couple of smaller notes or notices on the wall can be seen above his desk.

They contain some sort of hand-writing in Japanese with arrows and the letters "P+G". The notes are obviously important to him, as there is not just one but two which are identical. Furthermore, they are positioned right at eye-height for easy review when he sits down to study.

Fuku-san's study desk
The two cryptic notes on the wall in front of Fuku-san.
(Is he really studying at that desk?)
But the meaning of these notes had me stumped for a while. I wasn't able to find out much information about the Japanese words written there, and assumed these might be related to his studies - perhaps his own martial arts training.

After some more time spent pondering and investigating further I finally tracked down what they are. I eventually realized they simply represent notes Fuku-san has written to to help himself memorize how to perform three fighting moves (specifically, throws) for the character of Akira in Virtua Fighter.

No doubt the "P+G" annotations - coupled with the Virtua Fighter posters - are plain-enough hints as to the meaning for experts at Virtua Fighter, but I was still happy to resolve it.

For completeness, here are the contents of the notes. Arrows show the joystick direction; P=Punch button; G=Guard button:

The two cryptic notes on the wall
A closer look.
  • 鷂子穿林 ⇐⇘ P+G ["Youshi Senrin" throw]
  • 心意把 ⇙⇒ P+G ["Shin’i ha" throw] 
  • 倒身捜腿 P+G ["Toushin Soutai" throw]
Once I understood the meaning of the notes, I couldn't help smiling as it seems so typical of Fuku-san's somewhat goofy character - he has even put up the note twice, side-by-side, as if this will help it stick in his mind better.

It also serves to further emphasize the contrasting worlds of Fuku-san and Ryo: while the happy-go-lucky Fuku-san works on polishing his gaming skills, Ryo is searching for the man who has murdered his father.

For any blog readers here who may be Virtua Fighter players -- I wonder if these three moves been selected because they are particularly effective compared to others? Or perhaps they are just the ones whose commands Fuku-san has the most trouble committing to memory...
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  1. Replies
    1. I've now tagged it with the Shenmue 1 category. :-) For people who haven't experienced the first two games yet, hopefully Sega will be putting out HD remasters - currently they are "investigating" it.

  2. I really love Shenmue but I think you love it even more...

    1. Haha, there's a lot to love about it!