Posted on November 24th, 2009 5 comments
The other day I got a chance to translate for an interview conducted with Toshiyuki Takahashi, better known as Takahashi Meijin to millions of eager Japanese boys who are now sadly my age. He still works at Hudson after all this time and for the past few years he’s once again been serving as their top PR guy — more recently he’s been talking about Hudson’s US downloadable releases in Nintendo Power and other US media outlets.
Imagine if Howard Phillips was about 20 times more well-known to the general public, and that’s what Takahashi was to Japan in the ’80s. In fact I’d bet that a lot of Phillips’ image as presented in Nintendo Power was heavily inspired by Takahashi’s. Both were relentlessly good at Nintendo games, both were kind of dorky and nerd-friendly — Phillips freckled and kind of Iowan, while Takahashi was, let’s face it, downright ugly — but both presented a clean-cut image that let them serve as positive role models for kids.
One difference between the two: Howard Phillips didn’t get that many opportunities to show off his hot Game Master skills, but in 1986-88, Takahashi was a near-permanent fixture on Japanese kids’ TV. I think I can see why. Just look at him dissect the first stage of Star Soldier in the above video — playing through the stage, getting nearly every bonus, and narrating himself the whole way. Also note his rate of button-pressing. Jeez. I’m amazed he doesn’t have arthritis these days.
And while Phillips sported a neat bow tie, did he ever release his own single? Sadly, no. But Takahashi did!