Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mameshiba the Bean Dog

       I discovered Mameshiba yesterday while reading Manly Guys Doing Manly Things, and over the past two days, I've watched every episode.

       Mameshiba (豆しば), if you're not familiar, is a Japanese character that is part bean ("mame") and part dog ("shiba inu" is a Japanese dog breed). The name "mameshiba" is also a pun of the Japanese word for trivia (mamechishiki), since the characters say a trivial fact in every episode.

       Basically, in each episode as someone is attempting to enjoy some manner of bean-based food, one of the mameshiba (there are twenty different varieties) will pop out and terrorize, disgust, or otherwise disturb the unsuspecting individual with a piece of useless trivia. One of my favorite things about the shorts is the completely reasonable reaction people have to the mameshiba. Despite the happy and upbeat music and overall tone of the videos, for the most part people are shocked, question their sanity, and have their appetites ruined. Additionally, the trivia is often relevant to what the person is doing, such as the man who has his date ruined when the peanut mameshiba informs him that "when you kiss, 200 million germs per second are exchanged between mouths".

       So these little beans spend their time popping out of your food and fucking up your day. Assholes.

Screen from the upcoming Mameshiba game
       As I mentioned, there are 20 different mameshiba, each a different type of bean with a different "personality". Although you don't really see any variations in personality in the videos, the website assures us each one is an individual. Except for the jelly beans, which are a cluster of 7 beans. Oh, also the one that's not really a real bean and is candy, is "American". Harumph.

       Now it seems they are making a Mameshiba video game. And why not? The franchise, whose source material is literally 20 short animated films, has grossed over $100 million worldwide since it's conception in 2008. The game is essentially a Nintendogs style game, where you raise and train your pet, except that you also talk to your mameshiba and unlock bits of trivia along the way. The game is set to release in Japan in Fall 2011. No word on a US release as of yet, but here's the weird-ass trailer anyway:

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