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My CoroCoro Experience

By Kevin on Apr 15 2012 08:31 PM
My sole intent on publishing this article hinges upon my personal efforts to provide everyone with the most current, trending Nintendo gaming information. My ultimate goal is to go beyond the standard means of delivering that information to you. Being an American, living in Japan, I have the privilege of obtaining firsthand access from a wide variety of information-rich resources. Because of this, I can give everyone a pre-emptive view of the latest and greatest Nintendo news. Let's face it, Japan receives many triple A first and third-party titles before any of the other regions, specifically North America. Pokémon Black Version 2, Pokémon White Version 2, Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story, and Pokémon Conquest (Pokémon + Nobunaga's Ambition) are just a few of the examples.

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In this specific article, I'm going to share a personal experience (mini expedition) I recently had. In the past few days, I've learned a lot, and I do mean a lot. My two-day quest stemmed from seeing all the online pictures of Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 from the monthly Japanese Manga publication, CoroCoro. I thought to myself, "I'm here in Japan. It's the perfect place to get insight on the upcoming Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 games!" Suddenly, like a moth to a flame, I set out on my journey to see these Pokémon images up close and personal. I was going to buy my own CoroCoro magazines myself. I know little Japanese, so I knew this was going to be fun. Mwahahaaaahaaa.

The first place I went to was Tsutaya, a Japanese game, DVD and book store. Where I live, in Okinawa, Tsutaya are abundant and plentiful. You can easily find one in nearly every major city. This one, in particular, was located on the southern most part of Okinawa, in the city of Itoman. While trying to find the magazine on my own, I noticed a store worker nearby. I asked her for CoroCoro and she immediately directed me to the end cap of an aisle where there were a large number of them neatly stacked up. She showed me two different books while simultaneously speaking to me in Japanese. I had no idea what she was saying, but I politely smiled, thanked her, bowed and took one of them to the checkout. It was fairly thick and double-wrapped in sturdy cellophane. I was proud as anyone could be. My wife said I looked like a little boy. How could I deny that? I couldn't wait to get home and open it up to see all the Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 pages up close, in my own hands.

So, there I was, breaking through the armor-like cellophane of my new, shiny CoroCoro on my kitchen counter. Strangely though, I didn't see any of the new Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 pages, as shown floating around the Internet. I flipped through all the semi glossy-colored pages and not one of them looked like the images I saw online. This one...looked different. At this point, I became a bit confused. I remember the store worker holding two of the magazines while helping me out. Could I have possibly chosen the wrong one? Were there multiple volumes for each month? I'm not sure, but Saturday was now behind me.

At some point during early Sunday afternoon, I decided to do a bit of research online. The first thing I typed in Google was "CoroCoro." Not surprised, Wikipedia was the first result to appear on the page. I clicked on the link to read more. I think the most eye-opening information on the page was the following:

"CoroCoro Comic is a Japanese monthly manga magazine published by Shogakukan,starting on May 15, 1977. The magazine is A5-sized, about 6 cm (2.25 in) thick, and often more than 800 pages in length. The magazine has two sisters: Bessatsu CoroCoro and CoroCoro Ichiban!. Both are bi-monthly."

After reading that, I soon came to realize that there's more to CoroCoro than I thought. Basically, there are three main CoroCoro publications. You have the main publication, CoroCoro Comic and two bi-monthly sister publications as well. At this very moment, everything starts making sense to me. I kept thinking to myself, "The one I bought yesterday is nowhere near the dimensions or specifications as described for the A5 book format, nor is it 2 inches thick." In case you're wondering, the dimensions for the A5 book format are 148mm (approx. 5.82" inches) in width by 209mm (approx. 8.22") in length. Well then, if there are three different types of CoroCoro, they all have one thing in common; CoroCoro, which looks like this:

CoroCoro, in Japanese
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So, knowing this, each of the three different CoroCoro magazines will have "CoroCoro" in Japanese, along with whatever type publication it is, smaller print. Kevin, we should promote you to Captain Obvious! Hmm...time to do more research!

Having an official publication name of CoroCoro Comic, I can use Google Translate to help me figure out what "Comic" looks like in Japanese. Oh, Google Translate also has a pronunciation tool for whatever words you translate. Upon translating "Comic" from English to Japanese, I get something that looks like this in Google Translate:

Comic, translated from English to Japanese
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I quickly held my copy of the CoroCoro up to the screen to compare and I realized that it was completely different. "Well, which one did I purchase then? Let's see, there's only two other possible candidates." I chose to translate "Ichiban!" from English to Japanese and this is what I got:

Ichiban!, translated from English to Japanese
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Hmm, that doesn't look anything at all like what my CoroCoro has. The only thing that's the same is the exclamation point. Time for me to perform more research! Performing a Google search for "CoroCoro Ichiban!" yields quite a few results, naturally. I look at various different sources and then I finally come across the holy grail of CoroCoro Ichiban! links, in which it lists all CoroCoro Ichiban! publications, by month, along with images of the covers! I now have a match for the CoroCoro I bought at Tsutaya yesterday. So, now that I know this, it's time to go get myself the correct publication, CoroCoro Comic, at the local Tsutaya about five minutes away. At this point, I don't even care about the third CoroCoro publication, Bessatsu CoroCoro. The whole way there, I'm reciting the pronunciation aloud so I can properly ask for it when I get there. I know, it sounds crazy but I'm on a mission here.

To hear the pronunciation for CoroCoro Comic, in Japanese, click on this Google Translate page and click the little volume icon in the box (Japanese) on the left. If you click the volume icon in the box on the right, that's the English translation pronunciation, which would be improper for me to use when asking.

So, now I'm at the local Tsutaya looking around for the latest and greatest CoroCoro Comic publication. I've found the CoroCoro Comic magazines, all stacked up nicely at the end cap of an aisle, but all I see on the nearly 2-inch spine of the comic book is a big "4," which means April. While that's good, but it still doesn't explain why I can't find any of the May editions. Those Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 images online are from the May edition of CoroCoro Comic. I get in line at the check out and ask the man behind the counter "Shitsureishimashita. Korokorokomikku, kudasai?" Basically, I said "Excuse me. CoroCoro Comic, please?" By no means was it proper Japanese, but he knew exactly what I was asking for. He led us back over to the end cap, where I was looking before and politely asked me wait a few minutes. He asked me using both Japanese and English phrases. I was impressed. I mean, he spoke way better English than I could speak Japanese. I laughed and said "You have very good English!" He laughed and said "thank you" and ran back to the counter. I watched him make his way back over behind the check out counter. While holding a piece of paper, he picked up the phone and started talking to someone, probably the store manager or something.

While I was waiting for him, I picked up a random comic book off the shelf and started flipping through it. I was kind of shocked to see a cartoon-ish Japanese couple performing sexual duties on each other. Embarrassed, I quickly shelved the comic book and waited. Moments later, he returned back to where I was standing. I forget exactly how he relayed the information, but I do remember him saying "Kayōbi," or Tuesday in English. I smiled, thanked him, bowed, and left the store thinking that they were just sold out until Tuesday, which was in a few days anyway.

While departing Tsutaya, I remembered that there was a book store in a shopping center a few minutes away. I decided to drive over there to see if I could score a May edition of the CoroCoro Comic. As I entered the book store, I was immediately greeted by the store worker behind the check out counter. I decided to just go right up to the counter and ask instead of looking around. This book store was respectably large, so I decided it was best to just ask first. The lady knew exactly what I was talking about and ran from behind the counter (they do that a lot over here) to one of the comic book aisles. She looked around for a bit and held up an April edition of CoroCoro Comic for me to see. I didn't know how to say "May" in Japanese so I pointed to the big "4" on the spine of the comic and held up five fingers and said "go," which means five in Japanese. She ran back behind the counter, looked at a wall chart, then said "Kayōbi," just like the man from the Tsutaya store.

At this point, I was thinking two possibilities. First, all of the Pokémon Black 2 and Pokémon White 2 images scattered online were for the April edition of CoroCoro Comic and someone just slipped up and made a typo. The second possibility was that the images online were, in fact, leaked by someone who was able to get a hold of the CoroCoro Comic books before even being distributed for resale. The latter of the two possibilities was beginning to make more and more sense. Hastily, I bought the April edition of the CoroCoro Comic book that the diligent store worker showed me and returned back home.

After getting back home, I immediately pulled up some Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 articles from various sources on the Internet. Many of the most recent article sources I found for the newest Pokémon CoroCoro "scans" used the word "leaked" somewhere in the body of the article, including the article that Chris wrote. This only solidified what I was thinking back at the last book store I visited. And like that, it very quickly became apparent that I was chasing after something that had long been exposed to the world, and there was nothing I could do about it.

I learned a lot during these last two days. I'll be here in Japan for quite some time, so I might just try to make some good contacts. I'm thinking if I learn enough Japanese and talk to the right people, I might just be able to swing a deal with someone where I can get inside Nintendo gaming information before anyone else. These last few days have been fun, literally full of fun!

To see various pictures I took of these books, along with the logos for the three different CoroCoro publications, please check out my personal image gallery.


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Comments: 5

I should have made it more clear that it was leaked. It might have prevented you from reading Japanese porn in public(Seriously though, apparently that stuff is everywhere in Japan).
Haha. This was actually a very fun adventure. Right now, it's 11:16AM on Monday, April 16th. You can guarantee I'll be at the front door of Tsutaya when they open tomorrow. I'm gonna get me a May CoroCoro Comic! Then, I'm going to take much better quality pictures than the ones online and share them with everyone. I mean, we've already seen them, but they looked like crap.
I'm jelly. I never go on cool adventures like that. Question though, with CoroCoro being a Magazine, can you get a subscription delivered to your house, or do you have to go to a book store?

View PostDarthArk, on 15 April 2012 - 11:27 PM, said:

I'm jelly. I never go on cool adventures like that. Question though, with CoroCoro being a Magazine, can you get a subscription delivered to your house, or do you have to go to a book store?

Great question. There are subscriptions that are available. They can be delivered to a residence as well. Me personally though, I'm going to buy them at the store on a monthly basis. I have a few reasons for that. First, I love getting out and browsing Tsutaya. Not only is it fun to look at all the different types of magazines, but they also have games and music in there as well. The other reason I choose to purchase CoroCoro directly from the retailer is because they are thick, really thick. I'm pretty OCD when it comes to video game related memorabilia so I'd definitely not like to have my books all banged up, scratched and even perhaps torn. Not only are they thick though but they're always bundled with some free stuff inside as well.

"each issue also comes with a great selection of rare and highly omake (free stuff) such as collectible stickers, cards, mini-posters, and more."

I didn't mention that in the article, but I have some really cool stuff that came with the books I bought. Each CoroCoro Comic is priced at ¥480 Japanese Yen, which is approximately equivalent to $5.93 US Dollars (currently). Can't beat it!
Wow what an ordeal! That is a great learning experience though. I am pleasantly surprised that the clerk knew some English. Must be because of all the tourists.