So the first thing you’re going to notice is the unusual appearance of the comic. Va11 Hall-A, the game these two comics discuss, is heavily influenced by a specific era of late 90s Japanese PC adventure games. You can even turn on a simulation of scanlines in the option menu, to more closely emulate the old CRT monitors these games ran on.
(Do not fullscreen the game and turn on scanlines at the same time or the scanlines break. I just wanted you to know.)
So in addition to putting a washed-out color filter on the characters, I added scanlines to the comic. It’s just a stock “scanlines in MAME” image overlay, though I took quite some time fussing with how to actually do it in Comipo. After cut-pasting fifty or so lines I realized I was an idiot, it wasn’t going to look good, and that I should just go premade.
Scanlines are a point of debate; I know when I first saw people overlaying them on retro games I thought “well, that’s silly.” However, there’s no question that the pixel-perfect look is not actually how we saw these games back in the 80s and 90s. A lot of sprite art was specifically intended to be seen this way, and in a few games the technical wizards involved were able to achieve unique graphics tricks _for_ scanlines. For old games, your old CRT often completes the illusion that the pixel art begins.
Personally, I play my 3DS Gunstar Heroes and Sonic 2 in the “curved CRT” mode… and like it. I’d like to get a spare old CRT to plug my Duo and so on into. Maybe one day when I’m not broke~
Anyway, the second panel flippantly sums up cyberpunk. I don’t think you really have cyberpunk without a pretty skyline and ennui. Ennui means “kanashii, but it’s cool.”
Va11 Hall-A takes place in a cyberpunk dystopia itself; the world is kind of casually hopeless and you are not its savior. Everybody is just getting by, and at the end of the night they’re dropping by the bar for therapy. The player does what they can for these people.
The devs are from Venezuela, where things really are pretty bad (government-imposed blackouts regularly set development back), and while it almost seems wrong to say this… the dystopia they have built rings very true, and it often feels like it comes from real experience.
Everybody says “we’re living in the cyberpunk dystopia now!” and while I think they’re right, I don’t know anybody who has gone all the way into cyberpunk aesthetic. Why not just own it? A friend of mine has been cyberpunk aesthetic all his life, so he’s really enjoying living out this time in history.
At the end the girls become cyberpunk… briefly. This BG is the only “city at night” BG I really have. One way (of many) I stretch the Comipo materials is just zooming in the image so it feels like it’s a different scene.
You can’t see it because you never see a “normal” expression in this comic (hindsight) but the girls’ “going cyberpunk” is indicated by their eyes getting droopy. Like, they’re sad, but it’s cool. Nothing matters that much, man. Cyberpunk.
The followup to this was answering a question on Twitter. For that one you can see that Majide has gone even further into cyberpunk, with TWO pairs of shades! Mj^D was going to be Mj.D but I thought that was too much like D.Va and threw a carat in there instead.
The Mega Modem was a Japan-only Mega Drive (Genesis) accessory that gave the system a modest array of online services, including some simple board and card games. Of course, Cyber Interfacer Mj^D takes it as a point of pride that she can hack supercomputers with her MD.
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Tanoshii Level"Tanoshii" means "fun." At this level you can get the feeling of fun.
Update 3/5/2015: As of today all Fan/Fun Club members get free PDFs of both Kawaiikochan magazines, including at this level! You get tanoshii! You get magazines! It's an unbeatable deal!
a) the comics at their full original resolution before Tumblr/Twitter resize them and
b) out-of-character notes about every comic I did that week.
I like to keep the comic itself firmly in character at all times, but I would also like to talk a little bit about the ideas and the making-of. I also admit that I often like to make the joke really obscure and difficult-- it's part of the fun-- and in the newsletter I will be sure to point out what every joke or reference is about.
This has become a place where I don't just explain the jokes, but explain the games and comment on the hobby to a degree as well. Readers seem to like this! If you want to know what's on my mind while I put these together, this is the place.
Majide Plus Level - Majide Trading Cards
I post a Majide Trading Card exclusively to Patreon every month. They are one-panel gag comics, often samples of Majide wisdom, often parodies of existing trading cards. Sometimes they aren't about Majide! The important thing is that they are "cards", and that you need to have them all. In the spirit of trading cards, the first one is free.
The cards look like this:
For less than the cost of one large bubble tea per month, you can have access to something truly priceless: Majide's gaming wisdom.
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Grand Sponsor LevelAt this level, in addition to all previous rewards, your name or internet handle will be featured in a monthly sponsor post on the Kawaiikochan Tumblr. No URLs. @-names are fine. Kawaii Management reserves the right to refuse any sponsor name it finds kimoi (gross).
After making this pledge, please leave a comment under the Activity tab under my post "Grand Sponsor Level" telling me what you'd like your name to be listed as. Here is an example of what a sponsor post looks like.
(The Twitter username @VaporwaveVinny was taken minutes after the launch of this campaign.)
Over time, however, they've gotten much fancier.
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Yarisugi ZoneI've decided to institute the new tier "Yarisugi Zone" (named after this comic about Reaper) for readers who, for whatever reason, want to contribute more than $5. This would be solely charitable in nature. "Yarisugi" means "overdoing it."
Believe it or not, I have been asked by a fan or two why the reward levels are so low. The fact is, I want it to be reasonably affordable for people to get all the extra content I do for KKC. I'm pleased with the idea that a big fan can get all the content for $3, and I'm even more pleased that most sponsors go all the way to $5.
I don't believe that I could give people content that's legitimately worth, say, $8 without completely shifting my focus away from the free comic that is the reason I have this Patreon. So, this tier.