Miso Soup for the Otaku SoulSummer Adventures: Summer jobs and getaways for teens and college studentsYoung and Broke: Student JobsJapan


My housemates started the game, and I didn't pick it up until chaos sashayed onto the scene. The bishonenage was too much to resist. Unfortunately, the rest of the game defeated me, and I didn't get far past the Mall from Hell. Intensely spoilery.

The joys of white-haired bishonen

Watching Xenosaga was only slightly more interesting than drinking 36 gallons of flat sugar-water through a very small straw... until we got to the "salvage" ship. White-haired bishonen in a blue body stocking and tiny white terrycloth shorts held up by nothing but a disconcerting bulge... oh, yeah.

Not the bulge, I mean. That really is disturbing. The bishonen.

He's sweet and gentle and kind and he fell in love with the robot as soon as she appeared, and when asked why he has Fabulous Magical Powers, he chirped, "Oh, everyone's good at something." You know he's evil. Admit it. He's going to smile winsomely 60% of the way through the game and suck someone's brains out. The rest of the plot is still as interesting as drinking 36 gallons of flat sugar-water through a very small straw, but I'm willing to sit through it as long as it means watching Perky McTinypants giggle as he feeds someone's entrails to them.

A brief recap of Xenosaga, parte thee first
(Dead people in space OMG)

'Kay, so like there's this ship floating through space, and the dudes running it come across a battlefield and they're like, "Whoa, grody. Is there any cool stuff left?" So they see this corpse and the captain is all, "Wrong kind of recycling, just let it bounce off the fender," and this grown-up Tasuki dude is all, "Dude, that's totally un-Shinto and my grandma's gonna kick your ass!" and the captain's all, "Dude, your grandma's dead," and Tasuki's all, "So?" and the captain's all, "So?" and while they're yelling "So?" at each other the corpse gets stuck in a window bay.

So they're all, "Eeeeewww--wait! HOT BABE!!!" And then they start making Cogent Speculations about her, 'cos hitting a corpse is gross but decomposition just puts the "tang" in "poontang."

And then the corpse totally WAKES UP, OMG.

Well, they're all "OMG!" and she's all, "Shut the hell up, this is a hijacking," and they're all, "Dude, can't take the wheels!" and she's all, "Gimme or I'll smash your windshield like a 200-pound bug," and they're all, "Your girly fist is no match for our manly windshield," and she's all, "WHO-DO-YOU-THINK-I-AM,-YOUR-GRANDMA PUNCH!" and the windshield is all "Crunch," and they're all, "OMG." So they let her on.

And then they pick up this transmission from this escape pod that's like hanging out in a debris field with Andrew "Duty Will Be My Middle Name As Soon As I Get It Legally Changed From 'Jackass'" Cherenkhov clinging to the side like one of those climbing cat plush toys, only without the window suckers. He's not having the best day. Inside the pod, Shion's all "OMG where's my girlfriend?" and Sparky McSquifferson's all "Chief, I wanna process!" and Shion's all "But my girlfriend!" and Sparky's all "But my neuroses!" and Shion's all But my girlfriend!" and Sparky's all "But my neuroses!" Shion's girlfriend cuts in and says, "Dudes, it was cool. Later." And Shion's all, "What do you mean, later? I didn't program you to BLOW ME OFF, you little tramp!" And KOS-MOS is all, "Got places to go, things to blow up," and Shion is all, "Take me with you or I'm spacing myself!" and KOS-MOS is all, "You are so totally codependent."

At this point, the tiniest pair of pants in the star sector drifts in, attached just barely to a hot-fudge sundae with nuts and all the toppings. Ah, the official Game Bishonen (TM) has arrived. He has white hair, so in Final Fantasy he'd be evil, but we probably aren't going to have that much luck. Anyway. He wanders in, having a good stretch. KOS-MOS is all "BATTLE STA--WTF?" and while she's gaping at him and trying to like unravel his nucleic code or something, he drifts up to the captain and has a snuggle right there on the bridge. The captain lights a cig, 'cos it was Just That Good. That's all it takes to convince Captain Manly "Warning: I AM BOOZER BANZAI BANZAI" McBrickerson to haul Shion and Co. onboard.

So Shion shows up and is all, "I'm soooooo embarrassed," and the captain is all, "Sawright, what chaos wants chaos gets," and Shion is all, "Chaos, you're my man," and chaos is all, "Any time," and we STILL don't know why chaos wants Shion-tachi onboard. And then Shion is all, "KOS-MOS, I'ma whup your ass! Get over here!" and KOS-MOS is all, "Talk to the hand, I've heard the call of a higher power," and Shion is all, "Higher than your GIRLFRIEND?" and KOS-MOS is all, "So McBrickerson, whassup?" And he's all, "...yeah." And she's all, "Tech tech tech tech tech I need a recharge tech tech," and he's all, "You gonna pay for all that fuel?" and she's all, "Got an expense account," and he's all, "Cool," and meanwhile Shion is throwing a total shit-fit because, well, wouldn't you?

And then this rocket-crotch Gnosis dude comes along, and it's all, "RAR!" and they're all, "OMG!!!" and it's all, "I'ma eat me some military-dude head now!" and it totally grabs Cherenkov and dangles him above the floor and starts erasing him from the game. YAY!

Manly McBrickerson, who hasn't read the script, is all, "DUDE OMG WTF DO SOMETHING!" and chaos is all, "Got it covered," and the Gnosis dude is all, "I'ma eat me some uke head, too!" and chaos is all angelic smiles. The Gnosis dude is all, "OMG. SO. CUTE!!!"

And then chaos touches him, and he dissolves into pyreflies. SO cool. Can we have him in our party? Can we? Can we?

So Shion's all, "Gnarly! How'd you do that?" and chaos is all "[insert Japanese platitudes here]." The only person who makes their See Through Total Blather roll is Sparky, who gets ignored because, well, he's Sparky. I'm starting to like the poor guy. He yells sensible things, they ignore him. I yell sensible things, they ignore me. We're bonding through common experience, Sparky and me. Anyway. We still don't know why chaos wanted Shion and Co. on the ship.

And then Tasuki oozes up to Shion with all his muscles at maximum bulge, 'cos girls like that. He's all, "Hey baby, haven't seen a real girl in ages, what say you and me get a private suite and I show you some of the tricks I read about in Naughty Spacegirls Gone Wild?" And Shion is all, "Uhhh..." because she's a nerd and she has no idea that getting a private suite is part of a heavy date. She'd have understood if he'd said, "Hey baby, I'm titering alone tonight in Lab 12, what say you come and keep me awake?" Thus did romance perish screaming in the culture gap. But NOW we know why chaos wanted Shion and Co. on board: to get Tasuki off his back.

Tasuki, having struck out with Shion, goes for Sparky with a level of force and focused dedication that would've drilled through the Maginot Line in a day and a half. But not in this scene, alas.

And then we skip to some totally other dudes doing some totally other stuff in a scene that, as far as I can tell, has nothing whatsoever to do with anything else in the game. Talking heads bore me.

Next: Issendai rants about the total absence of chaos's Cute Attack from the game.

Xenosaga wibbling; or, Perky McTinypants Perky McTinypants Perky McTinypants

So I've gotta tell you, I'm diggin' on chaos's Cute Attack. It takes a lot of the fun out of combat for the other characters because the greeblies are gone before they can get a hit in, but it's way too much fun to watch the Gnosises shiver into little puddles of sparkly blissful goo at the touch of his hand.

Now, it would've been nice to get some warning that the Cute Attack can have psychological effects so that we could've done something before chaos Cuted KOS-MOS into disemboweling Shion and force-feeding her her own liver. One does like foreshadowing. (Can we say that together, Square? "FORE-SHA-DOW-ING.") But if we knew that he was going to do it, would we have stopped him?


So the foreshadowing was technically unnecessary. Still, one likes the proprieties to be observed.

Now Our Heroes, such as remained after the massacree, are under the thumb of a demented and deranged angel. Normally, "angel" is anime shorthand for "rampant gay totty with wings," but apparently we've gone down a completely different side path, the "rampant gay totty with razorblade-edged Feathers of Doom and a will to kill everything that doesn't bow down before him" path. I do not approve.


Of course, we still haven't gotten back aboard the Elsa. Anything could happen when Captain "Warning: I AM A BOOZER BANZAI! BANZAI!" meets Perky Mc"Warning: I AM AN UKE DAME! DAME!"pants, razorblade wings or no. I have high hopes. Ora pro mihi.


Miso Soup for the Otaku SoulSummer Adventures: Summer jobs and getaways for teens and college studentsYoung and Broke: Student JobsJapan