After three months of absence, episode two of Aoi Sekai no Chuushin de kind of snuck up on us out of nowhere. Or at least it snuck up on me. As per the last episode, this one did not contain the most gripping of storylines (though there were certainly a few interesting hints towards ideas that will likely be fleshed out later), but it’s strength remained in the quantity and quality of the classic video game references and parody of video game history.
It’s pretty cool to see the nods to Atari and their role in the video game crash of 1983. By flooding the market with a mass of games, many of which were not of the highest quality, they damaged their standing with consumers and caused what’s sometimes referred to as the ‘Atari Shock’. Perhaps the most well known of these dubious games they released was E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial which is still considered to be amongst the worst video games. It was in the aftermath of this fall that Nintendo was able to begin securing a lead. The history of Consume mirrors this, with Atarika representing Atari, and the titular ‘Killers’ referring to the big name franchises which rose to the forefront in the wake of the crash.
References don’t stop there of course. The first half of the episode serves as training in preparation for the confrontation in the second half. In addition to helping Gear improve his skills much in the same way as last week, he endeavours to teach Opal ‘Shooting’, an advanced technique first created by I. Vazer. It took me a few moments to figure this one out, but I eventually realised from the shape that he’s an obvious reference to Space Invaders, often touted as one of the earliest shooting games. Nel gets a power too – ‘Online‘. Makes sense given that Tejilof actually remarks that her power will grow into something greater in the future – a reference to Phantasy Star Online of course!
More references follow, oh god the character references are endless. General Alex (Koyama Rikiya) is probably the biggest of these. As Gear’s father and the most powerful Killer on the Segua side, he most likely references Alex Kidd, one of the more popular Sega characters prior to the introduction of Sonic the Hedgehog. It leaves me wondering who Gear’s mother could be! From Slovia (Square), we have Queen Crystal representing the Final Fantasy series. Elil (Enix) brings in Myomuto, a likely reference to Dragon Quest (though I feel there may also be a little Terranigma in there too from the design). Some of the others I’m less sure of – Ganp/Capcom’s Tofig may well be a Street Fighter reference, whereas I’m pretty much clueless on Havid/Hudson’s Kichou. Continuing on, D. Fisher (Yasumoto Hiroki) looks suspiciously like your typical classic side-scrolling fighter boss villain, but I can’t quite place him, and Tetrand/Taito’s Bays (Ooshita Kouta) is familiar but the only connection I can draw is to Bubble Bobble. Perhaps someone in the comments will have a better idea!
On the plot side of things, we have the introduction of the concept of absorption – the thing that truly gives the Killers their name. It’s an intriguing concept, and I’m still trying to figure out how exactly it ties in with the rest of the parody elements. The marks on Gear’s forehead mean that he can only absorb two individuals – hopefully this whole mechanic will be explained in the next episode. I have two guesses: the first is that it refers to how characters and features are sometimes incorporated into a franchise after another has their rights bought out by the company. The second is that it relates to being the mascot character for the company – it feels like a death flag may have been set for Opal in this episode (the first Sega mascot) and General Alex is nearby (the mascot prior to Sonic), which could mean that Gear is destined to absorb these two. This is all entirely conjecture though – for all I know it might not have anything to do with the parody aspects at all!
tl;dr: @MoombaDS – #AoiSekai returns with an enormous number of video game references in tow!
- Tejilof is pretty damn strong! Rather creepy too…
- …and now he’s telling people to masturbate to pass the time. Classy!
- All them beams of light!
- I hope that wasn’t a death flag for Opal, but at the very least I suspect she’s going to lose her battle.
- In a sense, it felt as though this episode didn’t have quite as much impact as the first.