Tiny Cartridge 3DS

Happy 20th anniversary, Earthbound! ⊟

The SNES RPG released 20 years ago today in Japan, where it came out as Mother 2. Where did all those years go? Why isn’t there an English portable version of this? How am I going to justify buying a Mr. Saturn haramaki?

The series’ creator Shigesato Itoi posted this message today:

It’s been 20 years now since MOTHER 2 came out.

…Are you happy?

・Yes → Me too.

・No → Be happy!!

Thanks to @pimoji for the anniversary photo and artwork.

BUY Mother 3/Earthbound, Hobonichi Techo, upcoming games
  • Source twitter.com

Earthbound creator and Nintendo collaborate for another fun thing ⊟

Hobonichi, the Japanese company headed by Mother/Earthbound creator Shigesato Itoi and the maker of fine daily planners, has teamed up with Nintendo for a cute, unexpected product: Super Mario Bros. and Mr. Saturn haramaki belly warmers.

They’re part of Hobonichi’s 2014 Summer Collection, available on the company’s online store now. Pingmag and the Hobonichi Love blog explain the accessory’s appeal:

"The haramaki was once strictly functional underwear that had a grandpa-image similar to yellowing long johns. In 2001, Hobonichi reinvented them as fashion items to layer with your clothes.

You know those everyday momentary chills you get when you bend over and your shirt rides up a little? Gone. I see London, I see France, I see someone’s wearing a super handsome belly warmer over their pants. Studies have proven that wearing this thick, extra layer around your stomach keeps the rest of your body warm in the winter. It’s also great in the summer when trapped inside all day under a blasting air conditioner.”

You can find instructions on how to purchase a haramaki from Hobonichi’s Japanese site here. More photos after the break!

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  • Source hobonichilove

How adorable is this Hobonichi Techo video? ⊟

This stop-motion animation is a million times adorable, produced by Tsuneo Goda, whose Domo-Kun character you might be familiar with. I love that even though Namaiki Volc ruined these pages with chocolate, he still managed to turn those smudges into an appropriate journal entry. That’s the nature of the Techo; anything goes.

Even though we’re already three months into 2014, you can still buy a Techo (and some stencils!) from 1101, the company headed by Earthbound/Mother series creator Shigesato Itoi. Make sure to get yourself a planner — and one of these special embroidered covers if you have the cash — before Japan increases its sales tax in April (and before 1101 closes the shop temporarily due to the increase later this month).

BUY Mother 3/Earthbound, Hobonichi Techo, upcoming games
Last day to enter our Hobonichi Techo giveaway ⊟
Don’t forget to enter our contest to win a Hobonichi Techo 2014 planner, desk calendars featuring Earthbound/Mother series creator Shigesato Itoi’s dog, and Techo accessories!
Just think of all the awesome things you could do with a Techo — like Megan Baehr here, who is using her planner to plot out her graphic novel The Lore Keeper. Follow the Hobonichi Love Tumblr for more Techo ideas!
BUY Mother 3/Earthbound, Hobonichi Techo, upcoming games

Last day to enter our Hobonichi Techo giveaway

Don’t forget to enter our contest to win a Hobonichi Techo 2014 planner, desk calendars featuring Earthbound/Mother series creator Shigesato Itoi’s dog, and Techo accessories!

Just think of all the awesome things you could do with a Techo — like Megan Baehr here, who is using her planner to plot out her graphic novel The Lore Keeper. Follow the Hobonichi Love Tumblr for more Techo ideas!

BUY Mother 3/Earthbound, Hobonichi Techo, upcoming games
  • Source lore-keeper.com

Shigesato Itoi’s puppy calendar ⊟

This is the adorable calendar 1101 put together with photos of Bouillon, the Jack Russel Terrier belonging to Mother/Earthbound series director Shigesato Itoi. I put one in my cubicle this week, and I love it.

We’re giving away four of these desk whiteboard calendars — along with several Hobonichi Tech 2014 planners and accessories. Details on how to win one (it’s really easy) here!

BUY Mother 3/Earthbound, Hobonichi Techo, upcoming games

Want a Hobonichi Techo planner, a desk calendar filled with photos of Itoi’s dog, & other goodies? ⊟

We have several of those to give away, thanks to the kindness of 1101 — yes, that same company led by Shigesato Itoi, creator of the celebrated Earthbound / Mother series.

Here’s what we want to give you:

The contest is the same as last year: just post a reblog or leave a comment telling us what you’d do with your Hobonichi Techo and/or the calendar if you won them. Make sure to use your real email so we can contact you if you win. We’ll pick the best answers a week from now!

BUY Mother 3/Earthbound, Hobonichi Techo, upcoming games

Auction for Itoi-signed Earthbound cart ⊟

As part of its “Earthbound Bash” charity event, Fangamer is auctioning off this unique Earthbound cartridge signed by creator Shigesato Itoi.

"The cartridge originally belonged to James Hensiek, who gave it to his coworker Ben Bizzle as a gift. When James was later diagnosed with cancer, Ben decided to auction the cart and donate the proceeds to James.

Ben reached out to the community with his story in late 2012 with a post on the Starmen.Net Forum. After several months of calls, emails, logistics, and help from Lindsay Nelson, the cart was handed off to the staff at Fangamer and then passed along to Hobonichithe office of EarthBound creator Shigesato Itoi.”

The cart, part of a complete Earthbound package, will be auctioned at the end of a live gameplay marathon, “after they defeat Giygas on the last day of the EarthBound Bash (around 8pm Eastern on Sunday, December 1, 2013)”

For maximum fundraising, ALL bids will be collected, not just the winning one! It’s for a good cause, and you could get a totally one-of-a-kind item.

BUY Mother 3/Earthbound, Hobonichi Techo 2014
  • Source earthboundbash.com
"What Earthbound means to me”

What is the video game, Earthbound?Even today, it’s so hard to answer that question.
It was like a group of children taking dolls from a toy chest. Old dishes no longer used in the kitchen. Nuts and bolts found inside a toolbox.Little flowers and leaves from the backyard. And they were all laid down on the carpet with everybody singing made-up songs.Ready to talk all day about that world they just made. That, I think was how Earthbound was made.

- Shigesato Itoi (read the full letter) / artwork via Isobe
BUY Mother 3/Earthbound, Hobonichi Techo 2013

"What Earthbound means to me”

What is the video game, Earthbound?
Even today, it’s so hard to answer that question.

It was like a group of children taking dolls from a toy chest. 
Old dishes no longer used in the kitchen. 
Nuts and bolts found inside a toolbox.
Little flowers and leaves from the backyard. 
And they were all laid down on the carpet with everybody singing made-up songs.
Ready to talk all day about that world they just made. 
That, I think was how Earthbound was made.

- Shigesato Itoi (read the full letter) / artwork via Isobe

BUY Mother 3/Earthbound, Hobonichi Techo 2013
  • Source pixiv.net
Let’s watch some Earthbound
There are two new and awesome Earthbound/Mother 2 playthroughs you can watch this weekend:
Shinya Arino plays through Mother 2 in this Game Center CX episode subtitled by Last Continue GCCX - you can download it or stream it
Series creator Shigesato Itoi recently played through Mother 2 too — watch the 4+ hour broadcast here
Shout outs to Maple Leaf for the Mother 3 GIF.
BUY Retro Game Challenge, Retro Game Master DVD set

Let’s watch some Earthbound

There are two new and awesome Earthbound/Mother 2 playthroughs you can watch this weekend:

Shout outs to Maple Leaf for the Mother 3 GIF.

BUY Retro Game Challenge, Retro Game Master DVD set
Shigesato Itoi + Satoru Iwata
I know that a number of you have crushes on these middle-aged Japanese men, so I’m sure you’re squealing over this photo of them together, thumbs barely touching, two hearts becoming one.
Mother 2 releases on Japan’s Wii U Virtual Console this week, which means we get this great photo of Nintendo’s boss and Mother's creator introducing a conversation between the two today (hoping for a translation soon).
Wii U’s Miiverse has also kicked off a special Mother 2 community that’s filled with Western fans begging for a Virtual Console release outside of Japan, and endearing comments from Itoi like these:

"Ahh Ahh Can you hear me? This is Shigesato Itoi. Please give me something. Please give me Test Test"
"I’m about to eat a banana that’s been sitting in 50 degree celsius water for 15 minutes straight. ….Yum! Mother 2 is nice, but so is this banana.”

On a related note, awesome Japanese design site PingMag is back — here’s a great interview they had with Itoi about advertising and t-shirts from seven years ago.
BUY Mother 3/Earthbound, Hobonichi Techo 2013

Shigesato Itoi + Satoru Iwata

I know that a number of you have crushes on these middle-aged Japanese men, so I’m sure you’re squealing over this photo of them together, thumbs barely touching, two hearts becoming one.

Mother 2 releases on Japan’s Wii U Virtual Console this week, which means we get this great photo of Nintendo’s boss and Mother's creator introducing a conversation between the two today (hoping for a translation soon).

Wii U’s Miiverse has also kicked off a special Mother 2 community that’s filled with Western fans begging for a Virtual Console release outside of Japan, and endearing comments from Itoi like these:

"Ahh Ahh Can you hear me? This is Shigesato Itoi. Please give me something. Please give me Test Test"

"I’m about to eat a banana that’s been sitting in 50 degree celsius water for 15 minutes straight. ….Yum! Mother 2 is nice, but so is this banana.”

On a related note, awesome Japanese design site PingMag is back — here’s a great interview they had with Itoi about advertising and t-shirts from seven years ago.

BUY Mother 3/Earthbound, Hobonichi Techo 2013
This is one of many lovely quotes from Earthbound/Mother creator Shigesato Itoi featured in his company’s Hobonichi Techo 2013 planner, which we published a praising review for earlier this week.
Also published online earlier this week: a translated interview between Itoi and Sonya Park of Arts & Science, the company charged with localizing the popular planner. It not only provides insight on some design decisions behind the English edition, but also goes into the Techo’s origins and early challenges, as well as Itoi’s career switch from advertising to making/writing all the wonderful stuff he puts out now.
BUY Mother 3/Earthbound, Hobonichi Techo 2013

This is one of many lovely quotes from Earthbound/Mother creator Shigesato Itoi featured in his company’s Hobonichi Techo 2013 planner, which we published a praising review for earlier this week.

Also published online earlier this week: a translated interview between Itoi and Sonya Park of Arts & Science, the company charged with localizing the popular planner. It not only provides insight on some design decisions behind the English edition, but also goes into the Techo’s origins and early challenges, as well as Itoi’s career switch from advertising to making/writing all the wonderful stuff he puts out now.

BUY Mother 3/Earthbound, Hobonichi Techo 2013
Tiny Review: Hobonichi Techo 2013
It might seem odd for Tiny Cartridge to review a daily planner, but I’m always curious about anything Mother/Earthbound creator Shigesato Itoi is involved in, whether it’s his copywriting work, his appearances on Iron Chef as a judge, or even his free DSiWare app for tracking your health.
Plus, when I shared the news last month that Itoi’s company Hobonichi released its popular Japanese planner in English for the first time this year, many of you showed interest in importing a copy. Hobonichi was kind enough to send a Techo (planner) over for us to review, so now you get to hear why you should (or shouldn’t) buy the planner.

Four things that are fab:
1. The creativity it encourages - The Techo can be used as a traditional organizer to schedule your life and plot out appointments, but the design of its daily pages, each outlined with a charcoal gray grid, allow for and encourage much more. You can use it as a diary, comic journal, scrapbook, sketchbook, school notebook, budget tracker, etc. Fill it with illustrations of cats or Animal Crossing's K.K. Slider if that’s what you’re into; this isn’t a planner you have to take seriously.

Having no artistic ability, I’m using mine as a chronicle for a mishmash of things, recording my work-out progress, new food I’ve tried with short reviews, moments/jokes I enjoyed with my wife, tweets from @therealjuicyj I want to remember, whatever I watched or listened to that day, etc. I’m trying to live that examined life.
2. The quotes - Plenty of calendars and planners are filled with inspiring daily words, but being from Itoi and his company, the Techo offers eccentric quotes taken from his interviews and articles posted on Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun, much of them never published in English. Take these words from Itoi printed on the the very first days of the year for instance:

The idea of ‘just another day’ is really quite curious.You could say it’s just like every other day,or you could say there’s no other day like it.Someone is born; some people break up.Those are some of the things that take place on ‘just another day.’

And because Itoi’s worked closely with them over the years, you’ll find quotes from Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata and Shigeru Miyamoto in there, too. It’s a treat to turn the pages every other day, and read the next quote.
3. The accessories - Something about the Techo makes you want to go out and buy accessories to enhance your experience with it, and Hobonichi is more than happy to sell you a wide range of "tools and toys" through its site: stickers, stencils, pens (I bought a multi-color Muji pen to keep clipped to my planner case), tiny scissors, mini post-its, small Polaroid cameras that print photo stickers, and other items to decorate your pages with.
Hobonichi provided me with one of its classy leather cases, which are way pricy at $158 apiece but definitely feel/look expensive. People might mistake you for a professional who’s on top of things and making bank when you pull one of these out at work, even if your Techo is nothing more than a collection of drawings you’ve made of butts.

Seeing the dozens of other cases Hobonichi sells, I want to pick up another one with more pockets, as they can double as wallets or pouches that hold things you want handy. For those seeking a personal touch, there are clear jackets that you can slide your own designs into — or you can create a cover like Birdie’s Mother-embroidered case pictured above.
4. The community - There’s already a growing group of Techo fans in the West, partly due to the Mother fans who’ve picked one up, and also due to the efforts of Lindsay Nelson, who helped localize the planner. Lindsay has not only created a site that shows you how to buy and get the most out of your planner; she’s created a Tumblr where people can post Techo photos to show their love.
Marveling over the creative ways others are using their Techos has given me plenty of ideas for how to enjoy my planner. It’s like the physical planner equivalent to downloading updates that introduce new features to a journaling app, or seeing others post hacks/mods for their Techos.
Three things that are butt:
1. We live in a digital age - Tumblr, Facebook, Google Calendar/iCal, or apps like Evernote can do almost everything the Techo can as far as traditional planner tasks go, short of delivering you quotes from Itoi. For many, the physical planner just lacks the power features digital solutions provide: sharing with friends and contacts, commenting and reblogging, tagging and searching, easy importing and exporting, etc. And copying and pasting is so much more convenient when it’s a couple of keystrokes, not a minute spent cutting out and gluing whatever you want to save.

There are still special joys you can only get with a physical journal like the Techo, however, like searching for the perfect pen to pair with your planner, or getting to mark in the margins that a sports team you follow won, or using a butt-based scoring system to rate your day, or affixing colorful cat stickers next to your appointments, or writing out the name of your lover or crush over and over during your daydreams, or making quick sketches of your meals, or slowly building a row of books on your shelf to create a multi-volume chronicle of your life (it helps that the simple jackets  and their spines look so attractive).
2. It’s already mid-February - You might feel wasteful, buying a planner that spans December 2012 - December 2013. Or you can do what I did, and pick something you’ve been meaning to record, and fill the blank pages for those months you missed — recipes, the first chapters of that book you’ve been meaning to start writing, lyrics to Hall and Oates songs for quick reference, portraits of people in your life, unsent love letters to Tiny and/or our Lizard, etc. Or you could use those blank pages to stash footnotes from your daily entries.
3. It’s more expensive than most planners - A Techo alone, without a cover, will cost you $29 before you even pay shipping and handling from Japan. You could get a discounted 3DS game for that amount! 
Score:

I’m actually using my Techo - I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve purchased planners or received them from others, starting from my early teen years.  Without fail, I abandoned them within weeks, if not days.
I’ve found the Techo so much fun to use, though, thanks to the community around it and how personalized mine feels. I expect to fill this planner’s pages until the end of the year, and pick up a new one for 2014.
I know some people who are interested in buying one are waiting for the 2014 edition, but I don’t see the point of having a couple extra months’ worth of pages, versus having something now that can help you organize your days/thoughts, and examine your life. Why put that off?

If you decide to buy a Techo, make sure to read Lindsay’s instructions and bookmark this useful page.
BUY Mother 3/Earthbound, Hobonichi Techo 2013IMAGES VIA Mochigram

Tiny Review: Hobonichi Techo 2013

It might seem odd for Tiny Cartridge to review a daily planner, but I’m always curious about anything Mother/Earthbound creator Shigesato Itoi is involved in, whether it’s his copywriting work, his appearances on Iron Chef as a judge, or even his free DSiWare app for tracking your health.

Plus, when I shared the news last month that Itoi’s company Hobonichi released its popular Japanese planner in English for the first time this year, many of you showed interest in importing a copy. Hobonichi was kind enough to send a Techo (planner) over for us to review, so now you get to hear why you should (or shouldn’t) buy the planner.

Read more