Shonen Jump 50th Anniversary Golden Famicom Mini Unboxing

On August 1st, 1968, the first issue of
Shonen Jump was published. For the past 50 years, this weekly manga compilation,
featuring serialized stories printed in one color of ink on pulp newsprint, has
been the birthplace and home of many of the most beloved manga series in history,
such as Saint Seiya, Captain Tsubasa, Hokuto No Ken, Yuu-Yuu Hakusho, Dragon
Ball, and One Piece. Every few months the individual chapters of these series are
published in tonkbon volumes, which is the graphic novel format were more
familiar with here in the States. In the late 80s and early 90s, at the
peak of Shonen Jump’s success many of its most popular series spun off into video
games that were released for Nintendo’s Famicom console. So it’s only fitting
that to celebrate its 50th anniversary, Shonen Jump teamed up with Nintendo to
release a special edition golden Famicom mini filled with games based on popular
Shonen Jump manga. I was lucky enough to get in a pre-order for one of these
from Japan, so let’s check it out! It’s packaged in a box that’s the spitting
image of an issue of Shonen Jump. The top, left, and bottom sides show an image of
the multicolored pages with Konkichi from the manga Kochikame sticking out
his head and yelling, “Minna tattekure!” Which I believe roughly translates to
“Buy me everyone!” The dimensions are almost exactly the same as a real issue of
Shonen Jump, although the box has to be a bit thicker to hold the system. Ok,
so that’s enough about the box. Let’s look inside. As with all of the other variants of
this console, it comes with a pamphlet, an HDMI cable, a USB power cable, and the
system itself. Comparing it to last year’s Famicom Mini,
the system is identical except for the addition of the Shonen Jump logo on the
front, and of course the golden color. The controller’s are identical because
Famicom controllers have always had gold accents. Okay, let’s fire it up and see
what we’ve got. The interface is nearly identical to the one found on the
Famicom and Super Famicom Mini, with just a change to the logo at the bottom, and
the addition of manga motion streaks around the edges of the screen. Occasionally Konkichi will walk out and
temporarily change the screen settings, Still the standard analog terebi,
four by three, and pikuseru pahfecuto modes available. Goku will walk in and
start a demo by tapping a game with the nyoi-bo. Here’s a quick rundown of the
games that are included. First up is Ankoku Shinwa: Yamato takeru Densetsu: an
adventure game based on Japanese folklore and history that’s unfortunately
impossible to play if you can’t read Japanese. Next is Captain Tsubasa: a
really interesting take on a soccer video game, played in a sort of action
RPG style that they refer to as cinematic soccer. Up next is Captain
Tsubasa – Super Striker: which is a continuation of the cinematic soccer
action. Kinnikuman: Kinnikusei-oi Sodatsusen”
the only Famicom disk system game included, is a side-scrolling beat’em up
with multiple characters to choose from. This is followed by Kinnikuman: Muscle
tag match: one of only four games in this set to be released in North America,
which was renamed here as Tag Team Match M.U.S.C.L.E. Next is Sakigake: Otoko Juku Shibuichi Gose: which is a really long title for a side-scrolling beat-em-up based on
the violent manga of the same name. After this we have Saint Seiya Ogon Densetsu,
followed by Saint Seiya Ogon Densetsu Kon ketsu Hen: two games based on the
ever-popular Saint Seiya manga and anime. Seki Ryuo: another text-heavy
adventure game. This one is set in ancient China. The second game that was
released for the American Nintendo Tenchi Okura, was an often overlooked but very fun strategy RPG you may know as Destiny of
an Emperor. Next on the list is the original Dragon Quest, which was released
as Dragon Warrior here in the US. Believe it or not, Dragon Quest does belong in
this set, as there were several manga based on the series released over the
years in Shonen Jump. I was surprised by the changes and improvements made to
the US version of this game. I found it very difficult to even figure out how to
get the door open to leave the first room in its clunky, and very Japanese
menu system. The main character looks a little bit like a stickman, and never
changes the direction he’s facing. Who knew that the US release of any NES game
was better in America than it had been in Japan? Now we get into the Dragon Ball
games starting with Shinron no Nazo, which was severely changed and edited for a US
release as Dragon Power in 1988. It’s a top-down and side-scrolling
adventure game following much of the story of Goku’s childhood. Skipping right
over the second Dragon Ball game for some reason, we have Dragon Ball 3 Goku
Den: a board game style adventure with card based combat. Dragon Ball Z Kyushu
Seijin follows Dragon Ball 3’s footsteps with more card based action. In reverse
order for some reason we have Famicom Jump 2: Saikyo no Shichini and
Famicom jump: Hero Retsuden. These are adventure RPG games that contain tons of
Shonen Jump characters mixed together into one story, Kingdom Hearts-style.
Unfortunately these are also pretty impenetrable without a lot of Japanese
language skills. Hokuto no Ken, known as Fist of the North Star in the
US, is a famously violent manga series in which the protagonist
Kenshiro punches guys in a way that causes their heads to explode. If that’s
what you’re looking for, this game delivers. We didn’t get this game here in
the US. The game we know as Fist of the North Star was actually Hokuto No Ken 2,
which is ironically not even included in this collection. But what is here is
Hokuto No Ken 3 Shinseki Sozo Sake Retsuden: an RPG that is so Japanese
heavy that I can’t figure out how to leave the first town. Magical Taru Ruto Kun: Fantastic World is almost a Mario style game in which the
protagonist attacks by sticking out his tongue and collects a lot of takoyaki.
And finally we have Rokudenashi Blues: another kanji filled action RPG based on
the manga of the same name about a delinquent high school student who wants
to become a boxing champion. So there you have it. An interesting collector’s item
that maybe with some translation patches could provide quite a few hours of
entertainment for an English speaker. If you love the Famicom and Shonen Jump
like I do, you should definitely check it out. Thanks for watching!

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  1. I had no idea an Ultimate Muscle game had ever been released here on NES. And so many years before it was ever dubbed in America. So weird.

  2. So the 4 games in this shonen jump famicom mini that had American releases were ultimate muscle, dragon ball, dragon quest, and fist of the north star?

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