Sunday, January 02, 2011

Oh hey! I didn't see you there! - Hanafuda Cards

So it's been well over a year since I last posted on this blog type thing. I've generally moved over to Twitter, but I thought I might blog about things every now and again in case 140 characters don't cut it.

Lets start with the Hanafuda Cards I got about half an hour ago through the post.

Nintendo have this "Stars Catalogue" thing where you can register a code from each new Nintendo game or console you buy, and you get "Stars". You can trade these stars for things on the catalogue. Some things are cheap, like wallpapers, screensavers or ringtones. However, the expensive ones are proper things from games to gold plated Mario Kart wheels. Some things you can't buy in shops. I was lucky enough to buy myself some limited edition Hanafuda Cards.

If you don't know what Hanafuda Cards are, I don't blame you. They're traditional Japanese playing cards from a long time ago. This is how Nintendo first started back in the 1800's. They've changed a bit since then, but they still make Hanafuda cards today. In the film "Summer Wars", Hanafuda Cards are a main part of the story (and probably what made me order them).

After I ordered them, I half expected a small cardboard box to arrive with some flimsy cards in. I was very wrong.

So this is the box it came in. Plastic, with a nice picture of Mario, and buttons to flip open the top and bottom.

Instructions on the right (that was nice of them) and a fold open bit of fuzzy stuff (dunno what it's called) to pull out the actual box of cards.

So here's the actual card box (box in a box). Each side shows the new redesigned cards featuring Nintendo characters compared to the traditional animal cards. I guess this specific set of cards isn't quite as traditional as I thought.

Here's the cards inside the cardboard box. They're surprisingly thick actually. Not bendy in the slightest!

So here's all the cards spread out to show all four cards in each month (Hanafuda deck is 4 cards per month, so 4 x 12). Note the Nintendo game characters instead of the traditional animals.

This is me trying to show how thick they are. Kinda cool, but difficult to show in a picture...

Now, some have described the games you play with Hanafuda cards as bloody difficult. The classic game you play is "Koi-Koi" where you have to make matches of different types of card. It's pretty confusing, but fun once you work it out. Fortunately, Nintendo included some rules:

And lots of them.... It also looks like this specific set of Hanafuda cards is intended for European audiences specifically, as it has instructions for various European languages, and not Japanese.

Well, I'll start re-enacting bits from Summer Wars now, albeit without the threat of computer viruses or (spoilerspoilerspoiler).

Summer Wars is due out on DVD and blu-ray in March in the UK by Manga Entertainment. I saw it in the cinema at Scotland Loves Animation, and I can't wait for it to come out. If you get the chance, WATCH IT WATCH IT WATCH IT!

Peter "The" Shillito

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