We’re celebrating achievements of all kinds in this week’s entertainment round up. Over the weekend at EVO Japan, fans and players alike gathered to witness the spectacle that is fighting e-sports. But no one expected a new challenger to be the one to punish the pros. The Yu-Gi-Oh! Community continues to flex the strength of its fandom. This time they’ve achieved not one but two Guinness World Records thanks to a competition held in Japan. And last but the one we’re definitely the most excited for, the creator of Hunter x Hunter teases the hit manga’s latest update.

junior high school girl wins evo

Japanese Schoolgirl Beats Up the Competition at EVO Japan

You could make an anime out of this. At this past weekend’s EVO Japan, a junior high school girl showed up and absolutely destroyed her opponents.

EVO Japan is the Japanese offshoot of America’s Evolution Championship Series, an esports competition that focuses exclusively on fighting games. The lineup of games included the usual suspects — Street Fighter 6 and Tekken 8 — plus more niche fighting titles, such as Under Night In-Berth II [Sys:Celes] and Guilty Gear -Strive-. However, the schoolgirl in question was playing a different game, a 1997 competitive puzzle title called Money Idol Exchanger.

No actual footage seems to have been captured making it all the more mysterious. However a Japanese X (formerly Twitter) user shared a post stating that the biggest surprise at this year’s EVO Japan was the aforementioned schoolgirl arriving with her parents and quickly winning the championship using her superb level control skills. In the game, players are faced with a screen of falling Japanese coins. They must combine these coins to form coins of higher value until two ¥500 coins combine and disappear. The post included video game footage of one of her matches where she had almost double the points of her opponent.

Many in the community were humored by the fact that the girl was most likely not even born at the time the game was released. Since Money Idol Exchanger is a non-fighting game, it technically isn’t a part of the official EVO roster of games, but that didn’t stop the post on X from going viral. At the time of writing, it has garnered more than 1.6 million views.

Many of the post replies express awe for her skills, with one user saying, “She must be good at shogi or go,” two traditional Japanese board games. Another user joked that the game wasn’t popular overseas because only people from Japan and India can do carryover calculations in their heads.

Two World Records Broken at Yu-Gi-Oh! Tournament for Number of Players

Two Guinness World Records have just been bested by Konami. The feats were achieved at the recent Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series Japan Tokyo 2024 event which took place on April 28 and 29 at Tokyo Big Sight. 

Konami was able to set a record for the most entrants in a trading card game tournament with 7,443 people registering. It was also able to beat its own previous record for hosting the largest ever trading card game tournament.

While the titles might sound similar, the difference is in the technicalities. “Most entrants in a trading card game tournament” implies the largest number of people who played against each other in the same venue all at the same time. This is slightly different from the second record of “the largest ever trading card game tournament,” which refers to the largest number of people participating in one trading card game tournament. This latter title was also once held by Konami for their 100th Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series held in Long Beach, California back in March 2012.

Yu-Gi-Oh! may not be as recognised amongst today’s generation of anime fans, but these Guinness World Records are a testament to how strong the player base still is in Japan, as well as overseas. In true shonen anime form, some congratulatory words were also shared by voice actor Shunsuke Kazama, who plays the role of the main Yu-Gi-Oh! anime protagonists, Yugi Muto and Yami Yugi.

“Congratulations to all the duelists for being recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records,” he said. “I believe that this record was only possible due to the cooperation and strength of bonds between each and every duelist. As a result, I think the Yu-Gi-Oh! card games will deepen the unity and bond between duelists, and an even more amazing world awaits.

“I believe that your passion will continue to be passed on to us for many years to come, and will become a road to all of us duelists,” added Kazama. “Dear duelists, please continue to keep your pride in your heart and keep pushing forward.”

The Author of Hunter x Hunter Makes a Comeback to Drawing Manga

We don’t want to get your hopes up too high but we had to share this. Yoshihiro Togashi, creator of Hunter x Hunter has just shared a sneak preview of his work. As one of the most well-respected Japanese manga artists who has been on a long hiatus, this news is huge.

Yoshihiro Togashi is known for works such as YuYu Hakusho and Hunter x Hunter. The former is inspired by his love for the occult and horror films and follows a main character who is killed and brought back to life as an “underworld detective”. The latter is an action-adventure manga from 1998 about hunters capable of tracking down treasure and rare beasts, and “Nen” an ability to control one’s own life energy or aura. The manga hit 84 million copies in circulation as of 2022 making it one of the most popular manga of all time. However due to Togashi’s chronic health issues, it has gone under extended breaks since 2006.

His reputation in the fandom is exactly why every time he publishes a post on X (formerly Twitter) the anime community collectively loses its mind. His post on May 1st, which garnered more than 300,000 likes in under 12 hours, features part of a ruler and the corner of a page with the number five written on it. The post itself reads cryptically, “I’m doing No.405. Moon healing escalation!”

This first sentence refers to an upcoming chapter, namely chapter 405. The second sentence is the name of a healing ability belonging to Sailor Moon. Togashi is married to Naoko Takeuchi, the creator of Sailor Moon. This message could be a playful nod at her work or that she has supported him in some way and “healed” him enough to continue working on Hunter x Hunter.

It’s very exciting when artists share updates with their community and we hope that Togashi continues to recover well. At the time of writing, Togashi has posted on X yet again, sharing more page corners but this time with the words “Hunter x Hunter” clearly printed on the pages. Many are most likely feeling the hype with the Hunter x Hunter fighting game, Nen Impact, getting a public playable demo at Evo Japan this year.

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