Top 7... Oddest Japanese video game heroes

2. Chop Chop Master Onion

Appeared in: PaRappa the Rapper (PlayStation/PSP), Um Jammer Lammy (PlayStation), PaRappa the Rapper 2 (PS2)

The oddness: He’s a hiphop chef with an onion for a head, yeah? And in Parappa the Rapper 2 he was also the presenter of his very own TV exercise program, which promoted a romantic regime, baby.

But his real heroics come to the fore when he's on the mic: Chop Chop Master Onion raps in an unwittingly clichéd “Eastern” style, vaguely offensive to both the onion and Asian peoples, and for this PaRappa worships him like the eye-watering groove hero he is.

Career high: Starring in his own in-game TV show called “Romantic Love” (sounds like the kind of random title Will Ferrel would come up with... maybe Anchorman is a fan?) and fronting an early Beasties-sounding band in Um Jammer Lammy:

Career low: N/A!

1. Segata Sanshiro

Appeared in: Segata Sanshiro Shinken Yuugi (Saturn) plus a brief cameo in Rent-A-Hero No. 1 (Dreamcast/Xbox)

The oddness: SEGA’s Japanese Saturn mascot was an inspired caricature of martial arts movie heroes, but he wasn’t just concerned with advertising and forcing kids to play Saturn games.

He also starred in one of his own, Segata Sanshiro no Shinkenyugi, where he worked his way through ten completely disparate mini-games. To willingly star in a game like this is the sign of a true hero:

Career high: While his career as a game hero in his own right was all too short, he did find time to crack piles of slates with his mean headbutting powers:

Career low: Losing his job – but never his hero status, oh no! – as a result of SEGA's determination to rebrand in time for the launch of its next (final) console.

September 14, 2009

Atour of Japan's 'out there' games

Strange, unusual, and utterly bloody ridiculous

... except when it's not