Duelist Profile: Globetrotter Kyojun Hino
There are times when you’re really struggling as a coverage writer to find something cool to talk about. There are only so many Quick Questions you can ask, interesting Decks you feel like featuring and Feature Matches you feel like writing. Then, someone comes along and tells you about this amazing story that should totally make its way into the coverage. I’m always thankful when this happens since it doesn’t tend to happen too often, however, today I had the weirdest experience of all time…
Markus Kölsch, our scorekeeper of the Public Events, approached me and told me about this guy called Kyojun Hino who’s apparently travelled all the way from Japan to be able to attend this weekend’s event. It doesn’t stop just there, because Kyojun has done this plenty of times before; in fact, it’s roughly the seventh time (!) that he’s come over to Europe!
If you ask me, that translates to “time to interview this interesting fellow”, so let’s see what he has to say.
[b]Kyojun, tell us a little something about yourself[/b]
[quote]I own two stores in Japan in the Okayama prefecture and that’s why I really enjoy coming to the larger Yu-Gi-Oh! events. Many of my players used to be very interested in foreign language cards, so I decided that I should try to get my hands on some of them by travelling to events abroad.[/quote]
[b]Does it pay out to come over here to get your hands on foreign language cards which you can then offer in your stores in Japan?[/b]
[quote]The OCG players don’t buy any of the TCG cards anymore since they have been Forbidden in Japan somewhat recently. I still travel to the events, however, since I consider it my hobby.
On top of that, I also travel to the US where I can take some of the European cards with me to then trade them with American players, who apparently can’t get enough of foreign language cards. And it’s the same the other way round; the European players seem to be very fond of the American cards which are slightly less thick and the effects for the foil cards look a little different.[/quote]
[b]What are the differences between the Japanese and the European stores?[/b]
[quote]In Japanese stores, it’s so quiet you wouldn’t believe it. So the first time when I attended an event in America – a SHONEN JUMP Championship – and when they all screamed “Yu-Gi-Oh!” together at the top of their lungs, I was literally blown away. It’s quite the difference!
Also, it becomes very apparent that there’s a difference when you’re comparing the “Judge Calls”. I wouldn’t even call them “calls” in Japan since players are very reluctant to ask a Judge for help. They only raise their hand slightly and look like they’re very sorry that they have to consult the Judge, as if they were disturbing him in a way. So yes, there are plenty of differences between the cultures.[/quote]
[b]Does the game seem to be any different when you compare the Asian market with the rest of the world?[/b]
[quote]TCG players like the power cards, whereas the Asian players prefer decks that go try to pull off huge combos. That’s why the game can feel a little more explosive in America and Europe when compared to Japan.
It’s also much more common to ask for a confirmation in Japan, so players will constantly ask whether they can advance to the Main Phase, Battle Phase, etc.
I, personally, enjoy playing abroad since it feels like the flow of the game doesn’t get interrupted as much. It’s a very nice experience when you’re used to something so different.[/quote]
[b]So since you’ve travelled to so many countries, what’s been your personal highlights of all these journeys?[/b]
[quote]I always try to check out the local specialties; so when I was in Bochum, I tried some German beer, which was very nice, just like I tried the Belgian beers in Brussels. In France, I liked the cheese and wine while this weekend, I’ll definitely go for a pizza and some pasta. This feels very rewarding.
America feels entirely different, however, it’s like the country had less time to develop its own culture. Therefore, you don’t get the feeling that there’s too much of a difference between an event in California or New York. It’s much, much different when compared to Europe where a thousand kilometers can make all the difference in the world![/quote]
[b]Thank you for the short interview, Kyojun![/b]
Yu-Gi-Oh! has become a worldwide phenomenon and while you might be inclined to think that things are more or less the same wherever you’re playing the game, the truth is quite a different story. The culture of the respective country you’re in can make a huge difference, so sometimes it feels like an entirely different game despite the cards looking more or less the same.