For my 1st ever proper post on the site, I thought I’ll post about my entire PreMemo journey, from over a year ago. That’s right, I started playing right off the bat from K-On! Part 1, and I’m still here playing the game. It’s a pretty long post, so do get yourselves comfortable (´ω｀)
As comfortable as Anaru here? Good, you’re ready to go.
Like most people who started PreMemo in Japan, I was attracted to the game mainly because of K-On!. Yes, a year ago K-On!! just came out and it was all the rage. Despite me once saying ‘I don’t like K-On!’ to a merchandise vendor, I ended up becoming one of the biggest K-On! fans in my group of friends.
You cannot resist teenage girls in a band playing music
At that time I was really into anime card games, having started another one earlier that year. However, due to an unfortunate turn of events, I was extremely disappointed at how my most anticipated series in that game was represented. Deciding to take a hiatus from that game, suddenly all my funds that I literally starved to save up were free. Along with assistance by one of my best friends, I decided to invest it all in an upcoming card game, Precious Memories.
Ah, my humble collection in those days…
This was a time where there was a lot of hype for the game but virtually no support from the shops. I believe shops were just looking to cash in on the appeal of K-On!, and similarly collectors too, were happy to just buy to collect the artwork. It’s a big problem that plagues card games; how do you get people to actively play the game, instead of just buying for collection purposes and disappearing thereafter? With all the attention being placed in the wrong places, many people overlooked the simple yet fun gameplay system.
Now, being an avid proponent of the game I have argued for PreMemo’s gameplay system numerous times (to the point of nonchalance t0 criticism). Indeed there are many flaws inherent within the system, but hey, it was a new game at that time. Comparing the game from then and now, PreMemo has come a long way in improving the playability of the game and of course the fun factor. However, I must emphasize that it’s definitely not a perfect card game. I myself can point out the gaping holes in the gameplay. But every single game has its flaws, and people focused on attacking a card game for its flaws alone tired me out really quickly.
It’s a game I enjoyed for its merits alone, and I have tried repeatedly to promote the game myself. I’ve completed translations for the sets, and I tried to engage people in workshops for the game. I even engaged one of my friends Freya in approaching a convention to set up displays there. But the market for anime card games is only so big, and the two of us can only do so much. And thus, I spend my time playing the same decks over and over again with the same person (QJ you know I’m talking about you).
Limited stocks only served to tighten the barriers to entry for new players. It has been a prevailing dilemma for us existing players; open up stocks for potential new players (or collectors), or buy up whatever little stocks the shop has to improve our decks? In the end, I’m sad to say, we went for the latter. And so it became a vicious cycle for the stocks, and even though we the players knew the situation at hand, we couldn’t help but be selfish to keep our competitive edge.
More or less the scene at every PreMemo release after our purchases
And of course, with a small pool of players (in all truth only 2-3) and limited stocks, there were no tournaments at all, which essentially negated our need to remain competitive. If there are no tournaments and no prizes, what’s the need to remain competitive for? It’s not even a question of preparing ourselves for the possibility of future tournaments anymore; at that time the future of PreMemo in SG looked so bleak that in all honesty I felt it was doomed. No official and shop support meant that from all accounts this was just going to be a passing fad in the anime card game history of SG. This was not Japan where players have the luxury of shop-hosted tournaments with prize support from Movic x Ensky (companies of PreMemo). Heck, I have over 600 K-On! Points that I could have used to exchange for my waifu Mina-chan’s Hand Signed, but again, due to a lack of support from the parent company, the Points are languishing in my cupboard.
Sadly, after a while I accepted the status quo, and sort of just went with the flow. My mindset at that time was very simple; ‘If no one else in SG enjoys and plays the game, then I shall enjoy the game myself’. I visited the PreMemo official site religiously, and if I had time, I’ll check out the blogs of Japanese players to catch up on the current play-Meta. I really think I was the leading source of PreMemo info in SG at that time, a mere person whose grasp of the Japanese language wasn’t that advanced at all (still in progress of studying for my JLPT orz). People have actually asked me to give up on my dream of glorifying PreMemo, telling me not to be stubborn about it anymore. I always laugh it off.
Because I love PreMemo, from the bottom of my heart. I put in so much for the game that I don’t think I can lose hope and interest for it, and I ain’t talking about the amount of money I’ve spent. It may seem insane that how a game that is a little over a year old can have such great hold over me, but that’s just life for you. When my friend YJ asked me for my 2011 New Year wish, I honestly responded, ‘I wish for PreMemo to flourish in Singapore.’ This was of course before Madoka aired, so wishes are still as innocent as before Kyubey corrupted them, but you get my point.
Fans of Madoka will understand the relevance of this picture
And perhaps really by a twist of fate, things did pick up this year. Movic x Ensky got OreImo and Madoka to join their lineup, two highly successful anime that piqued interest in the game. My friend YJ agreed to hold workshops and tournaments at his shop, and to bring in more stocks. I have more allies in my efforts in promoting the game, namely Turtle, who is the only other member on my TL team, P who travels around shops and sites spreading awareness of the game, and JM who, with his vast card-playing experience, is able to effectively teach new players the gameplay. Of course Freya who has been my partner in this effort since the very start, is still here. The community is slowly but surely building.
Definitely our tournament turn-out rate is not as huge as other card games, but I’m pretty happy with it, considering what I’ve read about PreMemo tournament turn-out rates in Japan. I’ve met new regulars who love the game as well, and it’s always a blast to play PreMemo with other people (ironically I’m losing more often, but ah wells). With everyone’s effort, I sincerely believe others will start to appreciate and love PreMemo the way I do. Even you, dear reader, if you could continue to support this site, I would be really happy. Just enjoy reading about the game, and if you feel like it, comment! I would love to discuss PreMemo with you ^^
It has been a long time, and I have come a long way.
In the past, I feared that all my efforts was in vain.
In the past, I feared others would take credit for my translations, and selfishly hoarded them.
In the past, I feared low reception to my sites, so I opened and closed about 4 sites without putting in much effort.
But everything’s changing now.
Right now, I feel my efforts coming to fruition, little by little.
Right now, I feel PreMemo in SG is full of possibilities.
Right now, I feel all that Mania can be spread from this site.
And right now, just like Mami said,
Till next time, Good Night, and Good Luck.