Things I’ve noticed as a Japanese Resident while playing Elden Ring

I’ve lived here in Japan for a decent while. I can’t say I’ve read a novel but I have watched enough prime time TV and visited (2) museums. Here are some things that stood out to me as a semi-fluent payer attentioner.

CRAWFISH

I’ve been annoyed since release that everyone including the game calls them “lobsters”. They don’t even look like lobsters! They’re clearly crawfish. I’ve eaten hundreds of mudbugs. More I’ve eaten Mudbugs here in Japan.

See some absolute genius imported American Zarigani into Japan as bottom feeders. Maybe the same maybe a different genius also imported snapping turtles and American catfish. If only Japan already had a ?native? and beloved bottom feeder.

Hold on, as I just bothered to do 30 seconds of research the actual story is even stupider. In the 1930s some guys decided to scam farmers by selling them bullfrogs as “a delicacy from America.” “Americans eat them all the time.” Bullfrogs need something to eat though so why not this natural bullfrog food source that reproduces like a multiplication table. Sure get them on a boat and keep both of them alive for three months (an incredible story in it’s own right.)

Back to Elden Ring look at them they don’t look like lobsters. Now back to Japan, for 90 years crawfish have been bumping and grinding in every shallow body of water around Tokyo. They are all around. I found out about these invasive species thanks to a TV show where they would clean out all the invasive species of a pond or creak or estuary and then cook and eat the animals. More then a few times the show would cause me to scream at my TV about how they were cooking catfish wrong.

Eating crawfish here isn’t common (neither is bullfrogs, which I can bump to never seen.) I’ve seen crawfish twice, both times outside of a Chinese-For-Chinese restaurant. I’ve had it once in an international group including Indonesian, Korean, Russian. Turns out only me and one of my Chinese classmates had experience eating shit-eating water cockroaches. Even the other Chinese students were wide-eyed at it.

Am I here to review a Chinese-for-Chinese restaurants in Okubo? The food was great. The point is, Fromsoft absolutely saw wild Japan Born American Zarigani and went these are weird and crazy let’s put them in the game and wouldn’t it be messed up if they were huge?

Headless Statues

There are plenty of headless statues through Elden Ring. Particularly the Dragon Shrines there isn’t a single statue with a head.

Through the many restorations and reforms of Japan they tried to outlaw religion. One of the methods of sticking it to the gods they didn’t believe in and their followers was to decapitate all the statues. Probably quite the pain to move giant pieces of stone as well. Cutting off the head does the job and defaces the Buddah/whathaveyou.

So in Elden Ring, the Dragons had clearly fallen out of favor at some point, even if they also still exist. They are regulated to a hellscape region that frankly I wouldn’t hang out in, given the chance.

But all their symbols of worship, statues to pay homage to the dragons, decipitated in some way symbolizing that they have lost power already, and are fading towards erasure.


2 items probably does not make a list but I have sat on this document for half a year only to return to it and go, “that crawfish stuff was interesting!” Let’s release. The game is great and perfect and I had to delete it because I got stuck on my second playthrough for two nights exactly where I got stuck on my first playthrough. That’s a problem and I need to move on with my life and not just play this great 80 hour game over again.

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