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Top 40 Japanese Melee players before Brawl (2001-2008) | "Dukes" 21st -30th

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Eh Yo, CaptainJack! Hey everyone, this is CaptainJack (@CaptainJackSSB4) here! 

Today, I'm happy to introduce "Top 40 Japanese Melee players before Brawl (2001-2008)". I classified 40 players in 5 tiers, such as  "1st-5th (Gods)", "6th-13th (Demigods)", "14th-20th (Kings)", "21st-30th (Dukes)" and "31st-40th (Warriors)" respectively. This is the 2nd article, "21st-30th (Dukes)" part of this series.

So, let's go! 

 

 

Related articles:

Top 40 Japanese Melee players before Brawl (2001-2008) | "Gods" 1st -5th
Top 40 Japanese Melee players before Brawl (2001-2008) | "Demigods" 6th -13th
Top 40 Japanese Melee players before Brawl (2001-2008) | "Kings" 14th -20th
Top 40 Japanese Melee players before Brawl (2001-2008) | "Dukes" 21st -30th
Top 40 Japanese Melee players before Brawl (2001-2008) | "Warriors" 31st -40th

 

 

The top 40 Japanese Melee players before Brawl (2001-2008) | "Dukes" 21st -30th

I'm going to introduce 10 players ranked in 21st - 30th, in alphabetic order. Please note that the order in each tier is just alphabetic and doesn't have any meanings. And please understand if comments on certain players are relatively shorter, it is because I haven't played them much in tournaments nor in friendlies because of different regions, timing of tournament participation etc.

 

Cube

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Picture at Japan United Smash Festa Round-Robin 3 in 2003

 

Notable placings: 10th Japan United Smash Festa Round-Robin 3
Character: Ice Climbers
Region: ?
Twitter: N/A

 

Cube was an Ice Climbers main, who was active in around 2003. Although I've almost never talked with him before in person, I had chance to take part in the same round-robin with him and to take a picture of him.

His placement of 10th in Japan United Smash Festa Round-Robin 3 among 64 players was prominent, as IC's was quite a rare character in higher level of competition, and the next IC's placing after him was 37th by Do-mo in the same round-robin. 

He really hasn't shown up to many tournaments back then. It is unfortunate, but that tournament was the only result which recorded his play. 

  

IKKI

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Picture at KVO in 2014

 

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Picture at a certain tournament with his lovely son

 

Notable placings: 17th Japan United Smash Festa Round-Robin 2, 16th Japan United Smash Festa Round-Robin 3 
Character: Peach, Samus
Region: Kyoto (West Japan) 
Twitter: 
@queensaki

 

IKKI was a Peach main who lived 60 minutes away from my parent's house by car or train. He mained Samus at our first meeting in his house, but one day he switched his main to Peach. Since his first appearance to the community, he gradually improved his play-style and reached a position of one of the best players in West Japan region. With his existence, Kyoto was considered to be the best prefecture in Japan, along with Aniki, CaptainJack and Masashi.

Not only was his Peach amazing, he also greatly contributed to the community, and was one of the most important personalities of all time. His contributions were as follows:

 

His notable contributions are;

  1. Eldest leader of the Smash community overall
  2. Holding the biggest Smash festa at that time consistently in West Japan
  3. TOing Kessen series
  4. TOing Ketsubato series
  5. TOing Japan United Smash Festa Round-Robin 3 (64 entrants) *above picture
  6. Introducing competitive Smash to other games' community (SF5 etc)
  7. Introducing Smash to the tournament KVO in Osaka
  8. Providing cash prizes and prizes to some tournaments as an individual sponsor 
  9. Organizing very reasonable trips to tournaments in other regions

 

Now I'm convinced that the meeting with IKKI was definitely one of the most important things I have had in my Smash Bros. life.

 

Please also read:

 

 

Joseph (Jack)

(No pictures available)

 

Notable placings: 5th Japan United Smash Festa Round-Robin 4
Character: Fox
Region: Miyagi (Northeast Japan)
Twitter: N/A

 

Joseph was a Fox main, based in Northeast Japan. He came to my parent's house in Kyoto once. His appearance in the Smash community was limited in around 2004-2006, but 5th place in Japan United Smash Festa Round-Robin 4 was a remarkable result to be recorded.

His tag was Jack when he appeared on the scene for the first time and people called him "Miyagi Jack" including his prefecture in order to make a difference with CaptainJack, who was often called "Jack" at that time. Since the day where he switched his tag to Joseph, people did not confuse us anymore.

 

Kei

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Picture from 第16回スマブラDXバトルロード結果

 

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Picture with CaptainJack in America in 2004 summer 

 

Notable placings: 16th Japan United Smash Festa Round-Robin 3, 8th Ketsubato1, 5th Ketsubato 2
Character: Ice Climbers, Peach, Fox
Region: Kyoto (West Japan)
Twitter: 
@kei1122xdx

 

Kei was a Peach and Fox main, known as a native English-speaking Japanese player. He was/is a multiple character player and changes his main according to his opponents in tournaments. As he participated in Genesis 4, he is still an active player and that fact makes me happy. 

Our first meeting was August 2004 at Isai's house, in San Jose, America. While I was on my 50-days Smash trip staying at his place, Kei came to visit us. He was a US citizen and lived in the US city, Seattle. I remember his words very well at our first conversation: "I wonder if my Japanese is ok, but... ". He is Japanese indeed, but he wasn't confident enough even though he spoke perfect Japanese.

As he lived in Seattle, he was/is a big fun of Ichiro, who is a legendary Japanese baseball player of all time playing in MLB. 

We hung out together in America this way during 50 days, and that remains as a good memory in my heart.

 

 

Koto (Thunders)

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Picture from 第2回スマブラDXバトルロード結果 in 2009

 

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Picture at a Yakiniku house in around 2003.

 

Notable placings: 12th Japan United Smash Festa Round-Robin 3, 6th Japan United Smash Festa Round-Robin 4, 9th Jack Garden Tournament, 2nd Ketsubato 1, 14th Ketsubato 2
Character: Luigi -> Fox
Region: Osaka (West Japan)
Twitter: N/A

 

Koto was a Fox main in Osaka, after switching from his former main Luigi. He was well known for his unique character and analysis, as well as his way of thinking.

He started his Melee career with Luigi. His up B raise was insane, to the point everyone laughed every time when he does it. I used to play Luigi as a main before Sheik, but I decided to give up after seeing his up B raise. I thought it would be impossible even to be the best Luigi. After a while, he switched his main to Fox to pursue victory. That switch was rather successful, he finally made it to be treated as one of the best Foxes in Japan. 

 

As cited below, he was the first smasher that I met at that time. That was in 1999 or 2000, so I can't stop feeling the long Smash history. 

 

On a totally unrelated subject, I played Pokemon very passionately too. One day, I had an appointment with Thunders, a Pokemon player from my region, Kansai (West Japan), that I met online to meet in Kyoto. We enjoyed a lot of friendlies at Mac Donald's. And he was also a Smash player. 

A Few moments later, we naturally agreed to go to an "off-kai" together, which means an offline-meeting in Japanese, to a player's house in Osaka. The organizer's name was "Moko". He was a university student and was extremely nice. He was maybe 19-21 years old so he looked very "adult" for me and Thunders, who were only 14 years old at that time. 

 

 Related article: 

 

 

Okechi

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Picture at Japan United Smash Festa Round-Robin 3 in 2003.

 

Notable placings: 13th Japan United Smash Festa Round-Robin 3 
Character: Falco 
Region: Hiroshima (Chugou region)
Twitter: N/A

 

Okechi was a Falco player. He was already well known as the one who beat Mr. Oikawa on a TV show, who was the most known official Smash Bros master. 

He continued playing Melee too, and got 13th place at Japan United Smash Festa Round-Robin 3. As he was very young at that time (maybe primary school student?), his tournament appearance was quite limited and almost never participated in tournaments in West or East Japan. 

Fan fact: he is a little brother of 9B

 

 

Sigurd

(No pictures available)

 

Notable placings: 2nd Karisuma Ranking Battle (2nd Karisuma 2, 5, 7. 1st Karisuma 6 etc)
Character: Marth
Region: Central Japan
Twitter: N/A

 

Sigurd was a rising Marth main in Central Japan. Although his tournament participation was limited in Karisuma and I have never met him personally, I'm convinced that 2nd place in Karisuma after Smasher deserves to be ranked in top 21st - 30th. It was unfortunate he hardly competed outside his region. We wanted to see him play in West or East Japan more often though.

 

 

Smasher

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Picture at Karisuma in early 2007

 

Notable placings: 9th Jack Garden Tournament, 1st Karisuma Ranking Battle (1st Karisuma 1, 2. 2nd Karisuma 4, 8. ) 
Character: Link
Region: Aichi (Central Japan)
Twitter: 
@smasher5914

 

Smasher was a Link main, as well as the TO of Karisuma series. He was well known for his fantastic Link, especially as the rival of Aniki. At that time, both were considered the two best Links in Japan by far. Fortunately, they got along well outside Smash too. 

As a TO, he hosted the Karisuma Ranking Battle series in Kariya, Aichi prefecture. The tournament continues even today, having both Melee and Smash 4. He was a nice guy and loved by everyone. That was lucky for smashers in Central Japan that Smasher was there.

 

 

Tetsuya

(No pictures available)

Notable placings: Unknown
Character: Jigglypuff
Region: Ehime (Shikoku region)
Twitter: 
@hiro22i

 

Tetsuya was very talented: the best player in Shikoku region. He mained Jigglypuff, which was relatively rare character at that time. He was amazing because not only he had a born talent, but also he was good at analyzing and making effort. In fact, he had a  high IQ. 

He usually used to train with his friend Harias, who was a Link main. They once tried to invite Masashi and me to his place to compete with us. They paid our transportation fare, which costed almost $100 each. People were surprised as we were barely high-school students and $100 was big money at that time. 

It's unfortunate not much information about him remains because communication between regions were not as active as it is now at al, especially between West/East and other regions. Internet was not even very common tool at that time.

 

 

Wolfon

(No pictures available)

Notable placings: 3rd Japan United Smash Festa Round-Robin 2 
Character: Fox 
Region: unknown
Twitter: N/A

 

Wolfon, was a mysterious Fox main. He suddenly appeared in Japan United Smash Festa Round-Robin 2, and finished in 3rd place. This placing was totally surprising, as 1st places were both CaptainJack and Keropi-, who were two best players of the era.

However, to be honest, he was/is almost unknown in spite of his remarkable result. He didn't show up on any other tournaments since then as long as we know. Therefore 3rd place of the round-robin was his only result. 

 

Comment

I guess that you met several unknown players here too! There were smashers who do not play anymore, but it makes me happy to review some are still in the scene and enjoy playing Smash. :) Please look forward to the next article!

 

Related articles:

Top 40 Japanese Melee players before Brawl (2001-2008) | "Gods" 1st -5th
Top 40 Japanese Melee players before Brawl (2001-2008) | "Demigods" 6th -13th
Top 40 Japanese Melee players before Brawl (2001-2008) | "Kings" 14th -20th
Top 40 Japanese Melee players before Brawl (2001-2008) | "Dukes" 21st -30th
Top 40 Japanese Melee players before Brawl (2001-2008) | "Warriors" 31st -40th