Game Center CX is one of those shows which you perhaps wouldn’t have expected to gain the following it has, both inside and outside of Japan. This highly successful bi-weekly Fuji TV series that pits comedian Shinya Arino from comedy duo Yoiko against a variety of retro video games, interspersed with fun skits and visits to arcades around Japan, has been ongoing for over 15 years at this point. The show has expanded beyond the hour-long episodes it usually creates for a variety of live challenges, live events, and even a movie. The show gained such a cult following it even received a short-lived license in the US, with multiple episodes being brought to the US as ‘Retro Game Master’ and one of its video game adaptations being released as ‘Retro Game Challenge’. What’s next for this gaming TV series? A live symphony concert from the Japan Game Music Orchestra (JAGMO) performing music related to the series and the games that Arino has played throughout its history, of course.
Game Center CX has dabbled in music before. To celebrate the series’ 10th anniversary, a special album was released containing original songs made by the staff of the show over the years and songs from a variety of games that had been featured, such as Mighty Bomb Jack. In that regard, perhaps announcing a concert where such music could be featured shouldn’t come as a surprise. The Japan Game Orchestra will be the performers bringing orchestrated video game music and Game Center CX classics to the stage, an orchestra that have been performing together since 2014 and performed concerts for series such as Touhou in recent months. The concert will take place on April 29 at the Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall in Shinjuku, a large concert hall with a 1,632 person capacity. According to the official promotional materials for the concert, Arino himself will be in attendance as the band performs gaming tunes the have become synonymous with the show over its long time on the air.
While the full song list for the concert has yet to be announced, a few of the songs that are to be performed on the day have been unveiled. For the very first song of the concert, they will be performing the theme tune to Japan-only Famicom title Atlantis no Nazo, one of the earliest games Arino attempted to complete on the show. At a later point during the event, the orchestra will be providing live music while Arino attempts a live challenge. As a fan of the show myself, these announcements alone make me excited for this event and have me tempted to attend the concert myself.
Two concerts will be held on April 29, with an earlier concert taking place during the day at 2 pm and a later concert at 6 pm. Ticket pricing varies depending on where in the venue you choose to sit, with SS tickets costing 9,800 yen, S tickets costing 8,900 yen and A tickets costing 7,900 yen. These tickets will first be made available through a lottery that is running from now until March 10, with any remaining tickets going on general sale on March 22. You can view the official website and find links to the ticket lottery over on the official concert website.