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Battle Dome (Japanese: バトルドーム) is a table-top board game produced by the toy company Anjar Co. and was released during the mid 1990’s. On the Japanese web, a series of TV commercials for the game gained popularity among users of the video-sharing site Nico Nico Douga during 2008, becoming a notable visual resource for MAD remixes and parodies.
The marble-based game Battle Dome was originally created by the American toy company Anjar Co. in 1994 and was later licensed to many international companies, including the Japanese-based Tsukuda Original. With Tsukuda Original, they began airing a series of adverts on Japanese stations to promote the game during October 1994. These commercials later began resurfacing online over a decade later, with the earliest being uploaded to YouTube by user igasinob on June 21st, 2008.
The commercial wouldn’t come to light until it was uploaded to Niconico by user te2 on July 8th, 2008. Characterize by the broken English and over-enthusiasm by the announcer, the video captured the attention with users on the site. As the video was gaining interest, MAD remixes of the commercial began to appear. The first of these remixes was uploaded to Niconico on September 21st, 2008 titled “Super American Battle Dome Deluxe” (スーパーアメリカンバトルドームデラックス), which was a mash-up of the Kirby soundtrack Sky High. The remix may have impressed few MAD editors on Niconico, but video that would initially kickstart interests in these mash-up came towards the end of 2008 with a remix of the Touhou arrangement “Cirno’s Perfect Math Class” titled “Tsukuda’s Super Exciting Battle Class” (ツクダの超！エキサイトバトル教室) was uploaded on December 13th, 2008.
The video later ranked up in Niconico’s Daily Ranking chart and received extra exposure on the site, gaining over 190 thousand views since its upload. Meanwhile, users on Niconico later began searching for other commercials of the game as resources, with the most notable of these includes a Doraemon-themed version called “Doraemon Battle Dome” and a version released in America called “Marble Dome.” For Marble Dome, its name is often misheard as “Mabo Don,” a romanized contraction of “mapo doufu” and “donburi,” which is a bowl of rice topped with “mapo doufu,” often referred to as “Szechuan-style Japanese bean curd.”
By 2009, remixes of Battle Dome began to increase ten-folds on the site and as of June 2013, over 2,200 videos relating to Battle Dome has since been posted to Niconico, with many having been reprinted and has also been created in YTPMVs on YouTube.
In July 2010, Battle Dome was reproduced as the “Action Battle Dome” by Megahouse, a company related to Tsukuda Original. Though speculated, the re-introduction of Battle Dome was most likely driven by the online popularity for the game. However, the product wasn’t as well received as the original due to its cheap imitative quality.
On Niconico, the most notable remix style for these MAD videos are usually “singing style” mash-ups, often refers to as “Tsukuda-loid” (ツクダロイド), which involves splicing the vocal audios like that of a Vocaloid vocal bank. Battle Dome have also been a subject of “medley style” remixes, involving multiple MAD editors collaborating with each other in extended medleys.
Left: Pokemon Parody | Right: Kiteretsu OP Hajimete no Chu
Left: Bad Apple!! | Right: Overdrive
Left: Seven Colors of Nico Nico Douga | Right: Little Busters! OP Parody
The Battle Dome and along with one of the players seen in the commercial has also been included as a playable character in the freeware fighting game engine M.U.G.E.N, when it was created by Japanese contributor Ronisaka (ロニ坂) on January 9th, 2010.
Vs. Donald McDonald
In Addition, the online popularity for the Battle Dome has also gaven the rise to a Moe gijinka character of the game. Being created by an anonymous poster on the Battle Dome’s Nico Nico Pedia article on May 5th, 2009, this blond-haired American girl was given the name Ai Tenogoru (アイ・テノゴール) which is a pun for “Aite no Goal” (Opponent’s Goal), a dialog from the commercial. And often characterize as an almost-naked, disgraceful girl, her likeness has spawn fan-art on the art-sharing sites pixiv and Nico Nico Seiga, and has also been promptly featured in many MAD videos.
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