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Battle Dome is a board game product originally created by the American toy company Anjar Co. and was licensed to several other companies for distributions, such as the Japanese company Tsukuda Original.
During the marketing campaign for the Battle Dome by the Japanese company Tsukuda Original, many Japanese fans of the iconic manga / anime series Doraemon were impressed and memorized by Tsukuda Original’s television commercial (TVCM) for the board game and made numerous MAD videos and other related stuff.
In 1994/1995, long-time toy manufacturer Anjar Co. created and licensed the marble-based board game Battle Dome to several companies, including the Japanese company Tsukuda Original. Even though the TV commercials originally aired in the 90s, various clips resurfaced many years later via popular video-sharing platforms like YouTube and Nico Nico Douga (NND) circa 2008.
The Japanese television commercial for Battle Dome was first uploaded by igasinob on Jun 21, 2008 on YouTube. The day that it was reposted to NND for the first time was July 8th, 2008.
While Tsukuda Original distributed and sold Battle Dome products in Japan, they also produced several different versions of Battle Dome. “Doraemon Battle Dome” is one notable example, which featured characters from the Doraemon series. Later, it was added to the end of original commercial. This scene is also reused in MADs:
While some MAD editors tried to find the Battle Dome commercial to use for contributing their own spinoffs of it, they also curiously noticed and used another related commercial also found on Anjar Co.’s website, which was for the same board game, but with a different name: “Marble Dome”, which was licensed to Golden Games, a division of the now-defunct Golden Books publisher Western Publishing.
The name “Marble Dome” is often phonetically-translated as “Mabo Don”, a romanized contraction of mapo doufu and donburi, which is a bowl of rice topped with “mapo doufu”, sometimes also referred to as “Szechuan-style Japanese bean curd”.
On September 21st, 2008, the first MAD video remix 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 associates itself with the Kirby Sky High remixes meme, was first uploaded on NND. This below was re-uploaded from NND to YouTube.
Apparently, the video only impressed a few MAD editors and didn’t gain widespread recognition in NND. However towards the end of 2008, the concept gradually gained momentum among MAD editors, with one of them reaching NND’s Daily Ranking chart and receiving attention across the community. According to Nico Nico Pedia, the following video has been attributed as the trigger of the phenomenon:
Following the viral breakout, many other NND users created their own Battle Dome MAD videos. As of May 2011, the amount of videos related to Battle Dome on NND are over 1600. And also on YouTube, that is over 400.
In July 2010, Battle Dome was reproduced as “Action Battle Dome” by Megahouse, a company related to Tsukuda Original. Though speculative, the re-introduction of Battle Dome was likely driven by the popularity of MAD remix series. However, the product wasn’t as well as received as the original due to its cheap, imitative quality.
In NND, the most popular style of MAD videos contributors use is “singing style”. These first two for example scored over 300,000 page views on NND. “はじめてのシュゥゥゥーッ！！【キテレツク大百科オリジナル】”(My first Shooot!) also scores over 300,000 page views, but is currently unavailable on YouTube. Another notable style is “medley style” (made by many MAD editors collaborating with each other).
はじめての出たぁ～(My first Detaaah!)
Other than the first MAD crossing over the Kirby Sky High remixes meme, Battle Dome was also seen crossing over other memes.
* X is Training – Battle Dome is Training
Battle Dome with one of the players seen in the TVCM was introduced as a playable character in the freeware fighting game engine “M.U.G.E.N” on January 9, 2010, by M.U.G.E.N contributor from Japan name “ロニ坂”(Ronisaka).
As well as other Japanese fads, Battlte Dome also has its Moe Anthropomorphism character “アイ・テノゴール”(Ai Tenogoru). This American girl’s name is a pun for “Aite no Goal”(Opponent’s Goal), a dialog in TVCM and she is characterized as always almost-naked, disgraceful girl. Pixiv, a Japanese SNS for illustrators, has about 80 images related to her.
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