MegaTokyo FAQ

See the drinking game page for some other common subjects that appear often in MegaTokyo's Story Discussions forum.

#A1: What does that Japanese word or sentence mean?
You can find a lot of what you'll see in MegaTokyo in the MTFN's lexicon page. The Reader's Guide notes for the individual strips give translations when needed. The links here may also help.

#A2: What's l33t? Did MegaTokyo invent it?
L33t is the practice of replacing letters with numbers and other typographic characters, plus a handful of other slang-spelling type things. It predates MegaTokyo, and the exact origin is not known. The Reader's Guide notes for the individual strips give translations when needed. See the MTFN's lexicon page for a list of the letter substitutions, and the links here for more l33t resources.

#A3: How long have Piro and Largo been in Japan?
They arrive in Japan on a Saturday, the latter third of Chapter 0 takes place on Sunday seven weeks later, their 51st day in Tokyo. The timeline in MegaTokyo Volume 5 book breaks Chapter 0 down into further detail. Each chapter after that takes place over one day, i.e. Chapter 7 is the following Sunday, their 58th day in Tokyo.

As revealed by the "9" on the spine of the manga book in strip [648], it's September.

Note: Comments by Seraphim in [129], Erika in [135], and Yuki in [155] that indicate a greater passage of time in the final week of Chapter 0 are considered retconned out.

Also note that like long running superhero comic books, MT follows "comic time", in which the story is always set in the present day even though the passage of time in the story is much less than the release schedule of the story in the real world. I.e. in the space of a week in-story, characters may make reference to video games that were released years apart.

#A4: What's "Endgames"?
We were introduced to Endgames as a series of Dead Piro Day drawings that depicted the final battle between Pirogoeth and Miho in the online game of the same name. It eventually tied in with the comic in strip [259], when it was revealed that Miho had been having a flashback dream about the Endgames sequence. The DPDs originally referred to it as MegaWinter Nights, a parody of Bioware's game NeverWinter Nights, but that name is no longer used. The Endgames story continues across various DPDs and stories exclusive to the books.

#A5: Something that happened or is happening in MegaTokyo reminds me of one episode from some anime series. Is Fred stealing ideas for his plotline?
Much of what Fred does in MegaTokyo is parody of situations and clichés that are common in anime and manga. The episode you're thinking of is most likely nowhere near the first time that sort of thing has happened in an anime. Intentional references to specific anime series in MegaTokyo take the form of props and background items rather than whole plotlines. Also, don't jump to conclusions about what Fred's going to do next based on some other series with a passing similarity. Doing so makes Fred sad.

#A6: I haven't seen Haibane Renmei. What the heck is going on in Circuity?
Circuity is a doujinshi set in the world of Haibane Renmei. Fred used none of the plotline or characters from the anime in his story however, so prior viewing of the Haibane series is not really required to follow what is going on. In fact, the Circuity characters themselves are quite unfamiliar with the traditions and such of the Haibane, so any reader who has seen the anime has them at an advantage. Either way, the Circuity story is rather subtle, especially having been told in so few pages. Most of the backstory is implied only. An expanded version is included in the fourth MegaTokyo book, it makes things a little more clear and skips all the blatant Haibane references.

#A7: Where is stuff located in MegaTokyo?
Here's a map of known locations made by forum member JeroenB, and another that was presumably made by Fred.

#B1: Where did the names Piro and Largo come from?
Piro is a Siamese cat in the dating sim game Kanon who was named after a Russian meat-filled bun called a piroshki. Largo is a villian in the OAV version of the anime series Bubblegum Crisis. The name MegaTokyo also originates in Bubblegum Crisis. Read more about the characters' names in the Reader's Guide notes page for strip [27].

#B2: How do you pronounce Piro?
The i gives a long e sound, think the "pi" in Pikachu.
Hear "Piro" pronounced in these clips from Kanon: one two three

#B3: Who are all those different versions of Piro as a girl?
Pirogoeth is Piro's game avatar in Endgames. The name parodies Aribeth of NeverWinter Nights. I'm pretty sure the syllable breaks are Pi-ro-go-eth. Piroko is Piro's game avatar when playing Quake and other shoot-em-ups. She also appeared in Grand Theft Colo. There are others, but they tend to be one-offs in FredArt and DPDs that probably won't reappear.

#B4: Is Largo crazy or does all that stuff really happen?
It is generally believed by the people who spend time overanalyzing such things that while Largo is a little unbalanced, the comic gives us a third person view of events and all that stuff does indeed occur. It is further believed that Piro would be able to see that stuff too, but his attention is always elsewhere when it's going on. Note that Fred puts such ambiguities into the story on purpose and it's really left to each reader to decide. Also note that one of the major themes of MegaTokyo is how each person's perceptions shape the world into their own personal "realities".

#B5: What is Largo's cool thing?
See Fred's rant under strip [540].

#B6: Is Miho supernatural? What are her intentions? What is her medical problem?
There isn't much agreement about this. Read the comic and make up your own mind, or just wait and see. A list of some theories that have been considered before is here.

#B7: Where did the idea for Ping come from?
Robot girls are an old, old cliché in anime and manga. Ping is based on no one character, though some of the main influences are [All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl] Nuku Nuku, Multi from To Heart, and Mari from Boku no Mari. I know most of you are thinking of Chi, but Chobits had just come out when Ping was created and Fred knew nothing of the series until later on.

#B8: Why was Tsubasa gone for so long?
The real person Tsubasa was based on asked to not be a character anymore, so he was written out of the story at the end of Chapter 0 and didn't come back until his brief appearance in Chapter 7. Fred explained this during the Q&A session at a convention panel. (Look under the "Is Tsubasa coming back?" question.)

#B9: What color is this character's hair?
The core characters have official colored pictures of them, either in one of the strips or over at FredArt. There are eight colored character buttons at the MegaGear store, and the ALA library poster is in color. For everybody else, we just don't know. If you need the information for a cosplay or a coloration you're doing, just make it up. Junpei dyes his hair and doesn't always use the same colors. Ping's hair defaults to gray but if you use her with an EDS compatible PS2 game it can change to match the game characters.

#B10: How old are all the characters?
Strip [48] tells us that Yuki is 15, and Miho hints at her age in strip [698]. Other than that, there is no official information.

#B11: Which characters are loosely based on real people?
Piro = Fred Gallagher
Largo = Rodney Caston
Seraphim = Sarah Gallagher
Dom = Dominic Nguyen
Ed = Edmund Balan
Asmodeus = Ken Hashimoto
Tsubasa = Keishi Tada
Plus a few cameos from people like John Romero, BioWare employees, and other webcomic artists/characters.

#B12: What's this rumor I heard that Fred said we will end up hating Piro?
That happened during an interview a very long time ago. The storyline in its current form almost certainly wasn't planned out at that point, so it's probably best not to take it seriously. Note also that the interview text names Largo as the to-be-hated character, but Fred told us later that was an error.

#C1: Why don't we hear from Rodney (Largo) anymore?
He's no longer involved with MegaTokyo. Fred (Piro) announced this in his rant under strip [273]. More from Fred on the issue can be found in the Reader's Guide notes for that strip. These days you can find him at his website.

#C2: Why isn't MegaTokyo as funny as it once was?
This is usually blamed on the departure of Rodney/Largo, and certainly the tone of early Chapter 0 is somewhat different from the more plotline-laden that came later, but most current fans weren't even reading MT when Rodney was still around. The most likely source of this effect is being able to read several years worth of strips in the archive and then suddenly reaching the end and having to wait days for each new strip. The change in pace is jarring, I'm sure. Once you've been reading at a three-a-week pace for a long time, you'll notice that the humor content and story pacing has actually been fairly consistent all along.

#C3: Will there be a MegaTokyo anime?
Nope. We're talking king of all pipe dreams here.

#C4: What font is used in the comic?
The general text is "ComicBook," which Fred got from the now defunct Precision Type website.

#C5: Why are the Story and Character pages blank?
Fred's said various things about that, but this post sums it up fairly well:

Wanna know why i dont like making character sheets and story guides? They are a lot like resumes - small sound bytes that contain over simplified information about characters and story concepts. Does your resume really say what kind of person you are? Thats why i've always felt it was best for people to read the comic and gain thier own opinions. Most novels dont have character guides, why should a comic?

Despite this, Fred may yet produce some sort of character page for the MT front page redesign that's been in the works for ages. Still, such things already exist on this and other sites. As for what those pages used to have, the Story page was just this graphic and the Characters page was this.

#C6: What do SGD, DPD, OSE, etc. stand for?
SGD = Shirt Guy Dom, stick figure strips done by Dom to make you appreaciate Fred's art more.
DPD = Dead Piro Day, a one panel art piece for when Fred can't pull off a whole strip.
OSE = One Shot Episode, a comic that is not in the storyline, it may deal with Fred and Sarah's "real" life, or it can be a humor bit with the comic characters.

#C7: How does Fred make the strips?
Read up on that on this page.

#C8: Will Fred do commissioned art?
No. It would take too much time away from the comic. He does put artwork in convention auctions sometimes though.

#C9: Where can I find info on Fred for this school report I'm writing?
Between the rant columns, the FredArt blog, and the interviews he's done (see the links here) there's probably enough material out there already to put a decent report together. If you want more though, just e-mail him. Here's what he once said on the subject:

I get requests for stuff like this all the time from people writing reports, doing papers, etc. They all want some biographical info - who i am, where i was born, what's by birthdate, where did i go to school, etc. These are not stalker-ish requests, really, i understand that for some bizzare reason people need this info for reports and whatnot.
Personally, i dont think that any of this info has any bearing whatsoever on what i do. Why on earth would anyone need my birthdate? Does it really matter where i was born? Does it even really matter where i went to school? (i have a master's degree in architecture, isn't that enough?)
I think this kind of information is useful on people when you really can't get a clear idea of who they are and what they are like (like, say, an actor or something). This site represents more than anyone ever really wants to know about me, thru the rants and the comic itself. I don't hide behind my work, i wish i could, part of who i am IS in the work (which is why i take critscism so personally) It's not that im a private person, its just that i don't think this information is worth anything, so why the hell do people keep asking me for it?
Anyways, just thought i'd add my two cents here on that :P best to email me tho - if i can, i'll give you what i can.

#C10: What's Warmth?
Another project of Fred's, with roots going back farther than MegaTokyo itself. It had a single appearance in IC Entertainment's defunct AmeriManga magazine (issue 4). Every once in a while Fred will mention that he's made some sort of progress on it. Though he's also said he's put it on indefinate hold. It's unlikely that we'll see anything of it for a long time, if at all.

#C11: What do sad girls in snow have to do with anything?
The "Sad Girl in Snow" drawing was originally mentioned in strip [75], and finally shown in strip [374]. However, it was the MacHall guest strip [142] that popularized the term. After being parodied by several other webcomics, it has since become a cliché all its own. Of course, Fred only popularized the term "Sad Girl in Snow", snow has symbolized sadness in manga and anime for a long time.

#D1: What do the MegaTokyo books cover?
Volume 1 is Chapter 0, with each subsequent volume covering two chapters each.

#D2: When's the next book coming out?
Once all the strips that will go into a book are finished, it takes about six months to a year before the book hits the shelves.

#D3: Where can I buy the MT books?
Pretty much any place that sells manga books. I.e. many common book store chains such as Border's, Barnes and Noble, Waldenbooks, and the online equivalents of those stores. Also Amazon, of course. Probably your local comic shops as well, and most online anime/manga specialty stores. Naturally, they are also available in the MegaGear store along with the T-shirts and such.

#D4: Are the books available in anything other than English?
Yes. They are published in German and Polish. French and Italian versions are pending. There is also a fan-run translation project on the web.

#D5: What do I do if the design I wanted to buy from MegaGear or one of the older MT stores isn't there anymore?
An older version of the MegaGear site had this up in its FAQ page:

We have had many questions regarding merchandise that was available at the previous Megatokyo store. Old shirt designs not currently on the site, blankets, and the older posters (Broken Miho, Pirogoeth, and Capture the Bear) have sold out and will not be returning. The majority of products had been available 2 - 4 years and could not support continued production. We will be adding new designs and products in the future as inspiration strikes.
The fact is that for stuff that was retired only recently (in the past year or two), most of the people who want it already have one, so it makes no sense for them to have any more made. (There's always a sizable minimum order from the printer on such things, and they'd have huge amounts of money stuck in inventory that could take years to sell.) After a few years, when there are enough MT fans that weren't around when the older designs were available, then it may be worth their while to pull some of them back up from the grave. (It's happened before, the Pirogoeth poster was redone years after the original run, and the demand for the Kimiko blanket was high and it came back fairly quickly.) Let Fred and Sarah know via a polite e-mail to what old designs you'd like to see come back. If enough people ask for a certain design, then they just might do it.

#D6: What's up with the hemp hats and sketchbooks?
The relevant informational comic and rant column is here.

#D7: Does MegaGear ship stuff to where I am?
If you have a customer service type of question, consult the MegaGear Help page, and failing that e-mail Sarah at