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Daigo shares story of arcade beginnings, meaning of friendship

Posted by Jonathan 'Catalyst' Grey • April 26, 2012 at 8:42 a.m. PDT
Daigo shares story of arcade beginnings, meaning of friendship Translating another part of Daigo's book, The Will to Keep Winning, Kotaku posted a story sharing a bit of Umehara's past, including his arcade beginnings and an unlikely friendship. Here's a snip.

According to his story, when Daigo was in his first year of junior high school, he was already an avid gamer and a regular at a video arcade. Having no local arcades around his home, this particular arcade required that Daigo take a train to get to it. In elementary school Daigo had been the boss of his class, but in junior high school, with classmates joining athletic clubs to play soccer or baseball, he became more of a loner, and by the end of junior high school, there was hardly anyone he could call a friend at all.

At the arcade, though, Daigo found he could be himself. Few people who regularly went to video arcades were "well-rounded" individuals and most had problems of their own. Arcades were places where people went to escape the harshness of reality. Daigo, who felt he had no place in school, found himself at home there. Back at school, social norms dictated what sports to be interested in, what TV shows to watch, what music to listen to, and what was popular was more important than personal tastes. But in the arcade, Daigo found himself among like-minded people he got along with because of a common interest they already shared.

Comments

zUkUu said on April 26, 2012 at 8:44 a.m.

I've read this earlier today, and I couldn't lose the feeling of reading some yaoi-fan-flick x)

#1
yaranaika said on April 26, 2012 at 8:52 a.m.

inb4 'Daigo has no life lolol'

#2
deathclown said on April 26, 2012 at 9:22 a.m.

it really sounded like a story you read in an ordinary school life genre manga

#3
sarif2soon said on April 26, 2012 at 9:26 a.m.

i thought he'd be a mentor to daigo. turned out to be a guy who gave him a 3-hour ride home on a bike. lol.

where i live, schools are not mixed (meaning boys have their own schools and so do girls). so you can be whatever want and there'd be many like you. no one plays sports because they want a girl, nor do they fight over one. just don't be gay.

#4
lukatmashuz said on April 26, 2012 at 9:49 a.m.

I swear, later on Daigo won't call it quits, but instead we'll all see him walk slowly towards the horizon/sunset with some zen music playing along.

#5
Omochao said on April 26, 2012 at 9:59 a.m.

Reading this broke my heart :( Poor Daigo D:

#6
SabishiiRyuu said on April 26, 2012 at 10:01 a.m.

How ppl hate on Daigo is beyond me.

#7
hydramarine said on April 26, 2012 at 10:03 a.m.

Who didnt feel good as soon as they stepped in arcades? I know I was hooked up to that Mortal Kombat franchise and eventually became the best prodigal son in the city.

#8
HooliganComboFTW said on April 26, 2012 at 10:08 a.m.

#3
lol

#9
Seel007 said on April 26, 2012 at 10:10 a.m.

The arcade was practically my baby sitter for my entire youth. Mom or Grandpa would drop me off with a roll of quarters and I was good to go all day. You learned to win enough so you still had $3 for the pizza slice combo at the food court.

#10
Kirin said on April 26, 2012 at 10:13 a.m.

Waiting for live action movie of this book...

#11
xBMxSage said on April 26, 2012 at 10:16 a.m.

That was a nice story. The "15 years later" thing made me actually search Daigo's age. I thought the guy was around my age but he's older than he looks.

#12
Spaghetti_Time said on April 26, 2012 at 10:22 a.m.

"The trip home took over 3 hours. All during that time, Daigo was lost in thought wondering why the man was doing this for him. It was a summer night, so by the time they reached Daigo's home, the man was drenched in sweat. Dropping Daigo off, the man simply said, "See you." and pedaled away.

Writes Daigo, "I stood there staring at him getting smaller and smaller in the distance, and for the first time I realized, 'Oh, this is what friendship is.'"

Fifteen years later, Daigo is still friends with the man. Daigo writes in his book, "My life is the video arcade. I can say this proudly, largely in part due to the friendships I found there."

Damn. It's easy to forget that those who are revered so much are just as human as the rest of us.

#13
BumblebeeCody said on April 26, 2012 at 10:28 a.m.

One of the cool things about arcades is that it brings the "loners" together. So they aren't really seen as socially awkward then. Guess that's good. It sucks because arcades give people a place to go to meet others like them yet the arcade scene is dying. You'd never hear of a the football scene dying because of how much support they gain. Really we should be trying support local arcades.
R.I.P Troc T____T

#14
TheMasterPlayer said on April 26, 2012 at 10:36 a.m.

Umehara, Daigo is the beast, son!

#15
Sasuga said on April 26, 2012 at 10:54 a.m.

Now you'll understand how hard my youth was. I was exactly like that but there were no arcades to go to! :P

#16
BestAlgorithm said on April 26, 2012 at 10:59 a.m.

Friendship is magic?

#17
abirzenith said on April 26, 2012 at 11:13 a.m.

I read this a few years ago in one of daigos interview, left me smiling with how people come together

#18
umeshoryu89 said on April 26, 2012 at 11:20 a.m.

I wish him luck for a good run at EVO this year.

#19
ElectricBlanka said on April 26, 2012 at 11:49 a.m.

Daigo is the "Beast" Umehara, son!

#20
Zanomaru said on April 26, 2012 at 11:50 a.m.

I could watch an anime of this lol. Come on Japan do "Daigo, the anime" :p

#21
Ghost said on April 26, 2012 at 12:13 p.m.

I like Daigo, but this was a bit cheesy.

#22
foolly said on April 26, 2012 at 12:36 p.m.

reading reminded me of a sad anime title "Grave of Fireflies." Im not really sure why. Hope they sell an English version of this book.

#23
foolly said on April 26, 2012 at 12:37 p.m.

^^ i meant to say "reading this reminded me of"

#24
Tensa said on April 26, 2012 at 12:47 p.m.

I would buy the book if it was in english

#25
llSilkCutll said on April 26, 2012 at 2:03 p.m.

Great read all the haters can hate but you can't take away what this man has achieved already even if he finished tomorrow. Daigo is inspirational, and his conduct is exemplary (not like some childish american players) and the best fighter all round ever in SSF4 to play street fighter IMO. Especially in SSF4, play a long set in SSF4 and he will beat anyone, able to adapt to any situation, and all the top players know it too. I like the way he conducts himself, he is the role model to any player, not just to play but how to act in a gentlemanly way in a tournument. He can take defeat in the correct manner and when he wins he does not "rub it in" so to speak to the player he has just beat, he is a pure winner all round.

#26
EnsignHiro said on April 26, 2012 at 2:23 p.m.

Great to hear about his background. Honestly I felt like I could relate to him because there are so many people you grow up with at school who bash you because you are different. I used to get bashed for liking videogames and anime growing up and hell even my apperance. Wheni met people like me who shared some of the same views it got easier for me to befriend similar people like myself and ignore those who down us. I'm happy to hear that no matter who you are there are other people out there who have or are going through the same situations as yourself. To all the haters Daigo has they should think about this. Did I have a similar experience or lifestyle like Daigo stated? If not how would you feel if people didn't accept you because you were different from other people?

#27
old_school_rival said on April 26, 2012 at 2:44 p.m.

When I was growing up the only people who hung around the arcade all day were kids skipping school or delinquents. But at peak hours after school, weekends etc; arcades or anywhere there were arcade machines were packed. Long before I could go clubbing etc they were really were some where you could go and socialise.

#28
Freeyu said on April 26, 2012 at 2:50 p.m.

Daigo "The Beast" Umehara, dad

#29
Rising_Jaguar said on April 26, 2012 at 2:50 p.m.

kool story bro'...
really, make a short film if someone has to! xD

#30
ShadowoftheDarkgod said on April 26, 2012 at 4:39 p.m.

DAT SLICE OF LIFE ANIME

#31
SrAbuguet said on April 26, 2012 at 4:56 p.m.

who could hate the Beast? No doubt he will always be remembered as the best of all time. Dig it.

#32
stinginghook said on April 26, 2012 at 5:38 p.m.

No wonder when I head to WNF that I feel like the actual loner there.

#33
Scrixx said on April 26, 2012 at 10:18 p.m.

@31

That's exactly what I thought word by word.

SLICES OF LIFE, WE HAS THEM

#34
Paine said on April 27, 2012 at 5:25 a.m.

I read this while watching this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIuotF...

;-;

Giving us some insight on his life is pretty cool considering he is quite the icon in the FGC.

#35


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