maimai Schoolboys

Japanese rhythm gaming’s two faces: the social and the obsessive.

maimai is a 2012 rhythm action series where you hit eight lit targets around a circular touchscreen. It’s Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan meets Para Para Paradise.

This cabinet has always been totally on the ball with the Japanese arcade music game scene.

One side of that scene is social: kids hanging out together, sometimes watching, sometimes playing side by side.

The other is obsessive: bringing ice water and a towel to perfect the hardest songs.

Consider those two faces and you’ll see how smart Sega has been with maimai. First, the cab is only available as a pair so you can always play with friends or meet other players. Second, you can record your performance, register your high scores, and share everything online (including the video) straight from the cab.

A perfect afterschool timekiller – going 6 years and new versions still hitting.

Photographer and writer covering Tokyo arcade life – the videogames, the metropolis and the people