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Doki Doki Majo Shinpan! (called Doki Doki Majo Saiban until shortly before release) is an adventure game for the Nintendo DS, released only in Japan on July 5th, 2007. According to Amazon, pre-orders for the game nearing its release topped the likes of The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and Final Fantasy Tactics. Despite the reasonable popularity and sales that briefly exceeded the aforementioned releases, SNK has announced that it has no plans to bring the game to any region outside Japan, though they have released a sequel, Doki Doki Majo Shinpan! 2 DUO.
Akuji Nishimura is leading a relatively simple life until one day he gets approached by an angel named Lulu to locate a witch that has infiltrated his school. The witch however, is invisible to the naked eye and resembles any regular human. Thus, Lulu advises to search for "witch marks", which are located somewhere on the subject's body. The desired method to do this is by touching them.
- Akuji Nishimura: A junior high student that boasts about being a "bad boy". He is forced to co-operate with Lulu under the threat of being turned into a good one.
- Angel Lulu: Has been sent by the arch-angel to send Akuji on his mission. She helps him along the way.
- Maho Akai: A 14 year old girl who is a member of the cheerleading club. She has the ability to shoot energy balls.
- Maria Abe: A fortune-telling 14 year old girl with glasses. Has the ability to make potions and set up barriers.
- Renge Oda: A 13 year old retro-gamer. Her pride and joy is "Athena" on the NES, which is a reference to SNK. Her abilities include teleportation and a "power sneeze".
- Yuuma Mochizuki: A 13 year old boy that is hospitalized most of the time. He can transform into a werewolf.
- Ayame Midoh: The only daughter of the Shinto shrine, this 15 year old girl has the ability to summon familiars and use a talisman.
- Merry Watabiki: Just 12 years old, this girl always wears a bunny costume and can shoot meteors and create explosive Doppelgängers.
- Eve Seiya: The 23 year old school nurse. Her ability is shooting energy balls.
- Noel Seiya: The arch-angel that commanded Lulu. She is the sister of Eve. She can summon holy slugs, shoot energy balls and wields a holy sword.
- Cawasen Chiyo: A fellow member of Maho in the cheerleading club.
- Reverse-Panda: A weirdly colored panda that can be found in 100 places throughout the game.
The gameplay consists of simply finding suspects to examine and interact with. There isn't much to it besides using the stylus to guide Akuji's hands as he searches for the girl's witch mark. If a girl is uncovered as a witch, Akuji battles them, and if he wins they give up.
The number of Reverse-Pandas collected at the end of the game unlocks various bonuses including "Extra Episodes" and a "Free Witch Mode" where the player has unlimited time to fondle the game's characters.
Popularity and Criticism
The game received some Western publicity, as many gaming news sources drew attention to its depiction of 12-15 year old girls in thinly-veiled sexual situations. Some criticized it as pedophilic, while others claimed it was a matter of cultural disconnect between Japan and Western countries. Unconcerned, SNK played up the sex appeal of the characters in the game's marketing and merchandise, and continued to do so with its sequel, Doki Doki Majo Shinpan! 2 DUO.