Reader's Guide to MegaTokyo: MT FAQ

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

#1: 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. Rodney himself is working on a comic of his own, Uberclocked.

#2: 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

#3: What does that Japanese word mean?
You can find most 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.

#4: What happened to the Tsubasa character?
The real person Tsubasa was based on asked to not be a character anymore, so he was written out of the story and didn't come back until Chapter 7. Fred explained this during the Q&A session at a convention panel. (Look under the "Is Tsubasa coming back?" question.)

#5: What's "Endgames"?
Endgames was 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. It was originally referred to as MegaWinter Nights, a parody of Bioware's game NeverWinter Nights, but that name is no longer used.

#6: What font is used in the comic?
"ComicBook," which he got from Precision Type (though you can no longer get it there).

#7: 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.

#8: 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. 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.

#9: 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 substitutions. It predates MegaTokyo, and the exact origin is not known. See the MTFN's lexicon page for a list of letters, and the links page for more l33t resources. The Reader's Guide notes for the individual strips give translations when needed.

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

#11: 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 is 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 shapes their world into their own personal "realities".

#12: Is Miho supernatural? What are her intentions? What illness does she have?
There is less agreement over 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.

#13: Why are the Story and Character pages "being revised"?
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?

Fred has since said that he will get them done when the MegaTokyo website redesign is finished. 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.

#14: How long have Piro and Largo been in Japan?
Here's a quick best-guess timeline:
Strips [10] to [36] - one or two day period
Strip [37] - six week period
Strip [38] to [41] - unknown
Strip [42] to [74] - one day period
Strip [75] to [79] - a few weeks based on comments by Seraphim in [129], Erika in [135] and Yuki in [155]
Strip [80] to end of Chapter 0 - one day period (Sunday)
Each chapter thereafter - one day period

Fred gave his own quick run-down of the timeline in this post:

Chapter 0 - one day @ E3, drunken evening. fly to japan arive next day. Buy stuff, no money to get home. wake up 3rd day in Tsubasa's apartment. Play games for six weeks (so, thats six weeks + 3 days - so lets say 6x7 = 42 days + 3 days = 45 days) Day 45 tsubasa gets irritated. Day 46, piro and largo have money to try to get home. Day 47, broke again, piro leaves to try to figure out what to do. Piro spends the night walking the streets of tokyo. Morning of day 48 (friday) is the railcard incident. Piro deletes his email on day 49, day 50 (saturday) he goes looking for new sketchbook. Chapter 0 ends at the end of day 50 (sunday).
Chapter 1 was day 51 (Monday)
Chapter 2 was day 52 (Tuesday) (wrong week for the zombie attack)
Chapter 3 was a day 53 (Wednesday)
Chapter 4 is day 54 (Thursday)
once the story kicked in, the days started to get a lot longer :) I wouldn't call this canon, by any stretch, i prolly goofed something up, but whatever :) Does it REALLY matter?

Note that the pre-Sunday Chapter 0 is fairly messy in regards to pinning down the actual timeline, but neither is it important to the story to do so. Also, as revealed by the "9" on the spine of the manga book in strip [648], it's September.

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.

#15: 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. Oh, and Ping's hair defaults to gray but changes to match whatever character she's playing if you use her with an EDS compatible PS2 dating sim game.

#16: 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 names in the Reader's Guide notes page for strip [27].

#17: 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.

#18: 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.

#19: What MegaTokyo books are there?
Books 1 though 3 (covering chapters 0 to 4) are available from Dark Horse. There was also a version of book 1 published by Iron Cat (aka IC Entertainment) prior to the Dark Horse version.

#20: When's book 4 coming out?
A date will probably be announced a few months after chapter 6 finishes.

#21: Will there be a MegaTokyo anime?
There are no plans for one. It's probably not even practical.

#22: 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 AmeriManga magazine (issue 4). Fred's current announced plan is to self publish it and sell it through the MegaGear store at some undetermined time in the future.

#23: How does Fred make the strips?
Read up on that in the Reader's Guide notes page for strip [22].

#24: 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.

#25: 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 you're all thinking of Chi, but Chobits had just come out when Ping was created and Fred knew nothing of the series until later on.

#26: 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.

#27: Who are all those different versions of Piro as a girl?
Pirogoeth is Piro's game avatar in Endgames. The name comes from Aribeth of NeverWinter Nights. We're still not too sure how to pronounce it. 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 that probably won't reappear.

#28: What isn't MegaTokyo as funny as it once was?
This is usually blamed on the departure of Rodney/Largo, 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. One 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.

#29: Where can I find info on Fred for this school report I'm writing?
Between the rant columns and the interviews he's done (see the links page) 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.