Satoshi Inoue is a comedian. That's what has made him famous. But recently, he's becoming better known for something else: An insane number of hours spent in Monster Hunter.
Monster Hunter is a series of games in which the object is to, well, hunt monsters. The games are popular in Japan, but less so abroad. Inoue, like many Japanese gamers, loves them.
Inoue has been called "The most handsome gamer in Japanese comedy," as many comedians play video games. (Inoue is perceived as quite fetching and regularly voted as the most handsome comedian in the country.) By summer 2009, Inoue had racked up 4,904 hours (204 days!) playing Monster Hunter. That number reached 5,400 hours (225 days!) by that October.
What's more impressive is that it's not like Inoue is only playing Monster Hunter. The Okayama native is a fast runner and excels at sports, something he's demonstrated often on television. But there does seem to be an obsessive compulsive element in his personality, whether that's his desire to beat everyone in a 100 meter race or his collection of figurines, which was over 2,500 strong a few years back. I'm just trying to figure out when he ate and slept.
Inoue's hardcore Monster Hunter love earned him a spot in Japanese TV ads for Monster Hunter 3 (-tri). And by the November of that year, Inoue was a part of his agency's newly minted "video game division". It's because of this game division that many more Japanese comedians are appearing in game ads and at game press events, not just for Monster Hunter, but other games, too.
One of the biggest entertainment agencies in Japan, and arguably the biggest for comedians, is Osaka's Yoshimoto Kogyo. The agency manages the country's biggest comedy acts (like Sanma, Downtown, and Ninety-Nine), but also helps develop new talent. It is at once both the William Morris Agency and also the Groundlings. The agency itself is equated with comedy in Japan, especially of the Osaka variety, and it even has its own amusement park.
The 35-year-old funny man, a member of the comedy duo Jicho Kacho, continues to pop up in Monster Hunter commercial after Monster Hunter comercial, currently appearing alongside popstar Maki Goto in a Monster Hunter Portable 3rd HD Ver. TV spot. Earlier this year, a "celebrity" Felyne (those in-game cat people) version of Inoue was released.
According to recent reports, Inoue has racked up over 7,000 hours playing Monster Hunter games. Seven thousand hours. That's 291 days. Play Monster Hunter. Think about it.