It's fair to say that we're not the only Nintendo website out there, and over the years we've been in close contact with the webmasters of what many people would deem to be 'rival' sites (that's not really the case and we like to think we've always maintained a positive relationship with other Nintendo sites).
One such site was Japanese Nintendo, which provided translations and up-to-date news on events in the Far East and was often used as a source for news stories here on Nintendo Life. Sadly, we have to report that the site's owner, Brian Cooper, has passed away.
Despite reporting on Japanese events, Brian wasn't actually based in Japan (although we assumed he was for many years, such was the timeliness and accuracy of his reporting). He was, like us, based in the UK, and grew up in Nottingham, just up the road from the Nintendo Life HQ.
A regular face at press events held by Nintendo UK, Brian was well-known to the Nintendo community – and instantly recognizable, thanks to the fact that he had a massive Zelda tattoo on his neck (a sign of his devotion to all things Nintendo).) What made Japanese Nintendo even more amazing was the fact that Brian had been running it single-handedly.
When Brian announced back in April 2020 that the site – which began life under the moniker Japanese 3DS – "was no longer commercially viable", it seemed like the end of an era. However, despite his claims that the site wouldn't be updated as much, he continued to post updates right up to November 27th, 2020 – the day of his passing, as confirmed by his family.
To pay tribute to Brian, we've asked some of his closest friends within the Nintendo community to contribute messages to this post.
Richard Atkinson, My Nintendo News
Brian's commitment to bring breaking Nintendo news from Japan, his warm attention to detail when it came to informing the Nintendo community and his continuous efforts to bring us all together around the thing we love the most are just some of the things that make his passing so very hard for everyone.
I had the pleasure of meeting Brian at Nintendo HQ in Windsor, and it was like meeting a celebrity. I had followed his work for years and sourced his news on a weekly basis – he never let any detail go unmissed but he never stood in the spotlight, he just did his thing, day in, day out. I remember fondly tucking into a McDonald's lunch after playing games at Nintendo where we spoke at length about the industry.
His love for Nintendo poured over in every sentence he spoke and in every story he told. It always came back to the passion of writing about and reporting on a company he adored. His collection of Zelda tattoos said it all, he lived and breathed Nintendo.
Rest in peace, Brian. I will never forget meeting you. I'm sorry that we never did get to meet in your hometown as planned, but you will continue to be a beacon of inspiration to me and to many, many others.
You will be missed.
Jon Cartwright, Nintendo Life
Brian was a driving force for positivity in gaming and the Nintendo community simply won't be the same without him. Translating Japanese interviews can often be a minefield but Brian was always there to set the record straight with his respectful and accurate interpretations. Japanese Nintendo quickly became a go-to source for many across the industry and we've lost a valuable talent. Beyond that, we've lost an incredible person.
Rest in Peace, Brian.
Jack Longman, EiC of Miketendo64
Brian Cooper might not have been the founder of @Japanese3DS, but in time he would take it over and become the huge driving force behind it and later evolve it into Japanese Nintendo.
As a journalist and a Nintendo fan, the man was relentless. He would tirelessly work all day and night to bring Nintendo news to the world and would often always be the first to do so. He was a legend at what he did, a fantastic video games journalist, a fantastic man and an even better friend. I have been a fan of his work for such a long time and it was a privilege to know him.
He was a kind and caring person who really dedicated himself to Nintendo and the Nintendo community. A true superstar and I will never forget my time with him. We attended Nintendo events together and watching him play Ring Fit Adventure was the best thing ever.
He was such a joy to be around and outside of our interactions on Twitter, we would keep in touch via phone calls and messages. It has devastated me to hear of his passing for we have all lost an incredible person. A pillar to the Nintendo community, a dedicated reporter, and most importantly, a dear personal friend.
I have a hard time coming up with things to say when a person passes. Often, I’m overwhelmed by the pure rush of emotions that it’s usually impossible to process what truly has happened.
Brian Cooper, who I first go to know as Bri Bri, was a good friend, and I truly miss him. We bounded really early in both of our web content creation careers. We fought together on issues like proper sourcing, collaborated on multiple occasions, and listened to each other.
I’ve had the distinct pleasure of knowing Bri Bri since August 2015. Brian always gave it his all, no matter what. If there was ever a perfect embodiment of the Japanese word, “Ganbaru” (sometimes translated as “doing one’s best”) it would be Brian. He often stayed awake at insane hours of the day, as if he was set out on a mission by the gods themselves – to deliver the news to everyone in the world. While he often struggled and face a lot of hardships, he always tried his damn best.
Bri Bri was a pretty optimistic person – he had a lot of hope that things would improve or would work out. He was always extremely passionate about his interests, even creating a fan site for Toad. He cared a lot for the general Nintendo gaming community, and there is a huge hole where his heart was.
Let’s all do our best to properly honour Brian. We miss you.
Brian's family and friends are very much in our hearts and minds at this difficult time.