One of Japan's most famous exports, after wagyu beef and sushi, is anime. The creative style of animation is easily identified by its often over-the-top character designs and the splashy colours it displays throughout. Although there are plenty of cartoons in the west, such as The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Looney Tunes, Japan's anime industry has found massive success. hollywoodreporter.com reveals that Japan's anime industry is worth $17.7 billion. This is largely thanks to the success of anime overseas with exports finding international audiences.
With anime going global, it comes as little surprise that it has begun to influence other, internationally popular forms of entertainment, too. Specifically video games, with players loving the ability to interact with the anime worlds that they've enjoyed seeing in a static format.
Best Games and TV Shows and Movies
Unsurprisingly, many of the biggest anime video games are based on existing anime television shows and movies.
There are more than two dozen Dragon Ball games, notes thegamer.com. As you may expect, given the epic battles of the DB shows, many of these are fighting games such as Dragon Ball Evolution and Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z, but there are also inventive mashups such as Dragon Ball Xenoverse, which is a fighting game and RPG which features extensive character customization. While the Dragon Ball video game tie-ins vary in quality, games that have fared far better in terms of critical response are magical adventure Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time (currently at 97% positive on Steam) and both Attack on Titan 1 and 2 (both have "Very Positive" reviews on Steam).
Best Original Anime Games
However, while branded spinoffs may make up the bulk of the anime video game industry, that doesn't mean that there aren't games based on original ideas.
Games such as the Playtech Magical Stacks online slot on slotsjudge.com have used anime themes to entice players. The Japanese influence is clear to see, with characters with big eyes and pink hair featuring on the reels of this slot. The neon-coloured and pixel-shaped design of this slot game is also reminiscent of Japanese video games. Music rhythm action game osu.ppy.sh is another example. It allows players to match shapes to the beat with players able to make their own "beatmaps" and import songs including top 40 hits to songs that you've never even heard of. OSU's backgrounds are decorated with anime characters and with players able to make maps for anime theme tunes too, it has proved to be a hit with anime viewers.
Why Is There So Much Overlap?
The demographics of video game players and anime viewers do seem to overlap heavily and there are many reasons for that. With there being so many game tie-ins to anime shows, it gives each exclusive audience a reason to take notice of the other form of media. The fun themes also lend themselves well to the interactive media.
Because anime themed video games make so much sense, expect to see more of them in future. After all, right next to anime, Japan is also known for its gaming.