It has been ten years since the Japanese government started chanting, “Cool Japan. ” When the Ministry of Economic, Trade, and Industry launched the “Cool Japan Strategy” in 2010, various Japanese subcultures such as anime, games, and music appeared globally. Under such circumstances, “Cool Japan produced by Chinese people” has recently become popular.
We spoke with Mr. Hiroyuki Minegishi, the representative of MYC JAPAN, who is familiar with the game situation in China. What does “Cool Japan created by Chinese people” mean?
“It’s called a” Japanese game made in China, “and it’s a Japanese-style game produced by a Chinese company. Representative works include” Azul Lane, “Collapse Academy, “and” Haragami, “which you can play on your smartphone or computer.
It may not be evident to those interested in games, but the streets are full of advertisements for these works, and I see them unknowingly. For example, “Azur Lane” was talked about last year when singer Takanori Nishikawa “turned into a beautiful girl” and appeared in a TV commercial.
In the advertisement on the door inside the train on the JR Yamanote Line, the character of the same work appears as a guide for the interview program. From the character’s visuals, story setting, advertisement development, etc., “Chinese-made Japanese games” look like games for Japanese people. Still, Japan is just one of the markets, and it is being developed worldwide, such as Asia, Europe, and the United States.
“Genshin” was released at the end of September last year, but according to US app research company App Annie, it has been the number one mobile game sales company in the world for three consecutive months. If you don’t know anything, you might think that games made by Japanese manufacturers are popular all over the world. Still, the reality is that Chinese companies are researching and developing “Cool Japan.”
The most significant feature of “Japanese games made in China” is that Japanese voice actors are appointed in every country. Overseas users listen to Japanese conversations with their ears, even though they do not understand the meaning, and understand the conversations by looking at the displayed subtitles. Enjoy the game by following the lines with your eyes. Why do Chinese companies have such specifications? “In 2013, a work called” the Aura Kingdom “produced by a Taiwanese game company was released in mainland China.
The Chinese company that purchased the release right made a plan and dared to release it in Japan. It was sold like a Japanese game with the voice of a human voice actor and music by a Japanese composer. This was a great success in China. ”
The user of the game is Chinese and does not understand Japanese. Even so, the appointment of a Japanese voice actor instead of a Chinese voice actor was successful. Looking for the reason, the story goes back to the 1990s.
“At that time, Japanese pirated anime and games were coming in via Hong Kong in China, and it was customary for Chinese fans to listen to the voices of Japanese voice actors and understand the content with subtitles. By appointing human voice actors, we were able to bring anime fans into the game.”
In the 2000s, popular works such as “Slam Dunk” and “Dragon Ball” influx one after another. Similarly, pirated versions have appeared in Europe and the United States, and there is also a so-called “fansub” that anime fans have subtitled on their own. Sub means subtitle (subtitle). When Japanese people see Western movies, is it the same psychology as watching them with subtitles instead of dubbing? Initially, it was a “Japanese game made in China” made for the domestic market in China, but from around 2018, it will expand to the whole world.
“At this time, due to the circumstances of the Chinese government, the examination of new games stopped, making it difficult to release games in China, and manufacturers had to find a way overseas. Was released all over the world and was reimported to the Japanese market.”
At the same time, “Chinese-made Western games” like the Western games, such as “AFK Arena,” were also released. Many were born. It seems to be China that swallows all cultures and reproduces them in their own country. Chinese game makers have large budgets, and it is common to spend twice as much as Japan for games of the same level. When it comes to significant works, it is said that a budget of about 50 million yuan (about 800 million yen) will be attached. Naturally, Japanese companies are also developing games for the global market.
The game is now cross-border, but it needs to be “tuned” to fit the market. “The game “Fate / Grand Order” by Aniplex under Sony has been released worldwide, but because the historical figures of each country fight against each other, the names of characters and special moves are used in each country.
The visual adjustment of the character is made. It is a work called “naturalization.” In Europe and the United States, expressions that lead to the sexual exploitation of children are strictly restricted, and childish characters have an appearance, clothes, and story settings. In China, while these expressions are relatively generous, the term of exposed women’s skin is strict, and modifications such as increasing the cloth area of the character’s swimsuit are made.
The same is true in Islamic countries where the skin exposure is severe, and there is almost no game that can be released by direct import as it is.” Japanese game made in China” seems that China has taken stock of Cool Japan. However, the work itself is original, not a copy or a round Sakurai. I want Japanese game makers to do their best to compete with “Japanese games made in China.” Interview/text / Tadashi Nishitani (writer)