Magic Knight Rayearth, Cowboy Bebop, Dragonball Z, Macross: your favorite anime? No... my favorite video games. The video gaming industry in Japan is ultra-large, encompassing all genres and targeting all ages. I'm sure you all know that Sega, Nintendo, and Sony each have their roots in Japan, but did you know that most of your favorite anime and manga series have their video game counterparts? And there are many games created with an anime style without a previously existing story from anime or manga.
Actually, America is quite the same as Japan in its own respect. There must be a strange port of every Disney cartoon available for little kids' enjoyment, but how many college students can stand to play The Little Mermaid or Beauty and the Beast? American game makers sometimes forget the wide range of ages that enjoy becoming a zombie in front of a TV with their favorite game.
With the video gaming industry rooted in Japan, many of our American games are simply translations of Japanese original games. You may not have realized as a kid that Super Mario Brothers, Megaman, Zelda, and Final Fantasy were all created in Japan.
These days, with advances in console technology, we see more and more games having actual voices rather than textual dialogue. Although I disagree with their dub-over policies, I applaud the efforts of Working Designs and other such companies to translate anime-style games. However, many of the best games remain untranslated, most notably half of the Final Fantasy series. Final Fantasy III in America was really Final Fantasy VI in Japan. Squaresoft eventually admitted to this discrepancy by releasing the translation of Final Fantasy VII with the original title. Many people, in their frustrations with the industry for unilaterally deciding to leave many games untranslated, decide to import games directly from Japan. The regional lockouts preventing you from playing Japanese games on American consoles don't help any, either.
My personal road to anime otakuness began with Sega's anime-esque RPGs, including Phantasy Star II, Phantasy Star III, Phantasy Star IV, Lunar: The Silver Star, and Lunar: Eternal Blue. I have fond memories from middle and high school of saving my money for the best games or getting my mom to rent a game every time we went to Blockbuster. These days, even though I'm illiterate in Japanese, only speaking common anime vocabulary, I try my luck at imported, untranslated games, modifying my consoles to defeat the purpose of regional lockout.
So if you are a true otaku, why not try your hand at playing out your favorite anime or manga in the video gaming world?