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Japanese Anime Influences in Gaming Posted Mar 11, 2021

The spread of Japanese culture to the western world has been remarkable. Although travel to Japan in 2021 may be difficult, there are still lots of ways that people in the UK and America can still enjoy what Japanese culture has to offer. Of course, the greatest Japanese import occurred in the 1990s with the Nintendo game consoles. Pokémon, Donkey Kong and Super Mario can all be credited to the fantastic Japanese video game makers. The spread of the Nintendo games console in the 90s and 2000s from east to west brought a wave of Japanese inspired animation. The 2010s witnessed a huge rise in Japanese Anime in the west too which continues to this day.

Japanese animation dates to 1917 but it wasn’t until the 1980s when anime saw international success due to dubbed and subtitled programming. In 2021, it is evident that Japanese animation has influenced many different industries and across the world and continues to do so. The globalization of anime has now directly influenced two of the biggest industries in the world – video gaming and iGaming. An ever-growing number of video games and online slot games now have their roots traced back to Japanese anime. There is also an increasing number of gambling related anime’s too including Death Parade and Saki.

As such, we will look at the most well-known video games in 2021 which have been influenced by anime.

Dynasty Warriors

Dynasty Warriors, Sangokumusō in Japanese, is a successful series of action hack and slash video games. First released in 1997 by Japanese video game developers Omega Force and Koei, the series has now sold over 21 million copies worldwide. The first instalment of the franchise was released for PlayStation. Later instalments in the series were released for Nintendo, Xbox, Windows and Mobile phone devices. Spinoffs in the series includes One Piece: Pirate Warriors, One Piece Kaizoku Musou in Japanese, which is based on the anime and manga One Piece. The first game was followed by three sequels, all of which are based on the anime. Unsurprisingly, the game proved to be extremely popular among fans of the anime series in both Japan and abroad.

Another spinoff from the Dynasty Warrior series is Arslan: The Warriors of Legend which was released in 2015 and based on the novel which was later adapted into an anime television series called The Heroic Legend of Arslan. Although not hugely successful, the game was released for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 as well as the Xbox One. The final anime inspired game in the Dynasty Warriors series was released in 2010. Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage, Hokuto Musou in Japanese, is based on the well-known anime series Fist of the North Star. By far the most violent game in the series, this title stayed true to the highly graphic and violent fight scenes in the original anime. It was even followed by a sequel which was made to celebrate the anime’s 30th anniversary.

Koi Princess

Koi Princess is a slot game developed by NetEnt which is based and inspired directly by the anime art style. This is one of several anime influenced low variance slots and is especially popular in the United Kingdom. Although not based on any one anime or manga, Koi Princess utilizes Asian pop culture to create a unique and fun slot. Released in 2015, Koi Princess can be played on both desktop and mobile phones. A Japanese theme runs throughout the entirety of the game and the fabulously drawn anime character will accompany players. The sounds will be familiar to Anime fans too.

Tales of Phantasia

Tales of Phantasia is one of the most popular releases in The Tales series of video games released Bandai Namco Entertainment. The series begun in 1995 and has since spawned multiple spin off games. The Tales video game series proved so popular that multiple Tales games generated manga and anime series. Tales of Phantasia is a role-playing game which was initially released for the PlayStation in 1998. The game was tough but rewarding and required the user to take part in lots of sword fighting. A relatively short anime series based on the game called Tales of Phantasia: The Animation was released in 2004. Both versions of Tales of Phantasia are worth your time - in the anime, there are lots of scenes which you will not find in the game.

Although the most-well known RPG from Japan remains the Final Fantasy series of video games, playing The Tales of Series offers a great dealer of nostalgia for many gamers.


The Pokémon video game created the anime series which is now the most successful video game adaption of all time. Spanning 20 seasons with over 1,000 episodes, the Pokémon anime as well as the video games are known worldwide. The series remains popular and Nintendo, the developers of Pokémon continue to release new games in 2021. Since Pokémon was created in 1996, the franchise is thought to have made a total revenue of $100 billion primarily through licensed merchandise. Although Pokémon did not originally spawn from anime, the creator Satoshi Tajiri did take some of his ideas from Japanese animation when he was creating Pokémon Red and Green. Tajiri also drew inspiration from Godzilla and Ultraman and once stated that if he did not design video games, he would most likely be working in the field of anime.

Sakura Fortune

The Sakura Fortune slot game is another which takes its inspiration from Japan. You will find Buddhist monks, fire breathing dragons and beautiful Japanese women as you pave your way through the game. It was created by Quickspin to appeal to anime and manga supporters and it has done a decent job. The national flower of Japan is the cherry blossom which is also known as Sakura – hence the name. We hope and expect that Sakura Fortune will be updated soon to showcase even more from Japan’s culture. The game is a little bit outdated but with a little anime added to it, it is likely to spruce the online slot back up again.

Anime in 2021

Despite the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, anime events are still managing to continue across the world. Furthermore, new anime’s continue to be released to provide entertainment to the population who have had to spend more time in-doors. We hope that Absolute Anime has been able to provide you with entertainment too during these tough times. If there is anything you would like us to write about, please drop us an email.

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