Western vs Eastern Game Characters: Muscles vs Moe



The CEO of Nintendo has recently made some interesting comments to the effect that he is glad his predecessor dared to defy the advice of his American advisors and not turn Pokémon into muscle-bound monstrosities, because “Monsters can’t be cute.”

Of course, we all know how well Pokémon turned out, but what about games where the wisdom of American marketing prevailed and the characters were redesigned to meet the exacting standards of Western tastes? You can see some examples below…


Via Hachimaki.

This continues even to this day, with at times disturbing results

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    Comment by lolicon
    14:41 19/05/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    American have bad taste in art and moe..

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:27 13/07/2016 # ! Neutral (0)

    True..... Super Famicom = Awesome. SNES = Cheesy.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:35 13/07/2016 # ! Neutral (0)

    There's an article on how the CIA planned and was able to successfully change people's perception through the media by making bad ugly things seem as "attractive and good". Example: People wearing baggy pants, how? In jail gay prostitutes are called "punk ass bitches", they are the ones originally known to wear baggy clothing, media made that look "cool", idiots on the street start wearing baggy clothing to imitate gay prostitutes in jail. "Cause it's cool" according to MTV. Rap music, why? It's monotonous, it boasts violence, promiscuity, drug use, makes crime look "good". Rap started as a way to protest against those very same things, it was taken over and now is promoted all over as "cool". So many examples, look it up if you don't believe it.

    Comment by Nimas
    22:45 19/05/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    As usual, america fails.... hard!

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:32 11/07/2016 # ! Neutral (0)

    Cry more bitch weeaboo

    Comment by Riiku
    20:02 19/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    There was an articale on Sankaku regarding character design of Gears of War vs. Final Fantasy

    So let's see, the eastern characters are cute, beautiful, and strong.

    The western characters are also strong, but, well, ugly.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:48 20/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Japanese characters often don't LOOK strong, though. By that I mean the stereotypical moe/bishi ones. Yet they often still have powers equal to superman.

    the stereotype is supposed to be:

    America - ugly and strong looking
    Japan - pretty and weak looking

    but both can level buildings

    Avatar of hide1000
    Comment by hide1000
    14:13 01/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    this is because american culture and japanese culture are different.
    Just like a in conversational exchange, americans (or western cultures in general) send and receive most of the messages in the form words; whereas japanese (or eastern cultures in general) send and receive a majority of the messages in the form of non-verbal movements.
    West = more direct (generally)
    East = more indirect (generally)
    E.g: A salesperson is selling a piece of crap to an American (or person from western cultures) and a Japanese (of person from eastern culture). Neither of them want it. When the salesperson asks whether the American want to buy it, he will tell the salesperson no in a very direct way. But if the salesperson asks the Japanese if he wants it, he will most likely say something like "Uh, I'll think about it. Thank you."
    In the example, the Japanese doesn't reject the offer directly because he wants to save face for the salesperson. And there's no such thing as saving face for others for the American.
    This tells Japaneses are more rounded and soft; and Americans are rigid and hard.

    Avatar of Strife
    Comment by Strife
    19:07 19/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)


    Comment by King of Hentai Gods
    Comment by :3
    21:05 19/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    moe all the way~

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:29 19/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    ICO looks like shit in the American cover version.

    Too bad, since that game was great.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:19 19/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Athena is also a good example. Check HG101 for arcade flyers.

    Avatar of Katameido
    Comment by MaidNiac
    00:56 20/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)


    Yea.., 40yo Athena impostors on steroids..

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:49 20/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    that's one of the times when I'd say muscle worked out better than moe, even though it ignores the iconic look of a classic character. I'd love to have owned that box art as a kid... heheh

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:44 19/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'd play that US bomberman over bomberman act zero

    Avatar of aprilius20
    Comment by aprilius20
    14:56 19/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Like, eww. Interesting comparison, though... and a good warning to Japanese companies: Don't sell out!

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:48 19/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Suikoden (PSX) boxart makes me want to puke :)

    Comment by Atomsk
    14:01 19/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    MOE for president!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Saito
    Comment by halotoo
    16:13 19/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hey musclekun meet moechan

    9 month later came out


    Avatar of metatron
    Comment by metatron
    00:23 20/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)


    Avatar of GHS
    Comment by GHS
    16:20 19/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hahaha, the american Rockman and the Breath of Fire's 'Conan the Barbarian' clone expressions are priceless.

    Comment by Deathy
    00:26 20/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Moe moe kyun?
    And god, I didn't knew about the BoF 2 one...

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:27 28/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ok here's a test.

    Which to you is "Gayer"

    1 a) A Dating sim where you try to win the hearts of 5 different types of Bishoujo.

    1 b) A game where you play a musclebound he man from a planet of musclebound hemen thrusting your giant sword into other musclebound he men...and not a woman in sight.

    2 a) A volleyball sports game with women in bikinis

    2 b) A game where 10 sweaty men pile onto each other trying to grab balls

    Comment by Vetus
    04:39 02/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Inspirited by this article I made this thread on ASSEMblergames.com:

    Of course, there are a lot of ppl there who prefered the american covers that the japanese ones but...you can't blame them for their bad taste. :P

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:47 20/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The EU version of Ico has the original cover.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:28 08/02/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    thus explaining our higher birthrate

    Avatar of Ben
    Comment by Ben
    22:53 04/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah... I'm reminded of a very awful Megaman box art which may very well have been a redesign. At least today they don't do that (for the most part).

    Both of those ICO boxes look cool to me.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:23 19/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Fuck American box art. Fuck them taking away the Japanese voices. Fuck them ruining Japanese games in the American releases period. Fuck them for making region codes, making updates which disable region unlocking, and making stores not carry imports, modded consoles, or freeloaders. Fuck them for not making enough copies of the games they make.

    Fuck them for making us beg and plead and bend over backwards just to let us enjoy the games we want to play and the way we want to play them.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:58 07/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    If both american and japanese both gets profit from each other, it doesn't really matter. it's all about the money.

    Avatar of Gatsby
    Comment by maga
    05:09 20/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The Japanese box art is way better...

    Avatar of repure
    Comment by repure
    02:44 20/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    lol at the "minna no golf" image!
    i can imagine those older games being westernized but when i saw that it was made for the ps3 i just had my when will they learn moment..

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:12 20/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    After the first Hot Shots Golf game I lost ALL my interest in the series BECAUSE of the box art... I thought the entire game looked like that. It was only when the PSP version was released and I actually looked at the game in action that I noticed...


    Gah, when will people learn...

    Avatar of X_FANG
    Comment by X_FANG
    23:27 24/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    it's okay to be stupid... stupidity is a genetic sickness(muscle n gay loving included), everyone will forgive you...

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:53 20/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    ...WHY DO I LIVE IN AMERICA??!!!! WHY???!!!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:50 20/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Because its your home!!!! in reality most countries wouldnt want you in their country so be grateful you have one : /

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:54 20/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'll take moe any day over those froggish hypermasculine freaks.

    Avatar of Enix
    Comment by Enix
    23:35 21/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    the megaman one is epic xD

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:46 20/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    sorry, my moe loving brethren... but I have to go with the BOF2 american artwork *instantly gets transformed into a troll*. I don't know maybe it's just nostalgia from seeing that box so much on the rental racks and being such a fan of the conan the barbarian cartoon (I think I even made that connection the first time I saw the box as a kid). C'mon is there really no one here who actually owned that box back then? Instead I'm finding people who had "no idea". Did you first play the game in rom form? You're making me feel old.

    Personally, I'm a fan of more muscular anime characters, like those from Street Fighter. And Richter Belmont was the best looking Castlevania character before that bishi artist got to him too, but I'd even take the NES works over some of the characters it has today. Characters in anime that are too moe, especially in the wrong context, come off as "market research" for me.

    But I'm still against publishers changing someone's work just because of the belief that it'll make the title sell better in their territory. It's like censorship. That's what's really wrong with this.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:41 19/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The new worst boxart of all time is definitely the one for the US version of Super Robot Taisen OG Saga: Mugen no Frontier. THe Mega Man boxart was far less of an atrocity in comparison.

    Avatar of tB
    Comment by t//B
    08:25 19/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah.. The packaging on that dungeon game is one MAJOR reason why I didn't pick it up.

    If they'd kept the original box, I would have, though.

    Also, I am utterly distraught at how they swapped out the ico box art. Fuck you america. Fuck you.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:28 19/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Those two golf games aren't even the same game. WTF?

    Avatar of Welkin
    Comment by Duero
    08:21 19/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I would say thay sure not every one don´t buy game only for the box cover but I think that many are like me. When you walk in a game store to buy games, you some time happen to buy a game becuse the box cover appeald to u in some way when u where there and looked for a new game even if u never heard if the game you got atracted to it by the box cover.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:17 19/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    If only there was a middle ground. Something between roid rage, vein popping western art, and frighteningly androgynous, feminine manboy eastern art.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:21 19/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    anon fight! anon fight!

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:33 19/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    You mean your mom?

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:21 19/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's not even a viable insult.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:35 19/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah, that's what she said.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:33 19/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Why not have both?!

    Use reversable covers. Then, gals can have their bishie pretty-boys, and guys can have their tightly-packed, overmuscled, throbbing-veined, .... (hmmm, I just realized that description kinda sounded pornographic and/or gay) .... 1950s-science-fiction-cover-art-styled super Action HEROES!

    I liked the reversable covers which came with the Mahoromatic DVDs. On one side, a reasonably PG-ish cover which wouldn't raise parental eyebrows, and on the other side, an ecchified version.

    Comment by Sosei
    08:44 19/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm amused that even though Mega Man has an arm cannon built in, he somehow ends up with a gun.

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