***Update 1 – 2017-07-13 – 17:30 CEST***
I am sorry that it took me a bit of time before I could find some new info about the case with “Senran Kagura” and it’s said upcoming self-censorship, but now I got some very positive news to share you guys and girls. You see, Kenichiro Takaki has commented on this matter, and this is what he said via Twitter today:
“I’d like to make it clear that it is not my intention to tone down the content in Senran Kagura overseas.” – Kenichiro Takaki
However, before you start celebrating like crazy over that statement, then you better read this part by Takaki as well:
“If age rating boards require changes to allow a release, we will have to comply. But otherwise, I want everyone to enjoy the same content!” – Kenichiro Takaki
So we’re half-way home safe, sort of, because “if” the Western age rating boards tell Marvelous Games and Tamsoft that they will have to tone down the lewd content in “Senran Kagura”. Then they will have to accept that request. Simply put, there will be no self-censorship or alterations of the “Senran Kagura” series as long as the Western age rating boards don’t tell Tamsoft and Marvelous Games to make any changes of that kind (let’s hope for the best).
I would also like to point out that it appears as if the self-censorship part from Playstation lifestyle’s article about Kenichiro Takaki and “Senran Kagura” might have been taken out of context (Playstation lifestyle has commented on the matter in their brand-new interview with Kenichiro Takaki today). Because in Siliconera’s interview with Kenichiro Takaki (the interview was done on the 28th of June this year) you got a completely different picture of what Takaki meant with his statement about “Senran Kagura” and the said self-censorship part:
While you are known in the West for creating Senran Kagura, you also made Half-Minute Hero and the Japan-only music game IA/VT. What other kinds of games do you want to create?
“I want to continue the Senran Kagura and Valkyrie Drive series. Recently, I had my first child and now that I have a child of my own maybe now it is time I want to challenge myself to make a family oriented game”. – Kenichiro Takaki
What can you tell us about this family game you’re thinking of?
“Maybe it will be something similar to the Pretty Cure series in Japan. I’ve always been a fan of Sailor Moon so maybe something about magical girls or girls that fight in battle, but without the fanservice aspects” – Kenichiro Takaki
So when you read through that interview with Takaki, and check his and Marvelous Games response tweets about “Senran Kagura” and the said upcoming self-censorship, then you get a complete different picture from the one that you got from Playstation lifestyle’s article. So I hope that this update has cleared up any potential worries or questions that you guys and girls might have had about “Senran Kagura” and censorship previously.
Kenichiro Takaki part 1
Kenichiro Takaki part 2
Interview with Senran Kagura Producer Kenichiro
I had this creepy sense of deja vu when I heard the story about “Senran Kagura” and its risk of being affected by self-censorship in the future, because for the last couple of weeks, I’ve been told the following things; 1. There is no such thing as censorship in games 2. SJWs don’t exist and “SJW” is just a buzz word, 3. No one is going to take your games away and 4. (this is my all time personal favorite) You are just being paranoid and delusional.
Well, long story short, since I have written about “SJWs“, “censorship” and “political correctness” for over three years time now. I’ve gotten to learn quite a lot about each said subject. So based on my own experiences I have to say that censorship, political correctness and the SJW nonsense does indeed exist for real in the games industry.
That’s also why I can’t say that I’m surprised to hear that the “Senran Kagura” game series might end up being self-censored by Tamsoft. Well, at least that’s the vibes that I got from the interview that PlayStation LifeStyle did with Senran Kagura’s producer Kenichiro Takaki (the interview was done just recently, on the 11th of July to be exact):
“And speaking with PlayStation LifeStyle’s own Tyler Treese, Senran Kagura Producer Kenichiro Takaki mentioned that he has considered toning down the bustiness and sexuality of the game’s female characters. Asked whether he and/or the studio have considered an option for toning down the game’s busty females, Kenichiro had this to say
A little bit. The game started out very small and that was the big selling point in order to move units. Now that the franchise has grown, and is getting more popular, it might be worth considering having features that differ depending on where it’s being sold. That way it might be able to sell better in certain regions where it would be problematic to have that kind of content”. – Kenichiro Takaki, via PlayStation LifeStyle
I did also notice another thing. You see, it seems like the main reason behind Takaki’s idea of self-censorship in “Senran Kagura” is because of game reviewers who have given the games a bad grade due to its lewd content (a big thanks to those said reviewers…):
“However, there are also reviews that ignore the games due to the sexual content, and write it off from the start, so those aren’t very helpful. If you’re going to write it off due to a main component then that game just isn’t for you, and that review isn’t really useful as feedback” – Kenichiro Takaki
So by the looks of it, Kenichiro Takaki would like to tone down the bustiness and sexuality of the game’s female characters in the “Senran Kagura” series in-order to sell more games and to get better game scores (especially in the parts of the world where Senran Kagura’s lewd content would be considered as “problematic“, aka “the West”). Well…I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the sound of this at all, because if there is anything that I’ve learned from covering video game censorship in the past.
Then it is the fact that once a game developer has started to censor their own games, then it’s just going to get far worse over time. So I truly hope that the “Senran Kagura” series won’t end up like “Street Fighter V“, “Fire Emblem: Fates“, “Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE” and “Dead or Alive Xtreme 3” did…
And for those who might not be familiar with “Senran Kagura”, here’s a list of the released games in the series so far:
Senran Kagura games:
Senran Kagura: Skirting Shadows – Nintendo 3DS (Japan – 2011-09-11)
Senran Kagura Burst – Nintendo 3DS (Japan – 2012-08-30 )
Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus – PSV (Japan – 2013-02-28) and PC (2016-06-01)
Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson – Nintendo 3DS (Japan – 2014-08-07)
Senran Kagura: Estival Versus – PS4, PSV (Japan – 2015-03-25) and PC (2017-03-17)
Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash – PS4 (Japan – 2017-03-16)
Anyways, let’s get back on topic again shall we? As I was saying, once the story about “Senran Kagura” and it’s hinted self-censorship injection became publicly known. Then it didn’t take long before Gamers (and fans) from all over the world started to question the idea of self-censorship in the “Senran Kagura” universe:
In a strange kind of way, all of this made me think about the fact that there might actually be a lewd war in the near future (I will fight the good fight in the name of lewd content!). I mean, the meme war is already very much alive and kicking. So “if” the censorship of lewd games continues, and becomes even worse with time. Then who knows? Then we might get a lewd war as well (I don’t want to live in a “Shimoneta“-like world), and on a personal level I don’t even get why you would want to censor or tone down a game like “Senran Kagura” in the first place. As it’s pretty darn obvious that the lewd content plays a big part in the gameplay experience (it would make just as much sense as removing all the blood, gore, killing and Metal music from “Brutal Doom“). Sure, Kenichiro Takaki did explain his reasoning behind wanting to do so to “Senran Kagura”, but I just feel like there is more to it than just that.
Furthermore, I feel like Takaki is playing with fire, because if Tamsoft makes the call to censor or tone down “Senran Kagura”. Then I’m almost 100% sure that they are going to lose both sales and fans all over the world (those who aren’t fans of the series won’t even buy the games anyways, so why even bother to pander to them?).
It’s also worth pointing out that Marvelous Games (the European publishers of the “Senran Kagura” series) have stated that they have no plans to censor or tone down the content in “Senran Kagura” (as seen in the picture above and down below). In other words, if the “Senran Kagura” games end up being censored or toned down in the future, then it’s not Marvelous Games fault. So where exactly does this leave us? Well, It’s hard to say, since it’s Tamsoft and Kenichiro Takaki that makes these calls. So we just have to wait and see how it all turns out.
As for here and now though, I’m going to try to get in touch with Marvelous Games, Tamsoft and Kenichiro Takaki for a comment on this matter (wish me luck!). It would also be a good idea if everyone let Kenichiro Takaki know that we don’t want any censorship in the “Senran Kagura” series, so feel free to drop him a tweet or two via his Twitter handle @KenichiroTakaEn (let’s make him remember that “tits are life” and “ass is hometown”!).
And with that said, what’s your take on this matter? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section down below!
Best mom Eva
Marvelous Games part 1
Marvelous Games part 2
A message to Japanese game developers from an US game developer
This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground´s) opinions.
Robin “V-Act” Ek
Editor in chief
The Gaming Ground
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