Manga and Online Gaming: A Budding Relationship?
The world of Manga is embedded in the very roots of Japanese culture, in much the same way that the world of ramen, onsen, and (nowadays) the bullet train is. The world of gambling, though, has not always been associated so readily with Japan (their love of the vivid and brightly realized world of Pachinko aside). Indeed, the wider world of gambling has only recently been able to hit the mainstream after being considered more widely legal in Japan.
With Japan in 2017 starting to seriously embrace gambling in all of its forms, especially online, the question now focuses on whether the increased ease of online gambling in the country helps to encourage the production of more and more Japanese-themed slot games and casino animations, and, in turn, whether Manga becomes a hugely successful part of the casino world.
If this pattern does emerge, it could well help to increase the popularity of online gambling in Japan whilst building on the cult following Japanese culture has across the globe. Take the world of animation as an example of how this can happen. Anime and Manga have had a significant impact on the genre as a whole, with shows like Pokemon and even older shows like Thundercats impacted upon by Japanese animation.
Impacting or Impacted Upon?
While Thundercats was certainly impacted upon by Manga, is it always such a one-sided trend of Manga providing the inspiration? Look more closely at the world of anime and the huge worldwide following of it and Manga (with Manga titles like Naruto, Dragonball and Uzumaki all boasting huge popularity and The Guardian even offering to help introduce adults to children’s Manga comics to help them get their kids into reading), and it becomes less and less clear whether the more prominent trend is the world of Manga and anime being impacted upon by western culture as it becomes a more global phenomenon.
While trends change all the time, there are good barometers for gaining insight into which culture is being absorbed and impacted on by the other, and one of these is through assessing emerging markets. As previously noted, gambling is starting to become easier globally, not just in Japan, and online gambling companies like William Hill Casino Online are starting to create and tailor websites specifically aimed at the Japanese market. At the moment, the games are far more Western-themed, with popular titles like Robocop, Superman, and The Flintstones all featured on the Japanese William Hill website. However, if online gaming becomes more and more popular in Japan, then surely this will start to change to more Manga and Anime-based games.
At the moment, on other iGaming sites not aimed solely at Japanese gamers, there are already games with Manga/anime themes, but these don’t consistently seem to be making their way into the Japanese-specific sites. Should this change and they start to turn Superman or Robocop into more Manga-drawn characters, we will know that the world of Manga is starting to have a new and wider audience after forming a blossoming relationship with the world of online casino.