Bonus Round breaks down the differences between Japanese and American games.
One that should be discussed more.
To answer his last question about why Lord of the Rings doesn't do as well as Harry Potter in Japan. The reason is pretty simple. Lord of the Rings is a very western fantasy steeped in European culture that is based out in a time period (middle ages-esque) that is very unfamiliar to the Japanese. Whereas, Harry Potter though based in England, is about a School boy's adventure in a modern fantasy setting (something a Japanese consumer would be more easily able to attract to). Remember, the Japanese have only been really exposed to Western mainstream culture within the last couple of decades. I am sure there are some of you who have never read the Lord of the Rings, and when you first watched, the movie, you were probably disoriented on where, how, who, and what was going on. It would be 10X worse for a Japanese, who may know what an elf looks like, but don't know they are immortal, or that Dwarfs live in Mountains, or that Mithril is the finest metal to work with (invented by Tolkien) or worse, why there are hobbits, or why magic spells in LOTR do not have particle spell effects like in FF series. Worse, the names such as Isildur or Gandolf, may sound completely foriegn/weird. They simply aren't as educated extensively with a Western curriculum, so most of the cultural and setting contexts are lost. Granted, the same could be said if you watched a Noh drama unfold in a Japanese costume drama. I certainly was when I was in Japan, even though I had studied Japanese for 6+ years.
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