Bayonetta director Hideki Kamiya thinks Japanese devs should be proud of JRPG

Earlier this year, Final Fantasy producer Naoki Yoshida revealed he doesn’t like the term ‘JRPG’, explaining he’s uncomfortable with its use due to the term’s history of being used in a discriminatory way.

Since then, there’s been a lot of debate about whether to continue to use ‘JRPG’ or not, and what we should use instead

Now, Bayonetta director Hideki Kamiya is weighing in on the discussion, as he believes that Japanese developers should be proud of the term, or any label which includes a mention of Japan.

Kamiya explains his opinion in an interview with VGC, in which he speaks alongside Yosuke Matsumura and Yuji Nakao, who both worked on action-platformer The Wonderful One: After School Hero. When asked about their opinions on the term ‘JRPG’, both Kamiya and Nakao say they view it in a positive light.

Kamiya continues and says he believes it’s something Japanese developers should be proud of. He points to manga and its localisation to make his point, highlighting the differences in approach and nuance. “It’s more the unique differences in our culture and how our influences affect our creativity,” he explains, “the fact that Japanese creators have this unique sense when we do create content.”

For Kamiya, ‘JRPG’ is a distinction from ‘RPG’ to be proud of, he says, as it denotes a game that “only Japanese creators can make with their unique sensitivity”. He also says he would be “nothing but proud” if people used the term ‘J-Action’ to describe Bayonetta, as he feels her character is “the essence of our kind of unique creativity as Japanese creators”.

Moving forward, Kamiya says he believes ‘JRPG’ should be celebrated. “Someone should actually aim to make a ‘king of JRPGs’ game to express that,” he says. “As Japanese game creators, we’re very proud of the actual term ‘JRPG’.”

The question of whether we continue to use ‘JRPG’ and what, if anything, we use as its replacement is something which can’t be answered easily, but for now the least we can do is listen to Japanese developers and respect their individual opinions on the term.

We want to celebrate games that have been labelled as JRPGs over the years, so we’ve compiled our list of the 10 best JRPGS you can play.


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