When you show a game like SENRAN KAGURA to the public, you never know what to expect. Fans usually have a pretty good idea, but when general audiences happen by, no two people’s reactions are the same.
I’ve helped demo the series at four different E3’s now, and we’ve had some great takes from various people over the years. The first year, a trio of professional voice actresses walked up and staged an impromptu performance, reading out the Hanzō girls’ lines in character. We’ve met fans who knew the Japanese versions’ fighting mechanics backwards and forwards, and would grill us with questions on the details. (Thanks for the help with that, Jason!) Other memorable quotes from random passersby have included, “This is officially my favorite game now,” “Is this Sailor Moon?”, “Woo, I wish this were real!”, and, from a few different people, just, “Whoa!”
But surprisingly enough, only once have I ever been asked, “Why do their clothes come off?”
I remember the guy who asked me that. Didn’t get his name. He had a British accent, a beard about like mine, and a confused look on his face. “Is this some Japanese thing that doesn’t translate?” he added.
Not wanting to argue with a guest on the show floor, I said, “Well, we do our best to bring over the Japanese games our fans ask us for, so we like to let them decide whether it translates or not.” (As a side note, let me thank all of you reading this, for showing us that it translates pretty well.)
Whenever I write an SK blog, I usually end up talking about the story and characterization, because that’s the part of the game I work on the most. That’s not to ignore or downplay all the fanservice, of course, but rather to show that the series has other things going for it too.
Part of the reason I like working on this series so much, and part of what sets it apart in its own sort of niche, is that it finds a way to be both a heartfelt story about friendship, hardship, and adventure, and a fun, sexy playground, without one taking away from the other. You could have a game like this without the fanservice, or a fanservice-only version that didn’t include the story, and either would be fine for what they were, but putting them together makes the series unique.
So with that in mind, there’s no better day than launch day to thank the fans. Whether you’re here for the series’ heart and soul, for its life and hometown, or for all of the above, we hope you’ll enjoy the good times that Peach Beach Splash is here to offer.