Even for those who have never visited the country – or cannot even point it on a map – Japan heralds visions of cherry blossoms, formal tea ceremonies, throbbing music and a menu of sushi, sashimi and ramen.
The towering presence, however, is that of anime. Like most modern cultural forms in Japan, anime has a long history – before the advent of film, one of the most popular forms of entertainment was colourful painted panels moving across the projection screen, a sort of magic lantern show. The first anime films date back to 1906, followed by various films, even used as a form of propaganda.
In the 1980s, Japanese anime went through a renewal, heralded by a new generation of directors, like Hayao Miyazaki, founder of Studio Ghibli. Miyazaki helped popularise anime throughout the world, with his films watched by an international audience, and even winning the Oscar for best animated film for Spirited Away. This internationalisation continued in the 1990s, when anime series such as Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon became massive exports.
Nowadays, anime is also a huge influence on online gambling and online casino slots. The plots involving magic realms, hope and bravery are being translated into storylines for online games. Not only that, but the visual aspect of anime, which are often enchanting and colourful, also influence online gambling and how the Japanese gamble.
The pachinko slot industry has also contributed to the popularity of anime. Enter a pachinko parlour and what immediately strikes you is the row upon row of pachinko machines, emitting pulsating light, colour and the sound of animated voices. And at the centre of each machine is usually a screen playing segments of the latest anime.
According to the Animation Industry Report released by the Association of Japanese Animations, the anime market was valued at over two trillion yen in 2018 – which is over $19 billion. Among the largest contributors to this value were overseas sales, animation goods and in third place, with a contribution of over 280 billion yen, was pachinko.
This anime growth means that online casino slots will pursue further close association with it – in fact, slots such as Moon Princess and Swipe Girl were probably developed and introduced with Japanese players in mind. And that wouldn’t be too much of a surprise as the coming together of two popular forms of entertainment can only mean success for both – with the gambling industry continuing to produce anime-inspired slots and games inspired by anime heroes.
Disclaimer: Play responsibly. Players must be over 18. For help visit https://www.gamcare.org.uk/