The Japanese love simulator Be My Princess just got a re-release. The game now looks different. Very, very different.
Be My Princess, which is for Android and iOS, brands itself as a "royal romance". Here's the title's description:
You, a normal university student, have an unexpected encounter with a prince on a street corner. He invites you to a party where you meet the princes of six nations. You soon find you are on intimate terms...
A future king, carrying the fate of his country, and you. What will be the fate of your love?
When the game first launched in the West, it had the original Japanese game graphics. The Be My Princess bucks looked like the ones you'd traditionally find in Japanese love simulators or boys' love games — slim, delicate and handsome.
Since Be My Princess was relaunched, it was scrubbed of all its anime-style hunks in favour of more photo realistic studs. The story and the background music were not changed. The Japanese version, however, kept the anime men.
The reaction on the iTunes Store doesn't exactly seem to be positive, with people writing that they wanted the Japanese version back. One even stated, "I was expecting the game to be like the Japanese version where there are 2D men. It really feels weird when it's a human figure. It makes me feel uncomfortable."
Sister site Kotaku Japan has a rundown of just how the princes were changed. The anime princes are from the original version, while the realistic ones are in the new Western version.
There seems to be vocal players in the West who prefer the original anime males, but the change might've been brought on by lackluster sales — perhaps there weren't enough of these passionate players. These new hunks do show a marked difference between Japanese and Western aesthetics.
Have a look at how taste *supposedly* varies between the cultures.