Do Japanese And Westerners Have Different Taste In Men? This Game Thinks So.

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.

アニメ風イケメンがリアル系マッチョに! 日本版&海外版『王子様のプロポーズ』を比べてみた [Tabroid via Kotaku Japan]

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    Hehe yeah the Japanese version has charm and super cute chars but to me both look great :3

    The biggest thing that throws me off is the fact the art style doesn't even match. If it's a game, you learn to adapt to an art style pretty quickly, whether it be anime or western. But the western art is like some blurry uncanny valley thing, they look terrible. I don't think anyone would prefer the new art. Check out the kotaku JPN article, that old dude is creeepy.

    Wait.. there's a Kotaku Japan? Did not know that (and I've only regularly followed this site for the last 6 years)

    reminds me of character portraits from early 90s games, back when dithering algorithms became good enough to do comparatively realistic images, and therefore, the feeling was if you didn't have them, your game would fail, so games with artstyles that didn't need photos for character portraits used them anyway, resulting in dissonance between the portraits and the sprites.

    It doesnt help that the dithering seen in both the new images, AND the original is done quite poorly, though why you would even bother dithering anymore when far better methods of reducing image size exist (you have to compress jpeg pretty hard to get artifacts as visible as the dithering seen on what should be flat colours).

    Japanese women like white dudes, Western women like black dudes.

    It's a long shot, but it may be because the West isn't the greatest admirer of androgynous beings with purple hair. Sure those that watch, enjoy and follow anime are more than familiar, but the wider western public think it's weird. They want to get a slice of the wider public cash cow.... Can't blame them.

    Yes i doubt we westerners would play a game where the characters are prettier then us lol, I mean they have no facial hair and no indication they are males.

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