The customisation tools in Animal Crossing: New Horizons are enabling players to show off their creativity. One of the most impressive things I’ve seen is how Japan during the Showa era (1926-1989) is being brought to life in Animal Crossing.
When Japanese people use the word retro (レトロ) in discussing a building, a town, or fashion, they are typically referring to the Showa or even the earlier Taisho period. (As more time passes in the Reiwa period, the current imperial era, the previous Heisei era, which dates from 1989 to 2019, will increasingly fall under this retro definition.)
— Brian Ashcraft (@Brian_Ashcraft) April 22, 2020
Greg Girard's amazing photos of Tokyo in the 1970s are available in his book TOKYO-YOKOSUKA: 1976-1983. Order here: https://t.co/4SDqXPftyU More photos on DesignBoom: https://t.co/soEY3tOnNK pic.twitter.com/M9PNvc7shF
— Brian Ashcraft (@Brian_Ashcraft) June 10, 2019
— Brian Ashcraft (@Brian_Ashcraft) November 26, 2019
— Brian Ashcraft (@Brian_Ashcraft) March 4, 2019
Twitter user MfsbT6210’s island is filled with Showa-period ads, such as Oronamin C.
— u (@MfsbT6210) April 21, 2020
The attention to detail is astounding, and the island evokes Showa Japan. This isn’t an isolated thing. Others are also doing this.
— はー (@f_o5c) March 26, 2020
— 湯川麦 (@yukawamugi) April 21, 2020
— まんぼ〜 (@MJNC__) April 19, 2020
— KanaFett (@kanafett) April 16, 2020
Above is a Showa style floor.
— さいちゃん (@saihousan) April 21, 2020
— おしゃけ@じじぃ猫♀ (@oshaneco) April 15, 2020
— ぷーこ (@Puuuuuko55) April 10, 2020
— まんぼ〜 (@MJNC__) April 22, 2020
Twitter user Bobomi also uploaded this pretty night footage of this retro Japanese island.
— ボボみ@あつ森 (@imotarez) April 23, 2020
Below is a Taisho era (1912-1226) interior with some Showa-style advertisements.
— HISHIMAN????あつ森 (@HISHIMAN1) April 13, 2020
The Showa era spans many decades, a world war, the difficult and ultimately prosperous years that followed.
During the Showa period, Japan rebuilt itself and, relevant for Kotaku readers, saw the rise of its manga, anime, and gaming industries. The word retro evokes those bygone days. And now, people can recreate them in Animal Crossing.