Life-sized Goku and Luffy fight to promote the coolest video game Americans will never see
You already know about all the awesome Japanese games that American fans never get, but did you know those games also get awesome promotions and game launches?
Proof: to market the recent release of their crossover fighter J-Stars Victory Vs, iconic game publisher Namco Bandai erected life-sized statues of Goku from Dragon Ball Z and Monkey D. Luffy from One Piece in Shibuya Park, Tokyo.
Here’s the background: most of the biggest anime worldwide (Dragon Ball Z, Bleach, Naruto, YuYu Hakusho, Rurouni Kenshin, Hunter X Hunter, etc.) are all published in Japan from one single source: Weekly Shonen Jump.
And if it isn’t awesome enough that you can read all your favorite manga in one place, there’s also a supporting video game series where characters from all these different franchises duke it out—the latest of which is J-Stars Victory Vs, which is like Nintendo’s Smash Bros., but for anime fans.
Because you can literally recreate a dream fight between Goku and Luffy (or Ichigo, Himura Kenshin, Yusuke Urameshi, Gintoki Sakata, and many more), the only way to really promote the game was to show how awesome it would be if the two characters duked it out in the middle of a park, pictures of which soon hit the Internet. There’s even some buttons you can press to hear them talk!
Now, for the question you want to ask: why can’t the game come to America? Simply put, because the rights to all the different anime are owned by dozens of different companies here in North America. Therefore, you can’t use them in one game without either violating some copyrights or bringing all those companies together to collaborate on one game. The second option may sound possible, but even the profit sharing negotiations would take centuries.
Therefore, unless you’re willing to fork up some serious cash and import through Amazon, in which case you either need to learn Japanese or look for an English language patch online, you’ll likely never be able to play this game.
J-Stars Victory Vs. was recently released to decent reviews, just like all the series’ games before it, and the statue is now likely sitting in the Batcave of a very rich collector. Anime-lover friends, we can admit defeat while the lucky players in Japan are probably going 'ha, ha':