The 10 craziest games to ever come out of Japan (NSFW)

1 of 11

There are a lot of things we should thank Japan for giving us; Manga, Godzilla, and JRPGs to name but a few. But for every great invention it's bestowed upon us, there have also been consequences.They may have gave us Akira, but it's thanks to manga that the rest of the world discovered what 'tentacle porn' was; the old Godzilla movies are kitsch classics that can be watched over and over again, but they're also the reason we saw Matthew Broderick bumbling about in the sacrilegious 1998 remake.

And while the Japanese games industry may have produced the Final Fantasy franchise and the ludicrously brilliant Chrono Trigger, it's also responsible for some of the weirdest, and occasionally most sinister, games in the medium's history.

It seems the Japanese developers and publishers of these strange games can put pretty much whatever they want into their titles. They don't often make sense, and sometimes they seem to be crossing legal boundaries, but mostly they come across like some kind of fever-and-drug induced nightmare: weird, mildly terrifying, but very memorable - and definitely something you want to tell your friends about.

Japan: For all the incredibly bizarre things you've given us over the years, we say "Arigato." Never stop the weirdness.

Advertisement

10. Hatoful Boyfriend

Virtual dating simulators are nothing new in Japan, neither is adding a worrying, sexual predator element to proceedings. What was new with Hatoful Boyfriend was the fact that instead of playing a young girl trying to find the perfect, non-tentacled man, the protagonist here tries to find love among her avian acquaintances at the school she attends - where she happens to be the only human student.

Hatoful Boyfriend is probably the most successful game on this list outside of Japan, despite the constantly posed, "sooooo....is this bestiality?" question. It's actually a pretty good game, and it did start out as an April Fool's joke, so it doesn't take itself too seriously. Play it, and you many never look at birds in the same way - just don't try to date any, you freak.

9. JESUS: Dreadful Bio-Monster

Continuing the tradition of fantastic Japanese game titles, we have JESUS: Dreadful Bio-Monster. This game doesn't have anything to do with Jesus Christ being turned into some kind of terminator/zombie, as that kind of thing is bound raise Christian ire. Nor is the word 'Jesus' used as a profanity, as in "JESUS!!! Dreadful Bio-Monster (is coming straight for us)." This particular Jesus actually refers to a space station, although it is named after Christ. 

Set in the year 2061, the plot of this text-adventure/survival horror involves the nations of Earth sending a ship to investigate Halley's Comet, as some form of life has been detected inside its gas. Turns out it's a mysterious demonic alien - naturally.

 

 

Advertisement

8. I'm Sorry

This Pac-Man clone was released in 1985, an era when the Japanese Prime Minister at the time, Kakuei Tanaka, was knee-deep in multiple bribery scandals. It seems someone thought the best way to satirize the corrupt PM was to stick him in a video game. The 'sorry' part of the title comes from the Japanese word for Prime Minister, 'Sori'. So far, so slightly weird, but it gets stranger.

In the game, as Tanaka runs around the maze collecting bricks, he's confronted by some of the biggest icons the '80s had to offer: Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Carl Lewis make appearances. There is even one enemy who changes into S&M attire and begins flogging a half-naked Tanaka, should he be caught.

7. Fly Mr. Science Great Expedition of the Earth! Challenge the Mysterious and Strange Creatures

Possibly the best video game title ever; Fly Mr. Science Great Expedition of the Earth! Challenge the Mysterious And Strange Creatures is essentially the game's English translation, and it's probably the least bizarre thing about it.

The game is, incredibly, based on an educational Japanese children's television show. It features two young astronauts who are taught about various “mysterious and strange creatures" by their teacher. The fact he has no skin and looks like he just stepped off the bridge of the Event Horizon doesn't faze these children in the slightest. It would scare the shit out of most people.

Advertisement

6. The Houchi Play

It's a sad fact that quite a few Japanese games move beyond 'mildly creepy' and venture into '10 years on the sex offender register' territory. The Houchi Play is far, far from the worst 'questionable' Japanese game ever made, but it's still amazing to think that at one point it was available on Xbox Live.

The mechanics of this sexual assault trainer is basically the school-yard game of Statues, although with a rather sinister twist. You control 56-year-old Taro Heibon, "a timid buddy who wants to reveal the true self and feel the heavenly bliss." Basically, the kind of defence that never goes down well with judges.  

Though he's been happily married for 30 years, Taro's secret desire is to be verbally abused by women dressed in cosplay outfits. A phase all men his age go through. I guess.

Taro can even knock back a bottle of booze to increase his courage and movement speed, so he can reach the 'women' (who all suspiciously look like young girls) before they catch him creeping up on them. If he does get close enough, I presume they just call him the filthy pervert that he is. Although, unknown to them, that's exactly what he wants! UGH!

5. Eastern Mind: The Lost Souls of Tong-Nou

This 1995 point-and-click adventure had one of those plots that gets used all too often in gaming: Your character has lost his soul, so he borrows the soul of a friend for 49 hours and sets off to the island of Tong-Nou to recover his own. Also, the island is a giant green glowing head floating in space, modeled after the lead designer of the game.

You can enter this head through any orifice (luckily they never used the designer's whole body), which leads you to a series of mazes. These offer up the most illogical logic puzzles ever seen in gaming. There's also a monster that eats his own legs, a beast with three minds who becomes depressed and kills himself within seconds of meeting you, as well as various other creatures that look like they've just stepped out of a serial killer's imagination.

Advertisement

4. Toilet Kids

When a game begins with a small boy going to the toilet in the middle of the night, you start to get a feeling it may have that unique, one-of-a-kind Japanese feel to it. When a jet of water knocks said kid into the toilet, initiating a vertically-scrolling, poo-themed shooter, you realise your suspicions are confirmed - this is about as Japanese as it gets.

In what must be the greatest game ever made for fecalpheliacs, Toilet Kids is the 'two girls, one cup' of the video game world. Pretty much everything is full-on poop imagery; from the enemies that shoot it at you, to the landscapes that are shaped like it. 

If all that wasn't Japanese enough, there are also penis-shaped enemies that try to kill you with urine, artillery-style toilets that fire crap in the air, pigs with human asses, and plenty of urinals. 

Toilet Kids: filthy, scatological, and incredibly weird.

 

3. LSD: Dream Emulator

LSD: Dream Emulator or Lovely Sweet Dream was a Japan-only PlayStation One release that was supposed to simulate a deep REM cycle dream state. The game is actually based on a dream journal kept for over 10 years by a member of the development team. Playing the game, it's fair to assume this person may have some unresolved personal issues, or they take a lot of psychoactive drugs, maybe both.

Playing involves entering dreams that usually last about 10 minutes, after which you’ll wake up. There's no dialogue whatsoever, and each dream involves you exploring areas which are randomized every time you start - there's literally no aim to this game. Well, other than not having a brain embolism at the sheer terror you'll experience from watching dead bodies swinging from the rafters, seeing evil eyes glaring at you from the walls, or meeting the Shadow Man and the Abyss Demon. 

Advertisement

2. Japan World Cup 3

At first glance you may think Japan World Cup 3 looks a normal horse racing game, but, being Japan, it's far from it. If you check out the (rather sweary and NSFW) video above, you'll discover one of the most insane, and funniest, video games ever made. 

The only reason Japan World Cup doesn't make it to the number one spot is that calling this a 'game' is a bit of stretch. It may be marketed as one, but really it's just a DVD with a series of animated races on it. The idea is that each player bets on the outcome before every event, meaning it's not much fun for anybody who's already watched it. 

Regardless of this, it's still absolutely fantastic, and worthy of repeated viewings - even when you're not 'playing' it.

1. The Cho Aniki Series

The majority of the Cho Aniki games have never been released outside of Japan, and if you watch the above video (again, slightly NSFW) you'll see why. It's unlikely that the rest of the world could wrap their minds around what are easily the most bizarre, surreal, and definitely the most homoerotic video games ever produced.

To give you an example of the series' weirdness: if you jump to the end boss battle in the above video, you'll notice it's a naked, balding, can-can dancing cyborg. His penis (I think) also appears to be some kind of Reed Richards version of himself. If you watch to the very end, you'll notice both the post-death countdown and game over screen manage to be both hilarious and harrowing at the same time.

Games in the series boast names such as Super Big Brother: Legend of the Holy Protein, and the incredibly confusing Love Super Big Brother: Violence Jump Rope Chapter. Their plots revolve around such strangeness as body-concious, 'rioded-up Emperors; one game in particular focuses on a goblet of protein, which is almost definitely semen, attaining God-like powers.

In Japan, these games are examples of baka-ge, a type of kuso-ge. 'Baka-ge' literally means 'idiot game' while 'kuso-ge' literally means 'shitty game' or 'shit game'. So they're shitty games for idiots... you don't get that kind of demographic targeting in the west. 

The games really are so bad, and weird, that it makes them appealing to players. Quite how well they would do in the West is unclear, but for sheer comedy value and surrealism, nothing can match the Cho Aniki series. 

Published Jul. 6th 2015

Featured Correspondent

Lover of all things PC and a fan of inserting indelible ink into the dermis layer of the skin. Remembers when 'geek' was an insult. Still passionately believes Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines was the greatest game ever made. Also works as a reporter/feature writer for TechSpot.com and a producer of YouTube video scripts.

Related
8

Connect with us

Related Topics