Part of my job is to buy things for photography. I received a package today…
Here’s the final clump of box art from Japanese versions of American movies. More comedies!
The Addams Family
There’s nothing particularly weird about this one, I just like how the screenshots are at silly angles and Thing is pointing at stuff. It looks like something I’d design myself.
This one hits all the right marks. You get to see Kevin goofing around on his own (I love the popcorn shot), his cunning expression when he’s setting traps, and there’s even some slapstick of Harry getting his head set on fire.
The layout and design of this one brings back feelings of the early 90s big time. I love the translated exclamations all around the box, hehe. And dang, they even show the Terminator 2 reference!
Stand By Me
Okay this one isn’t a comedy, but I didn’t have enough “coming of age” movies to make a separate post for it. I just thought it was fascinating that they prominently show a kid holding a gun on the back cover, especially since handguns are outlawed in Japan. I guess guns make things seem more American? ;_;
We continue our look at Japanese box art with a group of horror movies. Asia as a whole knows how to scare the heck out of me with their horror stories, so I wonder how Japan dressed up the boxes of some of my favorite American horror movies.
Warning: there are disturbing images on some of these.
A Nightmare on Elm Street
This VHS was released in 1979. I saw more recent Japanese releases of The Exorcist with much creepier things on the covers, specifically a big red image of Regan staring menacingly at the camera. It’s interesting how this back cover is so tame. All that text is apparently explaining the history of how the movie came to be made.
The Silence of the Lambs
The LaserDisc edition of this one goes right for the jugular. I’m shocked that they decided to feature some of the more gruesome scenes in the movie here. And that huge red photo of the death’s head moth over Hannibal’s mouth is something I haven’t seen on English releases of the movie. It’s really evocative.
Let’s take a look at the box art used for subtitled versions of American comedy movies over in Japan.
Army of Darkness (Captain Supermarket)
As noted before, Army of Darkness was released as Captain Supermarket in Japan. Mato guesses it’s because while it looks like a horror movie on the surface, it’s definitely a comedy at its core. To release it in Japan as “Army of Darkness” would make it seem like a generic horror movie that nobody would pay attention to.
You can see by the artwork that they really ran with the “comedy” theme. The front cover kind of looks a little like a comic book setup.
Ernest Goes to Camp
I was surprised and extremely happy to learn that Ernest Goes to Camp, one of Poemato’s favorite movies, was released in Japan. It’s an 80s camp movie where an accident-prone janitor-turned-camp-counselor is put in charge of reforming a group of delinquents, while also trying to save the camp from being taken over by an evil mining company.
This box is simply covered with screenshots from the movie, which is an interesting approach. I like how the biggest image on the front is of the two cooks shoving a disgusting dish into Ernest’s mouth. And on the back cover I spot… a scene that never happened in the movie?! Or at least it wasn’t in the version I grew up with. I don’t remember anyone wearing a big ol’ fuzzy moose head.
Super Mario Bros. Movie
Ehhhhh, this movie. Had to get it.
The cover art looks really good, but what the hell is up with that giant disintegrating Koopa head on the back? Wouldn’t that scare kids rather than make them want to watch it? Oh, hmm… Maybe that was the plan all along!
Well holy crap, LoL is in possession of tons of Japanese-subtitled movies!
These are research for a project we’re slowly working on. A lot of the back covers are pretty interesting – it’s neat to see the types of screenshots they used to market these movies to a Japanese audience. I’ll do a few more updates highlighting the best back covers.
Mato & I have been playing Yakuza 0 recently and it’s quickly become one of my favorite games ever. It’s our first Yakuza game and now I want to play the entire series. Good thing Yakuza 1 just got a remake and Yakuza 6 is coming next year!
I found an interview with Scott Strichart over on michibiku.com. He’s currently heading up the localization for the new Yakuza games, and he previously worked on favorites like Persona 4, 3D Dot Game Heroes, Ni no Kuni, and some Final Fantasies. He covers interesting topics in the interview like:
- How he and his coworker took Yakuza 0‘s localization to the next level
- Walking the fine line between a gritty crime drama and over-the-top humor
- Why he recommends new players start with Yakuza 0 instead of Yakuza 1
- How he became a walking Yakuza bible
- The challenge of rewriting stuff like the Mahjong tutorial so that western players could understand how the heck to play Mahjong
It’s a great read, so check out the whole interview here!
Working on the Funky Fantasy book got me thinking about this old video.
Three years ago, Mato drew pictures of the entire plot of Final Fantasy 4. And then he had me watch this video and narrate what was happening. And I barely remembered the plot of Final Fantasy 4 back then.