Illustration for article titled Watch This Good Lil Documentary About Big Japanese Games

This is Ebb & Flow, a 40-minute documentary about the resurgence of Japanese video games that features interviews with people like Katsura Hashino (Persona), Yoko Taro (Nier) and Toshihiro Nagoshi (Yakuza).

It’s funny to think back on now, especially given Nintendo’s wild successes during the same time, but during much of the PS3/Xbox 360 generation you couldn’t click on a website without seeing someone pondering about the impending demise of blockbuster Japanese video games, as traditionally strong developers and series floundered amidst a new, more global games market.


And yet here we are in 2018 and that all looks like a load of baloney, as evidenced by the critical and commercial success of the games showcased in this documentary.

There’s a common theme running throughout this film: that many Japanese games (especially those featured) are at their best when they’re thoroughly Japanese.

(Make sure you turn YouTube’s subtitles on).

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs

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