How to describe a trailer, or even a pitch, like Showa American Story?
A game by Chinese indie studio NEKCOM Games, Showa American Story posits a world in which the United States has become an unofficial Japanese colony. Players control Choko, a teenaged action movie stuntwoman, brought back from the dead and now travels across the continental US to find her sister. On her way, she will uncover the truth of what has happened in the US, which now lives under a blight of monsters and zombies.
It’s … just, watch the trailer.
This trailer feels like a Stefan bit on Saturday Night Live because this trailer has everything. There’s a bastardised Quentin Tarantino quote, MAGA nonsense, and Japanese media tropes intermingled with American iconography. The Hollywood sign now reads “Neo Yokohama.” The Statue of Liberty wears a kimono. The Golden Gate Bridge now bears giant chochin lanterns. It has a sweeping, romantic C-Pop song played over the top and a guy with a huge drill for a dick (??). It juxtaposes crazed pulp action with the decaying remains of the once-mighty United States. There’s a woman that turns into an arcade-style shmup miniboss, Torii gates over highways, and a LOT of zombies.
It kind of feels like I have to play it now, if for no other reason than to figure out what the hell is going on here.
There’s a lot you could say about this one. For a start, a Chinese developer making Japan the ones that let America go to wreck and ruin is fairly on brand. If you weren’t already aware, China is not Japan’s biggest fan. Beyond the jabs it takes at America’s culture of excess, Showa American Story also has a few knives for the Trump crowd. MAGA marketing indicates the politics of the day before the end of the world, and the Japanese have retrofitted American monuments to bring them in line with their own values and aesthetics.
It’s all just very spicy, and openly so. It wants to provoke and in this, I feel it’s been pretty successful.
NEKCOM says the game will launch on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Windows PC. There’s no official release date just yet.