“develops, publishes, and distributes entertainment content including interactive entertainment software andpublications in Asia, North America and Europe.”
As a major company, Square-Enix’s corporate philosophy which guides its company’s functions is as follows:“To spread happiness across the globe by providing unforgettable experiences. This philosophy represents our company’s mission and the beliefs for which we stand.” Therefore, as a company, Square Enix successfully blends various arts to express Japanese culture to the world in an effort to bring wholesome entertainment to the masses.
The company has made guidelines to abide by in order to fulfill their philosophy while achieving their corporate goals.They endeavour to provide a high level of professionalism while also providing a continual open ended opportunity for innovative creativity in the arts while maintaining a harmony in how these areas come together.These guidelines directly reflect Japanese cultural values.
Square Enix has a particular strategy they use to produce entertainment. Their vision is to create “polymorphic content”. This means that the company aims to “form original ideas without being restricted by the notions of hardware or media, and to deliver these ideas via consoles, online gaming, mobile gaming, or DVD.” (see bottom right for chart)An example of polymorphic content is Square Enix’s Fullmetal Alchemist manga series,which has beendeveloped into two televsion anime series, video games,several novels, and a movie.
“Creating a game requires more than just blood, sweat and tears. Every area of a game is heavily influenced by the culture that produced it, whether it be the visuals, the musical scoring, or even important aspects of the game play.” -Kurt KalataAs the quote states, Square Enix’s media cannot avoid heavy cultural influences.Whether it be their visuals, musical scoring, or gameplay, Square Enix’sJapanese culture is revealed and shared in their media. Visuals Musical Scoring Game play
Square Enix’s graphics are consistent with Japanese culture. As other Japanese games, Square Enix’s graphics are characterized by having bright, colourful and different art styles.This may be due to the fact that Japan is a very visually oriented country. Text, artwork, and huge headlines are everywhere. Historically, the classic Kabuki theatre has always been enjoyed because of the ornate and visual individuals. Even Japan’s writing system is based on pictographs. Advertisements Kabuki Theatre Japanese Pictograph
Another reason why Square Enix’s graphics are so ornate may be because of this: "I think a lot of the bright, cartoonish visual look in many Japanese games is a result of the strong culture of anime cartoons and manga comic books we have in Japan" –Hiroyuki Kobuyashi (producer of Resident Evil 4)Anime and manga often have bright and colourful visuals. Since anime and manga are such a part of Japanese culture, it is natural for Square Enix to create games with those characteristics as well.Technologically, Square Enix is a leader in the world when it comes to graphics. As a company they always strive to make their graphics better as technology advances. This reflects the Japanese paradigm of having a hard work ethic that result in high expectations for success.
Square Enix has placed importance on appropriate theme music to their media. There has been an incredible reception to Square Enix musical scores. The Final Fantasy Series is a prime example of this. Nobuo Uematsu has gained global recognition for scoring the majority of the Final Fantasy series. He left Square Enix in 2004, however, his impact was so large that there have been concerts of his Final Fantasy musical scores until this day. For example, Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY tours internationally. Uematsu’s music are based on the plots and scenarios of the game. These Japanese plots have the certain characteristics that represent the culture.Music: Final Fantasy X’s “To I will be attending a Distant Worlds concert in VancouverZanarkand” that’s on July 27th at the Orpheum Theatre. The musical score isperformed in Distant a primary reason why I have enjoyed the Final FantasyWorlds-> Series.
Besides providing live performances, Square Enix has provided other means for fans to enjoy their culture through their music. There have been original soundtracks produced for most of their Role-Playing Games (RPGs). In some series, there has been “Piano Collections” produced. Both Final Fantasy and the Kingdom Hearts series have produced “Piano Collections”.Click to compare Final Fantasy VIII’s “Blue Fields-Piano Collections(which is playing) to “Blue Fields-Original SoundtrackClick to compare Kingdom Hearts 2’s theme song: Hikari (By Utada Hikaru)to the orchestral version featured in the beginning of the game Final Fantasy VIII Kingdom Hearts Utada Hikaru
Whenever I hear or play music from aFinal Fantasy game I played, it brings amemory and a strong emotional tie tothe scenario or character the musicrepresents.In newer Final Fantasy games, they havedeveloped theme songs with Japaneselyrics. (Ex: “Tsuki no Akari” , FinalFantasy IV’s “Theme of Love” ) Even though I cannot fully understandthe words, I still can understand theemotion that is being communicated. Click: “Tsuki no Akari” Music Video By Ida EmiIn conclusion to Square Enix’s musical scores, they break the language barrier between Japanese and English. The same emotions can be felt by a Japanese gamer and a Canadian gamer. Square Enix has successfully incorporated their music into their games and other media. This has caused Japan’s culture regarding music to be shared internationally.
Culturally speaking, Japanese culture is firmly rooted in wet-rice agriculture and its status as an island nation," says Inafune. "Japanese want to be able to plan, they want to have guidance, they want to have focus. To put it simply, Japanese people feel uncomfortable with the unknown and not understanding the future.- Keiji Inafune Final Fantasy XIII Battle mode Chrono Trigger Battle Mode Square Enix represents this philosophy. Often their developers fix the camera angles so there’s a better cinematic presentation, and ultimately, so they control the gamer’s experience.It goes back to the philosophy of fearing the unknown. There’s also a security in knowing that something will happen next in Square Enix games.
Square Enix allows people to have a glimpse of what the Japanese culture is. The world benefits from Japanese visual art and music. Square Enix successfully blends arts like game play, music, and visual arts in their media. Square Enix has gone past language barriers and still been able to affectively communicate through other means I have enjoyed various Square Enix works and I appreciate the talent it takes to create their media.
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