One of the collector’s items for Bravely Second on the Nintendo 3DS is a 250-page art book. It contains illustrations of the characters, concept art and the playable (and non-playable) classes. Well, some comparisons have been going around where the Western art book is being measured up against the Japanese art book, and some gaming detectives have found that some of the images in the Western book may have been altered and censored.
Operation Rainfall picked up the news from a post over on a Nintendo themed Tumblr account, where they compared some of the images in the Western version of the art book to the Japanese version. They did the comparison based on a promotional ad for the Western release of the game. They slowed down the video where some images of the art book were highlighted and compared it to the Japanese art book they had in their possession. What did they find? That images containing characters tied up had been removed and images containing violence had been removed. Some of the comparisons can be viewed below.
The Western versions are at the top and the Japanese versions are just below that.
You can see in several images there are clear differences between the two, with various art work consisting of the female characters being tied up having been removed from the Western version, along with images of violence.
Now the reason this isn’t a clear cut case of censorship is because as pointed out by Operation Rainfall and the Nintendo Tumblr page, the censored images might be on a separate page. Once the book becomes available and a thorough comparison can be made it’s only possible (and very strongly so) that the game’s collector’s edition art book may have been censored for Western gamers by the localization team. If this truly is the case, then it means that they have truly gone over and beyond to censor art for the sake of their ideological causes.
This comes shortly after the #TorrentialDownpour campaign where gamers rallied against the media by standing firm and saying that they do not accept censored, botched and hacked localizations from unqualified translators. The campaign reached far and wide throughout the gaming sphere and a lot of gamers were made aware of it thanks to a concerted effort by 8chan, Twitter users and Kotaku In Action making sure that the news spread about the Western version of Fire Emblem Fates being cut, hacked and edited to become a poor representation of its Japanese counterpart.
We’ll see if the campaign gets legs again as more news and details surface regarding the different regional versions of Bravely Second for the Nintendo 3DS. The game is out now in Japan and Europe and arrives on April 15th in North America.
(Thanks for the tip Punished Sage)