In a recent interview, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth leads Tetsuya Nomura and Yoshinori Kitase shared their feelings on the term JRPG, both having different perspectives on it.
Earlier this year, Final Fantasy 14 and 16 producer Naoki Yoshida spoke about the term JRPG, and how he doesn't like it as when it first started to be used it felt like it was "a discriminatory term." It's an understandable point of contention, as while the genre is quite popular now, go back a couple of decades you'd find plenty of people being rude about the games just because they were Japanese. Now, in a new interview with The Guardian, Nomura, creative director of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, and Kitase, producer on the game, have shared their thoughts on the term.Watch on YouTube
Quite notably, Nomura expressed distaste for the term, whereas Kitase wasn't as put off by it. "I'm not too keen on it," Nomura said. "Certainly, when we started doing interviews for the games that I started making, no one used that term – they just called them RPGs. And then at some point – I can’t remember exactly when – people started referring to them as JRPGs. And I’m not really sure what the intent behind that is. It just always felt a bit off to me, and a bit weird. I never really understood it – or why it’s needed."
Kitase, on the other hand, said, "Personally, I don’t see it as that derogative. I think obviously with modern gaming, titles developed in the west are the majority now. So if [JRPG] is only used in terms of differentiating – maybe showing off a slightly different approach to games or a unique flavour in terms of Japanese-made games – I’m absolutely fine with that."
Again, it's very understandable that Nomura doesn't like the term, as for some Japanese developers having their games referred to that way felt othering. So don't just take Kitase's perspective as a blessing to keep using it - it's always good to keep in these kinds of perspectives, and consider whether we need to drop it or not.
We recently got to go hands-on with Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, and fans of the first game will be happy to hear it's bigger, bolder, and better than the already excellent FF7 Remake.