Recently, the relationship between Japan and India has been strongly linked to both politics and economy. Our lives are surrounded by Japanese products. Today I would like to introduce some of them.
Japanese companies that have influenced our lives!
Japan is one of the most prosperous countries in the world. It has the third highest GDP (Gross Domestic Product), (a measure of the total amount of money generated in the economy), and fourth highest nominal PPP (Purchasing Power Parity, a measure of the disposable income of each of its citizens. No doubt, this has something to do with the fact that japan is home to many successful companies that enjoy a global presence and have made products that have been parts of the lives of people around the world. So without further ado, here’s a list of some of the most influential Japanese companies.
Sony’s greatest success is the PlayStation 2, the best selling game console of all time. With more than 3874 titles that have sold over 1.5 billion copies, many of us have fond memories of “wasting” hours together in front of our PlayStation 2 with our friends. Another notable Sony product was the Walkman line of portable cassette players which were the iPod of its time. Today Sony has diversified into many businesses. This includes cameras, speakers, the Bravia line of TVs, the Xperia line of smartphones and the VAIO line of laptops (now sold to Lenovo). Interestingly, Sony is also the company that has the television broadcasting rights to the widely popular Indian Premier League.
Sony might have the credit of producing the best-selling gaming console, but Nintendo was the one that started it all with its Hit franchise Mario, a franchise that still remains the best-selling gaming franchise of all time, with 210 million units of the overall series of games sold. Nintendo is one of the largest companies in the world by market capitalization. Another major Nintendo franchise I’m sure you’re familiar with, has seen something of a revival in recent years. Yes, I’m talking of course, about Pokémon GO. Pokémon is the second best-selling gaming franchise, (after the aforementioned Mario), and the highest grossing media franchise of all time. Many of its characters including Pikachu have become pop culture icons, and Pokémon enjoys a global fan following. Needless to say, a detailed analysis of Pokémon and its influence would require an article all of its own so I’ll leave it here for now.
Toyota is one of the largest listed companies in Japan by market capitalization and revenue. Its hybrid vehicle model called “Prius” has sold well around the world and shown people and auto manufacturers alike that there exists a market for hybrid mass manufactured cars. Known the world over for pioneering innovative quality management systems as well as supply chain engineering methods by adopting a number of management and engineering techniques collectively known as “The Toyota Way”. Toyota remains a popular choice among Indians and international consumers alike, looking for reasonably priced high quality cars.
Famous Japanese Anime that we all watched as kids!
The Dragonball anime series is the anime adaptation of the manga written by Akira Toriyama. It follows the adventures of Goku an extraterrestrial alien from a race of warriors called Saiyans. He was sent to earth as a child to conquer the planet, but a bump on his head as a child, caused him to forget his mission and instead he grew up to become a hero, saving the earth many times from evil, Including but not limited to an attack from his own brother at the cost of his own life, one from his two fellow Saiyans, one from a genetically engineered warrior, and one from a magical demon created by an evil wizard.
The franchise is broken up into four series Dragonball, Dragonball Z, Dragonball GT , and Dragonball Super. With the introduction of Dragonball Super, Dragonball GT is now considered non canon. Its status was always questioned anyway since Akira Toriyama never wrote it directly.
The series runtime spans two decades and has enjoys a large fan following both in japan and abroad due to its character design, character development, fight scenes and plot, and is a personal favorite. I highly recommend watching it, but with a little patience, as there is a lot of build up between fights, and a lot of screaming, crucial aspects of the series that have been widely parodied. It has nonetheless managed to inspire many manga and anime that came after and has had a great influence on pop culture.
Naruto, is the anime adaptation of the Manga of the same name by Masahashi Kishimoto. Naruto takes place in a world of ninjas that is divided into a handful of warring nations, each governed by a ninja village. Naruto follows the story of Naruto Uzumaki a mischievous but pure hearted orphan boy living in the village of Konoha.
His purpose in life is to be the greatest ninja in the world and leader of his village. He was bullied and tormented by the villagers all his life because the villagers were afraid of him due to the fact that a terrible demon was sealed inside his body by a former village leader to save the village. Strangely instead of hating them for it, he decided to become the greatest ninja ever to win everyone’s love and admiration.
The series follows his adventures and his transformation from a novice to a legendary ninja, as he battles the many opponents who threaten the village and seek to extract the power of the beast sealed within him to become powerful enough to take over the world.
The tone of this series at times can be far more serious than either Dragonball or Pokemon and has some pretty dark moments. Themes include death, revenge, extensive body modification, cloning, and personal loss and grief. I recommend it highly simply because the world of naruto is crafted with a rich lore and attention to detail.
Arguable one of the most famous things to ever come out of japan, Pokemon is an anime based on the bestselling video game franchise created by Nintendo second only to the Mario franchise in terms of sales. The name is a contraction of “Pocket Monsters”.
The pokemon world is populated by creatures called pokemon that exist alongside humans who capture, train and battle these pokemon against each other. The series follows the adventures of Ash ketchum, a trainer from pallet town who wants to become a pokemon master. He battles against powerful trainers called gym leaders who if defeated, give him a badge. Collecting 8 such badges will allow him to participate in a grand tournament, the winner of which will be widely considered as one of the most powerful trainers in the region.
Along the way, he battles various criminal organisations who wish to steal pokemon for their own devices, and unlocks the hidden mysteries of the pokemon world. The story and characters of the anime loosely follow the plot and characters in the games, and as such the series can get very repetitive. Overall I’d say the series is more suited to an audience of children rather than young adults. Also worth noting is the fact that this anime gained notoriety worldwide for a particular episode that induced seizures in many children, so maybe try and avoid that particular episode if you do decide to give this anime a watch.