Home Samurai culture Japanese company asks fans to refrain from sending Valentine’s Day chocolate to game characters

Japanese company asks fans to refrain from sending Valentine’s Day chocolate to game characters


Company known for games filled with handsome samurai says thanks, but no thanks.

With Valentine’s day fast approaching, women in Japan are preparing to give chocolate gifts to guys they have a crush on, as is the local custom. But while most guys are extremely happy to be the recipient of such sweet gestures, a Japanese company has made an official statement that there are no Valentine’s Day gifts, please.

Nor is it a talent agency or a group of boys who preemptively refuse chocolate. Instead, it’s a video game developer/publisher Koei-Tecmo.

Even in Japan, however, video game designers generally don’t appeal to adoring groupies. Koei Tecmo publishes many games set in the feudal periods of Japan and China, and the continued enthusiasm of Japanese rekijo (women with a strong interest in history), combined with Koei Tecmo’s artistic freedoms in giving characters game history handsome boy anime-life makeovers, has earned the company a large number of passionate female fans, many of whom apparently send chocolate for Valentine’s Day to Koei’s offices in Yokohama.

▼ Trailer of the next game developed by Koei Tecmo Touken Ranbu Warriors

The statement, posted on the Yokohama-based company’s website, reads:

“Thank you for your continued support of our company and our products, and we would like to once again express our gratitude to those of you who have already sent gifts to our staff and the characters that appear in our games.

Currently, as a countermeasure to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, many of our employees are working from home. After taking into account the difficulties of receiving the packages and any health/safety concerns, this year we will respectfully decline Valentine’s Day and White Day gifts.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.”

Although not specifically mentioned in the statement, Koei Tecmo is currently developing Touken Ranbu Warriors, which will be released next month. This is the first time that Koei Tecmo is involved in Touken Ranbu, a franchise with a predominantly female fan base and one featuring anthropomorphized swords instead of historical warlords, so the game represents a whole new potential stream of Valentine’s Day chocolate if not not treated.

Online reactions to this Koei Tecmo denial statement have included:

“It’s deep fandom.”
“So Oda Nobunaga gets chocolate every year?”
“It’s sad to see that part of the player culture not happening, but if it’s going to cause problems for the employees, I guess that’s how it is.”
“When a company is banking on the appeal of its characters, it has to think about all sorts of things.”
“I guess chocolate sent as gifts to characters usually ends up serving as a snack for employees, huh?” A little scary if it’s homemade candy, though.

On the positive side for fans, it appears that the Valentine’s Day anti-chocolate policy is a temporary measure, and once things are finally back to normal, the gift giving can resume. And hey, if the samurai and generals of Koei Tecmo’s games can capture the hearts of fans centuries after their lives, chances are they can hold onto that territory until the pandemic is over.

Source: Koei-Tecmo Going through IT media, Twitter
Top picture: YouTube/Nintendo
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