Metaverse is one of the most talked about words on the web in recent years, whether by the NFT Games or the proposals for virtual reality and augmented reality, this word promises to be the evolution of the Internet. What is Japan's role in this universe? In this article we will see everything about the Metaverse in Japan!
Note throughout the text some interesting data about the Metaverse in Japan, how the Japanese are immersive in the virtual world, what Japan's proposals for the Metaverse and even some anime that address the topic.
What is Metaverse?
metaverse is the name used to name an immersive, collective and hyper-realistic virtual environment, where people can live together using customized 3D avatars. In this universe it will be possible to trade characters, environments, land, houses, buy and sell products as in the real world.
It works as a kind of Online RPG, but where it will really be possible to accomplish anything and still earn and live with it. One of the main proposals is immersion using Full Dive full virtual reality.
The Metaverse, in addition to being a new way of living or generating income for some, brings people closer and brings increasingly immersive experiences in a more accessible way to users.
The purpose of the Metaverse is to present not only the sight and hearing of a new world, but intend a complete immersion with physical sensations, of touch and temperature, and even the smell and taste.
One of the proposals of the metaverse is to make it possible for people to shop at a Store without having to go there, maintaining the experience as if they were in the store. Another proposal is to hold shows and events as if you were there.
The Metaverse in Japan
The mixture of the real with the virtual has been happening in Japan for many years. Japanese games are generally immersive, their Visual Novel already try to lead their players to a new life with relationships and friends.
Something that has become popular recently are YouTube channels where the presenters are most often anime-style characters called V-tube. Something strong, since the Japanese value anonymity a lot.
A few years ago with the emergence of Virtual Reality glasses, a game that became popular is called VRchat, where we can find many small universes full of anime characters and realistic creations.
Since 2011, Augmented Reality Shows have been taking place using anime characters such as the famous Hatsune Miku. Japan has joined the Metaverse for many years, of course not in the way they are proposing.
In Japan, services are already present where the person can experience some activities such as putting cotton swabs in their ears or even sexual activities with anime characters using augmented reality.
Information about the Metaverse in Japan
In August 2021, a survey was carried out by two vtubers Nem and Mila about social life in the digital world or metaverse in Japan. See some interesting information on this subject.
As per the survey, 90% of Japanese use VRChat, but other popular apps are Virtual Cast, Cluster and NEOS VR. There are other mobile apps used for online meetings with anime characters.
About 48% of Japanese users of this virtual world are in their 20s, while 29% are in their 30s. Only 3% of users are over 50 years old, while 12% are in their 40s. 8% of users are under 10 years old.
About 50% of users access Metaverse daily. Other 25% usually access at least twice a week. Almost half of the accesses usually last up to 3 hours, while 32% of them usually last from 6 to 12 hours.
Only 2% of users use their real names in Metaverse while other western countries this number remains around 20%. About 25% of users change their voices in some way.
Reasons to be in the Metaverse
Ever wondered why the Japanese access Metaverse through VRChat or another application? The data below presents percentages that will help you understand:
- 87% – Socialize with friends;
- 76% – Explore worlds;
- 59% – Participate in events;
- 53% – Play;
- 34% – Create worlds and avatars;
- 11% – Making Lives;
Character Types in the Metaverse
Below is a percentage of characters created in the Metaverse:
- 78% – Female characters;
- 13% – Male characters;
- 9% – Other types of characters;
- 45% – Humanoids;
- 43% – Semi-Humanoids;
- 5% – Robots and Cyborgs;
- 3% – Monsters and Animals;
- 2% – Others;
Proposals for Metaverse in Japan
In addition to games like VRChat, real projects to recreate neighborhoods in the virtual world are already being done in Japan. In 2020, events like Comiket took place virtually called Comicvket.
a network of convenience stores from Japan called Lawson also participated in the project and has her shop as a stand in the virtual version of Akihabara, thus showing the commitment of different companies in this new Metaverse.
Japanese companies that offer virtual reality and augmented reality services are already mapping the city of Tokyo and delivering files to be used as environments for shows and events.
Already the company NTT Docomo said to be able to create characters in the metaverse that mirror the movements of users. When users blink or smile, their avatars can perform the same actions in real time.
The Metaverse Problems in Japan
For decades we have a huge number of Japanese people who live on the internet more than in the real world. This lifestyle ends up causing social problems making friendships, relationships and isolating people at home like Neet.
In reaction to the NFT projects, the Japanese are already smart and many already have a negative view of this business. Despite being a good proposition, we know that many are being created just to generate quick profit like pyramids.
Another very common problem, whether in Japan or the West, is the choice of female characters in online games. Whether in Virtual Reality or traditional online games, most, whether male or female, choose female characters.
For this reason, many are cautious about starting an online relationship, as they don't know the type of person they are dating. Men, on the other hand, often create characters and pretend to be women to gain benefits.
Only 9% of Metaverse users on Japanese VRChat are female, but 78% of characters are female. Of course, some men prefer female characters because they are nice to look at (I say this because I choose female characters in offline games).
Is that why the otaku call femboy characters from the Trap anime? The strangest thing of all is that 75% stated in a survey that knowing a person's real sex is not a relevant factor for the virtual relationship.
Animes about Metaverse
The Metaverse is very present in anime, we've had several animes that present a complete immersion in the virtual world since the 90's. Some are classics like Digimon and Sword Art Online.
We’ve already written an article talking about the best anime about travel to another world where we quote anime from virtual and digital worlds. What do you think about seeing some anime that show what the Metaverse should be like in the future?
I'm warning you that I won't even mention Digimon on this list because there are several Digimon anime, so here's the tip for you to take a look at this great Saga.
This is the most appropriate anime to show what the Metaverse will be like in a few years, we can observe in the anime a complete immersion in the virtual world and also a mixture with augmented reality.
The anime tells the story of a short, fat young man nicknamed Haru who suffers bullying at school. One day he is introduced to a popular girl who invites him to play a game that uses the world itself as a backdrop and offers real-world benefits with mind-boosting abilities.
This is one of my favorite animes that unfortunately didn't get much attention in Japan. Based on a Light Novel this work is by the same author of Sword Art Online, but in my opinion it's much more interesting.
Net-Juu No Susume
Leaving a little bit of virtual reality, this anime shows the relationship of two people in an Online MMORPG. It is a romantic comedy anime quite amusing that shows the social problems that games can cause.
The anime follows the story of a 30-year-old character named Morioka Moriko who lives a full life on the internet, considered a complete NEET. In an online game she creates a male avatar named Hayashi and becomes romantically involved with a female character.
I recommend giving this anime a good look if you want to know about the social problems that the Metaverse can cause in people and also the positive experiences that the virtual world can present.
Sword Art Online
Because it's quite popular, I've saved your recommendation for last. It is a complete and deadly Virtual Reality MMORPG where players are imprisoned until they beat the game by completing 100 floors.
The anime doesn't stop at just one arc, its story continues through several arcs and story involving other virtual reality games of different genres, a movie about augmented reality and even the creation of Artificial Intelligence in the real world.
The anime makes a bridge and takes place in the same Universe as Accel World being an older technology. With more than 4 seasons Sword Art Online shows very well the evolution of technologies involving Virtual Reality and the Metaverse.
In Sword Art Online games it is possible to eat, work, buy houses, have intimate relationships and even feel pain. If you want a demo of the Metaverse in Japan, Sword Art Online It's an essential anime.