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Top 10 Super-Awesome Super-Weird Japanese Video Games!

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Briana Lawrence Oh... Japan. You make some of the best games out there. You saved the video game industry! Your capacity for innovation is unparalleled. Your culture also produces so really, really weird stuff - especially in video games. Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Super Awesome, Super Weird Japanese Games. Special thanks to our user “haxorz48” for suggesting this topics using our interactive suggestion tool @ http://WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Top 10 Super Awesome, Super Weird Japanese Games

Oh... Japan. Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Super Awesome, Super Weird Japanese Games.
It’s no secret that some Japanese video games can walk the line between bizarre and batshit insanity. While we’ve definitely seen enough weird content to last a thousand lifetimes, some of that strangeness ends up being, well... awesome! Eeeeeven if it makes us uncomfortable.

#10: “Takeshi’s Challenge” (1986)

Some people dream of working on video games. We’re not sure if that was the case with comedian/actor/director, Takeshi Kitano, but he certainly had some interesting... ideas. The biggest “challenge” is figuring out what the hell is going on. Quitting your job, getting a divorce, hitting everyone in your path, nonsensical puzzles... none of it made sense, and yet, that’s what made it so intriguing. Being able to conquer the game has become a badge of honor of sorts. Was that the entire point? We’ll probably never know.

#9: “Wario Ware” series (2003-13)

Oh Wario, you money hungry, motorcycle riding, farting disaster of a man... we love you. You’re the exact opposite of Mario in every way, even your games are unorganized time-wasters. What’s the point of Wario Ware? Spoiler: there isn’t one. It’s just a series of “microgames” strung together that you have seconds to complete. That’s it. And these aren’t award winning games, we’re talking flipping eggs, jumping rope, picking noses -- yep, you heard right, you’ve got five seconds to pick a nose. And it’s the most intense 5 seconds in Nintendo history... all right, it’s not, but it’s still fun.

#8: “Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon” (1997)

While Goemon has a slew of games in Japan, he’s only got a handful in the U.S., and this N64 classic is, undoubtedly, the best one. An action-adventure game similar to the likes of “Mario 64” or “Ocarina of Time”, Goemon faces villains who arrive in a peach-shaped space ship with a dastardly plot to turn Japan into a theatre. Oh no! Not dancers! Quick, to the roller skating robot! With its quirky humor, catchy music, and fun gameplay, Goemon may have been odd, but he was, in fact, awesome.

#7: “I’m Sorry” (1985)

Could you imagine a game like this being released today? Here’s the premise: Japan’s former Prime Minister, Kakuei Tanaka, is out collecting gold bars, and punches whoever gets in his way. He’s not defending the world or even protecting the country, all he cares about is money. While the title makes you think that he’s apologizing for his greedy ways, it’s actually a play on the Japanese word for Prime Minister: Sori. We’re not sure if the ballsiness of calling out a former Prime Minister is what makes the game awesome... or the fact that some of the enemies included Madonna and Michael Jackson.

#6: “Gitaroo Man” (2001)

We wish that more people would solve their problems with music, after all, who doesn’t want to be a guitar wielding hero with a talking dog? U-1 was just an ordinary boy with an unordinary name. Picked on by classmates, ignored by his dream girl, the only one who saw the greatness within was Puma -- the talking dog we mentioned. The pup then teaches U-1 how to play guitar, transforms into a boombox, and gifts U-1 with the legendary Gitaroo, which turns the boy into an epic, guitar playing hero four years before Harmonix made it cool.

#5: “Catherine” (2011)

There’s a guy who’s uncomfortable with the thought of marriage who cheats on his girlfriend. Did we mention this was developed by Atlus? Cue the weird shit! A nightmare world where men are sheep? Check. The main character traversing through strange puzzles in nothing but boxers and horns? Check. Disturbing bosses like giant babies and weird butts? Check. Your girlfriend being named Katherine with a K and the woman you’re having an affair with being named Catherine with a C? That’s just a coincidence. With challenging gameplay, memorable characters, and an unsettling atmosphere... it’s exactly what we expect from Atlus.

#4: “Seaman” (1999)

With a face like that, you’re likely to not forget about your Seaman the way you forgot about your Neopet... oh, sick burn, Seaman. The Seamen are some kind of strange, aquatic species with a surprisingly in-depth backstory about reincarnated beings who spread knowledge across the land ... but enough about that, let’s tap the glass, have conversations about our significant others, and... watch our Seaman... interact with one another...? As bizarre as this game is, much like Neopets, it sucks you in before you realize you’ve been talking to a man-faced fish thing for hours. We blame Leonard Nimoy for this. Yes. THE Leonard Nimoy.

#3: “Eastern Mind: The Lost Souls Of Tong-Nou” (1995)

It would be easier to play a clip of the game instead of actually trying to explain it. As Rin, your soul is stolen by an entire island, an island that happens to be a giant, floating, green head. Still with us? Kinda? Well Rin’s friend, Yashiro, gives him a temporary soul, because that’s what friends do? Now Rin has 49 days to retrieve his soul by going inside the head. And then the game just kind of... happens. That’s the best way to describe it. Whether it’s trippier than Osamu Sato’s other creation, “LSD: Dream Emulator” is a question that still plagues us.

#2: “Katamari Damacy” series (2004-16)

This is probably the most colorfully addictive game on the list. There’s a plot in there somewhere, which the more flamboyant version of the Burger King mascot will fill you in on with elegant words and complete nonsense. Then he’ll proceed to obliterate you if you fail and belittle you if you don’t succeed up to his standards -- essentially, get 100 points, or be made to feel like that piece of gum at the bottom of your katamari ball. So roll up everything! And we mean EVERYTHING! And watch as you grow big enough to roll up the cosmos AND THE KING!

Before we get to our number one pick, let’s make things awkward with these honorable mentions:
“Incredible Crisis” (1999)
“Mister Mosquito” (2001)
“Muscle March” (2009)

#1: “Hatoful Boyfriend” (2011)

You know what’s sexier than a cute boy? A bird. Just something about those feathers, the sweet peck of a fine beak, and that chirping? Don’t even get us started! In the grand scheme of this otaku life, there’s boyfriends, there’s husbandos, and there’s... sigh... Hatoful Boyfriend. Seriously, how can anyone hate this game? It’s a dating sim with birds! We live in an age where birds have been given in-depth characteristics to the point of actually caring about your relationship with each one! We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: oh... Japan.

Do you agree with our list? What odd Japanese video game do you keep in your gaming collection? For more bizarrely awesome top tens published everyday, be sure to subscribe to


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