Video Game References in Manga

Manga, anime, and video games are intrinsically tried as Japanese pop culture, so it makes sense that they’d often cross reference and parody one another. Here are a few instances of video game references in manga – we’ll be regularly updating this as we find more!

Mahoromatic – Darius

When this girl is attached on the beach by an enormous grab, it uses the famous “WARNING! A huge battle ___ is approaching fast!” from Taito’s Darius shoot-em-up series.


Sailor V – Phelios

When Minako first meets the talking cat, Artemis, who will lead her to become the superhero Sailor V, she only knows the name as the kidnapped heroine from the Namco arcade game Phelios, rather than the actual Greek mythical figure.

Plus Sized Elf – Romancing SaGa

The heroine Elfuda regularly wears t-shirts that reference her favorite fried foods. This shirt reads “Romancing JaGa”, parodying the logo of the Square RPG Romancing SaGa, while “jaga is short for “jagaimo”, which means “potato”.


Watamote – Soul Hackers

In this frame of Watamote, short for No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular!, the protagonist Tomoko is clearly playing Soul Hackers for the Saturn. The character she’s fighting looks like Kyouji Kuzunoha from Devil Summoner, its predecessor, and the status bar indicates one of the party character as Nemissa, the demon girl from Soul Hackers.


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