It has been a dream of many anime/manga fans ever since: To be able to immerse oneself in the universe of his favorite series and to become a part of this world one usually only can watch from outside.
In the beginning days of the fast-growing video game industry technical opportunities were limited and adaptions of anime series were relatively rare back then. During the late 1980s and 90s the Japanese comic art gained more popularity in the USA and Europe and so the interest in merchandise articles such as video games grew along with it. But the only way for fans in a non-Asian country to get their hands on some manga-related video games was to order an import version at a specialized retailer for a lot of money. Because of the lacking infrastructure of the internet and a smaller market there were often very few information available regarding quality and playability of the game. Luckily, nowadays manga and anime series take a well-integrated part in the western media environment and so it seems only natural more and more popular video game series are published in the US and Europe as well.
The joy of fighting – a personal tale
For instance, I am a huge fan of "Naruto" since the release of the manga in my region. Me and a good friend of mine, an employee of the company Armatix, often watched the latest episodes online and wished we could fight out huge battles with our favorite characters in a game. So I checked some online shops and informed myself about possible releases of the game. Back then the series was not present in the TV and so I ended up buying one via ebay from Japan for about $60 hoping it would meet my expectations. Later on I can say that this money could not have been invested any better, because of the hundreds of hours at night me and my friend from spent beating each other up virtually. It has been so much fun.
But we also had negative experiences, some games were not fun at all. You always have to inform yourself well about games you are interested in before waisting money.