SHINKUKAN – The Kawaii Steampunk Android TCG is a venture by a Japanese company to spread otaku culture to the world through the power of cute robot girls in the form of an old-school trading card game you can play with your friends. The Kickstarter campaign is currently in the final stages, and they’re just a few thousand dollars off their goal. Read on for anime artwork and an overview of the project.

 Disclaimer: RocketNews24 is not affiliated in any way with this Kickstarter campaign.

Despite the misleading use of ‘android’ in the Kickstarter campaign title, this isn’t an online game, but an old-school card and dice type of trading card game for two players. Basing their designs on the artwork of John Hathway, the Japanese company JH Lab has come up with a brand new TCG featuring a combination of cute anime girls and cool robots that should hit the spot for otaku the world over. The reason for launching a Kickstarter? Apparently they’ve been disappointed with previous attempts to share ‘Akihabara culture’ in the US, and are looking for a new platform for distribution. The three main reasons they give for deciding to use crowd funding are to share the project with otaku overseas, to gain adequate financial backing, and to strengthen PR efforts as they do not have strong connections with overseas media.

The campaign ends on Wednesday September 17, and has a goal of $20,000.


There is a ton of lore and backstory to this game, although how much sense it makes is up for debate. To put it simply, the game is set in the far future and is based on a sci-fi and steampunk aesthetic. In this universe, companies and amateurs take part in the Shinkukan Competition and fight head to head using androids. What are these androids? “The Shinkukan Androids are general-purpose or special-purpose feminine robots that contain a spirit!”  In other words, they’re super-kawaii anime girls.

Here’s a bit of sci-fi babble to explain the existence of these ‘androids’, which are basically humanoid robots with advanced AI and human spirits: “Coincidentally, the structure of those electron vacuum states matched the structure of the obsolete vacuum tubes, marking a technological regression from the modern semiconductor Vacuum tubes proved effective in the amplification of spirit-born power (oft said to be faith or magic), but using an inverse application they had been used to produce a spirit of electrical intelligence.” …Yeah, well they’re totally cute!


Specifically, the setting for the game is in 273 PAS  (Post Akaishi Shutdown) during the Seventh Shinkukan Competition. You play as a Doll Manipulator and must use your own Shinkukan to compete against your opponents and defeat their rival androids.


The beta version of the game was tested by 3,000 Japanese fans, and now JH Lab are seeking backing to release the international version in English. The decks consist of a variety of different cards, the most important being the oversized Android cards (63mm x 128mm).


Additionally, there are also Assistant and Resource cards. Asisstant robots are mechs who support the androids in the competition, and broaden the choice tactics a player can use. Resources represent hardware, parts, and software that can be used to enhance the power of an android.


For the smallest pledge of $18 you can get the starter deck, which contains everything you need to start playing Shinkukan. The starter deck contains the Shinkukan basic set which includes 7 random android cards, 21 basic resource cards, 8 unique resource cards, and 8 assist cards. There’s also a special chip token, a special dice, a box for your cards, and of course an instruction manual. With every pledge level you get more and more add-ons, such as extra decks or super rare cards.



For those who have money to spend, the pledges extend all the way up to a $450 or more pack, which offers you the opportunity to have your likeness turned into an android card.

Regardless of whether or not you’re into this kind of thing, it’s always interesting to see how companies around the world are making use of crowd funding to realize products that would probably never see the light of day if they’d had to rely on traditional methods of raising capital. Kickstarter can open up a direct line between consumers and producers, and hopefully this will be a success story for both the Japanese company and their overseas fans.




 Source: Kickstarter