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Heisei Retro (平成レトロ) is a Japanese aesthetic centering around nostalgia for the Japanese Heisei era and the trend of incorporating things that were popular during the 90s and 2000s within Japan. Heisei Retro is mainly being spread in popularity by Millenials and Gen Z. Millennials feel nostalgic for the culture they experienced in their childhood, and Gen Z is interested in products that are different from modern high-performance tools, leading to the current Heisei Retro boom. There are a lot of similarities with Fairy Kei and Kidcore.

Visuals[]

Toys and Technology[]

Due to the Heisei Retro boom, there is a phenomenon that once popular products are back in the spotlight.

Flip phones were some of the first mobile phones with integrated internet access and could be highly personalized with downloadable themes. It was highly popular to customize their cases with various gemstones and cabochons, giving birth to "decoden" as a hobby which is still popular to this day.

Tamagotchi is a palm-sized pet raising game released in 1996. In 1997, the year after its release, it entered the top ten of the "New Words and Buzzwords of the Year" category, and two and a half years after its release, it became a huge hit with cumulative sales exceeding 40 million units worldwide. However, in 1998, the boom ended and so did the production for years. In 2004, the target demographic was changed from high school girls to elementary school girls, and the new model featuring a communication function became another hit and continues to be sold even today. Many millennials buy them for their children, nostalgic for the days when they used to play with Tamagotchi themself.

QuickSnap is a disposable film camera that was a big hit in the early Heisei era. Sales peaked in 1997, after which production was slashed as camera-equipped phones became more popular. However, in recent years, the Heisei Retro boom has led to another boom in the Fujicolor QuickSnap. Many people are fascinated by the rough image quality, the retro image, and the analog feel that cannot be emulated.

A profile book is a binder-type notebook in which you collect the profiles of your friends. It is very similar to the friendship books that were popular overseas, with the difference being that individual pages can be removed for trading and collecting various designs. Currently, it is attracting attention again as one of the means of face-to-face communication. The Reiwa version of the profile book is characterized by the addition of unique items such as social media handles and favorite videos.

Fashion[]

  • White eye makeup
  • Pale nude lipgloss
  • Scrunchies worn on the wrist
  • Loose socks
  • Hibiscus accessories

Media[]

Manga & Anime[]

  • Beyblade
  • Card Captor Sakura
  • Detective Conan
  • Digimon Adventure
  • Dragon Ball
  • Dr. Slump
  • Fruits Basket
  • Hamtaro
  • Hunter x Hunter
  • Inuyasha
  • Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne
  • Mermaid Melody
  • Naruto
  • Ojamajo Doremi
  • Onegai My Melody
  • One Piece
  • Pokemon
  • Pretty Cure
  • Ranma 1/2
  • Sailor Moon
  • Shaman King
  • Slam Dunk
  • Tokyo Mew Mew
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!
  • Yu Yu Hakusho

Video Games[]

In general, any game released for retro consoles are considered part of the aesthetic, but the iconic titles of the Heisei era include:

  • Chrono Trigger
  • Dance Dance Revolution
  • Digimon World
  • Dragon Quest V
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Final Fantasy X
  • Harvest Moon
  • Kirby's Dream Land
  • Mario Kart
  • Phantasy Star Online
  • Pokémon Red and Green
  • Pokemon Gold and Silver
  • Pokemon Stadium
  • Secret of Mana
  • Super Mario World
  • Tekken
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Resources[]

External links to help get a better understanding of this aesthetic.

Artists[]

Blogs[]

Events[]

Pinterest Boards[]

Gallery[]

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