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Google’s new AR in Search brings your favorite Japanese characters to life

Japan has made a big impact on pop culture with anime, video games and TV shows. Between the 1950s and the 1980s, Japan’s anime and video game culture flourished with the growing popularity of comic books, arcades, consoles and home TVs. Ever since, the country has produced several video games, anime, and TV shows that became famous not only in Japan, but around the world as well. 

Nowadays a lot of shows and video games are popping up with more iconic characters for us to love, but sometimes it’s nice to have a blast from the past. Google now has augmented reality (AR) in Search, a new feature that brings to life iconic characters from classic Japanese anime, video games and TV shows.

Famous animated characters that emerged from these classics include Hello Kitty and Pac-Man, both of which are still popular today. Pac-Man is the most searched animated icon on Google, followed by Hello Kitty, but the search interest for Pac-Man is more than double Hello Kitty’s. Peru has the highest search interest for Pac-Man, while Hello Kitty is the most searched animated icon in the Philippines. 

With AR in Search, your favorite characters from classic Japanese anime, video games and TV shows can come to life and brighten your day, be it with a cute message from Hello Kitty, or a feeling of nostalgia when you hear Pac-Man’s retro sound effects. Characters that can be viewed in AR include Hello Kitty, Pac-Man, Gomora, Gundam, Evangelion and Ultraman.

Google Search AR

To use AR in Search, Google one of the available characters using a mobile device. Tap “View in 3D” to rotate or zoom in on the character. 

For Android, use the Google app or any Android browser to search for one of the featured characters and tap “View in 3D”. 3D content can be viewed on gadgets with Android 7 Plus, and AR content is available on ARCore-enabled devices. 

For iOS, use the Google app to search for one of the characters and tap “View in 3D”. iOS 11.0+ devices have 3D and AR content available. 

If you want to make videos with your favorite characters there’s a recording option, so get creative and have fun with Google’s AR in Search.


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Lyshiel Aranal

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Trixie Velasquez


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