Asano started off with the somewhat predictable — yet understandable — response of establishing a fantasy RPG setting revolving around crystals and cute, exaggerated characters so that fans could jump in comfortably. After establishing that, however, he added there were other outside sources that held creative influence, including foreign TV and games:
I used the methodology of American TV dramas like the older Beverly Hills 90210 (I’m a huge fan!), and Glee as references. In terms of games, a number of games developed outside of Japan had major influence on the storytelling. So if you think about it, I guess you could call Bravely Default a traditional Japanese RPG with American content thrown in.
Few probably ever expected their JRPG to contain intentional notes of a '90s show about Californian teens, but there you have it. If it contributes to games as good as Bravely Default, someone should make sure Asano has the entire boxed set of the series!
If you've played Bravely Default, do you agree with Asano's sentiment that it's like a JRPG with American content? Does something about its story click with you now that you know some more about its creation? Let us know in the comments.