Borderlands was a weak example, but to prove I'm not completely crazy, here is a quote from the RPGFan review:
The structure of the game is akin to a combination of Fallout 3 or The Elder Scrolls and Diablo.
I stumbled upon this while looking for pictures of the shopkeepers http://lilithgow.wordpress.com/2009/11/02/the-top-ten-video-game-shopkeepers/
This was a tough one, with Borderlands just beating out the horrifying plasmid stations of Bioshock. Bioshock’s stations were great at conveying the mood of the gutted and decaying Rapture but inherently makes no sense – I couldn’t really contemplate that Andrew Ryan would allow the selling of horrifying genetic mutations on each street corner – while it does embrace the “No Gods, Only Man” mantra of Rapture, I always found it jarring.
Borderlands on the other hand, I feel hit the mark with their cheery, slogan launching vending machines dispensing guns, ammunition and health.
The art style of Borderlands' shops is clearly inspired by Bioshock and Fallout 3, but doesn't directly fit with what I'm saying about old timey vibe.
Muramasa and Okami
I see what you're doing, but my point stands because vaultboy etc are very specific elements. I'm not just comparing two NPCs with similar polycount. I'm not saying the art styles are the same, I'm saying the delivery and purpose of the cutesy warnings in both games is the same.
I think I'm just worried that Japanese devs will westernize out of my taste range. I should have a little more faith.