Mei Erikawa (襟川 芽衣, Erikawa Mei, born April 30, 1976) is Kou Shibusawa and Keiko Erikawa's eldest daughter. She was originally named an executive Koei director who oversaw the media department and was not directly involved with any production work. Mei is currently the director of the Ruby Party brand.
During her childhood, Mei spent many days living with her maternal grandmother. She would often be left to her own devices due to her parents being busy with their work. Although she had episodes of loneliness and felt different from other families, Mei reflects that she wasn't always lonely. Her mother would cook meals and make her clothing whenever she had the time to drop home. During company vacation time, her family would have lengthy vacations to memorable places around the world. When her younger sister, Ai, was born, Mei took it upon herself to raise her in their parents' absence. She believes that doing so helped "toughen her up", especially during her adolescence. The idea of being away from her parents came as a relief to her as she matured since she had room to explore her personal identity.
As a child, Mei originally thought that simulation games were "difficult adult games" and distanced herself from them. During middle school, the boys raved about them so she gave them another shot. Once she started to play Nobunaga's Ambition, she was hooked for life. During the early prototype stages of Angelique, Keiko asked her to play it and write a report about her experience. Mei thought the idea of only asking men to do work for the protagonist "was boring!"; her input led to the romancing element. Once she played the renewed version, she was enthralled. Her early impressions helped lead to a staple element in the Neoromance series.
Regarding her thoughts about women in the workforce, Mei has stated that about 30% of the employees in the entire company are women; 4% of them are in manager positions. Like her mother, she believes that it is entirely possible for women to raise a family and pursue a successful career. Whenever a female employee approaches her with her anxieties for child raising and maternal leave, Mei is enthusiastic for her and wants to welcome new lives into their future. Her philosophy is to "live large and live long", and she believes being a mother is a part of treasuring the one life we all have to live. She feels that both genders can provide creative and respective input unique to each other in a team environment and is heartened to see that there is rarely any serious conflicts between developers over gender.
- Koei Tecmo 2017 New Graduates interview, Koei Tecmo 2018 New Graduates interview
- Musou Stars "No Good Collection" video, Musou Stars dream team selections
- Famitsu Interview "How does a woman raise a child while pursuing her career in the video game industry?" part 1, part 2
- Social Game Info Tokimeki Restaurant interview
- 4Gamer 2017 final impressions