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Yamauchi Announces Advanced New Animation Studio

by Ty Shughart - September 29, 2004, 1:17 pm EDT
Total comments: 24 Source: Yahoo.co.jp

Click this headline if you enjoy classical Japanese literature.

Today, Hiroshi Yamauchi announced a plan to create an advanced new animation studio for theatrical releases, which will be formally proposed to the board in October.

The first production will be based on the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu, a famous collection of classical Japanese poetry. There will be an opening ceremony at the famous villa, named Shiguretei, where the collection was compiled.

Yamauchi mentioned that he wants these productions to not only be popular in Japan, but also overseas. Also, the studio will be situated near the game designers for easy access. He also mentioned this would be a good risk for Nintendo to take.


Bill AurionSeptember 29, 2004

It's interesting, but I don't want Ninty to take the risk if they're not sure it will be viable...

Ian SaneSeptember 29, 2004

If Nintendo takes this risk and not online gaming I will be pissed. This is not a good risk for Nintendo to take in my opinion. I believe Square opened an animation studio for theatrical releases and we all know how well that turned out.

Good 'ol Hiroshi Yamauchi.

File this idea alongside with previous Yamauchi-led Nintendo ventures (as in, BEFORE Nintendo got into videogames) into love hotels, taxi service, and...if memory serves me right... instant rice?

This has nothing to do with online gaming or what constitutes a good risk, only Yamauchi's restless and pell-mell business appetites.

Carmine M. Red

S-U-P-E-RTy Shughart, Staff AlumnusSeptember 29, 2004

Translation is hard faustsmiley.gif

I mean, google up some pages on the Hyakunin Isshu, there's some fascinating stuff. There's some sort of card game (!) that goes along with it too.

Carmine M. Red

Perfect CellSeptember 29, 2004

Meh a Movie Studio? i guess they didnt like others making money out of Nintendo liscenced anime ...

mantidorSeptember 29, 2004

Im not to fond of this idea, I do like japanese animation a lot, and a Zelda anime will certainly be fantastic, and this book they mentioned seems good enough, but I prefer them to focus in games rather than in a market the hardly have any experience with.

Bill AurionSeptember 29, 2004

"a Zelda anime will certainly be fantastic"

No it wouldn't, for the pure and simple reason that Link would need a voice...

Spak-SpangSeptember 29, 2004

This is a great idea.

Nintendo getting into animation could allow Nintendo to get more money by entering another market. Eventually they could cross markets and allow game characters into animated movies and design games created from animated features. If they have a popular character it will create atleast some buzz and hype for the anime, and if they have a huge movie that becomes popular they naturally have an exclusive game that will bring people to their systems.

Starting with the Japanese Poetry is also very smart. It helps Nintendo break from their kiddie mold and immediately releases a serious animation that isn't just for kids but is literally animated works of art. This won't help for the cross over design, but it would help differentiate the two sections of the company and bring more creditability to the goal.

I am all for this move and I am very excited by the prospect of it.

mantidorSeptember 29, 2004


Originally posted by: Bill Aurion
"a Zelda anime will certainly be fantastic"

No it wouldn't, for the pure and simple reason that Link would need a voice...

OMG! O_o you are right! I hadnt thought of that one...

Ms.PikminSeptember 29, 2004


Originally posted by: Bill Aurion
"a Zelda anime will certainly be fantastic"

No it wouldn't, for the pure and simple reason that Link would need a voice...

What about "The Legend of Zelda" cartoon? Excuuuuuse me, princess....er, I mean, Bill


Bill AurionSeptember 29, 2004

Arg! ;___;

Bartman3010September 29, 2004

Mario Anime Movie plz.

joshnickersonSeptember 29, 2004

Feh. Does anybody really pay attention to what Yamauchi rambles anymore?

NinGurl69 *hugglesSeptember 29, 2004

Daisy's Short-Shorts & Mini-skirt Tennis Adventure Fantasy, please.

TMWSeptember 29, 2004

Hey now. What if the anime is about Link getting his voice back?

First episode, opening scene, Link wakes up to find his voice is gone!

Ganon(dorf), having stolen it for some nefarious scheme or another, initially uses it to lure Zelda into a trap....

Or something along those lines. It'd be a nifty gimmick. Hard to pull off, though.

NinGurl69 *hugglesSeptember 29, 2004

The Little Mermaid/elf man?


S-U-P-E-RTy Shughart, Staff AlumnusSeptember 29, 2004


Originally posted by: joshnickerson
Feh. Does anybody really pay attention to what Yamauchi rambles anymore?

Ahahahah, everybody on the board is his bitch, pretty much

KDR_11kSeptember 29, 2004


Originally posted by: S-U-P-E-R
There's some sort of card game (!) that goes along with it too.

Card games sound like something Nintendo used to specialize on...

This sounds like less of a risk than Square's Final Fantasy movie, especially since Square almost bled dry on the 146M costs, Nintey could absorb a whole lot more.

This is diversification. Yamauchi wants Nintendo to not have all their bets on one number. The more markets they service, the more products they have the less they are dependant on the videogame market. I mean, Ninty is preaching "the big crash", it's likely that they are afraid that soon the videogame market might cease to exist and they're searching for new markets to join before their only market vanishes. MS and Sony have legs in other markets, too, they would not fall if the games market collapsed.

joshnickersonSeptember 30, 2004

Good point, KDR. I've had friends predicting the industry crash occuring this decade, and quite frankly, I can see it coming too.

Spak-SpangSeptember 30, 2004

Actually Super Mario would make a great fantasy adventure OAV or cartoon series if it is handled correctly.

I would create the series where Mario and his Brother get sucked into the world of the mushroom kingdom. They are now stuck in a world with completely different rules then in the real world.

They start searching trying to make since of the world when the come across the mushroom kingdom. Its people speak a completely foreign tongue the the Italian brothers, but they definately seem suppressed. Mario finds out why as they see an army of the mushroom men preparing for battle.

Blah blah blah.

The point of the anime would be to take the audience with Mario as he discovers this bizarre land, and tries to save the princess which he has fallen for. Luigi is there for comic relief (not slapstick, but instead constant jabs at his brother.)

Legend of Zelda would be a harder OAV to create, but basically I would design the game around OoT. Literally take the story of Ocarina of time and use it to create the anime story. Young Link is sent on an impossible mission to get this pendants in this dungeons. Along the way he meets all the people in the world and gets glimpes of how big his mission truly is. Dungeon episodes would be about 2-3 episodes long...or if they are on an OAV then just one DVD or so and would actually walk Link around the dungeon and show him struggling with evil creatures, puzzles, learning the new item he gets, and eventually fighting the boss.

All of this is doable in a very cool way if they actually strive to keep it cool and not corny. They would definately need to hire some great writing talent.

couchmonkeySeptember 30, 2004

Is a market crash imminent, or have videogames become a self-sustaining industry? As other industries have shown, at some point you don't need to be innovative anymore. The biggest movie series of our decade (maybe even our generation) is the Lord of the Rings....based on a trilogy of novels that are 50 years old. That's not to insult the films, I love them, but there isn't much "innovative" about them. Harlequin Romance seems to release dozens of new novels each month; for that matter, some of the cheap sci-fi series' aren't much better.

I think it's true that videogames will soon reach a point where graphics and sound have nowhere else to go...at least not in the minds of casual observers. I know computers can always get better and faster, but will people pay $400 for a new console that's like going from Toy Story to Toy Story 2? I think maybe the industry is headed for a clean-up, but not a real crash. The casual market will shrink a bit, settling for older consoles until they're broken and not bothering to purchase many new peripherals or games. I also think hardcore gamers like us may become more specific about the games we buy as the product becomes more stagnant, but I doubt very many of us are going to quit buying games just because they aren't super-innovative. How many people here plan to buy Paper Mario 2 or Metroid Prime 2 this Christmas?

Oh yeah....so umm, should Nintendo make movies? I have to agree with Ian that this risk is a lot bigger than taking Nintendo games online...and I don't see a movie of Japanese poetry doing all that well. Maybe in Japan it would. I think it could be an interesting venture for Nintendo but I feel that the company needs to see through the current battle for the handheld gaming market first.

KDR_11kSeptember 30, 2004

The crash is coming primarily in Japan. While the sales numbers in the west continue to soar (though I've heard that they are declining in Europe), the japanese market is shrinking from year to year. It might become too instable to support a company like Nintendo in the near future. Of course, they could rely solely on the western market, but realistically that would leave them without a chance. Their way of working, their franchises, their thinking doesn't work as well for the western market.
Online gaming hasn't really taken off in Japan and with the shrinking market isn't likely to do so anytime soon. I guess it's movies so they get to cover more markets and stuff, online gaming would be strengthening the support of the games market but still be reliant on it. As for the risk equation, if a movie goes bad you can shrug it off, if an online game goes bad you have to support it for years to come (EA was really pissed to find out they couldn't legally shut down some out-of-date MMORPG). A movie is a product, an online service is just that, a service.

Spak-SpangOctober 01, 2004

We as gamers are also looking at it from the perspective of gamers.

Why would Nintendo do this instead of games or instead of online. Like it is an either or proposition. It isn't. Nintendo can do both.

We are also looking at it from the perspective of who would want to watch poetry. Well we don't know what kind of poetry it is.

1)It could be poetry that tells of ancient battles from Japanese history or legends, that actually would be very cool around the world.

2)It could be more abstract poetry which would lend animators to be able to create something like Fantasia and Fantasia 2000. Both of which appealed around the world and were very amazing works of ART.

See, Nintendo choosing to do more art animation first can give it instant crediability and make a name for themselves. Hey they took a risk and challenged conventional wisdom of animation....COOL.

Bill AurionOctober 01, 2004

"Why would Nintendo do this instead of games or instead of online."

Because Ninty won't make a profit off online the way they want to do it...

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