A MASSPRODUCTION COLUMN (01/27/98, 01/29/99 Revised)
Do you think Akari will be a popular character?
As I wrote here formerly, Akari and characters from Battle Athletess DAIUNDOUKAI were popular at Comike 53 in December, 1997. However Akari fan pages are few (about 50 pages in the world except Japan).
Ms Akari Kanzaki, the heroine of DAIUNDOUKAI
Character voice = Ms Rio Natsuki
Do you think Akari will be a popular character in foreign countries? Recent Japanese animations are classified into four groups.
- Type 1: Comics origin
It takes several months for some titles to get popular. Thereafter TV producers try to animate the original. Rurouni Kenshin was also a title in Weekly Shounen Jump. Thereafter Drama CD based on the title was made. Then Ms Megumi Ogata played the role of Kenshin. One year later, Sony established anime production. Sony's first work was to animate Kenshin. Sony chose a famous Takaraduka actress, Mayo Suzukaze as Kenshin.
- Type 2: Anime origin
Anime directors always want to produce the original stories. Director Hideaki Anno made Eva and Director Kunihiko Ikuhara made UTENA. However they depended on their team and character designers. These designers are often professional cartoonists. Mr. Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, who was a designer in Eva, drew the comics-type Eva. Ms Chiho Saito, who was a designer in UTENA, drew the comics-type UTENA.
- Type 3: Novel origin
Slayers series are based on Hajime Kanzaka's novels (1990-). Thereafter comics, OVAs were released. Ms Megumi Hayashibara has played the role of the heroine, Lina Inverse a long time. When the video series started, Ms Hayashibara had been already popular as Female Ranma Saotome from Ranma 1/2. Videogame was released in 1997.
- Type 4: Character videogame origin
Some popular RPG videogames in Japan are produced by the cooperation between software development companies and anime productions. For example, Sakura Wars and DAIUNDOUKAI were made as videogames for Sega Saturn. Samurai Shodown is a popular title in arcade game. The Samurai Shodown RPG "Bushidohretsuden" was closely related with Fuji Telecast, a large broadcasting company in Japan. In the case of DAIUNDOUKAI, comics were released (September, 1996) just before the release of the videogame (December, 1996). Thereafter novels and OVAs were released in May, 1997.
Neon Genesis Evangelion was popular all over the world. Mechanism of promoting Eva is well known. It is the following figure;
Nikkei Newspaper on 01/26/97 showed the cooperation between Kadokawa Shoten and Shufu No Tomo Sha. These two are famous, old standing, large-scale publishers in Japan. Formerly a publisher was expelled by Movie Producer Haruki Kadokawa. His name was Tsuguhiko Kadokawa, Haruki's brother. Tsuguhiko Kadokawa founded a publishing company, Media Works. Shufu No Tomo Sha has dealt with works of Media Works since. Thereafter Tsuguhiko came back to take office as the President of Kadokawa Shoten. Needless to say, Kadokawa publishes Eva and Slayers and Media Works publish DAIUNDOUKAI.
Can DAIUNDOUKAI utilize Eva's promotion routine? We hope the next development.
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Battle Athletess DAIUNDOUKAI|Previous Column|Next Column
Ranma 1/2|Previous Column|Next Column
UTENA -La Fillette Révolutionnaire-|Previous Column|Next Column
Neon Genesis Evangelion|Previous Column|Next Column
Rurouni Kenshin|Previous Column|Next Column
Slayers series|Previous Column|Next Column
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