History of Nintendo's Anime Characters
It's been some time since Japan's giant game manufacturers Nintendo embarked on movie industry. Are you, in fact, aware that Nintendo is already neck deep in the animation industry, quite positively, too, having animated numerous game characters?
This episode will outline Nintendo's history in animating the so-called Nintendo characters - including the recent works.
Super Mario, Mario Series 1986
Super Mario - a celebrity in the world of games - was animated in the movie " Super Mario Bros.: Great Mission to Save Princess Peach". The movie is packed with surprises even to today's viewers in the way Mario Ramen, Mario Furikake（powder seasoning) and such commodities tied up with TV commercials are given roles to play and how the heroine Princess Peach was wedded to a most unlikely character, etc.
Such parodies of fairytales as "Super Mario Episode Momotoro (Peach Boy)", "Episode Snow White", "Episode Issun-Boshi (Tom Thumb Bonze)" of Super Mario Bros. were all released in 1989.
The US live-action movie "Super Mario Bros." was released a year later in 1993.
The Legend of Zelda 1989
Though not animated in Japan, TV anime "The Legend of Zelda" was run in America - all 13 episodes. The hero Link wears a manful feature today but was characterized then with somewhat darker eyes.
Fire Emblem 1996
A super home computer game "Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem" was then made into an OVA with the same title. Though left unfinished, the work featured Hikaru Midorikawa portraying the hero, Mars. He still performs Marth in a new series of games.
Super Donkey Kong 1996
This is Nintendo anime produced in Europe. The anime character "Super Donkey Kong" in Japan wearing a tie naked was made into an anime "Donkey Kong".
This anime was televised in Japan rather late in 1999.
Appearing in the work are original anime characters, Diddy Kong, King K. Rool, and Funky Kong. Dixie King, a character in the game "Numbering -2-" also appears in the anime. The reason why the main character Kiddy Kong (Dinky Kong) in the game "Numbering -3-" did not appear was that the game was released at the end of the year the anime was born. In Japan, a trading card was sold at the time of televising.
The TV anime series "Pocket Monster" is still being televised with its contents repeatedly renewed. This TV anime will soon 20th anniversary (the game itself the previous year). This is by far the world's most often televised TV anime. Its first theatrical edition "Pokemon: The First Movie - Mewtwo's Counterattack" turned out to be a most spectacular movie that still holds the top box office record of Japanese films in the United States.
Its new series "Pokemon: Sun & Moon" is scheduled to start televising on November 17.
Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, 2001
The popular character "Kirby" with varieties of goods sold and performances at concept cafes had its TV series "Kirby: Right Back at Ya!," running for two years, featuring such old enemies as King Dedede and Meta Knight and anime original characters like Tiff and Tuff.
The anime abounds in satires and parodies and turned out to be a really tasteful work based on the original setting.
The race game "F-ZERO" had passed without new titles till 2003, when a TV anime " F-ZERO: GP Legend" came out. But, it departed far from the original and, like Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, found a world of its own different fro the original game. A gameboy advance software released then based on the TV anime version.
Animal Crossing 2006
A theatrical edition of "Animal Crossing" was released. About that time, Nintendo made a signal success with a DS game "Animal Crossing: Wild World". With the tickets sold in advance came coupons for item data in the game. The box office marked the all-time record of 1.7 billion yen.
Kid Icaru 2012
An anime edition of "Kid Icaru "was released over Nintendo's 3D Image Contents Viewing Service "Nintendo Video" where Nintendo 3DS used to be delivered. Animation studios like ProductionI.G, STUDIO4℃, and Shaft produced short animation films and distributed as 3D image animations.
Each studio offered space to enjoy main characters and a variety of animes.
Pikmin appeared in CM music when it was marketed but lately it is 3DCG-animated as Pikmin short movies in three short films. It was selected put on the screen at the Tokyo International Film Festival as a special film.
Pikmin dies a relentless death even in the anime edition. A 3DS version is delivered via Nintendo 3DS and an HD Quality edition via WiiU.
Star Fox 2016
This is the latest product of Star Fox. A veteran in the world of games, Stat Fo is still fresh in animation. Following the new game "Star Fox Zero, a short anime titled "Star Fox Zero The Battle Higgins".
This is currently being delivered. When you download the WiiU version, a training mode of the game comes with it.
That's a quick rundown on animations in the order of production - all except movies in the games. If TVCMs are included, the total number will run quite high. It means that most popular works have been animated.
These days more games are made into movies than ever before. You never know, we might soon see a new genre created to cover game movies. It is interesting how Nintendo survive movie industry in such an era.
So, why not check up all the animes introduced here to get yourself ready for such an era.