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The [email protected] Producer Writes Book Decoding the Franchise's Success

posted on by Kim Morrissy
Yozo Sakagami's secret is making everything personal

The [email protected] series producer Yozo Sakagami (known affectionately as "Gami P") will release a business book on October 28 decoding the franchise's success. Titled Shunjinkо̄ Shikо̄ (Main Character Thinking), the book promises to explain the essence of "how to move people." The cover depicts the popular [email protected] character Haruka Amami.

The book states that The [email protected] franchise has a market scale of over 60 billion yen (approximately US$545.6 million). According to Sakagami, his work technique is to "bring out a person's best performance by being able to make anything 'their personal business.'"

The following is a translated excerpt from the book's opening chapter:

Everyone has probably been told at their job that you should make your work personal to you. I think there are a lot of people who may even think that's common sense. But try thinking about it. Are you truly confident that you can do it? Are you sure you're not using something else as an excuse, like "My superior told me to do this" or "My hands are tied because of the circumstances around me"? Put yourself aside for a moment; can you motivate your colleagues and subordinates to regard their work as something personal to them? I think it is a very difficult thing to accomplish.

In this book, I will explain at length what I did and what I was thinking based on my personal experiences. I hope you all can find some inspiration in it for some of the work-related issues you deal with in your daily lives.

The [email protected] franchise began as an arcade game in 2005, with the player tasked with producing idols in a fledgling idol company, managing practice schedules, concerts, CD releases, and time off. The game was first ported to the Xbox 360 in 2007, and had a sequel game in 2011, which finalized the first 13 characters of the franchise. Later spinoffs include The [email protected] Cinderella Girls social game, which introduced the story of a larger set of entirely new characters within the story of multimedia conglomerate; The [email protected]: Million Live!, which includes the original 13 characters alongside new characters; The [email protected] SideM, which focused on male idols all of whom had "unique reasons" for becoing idols; and The [email protected] Shiny Colors, a mobile game and the most recent entirely new entry in the franchise, with new female idols and a return to gameplay features from the first two games.

The first anime adaptation for the franchise was 2007's Idolmaster: Xenoglossia, a spinoff mecha anime. A-1 Pictures and Nishigori adapted the first two games in 2011's The [email protected] anime, and also produced the 2014 anime film THE [email protected] MOVIE: Kagayaki no Mukōgawa e!. The studio and some of the original staff returned for both 2015's The [email protected] Cinderella Girls and 2017's The [email protected] SideM anime. The [email protected]: Million Live! also has an upcoming television anime adaptation.

Source: Anime! Anime!


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