Anime Creator Shoji Kawamori Named Chief Creative Officer of Small Worlds Theme Park
posted on by Egan Loo
Small Worlds, the company building the world's largest indoor theme park of scale miniatures, announced on Monday that it has appointed anime creator Shoji Kawamori as its chief creative officer. The Small Worlds Tokyo theme park will open with scale replicas of world-renowned landmarks and imaginary locales in Tokyo's Ariake area on April 25.
In addition to real-world locales such as London and Hong Kong, the theme park will feature recreations of anime locales such as Evangelion's Tokyo-3 and Sailor Moon's Crystal Tokyo. It will employ practical special effects such as underground motors with magnets, projection mapping, and smoke machines to put the miniatures in motion.
Kawamori has been involved in all aspects in the park's planning since its early stages five years ago, particularly in the theme park's Space Center and Future Area. The Space Center features a "launching" replica of the Saturn V (the rocket that carried every astronaut who walked on the Moon), as well as the 20th-century space shuttle on its Kennedy Space Center pad. For the Future Area, Kawamori designed a hypothetical civilian space center that could be built in Asia in the near future, complete with a spaceport for tourists and six different next-generation space shuttles that will "launch" with special effects.
Below are two promotional videos from August 2019, when the park was still in the early days of construction:
Kawamori is perhaps most famous for being a key creative planner in The Super Dimension Fortress Macross anime series. He designed most of the franchise's iconic transforming "variable fighter" mecha, and oversaw most of the main installments in the franchise, including the latest, Macross Delta.
Kawamori has also created the Aquarion, AKB0048, and Arjuna series, and most recently was chief director on Jūshinki Pandora at Satelight, the anime studio for which he serves as a board director. He has contributed mechanical design work to Patlabor: The Movie, Patlabor 2: The Movie, Eureka Seven, Outlaw Star, Ghost in the Shell, and more. He is credited as the original creator of The Vision of Escaflowne, Basquash!, and Nobunaga the Fool. He has worked in anime production as a director, screenwriter, mechanical designer, and storyboarder.
Outside anime, he designed one of Sony's Aibo robot dog variants and contributed to the designs of Takara's Diaclone Car Robot toys, which eventually became Optimus Prime, Prowl, Ironhide, and other toys in Hasbro's Transformers line. His game contributions include the original mechanical designs for the Armored Core franchise and the Devil Breaker weapons in Devil May Cry 5.
Source: Small Worlds Tokyo press preview