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The [email protected] Series Producer Yozo Sakagami Steps Down

posted on by Joanna Cayanan
Sakagami steps down after 18 years in the franchise

© Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc.
The official website for The [email protected] franchise announced on Wednesday that series producer Yozo Sakagami will step down from his position at the end of March. Sakagami originally planned to step down from his position on the franchise's 15th anniversary in 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the franchise's plans were delayed or suspended, and he decided to stay until the situation settled down.

In a separate announcement also on the franchise's website, 765 Production general manager Kōji Hatano stated that there are no plans to appoint a replacement for Sakagami yet, but the franchise's projects and plans will continue as scheduled.

The [email protected] franchise's upcoming anime series projects include The [email protected] Cinderella Girls U149, which will premiere on April 5; The [email protected] Million Live! (image, right), which will premiere in October; and The [email protected] Shiny Colors, which will premiere in spring of 2024. Both The [email protected] Million Live! and The [email protected] Shiny Colors will have theater screenings starting August and October, respectively before their television premiere.

The franchise most recently announced the PROJECT [email protected] vα-liv project, which will launch in spring. The story will feature apprentice idols who are aiming to debut on streaming platforms.

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 becoming 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.

Source: The [email protected] franchise's website (link 2) via Gematsu

Disclosure: Bandai Namco Filmworks Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Bandai Namco Holdings Inc., is a non-controlling, minority shareholder in Anime News Network Inc.

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