Ōkami

Ōkami (Japanese: 大神, lit. "great god" or "great spirit")[2] is an action-adventure video game developed by Clover Studio and published by Capcom. It was released for Sony Computer Entertainment's PlayStation 2 video game console in 2006 in Japan and North America, and in 2007 in Europe and Australia. Despite the closure of Clover Studio a few months after the game's initial release, a version for Nintendo's Wii console was developed and produced by Ready at Dawn, Tose and Capcom, which was released in North America in April 2008, in Europe in June 2008, and in Japan in October 2009.

Set sometime in classical Japanese history, the game combines several Japanese myths, legends and folklore to tell the story of how the land was saved from darkness by the Shinto sun goddess, named Amaterasu, who took the form of a white wolf. It features a distinct sumi-e-inspired cel-shaded visual style and the Celestial Brush, a gesture-system to perform miracles. The game was initially planned to use more traditional realistic rendering, but this had put a strain on the graphics processing of the PlayStation 2. Clover Studio switched to this cel-shaded style to reduce the processing required, which directly created the concept of the Celestial Brush gameplay mechanic. The gameplay itself is modeled off The Legend of Zelda, one of director Hideki Kamiya's favorite titles.

Ōkami was one of the last PlayStation 2 games selected for release prior to the release of the PlayStation 3. Although it suffered from poor sales, the game received critical acclaim, earning the title of IGN's 2006 Game of the Year. The Wii version has earned similar praise, though the motion control scheme has received mixed reviews. A high-definition port of the game, remastered by Capcom and HexaDrive, was released on the PlayStation 3 via the PlayStation Network in October 2012 and for retail in Japan in November 2012, supporting the use of the PlayStation Move motion controller. The high-definition port was also released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in December 2017 worldwide, and then for Nintendo Switch in August 2018. Mainstream adoption of the game has improved with age with the release of these remasters, and Ōkami is now considered to be one of the best video games ever made, as well as a prime example of artistic expression in video games, aided by the improved art details and graphics resolutions possible through the remasters.

A sequel on the Nintendo DS titled Ōkamiden was released in Japan in September 2010, followed by North America and Europe in March 2011.

Ōkami
OkamiNTSCcoverFinal
North American cover art
Developer(s)Clover Studio
Publisher(s)Capcom
Director(s)Hideki Kamiya
Producer(s)Atsushi Inaba
Designer(s)Hiroshi Shibata
Programmer(s)Ryuta Takahashi
Artist(s)
Writer(s)Hideki Kamiya[1]
Composer(s)
Platform(s)
Release
Genre(s)Action-adventure
Mode(s)Single-player

Gameplay

The game has the player controlling the main character, Amaterasu, in a woodcut, watercolor style, cel-shaded environment, which looks like an animated Japanese ink-illustration (known as ink wash painting, sumi-e) with other styles of art. The gameplay style is a mix of action, platform, and puzzle gaming genres, and has been noted by many reviewers to have numerous similarities in overall gameplay style to The Legend of Zelda series,[3] an inspiration that director Hideki Kamiya, a self-proclaimed Zelda fan, has admitted has influenced his general game design.[4] The main story is primarily linear, directed through by Amaterasu's guide Issun, though numerous side quests and optional activities allow for players to explore the game world and take the story at their own pace.[5] By completing quests, side quests and small additional activities (such as making trees bloom into life or feeding wild animals), Amaterasu earns Praise, which can then be spent to increase various statistics of the character, such as the amount of health and number of ink wells for Celestial Brush techniques.[6]

Combat is staged in a ghostly virtual arena, and Amaterasu can fight enemies using a combination of weapons, fighting techniques and Brush methods to dispatch the foes.[7] At the end of combat, money (as yen) is rewarded to Amaterasu, with bonuses for completing a battle quickly and without taking damage. The money can be spent on numerous items from merchants across the land, including healing goods, better weapons, tools and key items for completing quests. The money can also be used to buy new combat techniques at dojos throughout the land.[8]

Additionally, rare Demon Fangs can be earned through combat which can be traded for additional, unique items that are beneficial in gameplay but not required to complete the game.[9] Weapons inspired by the Imperial Regalia of Japan (the Reflector, the Rosaries and the Glaive) can be equipped on Amaterasu as either main or sub-weapons (one each), and used in addition to other melee attacks that the player can have Amaterasu learn through the course of the game.[10][11]

Okami-brush
The player uses the Celestial Brush to rejuvenate wilted plants (as shown), repair bridges, slash foes or create elemental effects.

Celestial Brush

Unique to Ōkami is the Celestial Brush. Players can bring the game to a pause and call up a canvas, where the player can draw onto the screen, either using the left analog stick on the DualShock controller, or pointing with the Wii Remote, Joy-Con, Touchscreen or PlayStation Move controller in subsequent remakes.[12] This feature is used in combat, puzzles and as general gameplay.[13] For example, the player can create strong wind by drawing a loop, cut enemies by drawing a line through them or fix bridges by painting on the broken one, amongst many other abilities. These techniques are learned through the course of the game by completing constellations to release the Celestial Brush gods (inspired by the Chinese zodiac) from their hiding spots.[14] It is also possible to upgrade or modify certain Brush powers later in the game; for example, the Celestial Brush power "Inferno" can gain a new power called "Fireburst", which has a different drawing pattern, and allows players to create flames without relying on torches or other related items. The player's ink for drawing is limited by the amount available in special ink wells, preventing the player from solely using Brush techniques to defeat enemies; ink is restored in the wells over time when the Brush is not used.[14]

Plot

(Please note that most character names below are the shortened names of the U.S. version.)

Characters

Kuniteru Gozu dragon
Much of Ōkami centers on characters from Japanese Shinto spirituality and legendary historical figures. A major plot parallels the slaying of the eight-headed serpent, Yamata no Orochi by the Shinto god Susanoo, recreated as the characters of Orochi and Susano, respectively, within the game.

The player controls Ōkami Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun, in the form of a white wolf.[15] Amaterasu is referred to in the Japanese and European version of the game as a female, while in the North American version she was genderless although she is referred as the "mother of all".[15][16] While Amaterasu, when endowed with ink power, is seen by the player with red markings, cloud-like fur on her shoulders, and weapons on her back, most of the human characters in the game only see her as a plain white wolf; some believe Amaterasu to be the reincarnation of Shiranui (the white wolf that fought Orochi 100 years prior to the game's present), and do not recognize her spiritual nature. If the player depletes their power by overuse of the celestial brush, Amaterasu will temporarily revert to this mundane white form. Issun, an arrogant, inch-tall "wandering artist" seeking out the thirteen Celestial Brush techniques for himself, accompanies Amaterasu (whom he calls "Ammy" or "furball"), and serves as a guide, dialogue proxy and as comic relief. He grows in character along with Ammy throughout the game, becoming her true friend, inspiration and eventually her savior.[15]

At the end of the game, Amaterasu encounters Yami, the main antagonist and final boss of the game who resembles a small fish inside a huge sphere, whose design is altered through the different stages of the battle. Yami is also the ruler of the demons. Before battle, he drains Amaterasu of her powers and leaves her as a plain white wolf. Amaterasu regains her powers throughout the fight, but, after the fourth round, Yami destroys them all again and leaves Amaterasu in a near-dead state. However, when Issun gets everyone to believe in Amaterasu before the fifth and final round, she changes into her most powerful form and battles Yami, vanquishing him forever. In the final battle, Yami also has a huge clawed hand, which demonstrates the evil which comes from humans' hands. The word "Yami" means "darkness" in Japanese.

Two other characters also reappear several times within the quest. Waka appears to Amaterasu several times in the game as a beautiful young flute-playing man in costume resembling a tengu (more precisely, a tengu dressed like a yamabushi, which is a frequent tengu appearance). He is aware of the goddess's true identity and foretells her future and at times battles with her. He leads the Tao Troopers whose members Abe and Kamo are based on the two famous onmyōji Abe no Seimei and Kamo no Yasunori. Waka's dialogue, dropping French affectionate terms at times, conveys a sense of familiarity with Amaterasu, as it turns out that Waka is much older than he appears and has walked with Amaterasu on the Celestial Plain hundreds of years ago.[17] The other is Orochi, the eight-headed demon and a major villain within the game which the player will encounter several times. Orochi repeatedly has threatened Kamiki village, demanding a sacrifice of a young woman. Each of its eight heads is infused with a different elemental magic power, but the entire demon is susceptible to a special brew of sake available only at Kamiki Village, allowing Amaterasu to defeat it while in its stupor.[18] Amaterasu trusts Queen Himiko, the ruler of "Sei-an City", who is killed by one of the demons.

Throughout the game, the player encounters several other characters that are inspired from Japanese folklore.[19]

Story

Okami-issun
Promotional artwork for the game, showing the main characters. The foreground characters include the white wolf-goddess Amaterasu, the inch-high artist Issun, the mysterious swordsman Waka, and the warrior Susano.

The game is set in a Nippon (Japan) based on Japanese folklore and begins in one hundred years in the past. The narrator describes how the white wolf Shiranui and swordsman Nagi fought and sealed the eight-headed demon Orochi at the cave, to save Kamiki Village and Nagi's beloved maiden Nami.

In the game's present, Nagi's descendant and self-proclaimed greatest warrior, Susano, refuses to believe in Nagi's legend and frees Orochi, who escapes and curses the lands, sapping the life from Nippon. Sakuya, the wood sprite and guardian of Kamiki Village, calls forth Amaterasu, the sun goddess, known to the villagers as the reincarnation of the white wolf Shiranui, and asks her to remove the curse that covers the land. Accompanied by the artist Issun (an inch-high creature known as a Poncle), Amaterasu begins to restore the land to its normal state.[18]

Throughout her journey, Amaterasu confronts Waka, a handsome and strange but powerful individual who seems to have the gift of foresight and further teases Amaterasu and Issun to his own mysterious ends. Additionally, Amaterasu locates several Celestial Gods hidden in constellations, who bestow upon her their powers of the Celestial Brush to aid in her quest.

After Amaterasu and Susano defeat Orochi to save Kushi, recreating past events, Orochi's spirit floats northward. Amaterasu and Issun embark on a journey across Nippon, first arriving at Ryoshima Coast and Sei-An City, the capital of Nippon. There, they work with the beautiful priestess Rao, the legendary submarine Dragon Kingdom, and the reclusive Queen Himiko to rid the coastline and city of Orochi's influence, including destroying a demonic plague and retrieving a mystical weapon from a sunken trading ship. However, it is revealed that the real Rao was killed before Amaterasu arrived, and the Rao they had been working with was the demonic fox god, Ninetails, who murders Himiko before returning to her fortress on the elusive Oni Island. Amaterasu and Issun eventually find and kill Ninetails, noticing that her spirit, like Orochi's, travels to the icy northern island of Kamui. The two decide to travel northward to find the source of the demons.

In Kamui, Amaterasu assists the Oina tribe to defeat two recently-revived demons, Lechku and Nechku, who were creating a deadly blizzard that threatened to destroy the island. In addition to this, Amaterasu discovers that Issun ran away from his home of Ponc'tan to escape his responsibility of being a Celestial Envoy - a messenger of the gods - and his abusive grandfather. After defeating Lechku and Nechku, Amaterasu discovers the wreckage of a flying ship made of iron: the "Ark of Yamato", trapped in the frozen plains of Kamui. Waka appears and reveals himself to be a member of the Moon Tribe, a long-living race who used the Ark to sail and escape from the Celestial Plain that Orochi invaded. The demons attacked and killed the rest of the Celestials before the Ark fell to earth, releasing the demons upon the mortal world. After defeating the spirits of the felled demons again at the Ark, Amaterasu confronts Yami, the machine-esque leader of the demons who led the genocide of the gods ages ago. After a long battle, Yami drains her power and nearly destroys the Celestial Gods. Before it can do so, Issun, finally accepting his role as a Celestial Envoy, encourages all those they have helped to send their thoughts and prayers to Amaterasu, who regains her powers and defeats Yami, ridding Nippon of all demons. Amaterasu and Waka take control on the Ark and sail back to the Celestial Plain, determined to rebuild the land of the gods.

Development

Ōkami resulted from the combined ideas of Clover Studio.[20] The game was originally built around "depict[ing] a lot of nature", but had no central concept or theme, according to lead designer Hideki Kamiya.[21] Kamiya eventually created a minute-long demonstration movie showing a wolf running about a forest, with flowers blossoming in its wake, but still lacked any gameplay. Kamiya and other members of the team introduced ideas around the nature aspect and eventually led to the game's initial prototype, which Kamiya admitted was "incredibly boring to play".[21] Kamiya suggested that he allowed so many ideas from the team that resulted in the development moving off-target, including creating more of a simulation. Eventually, they settled onto the gameplay found in the final product.[21]

Okami-compare
Side-by-side comparison of the original realistic (left) and the final sumi-e (right) style used in Ōkami

The art in Ōkami is highly inspired by Japanese watercolor and wood carving art of the Ukiyo-e style, such as the work of Hokusai. Ōkami was originally planned to be rendered in a more photorealistic 3D style.[22] However, Clover Studio determined that the more colorful sumi-e style allowed them to better convey Amaterasu's association with nature and the task of restoring it.[23] The change was also influenced by limitations in the PS2 hardware to render the photorealistic 3D graphics.[24] As a result of the switch to the watercolor style, the idea of the Celestial Brush came about.[20] Atsushi Inaba, CEO of Clover, noted that "Once we fixed ourselves on a graphical style and got down to the brushwork, we thought 'Wouldn't it be great if we could somehow get the player involved and participate in this artwork instead of just watching it?' That's how the idea of the Celestial Brush was born". Original concepts for enemies included the use of dinosaurs, but the designs settled onto more demon-like characters.[25]

Amaterasu's initial designs were aimed to avoid having the character look like "your pet wearing clothing".[26] The developers had considered having Amaterasu change into a dolphin when in the water and a falcon when jumping off a cliff, but dropped these ideas.[27] Sakuya, designed around a peach motif, was envisioned with what were called "level 2" and "level 3" designs where the character would wear less clothing as the story progressed, but the "level 3" appearance, effectively naked, was vetoed by Inaba.[28] Waka's character was aimed to be a Tatsunoko-like character, with the hood designed to be reminiscent of those worn by the Gatchaman.[29] Orochi in Japanese mythology is a gigantic creature, so lead character designer Takeyasu Sawaki designed the back of the demon to include a garden and palace; this inspired the game designers to include a bell in those structures that would be Orochi's fatal weakness in the game.[30]

The localization team had to translate 1500 pages of text to make sure it made sense in a "native check", because of lack of plurals in the Japanese language and the large number of characters and conditional conversations that the player could interact with.[16] The team recognized that certain elements of the game would not be recognized by Western audiences, but left enough text and details to allow the players to look up the information for themselves.[16] Only one puzzle in the game had to be changed as it required knowledge of the steps in drawing a kanji character which would be readily known for Japanese audiences; for the Western release, these steps were demonstrated in the game.[16] The team noted that personalities of characters could be easily conveyed in Japanese text simply by the way sentences were constructed or slurred, a feature that could not directly be applied to localization. Instead, working with Kamiya, the team scripted the localization to either recreate the personality to match the Japanese version, or to create a whole new set of mannerisms for the characters as appropriate.[16]

Ōkami was shown at the 2005 E3 Convention, approximately 30% complete, with a planned release in 2006.[31] At this point, the game had much of the core gameplay, including the Celestial Brush and the combat system in place. The game was released a year later, with its release in Japan on 20 April 2006,[32] North America on 19 September 2006,[33] in Europe on 9 February 2007,[34] and in Australia on 14 February 2007.[35] However, just a few weeks following its release in North America to strong critical reception, Capcom announced the closure of Clover Studio.[36]

The Ōkami: Official Complete Works art book was published by Udon in May 2008.[37][38] The game was re-released under Sony's "Greatest Hits" in Japan in August 2008.[39]

Naming and allusions

The title of the game is a pun; the word ōkami () in Japanese means "wolf". However, the kanji characters used as the title of this game (大神), pronounced identically, mean "great deity", so the main character is a great wolf deity.[40] Although pronounced differently, the same characters (大神) are also used in the honorific name of the Shinto sun goddess Amaterasu (天照大神 Amaterasu-ōmikami).

The localization team opted to use shorter versions of Japanese names (for example, a boy named "Mushikai" was localized as "Mushi") instead of replacing the names with Western-style ones.[16] Issun's informal name for Amaterasu in the Western translation, "Ammy", was inspired by Kamiya, and is similar in tone with the Japanese informal name, "Ammako".[16]

Throughout the game, Ōkami includes several references (in visual effects, animation, or dialogue) to other Capcom titles such as Viewtiful Joe, which Clover Studios also developed.[16] For example, Mrs. Orange's technique for making cherry cake parodies Street Fighter's Akuma's Shun Goku Satsu, complete with a kanji word displayed on screen with her back-facing the screen.[16]

Audio

Ōkami Original Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
Masami Ueda, Hiroshi Yamaguchi, Rei Kondoh, and Akari Groves
Released31 May 2006
GenreSoundtrack
LabelSuleputer

The music in Ōkami was inspired by classical Japanese works.[18] The final song, played over the credit sequence, "Reset", is sung by Ayaka Hirahara. In May 2006, Capcom released an official 5-disc soundtrack for Ōkami in Japan.[41] In the North American and European release, the player can unlock a jukebox to hear the in-game music upon completion of the game. Ōkami won the best score award at the 2007 BAFTA Video Games Awards.[42]

Suleputer has also published another album, a piano arrangement, entitled Ōkami Piano Arrange. It was released on 30 March 2007. Mika Matsura both arranged the 10 songs, and performed it on the piano.[43]

With the release of Ōkami HD for the Nintendo Switch, Data Disc prepared a vinyl four-disc compilation of over 60 of the game's musical tracks for release in October 2018.[44]

The characters' speech in the game is actually created by scrambling samples of voice actors' speech, with more emotional lines being created from voice work given in that emotion.[16]

Wii port

Okami-wii
The cover of the North American Wii version of Ōkami. A watermark from IGN can be seen by Amaterasu's mouth.[45]

The gameplay function of "drawing" or "painting" strokes on the screen led several journalists and gamers alike to believe that Ōkami would be well-suited for the Nintendo DS or Wii, both of which feature controls capable of creating drawing motions freely. After the game's release, industry rumors of the game being ported to either console persisted, despite Atsushi Inaba of Clover Studio feeling that Ōkami's action-based gameplay would not translate well to the console[46] and statements from Capcom that there were "no plans for Ōkami on Wii".[47]

However, at the 2007 UK Gamers Day, Capcom announced that Ready at Dawn would oversee porting and development of a Wii version of Ōkami originally scheduled for release in March 2008[48][49][50] but subsequently pushed back to April 2008.[51] Christian Svensson, Capcom's Vice-President of Strategic Planning and Business Development, stated that Capcom had received numerous requests from fans for the development of the Wii version,[52] and that the ported game "specifically exists because of that direct communication, especially those we receive on our message boards (even if they're sometimes mean to us)."[53] Ready at Dawn president Didier Malenfant has stated that, aside from the control scheme, the Wii version will be "an exact port of the PS2 version."[54] The lack of enhancements for the game caused several complaints from gamers, which Svensson addressed, stating that

...we're getting the game up and running first. The game is enormous. If after we have every thing working correctly, cleanly and as desired so as not to "break" the amazing experience that is Ōkami, we will worry about potential enhancements. As we are NOT at that point in the process yet, we are loathe [sic] to even mention any potential changes or enhancements for fear of disappointing the fans/media.[55]

Svensson reported that the original game assets given to them from Capcom Japan were incomplete, and even after requesting old hard drives and computers to recover more assets, Ready at Dawn was still required to recreate some from scratch.[52] Furthermore, the game had to be recoded to change optimizations that were made for the PlayStation 2 version; Svensson stated that "part of the reason we didn't show it until we started showing it was because, if we showed it in a form that was anything less than near-perfect, people were going to freak out".[52] Ready at Dawn's creative director Ru Weerasuriya later reflected that porting Ōkami to the Wii was a challenging task—"we started with no assets and literally reverse-engineered the whole thing back onto the Wii"—they did out of love for the game, but the level of effort would preclude them from attempting such a port again.[56]

In November 2007, Svensson said that the engine had been ported to the Wii, writing that "There are still several systems getting set up properly but there's most definitely a Wii-driven Amaterasu running around Wii-rendered environments as we speak."[53] A listing posted at Capcom's website for the game on 15 February 2008 revealed that the Wii version would support 480p and widescreen output,[57] and IGN confirmed that the motion sensing of the Wii Remote would be used to perform the Celestial Brush features within the game.[12] IGN's hands-on also cited small changes to the game such as additional motion-sensing controls using both the Wii Remote and Nunchuck attachment, and the ability to skip cutscenes, but reported no other changes in content of the game.[12]

Svennson noted that Capcom would not use television advertising for Ōkami on the Wii, but would use online marketing, including art contests and a new website with "all sorts of things for fans to use to make stuff".[52] This site was made live on 3 April 2008, featuring wallpapers, character artwork and fan-created art for the game.[58] Svennson further noted that "If [Ōkami for the Wii] did the numbers that we did on the PS2, I'd be very happy. This doesn't need to be a mainstream success for this to be a success for the company."[52]

A "paper parchment" filter applied to all on-screen elements that was readily apparent in the PlayStation 2 version was still included in the Wii port, but the effect was made much less significant.[59][60][61] To help with drawing with the Celestial Brush, two different buttons on the Wii controllers were given brush functionality; one button was assigned to provide free-form strokes, while the other was set to draw a straight line from the starting point.[62]

Following a delay, the Wii port of Ōkami was released in North America on 15 April 2008,[51] Australia on 12 June 2008,[63] Europe on 13 June 2008,[64] and Japan on 15 October 2009.[65]

The final credits movie that was in the PlayStation 2 version of the game was removed from the Wii version, much to Kamiya's regret as it removed the omoi—"a combination of thoughts, emotions, and messages" — from the game: "[The staff roll was] the omoi of everyone who worked on the project, put together in a moment of bliss held out just for those who completed the journey. It was a special staff roll for a special moment. And now it is gone. All of it. ...It's incredibly disappointing and sad."[66] A Capcom representative stated that the credits, a pre-rendered movie, had the Clover Studio logo within it, and they had "no legal right to use the Clover logo in a game they were not involved with directly". Since they also lacked the source to the credits, they opted to remove them entirely from the game.[66] Ready at Dawn's co-founder Didier Malenfant also claimed that the Wii version of Ōkami took up much more space on the game media than the PlayStation 2 version, and that the movie was cut in order to fit everything on a single game disc,[67] however despite these claims, the credit sequence was restored in the Japanese release of the Wii version[68] and revealed that the port was co-developed by Tose, having provided additional planners, designers, programmers and test players.[1] The images from the credits, although not the credits themselves, are still available as unlockable art.

Players have discovered that the cover of the North American Wii version of Ōkami includes a watermark from IGN, and traced the source to an image taken from IGN's site.[45] To make up for the error, Capcom offered for a limited time to replace the cover with one of three high-resolution covers free of charge to users in North America.[69][70] Because of delays in fulfilling the offer, Capcom shipped copies of all three covers to those that registered.[71] They have since discontinued the offer, but have made the cover images available worldwide in high-quality PDF files for users to download and print themselves.[72][73][74] The European PAL version of the cover has no such error.

High-definition remaster

In June 2012, Capcom announced that a high-definition remastering of the game, Ōkami HD (Ōkami Zekkei-ban; roughly translated, Ōkami Magnificent Version), would be released worldwide for PlayStation 3 on 30 and 31 October 2012;[75] a retail product was released in Japan, while the game is available for download through the PlayStation Network in Europe and North America only. The remastered edition supports the PlayStation Move peripheral, and Trophy support has been added. While the remastered edition used the ending credits sequence of the original PS2 release, the ending song, "Reset", was replaced by an instrumental theme. The remastering was done between Capcom and HexaDrive, who had previously worked on the high-definition remastering of Rez.[76][77][78]

Capcom later released Ōkami HD for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on 12 December 2017 worldwide, built off the PS3 remaster. This version was developed by Buzz Co., Ltd. and Vingt et un Systems Corporation.[79] The Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One version include both digital and retail editions, while the Xbox One version was released as a digital-only title in Japan. This version supports 4K resolutions, though locked at a 30 frames-per-second framerate, and includes an optional widescreen presentation alongside the 4:3 aspect ratio of the original game.[80][81] The high-definition remaster was released for the Nintendo Switch on 9 August 2018.[82] This version uses the Switch's touchscreen controls for some features including the Celestial Brush, and supports the Joy-Con's motion controls.[83][84][85] The Nintendo Switch port has both a standard physical retail and a limited edition release exclusive to Japan, whilst the game is an eShop-exclusive in other regions.[86]

Sequel

Sales of Ōkami were considered somewhat poor for justifying a sequel; in July 2009, in response to users' questions on the possibility of a sequel, Svensson stated that "I think we need a lot more people buying the current version before we seriously consider a sequel".[87] However, after the appearance of a Japanese trademark by Capcom on the word "Ōkamiden" a few months before the Wii version of Ōkami in Japan, many speculated that a sequel was pending.[88] The September 2009 issue of Famitsu announced that Ōkamiden was indeed a sequel to Ōkami for the Nintendo DS, to be released by Capcom in Japan in 2010, though without the input of the Clover staff. The game takes place nine months after the end of Ōkami, with the player in control of Chibiterasu, a wolf puppy with the same powers as Amaterasu, but not yet at his full potential, and features the same style of gameplay, including the Celestial Brush using the DS' touchscreen controls.[89][90]

At the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2016 during an interview with Metro, Kamiya, now at PlatinumGames, stated that he had ideas for Ōkami 2 and Bayonetta 3, though did not confirm if either game was in active development.[91]

Reception

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
MetacriticPS2: 93/100[92]
WII: 90/100[93]
PS3: 90/100[94]
PC: 92/100[95]
PS4: 87/100[96]
XONE: 87/100[97]
NS: 89/100[98]
Review scores
PublicationScore
1UP.comA[99][100]
EurogamerPS2: 10/10[101]
WII: 10/10[102]
PS3: 9/10[103]
Game InformerPS2: 9.5/10[104]
WII: 9.25/10[105]
GameSpotPS2: 9/10[106]
WII: 9/10[60]
IGNPS2: 9.1/10[14]
WII: 9/10[59]
PS3: 9.4/10[107]
Nintendo PowerWII: 7.5/10[108]
OPM (UK)PS3: 8/10[109]
X-PlayPS2: 5/5 stars
WII: 5/5 stars[62]

Reviews

Ōkami received critical acclaim, with a score of 93/100 on Metacritic.[92]

GameSpot gave it a 9 out of 10 and selected it as an Editor's Choice, citing that its "visual design instantly stands out, but it turns out to be just one of many inspired aspects of this impressive action adventure game."[106] IGN gave the game a 9.1 out of 10, as being "beautiful, charismatic, engaging and one of the most original games you'll play anytime soon."[14] Electronic Gaming Monthly's three reviewers gave it a 9, 9.5, and 9 out of ten, one saying: "I'll be surprised if you can find a better game on any system this fall."[110] Newtype USA named Ōkami its Game of the Month for October 2006, heralded the pacing as "nearly flawless" and proclaimed "Ōkami is that rarest of beasts: a game without any obvious flaws. Clover's creativity and attention to detail are on full display here. Shame on any gamer who passes up this divine adventure."[111] Eurogamer scored the game 10/10 saying "Right from the start it conjures an atmosphere of being something special, but to keep that level of quality up consistently over 60 hours ensures that this will be a game that will be talked about for years to come".[101] In 2007, Ōkami was named eighteenth best PlayStation 2 game of all time in IGN's feature reflecting on the PlayStation 2's long lifespan.[112] Famitsu gave the game a near perfect score of 39 out of 40, the 15th game to date to receive this score from the publication.[113]

However, the game was noted to have some flaws. The game was criticized for its uneven difficulty.[14][106] Reviewers have also noted some difficulty in getting the game to recognize the correct Celestial Brush patterns,[99] as well as excessive amounts of dialog, particularly at the introduction, which was also hampered by the computer-generated voices used instead of voice acting.[106]

The Wii version of Ōkami has received generally similar praise to the PlayStation 2 version, with GameSpot stating that the support for widescreen and the Wii controls "make it even more relevant today than it was in 2006".[60] The use of the Wii Remote for the Celestial Brush was well received;[59] in GameSpot's review, they noted that the Wii functionality with the Brush "improves the pace of the game".[60] However, other aspects to the controls were found to be weaker, particularly in combat.[60][100] In their review, Nintendo Power recommended the PlayStation 2 version of the game over the Wii, stating that "Though you can overcome the drawing and attacking issues with practice (and by sticking to whip-style weapons), it's a hurdle you shouldn't have to leap."[108] The Wii version was given the Game of the Month award from IGN for April 2008.[114] It was a nominee for multiple awards from IGN in its 2008 video game awards, including Best Artistic Design[115] and Best Use of the Wii-Mote.[116]

The high-definition release on the PlayStation 3 was praised for being the "definitive" version of the game,[107] with the rendering in 1080p helping to make the graphics style of the game stand out. Cam Shae of IGN did express some disappointment that the PlayStation 3 version did not attempt to address the "pop up" of far-off objects due to draw distance, a limitation of the PlayStation 2 version.[107] Oli Welsh of Eurogamer considered that the game remains as relevant as it was when it was first released in 2006, being one of the few video games of the Zelda style.[103]

The release of Ōkami HD for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in 2017 was critically praised, establishing that the decade-old game still remained relevant. Julie Muncy for Wired said that while the game is somewhat long for a single-player experience, that the game is "an underrated masterpiece, the kind of beautiful work that's critically acclaimed but forgotten all too quickly".[117] Chris Schilling for PC Gamer also acknowledged that the game could be "languid to the point of lethargy" at times, but that Ōkami remained a "gorgeous and unforgettable adventure".[118] Katherine Byrne for Rock Paper Shotgun similarly said that some aspects of the game were plodding, but the game still remains beautiful with the improved graphics support, and that using a computer's mouse for the Celestial Brush powers helps to make the game feel "reborn", giving the player more options to consider in combat.[119] Polygon's Jeff Ramos considered this release the best example of a remaster, praising how well the game's art style and detail are rendered at the higher 4k resolutions.[120]

Awards

Ōkami's initial showing at the 2005 E3 Convention garnered severals awards and recognition, including 1UP's "Best PS2 Game", "Best Game of Show" (second place), and "Best Action Game" (third place);[121] IGN's "Best PS2 Game of Show",[122] and runner-up for "Best of Show" and "Most Innovative Design";[123] and X-Play's "Most Original Game".[124] GameSpy recognized it as the fifth best game showing for the convention.[125]

Upon release, Ōkami appeared as the "Game of the Month" for IGN,[126] Electronic Gaming Monthly,[127] and Game Informer.[104][128] IGN,[129] Edge Magazine[130] and Game Revolution[131] rated it as the best overall game of 2006, while GameTrailers[132] and PSM[133] named it best PS2 game for 2006. IGN further awarded the game the "Best Overall" and "PS2 Adventure Game",[134][135] the "Best Overall" and "PS2 Artistic Design",[136][137] the "Overall" and "PS2 Most Innovative Design",[138][139] and the "Best Overall Story".[140] GameSpot awarded the game for the "Best Artistic Graphics" for 2006.[141] IGN named Ōkami 90th game of all time as of 2017.[142] In 2010, GamePro ranked it as the fifth best game for the PlayStation 2.[143]

Ōkami has also won awards from outside the mainstream gaming press. The game earned the "Best Character Design" and only one of three Innovation Awards at the 2007 Game Developers Choice Awards.[144] Ōkami won the Grand Prize in the Entertainment Division of the 2006 Japan Media Arts Festival.[145] On 13 August 2007, it was also awarded the best "Animation in a Game Engine", "Art Direction in a Game Engine", "Outstanding Original Adventure Game", and "Game of the Year" in the 2006 awards by the National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers (NAViGaTR).[146] Ōkami was given an "Award for Excellence" from the Japanese Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association (CESA) at the Japan Game Awards 2007[147] and was later given 2009 CESA Developers Conference (CEDEC) award for "Visual Arts".[148] The game was awarded the "Best Anthropomorphic Video Game" in the 2006 Ursa Major awards.[149] It also won the 2007 BAFTA awards for "Artistic Achievement" and "Original Score".[150] Ōkami also received Outstanding Platform Action/Adventure Game nominations At the 11th Satellite Awards.[151]

The HD version was nominated for "Game, Classic Revival" at the 17th Annual NAViGaTR Awards.[152][153]

Sales

Ōkami sold 200,000 copies in North America in 2006, grossing approximately US$8 million and ranking as the 100th best selling game of the year in the region.[154] By March 2007, the total sales of the PlayStation 2 version were near 270,000.[52] By comparison, Ōkami sold 66,000 copies in Japan for 2006.[155] While it was initially thought that poor sales of Ōkami and God Hand (another Clover title released in the same time frame) were the cause of the closure of Clover Studio,[23][156] it was later revealed that three key developers within Capcom and Clover Studios, Shinji Mikami (Resident Evil series), Hideki Kamiya (Devil May Cry series), and Inaba, had left the company,[156][157] and the studio was dissolved, such that "now all the resources should be used more effectively and more efficiently since they are centralized."[156] Inaba, Mikami, and Kamiya went on to form the video game development company "Seeds Inc",[158] later merging with a company called "ODD" to become "PlatinumGames".[159]

On 30 July 2008, Capcom revealed that the Wii version of Ōkami had sold approximately 280,000 copies in North America and Europe since its release date.[77][160] The Wii version debuted in Japan with a modest 24,000 copies sold in its first week in the region.[161] It was the sixth-bestselling game in Japan on 23 October 2009.[162] Total sales for the game remained under 600,000 total units by March 2009, and was named the "least commercially successful winner of a game of the year award" in the 2010 version of the Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition.[163] Subsequently, in 2018, the game was awarded the Guinness World Record for "Most critically acclaimed video game starring an animal character".[164]

The HD version of Ōkami sold 16,536 copies on PlayStation 4 within its first week on sale in Japan, which placed it at number 18 on the all format sales chart.[165]

Legacy

Ben Mattes, producer for the 2008 Prince of Persia video game, cited Ōkami as well as Ico and Shadow of the Colossus as influences on the gameplay and artwork for the game.[166] Capcom's Street Fighter IV is also stated to have character designs influenced by Ōkami with hand-drawn images and brushstroke-like effects.[167] The Disney video game, Epic Mickey, uses similar drawing aspects as Ōkami, allowing the player to draw and modify parts of levels to proceed.[168] The final boss, Yami, appears as the main antagonist and final boss in the crossover fighting game, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars.[169] Amaterasu appears as a playable character in Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.[170] After Clover's dissolution and most of its staff's subsequent reformation as PlatinumGames, one of their next games, Bayonetta, contains several references to Ōkami; the most notable of these is when the title character transforms into a panther and, like Amaterasu, a trail of flowers and plant life follows her.[171] For the 2010 San Diego Comic Con, Capcom raffled a limited run of T-shirts designed by Gerald de Jesus and iam8bit that placed Amaterasu, Shiranui, and Chibiterasu (from Ōkamiden) into a homage to the Three Wolf Moon t-shirt.[172]

In 2009, GamesRadar included Ōkami among the games "with untapped franchise potential", commenting: "Seriously, if Nintendo can make the same Zelda game every few years, then why can't Capcom release Ōkami 2?".[173] In 2015, Amaterasu was featured in Archie Comics' Worlds Unite crossover between its Sonic the Hedgehog comic lines and Mega Man series.[174] An Ōkami costume was included in Monster Hunter Generations.[175] Capcom submitted and got approval to publish an Amaterasu "courier" for Dota 2 just prior to the December 2017 release of Ōkami HD on Steam, with players that had pre-ordered or purchased Ōkami HD within the release period receiving the courier for free.[176]

See also

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External links

4th British Academy Games Awards

The 4th British Academy Video Games Awards (known for the purposes of sponsorship as British Academy Video Games Awards in Association with PC World), awarded by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, was an award ceremony held on 23 October 2007 in Battersea Evolution. The ceremony honoured achievement in 2007 for games which were released between 6 October 2006 and 5 October 2007 and was hosted by Vic Reeves. Wii Sports led with the most nominations with seven. Wii Sports was the major winner on the night, taking six of the seven awards available, equaling the record Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2003) and Half-Life 2 (2004) had with the most awards won in any BAFTA Video Games Awards ceremony. BioShock took the main prize of Best Game.

Amaterasu (Ōkami)

Amaterasu (Japanese: アマテラス), also known as Ōkami Amaterasu (大神天照), is a fictional character from Capcom's video game Ōkami. She is a white wolf based on the actual Amaterasu (天照大御神, Amaterasu-ōmikami) in Japanese mythology. Amaterasu also appears in the Marvel vs. Capcom series. Since debuting in Ōkami, Amaterasu has garnered mostly positive reception from both video game publications and fans, often included among the top Capcom characters, best canine characters in games, and greatest video game protagonists overall.

Atsushi Inaba

Atsushi Inaba (稲葉 敦志, Inaba Atsushi, born August 28, 1971) is a Japanese video game producer and businessman. He was the former CEO and producer of the Capcom subsidiary Clover Studio, who developed the games Viewtiful Joe, Ōkami, and God Hand. He is currently the head producer at the development division at PlatinumGames.

Circuit no Ōkami

The Circuit Wolf is a shōnen adventure and racing manga published in Japan as Circuit no Ōkami (サーキットの狼, Sākitto no Ōkamii). It was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from January 1975 to June 1979.

The sequel to Circuit no Ōkami, Circuit no Ōkami II: Modena no Tsurugi (サーキットの狼II―モデナの剣, Saakitto no Ōkami - Modena no Ken), was also published by Shueisha.

Circuit no Ōkami II: Modena no Tsurugi also animated as an OVA, released December 21, 1990.

The live action film of Circuit no Ōkami, directed by Kazuhiko Yamaguchi, was released in Japan on August 6, 1977.

Clover Studio

Clover Studio Co., Ltd. (Japanese: 株式会社クローバースタジオ, Hepburn: Kabushiki Gaisha Kurōbā Sutajio) was an independent Japanese video game development studio founded by Capcom. The studio developed the PlayStation 2 port of Viewtiful Joe, both versions of Viewtiful Joe 2 for the Nintendo GameCube and PlayStation 2, and the PS2 titles Ōkami and God Hand. The name "clover" is an abbreviation of "creativity lover" as well as the Japanese syllables mi ("three") and ba ("leaf") coming from the names of Shinji Mikami and Clover's Atsushi Inaba.The studio consisted largely of existing Capcom R&D talent, who had formed the company (then called Studio 9) to give themselves greater executive control (and thus creative freedom), like Sega's semi-autonomous studios in the early 2000s. The studio focused largely on creating new intellectual property rather than sequels. When these failed to perform on par with Capcom's more popular series, Capcom attempted to merge the studio back into their internal R&D. Those at the studio chose instead to leave the company, and Clover was dissolved.

Some of the key members of Clover founded Seeds Inc., a new development group that merged with ODD Incorporated in October 2007 to form PlatinumGames, which has since built up a staff composed of former Clover staff. Other members (including the art director of Ōkami) went to join UTV Ignition Games at their Tokyo development studio, which developed the game El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron. On 28 October 2010, one of the most prominent members of Clover Studio and then PlatinumGames, Shinji Mikami, joined ZeniMax Media in a deal where ZeniMax acquired his new development studio Tango Gameworks.

Commando (video game)

Commando, originally released as Senjō no Ōkami (戦場の狼, lit. "Wolf of the Battlefield"), is a run and gun, vertically scrolling arcade game released in 1985. Its influence can be seen in various later games in the shooter game genre. Versions were released for various home computers and consoles. The game also appears on Capcom Classics Collection, Activision Anthology, and on the Wii Virtual Console Arcade, as well as Capcom Arcade Cabinet for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Inari Ōkami

Inari Ōkami (稲荷大神, also Oinari) is the Japanese kami of foxes, of fertility, rice, tea and sake, of agriculture and industry, of general prosperity and worldly success, and one of the principal kami of Shinto. In earlier Japan, Inari was also the patron of swordsmiths and merchants. Represented as male, female, or androgynous, Inari is sometimes seen as a collective of three or five individual kami. Inari appears to have been worshipped since the founding of a shrine at Inari Mountain in 711 AD, although some scholars believe that worship started in the late 5th century.

By the 16th century Inari had become the patron of blacksmiths and the protector of warriors, and worship of Inari spread across Japan in the Edo period. Inari is a popular figure in both Shinto and Buddhist beliefs in Japan. More than one-third (32,000) of the Shinto shrines in Japan are dedicated to Inari. Modern corporations, such as cosmetic company Shiseido, continue to revere Inari as a patron kami, with shrines atop their corporate headquarters.Inari's foxes, or kitsune, are pure white and act as their messengers.

Izanagi

Izanagi (イザナギ, recorded in the Kojiki as 伊邪那岐 and in the Nihon Shoki as 伊弉諾) is a deity born of the seven divine generations in Japanese mythology and Shinto, and his name in the Kojiki is roughly translated to as "he-who-invites". He is also known as Izanagi-no-mikoto or Izanagi-no-Ōkami.

Japanese wolf

The Japanese wolf (Japanese: ニホンオオカミ(日本狼 ー, Hepburn: Nihon ōkami) (Canis lupus hodophilax) is an extinct subspecies of the gray wolf that was once endemic to the islands of Honshū, Shikoku, and Kyūshū in the Japanese archipelago. It is also known as the Honshū wolf. Its binomial name derives from the Greek Hodos (path) and phylax (guardian), in reference to Japanese folklore, which portrayed wolves as the protectors of travellers. It was one of two subspecies that were once found in the Japanese archipelago, the other being the Hokkaidō wolf.

Lone Wolf and Cub

Lone Wolf and Cub (Japanese: 子連れ狼, Hepburn: Kozure Ōkami, "Wolf taking along his child") is a manga created by writer Kazuo Koike and artist Goseki Kojima. First published in 1970, the story was adapted into six films starring Tomisaburo Wakayama, four plays, a television series starring Kinnosuke Yorozuya, and is widely recognized as an important and influential work.

Lone Wolf and Cub chronicles the story of Ogami Ittō, the shōgun's executioner who uses a dōtanuki battle sword. Disgraced by false accusations from the Yagyū clan, he is forced to take the path of the assassin. Along with his three-year-old son, Daigorō, they seek revenge on the Yagyū clan and are known as "Lone Wolf and Cub".

Okami-san and Her Seven Companions

The Okami-san (Japanese: オオカミさん) series is a collection of Japanese light novels by Masashi Okita, with illustrations by Unaji. The series started with the release of the first volume in August 2006 titled Okami-san & her Seven Companions (オオカミさんと七人の仲間たち, Ōkami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi), and as of January 2011, 12 volumes have been published by ASCII Media Works under their Dengeki Bunko imprint. A manga adaptation by Kurumi Suzushiro started serialization in the April 2010 issue of ASCII Media Works' shōnen manga magazine Dengeki Daioh. A 12-episode anime adaptation by J.C.Staff aired in Japan on AT-X between July 1 and September 16, 2010, and has been licensed and dubbed into English by Funimation Entertainment to be aired on American network television and released to DVD. The English-dubbed version of the anime adaptation was subsequently licensed and distributed by Madman Entertainment and Manga Entertainment to Australia and the United Kingdom, respectively.

Okami (disambiguation)

Ōkami (狼) is a Japanese word that means "wolf".

Japanese wolf (extinct)

Hokkaido wolf (extinct)Okami, Ōkami, Ohkami, or Ookami may refer to:

A surname:

Kei Okami (1859–1941), Japanese physician

Yushin Okami (born 1981), a Japanese mixed martial arts fighter

Senjō no Ōkami ("Wolf of the Battlefield") series:

Commando (Senjō no Ōkami), the first game in the series, released in 1985.

Mercs (Senjō no Ōkami 2), sequel to the first game, released in 1991.

Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3, third game in the series released in 2008, not released in Japan.

Ōkami, a video game released for Sony's PlayStation 2 console in 2006 and later ported to the Wii in 2008 and to PlayStation 3 in 2012.

Ōkamiden, a direct sequel to Ōkami.

Ōkami (大神) is also a reverential title of some Japanese Shinto deities and, historically, the Emperor of Japan.

Kuraokami (also Okami or Okami no kami), a legendary Japanese dragon and Shinto deity of rain and snow.

Okami Station, a station in Shimane Prefecture, Japan.

Ōkami Kakushi ("Wolfed Away"), a video game developed by Konami for the PlayStation Portable, as well as its anime adaptation.

Ōkami to Kōshinryō ("Spice and Wolf"), a light novel, manga, and anime series, first published in 2006

Kozure Ōkami ("Lone Wolf and Cub"), an influential samurai manga, published from 1970 to 1975.

Circuit no Ōkami ("The Circuit Wolf") is a racing manga, published from 1975 to 1979.

Okami-san, sports manga, published from 1990 to 1999.

Ōkami-san (light novels), a light novel, manga and anime series

Ōkami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki, an anime film from 2012, distributed as Wolf Children

Sarutahiko Ōkami

Sarutahiko Ōkami (猿田毘古大神, 猿田彦大神), is the leader of the earthly kami, deity of the Japanese religion of Shinto. Norito also mentions him with the title Daimyōjin (大明神 great bright god, or greatly virtuous god) instead of Ōkami (大神 great god).

Sarutahiko Ōkami is seen as a symbol of Misogi, strength and guidance, which is why he is the patron of martial arts such as aikido. He enshrined at Tsubaki Grand Shrine in Mie Prefecture, first among the 2000 shrines of Sarutahiko Ōkami, Sarutahiko Jinja in Ise, Mie and Ōasahiko Shrine in Tokushima Prefecture. In the Nihon Shoki, he is the one who greets Ninigi-no-Mikoto, the grandson of Amaterasu, the Sun goddess, when he descends from Takama-ga-hara. He is depicted as a towering man with a large beard, jeweled spear, ruddy face, and long nose. At first he is unwilling to yield his realm until persuaded by Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto, the kami of dance and the arts, whom he later marries.His Paredros and children created the Sarume no Kimi (猿女の君) clan along with an order of female court and religious dancers. It was the origin of Kagura and Noh. Other descendants includes the Ujitoko clan from Ise province. According to Kojiki, he went in Ise where a giant clam trapped his hand on Isuzu river at Azaka, thus he drowned. But strangely, Sarutahiko was considered by Ueshiba Morihei as a kind of god of the cosmic life : the god of Aiki. According to O-Senseï, the practice of Aikidō was practice of Misogi purification itself (and thus, like Sarutahiko standing of Ame-no-Ukibashi, standing between Heaven and Earth, being one with the Universe, and so achieving peace with the world, the next step being World Peace itself)... which doesn't fit very well this Kojiki story of Sarutahiko's death (although it is unknown if he really died from it).

Spice and Wolf

Spice and Wolf (狼と香辛料, Ōkami to Kōshinryō) is a Japanese light novel series written by Isuna Hasekura, with illustrations by Jū Ayakura. ASCII Media Works has published 21 novels since February 2006 under their Dengeki Bunko imprint. ASCII Media Works reported that as of October 2008, over 2.2 million copies of the first nine novels have been sold in Japan. The series has been called a "unique fantasy" by Mainichi Shimbun due to the plot focusing on economics, trade, and peddling rather than the typical staples of fantasy such as swords and magic. Yen Press licensed the light novels and is releasing them in English in North America. ASCII Media Works has published three volumes of a spin-off light novel series titled Wolf and Parchment since September 2016.

A manga adaptation illustrated by Keito Koume began serialization in the November 2007 issue of ASCII Media Works' seinen manga magazine Dengeki Maoh. The manga was licensed by Yen Press, which has begun releasing the volumes in English. A 12-episode anime adaptation aired between January and March 2008, plus a single original video animation (OVA) episode released in May 2008. A second OVA was released in April 2009 as a prequel to the second anime season Spice and Wolf II, which aired 12 episodes between July and September 2009. Both anime seasons were released in English by Kadokawa Pictures USA and Funimation. Two visual novels based on the series for the Nintendo DS were released by ASCII Media Works in June 2008 and September 2009.

White Wolf (film)

White Wolf (走れ!白いオオカミ, Hashire! Shiroi Ōkami) is a 1990 anime film directed by Yosei Maeda.

Wolf Children

Wolf Children (Japanese: おおかみこどもの雨と雪, Hepburn: Ōkami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki, lit. "Wolf Children Ame and Yuki") is a 2012 Japanese anime film directed and co-written by Mamoru Hosoda. The film stars the voices of Aoi Miyazaki, Takao Osawa and Haru Kuroki. The story follows a young mother who is left to raise two half-human half-wolf children, Ame and Yuki, after their werewolf father dies.

To create the film, director Hosoda established Studio Chizu, which co-produced the film with Madhouse. Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, the character designer for Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water (1990) and Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995), designed characters for the film. Wolf Children had its world premiere in Paris on June 25, 2012, and was released theatrically on July 21, 2012 in Japan. It is licensed by Funimation Entertainment in North America and was released on DVD and Blu-ray on November 23, 2013. It was screened in the UK at the end of October 2013 with a DVD and Deluxe Blu-ray/DVD edition from Manga Entertainment following on December 23, 2013.

Yakyū-kyō no Uta

Yakyū-kyō no Uta (Japanese: 野球狂の詩, lit. "Poetry of Baseball Enthusiasts") is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Shinji Mizushima. It follows Yūki Mizuhara, a young woman who wants to do veterinary medicine at college but instead she became a baseball player. It was originally serialized in the Kodansha's Japanese manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Magazine between 1972 and 1976, and has been adapted into several spin-off manga, a live-action film, an anime television series, an anime film, and a Japanese television drama. In 1973, it received the 4th Kōdansha Literature Culture Award for children's manga.

Ōkami Kakushi

Ōkami Kakushi (おおかみかくし, literally Wolfed Away) (wordplay on ōkami (wolf) and kamikakushi (spirited away)) is a Japanese visual novel developed and published by Konami for the PlayStation Portable, with Ryukishi07 of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni fame as game director and the manga author duo Peach-Pit as character designers. The game was released on August 20, 2009 in Japan. An anime adaptation produced by AIC began airing in Japan on January 8, 2010 on TBS.

Ōkamiden

Ōkamiden, known in Japan as Ōkamiden: Chiisaki Taiyō, is an action-adventure video game published by Capcom for the Nintendo DS handheld game console. It is a direct sequel to Ōkami, a game released, at that time, for the PlayStation 2 and Wii, but has since been ported to other platforms.

Ōkamiden was designed by Kuniomi Matsushita, the director of the Wii port of Ōkami, and Motohide Eshiro, producer of Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth and Onimusha 2: Samurai's Destiny. It was released in Japan on September 30, 2010, in North America on March 15, 2011 and in Europe on March 18, 2011. It stars Chibiterasu, a small celestial wolf born from Amaterasu, protagonist of Ōkami, and features much of the same gameplay as its predecessor, including the Celestial Brush which allows players to freeze the gameplay and draw shapes or patterns using the touch screen.

Development began when Matsushita expressed an interest in creating a new Ōkami game, and showed Eshiro a technical demo of such a game in December 2008. Because the demo was so well-done, development began on a sequel, and on September 2010, four years after Ōkami debuted, the game was released to positive reviews from critics and moderate commercial success.

Games directed by Hideki Kamiya
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