What am I doing? Nothing much; just running my own anime studio, NBD. Why though? I can’t even stand anime. Earlier today, I was preparing to watch a really interesting prologue for God Eater that looks good and is in my interests and only takes about 10 minutes. And I just can’t do it. That genre’s entire format is irritating to me. Maybe you can go watch it, it looks good.

Now look at me. Not only am I running my own little company, but I’m doing it in a mobile game, one I paid for. It’s a veritable gaming unicorn, this Anime Studio Story. I blame Brooke Lawson, commonly known as Dodger, as it’s their unbridled enthusiasm that got me hooked in managing a bunch of nonsense. See, anime I’m not into, but management and nonsense sound like a perfect combo. And so I was off with GamePuke, gah-may-puh-kay, to produce deliciously entertaining drivel.

Anime Studio Story

After hiring a few key employees, I contracted work for commercials and cutscenes, to build some credit for my own brands. To succeed, however, I was going to need a face that people could relate to. Naturally, we drew up a man-sized seal and called it Sea Neko, the ocean cat. Not only that, but I rustled up enough funds to have that character star in our very first broadcast feature, Seal Club. Don’t just fall on the show’s name; listen to the setting and its themes: It’s a classic school story with a detective samurai, who also happens to be a magical sea creature. Everyone will love it. At least, I thought it was pretty special.

It turns out, Anime Studio Story is a bit more focused on producers actually learning the craft and managing sound decisions, before delving into madness. Seal Club hit it off well enough, but my advisors warned me about sticking to cohesive themes. I, of course, didn’t listen. After a measly profit that resulted in a lot more contract work to pay wages, I was able to scrape by enough for a second show, called Hey! Hood Hoops!. Instead of dialing back the crazy, I went all out and threw Sea Neko into the suburbs, for a basketball-infused crime story. What, like your idea is better?

Hey! Hood Hoops! started production with the omen that people don’t want to see randomly assorted garbage. Despite hitting record highs, admittedly only compared to Seal Club, our sophomore effort was met with critical failure. Ratings dropped, no merchandise came in and as a final nail, the program won the “Worst Show” award, a prestigious accolade that comes with a $300,000 penalty. Oh yes, anime is serious business.

Anime Studio Story

Our slip up hit the studio hard. GamePuke wasn’t able to stay in the positive two years in a row. My secretary had to sell their anime collection, just to gather funds. And so, we went from producing our own products to being relegated to menial contract work for years. By the skin of our teeth, we were able to keep afloat, but it didn’t seem like we would be able to get out of our routine. We need the contracts to live, so we can’t pass up any to make our own costly program. Management is fun, but when it mirrors the reality of development hell in scary detail, it’s also a bit of a bummer.

We had to tighten the belt and swallow our pride. Stringing together several pay checks, we chose to scale back and create a smaller show on a more narrow demographic, but we’d nab a consistent theme this time. Since all our employees had been grinding for years now, their experience should help make the difference.  Everyone buckled down, one employee even took a calculated risk to significantly boost production and we switched to a regular guy, wearing a regular doll dress, called Loli Lou.

Somehow, we pulled it off. Our generic, pop star sports school show, Racket Jamp A, smashed all our records in the first week. Thanks, Loli Lou. Any early profit immediately went into promoting the show to solidify its success. We advertised in magazines and basically anywhere else; anything to keep ratings going for most of the show.

Anime Studio Story

The dark days felt like they were at an end. We may have had to switch a few lacking employees, but after the finale ended, the numbers couldn’t lie. We grossed a ridiculous amount of profits, received phone chain offers and opened doors to bigger networks. To top it off, still, we hit our proudest moment. Racket Jamp A netted GamePuke’s first real acknowledgement, the Visual Award trophy. The show even scrolled past the Grand Prize nominees, between all the big boys. That’s not bad, for a ghetto shoestring production.

Today, we return to business as usual. We’re producing a new show, Fish No Fish, which sees the return of Sea Neko, in a semi consistent tropics and fishing setting. Our reputation now earns us free advertisement, from small magazines that come to us, but we’ll also finally be able to bring fluffy seals to kids with our plush deal. The next frontier is to make our characters stable figures in the top dateable charts. Oh yes, those exist too. Who wouldn’t want to date an ocean cat?

Anime Studio StoryAnime Studio StoryAnime Studio Story

You did this to me, Dodger.

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General Information

Platform(s): PS3
Publisher(s): Namco Bandai
Developer(s): Namco Bandai
Genres: Role-Playing
Themes: Action
Release Date: 2013-07-20

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