Azure Striker Gunvolt’s Anime And Manga Influences

Azure Striker Gunvolt, the upcoming Nintendo 3DS action-platformer by Inti Creates, has a very distinct visual style. If you grew up watching anime in the ‘80s or ‘90s, you might have felt that Gunvolt—even what little has been shown of it thus far—reminded you of those days.

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Despite the fact that we haven’t seen very much of the game, there’s already a subtle bit of world-building going on in Gunvolt’s promotional material, including the piece of art you see above, with a brightly-lit city against the night sky. That piece of art is what originally got me interested in the game, and speaking with Gunvolt director Yoshihisa Tsuda, I brought it up.

 

“The world-building which you have seen is used for almost all scenes [in the game],” Tsuda said. “I decided that Gunvolt would fight with lightning strikes during early stages of development. At that point, I emphasized the ‘Night View of the Near Future’ world-building that I considered to be the most effective for Gunvolt.”

 

I then brought up the anime influence and asked Tsuda if he could lend me any insight into what had inspired the style adopted for Azure Striker Gunvolt.

 

“I’ve had a lot of formative experiences involving anime and comics from the ‘90s, so I believe Azure Striker Gunvolt has been influenced by those as well,” Tsuda replied. “For example, in the case of anime, this is before the ‘90s, but Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac, Giant Robo (OVA,) Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, and such.”

 

“In terms of manga,” said Tsuda, “Locke the Superman (by Yuki Hijiri), Fuma no Kojiro (by Masami Kurumada), Raimei no Zaji (by Masami Kurumada), Commander 0 (by Jun Tomizawa) and many other splendid works of anime and comics have been an inspiration.”

 

Ultimately, however, Azure Striker Gunvolt is meant to be a fast-paced side-scrolling action game, so despite emphasizing a certain kind of world-view, you can’t spend too much on trying to tell the player a story, which is something Tsuda is aware of.

 

“I think that it is the essence of an action game to play them many times and to improve step-by-step,” he shared. “Similarly, Azure Striker Gunvolt aims for a structure where the story can gradually be understood by the player through obtaining snippets of information.”

 

“In Azure Striker Gunvolt, the story will be told in the action game through messages that automatically appear on the screen as you play. It’s a system that will have players put together these fragmented messages, as they start understanding the story and character’s feelings better.”

 

Azure Striker Gunvolt will be available for the Nintendo 3DS in North America and Japan this Summer. A European release for the game is still being figured out.


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Author
Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.