An animated commercial for Capcom’s upcoming Resident Evil 4 remake remakes a classic of its own. The new Resident Evil 4 anime promo is a brief clip starring Leon and the Ganados. Called Resident Evil Masterpiece Theater, it evokes the animation style and aesthetic of old classical anime series, like Nippon Animation’s World Masterpiece Theater or the films of Studio Ghibli.
Check out episode one, Leon and the Mysterious Village:
In the clip, Leon attempts to ask a few villagers after Ashley’s whereabouts, but receives the culture shock of his life (and death). Besides the Ganados, Ashley, and Leon, a few other characters from Resident Evil 4 show up in the brief anime clip. These include the Colmillos tentacle-dog, a cultist waving an axe from their neck-tentacles, the claw-wielding Garrador villain, and even the fame Chainsaw Man. The episode even ends with a cheeky sponsor message using the format familiar to many people watching the TV broadcasts of anime episodes.
The Resident Evil 4 anime clip was produced by Nippon Animation itself, and recalls a number of stylistic cues from World Masterpiece Theater. These include the ornate title card, the title itself – Bio-Meisaku Gekijou (Bio-Masterpiece Theater) in Japanese – and the rounded and kid-friendly character designs. World Masterpiece Theater was a staple anime series of the Showa era and early Heisei era in Japan, running continuously from 1969 through 1997 (with a revival from 2007 to 2009). Produced by studio Mushi Production and then by Nippon Animation, the series adapted famous books or stories once a year. The works adapted include stories like Tom Sawyer, Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, Princess Sarah, and Heidi. Famed anime creators like Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata worked on the show, as well.
The Resident Evil 4 remake launches for PS4, Ps5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC on March 24, 2023.