Japanese animation studio Toei Animation Co recently launched a new world in VRChat as part of the ONN’ON STUDIOS metaverse project. The metaverse project aims to act as an archive for Toei Animation’s content and a hub where fans can communicate. Nostalgia 1999 is the animation studio’s newest virtual world.
A Sony collaboration
Made in collaboration with Sony, Nostalgia 1999 features a Japanese six-tatami room from July 1999. The world pays homage to the Otaku culture and features a plethora of anime merch and memorabilia. Additionally, the virtual world features various Sony products that were available in 1999.
Upon visiting the Otaku room in VRChat, users can zoom in to examine items closely. Likewise, Toei promises that users will be able to interact with some objects in the room by touching them. However, the company failed to list which items are interactive. According to Sony Music Solutions‘ Tsuneyuki Matsudeira, many fans in their 30s and 40s have clear memories of Toei Animation anime from their youth in the 1990s. Toei’s new Nostalgia 1999 virtual world aims to allow fans to recapture these experiences.
Toei animation is known for creating popular anime such as Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z, and One Piece. Previously, Toei Animation launched the ToeiDogaStudio1956 virtual world, which features a replica of the company’s previous studio, the Toei Doga Studio.
Toei plans to host events, including studio tours and screenings of its anime in its Nostalgia 1999 VRChat world in the future. The company also plans to announce a multi-content world that will feature a special exhibition at a later date.
Netflix and anime
Anime continues to be a popular and lucrative market. The release of Netflix’s anime series Cyberpunk: Edgerunners led to a 70 per cent revenue increase for game developer CD Projekt Red. Fans of the anime began playing Cyberpunk 2077 in droves. However, not all of the streaming service’s animes are so well received. Netflix Japan is facing some backlash for its new short anime, Dog and Boy, after stating it used AI-generated images for the backgrounds due to labour shortages.