×

Beyond Anime and Manga, Tokyo Content Showcases Augmented and Virtual Reality

Last week’s Tokyo Content 2017 was an eye-popping demonstration of just how wide-ranging the definition of “content” has become in Japan. With its seven exhibitions and 1,650 exhibitors, the trade show featured the anime, manga and games that have become emblematic of “Japanese content” to the world at large.

But the cavernous exhibition halls were also abuzz with visitors examining and experiencing the latest advances in entertainment technology, particularly in augmented-reality and virtual-reality software and hardware.  At the booth of Hado, which designs entertainment content for Fuji TV, TV Tokyo and other clients, visitors played Hado Shoot, a game in which players wearing VR headsets shot virtual light balls at each other and racked up points by scoring body hits.

Meanwhile, Marza Animation Planet, a CGI animation house affiliated with Sega, offered a VR exhibit inspired by the “Resident Evil” sci-fi/fantasy action series. Visitors tried to thread their way through a 3D battle in an underground corridor without getting blasted.

Courtesy of music producer Grandfunk Inc. and animation studio Koo-ki was “Around the Sound,” an immersive 360-degree VR environment that melded music and colored triangles, cubes and other shapes to entrancing effect.

In a keynote address, Naomi Tomita, head of robotics company Hapi-Robo St and chief information officer for the Huis Ten Bosch theme park, said that the ultimate goal for VR development was the “merging of the ‘virtual’ and the ‘real’ as the technology advances.” Calling himself an “analog person,” the 69-year-old executive noted that digital technology still had a way to go before it could duplicate what he described as “the subtlety of analog.”

Not surprisingly, he cited Huis Ten Bosch as an example of that merging. Among the theme park’s current high-tech attractions are a robot-staffed hotel and a VR Center that offers such experiences as a virtual bungee jump and a marriage proposal from a handsome virtual guy inside a “love simulation” booth.

Tomita spoke about Shooting Star, a light show that will unfold nightly at the park from July 22 to Aug. 5. The show features 300 illuminated drones, as well as 3D animation and music.

“It’s a first for Japan,” Tomita said. “This is our way of celebrating Huis Ten Bosch’s 25th anniversary.”

But on both opening and closing nights, the show will be supplemented by a huge fireworks display: in other words, a merging of analog and digital entertainment.

More Digital

  • Recording Studio

    Cloud-Based Music Mastering Platform Landr Raises $26 Million

    Cloud-based music mastering and distribution platform Landr has raised a $26 million Series B round of funding. The new founding round was led by the Sony Innovation Fund, microphone manufacturer Shure, state-owned financing corporation Investissement Québec and Fonds de solidarité FTQ. Warner Music, Plus Eight Equity Partners, Slaight Communications, YUL Ventures and PEAK Capital Partners [...]

  • NBC News - Quibi

    NBC News to Produce Two Daily Shows for Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi

    NBC News has joined Quibi’s ambitious bid to build a mobile subscription TV service. NBCUniversal’s news division plans to build a custom set at 30 Rock where it will produce daily morning and evening newscasts, seven days per week, for Quibi, the well-funded mobile video startup from chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman. The [...]

  • patreon logo

    Patreon Raises $60 Million in New Funding

    Membership services startup Patreon just got a major cash infusion: The company announced Tuesday that it has raised a $60 million Series D round of funding led by Glade Brook Capital. Existing investors Thrive Capital, Initialized, Index Ventures, DFJ, Freestyle Capital, Charles River Ventures and Otherwise participated in the funding round as well, which brings [...]

  • Picture shows: MAKING OF - Underwater

    Netflix Orders 'Oceans' Natural History Series From 'Blue Planet II' Creator

    Netflix has ordered a multi-part natural history series on the world’s oceans from Freeborne Media, the production outfit of acclaimed natural-history producer James Honeyborne, who created “Blue Planet II.” Each of the series’ episodes will focus on a different ocean, “combining the disciplines of oceanography, geography and earth sciences to experience these characteristics in new [...]

  • Netflix-logo-N-icon

    Netflix Adds Five Original Series to India Slate

    Streaming giant Netflix has added five originals across genres to its India series slate. “Bombay Begums”, created, written and directed by Alankrita Shrivastava (“Lipstick Under My Burkha”), will follow the varied journeys of five women who bond in contemporary urban India. The series is executive produced by Chernin Entertainment (“The Greatest Showman”) and EndemolShine India [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content