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Hiroshi Motomiya 1992

Hiroshi Motomiya (c. 1992), Moto Kikaku's founder

Moto Kikaku (モト企画), originally known as Motomiya Kikaku (本宮企画, lit. Motomiya Planning), is an artist's circle based on Chiba Prefecture[1] and founded by manga artist Hiroshi Motomiya (本宮 ひろ志). The group apparently has a measure of creative control over the Strider Hiryu character, and is credited in the copyright by-line of every game the character appears.

Involvement in Strider's ProductionEdit

Collaboration With CapcomEdit

Capcom approached Motomiya Kikaku seeking a joint project.[2] Initial discussions determined the creation of the manga and basic plot settings, and eventually the project took form as a 3-way tie-in: the manga, the arcade game and a Famicom port, all sharing the same name: Strider Hiryu.[2] Moto Kikaku led the development of the manga[3], selecting Tatsumi Wada as the project's artist.[3][4]

The Famicom game was intended to closely follow the manga's plot, but for unknown reasons was never released in Japan. The arcade game, on the other hand, shares few details with the manga (such as setting, initial location, and main character) because both development teams arranged their projects independently.[3][4]

Ownership of Hiryu?Edit

It is often speculated that Moto Kikaku and Capcom jointly own the Hiryu character. However, as both companies were involved in the creative decisions shaping the character's design[3][4], it is more likely that the licensing for any of Hiryu's future appearances simply requires similar agreement or collaboration from both parties.

There has been some official aknowledgement of this issue. While discussing Hiryu's inclusion in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Capcom's former community manager Seth Killian stated "licensing issues" were the cause of his absence in Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds and clarified it's "not a purely owned Capcom IP"[5]. A 2013 post in the official "Capcom-Unity" forums by former SVP Christian Svensson also stated Strider is not a "free and clear" IP and that it has "other stakeholders".[6]

When discussing this issue in relation to the 2014 Strider, however, producer Andrew Szymanski stated Capcom actually owns the rights for all characters and the copyright line is a courtesy, a "thank you" for the group's involvement in the original project. When asked about Killian's comment above, Szymanski presumed it was the difference between a standalone title, where "it works or it doesn't", and a fighting game where Hiryu is one of many characters.[7]

Kadokawa Shôten, the manga's publisher, also shares copyright space with Capcom and Moto Kikaku during the ending of the Arcade game, but it is no longer visible in later entries following Hiryu's debut in Marvel vs. Capcom (being actually removed from the PlayStation port's otherwise identical ending), meaning that if it ever held any copyright over the character or series, it likely expired by that point.

Other Capcom ProjectsEdit

Besides Strider, Capcom also produced five games based on another manga from Hiroshi Motomiya, Tenchi wo Kurau (天地を喰らう, lit. The Devouring of Heaven and Earth):

Due to their shared origin, both series have been coupled in certain releases: the arranged album Strider Hiryu -G.S.M. Capcom 2- included tracks from the Tenchi wo Kurau coin-op[8], while the Capcom Gamebooks series for the Sony PlayStation released Tenchi wo Kurau 2 - Battle at Red Cliff alongside the re-release of Strider.[9]

SuccessorsEdit

M & MEdit

M & M was a Famicom video game publisher owned by Hiroshi Motomiya during the early 1990s', with its first release being the 1991 game Otaku no Seiza[10]. It appears to have briefly replaced Moto Kikaku in the copyright by-line during that time, as it is featured in its place in printed material related to the Japanese Mega Drive port of Strider, such as the game's packaging and manual. It was also featured in other elements like in one of the Gamest promotional telephone cards.

In the actual game, however, M & M is not referenced and Moto Kikaku remains credited in the game's ending sequence in the same way it was in the Arcade original.

ThirdlineEdit

Since August 1989, Hiroshi Motomiya's production company has been Thirdline[11]. It is likely that Thirdline has replaced Moto Kikaku altogether, as both Motomiya and Wada have since published through them.[12]

The credits page for the Strider Hiryu Visual Chronicle artwork lists Thirdline (instead of Moto Kikaku, who otherwise is still credited in the copyright as normal) in the "Special Thanks" section, alongside other companies which provided artwork pieces: Sega (cover art for the Mega Drive port), Bandai Namco (Namco × Capcom) and SNK-Playmore (Card Fighters series). This seems to confirm Thirdline has access to the manga promotional images included in the artwork, giving further credence to the theory above.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Jones, Darran (24 Apr 2010). "The Making of... Strider". Retro Gamer (76). pp. 48-53.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Tane, Kiyofume (February 2009). "The Father of Strider Who Made the Game World Explode: Kouichi Yotsui Discography". Gameside (16). Translated by Gaijin Punch for Gamengai.com. Accessed October 24, 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Jones, Darran (24 Apr 2010). "The Making of... Strider". Retro Gamer (76). pp. 48-53.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Scion; Dire 51 (24 April 2010). "Interview with Kouichi "Isuke" Yotsui". LSCM 4.0. Translated by Gaijin Punch. Accessed October 24, 2010.
  5. Spencer (11 Mar 2011). Interview with Seth Killian. Siliconera.com. Accessed September 2, 2016
  6. Sven (March 19, 2013). "Does Capcom not completely own Strider?". Capcom-Unity.com. Accessed September 2, 2016
  7. Spencer (July 26, 2013). "Strider Starts Out With All Of His Core Abilities And Has Touches For MvC Fans". siliconera.com. Accessed September 2, 2016
  8. Alfh Lyra wa Lyra. (May 21, 1989). Strider Hiryu -G.S.M. Capcom 2-. [CD]. Pony Canyon, Scitron. D25B-1001.
  9. Capcom (in Japanese). Capcom Gamebooks: Tenchi wo Kurau 2 - Battle at Red Cliff. Capcom. PlayStation (24 Oct 2006). ISBN 4-86233-075-4. Retrieved from archive.com.
  10. CRV (October 18, 2009). Interview: Hitoshi Akashi. Game Developer Research Institute. Accessed December 17, 2018
  11. "About Us" (in Japanese). Thirdline. Accessed 17 Dec 2010.
  12. 和順高雄 (w), 和田たつみ (p), サードライン (i). 杉田玄白物語 若狭の海に学ぶ. (February, 1997). 本宮ひろ志. 福井県.
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