Form a New Deal for Tamagotchi Visual Content
Form a New Deal for Tamagotchi Visual Content
Why this petition matters
This petition is a successor of sorts to https://www.change.org/p/bandai-america-dub-the-tamagotchi-anime-internationally (which is still running, in case you wanna sign that too). Among other reasons, it was made in response to Bandai America's recent re-brand as Bandai Namco Toys & Collectables America, and as such is addressed to the company as a whole, not just the merchandise division.
When the name Tamagotchi comes to mind, many people think about the late 90's phenomenon of a pet-raising simulator that is known worldwide, sold more than 70 million copies, and is essentially the franchise that Digimon would not come to be without.
While attempts for a comeback in its core digital pet department have been met with moderate success internationally, the franchise's success is a lot more consistent in Japan. Even so, it lately seems to focus exclusively on the digital pet medium right now, with the recent releases of the Tamagotchi Pix outside Japan and Tamagotchi Smart inside Japan, re-releases of the device that started it all, and numerous crossovers under the Tamagotchi Nano sub-brand, crossing paths with the likes of Sanrio, Disney, Evangelion, Demon Slayer, Kamen Rider, and more.
I'm not discouraging Bandai Namco from backing out of the digital pet medium that the franchise is known for, but at the same time, I feel like it can be much more than just that, and has been much more than just that, at least in Japan. There were many varieties of merchandise, video games, entire department stores, and visual content, the latter of which is the focus of this petition.
Before I get to what this petition is clamoring for, here's Tamagotchi's history of visual content:
- Tamagotchi Honto no Hanashi (1997): A 9-minute short film produced by Toei Animation set in the vintage era that follows Professor Banzo and Mikachu as they recount the story of why the Tamagotchis moved to Earth from Tamagotchi Planet and how it led to their discovery of them.
- Anime TV de Hakken!! Tamagotchi (1997-1998): A 27-episode anime also set in the vintage era that follows the lives of the Tamagotchis, who speak in incomprehensible gibberish. Only 9 episodes have been released on home video, each of which last roughly 1 minute, rendering the remaining 18 as lost media.
- Tamagotchi Video Adventures (1998): A USA-made direct-to-video feature that follows the Tamagotchis as they head to the Earth and split into groups of two to find a worthy artifact for Cosmotchi's Galaxy Wing in the Tamagotchi Museum. Was intended to kickstart a Tamagotchi cartoon that has since been shelved.
- Tamagotchi: The Movie (2007): A full-length feature film and the first piece of visual content directed by Jōji Shimura (Blade of the Phantom, The Animal Crossing Movie). In the movie, Mametchi transports a human girl named Tanpopo to Tamagotchi Planet when he intended to transport a sun to help him conquer his then-fear of the dark. Both Mametchi and Tanpopo learn about the difficult but rewarding responsibilities of being an older sibling after Chamametchi was born. An English dub was released in 2009 as a Straight-to-DVD bonus with Tamagotchi Music Star.
- Tamagotchi: Happiest Story in the Universe! (2008): The sequel to Tamagotchi: The Movie. Mametchi & co come across a Magical Flying Library Ship, which grants access to magical books, and Kikitchi, a young boy from Celebria who was stubborn due to being an outcast from his ability to hear things from afar and due to his parents being too busy managing Celebria to take care of him. Mametchi invents Hapihapitchi with intent to spread happiness, but after venturing into the World's Happiest Story, the Tamagotchis learn what happiness truly means. Unlike its predecessor, an English Dub was never made publicly available.
- Let's Go! Tamagotchi (2007-2008): A series of 12 2-3 minute shorts released online, all of which have gotten English Dubs. These shorts take place after the events of Tamagotchi: The Movie. An additional 3 shorts were also released, which follow the events of Happiest Story in the Universe and have not been dubbed.
- Tamagotchi! (2009-2015): An anime series taking place after Happiest Story in the Universe. It aired on TV Tokyo from 2009-2015 and ran for 271 episodes divided into 4 sagas. The first saga, Tamagotchi!, follows the daily adventures of Mametchi, Memetchi, Kuchipatchi, and new character Lovelitchi, among countless others. In the second saga, Tamagotchi! Yume Kira Dream, Mametchi, Memetchi, and Kuchipatchi study abroad in Dream Town while new characters Yumemitchi and Kiraritchi pursuit their shared dream of becoming idols. In the third saga, Tamagotchi! Miracle Friends, twin girls from the future, Miraitchi and Clulutchi, find themselves trapped in the past and enlist the help of Mametchi & co to retrieve the Dreambakutchis necessary for returning home before a mysterious masqueraded X-Kamen does. The fourth saga, GO-GO Tamagotchi! curates the whole cast in a millennium event known as the Tamagottsun, which causes Tamagotchi Town and Dream Town to merge into DoriTama Town. There were two attempts to dub the series in English; the first was through Bright Way Productions dubbing the first 26 episodes of the first saga and airing them on Australia's 9GO!, and the second was though the first 7 Yume Kira Dream episodes being cut down to 14 3-4 minute webisodes to promote Tamagotchi Friends.
- Eiga Tamagotchi: Himitsu no Otodoke Dai Sakusen! (2017): The latest piece of visual content directed by Jōji Shimura and the latest piece of visual content overall. A 10-minute short film that follows Mametchi & co as they deliver a package to the Gotchi King with Nijifuwatchi's help, while a clawed machine attempts to take the package for themselves, resulting in a hot pursuit.
All of these adaptations add great layers of depth to Tamagotchi, and are filled with charming premises, a large cast of fantastic & adorable characters, beautiful art directions, several spectacular songs, and a solid blend of heart and humor.
The purpose of this petition is to motivate Bandai Namco to bring back Tamagotchi's days as a multi-medium franchise across many markets. Games and Toys are their main business, but visual content can leave just as much of an impact on an IP, so I'm calling for Bandai Namco to either form a division focused on entertainment or form an alliance with a company with experience in the medium of entertainment to allow access to Tamagotchi's visual content (particularly the 2009-2015 anime) in a variety of languages, make a new series or movie(s) with the content that the franchise introduced since the anime concluded, or both.
This idea will do both the franchise and Bandai Namco a tremendous favor. The potential to expand Tamagotchi's global audience and take the IP to remarkable new heights is being handed on a silver platter. There's also so many platforms that Tamagotchi projects can be distributed on now in terms of streaming services (Paramount+, HBO Max/Discovery+, Peacock, Crunchyroll, Prime Video) and linear Television (Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Universal Kids).
There's never been a better time to bring Tamagotchi back into the realms of animation and explore the IP's massive potential. Come on, Bandai Namco. Make this happen for the fans, the franchise, and for you.
- Bandai Namco Holdings