Jun Akiyama and his contribution to Kingdom Hearts 1



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Precursor Mar

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After playing KH1FM again for the PS4, I remain baffled at just how good the story is compared to the rest of the series. The story is easy to follow, yet compelling. The Disney characters and worlds are integral to the plot.
Like, what happened?
KH1 seems to be the needle in a haystack of convolution. So I decided to go through the series' writing staff to see if there were any points of interest.

To my surprise, the writing staff has remained mostly the same. Besides Nomura, there's Daisuke Watanabe (which actually explains a lot), Kazushige Nojima, and as of BBS, Masaru Oka. However, I noticed an outlier in KH1's credits. A Jun Akiyama. And not only did he work exclusively on KH1, but it seems that he was the head writer as well, second to Nomura.

Now from what I've read about this guy, he's apparently held in high regard by a famous writer that worked on FFXII. And while I haven't experienced any of his other works, I've heard good things about them. Vagrant Story, FF Tactics and so on.

While Nomura was undoubtedly the head honcho and dictated the direction of the overall story, he seemed to respect Akiyama enough to let him handle what was actually happening in the worlds. Now, the only world we know for sure he was in charge of was Deep Jungle, which I personally really liked despite not having the plot relevance as, say, Agrabah. The conflict between Sora and Donald, the foreshadowing to Kairi being in Sora's heart, as an introductory world it was very well done.
It leads me to believe he may have been keeping Nomura in line. Kind of like the relationship Hideo Kojima and the head MGS writer had.

I know some of you here are more knowledgeable about Square and it's staff than I, so maybe you could enlighten me.
Do you agree that this Akiyama guy was responsible? Or was it just some freak accident?
 

Grono

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Hmm, could be. If the guy was in charge of Tactics, then I have no doubt he's a fantastic writer (seriously, that game's story is incredible). Unfortunately, I haven't heard about him much, so this is kind of news to me. Your hypothesis does sound pretty reasonable, though. It could make sense as to why the story has such better composition as opposed to the other games as well.

If you haven't played Tactics or the remake of Tactics yet, emulate it somehow. It's a masterpiece, easily one of the best games I've ever played (the sequels are fantastic, too).
 

ngc50

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If his wikipedia page is anything to go by, I think this could be a contributing factor. Apparently his main goal in FFVII was making sure the gameplay and story were cohesive, a mindset that very well might have helped to ensure that every disney world plot remained relevant to the overall story.

Aside from that, I think that the popular idea that KH1 "had more heart" is still valid. This was the first game in the series after all and they would've had to go out of their way to prove that Final Fantasy and Disney could tell a story together.
 

ALittleNerd

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After playing KH1FM again for the PS4, I remain baffled at just how good the story is compared to the rest of the series. The story is easy to follow, yet compelling. The Disney characters and worlds are integral to the plot.
Like, what happened?
KH1 seems to be the needle in a haystack of convolution. So I decided to go through the series' writing staff to see if there were any points of interest.

To my surprise, the writing staff has remained mostly the same. Besides Nomura, there's Daisuke Watanabe (which actually explains a lot), Kazushige Nojima, and as of BBS, Masaru Oka. However, I noticed an outlier in KH1's credits. A Jun Akiyama. And not only did he work exclusively on KH1, but it seems that he was the head writer as well, second to Nomura.

Now from what I've read about this guy, he's apparently held in high regard by a famous writer that worked on FFXII. And while I haven't experienced any of his other works, I've heard good things about them. Vagrant Story, FF Tactics and so on.

While Nomura was undoubtedly the head honcho and dictated the direction of the overall story, he seemed to respect Akiyama enough to let him handle what was actually happening in the worlds. Now, the only world we know for sure he was in charge of was Deep Jungle, which I personally really liked despite not having the plot relevance as, say, Agrabah. The conflict between Sora and Donald, the foreshadowing to Kairi being in Sora's heart, as an introductory world it was very well done.
It leads me to believe he may have been keeping Nomura in line. Kind of like the relationship Hideo Kojima and the head MGS writer had.

I know some of you here are more knowledgeable about Square and it's staff than I, so maybe you could enlighten me.
Do you agree that this Akiyama guy was responsible? Or was it just some freak accident?
Do you know if he's actively involved in Kingdom Hearts 3's development?
 

Precursor Mar

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Hmm, could be. If the guy was in charge of Tactics, then I have no doubt he's a fantastic writer (seriously, that game's story is incredible). Unfortunately, I haven't heard about him much, so this is kind of news to me. Your hypothesis does sound pretty reasonable, though. It could make sense as to why the story has such better composition as opposed to the other games as well.

If you haven't played Tactics or the remake of Tactics yet, emulate it somehow. It's a masterpiece, easily one of the best games I've ever played (the sequels are fantastic, too).
He wasn't the head writer, that was Yasumi Matsuno (also the FFXII writer I was referring to), but according to an interview with him, Akiyama was the only one allowed to edit his script. Which would put him above other SE writers in my eyes.

Do you know if he's actively involved in Kingdom Hearts 3's development?
Not to my knowledge. His Wikipedia page says he's currently working on FFXII HD.
 

7th_heaven

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He was Event Director in World of Final Fantasy :biggrin:
[video]https://youtu.be/wh5DtQoIYIk?t=44[/video]
 
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