Saturday, January 16, 2016

Volcano Oota Leaves Bandai After More than 20 Years

Original image uploaded by Otaku Mode.
January 16th, 2016. The original Digital Monster series project director Oota "Volcano" Kensuke announced over Twitter today that he has resigned from Bandai, transferring to another company. Oota explained that this was a decision he made as a result of entering his mid-40s, having thought for a long time that "A life without challenge is over!" (He turned 45 on January 2nd.)

The news came as a surprise to many, including those who had worked with him in the past; Digimon Adventure V-Tamer 01 author Yabuno Tenya was shocked, but encouraged Oota, saying "We're in different genres, but let's both do our best!" Fan @rastadog77 reacted by creating pixel art of Pile Volcamon, a Digimon based directly on Oota's likeness.

Oota later added that he was grateful to Bandai, promising to cheer for them from the outside, and discussed how he was facing the situation;
In truth, if you try to challenge yourself, you'll often have moments where you think "Huh? I don't have the ability to do this? Maybe I can't face it." But whether you can face it or can't, the fact that you do it must not change! I believe the phrase in English is "It's never too late to start." (In Japanese, "It's not too late to begin something.")
Oota's contributions to the franchise are numerous. He is responsible for masterminding the original Digital Monster series that launched the brand, as well as other associated electronics toylines up through the early 2000s. Oota hosted the related line of D-1 Grand Prix tournaments, contributed to several Digimon designs like Omegamon, and assisted with the development of several video games including the Battle Spirit series. The Digimon Volcamon and Pile Volcamon were directly based on the host character he cultivated for various incarnations of the Grand Prix, and many Japanese fans have fond memories of meeting Oota at his events during the height of the franchise's popularity. Digimon will sorely miss his creative input.

Oota remained involved with Digimon long after the demise of the D-1, working for Bandai for just around 21 years. He assisted in the creation of the fifteenth anniversary Digivices, and made guest appearances at various Digimon events through 2014. Most recently, in late 2015 he launched Volcano Channel, a line of videos in which he discussed Digimon franchise history and how certain design decisions were made. What his departure means for the future of Volcano Channel is unclear; Oota's homepage is still live at the time of this writing.


  1. I just hope the best for him anw. Thanks for getting involved mainly in our beloved Digimon franchise since 97. Hope you can still get involved in further digimon-related things

  2. But then, after him being left from Bandai, I begin to afraid of Digimon franchise's future. Maybe no new v-pet anymore... Only anime and games, maybe.

  3. T.T goodbye oota..... still i hoping they give him some cameo in digimon world next order in for volcamon and pilevolcamon...