Junichi Masuda (Japanese: 増田順一 Masuda Jun'ichi, born January 12, 1968 in Yokohama) is one of the founding members of Game Freak and serves as the Director of the Board. He is best known as a game director and composer for the Pokémon games.
He runs his Director's Columns on Game Freak's website, with many entries translated into English. In it, he has talked about why he has done his work in the Pokémon series the way he has and also has given out news about the games he is working on. It was through this column that the Masuda method, a method of obtaining Shiny Pokémon more easily, was first documented.
Early life and career
Junichi Masuda was born in the Kanagawa Prefecture, located in the real-life Kantō region, on January 12, 1968. His family would vacation in the Kyūshū region, which became the basis for the Pokémon world's Hoenn. As a teenager, he played the trombone and had interest in classical music, while also maintaining an interest in arcade games and their programming. He was working in a corporate office in 1989 when Satoshi Tajiri approached him and asked if he would like to join Game Freak, which was just beginning to form at the time. Masuda agreed and became one of the founding members of the company. 2009 marked his 20th anniversary with Game Freak.
The first game that Masuda worked on with Game Freak was composing the music for Mendel Palace, which was released in 1990. He also composed for Nintendo's Mario and Wario in 1993 and Sega's Pulseman in 1994. Recently, he co-produced the Game Freak title Drill Dozer.
Work with Pokémon
Masuda was the sole composer for the handheld games Pokémon Red and Green. He developed a program called "Sound Driver" in the early 1990s, which was used to play music and sound effects in Game Freak's titles. This program was later used to create all of the original Pokémon's cries.
He has composed the music for every core series Pokémon game to date. He also composed for Pokémon Stadium, Pokémon Stadium 2, and the e-Reader applications Machop At Work and Kingler's Day. He has also composed music for the Pokémon stages in the Super Smash Bros. series.
Gradually, Masuda began to take on duties other than composing. He was appointed sub-director for Pokémon Gold and Silver and has directed or co-directed every core series Pokémon game since Pokémon Crystal as well as Pokémon Box Ruby & Sapphire. He served as an adviser for Pokémon Stadium, Pokémon Stadium 2, and Pokémon Puzzle Challenge, and he was the supervisor for Pokémon Channel.
Masuda has also done design work for the Pokémon games. He designed the Hoenn region, and he was involved with game design that contributed to Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, although he did not directly serve as a designer for that game.
Masuda has been known by fans for his important and noteworthy announcements relating to the games, among his firsts being the aforementioned Masuda method. In 2008, Masuda revealed diamond dust to players of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl through his director's column by asking them to play on January 12. The phenomenon first occurred on his 40th birthday, and it was later discovered to appear on several other days in different years in different games. Slightly over two years later, Zoroark was first revealed by Junichi Masuda as a silhouette in the February 7, 2010 edition of Pokémon Sunday. Its full image was later revealed in the March 2010 issue of CoroCoro, alongside its pre-evolution, Zorua.
Masuda opened his Twitter account on October 4, 2011 in order to communicate with fans. Soon after, Masuda gained the attention of fans once again because of his blog post that revealed information about the mysterious character N, including his name and its origin.
On July 4, 2013, at Japan Expo 2013, a video was broadcasted where Masuda announced that the Kalos region is based on France. The video also included Masuda's revelation of the Generation VI Pokémon, Honedge.
Masuda has also been involved with many of the Pokémon movies. Masuda was an original creator of the Pokémon movies Jirachi: Wish Maker, Destiny Deoxys, Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea, The Rise of Darkrai and Giratina and the Sky Warrior, as well as the The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Team Go-Getters out of the Gate!, and Pikachu's Island Adventure anime specials. He also composed music for Mewtwo Strikes Back and The Power of One and contributed sound for Celebi: Voice of the Forest. In Pokémon Heroes: Latios & Latias, he was involved with character staging.
On keyboards in the group ＭＴＭ, Masuda composed the song battle gene Ｍ after gaining a request from Shōko Nakagawa. The song is based on Cynthia's battle theme, which is featured on Pokémon Diamond & Pokémon Pearl: Super Music Collection, Pokémon Black & Pokémon White: Super Music Collection, and Pokémon Black 2 & Pokémon White 2: Super Music Collection under the titles 戦闘！チャンピオン Battle! Champion, 戦闘! シロナ Battle! Shirona, and 戦闘! チャンピオン(シンオウ) Battle! Champion (Shin'ō), respectively.
Masuda's work appears on the following CDs:
- Game Boy: Entire Pokémon Sounds Collection CD
- Pokémon Gotta Catch the Sound!
- Pokémon Ruby & Pokémon Sapphire: Super Music Collection
- Pokémon FireRed & Pokémon LeafGreen: Super Music Collection
- Pokémon Diamond & Pokémon Pearl: Super Music Collection
- Pokémon HeartGold & Pokémon SoulSilver: Super Music Collection
- Pokémon Black & Pokémon White: Super Music Collection
- Pokémon Black 2 & Pokémon White 2: Super Music Collection
- Pokémon X & Pokémon Y: Super Music Collection
- In an interview with Wired UK in December 2014, Masuda stated that he didn't originally work in Pokémon Gold and Silver as he was working on another project; however, he was brought back when the team faced issues during development. Whereas he worked as a programmer and composer in Pokémon Red and Blue, in Gold and Silver, he worked on the audio and game design as well as in the coordination of the American and European localizations.
- Masuda listens to alternative music and techno. He says that he is most inspired by the classical music composer Stravinsky.
- Masuda's favorite Pokémon is Victini, his favorite move is Surf, and his favorite type is the Water type.
- Prior to Generation V, when Victini was introduced, his favorite Pokémon was Pichu.
- The character Barry's optional name Jun could be a possible reference to Masuda.
- Masuda occasionally competes online in Wi-Fi battles.
- The concept for the Global Terminal was Masuda's idea.
- Director's Columns (Masuda's blog)
- Gamepro.com: Pokémon Platinum Developer Interview
- "Talking Pokémon." Nintendo Power Apr. 2009: 42-44. Print.
|This article is part of Project Music, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each Pokémon song, CD and musician.|