Whenever you interview Tomonubo Itagaki, the glasses wearing head of Team Ninja, you're sure to get him to say something outrageous. From bashing Tekken to calling the girls in Dead or Alive his daughters, he's always entertaining. It seems now he has two projects he's working on,the next Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball and Ninja Gaiden 2. When trying to design jet ski levels and new bikinis for his volleyball title, where do the ideas come from? Drinking!
Kikizo: So, how many drinks does it take for ideas to stop being feasible, good ideas, and start being just complete nonsense?
Itagaki: Haha! It's hard to say, because I am drinking pretty much full-time. Of course, there are ups and downs, waves, of how I drink in terms of the amount, but it's a long period of time. In the last ten years – not that you asked this question – I think I had better ideas when I was drinking whisky. When I am drinking shochu, that's a conservative drink, so the ideas are not that great. Beer is just like water to me, so it just helps me and everyone else loosen up a little bit, it doesn't really contribute to coming up with ideas.
So there you have it. If you want good ideas, drink whisky. Not that we at Opposable Thumbs would ever advocate drinking, but Itagaki seems to think it's a big part of his creative process. You have to admit, the idea of him stumbling around Team Ninja's headquarters, yelling at everyone to make the bikinis smaller, is pretty funny. When the interviewer says he's not at Itagaki's level yet, the famed developer had a few choice words of wisdom:
It just means that you haven't been drinking enough. Haha! Not often enough. This afternoon, keep drinking more.
Who are we to argue with genius?