Eiji Funahashi, who previously worked as a character modeler and visual team leader at PlatinumGames, has recently joined Nintendo. The reveal comes from the Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury credits, which has the artist listed under the staff section. Funahashi also tweeted his first credit at Nintendo, but his account has since then gone private.
Before joining Nintendo, Eiji Funahashi was a character modeler at PlatinumGames from 2009 to 2018. Some of his previous work includes NieR: Automata, Bayonetta 2, and Star Fox Zero. He worked as the lead modeler on his first game, The Wonderful 101. He also took on lead modeling artist and character designer roles for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan. Towards the end of his tenure at Platinum, Funahashi worked as the visual team leader. The position included tasks such as holding study group meetings and seminars to help other designers bring out the best in PlatinumGames titles.
Considering most of Funahashi’s work at Platinum involved Nintendo games, he should fit right in with his new team. Moreover, he’s always been a big Nintendo guy and even drew this sweet Super Smash Bros. illustration back in 2015:
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) December 15, 2015
He’s also a huge Zelda fan and drew this impressive piece of fan art for the series’s 25th anniversary.
If you’re hoping for something new from PlatinumGames in today’s Nintendo Direct, there’s a chance that we might get something based on a retweet from designer Takahisa Taura. Or who knows, maybe he was showing some love for his old buddy Funahashi. In any case, it’ll be interesting to see if the former PlatinumGames visual team leader takes on a more prominent role for a future title.