Animal Crossing: New Horizons' ripe and varied ecology is one of its most lovely assets. From the bugs and fish changing every month, season, and even time of day, to the fossils you can uncover. In Japan, the game has often been used as an educational tool, with a tie-in stamp rally event running at an aquarium in Japan.
Now, you don't even need to go to a museum or aquarium to find out more about the variety of creatures on your island! Japanese book publisher Kodansha will be releasing an encyclopedia that encompasses all 235 species of insects, fish, deep-sea creatures, and fossils. This is part of Kodansha's Moving Encyclopaedia series, 'MOVE', which means it will come with a DVD and posters to accompany the book.
The book is — as you'd expect for an encyclopedia — incredibly detailed, with infographics, photos, and even some cute little Blathers pop-ups. It will even include a handy guide on when to find bugs, fish, and sea creatures within the book — so no more frantic Googling is needed! And the DVD is a lovely little companion that will help explain the topics, accompanied by NHK Archives and in-game Animal Crossing: New Horizons footage.
Nintendo of Japan has shared a few spreads from the upcoming book, and it's absolutely perfect — bright, colourful, and full of info. If only it were in English...
Also, those posters that you get with the encyclopedia? They look exactly like what you'd pick up in a museum gift shop. Actually, why hasn't Blathers invested in a gift shop for his museum?
The book is sadly only Japan-bound for now, but hey, if we make enough noise, perhaps Nintendo will get it localised. It's a fun accompaniment to the game while also educating kids about nature, the natural world, and history. It releases on 28th July, and reservations for the encyclopedia are now open at various Japanese bookstores — online and offline — as well as My Nintendo stores.
Japan once again is getting the best kind of merch. Sigh.