Along with an understanding of the broader context of the subject, the most vital ingredient to good anime coverage is a reliable source. So when US journalists actually interview people on the production side in Japan, it’s generally worth noting unless the interview consists entirely of fluff. This is the latest of what will hopefully be a couple more posts archiving articles from Newtype USA’s [inside] series of articles written by Amos Wong. In this one (the first chronologically in the series) President Masahiko Minami talks about the studio’s origins and namesake, Hiroshi Ousaka talks about research trips to Morocco, and Toshihiro Kawamoto talks about using digital effects to produce more effective POV shots.
Note: Pictures are scans of the article made on my crappy scanner, which cover the article text but not the entire page. They’re also in greyscale, because I’m interested in archiving interview text and color scans make the process more of a headache than it needs to be. Apologies for that. Scans after the jump, along with comments on the contents of the article.
-Interesting to hear that the final fight scene of Knocking on Heaven’s Door was done without live footage to model it after. Toss that one in the Yutaka Nakamura is pretty cool pile.
-I dig the part on page 4 about how they got the art for Faye’s terrible portrait, if only because game companies having terrible artists was something that became a serious factor in Gainax’s history.
-It’s like 10th on the list of things I’d grab if I ever had unlimited access to insider info, but I would be mad intrigued to see a summary of research trips taken by animation staffers. I’m almost positive it would contain a bunch of fun nuggets. You could also probably guess at budgets based on which productions splurged on more expensive trips overseas.
-Minami’s comment about the inherent advantages of robot anime (ie merchandising) on the last page is intriguing. I wonder if the economics of figure production have changed much in the past decade to make character goods for non-robot anime more viable. I mean, Nendoroids weren’t even a thing until 2006 (three years after this article was written) , so at least one thing has changed. How significant that is, I don’t know. That comment just piqued my curiosity.
Someone’s offering to hand off his NewType 2004-05 issues:
Made contact with the guy a few minutes ago. Thanks for the tip!