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. This studio Madhouse feature includes Masayoshi Kawajiri and Kazuo Koike talking about their mentor-student relationship (and the differences between movies and TV), Producer Yuichiro Saito talks about the merits of doing all types of projects, and Hiromichi Masuda talks production-side differences between eastern and western animation.
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.
-“According to Kon, compared to Japanese studios, American studios are full of stuff that you just don’t need. Which is why, he said, even if Japan and America make the exact same thing, it’s a foregone conclusion – the American version is going to cost more.” I mean, there could be some truth to that, but one of the big differences in cost is that animators in the West make a living wage.
-Masuda totally called the Pixarization of the US industry. Not that it was terribly hard to do at that point in time.
-Also interesting is Masuda’s comment on the over-40s (the ones with a lower opinion of anime and adult-oriented animation) holding the final say over what got made. It does seem like animation targeted towards adults has become more prominent in the past decade or so (unsourced statement alert!), which might be due to producers with later birthdates gaining power.
-Kazuo Koike comes off as very pro-2D on the sixth page. Doesn’t surprise me, given his inspirations and the fact that he’s basically been working primarily on 2D projects.
-Interesting to hear that Afro Samurai was intended as a for-theaters production, though not really shocking, given the contents of the show.
-Masayoshi Kawajiri loves The Sting. Hot stuff.