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 feature on Xebec, President Yukinao Shimoji describes how friendship with Mitsuhisa Ishikawa (President of Production IG) led to his founding his own studio and Director Nobuyoshi Habara talks about building architecture and setting in DN Angel.
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.
-Nadesico would not have stood out as much as a hardcore series (which Shimoji mentions it was originally intended to be), though with those characters it would still have been very good. Props to Cap’n Tatsuo Sato for Gekigangering things up.
-The manga culture angle Shimoji mentions is a slightly different take on why Japanese animation has been mostly 2D as 3DCG techniques have continued to progress. It is true that manga is much bigger in Japan than comics are in the US, at least.
-Shimoji is also the first guy in these interviews I’ve seen who wants to do more stuff aimed at kids. It’s possible that his more turbulent arrival in the industry makes him prize the stability found in longer-running productions a little more (though that’s probably overthinking it a bit).
-Cool to read about DN Angel author Sugisaki’s active yet non-belligerent role in the anime production. I know that manga authors often have a very significant say in production, but she seemed to be just having fun with the whole thing. I should try 1001 Knights out.