Sanzigen Staff on Advancing 3DCG (Confidence)

A short article with Sanzigen bigwigs talking about how they got to where they are, and hyping themselves up in the runup to their 10th anniversary work Bubuki Buranki.

Started this on an impulse and ran through the whole thing in about 90 minutes, so apologies for any errors that didn’t pass my second edit.


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Asano Inio on Madoka Magica (Comic Natalie)

Asano Inio did an interview with Comic Natalie on Madoka Magica in the presser lead-up to the third movie. The process of how they arrived at that particular person for that particular interview subject is quite fun, and outlined in the article. The main body covers how Asano came to try the series and which parts stood out the most to Asano personally. Nothing too revolutionary in the article itself, but it’s just generally fun to get great creators’ perspectives on great things, involvement be darned.

The interview is conducted in the leadup to the third film, so Asano hasn’t seen it as of this interview, though it does come up. As an amusing aside, while googling to see if it had been done, this article erroneously citing it as a source for Asano’s approval of the movie popped up.

Original Article:

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Takahashi Naohito/Chiba Yuriko on To Heart

A translation of a 1999 interview done by director Takahashi Naohito and chief animation director Chiba Yuriko for KSS Perfect Collection books focused on To Heart. It’s a long interview, touching on a bunch of topics pertinent to the show and their attitudes towards various aspects of story structure and animation.

As a general note, some of the original dialogue in the interview is pretty obtuse and/or meandering. I inserted some punctuation and made minor structure alterations to a few sentences to make sure the meaning came through.

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Poll: Kicking Around a Bunch of TL Prospects

As of last Friday, I was only about 40% done with my little vanity translation project. Now it’s at about 80-something and progressing rapidly. I would be legitimately shocked at this point if it weren’t up by, at the latest, the end of next weekend. This project involved about 20,000 characters worth of Japanese and will probably cash out in the neighborhood of 6000-7000 words if my fuzzy math is right. In the course of working on it, I’ve been able to streamline the hell out of my process and I’m itching to try it out on something smaller-scale.

Since my current “short anime/manga articles I want to take a stab at” list is about 50 deep, I thought I’d toss this one to the crowd. Here’s a list of 10 articles, with links, that I’d be super-hype to translate after finishing my current thing. I’ve googled all of them to check and I don’t believe any has been done yet, so they should all be fresh. And a there’s a poll so you can vote, of course. I’ll definitely translate whichever article gets the most votes, and anything that gets votes I’ll think about doing. Poll will stay open until I finish my current project, and then I’ll get cracking on the leader.

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Short Okachimachi Hato Interview (An-An)

One of the better manga I’ve really gotten into this year is Okachimachi Hato’s Horii-shimai no Gogatsu (Eng: The Horii Sisters in May). I discovered its first chapter in a copy of the now-defunct Manga Erotics F I picked up for Awashima Hyakkei a year ago, got interested, bought the first collected volume a few months ago, and fell in love. Among other things, it prominently features a gender role-flipping adult relationship with great emotional complexity that’s right down the middle of my strike zone. So I got interested and tried to dig up some stuff on it. I found out on Okachimachi’s twitter feed that she had done an interview for women’s magazine An-An with some thoughts on gender, and I decided to translate it.

There’s plenty of literature out there pointing out the importance of examining the role gender plays in Japan, but I think it’s worth noting that a survey in the same magazine asks “Can a man and a woman have a stable friendship?” and gets a very wide spread of responses.

It’s really not much, but read it if you want. You can follow the interviewer on twitter here.
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Higashimura Akiko on Manben (English Subtitles)

Just the subtitle file for the episode of Urasawa Naoki’s Manben featuring Manga Taisho recipient Higashimura Akiko. They comment on footage the crew took of Higashimura’s studio, mainly captured on the deadline day for her newer series, Yukibana no Tora. It also discusses Higashimura’s other work, particularly Kakukaku Shikajika.


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Obvious and Less-Obvious Issues With Anime’s Digital Transition (Arihara Seiji)

This is an editorial by Arihara Seiji, a veteran animator and director who worked for a quarter-century in the industry (at least a decade on each side of the year 2000), who writes about the tangible positives and some less-tangible negatives of the digital transition. This includes issues with a substantially less personal work environment, a more murky creative structure, and jobs being more vulnerable to outsourcing.

Original Article:

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On Production Committees and TV Anime

The following is an excerpt from a long, in-depth essay on the working conditions for animators in Japan and various cultural factors contributing to the problem. This particular section focuses on production committees – how they came about and why they put unions at a disadvantage in labor negotiations. Shoutout to longtime reader primadog for bringing the essay to my attention.

Other sections of this essay are interesting for a variety of reasons, though it’s by no means an easy read. Some neat information comes from the many sources it cites, such as this article with an animator’s perspective on the cel->digital transition or this one on animator wage scales. A tidbit from the latter source that comes up in the essay as an example of how the industry hasn’t always adjusted well to the digital transition – coloring is twice as efficient with digital equipment as it is with analog cels, but the people doing that job still get paid by the amount of frames done, so their wages have doubled more or less by accident.

Original Article:

[Note: For context, the previous section mentioned a planned 1991 Ginza demonstration by anime workers.]

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