JinTai Staff Live Event Talk (Animate)

This is a translation of an animate article about a small-scale screening event for the first episode of Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita where the director/writer/lead actress showed up and talked for a while, mainly focusing on the talk portion. It’s a weird way to get information, but I’m a fan of the series and they talk about a lot of stuff here (using vuvuzelas for the skinned chicken voices, how the first episode was written with the bread scene at the end specifically in mind, etc.) that’s fun and enlightening.

Original article: http://www.animate.tv/news/details.php?id=1342487512

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On Anime Tourism in the 1990s (Imai Nobuharu)

In 2009, Hokkaido University’s Imai Nobuharu wrote a detailed paper discussing the ins and outs of anime tourism and how it might be tied in with traditional cultural events. It’s a good paper, near as I can tell, and it goes in some interesting directions, breaking out statistics, comparing and contrasting the Washinomiya shrine and Disneyland, and exploring the terminology which has developed around anime tourism.

The whole paper is extremely long and translating all of it would take a good chunk of time, but my eyes were drawn to a particular footnote on page 14, which discusses 1990s examples of pre-modern anime-driven tourism and the etymology of the term 聖地巡礼 (Seichi Jyunrei, or Holy Land Pilgrimage in English) which has come to refer to otaku tourism.

Source Paper: http://eprints.lib.hokudai.ac.jp/dspace/handle/2115/35681

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To Heart OST Booklet Comments

The Original Soundtrack of To Heart, which I am fortunate enough to own, comes with a booklet with short statements from the composer, director, and sound director for the show. I found them extremely interesting, especially the ones by the director (“wants to make it feel personal” is a good way of summarizing the approach of the series) and composer (who based the romantic soundtrack on his imagination and his time at an all-boy’s high school).

Included rough scans of the relevant pages as well, for people interested in a look at the original.

Translator’s Note: The first paragraph of the statement by Watanabe Jun was extremely messy in the original Japanese, essentially a one-sentence paragraph with hella commas separating stuttery speech. I tried to strike the best balance I could between preserving the original statement and making the meaning clear. Apologies for any difficulties encountered in reading that part.

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Kusanagi Mizuho and Saitou Chiwa on Akatsuki no Yona (Comic Natalie)

Manga author Kusanagi Mizuho and voice actress Saitou Chiwa talk about Akatsuki no Yona in an interview conducted (by Kishino Eka) around the time the anime first aired. It’s mainly a dialogue on the mutual respect they share, and how they influence one another in their approach to the series. This includes both serious stuff and some extremely cute conversation about the hugs they’ve shared.

There’s also a neat tidbit in there from Kusanagi regarding how the anime project took a long time to materialize, to the extent that she was more relieved than excited when it was officially set. This doesn’t necessarily mean the anime was an exceptionally troubled production from the get-go, but it’s interesting taken in context with the show’s switching distributors and soliciting uber-late as a result of VAP’s leaving the production committee during the broadcast, a rare occurrence. It’s also worth noting that the show’s first opening theme was an instrumental track, uncommon in the modern age where music publishers very aggressively use anime OP/EDs as a space to market their artists.

Kusanagi also mentions a pilot film which had been in production prior to the TV anime. I personally suspect that that footage may have found its way into the TV anime, as a brief battle scene covered in the first 40 seconds of episode 1 and the last 2 minutes of episode 2.

Original Article: http://natalie.mu/comic/pp/yona

Note while reading that I opted not to translate the bottom two-thirds of page 1, as it contained only one-line character bios and some flavor text.

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Shimizu Kenji Comments on Fuji TV Dropping Weekday Anime (Narinari)

On August 15th, Shimizu Kenji, executive producer of many of Fuji TV’s most successful anime, comments on why the station decided to drop its weekday anime. According to him, the 19:00/7PM weekday timeslots were reasonable through most of the 1980s but saw a steep dropoff due to the increased prevalence of cram schools (keeping more kids from being home until late, when adult-oriented programs such as the Monday 9 dramas were already entrenched in their own slots) and the decreasing Japanese birthrate (thus shrinking the total number of kids available as an audience). Large audiences were vital to terrestrial Fuji TV, which explains why UHF (Ultra High Frequency waveband) stations were able to continue to broadcast anime in those same slots.

Original Article: http://www.narinari.com/Nd/20150833194.html

As a companion to Shimizu’s commentary here, it’s worth noting a few things. One, while the Monday and Thursday 19:00 slots died sequentially with Sakigake! Otokojuku in 1988 (started on Thursdays, moved to Mondays, was the last anime in both slots), the Wednesday slot lasted a full decade longer (ending in 2001). Wednesday 19:00, by the way, was the Akira Toriyama legacy slot that ran a combination of Dr. Slump and Dragon Ball from 1981-1999, then picked up One Piece for 2 years before said program shifted to Sunday evenings in 2001.

Two, at least in the case of One Piece, which admittedly moved much later than the others and is more popular than your average franchise, ratings seem to react negatively to slot changes. In 2001, the average ratings of the last 3 months of One Piece airing in its Wednesday slot (15.0) actually beat what it had over the first 3 months of its Sunday afternoon slot (14.7). In 2005, One Piece actually averaged a point less (12.1->11.0) when it shifted back in time by half an hour. And in 2006, when the show shifted from Sunday evenings to 9:30 in the morning, the ratings fell off a cliff (10.7->6.5), though they’ve improved somewhat since.

Three, the network briefly tried to capitalize on the Toriyama legacy slot by sticking a second anime slot right after it, starting from Kuma no Puutarou in 1995. This slot carried Rurouni Kenshin and the first few episodes of GTO, but that experiment ended at the same time the 1997 Dr. Slump anime did, in October of 1999. It’s possible that executives assumed that the then-new One Piece wouldn’t be able to provide the same kind of ratings tail necessary to support the secondary slot that the Toriyama shows had, or maybe Dr. Slump wasn’t providing the ratings tail that Dragonball had and they decided to phase out the Wednesday slots in pieces.

Fourth, TV Tokyo, one of Fuji TV’s major competitors, actually *launched* a large number of weekday 18:00 timeslots in the early 1990s, as did Nihon TV and NHK. Just based on how long some of those slots have lasted, at least some weekday anime was demonstrably viable throughout the 1990s. Reduced weekday competition from Fuji TV may have helped TV Tokyo maximize the returns it got airing Naruto, Bleach, and other weekday long-runners.

At any rate, the translated article text can be read below.
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Ranpo Kitan Roundtable (Kai-You)

In late July, director Kishi Seiji, actress Takahashi Rie, musician Sayuri, and animator Shiraishi Keiko participated in a round-table discussion with Kai-You reporter Yoshida Yuuya to promote and discuss aspects of the show. I found it interesting and decided to take a little time and translate the thing. Of particular interest to me was Shirashi’s comments on the last page about how she used 8mm film to shoot the ending, which resulted in the animation’s antiquated aspect ratio. It’s also an amusing consequence of the roundtable to see Sayuri, who’s in the roundtable as the ED artist and doesn’t typically handle anime production, provide some of her basic observations as a viewer that the anime talent can elaborate on.

The other main purpose of this article, especially evident on the third page, appears to be to drum up interest for a live ustream/nico broadcast of Sayuri’s “Suffocating Girl Sayuri; The Parallel Laboratory of Dawn ~Anime Version~ supported by 2.5D and Kai-You” program, which aired on July 30th. Said program features guest appearances by Takahashi, Kishi, and YKBX (illustrator of Mikazuki’s album cover, whose pictures appear in the original article) and airs another episode on August 26th.

Original Interview: http://kai-you.net/article/19239

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Kishi Seiji+Uezu Makoto on Ansatsu Kyoushitsu (Comic Natalie)

Kishi Seiji and Uezu Makoto talk about various aspects of making the Ansatsu Kyoushitsu anime. I happened upon this interview a few months ago, and found it really neat, so I took the time to translate it more recently once my schedule got less busy. Contains a bunch of neat tidbits, talking about Uezu’s early interest in the series and why he’s soloing the writing duties for the show, Kishi’s struggle to replicate the precision-strike gags in the manga, the backgrounds and color schemes, how they handled casting over 30 regularly appearing characters, and a bunch of other stuff.

Original Interview: http://natalie.mu/comic/pp/ansatsu

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Translation: Ranpo Kitan Staff Comments

The website for upcoming Summer anime Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace recently uploaded a pair of brief comments from the team talking about the show. They were interesting (dealt with the production schedule and the Ranpo stories Uezu plans to integrate) and short, so I translated them. My Japanese is pretty rusty, so apologies in advance for any mistakes. Continue reading