Via Anime Insider: Dai Sato (August 2007)

Writer Dai Sato talks about his career, his background as a musician, how Eureka Seven’s pre-production slot switch influenced its story, and his feelings on adapting manga (as opposed to adapting novels or writing original material).

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Via Anime Insider: Cowboy Bebop (April 2005)

Bones president Masahiko Minami and character designer Toshihiro Kawamoto look back on Cowboy Bebop on the occasion of the “Remix” DVD release. Nothing really new here, given the amount of other interviews these two have done, but it’s my policy to archive multiple-page full text interviews regardless.

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Via Anime Insider: Shinichiro Watanabe, Toshihiro Kawamoto, and Yoko Kanno (Winter 2003)

An interview with Cowboy Bebop’s director/character designer/composer team. Contains a couple nuggets of information (Yoko Kanno was composing ost pieces a year before production started, Ein was modeled after Yoko Kanno, the “new genre unto itself” eyecatch quote was inserted into the show without Watanabe’s permission).

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Via Newtype USA: Toshihiro Kawamoto on the Cowboy Bebop Movie (February 2003)

I wasn’t planning on scanning this until I read it, but this one just so happened to contain some juicy tidbits. Toshihiro Kawamoto not only opens up a little about what the job title “Art Production Director” entails, and has a cool point about the cost of extra lines in character designs for anime movies (the more times you have to draw it, the more expensive it gets). He also mentions that Shinichiro Watanabe tends to be more hands-off in handling his staff, hence some of the fanservice in the motion-heavy scenes (in other words, kind of an entertaining polar opposite to Tsutomu Mizushima in 2012).

Note: I switched to greyscale here because I kept making mistakes in scanning the pages with small margins and it takes significantly less time than color per scan.

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6 Degrees of 5Ds: Neon Genesis Evangelion, Cowboy Bebop, and Revolutionary Girl Utena

If you know enough anime, it’s pretty easy to play Kevin Bacon and link things arbitrarily. Yugioh 5Ds may be notable only for the “Card Games on Motorcycles” meme, but it’s ridiculously easy to connect (via the creators) to the most notable anime of a different decade. If you’re that much of a geek, anyway.

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Instrumental Anime Openings and Why They’re Analogous to Experimental Anime

Instrumental anime openings are fairly rare. So I decided to take a look at the ones I knew. As usual when I examine a list of more than ten things, a few points jumped out at me. So I thought I’d share.

Short version: Instrumental openings often succeed. Because they try harder. They have to; they’re taking a risk, going against a current that carries lots of proverbial fish. And also because the people who tend to take that risk generally tend to be talented people. But they’re not a guaranteed winner for a show by any means.

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Lists Are Fun to Make: Favorite Anime Episodes by Title

Full Disclosure: I like making lists. This particular list is the result of an afternoon of me sitting down and trying to list all the anime episode titles I remember. This correlates pretty well with my actual favorite anime episodes, because I’ve seen most of them enough times to remember their titles. When making this one, I set myself a limit at 60 and reached it fairly quickly. After making the list, I actually ranked them. So yeah, had a lot of fun with this one.

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Adventures in Sound Direction: Your Folk Blues Are Real

So a while ago I wrote about veteran Sound Director Katsuyoshi Kobayashi’s wizardly handling of Space Brothers’ audio. At the time, I had to look up his name on ann, but I didn’t check his specific creator page. The other day, I went back and finally did. It turns out this isn’t the only anime-of-the-decade candidate* he’s worked on with a director named Watanabe. In celebration of this individual who’s handled a number of sublime auditory anime experiences and yet has to date zero comments or favorites on his myanimelist page, I’m going to spend this column by talking about the musically crafted battle sequence to trump (almost) all others, the last 6 minutes of Cowboy Bebop.

(This post contains obvious ending spoilers for a 15-year-old show that you either have watched or will find yourself watching the moment you inform someone who has that you haven’t. So there.) Continue reading

Fun With Numbers: 10 vs. 110

One of the many controversial features of sites like myanimelist and aniDB that allow users to list their anime is their inclusion of toplists. What’s the proper way to weight scores? Should sequels (which have an intrinsic advantage in 10-point averages) be counted normally? Is there a point to having one at all when it invites as much vitriol as it sometimes does?

Though actual discussions over topics like these tend to descend into unglorified hoopla fairly quickly, these toplists and rankings can be very interesting subjects for study. Especially if you dig a layer below the top and start to look at what they really measure.

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