Via Anime Insider: Seiji Mizushima (September 2006)

Seiji Mizushima is interviewed about the Fullmetal Alchemist series. Again.

It’s still somewhat interesting, talking about Sho Aikawa’s contributions to developing the setting for the Shamballa movie, the difference between TV and movie production, and insisting he’s finished with the series, a pledge he kept when Brotherhood was greenlit. And the fact that he enjoys wearing hats to interviews (I guess one nice thing about interviewing the same guy 3+ times is that you start to get a window into his habits).

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Via Anime Insider: Hideo Katsumata (July 2006)

Producer Hideo Katsumata talks about when the Fullmetal Alchemist movie was decided on, Aniplex’s role in producing the series, and Hiromu Arakawa doing martial arts.

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Via Anime Insider: Bones/Fullmetal Alchemist (December 2004)

Various studio Bones staffers. the voices of Ed and Al, and author Hiromu Arakawa discuss various aspects of symbolism in the FMA series.

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Via Anime Insider: Competitive Bidding for Fullmetal Alchemist (August 2004)

A piece about Fullmetal Alchemist’s licencing for US release. The interesting quote here is one on the second page by Funimation president Gen Fukunaga; “Fullmetal Alchemist was a very hotly contested property. All of the top anime companies in the United States were bidding on it […]”

That poses a very interesting what if; what if one of those other companies had gotten FMA? If ADV gets it, do they then fortify their brand around that property and not wildly overbid for that series in the very near future? It’s possible, though not likely, that their overspending on B-listers was driven by the increasing need to get a real hit out of one of them, something exacerbated by Funimation’s cornering more of the A-list market. What if, say, Geneon or Bandai Visual, with their less-substantial connections to cable TV, got it and whiffed on the rollout? It’s food for aimless speculation, although I would love to see a timeline of who made what bids when.

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Via Newtype USA: Rie Kugimiya on Being Alphonse Elric (December 2004)

Normally, I don’t scan voice actor interviews, because they’re mainly canned puff bits on emotional connection to the character. But this one contains an interesting fact – Rie recorded her FMA lines in a separate room from the rest of the cast, to give Alphonse’s voice a more hollow sound.

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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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Introducing Unnecessary Terminology: Storytelling vs. Storycrafting

I had a thought the other day about types of fantasy that I thought I’d hash out and share. This is a bit on settings that applies more to short-form stories than it does to franchises. Examples are largely anime because, well, me.

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