Via Anime Insider: Hellsing Ultimate Staffers (December 2006)

A feature on Hellsing Ultimate that closes with interviews with author Kouta Hirano and screenwriter Hideyuki Kurata, as well as producers Yasuyuki Ueda and Young King Ours’ Yoshiyuki Fudetani.

Favorite part of the interview is Fudetani’s “[y]ou can do manga for us until the day you die” (Hirano’s Drifters is also very successful and also runs in YKO). Also touches on Hirano’s interest in England and favorite Gundam characters. Also interesting that Hideyuki Kurata has been a Young King Ours reader for the magazine’s entire run (“since volume one”); the magazine began serialization in 1993.

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Via Anime Insider: The Gun x Sword Crew (June 2006)

Director Taniguchi Goro, writer Hideyuki Kurata, and character designer Takahiro Kimura talk about Gun x Sword. Includes some neat, semi-quirky stuff like Goro insisting the show is a mecha (not a western), drawing from independence day, staff-bonding onsen trips, and Kurata on making good “B-movie” villains.

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First Reactions: Samurai Flamenco Episode 5

There are a couple of primary rules to following modern anime that I’ve discovered since first getting into it in 2007, something I feel I should mention because I violated one of them last week:

1. Never count out a show before it airs. It doesn’t matter if the studio, staff, and source material are all seemingly dog meat, miracles happen more often than you’d think.
2. Dropping anything new after 1 episode is perfectly acceptable. Shows that don’t have a gripping intro in today’s ultra-competitive market are the ones missing a beat. If they don’t care about themselves, neither should I. The inverse is not necessarily true; a good first episode means a lot more than a good third episode, where the staff can afford to throttle down for the sake of a particular story because they know they have their audience.
3. 90% of all game adaptations are bad according to people who played the game. Not so much for manga, where plenty of anime staffers have gotten absurd amounts of praise for storyboards that were basically carbon copies of their award winning source material.
4. Don’t expect people to like or hate the same things you do. Learn to love the party going on around a show or just leave it alone.
5. Doubt Takahiro Omori, Kishi Seiji, Kenji Nakamura, and Taniguchi Goro, under any circumstances, at your own peril. Though they don’t always hit home runs, they can do anything, they’ve proved it, and they just keep grinding like they’re playing Dragon Quest and unmade anime are a bunch of hapless slimes.


True to form, Omori and writer Hideyuki Kurata didn’t take long to go from the introduction of Flamenco Girl’s clashing colors to weave her and the consequences of her actions into the larger tapestry of circumstances. Now she’s been humanized, the cast in general has matured, and we’re set with at least 3 or 4 new emerging plot and character threads that ought to keep things fresh perhaps even to the halfway point.

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First Reactions: Samurai Flamenco Episode 2

This episode was playing two games at once. It made the point early on of introducing the idol trio and manager who figure into the OP and will presumably bigger players in time to come, and then followed up with ten minutes of juicy irony on umbrella theives. It’s a shame it couldn’t do both of those things at once, because that would have been one thing to add a serious spark to what is looking like a fair-sized puddle of oil this point. As it stands, while I’m enjoying the “don’t quit your day job” workplace elements of the show, I hope the show eventually evolves past a straight split between elements. If it can do that while still preserving the sad-adult feeling Goto and Masayoshi give off, it’s set for the next 6 months.


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