Unstoppable Hype Machine Winter 2015 – #4 Death Parade

Win It!

The Machine parades out again with Death Parade, the new sequel to the Animator Training short from 2013!

Via Anime Insider: Peter Chung on Reign the Conqueror (April 2003)

Peter Chung, creator of Aeon Flux and character designer for the Reign the Conqueror anime, talks about working with Madhouse and dealing with language barriers.

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Via Newtype USA: [inside] Madhouse

Along with an understanding of the broader context of the subject, the most vital ingredient to good anime coverage is a reliable source. So when US journalists actually interview people on the production side in Japan, it’s generally worth noting unless the interview consists entirely of fluff. This is the latest of what will hopefully be a couple more posts archiving articles from Newtype USA’s [inside] series of articles written by Amos Wong. This studio Madhouse feature includes Masayoshi Kawajiri and Kazuo Koike talking about their mentor-student relationship (and the differences between movies and TV), Producer Yuichiro Saito talks about the merits of doing all types of projects, and Hiromichi Masuda talks production-side differences between eastern and western animation.

Note: Pictures are scans of the article made on my crappy scanner, which cover the article text but not the entire page. They’re also in greyscale, because I’m interested in archiving interview text and color scans make the process more of a headache than it needs to be. Apologies for that. Scans after the jump, along with comments on the contents of the article.

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Via Newtype USA: Morio Asaka and Nanase Ohkawa on Chobits (March 2003)

This is a neat interview tidbit showing off some of the thought processes permeating earlier era Madhouse (the [inside] article on Madhouse, in another issue, elaborates a bit on their clamp connection). Morio Asaka talks about the blurred line between manga for girls and manga for boys (considering Chobits as a shojo manga even though it ran in a shonen magazine). Hidetoshi Abe mentions a post-credits revision to the second CCS movie’s ending that never made it in. Nanase Ohkawa talks about how she depicts male characters and the less intensive role (relative to CCS) she played in the anime’s production.

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Via Newtype USA: Hanada Shonen-shi (February 2003)

Hanada Shonen-shi is an oft-overlooked series that holds a few unique fun-trivia attributes; it was one of the earlier shows in the awesome NTV 24:50 Tuesday slot and put up 3%+ ratings long before doing so was cool, and it’s got the only opener done by the Backstreet Boys. This brief spread talks about how the manga creator, Makoto Isshiki, was the one who pushed for that opener. There’s also an interesting comment on the voice actors practicing for a body-swap sequence. Not much text, but it’s neat.

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Fun With Numbers: Adaptations of Award-Winning Manga and the Myth of Madhouse

It’s fairly frequent among people who have started to get interested in anime enough to start knowing things about the people who make it find themselves encountering the names of certain directors and studios over and over. Kasai Kenichi excels at college life stories. Hiroshi Nagahama was the bold visionary who directed Mushishi. Perhaps one of the more preeminent studios in that regard are Madhouse and Gonzo, the studios behind Death Note and Gankutsou, respectively. They can flash those series names on “from the studio that brought you” title cards of the trailer for anything else they make, despite the fact that Madhouse made the Marvel anime and Gonzo hasn’t been run by the people who made Gankutsuou since 2008. I’m here to make the case for why Madhouse’s reputation, along with a number of others, may be a bit overblown. It’s not that they’re not making awesome anime, but they are picking source material that gives them a lot of help.

This situation with directors can sometimes be a bit like that of the quarterback in American football; they get too much credit when things go well, and too much blame when things go wrong. In reality, lots of factors beyond the men at the top contribute to an anime’s success. I’m here today to take a look at one in particular; the pre-production choice of high-quality of source material. What follows is a look at anime adaptations of Shogakukan/Kodansha Award-Winning manga, including observations based on both their relative frequency over the years, their strength as a function of which studio makes them, and their performance in the marketplace.

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Fun With Numbers: Studio Cred vs. Director Cred

This column is motivated by a discussion I had two months ago, about whether ARMS, a studio with Queen’s Blade and Hagure Yuusha no Estetica in its recent past, could really pull a good anime out of the Maoyu franchise, even with the writer/director team behind Spice and Wolf helming said show. It was a long, drawn-out debate, and it got me thinking: what names were really most important (in terms of both quality and sales) in predicting how an anime will do? For anime fans without enough time to watch every first episode in a season, it’s certainly an important question. I’ll be attempting to approach the answer to this question by remove my own biases from the equation as much as I can.

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