Japan Expo 2017, Sunday report

I only went there on Sunday.

Anime 100 conference about 2000-now anime with:

Habara Nobuyoshi, Kamiyama Kenji, Maruyama Masao,  Sakurai Yoshiki, Yamamoto Sayo

I was tired so I didn’t take notes, so this will be way shorter than what I try to do usually. The conferences should be uploaded by JE at some point anyway. Here’s what I remember:

Tsuka was MCing the conference so it was very interesting. Thank God they called someone who knows his stuff to do it rather than a random person. If I knew beforehand he was MCing all the anime 100 conferences with Japanese animators guests, maybe I would have been more motivated to go on Saturday too. Then again I didn’t feel well so it couldn’t be helped. And Thursday and Friday were impossible as well. Anyway, they must’ve surely been interesting. I hope JE uploads them soon.

Kamiyama said he uses technology elements a lot in his works because he wants tech to be hope for the future, something that could make society better etc.
About Oshii: he said he really admires him and that his GITS movie was very inspiring and considers him his master. But he actually never worked directly under him. And if I got it right, he said he’d rather never work with him because he’s a very difficult person to deal with, and he hopes that despite considering him his master, he doesn’t become like that himself.
About how they got Kanno Yoko to compose for SAC: obviously she was already very popular in 2002, so it was very hard getting her on board, seeing her busy schedule etc. He went to see her multiple times and she always said no. In the end, she said yes because she pitied him: back then, he was constantly working and underweight, seeing him so weak and working so hard made her think she should help.

Sakurai says that when he got into the scriptwriters team for SAC, he was a total noob at writing scifi, so he was surprised he was included. But being a noob at scifi compared to the rest of the team may be what made him able to bring something different. He said he’s the one who proposed a lot of the economy related plot ideas (and I think politics, don’t remember) in the SAC anime. Some ideas ended up in the show, some were rejected.

I forgot if it was either Sakurai or Kamiyama who said this, but they probably both agree anyway: they think one way to improve the current anime industry is that anime studios should work with more animators around the world instead of limiting themselves to Japan. That’s what they did with Hirune Hime. (Multiple French animators worked on Hirune Hime. There was another conference  about this, didn’t attend sadly)

Yamamoto said she began her animation career at Madhouse. She did an arts university and didn’t really know what to do after graduating. Most people who graduated went on to try and become writers but she thought she didn’t have the talent(or didn’t want to, don’t remember). She was thinking about how she needs to find a job soon to have stable revenue, and then she thought maybe she’ll be able to pull through if she works in the anime industry. At that time, Trigun was about to start airing(1998), and she saw an ad for it which said “directed by Nishimura Satoshi, new recruit” so she thought “Madhouse is a cool place who will even give opportunities to rookies”; so she decided to contact them and apply.
She’s been working on Yuri on Ice for 4 years before it aired (so starting 2012). She’s a huge fan of figure skating so she tried to put in figure skate elements, like stage costumes, in things she worked on before,she explicitly cited the Lupin Fujiko TV anime (but there’s also Peronsa 5 OP). She wanted to do an anime purely on figure skating, but most people find it too difficult to do, so whenever she was pitching the project to various studios, she was always turned down, until Mappa said yes. So she’s very grateful to Maruyama san.

Maruyama thinks the current state of anime industry is bad. One of the reasons is how production dates, airing dates and such are all set in stone long in advance.  This is part of why he made anew studio called M2, so animators can work on projects without worrying about stuff like that. It’s also for himself, as he’s getting older, he can’t work anymore under the current rigid system of anime studios. (I didn’t even know he made a new studio again after Mappa)
He also said he’d like to do an anime of Kon Satoshi’s Opus manga.

Masami Suda‘s live drawing conference:

He really likes Tatsunoko and working there is one of his best memories in his career.He also really enjoys how he got to work on very different things. He’s currently the chara designer for the Yokai Watch anime, which is obviously very different from his work as chara designer on the Hokuto no Ken TV anime.

He said he always draws on paper, even now. Then PC for details and coloring.

When asked what would he recommend watching to current French anime fans/youngsters among the shows he worked on, he said stuff he did for Toei, like Candy Candy’s opening animation.

He said that long ago(I think he said when he was 29, so this would be 1971), he was overworked and was in very bad shape. When he went to see the doctor, he told him to go directly to the hospital. When he went to the hospital, they told him his body is breaking down and it’s like he’s already dead. He joked saying he was told that 15 years before Hokuto no Ken was made. Made me laugh a lot.

The final anime 100 conference was with Thomas Sirdey and Jean François Dufour:

They explained how they made the anime 100 event. We could also ask stuff about the con, make suggestions etc, and they teased what will happen in the next editions too. (Sandrine Dufour, Thomas Sirdey and Jean François Dufour are the founders of Japan Expo)

Habara is supposed to attend the next Japan Expo in 2018 as well, for Yamato 2202. JE followed production on Yamato 2202 and there will be a documentary about it next JE. It will include stuff like how they dubbed the anime too, not just purely animation related things.

Speaking of dubbing, someone asked how come there’s never seiyuus as guests at JE. Thomas and Jean-François answered all the seiyuu which they sent invitations to for the anime 100 event, even including stuff like touristic visits during their stay in France etc, were turned down. Either beacuse they’re too busy, or a sudden change in schedule, or just not interested enough etc.
Didn’t think about it before but it’s true I’ve never heard of a seiyuu as a guest in JE, though it may have happened at least once. And seiyuus barely go to cons outside Japan in general. And when they do it’s usually in cons not too far from japan like in skorea, indonesia etc, sometimes in usa, but rarely in europe.
I guess it’s because they’re busy. Obviously younger popular seiyuus with tons of roles like M.A.O are busier than some veterans seiyuus. But unlike veterans animators like Maruyama who tend to have slightly looser schedules and are easier to get as guests than younger animators, veterans seiyuus are just as busy as younger seiyuu as well, with their long going roles. For example Hayashibara is always busy voicing Pokemon’s Musashi/Jessie.

Then, like Thomas ans Jean François said, there’s the fact that Japanese people don’t really travel in the first place. I barely ever hear of seiyuus being guests at cons. Recently in April, there was Itou  Kanae and Aizawa Mai at Kawaii Kon in Hawaii. Seiyuu that are freelance like Asawaka Yuu tend to go to more cons too. But yeah it’s only the ones who are more open to travelling or international things in general who do it. For example, Aizawa Mai has already been to multiple cons. Would be nice if she was at JE one day. Or/with Sugita. Would be able to tell them how much I appreciate Umasugi Wave.

Personal remarks about my experience at the con:

It was much better than the last time I attended, or at least what I remember of it, which was in 2012 iirc. Back then, a lot of things were worse than now, like the system to get signs from authors, which is now different and much better imo, though I haven’t tried it myself.

Some things are still as bad like many stands selling counterfeit goods like fake nendos etc.

I only went on Sunday and didn’t stay long, so I didn’t get to see tons of things.

I’m glad I could chat with Sebastien Ruchet(Nolife channel co fonder), talking about how the SRW mobage sucks and yet has tons of cool series like Sakura Taisen. And how Terada teased they should announce a new game at the end of this month.

I bought the Sound of Drop VN from Kawa-soft. Looking forward to trying it out.

I’m a bit disappointed I haven’t seen anyone cosplay something from Persona 5. Though an online acquaintance told me he saw a Joker. After seeing so many pics of P5 cosplay at Anime Expo, it seems I became a bit disillusioned and thought it’d be the same here. There’s the problem of P5 not being translated in French and French people still eternally sucking at English which probably explain the game being not that popular here.

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