Major producers from each of the anime/production companies talk about their hits for 1986 and foresee what their companies will be producing
KENJI YOKOYAMA (Toei Animation Co.)
The new hit TV show Gegege no Kitaro from the fall of 1985 which received top ratings reflects modern times.
This is what I’ve been thinking with the third conversion of Gegege no Kitaro into animation. One is the change in children’s thinking with regards to ghosts/monsters. Of course “Ghostbusters” and “E.T.” have influenced this change, and now kids consider ghosts almost as pets. So in this way I think that if you match the present mood and go in the direction of lighter anime, you’ll be able to create different things from before. Children’s lives are too managed now, so they’d want an outlet to vent too. And in a society that has too many things and where, if you have the money, you can buy anything, things like the Toyoda Company fraud scandal and shady investment journals can also be construed as monstrosities. This anime has this overall theme: In the ideal world of Kitaro, monsters, people, animals, grass and trees should all co-exist so I thought I’d have various new approaches within the anime.
As a new endeavor, our company is going into video anime. It’s called “Amon Saga” and we’re not just going to sell it in video format, (I’m also hoping) we can show it in any movie theater even for just one week otherwise it’ll just be too sad. Especially with regards to original works with names that aren’t well known, I think it’s dangerous to rely on just one production studio. After “Konpora Kid” ends, beginning February, we’re planning on animating “Kinka”, a serialized manga in the weekly magazine Shonen Jump.
(Caption for illustration on the left side of the page)
A figure from the very popular “Kitaro”. They can’t keep up with the demand for a ghost eraser that they’ve produced and now it is a hit product. It’s also been decided that there will be new movie releases for this anime in the New Year and in the spring.
EIJI YAMAURA (Nihon Sunrise Co.)
Find common ground with your viewers and defeat this lethargic mood!
Sunrise has now expanded into six studios and at any given point in time, we plan to work simultaneously on two to three anime TV series, video anime, anime for movie theaters and collaboration anime. Overall, anime today is manga magazine-driven, so our question is how far can we go in staying on an original anime track. Robot animes have vastly decreased in number, so conversely, I think this is a chance for us to come out with epoch-making anime. I’d like to make anime that will allow us to seriously converse with our child viewers.
TOSHIMITSU SUZUKI (Artmic Co.)
Making anime that will be understood by the whole world! The robot anime boom is shifting from transformation-type robots to robots that merge into one.
Speaking of Japanese products in the international market today, mechanical products come to mind. This is also true in the animation world since Japanese robot animes are extremely in vogue. Especially in the American market, they already have transformation-type robot animes, so animes that have robots that merge into one are new to them. We’ve already exported “Beast King GoLion”, following that, (we’re going to export) “Dancouga Super Beast Machine God”.
We at Artmic plan to make animation that can be exported to foreign markets and we also are also keeping in mind to configure these anime with universal values. The video anime “Gall Force” is the first step in that direction.
NOBUO INADA (Tokyo Movie Shinsha Co.)
Our track remains the same - making collaboration animes for foreign countries but we also have new anime.
I can’t necessarily say that the present state of anime is good. But the passion for anime during the anime boom of “Gundam” and the like was an anomaly so I feel that the state of anime now is the real one.
As you may know, not only do we make anime for Japan but we also produce anime for foreign countries. It’s a difficult situation for us now to concentrate on anime just for Japan because of production costs. It can be said that Japanese anime should be improved from the very basic level.
In 1986, we plan to have “Little Nemo” and in the fall, an anime for movie theater release by the duo Desaki and Sugino. At any rate, we’re doing our best.
JUNZOU NAKAJIMA (Nihon Animation Co.)
We’re aiming for improving the quality of our masterpieces and we’re also trying our hand at new anime!
As you may know, our company has mainly been making masterpiece animes for more than fifteen years but I think we’ve made a habit of making similar anime. But we’ve been able to improve on our animes’ degree of perfection precisely because of the buildup of our experience in animation. We’re also working hard on our technology, and on the authenticity of our masterpieces. At any rate, we’re trying to make anime that is still interesting to watch even after five or six years have passed. Next year, we plan on making “Pollyanna” after “A Little Princess Sara” ends, and a new SF series called “Space Sagittarius”. We’re also going to have one TV special around May.
HIROMICHI MOGAKI (Tsuchida Production Co.)
Just like what we did in “Tsubasa” and “Kimengumi”, we’re adding our original flavor to animation adapted from manga!
Even with regards to animating manga, the time when you aren’t creative when adapting something is over - just like our approach to our anime “High School! Kimen”. In manga, the fun is enclosed in a comic cell. Differing from that, we were able to bring out fun that moves freely (in the anime format). (Our decision to) put two episodes in one anime has also been well-received. We are also planning to have an anime TV series next year but all will depend on how long “Captain Tsubasa” will last. Captain Tsubasa’s storyline is that the finals will end in March, and the European leg will begin. This will catch up with the manga version’s storyline so I’m thinking of making a new one or taking a temporary break.
MASAYASU SAGISU (Eiken Co., Ltd.)
Please watch the cooking scenes in the manga “Oishinbo” animated in a live-action format.
The anime “Sazae-san” is going to be seventeen years old. I think that the things that last for a long time are not manga for boys or manga for girls but manga for adults such as “Sazae-san” that has a family theme. But there aren’t many of this kind of anime today.
There has been a lot of SF space anime but nowadays it’s quite possible for kids to go to space someday. But the world of “Sazae-san” where the grandma, the grandpa, the old maid and the troubles they encounter while living together is farther than space in today’s world of nuclear families. Conversely, this makes Sazae-san’s storyline fresh.
For next year’s anime, we are developing our plans to animate Mr. Shinji Wada’s manga “Pigmalio”. We’d also like to do SF action animes, and a totally new genre - animating Big Comic Spirit’s serialized manga “Oishinbo”. Following a ten-year cycle, monster animes might come out next year but we’d like to try out new genres.
HIROSHI KATO (Ashi Production Co.)
We are developing original videos for the anime “Dancouga”
Our company has concentrated mainly on original anime and we are continuing with this direction in 1986 and beyond. Even though our animes are popular, I don’t know why we are edited a lot. Even “Dancouga” which originally had fifty-two episodes was reduced to thirty-eight and the final story was changed. We are going to sell a one and a half hour video in March and we’d like to include the real final story in it. Seventy percent of animators in Japan today are working on collaboration anime. The pay (for collaboration anime) is more than double, so we have to do something about it.
TOSHIHIRO NAGAO (Kaname Production Co.)
I’d like to see different kinds of SF anime. “Windaria (Once Upon a Time)” is the first step in that direction.
Generally speaking, I’d like to go with polar opposites - simplistic anime that has funny gags and anime that explores heavy themes. I think our company would like to take a short break after “Windaria” ends and then we’re going to do a lighter anime. We’ve also talked little by little about producing an anime TV series, but can we really do it with the present situation? Companies we outsource to are doing a lot of collaboration anime and we don’t have the confidence that we will win the price war and if we dabble in (anime TV series) incorrectly, it will be a death blow. With this situation, it seems like we will be concentrating on video anime for now. With regards to the direction of our anime, we’d like to consider doing SF anime with our own touch and foray into different parts, for example, making modern anime like “Radio City Fantasy (Machikado no Marchen)” that merges footage and music.
(Caption for illustration on the left side)
"Mujigen Hunter Fandora", one of the original video anime from Kaname Production Co..It is said that the second part will be released in March.
YUUJI NUNOKAWA (Studio Pierrot)
"Magical Emi, the Magic Star" will end in February. We’re working on the anime that will follow this.
Ever since our “Dallos” anime, anime in the video anime genre have increased, and it’s becoming more and more difficult to foresee what’s ahead. But I feel our viewer base will return to children after the continuous increase in anime fans.
In our animes’ genres, it seems that we foray into unprincipled things but through trial and error, we are at that stage where we are aiming for our own style. In 1986, we plan to stop producing transformation-style anime after “Emi” and we are now working on an anime with a witch theme, with a nod to our very first anime. We have also decided that we will make a sequel to “Rumic World”.
(Box at the lower left side of the page)
If there were animes like this I’d watch it!
MIKI TORI (manga artist)
And yet there are only a few animes wherein you can feel each anime’s distinct character. I understand that anime is a group effort, but like manga, the director’s tastes dominate. If the time comes when the writer can say “that is good but this is also good”, I think that anime will become more vibrant.
AKIO YOSHIDA (manga artist)
If I’m going to watch, I might change the channel if they’d revive anime like the long adventure animes of Toei. It would feel just like watching the movie “Mothra”.
YUKI SAITO (actress and singer)
I was in a manga research group when I was in high school so all I watched were anime from Sunrise. I like “Gundam” and “Ideon”. If there were anime in that vein, I think I’d be obsessed again.
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