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August 11 2010

washi
07:21
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Yamakan, anime director, conductor and destroyer of Ui figures~

He's pretty good!

Tags: Yamakan

August 09 2010

washi
22:17

Yamakan Ultimatum, Fractale

Well-known rogue director, Yamakan (Yamamoto Yutaka) is making a return to anime after his live-action film director debut! It was announced in Newtype a few days ago - an interesting collaboration between Yamakan, an anime critic as the storywriter, and the producer of R.O.D and other major titles: "Fractale". But, he's done something very strange, yesterday sharing an open letter that reveals he's committed to retiring from anime if this new series doesn't do well.

This is definitely very unusual. He says he's going to put everything he has into this show, so if it doesn't succeed then the anime medium isn't for him. Unlike many anime directors, he probably has a safe route to a career as a live-action director, hence his willingness to bail from anime. But he also says that he's worried if anime will be able to survive and grow in the near future, so if he can't lead the way with a succesful new series, he may as well quit. Of course, this could also be a response to his critics. It's fine that he chose to make this anime a personal ultimatum, but the fact that he publicised it suggests at least some degree of attention-grabbing. I like that Yamakan is able to cause a storm (and he said years ago that he wanted to be an outspoken force in the anime industry), but I think it's stupid to pin his hopes on this one anime.

July 28 2010

washi
08:21

Yamakan on Anime Industry

Posted as a series of tweets, Ko Ransom provided some succinct dot-point translations from a recent interview with Yamakan (Yamamoto Yutaka), in which he talks about the anime industry today.

①:BRS signals return to toy-funded business models of past: give anime away, try to sell toys

②:Your anime is always going to end up on Youtube. We're reaching the end of being able to sell home video.

③:Video production companies may soon be replaced with toymakers or even patrons as source of $. Thems the breaks!

④: tie-ups with other companies? sounds great! K-on did tons of $ for Rakuten, and geniuses @ Ghibli just opened a studio w/ Toyota!

⑤: Youtube is great for guerrilla animators, but just try making a 30 minute animation with a small team…I tried to buy time with money with BRS, but ultimately had to outsource, or else we would have gone under! No cash flow means you starve.

⑥: People complain about poor pay, but budgets can't get any bigger. Heck, the people at the TV stations aren't even making money!

⑦: With the anime bubble came a huge increase in staff, too. Less shows=less work for animators, so is the crunch surprising?…Back in the day, animators never would have called studios looking for work, it was the other way around. You had a credit, you got calls

⑧: With semi-pro/amateur "Web animators" now, you have lots of talent doing small amts of work, but they have other income sources…like doujin and illusts. People have been saying that the industry is about to fall apart for 30 yrs, but i wonder if its true this time?

⑨: Thanks to digital age, anim. quality has never been higher. For BRS, I hired a genga man i've never met from Hokkaido, "mebae".

⑩:We're currently experiencing a "quality bubble" due to loud sakuga otaku online, but good animation doesn't = sales! In fact…most people barely notice anim. quality. Smart refocusing, scaling down of efforts+sensible expectations would ease workloads and budgets

THE FINAL: Industry can't just vie for the fixed "swing vote" of anime otaku, needs to build wider-reaching brands, like Touhou.

I found some of his grand statements a bit hard to swallow, such as the end of home-video sales. And his comments about the spending on animation being uneccesarily inflated by a minority of sakuga otaku are a little odd (but maybe that's just because I'm a sakuga fan, myself). It may be true that most fans don't notice or appreciate good animation, but I think a lot of fans do notice bad animation, and cheap production. But it's undeniable that there is now a quality bubble spurred on by the digital age, what I'm not sure about is whether that bubble has to burst.

Tags: Yamakan

July 27 2010

washi
11:26
3253 296a 500

Black Rock Shooter

Unless you’ve been living under a particularly enveloping rock for the past few months, you’ll probably have heard a fair bit about Black Rock Shooter already. The hype machine has been pushed to almost breaking point for this particular anime project, but not without good reason. Black Rock Shooter is a really interesting anime production in a number of ways: it’s an anime that started with a small collection of artwork by then little-known artist, Huke, whose Black Rock Shooter character design planted the creative seed that rapidly grew into this 50-minute OVA. This process was given a massive boost by Ryo, a now-famous music producer (who recently composed the ED for Bakemonogatari) and member of band, Supercell. The design’s likeness to Hatsune Miku, and his fondness for the it led to a collaboration – a music video combining Huke’s visceral artwork and the musical talent of Ryo in the form of a Hatsune Miku song. The video made Black Rock Shooter a sensation, latching on to the popularity of Hatsune Miku and Vocaloid in general.

Then came the anime! Ryo and Huke collaborated with Yutaka Yamamoto and his new studio, Ordet to conceive an anime series, and the anticipation has only grown from there. Ordet is an interesting studio because its core members are ex-Kyoto Animation staff, including the director, Shinobu Yoshioka. As its first solo animation production, Hatsune Miku was a big chance for Ordet to make a triumphant entrance into the anime industry. This is an anime with a great backstory, and strong new talent fuelling it! Now that it has finally been released in full, the only question remains is: does it deliver on the prodigious promise it exudes? ⚫ ⚫ ⚫

July 26 2010

washi
09:57

Director of Kannagi, and ex-KyoAni director, Yamakan laments the current state of the anime industry, saying that most otaku don't understand good animation. He says that, the anime which sakuga otaku (fans of animation) go crazy over don't sell well, citing Denno Coil and Birdy the Mighty Decode (2008/2009) as examples.

Frankly, he speaks the truth. 

>実はアニメオタクの大部分はそんなに作画に詳しくないんですよ。
>これは統計上も言われていることなのですが、作画オタクが狂喜乱舞した作品は売れないんです。
>その最たる例が究極の作画アニメと言われている『電脳コイル』(2007年)で、
>最近だと『鉄腕バーディー DECODE』(2008年、2009年)でしょうか。
>作画オタクは狂喜乱舞するのですが、まったく売り上げに結びついていないのです。
Tags: Yamakan

June 30 2010

washi
12:36
1519 eecc

K-ON!! 13

Ex-KyoAni director (fired from his first series director position on Lucky Star), Yamamoto Yutaka (Yamakan) seems to be on the cover of this part time work magazine. Fuck you KyoAni...

Tags: Keion Yamakan
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