Anime Vice News

Ota09: Noboru Ishiguro & Yukio Kikukawa

 

Left to right: Yukio Kikukawa, translator Takayuki Karahashi, Noboru Ishiguro
Left to right: Yukio Kikukawa, translator Takayuki Karahashi, Noboru Ishiguro


 
The Important Stuff:

- If there's time, Noboru Ishiguro says that they may screen a "tentative English version" of Tytania during their Q&A tomorrow.
- The live-action Space Cruiser Yamato film is set to star SMAP's Takuya Kimura as Susumu Kodai. Ishiguro also says that he's heard that the film will focus more on the romance than on the sci-fi (which he is less interested in.)

The Detailed Version:

With 2-3 guest panels per guest of honor, it's hard to get to all of them at Otakon. But I'm getting to as many of them as I can! Rather than attending Yutaka Yamamoto's second Q&A I'm sitting in on Noboru Ishiguro and Yukio Kikukawa-- a somewhat older generation of anime creators.

Artland founder Noboru Ishiguro is an animator best known for directing the original Super Dimension Fortress Macross and Legend of Galactic Heroes, though more recently he worked on the anime series Tytania. Ishiguro was also a musician in his youth, and actually created music for Macross: Do You Remember Love and Legend of Galactic Heroes.

As for Kikukawa, he's best known as the producer of Legend of Galactic Heroes and the movie Big Wars, although he also assistant-produced the OVA Battle Royal High School.

Now, I've never seen Legend of the Galactic Heroes, so I worry that I won't really get a fair chunk of this panel, but I'm going to do my best! I really wanted to get a shot at some old-school animators to contrast with the young up-and-comers like Yamamoto-sensei.

They opened with a heavily truncated five-minute version of Tytania, the 2008 oldschool-style sci-fi series. I never got to watch it, so I was really excited to get a shot. It looks pretty cool, so I'm kind of wondering why no one has licensed it yet-- like Media Blasters, who has put out a fair amount of oldschool stuff and whose fans might really enjoy something like this. Or maybe FUNimation?

Nishiguro is asked what it was like, going back to directing anime after so much time out of that side of the biz. Nishiguro says that the show he did last before Tytania was cell-based, not digital, so the procedure was completely different and he had to pick it up from scratch all over again. Nishiguro notes that thanks to computers, very few animators can draw mechs by hand-- which he thinks will be an increasing problem in the future. His impression of modern anime is that they're all getting very elaborate with character designs and mech designs, but he doesn't think there's as much dynamic motion and expression, and he thinks it's a bit stifling to the medium. Haruhiko Mikimoto was the character designer for Tytania and he also did Macross-- he's a manga artist these days (see: Mobile Suit Gundam Ecole du Ciel) so he had to work within the manga schedule to do Tytania, so there were a couple of close calls with deadlines. Ishiguro also realized that he might not have given Mikimoto the best assignment since he's best at girls but most of Tytania's cast is male. The Tytania novel series isn't finished yet, so the toughest part about writing for the series was that the ending was unknown and they weren't in a position to invent something new for it. So they had to be extra careful. This is something they found out after the fact, but the Tytania novelist actually aimed at making the book un-animatable due to not wanting to reproduce his earlier success-- that would be Legend of the Galactic Heroes, of course. It had also been a long time since he'd worked on a weekly production, plus he's older, but deadlines mean you may have to submit episodes before you're totally happy with them, so he thinks there's room for improvement in some places.

Kikukawa takes over from here-- he was the one who pitched Tytania as an anime project to the novelist, Yoshiki Tanaka, and got it greenlit...but the production schedule was very tight, hence the difficulty for Nishiguro-sensei. He wants to know how many people here have watched Tytania from any means at all (tacitly acknowledging fansubs, of course), and I think a few more people raised their hands than he expected. He says that since we have thirty minutes left in the panel, he brought some production reference materials, which we'll get to take a look at (awesome!). It's mostly character design artwork for the Tytania family. Kikukawa notes that all four principal Tytania seiyuu all say they watched Legend of the Galactic Heroes as a kid, and it inspired their careers. I didn't catch the names for the four actors, but Kikukawa said the sentiment made him feel old. Every recording session the cast members would bug him to let them say "my lord," so they actually changed a few lines on the spot to incorporate that...but Daisuke Kishio (Jouslain Tytania, as well as Vampire Knight's Kaname Kuran) never got to say it, which reportedly made him sad.

 
 


Now we're on to mech designs, they were done by Kazutaka Miyatake (Macross, Gundam SEED). These are the ones I won't know anything about, but they all look pretty cool-- especially Idris' flagship FireBird. It's the only one that was hand-drawn rather than animated in CG. The ship didn't have a name in the novels either, but Kikukawa begged the author to come up with a name for the ship. The crew was about to come up with a few possible names themselves when the author found some of his old production notes and gave them the heads up. Finally.

We're told that in the so far unwritten continued adventures of Tytania, Lydia becomes a very important character.

We just got shown a classic cell, I believe from Legend of the Galactic Heroes, which will be jan-ken-pon'd off later. But first we get a reminder about the live-action Space Battleship Yamato that's currently in the works. The lead is going to be played Takuya Kimura from SMAP. Kimura is in his thirties and the lead character of Yamato is 18, so that should be interesting, he says. He also says the movie will focus more on romantic drama and less on sci-fi, which makes him less interested in the project himself. There's also another Q&A with Ishiguro and Kikukawa tomorrow, and if they run out of questions they might show "a tentative English version of Tytania." Whoa! I wonder where that's from?

Whew, the end. Oh, except that the guy who won the cell is also cosplaying the guy IN it, I think-- Reinhardt von Lohengramm, the guy next to me says. Awesome!
GodLen staff on July 18, 2009 at 9:23 p.m.
Legend of the Galatic Heroes is probably the greatest anime ever, so everyone should watch it! (Though it is not for everyone)
GundamEXPon July 20, 2009 at 8:57 a.m.
I was the Reinhard who was lucky enough to win the cell, in perhaps one of the most bizzare twists of my con-going years... Did anyone get photos or videos of the end?

Also, just out of curiosity, did anyone here get to our LoGH panel this weekend?

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