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Interview: Yoshiyuki Tomino


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joshjoshlol



Joined: 12 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:07 pm Reply with quote
Zin5ki wrote:
Correct me if I read his comments incorrectly, but does Tomino seem to be recommending that we watch Ideon (et al) fansubbed?


The way I interpreted it (an interpretation of something interpreted... heh) the only way he -could- address the question is to frame it such that it was viewed by non-traditional means. I don't think he is condoning or recommending any such thing.

penguintruth wrote:
Yoshiyuki Tomino is probably my favorite director of animation, but I reallly dislike his new found attitude. It's almost Pollyanna-like. Anime is entertainment, yes, but a so-called positive message is not necessary for entertainment. If a story has a positive message, then go with it, but if you're trying too hard to push it, it invalidates the story. Especially if you're trying to do it to an already existing work. This was one of my big issues with the Zeta Gundam movies. It was an embarrassment.

Then he goes and mentions Be Invoked, which only comes to a positive conclusion after scores of deaths, including scenes where small children die horribly in front of the viewer, often in gratiutous fashion. It was almost like he was enjoying it.

Right now, whenever I read interviews with Tomino, he seems pretty dismissive. I think he's at a point in his life where he's too exhausted to be bothered. Of course, it could be because, honestly, the guy seems a little weird.


I completely agree with this post.
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FaytLein
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:42 pm Reply with quote
Ah Tomino, the somewhat maligned anime director speaks again! Tomino is maybe my most favorite director of all time, knocks against his style aside, he can certainly create some interesting premises and worlds.

As for the somewhat dismissive tone of this interview, Tomino is actually kinda famous for either not caring or being a total dick when it comes to interviews (the story of hurling V Gundam models at people and wanting V to have a label that reads DO NOT BUY on boxsets comes to mind) seems to come from the line of questioning he is facing. If its a "soft" or "pandering" interview, he does tend to turn sour fairly quickly, but if he gets some real good questions in, he rather turns out to be a decent interviewer.

But then again, being asked Gundam questions day in and day out for 30 years and his longstanding grudge against Sunrise, its kinda expected for "Evil Tomino" to come out once in a while.
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Big Hed



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:54 pm Reply with quote
Seems like a pretty smart guy. I like the attitude he has towards the implementation of CG, as well as his flexible approach to creating new works (not saying that every new anime should be an example of upward mobility, but a "positive and negative side" definitely isn't a bad thing).

Tomino's perspective on life imitating Gundam is interesting; I certainly understand his comparison to nuclear weapons (though they were a necessary mistake), but what did he mean by "scientists who aren't in touch with reality"? Was he emphasizing that mobile suit development is a bad idea, or realistically unattainable? I agree with the latter (and only for the time being).

Zin5ki wrote:
Correct me if I read his comments incorrectly, but does Tomino seem to be recommending that we watch Ideon (et al) fansubbed?


I had that impression initially as well, but that's due to continued exposure to the online anime community more than anything else, I think. The term 'copy' doesn't in and of itself imply illegality, after all.
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FaytLein
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:31 pm Reply with quote
Big Hed wrote:

Tomino's perspective on life imitating Gundam is interesting; I certainly understand his comparison to nuclear weapons (though they were a necessary mistake), but what did he mean by "scientists who aren't in touch with reality"? Was he emphasizing that mobile suit development is a bad idea, or realistically unattainable? I agree with the latter (and only for the time being).



I think he was more or less referencing scientists looking at fictional things to mimic rather than working on legitimate technology. I mean, giant robots and beam sabers might be cool as crap to make, but instead of doing that, work on more useful things Wink .
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Big Hed



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:51 pm Reply with quote
FaytLein wrote:
I think he was more or less referencing scientists looking at fictional things to mimic rather than working on legitimate technology. I mean, giant robots and beam sabers might be cool as crap to make, but instead of doing that, work on more useful things Wink .


Yeah, I was leaning towards that interpretation myself. I disagree with it, though; the innovations required to realize such technologies -- especially beam (plasma) sabers -- would have all kinds of applications. Military being the least of them, frankly.
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omnistry



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:28 am Reply with quote
Quote:
When I think of New York, I think of Broadway.


Why did the horrible thought of "Gundam: The Musical!" pop in my head when I read this Anime dazed?

I can't wait for the full interview, though.
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panzer.time



Joined: 25 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:58 am Reply with quote
Gundam: The Musical!? I might go for that, actually. They could probably just do an adaptation of Endless Waltz.

The stagecraft would have to be killer in order to make it bearable, though.
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Unholy_Nny



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 7:57 pm Reply with quote
I imagined rainbows and ponies prancing around in the background while I read this. Optimism is an alien thing to me...
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Tuor_of_Gondolin
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 12:30 am Reply with quote
I don't know anything about the guy other than what was mentioned in this article, but...

I think his answer about the Anime industry meant that he wasn't particularly pleased about where it was going, but that there was nothing he could do to change it so why get himself in a lather over it. Instead, he seems the type that just does what he thinks is best and if others want to follow suit, fine, if not, that's fine, too. I like that attitude.

As for his comments where he touched on nuclear weapons and the scientists who made them, I'd agree that he was referring to how people get focused on some particular (usually abstract) aspect of whatever they're working on and fail to fully consider (or understand) the real word implications/reprecussions of what they're doing. Several scientists who worked on the Manhatten Project fell into this way of thinking, IIRC.

All in all, he seems to regard most interviews as a chore he's obligated to complete, though particularly good questions pique his interest to the point of giving more significant answers. Just my opinion, anyway.
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rti9



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 10:50 am Reply with quote
Zin5ki wrote:
Correct me if I read his comments incorrectly, but does Tomino seem to be recommending that we watch Ideon (et al) fansubbed?

joshjoshlol wrote:
The way I interpreted it (an interpretation of something interpreted... heh) the only way he -could- address the question is to frame it such that it was viewed by non-traditional means. I don't think he is condoning or recommending any such thing.

Big Hed wrote:
I had that impression initially as well, but that's due to continued exposure to the online anime community more than anything else, I think. The term 'copy' doesn't in and of itself imply illegality, after all.

Wouldn't it be natural that at advanced age Tomino is much more concerned about not being forgotten than getting richer?

penguintruth wrote:
If a story has a positive message, then go with it, but if you're trying too hard to push it, it invalidates the story. Especially if you're trying to do it to an already existing work. This was one of my big issues with the Zeta Gundam movies. It was an embarrassment.

I didn't watch the Zeta Gundam movies, but sounds like he became the Japanese George Lucas.

I can understand older fans like penguintruth being frustrated over his new works, but perhaps he is just trying to connect with the younger audience rather than cater older Gundam fans. Looking at his newest works, do you guys think that he is pleasing the emerging generation of anime fans? Is the majority of older fans also disappointed with his latest titles? I'm sort of an older fan who's getting to know his works now so it's kind of awkward for me to think about this. I respect his creations and I can see how significant they are to Japanese animation as a whole, but liking them is a different story.
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nightjuan



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 5:47 pm Reply with quote
rti9 wrote:

I can understand older fans like penguintruth being frustrated over his new works, but perhaps he is just trying to connect with the younger audience rather than cater older Gundam fans. Looking at his newest works, do you guys think that he is pleasing the emerging generation of anime fans? Is the majority of older fans also disappointed with his latest titles? I'm sort of an older fan who's getting to know his works now so it's kind of awkward for me to think about this. I respect his creations and I can see how significant they are to Japanese animation as a whole, but liking them is a different story.


I don't think Tomino's trying to connect with either audience, at least that was never my impression, but rather his own directorial style has changed and he's trying to make different points with his work. I think Turn A Gundam is a better example of his new mindset than the Zeta movies because it doesn't suffer from the same kind of controversies those have to deal with. It's an entirely new work. The same thing goes for Overman King Gainer as well.

In addition to the above, while I'm not a new fan of the franchise, I'm fine with the Zeta movies myself, accepting them as an alternate version of the events and never meant to be part of the original continuity as we know it. They're not trying to be a proper replacement for the actual series, unlike the Mobile Suit Gundam movie trilogy, but I think that's just one possible way for Tomino to get his message across. I've never heard him say that these movies are supposed to be taken as Gundam canon. He might prefer this version and others might not, that's all there is to it.
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penguintruth



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 6:23 pm Reply with quote
Turn A was a better example of Tomino's new mindset, but because it was actually very well-written, the positivity injected into it was geniune, and it was sort of the anti-Gundam, Gundam work that probably should have capped the entire franchise (but of course, Bandai has kits to sell, so that won't happen).

Taking a work that is already one of the most beloved Gundam series, and then chopping it up and putting a smiley face on it the way A New Translation did to Zeta Gundam was inappropriate. Especially since they didn't even bother reanimating the whole thing. You can't mix 80s animation with animation from this decade, it doesn't work. The whole affair smacked of laziness, and I really don't want to associate Tomino which such disregard to excellent material like the Zeta Gundam series.

Tomino is a fine director, but that, to me, was his biggest blunder. I have to trick myself into thinking either they pestered him into doing it or he simply had a lapse of sanity, because it's difficult to reconcile those movies with the rest of his body of work.
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nightjuan



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:05 pm Reply with quote
penguintruth wrote:
Turn A was a better example of Tomino's new mindset, but because it was actually very well-written, the positivity injected into it was geniune, and it was sort of the anti-Gundam, Gundam work that probably should have capped the entire franchise (but of course, Bandai has kits to sell, so that won't happen).


That's true, but I still think it does serve as the proper thematic finale to the franchise as a whole, or at least to the parts Tomino oversaw curiously enough, despite being very "anti-Gundam" in some respects as you have said. Several new shows will continue and they'll produce many different stories, but I think the main conflicts and ideas of the original UC are essentially done for. I don't expect Unicorn to radically change the basic formula, as good as it could possibly be, since it's just another one of those new stories.

Quote:

Taking a work that is already one of the most beloved Gundam series, and then chopping it up and putting a smiley face on it the way A New Translation did to Zeta Gundam was inappropriate. Especially since they didn't even bother reanimating the whole thing. You can't mix 80s animation with animation from this decade, it doesn't work. The whole affair smacked of laziness, and I really don't want to associate Tomino which such disregard to excellent material like the Zeta Gundam series.


Who knows. I would certainly have preferred something closer to a true remake, sure, but what can we do...either Bandai thought the costs would be more than the project deserved, Tomino wasn't up for reanimating the whole thing, or maybe both. I thought the contrast between the different animation styles was striking at first but gradually got used to it. Yes, the new ending subverts the original, but I don't think it prevents people from going back to the source if they want to look at the initial outcome. I think both can co-exist as alternate realities.
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penguintruth



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:19 pm Reply with quote
Tomino's other blunder was that his Newtype concept never made it anywhere, and this isn't really his fault, but rather a product of there being further Gundam stories after the first. At the end of the original series, it was clear there was a dawning of a new age, but by Zeta, it was uncertain, and by Victory, it didn't even matter anymore.

Gundam X provided a decent alternative to the Newtype issue, but it's not Tomino's. I think, though, that if the optimistic Newtype age that Tomino pointed to at the end of the first series came into being, it would make for a very boring series.
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Iritscen



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:33 am Reply with quote
Yes, the Newtype issue always bugged me. Even in 0083 there's no mention of anyone gaining any empathic powers, four years after it seemed like everyone and their dog was becoming a Newtype.

I haven't seen all of Tomino's Gundam series yet (I've been waiting for official English releases like a saint, although I think it's about time to cast aside the halo), but I respect Tomino mainly for his vision of a realistic series. His direction bores me to tears (seriously, Astro Boy is better-directed) and I don't like downbeat stories. I seem to prefer the works of pretty much every other Gundam director to his, in fact, even though I give big props to the original series.
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