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Interview: George Wada, Producer of Attack on Titan




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darkchibi07



Joined: 15 Oct 2003
Posts: 3869

PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:08 am Reply with quote
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Is there a character in the series that you find most inspiring?

I like Sasha best, the potato girl.


This man has good taste! Cool
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mgosdin



Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 532
Location: Kissimmee, Florida, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:25 am Reply with quote
Quote:
The Wall of Fear is a very interesting concept. Do you think that theme of isolationism shown in the series is unique to Japan or resonates with international audiences too?

The idea of being isolated within the wall originated with manga creator Hajime Isayama, who was inspired by Japanese culture. The Japanese people can become very isolated and enclosed, so it's more of a Japanese cultural idea.


Western cultures can do self isolation quite well. The Wall of Fear certainly resonates here, AoT's popularity attests to it.

I would be up for the anime to continue for as long as the manga does.

Mark Gosdin
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MrTerrorist



Joined: 20 Oct 2010
Posts: 765

PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:42 am Reply with quote
darkchibi07 wrote:
Quote:
Is there a character in the series that you find most inspiring?

I like Sasha best, the potato girl.


This man has good taste! Cool


Indeed. George FTW!
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jojothepunisher



Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 482

PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:51 pm Reply with quote
MrTerrorist wrote:
darkchibi07 wrote:
Quote:
Is there a character in the series that you find most inspiring?

I like Sasha best, the potato girl.


This man has good taste! Cool


Indeed. George FTW!


Certainly Sasha has become an iconic character in Attack on Titan. I haven't seen a character so obsessed with eating and so goof-ball as much as Sasha, but at the same time a talented soldier who is always looking out for her comrades.

I like how George called Sasha the potato girl, its as if that's what he wants everybody in the anime community to call her.
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Echo_City



Joined: 03 Apr 2011
Posts: 1236

PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:28 pm Reply with quote
darkchibi07 wrote:
Quote:
Is there a character in the series that you find most inspiring?

I like Sasha best, the potato girl.


This man has good taste! Cool
Groan. I forgot about this character as she was just a vacuous (and crazy, like all the female characters in Titan) piece of fanboy fodder (something her continued popularity here on "teh interwebs" corroborates). Though I keep seeing her depicted with a small loaf of French bread (placed in what I can only assume is a "suggestive pose") on the internet so I had long forgotten about the potato.

I notice that he didn't really answer the question (though it seems like an awkward question anyhow). He didn't say that the "potato girl" inspired him but if did how did it...never mind, I don't really want to know. After seeing the images that the fanboys have posted online I think that I can (ahem) draw my own conclusions...

BTW, when you mentioned Guilty Crown to him did he apologize for dropping that bomb on us anime fans? I have to admit that the suck of GC kept me away from Psycho-Pass and almost kept me away from Titan.
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Ryu Shoji



Joined: 15 Jul 2009
Posts: 604
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:09 pm Reply with quote
Personally, rather than Attack On Titan becoming an ongoing series, I'd prefer it if the series was broken up into seasons, so that way we never have to face the possibility of an anime-original ending or fillers because the anime is catching up to the source material.
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rockman nes



Joined: 07 Nov 2008
Posts: 253

PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:11 pm Reply with quote
mgosdin wrote:
Quote:
The Wall of Fear is a very interesting concept. Do you think that theme of isolationism shown in the series is unique to Japan or resonates with international audiences too?

The idea of being isolated within the wall originated with manga creator Hajime Isayama, who was inspired by Japanese culture. The Japanese people can become very isolated and enclosed, so it's more of a Japanese cultural idea.


Western cultures can do self isolation quite well.


Really? Last I checked we didn't have Hikikomori here (thankfully, Japan is probably the only culture that enables such behavior).
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st_owly
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 20 May 2008
Posts: 3712
Location: Edinburgh, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:24 pm Reply with quote
rockman nes wrote:
mgosdin wrote:
Quote:
The Wall of Fear is a very interesting concept. Do you think that theme of isolationism shown in the series is unique to Japan or resonates with international audiences too?

The idea of being isolated within the wall originated with manga creator Hajime Isayama, who was inspired by Japanese culture. The Japanese people can become very isolated and enclosed, so it's more of a Japanese cultural idea.


Western cultures can do self isolation quite well.


Really? Last I checked we didn't have Hikikomori here (thankfully, Japan is probably the only culture that enables such behavior).


Hikkikomori are alive and thriving in the West
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bravetailor



Joined: 30 May 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:10 pm Reply with quote
rockman nes wrote:


Really? Last I checked we didn't have Hikikomori here (thankfully, Japan is probably the only culture that enables such behavior).


Sure we do. We call them agoraphobics and people with extreme social anxiety.

Often times, Hikikomoris are people with the same mental disorders except undiagnosed.

The fact that you think it doesn't exist in the west shows that there may even be a worse problem here, because the media isn't publicizing this enough.
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Kikaioh
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Joined: 01 Jun 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:47 pm Reply with quote
I think 'hikikomori' in the US are also sometimes referred to as 'shut-ins'. Anyways, I really doubt the original author was trying to draw a parallel with hikikomori when he wrote the story, so that's probably not the angle they were discussing here (they were probably talking more along the lines of Japan being physically isolated from other countries, as well as historical policies like Sakoku that politically prevented foreign influence inside Japan).

As another thought, I find Mr. Wada's comment that AoT "isn't influenced by Western culture" a bit weird, considering most of the characters have European names, the architectural setting is very European, and the idea of Titans/giants seems to draw inspiration from European mythology and folklore.
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sainta



Joined: 21 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:26 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
I like Sasha best, the potato girl.

Oh who doesn't?
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octopodpie
ANN Associate Editor


Joined: 02 May 2011
Posts: 698
Location: Washington State

PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:42 pm Reply with quote
Kikaioh wrote:
I think 'hikikomori' in the US are also sometimes referred to as 'shut-ins'. Anyways, I really doubt the original author was trying to draw a parallel with hikikomori when he wrote the story, so that's probably not the angle they were discussing here (they were probably talking more along the lines of Japan being physically isolated from other countries, as well as historical policies like Sakoku that politically prevented foreign influence inside Japan).

As another thought, I find Mr. Wada's comment that AoT "isn't influenced by Western culture" a bit weird, considering most of the characters have European names, the architectural setting is very European, and the idea of Titans/giants seems to draw inspiration from European mythology and folklore.


It could also be interpreted as a representation of the Japanese terms "Honne" and "tatemae"

http://en.wikipedia.org/​wiki/​Honne_and_tatemae
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 10970

PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:59 pm Reply with quote
bravetailor wrote:
rockman nes wrote:


Really? Last I checked we didn't have Hikikomori here (thankfully, Japan is probably the only culture that enables such behavior).


Sure we do. We call them agoraphobics and people with extreme social anxiety.

Often times, Hikikomoris are people with the same mental disorders except undiagnosed.

The fact that you think it doesn't exist in the west shows that there may even be a worse problem here, because the media isn't publicizing this enough.


On that note, the original book has just been translated:



  • In 1998, a relatively unknown Japanese psychiatrist published a book about a phenomenon he had noticed among his patients, especially young males.

    These people—known as hikikomori—withdrew from society, taking to their rooms for months or even years, and rejecting contact with the outside world.

    Enabled by parents who indulged their isolation, the so-called hikikomori risked never being able to return to the workplace or to normal social interaction.

    The book became an instant bestseller and propelled its author, Dr Tamaki Saito, into the limelight. Today he is one of the most high-profile commentators on Japanese youth and youth culture.

    Now, thanks to the University of Minnesota Press, we have access in English to Dr Saito’s findings. The translation of the book by Jeffrey Angles (associate professor of modern Japanese literature and translation at Western Michigan University) is masterful.
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Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
Posts: 2190
Location: Crackberry in hand, thumbs at the ready...

PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:01 am Reply with quote
st_owly wrote:

Hikkikomori are alive and thriving in the West


Thanks for posting that. I read some of the BBC's recent report on Hikkikomori, but I couldn't find this follow up article. It's brutal.

Attack on Titan takes place in a world that looks like medieval Europe. It's possible that the manga-ka's Western influence is only stylistic.
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unready



Joined: 07 Jun 2009
Posts: 238
Location: Illinois, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:00 am Reply with quote
Lynzee Lamb wrote:
[George Wada:] For Psycho-Pass, the overall theme and idea was inspired by the L.A. Confidential film...

Wow. That's certainly not a connection I would have made. I'm not even certain I can make it now.
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