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Interview: Masahiro Ando




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Charred Knight



Joined: 29 Sep 2008
Posts: 3022

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:35 pm Reply with quote
Sword of the Stranger was right with Millennium Actress for the best film of the 00's (I actually forgot which one I had for the ANNCast as my number 3 anime).

What really stood out for me with that film was that it wasn't really what you would equate with Samurai films as no one was particularly noble and in fact the Japanese were portrayed as the worst group of people.

The action itself was some of the best I have seen in any anime so I am really excited to see any action anime Masahiro Ando makes.
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nightjuan



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 1390

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:36 pm Reply with quote
Interesting interview. I'm familiar with Sword of the Stranger myself, which was a great samurai action movie, but not most of the other works by this particular director. I do plan to check out a few more of them sometime in the future, including Blast of Tempest. What I've heard of it makes that series sound like something I'd enjoy.

That said, to go off on a minor but related tangent, I also think it's rather curious how "melodramatic" has become such an inherently bad word these days. I believe heavily exaggerated emotion has perfectly legitimate uses, in both reality and in fiction. Which is why I don't think it's necessarily a criticism to say that Mari Okada's writing does tend to go into melodramatic territory, both when she's worked with this director and on other projects.

Sometimes it's actually the use of excessive subtlety and artistic restraint that comes across as being too artificial and idealistic of a construct, because many regular human beings can and do express their own emotions in blatant, sloppy, crass or outright cheesy ways that someone might consider to be unnecessary or at least unpleasant.
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Nayu



Joined: 23 Dec 2010
Posts: 676

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:59 pm Reply with quote
Blast of Tempest was terrible. Don't bother with it. The pacing was horrible. The characters were shallow. The plot was muddy and all over the place. The music was dreadful. There was no saving grace.
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Thatguy3331



Joined: 18 Feb 2012
Posts: 1137

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:46 pm Reply with quote
Now I know I've been hanging out on Enzo's blog for too long...

Anywho this was an interesting interview!
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phia_one



Joined: 15 Jan 2012
Posts: 545
Location: Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:10 pm Reply with quote
I absolutely loved Sword of the Stranger and I try to show it to as many people as possible. I also have the OST on my iPod.

I actually watched the first episode of Blast of Tempest yesterday. I mostly want to see it for the Shakespeare elements.
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AsherFischell



Joined: 24 Feb 2014
Posts: 221

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:15 pm Reply with quote
"Currently I'm an episode director for the TV series Nagi no Asukura, and there are some other series airing in January that I'm helping to storyboard."

This interview was obviously done a while back. Why is it just now getting published?
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Cyclone1993



Joined: 05 Jul 2011
Posts: 512

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:28 pm Reply with quote
As I said on its Facebook page, he did a wonderful job adapting Blast of Tempest which was in my opinion easily one of the best anime of the lat few years, and one of my personal favorite anime. It had fantastic music, as he mentioned, an interesting plot, but its highest point was definitely its characters. Yoshino was completely realized within his situation and its rare to find characters who are so compelling. I highly recommend the series, especially if you are a fan of Shakespeare or the theatrical, atmospheric feel.

I watched another interview with him recently and he said he had a hard time working with episode 8-12 of the series since it was so dialogue heavy, and he did a wonderful job with making it interesting even if the characters were just talking to each other. It was an entirely different kind of action than what he typically makes.

Sword of the Stranger was pretty good too, I just remember that final battle, and how epic it was, without the need for back story and filler dialogue. It sticks out in my mind as the highest point of the movie.

I look forward to seeing what he can come up with next!
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SnaphappyFMA



Joined: 14 Jan 2009
Posts: 184
Location: California

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:54 pm Reply with quote
Loved both Sword of the Stranger and Blast of Tempest. I bought the Sword of the Stranger DVD and am considering buying the Blast of Tempest series.

Sword of the Stranger is one of those anime movies I consider an entry point anime, i.e., one to show people who've never seen anime before. It's just a wonderful movie period. And the music! I can hear it in my head now just thinking about it - it's that memorable.
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DangerMouse



Joined: 25 Mar 2009
Posts: 1568

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:37 am Reply with quote
Yup, even bought Sword of the Stranger on Blu-ray since I loved the movie so much and the animation definitely deserved it.

Really liked Canaan and Blast of Tempest too (would buy it on BD, preferably with a dub...), can't wait to see what those 2 upcoming action projects are.

Cool read, I definitely quickly became a fan of his following his new works after Sword of the Stranger and looking up to see he also contributed to so many other great shows as ep director or ep storyboarder even before then like FMA, GITS, and Wolf's Rain and those also great key animation credits on a wide variety of big shows.
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reanimator



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 853

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:35 am Reply with quote
Actually I like Ando's original works than adaptations like Blast of Tempest.

He was really impressed when I showed him Crayon Shinchan clip he worked on as animator and...bringing in Japanese poster of "Sword of Stranger" for autograph session.
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