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Interview: Fullmetal Alchemist and Concrete Revolutio screenwriter Shou Aikawa

The screenwriter behind the original 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist sheds some light on that show's deeper meaning, and talks about his latest project for the fall 2015 season, Concrete Revolutio. ― Screenwriter Shou Aikawa scarcely needs an introduction; he cut his teeth during the OVA boom of the 1980s, working on titles like Angel Cop, Dangaioh, Blood Reign: Curse of the Yoma and more. As a television w...

Interview: Madoka Magica voice actress Ai Nonaka

The voice behind Madoka Magica's Kyoko Sakura and an enormous list of other fan favorite characters chats with us about her life, her hobbies, and her technique. ― Ai Nonaka is a veteran voice actress, having gotten her start in 2002 in shows like Kinnikuman and Platonic Chain; you likely know her as the feisty Kyoko Sakura from the smash hit Puella Magi Madoka Magica, but she's also well-known for h...

The Art of Japanese Video Game Design With Suda51

Todd Ciolek talks with the wildly creative and eccentric man behind famously strange games like Killer7, No More Heroes and Lollipop Chainsaw to crack the secrets behind his philosophy on game creation. ― Goichi “Suda51” Suda has a special place in the game industry. Several places, in fact. Some know him as the author of twisted, investigative games like The Silver Case and Flower, Sun, and Rain. So...

Interview: Kamisama Kiss mangaka Julietta Suzuki

The mangaka behind the hit shojo series Kamisama Kiss answers a few questions about her life, her career, and her favorite movie. ― Julietta Suzuki is the mangaka most known for the smash hit shojo fantasy Kamisama Kiss, which has developed an international fanbase and was subsequently adapted into a 2-season anime series. She's also responsible for Karakuri Odette, the tale of an android girl who go...

Interview: Lauren Landa and Erica Mendez, Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus

Sailor Moon's most beloved couple have new English-language voices, and we got to ask them a few questions about what it's like playing two of anime's most iconic women. ― At this year's Anime Expo, voice actresses Erica Mendez and Lauren Landa were announced as the new English voice cast for two of Sailor Moon's most beloved characters, Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune. Initially introduced as “cou...

Interview: The Cast and Crew of A Lull in the Sea

In this massive three-part interview with the show's director, producer, and star voice actress Kana Hanazawa, learn the secrets behind the enigmatic fantasy series A Lull in the Sea. ― A few months ago we put out a call for questions for the director, producer and star voice actress of the pastoral, contemplative fantasy drama A Lull in the Sea, which is out on standard edition DVD today (with a li...

Interview: Unified Pictures and Vampire Hunter D: Resurrection

The American side of the freshly-announced CG animated Vampire Hunter D TV series spills the details on just what exactly it is they're trying to make. ― Vampire Hunter D: Resurrection was announced this past Tuesday ahead of its official unveiling at Anime Expo on Thursday, July 2nd. The show is a collaboration between the US-based Unified Pictures, the Japan-based Digital Frontier (responsible for ...

Hidetaka Tenjin

We interview master mecha artist Hidetaka Tenjin, who recently appeared at MCM London Comic Con. ― This May, visitors to the MCM London Comic Con had a chance to see a master mecha artist at work; Hidetaka Tenjin, who creates extraordinarily lush digital paintings based on Macross, Space Battleship Yamato and many other titles. He also has 'mecha' credits on such anime as Macross Frontier and Hellsin...

Interview: Aya Kanno

The talented illustrator and writer behind Otomen and Requiem of the Rose King answers a few questions about her inspirations, the historical implications of her newest hit manga, and more. ― Aya Kanno is the successful mangaka behind the gender stereotype-skewering hit Otomen, which concluded its run a few years ago. She's back now with Requiem of the Rose King, a big shojo-flavored melting pot that...

Interview: Tow Ubukata

The man behind some of anime's biggest science fiction - Psycho-Pass 2, Mardock Scramble and more - has been handed the reins to Ghost in the Shell. We talked with Tow Ubukata about his career, the challenges of taking over a huge franchise, and more. ― Tow Ubukata is one of Japan's premier science fiction novelists and screenwriters, known for his work on Mardock Scramble, Le Chevalier D'Eon, Fafner...

Interview: Sword Art Online Producer Shinichiro Kashiwada & Voice Actor Yoshitsugu Matsuoka

A few questions for the producer of the global smash hit Sword Art Online and the man who voices Kirito himself. ― Shinichiro Kashiwada has served as a producer on every animated iteration of Sword Art Online, and voice actor Yoshitsugu Matsuoka is the man behind the series' main character, Kirito. We had the chance to sit down with these two for a few minutes earlier this year. Producer Shinichiro K...

Interview: SCANDAL

The rock group behind theme songs for Bleach and Fullmetal Alchemist discusses their upcoming world tour. PLUS: an exclusive video greeting! ― All-female Japanese rock group SCANDAL formed in 2006 when high school girls Haruna Ono, Mami Sasazaki, Tomomi Ogawa and Rina Suzuki would play live performances in Osaka Castle Park until they were signed to Kitty Records in 2008. The band burst onto the scen...

Interview: Under the Dog's Jiro Ishii and Koji Morimoto

After the controversial exit of the show's original producer, Under the Dog's creative leaders sit down to clear the air. PLUS: a transcript of their Q&A panel from Sakuracon. ― First, a little backstory. Under the Dog is a sci-fi action anime directed by Sword of the Stranger's Masahiro Ando that successfully managed to close Kickstarter funding last year. At the time, the project's producer was Hir...

Interview: Jon Dobyns, Founder of Tiger Lab Vinyl

These guys are releasing the soundtrack to Yoshiaki Kawajiri's classic horror flick Wicked City on vinyl. We sat down to ask them why. ― Tiger Lab Vinyl recently announced that they'd be releasing the soundtrack to the classic Yoshiaki Kawajiri horror anime Wicked City on limited edition vinyl. They're the first record label to release classic anime soundtracks on the resurging format, and we sat dow...

Interview: Hiroshi "Bamboo" Takeuchi, OVERDRIVE Producer

We sat down with OVERDRIVE and MangaGamer producer Hiroshi Takeuchi to grill him about the visual novel industry both in Japan and the US. ― Hiroshi "Bamboo" Takeuchi is a busy, busy man. When he isn't performing his duties as a producer for OVERDRIVE, a visual novel and eroge company responsible for hit games like Kira Kira, or as CEO of Japan Animation Contents Inc, he's literally performing as the...

Interview: Steve Blum

Steve Blum, one of the most beloved voice actors around and the man behind Spike Spiegel, Orochimaru and more, sat down with us last month to answer a few questions. ― We had the pleasure and privilege of interviewing Steve Blum at Otakon Vegas. Blum has voiced some of anime's most notable characters, like Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop, Makoto Shishio from Rurouni Kenshin, Orochimaru from Naruto, a...

Interview: JAM Project

One of the world's most beloved bands showed up at Otakon Vegas, and we were there to ask them a few questions about fame, their legacy, and just which anime made them cry. ― We had the privilege of interviewing the members of JAM Project earlier in the year at the Anisong World Tour Lantis Festival in Las Vegas. JAM Project was founded in 2000 and is currently comprised of Hironobu Kageyama, Masaaki...

Interview: Saori Hayami

The voice actress behind Sword Art Online's Sachi, anohana's Tsuruko and dozens of others answers a few questions about her life and career. ― ANN: Growing up, was singing and working in entertainment always your dream, or was there something else you wanted to do when you were younger? Saori Hayami: When I was small, I found performing in front of other people a bit tough. I actually avoided it as m...

Interview: Masayuki Yoshihara, director of The Eccentric Family

A few answers (and a video message) from the director of the critically-acclaimed 2013 series The Eccentric Family, out on bluray today. ― Masayuki Yoshihara has been working in television animation for a long time, contributing storyboard work to classics like Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Eden of the East and Moribito, along with a host of in-between and key animation on shows like Drago...

Interview: Diana Garnet

A new ending theme song debuts on Naruto Shippuden this week, "Spinning World", performed by American singer Diana Garnet. ANN had the chance to ask her a few questions. ― On a cold day in Tokyo, ANN got the chance to sit down with Diana Garnet, a singer from the United States living in Tokyo. As a professional singer under the Sony Music Records label, she will be performing the next ending theme so...

Interview: Yoshiki of X JAPAN

2014 was a big year for Yoshiki, and Mike Toole had a chance to interview him about his life, his career, and his music. ― In 1992, X Japan had conquered their homeland, and stood on the cusp of global domination. But the time for their wildly glammed-out image and their music, a whiplash-inducing combination of intricate rock ballads and muscular speed metal, had passed. Getting any traction in the...

Interview: Sunao Katabuchi

The director of Black Lagoon sits down with us to talk about his new film for summer 2015, In This Corner of the World. ― We had the honor of sitting down with Sunao Katabuchi earlier this year to talk about his upcoming film, In This Corner of the World, adapted from Fumiyo Kono's manga. Katabuchi previously directed Black Lagoon and Mai Mai Miracle, the latter of which had a successful crowd-fundin...

Interview: Takeshi Obata

A few questions for illustrator extraordinaire Takeshi Obata, the man behind the incredible art of Death Note, Hikaru no Go, All You Need is Kill and more. ― If you haven't heard of Takeshi Obata, chances are you have seen his work: he is an illustrator and mangaka, usually working with writers to help tell stories. He has worked on Hikaru no Go, as well as Death Note, Bakuman, and most recently the ...

Interview: Yousei Teikoku

The enigmatic and eccentric band Yousei Teikoku, who performed themes for Future Diary and Tokyo ESP, sat down with us for a few questions. ― After the Lantis Festival's third day ended, ANN got to sit down with Yousei Teikoku, a group with a complicated story behind their band, filled with military ranks and ancient history. The band has performed theme songs for The Qwaser of Stigmata, Future Diary...

Interview: Choucho

A few moments with pop singer Choucho, who performed the theme songs for Heaven's Memo Pad and Glasslip. ― On the final day of the Lantis Festival event at Tokyo's Shiokaze Park, singer Choucho, known for her contributions to such anime as Heaven's Memo Pad and more recently Glasslip, performed onstage. Choucho took time late after the concert ended to talk with ANN about her experiences and aspirat...

Interview: Gen Urobuchi

Presently the most well-known screenwriter working in anime, Gen Urobuchi sits down with us for a chat about the themes across his work and his career thus far. ― It's somewhat rare that Western anime fans recognize a writer with the same degree of enthusiasm as artists, voice actors, and directors. However, Gen Urobuchi is one of the handful to have made an indelible mark on the psyche of global fan...

Interview: Akihiro Kanayama

Veteran animator and industry legend Akihiro Kanayama talks about his life and career working on shows like Ashita no Joe and tells some tales of working with Osamu Tezuka himself. ― Akihiro Kanayama is a true veteran of anime. In his seventy-five years of life, he's seen the manga and anime industries rise and transform into the cultural forces they are today. In fact, as an animator and designer at...

Interview: Shinji Aramaki

The director of this summer's Appleseed Alpha and Space Pirate Captain Harlock discusses those films, the state of Japanese CG and his early days. ― Shinji Aramaki is a true anime legend. After joining Artmic in the early 80s, the young Aramaki went on to contribute mecha designs for numerous series like Mospaeda and Bubblegum Crisis. He eventually graduating to the director's chair for early oversea...

Interview: May'n

The Macross Frontier sensation and closing act of the 2014 JPOP Summit shares some insights about her career, singing for international audiences and more. ― There are some very recognizable names of singers and musicians in the world of “anison” - the genre of songs made especially for anime production. Many well-loved acts have contributed their music to the anison world, and conversely, the anison...

Interview: Thomas Sirdey, Co-Founder, Japan Expo

The co-founder of last year's rocky Japan Expo 1st Impact talks about all the dramatic changes to this year's event, what went wrong last time and what to expect from this year's show at the San Mateo Event Center. ― ANN: So let's start with Japan Expo 2013. How would you characterize that event? THOMAS SIRDEY: 2013 was the year of Japan Expo 1st Impact. As the name states, it was a first event. Our ...

Interview: Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods with Justin Cook, Chris Sabat, and Sean Schemmel

The longtime English dub director and his leading men from Dragon Ball Z sit down to chat about the new film and their legacy with this historic franchise. ― Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, the first theatrically released Dragon Ball movie in 17 years, premiered in English over AX weekend in Los Angeles, CA. Justin Cook, Chris Sabat, and Sean Schemmel took some time out of that busy weekend to talk wi...

Exclusive Interview: The New English Language Cast of Sailor Moon

We sat down with the sparkling new cast of Sailor Moon: Stephanie Sheh, Kate Higgins, Cristina Vee, Amanda C. Miller, Cherami Leigh and Robbie Daymond to talk about the new dub! ― Anime Expo was abuzz this year with news of a new Sailor Moon dub cast for Viz's upcoming remastered release of the classic series. We sat down for a short interview with the new voices of the Sailor Guardians and Tuxedo Ma...

Exclusive Interview: Viz Media's Charlene Ingram and Josh Lopez on Sailor Moon

An exclusive sit-down with Viz Media's Charlene Ingram and Josh Lopez with all the details about Sailor Moon, including screenshot comparisons! ― Charlene Ingram is the Senior Manager of Animation Marketing for Viz Media; Josh Lopez is a producer on Viz's upcoming Sailor Moon release. We sat down with them both in advance of the show's big announcement to get all the details. ANN: When did Viz start ...

The Space Dandy Interview: Part II - Bahi JD

In our second Space Dandy interview, Mike talks to Bahi JD, an animator who started with animated GIFs and wound up working on Kids on the Slope! ― When we think of animators, we might picture men and women in a dimly-lit, overcrowded studio, squinting at a light board, hunched over an LCD screen, or fingering a drawing tablet, doggedly honing their craft surrounded by their peers. But Bahi JD's path...

The Space Dandy Interview: Part I - Thomas Romain

In the first of two interviews, Mike Toole sits down with Space Dandy mechanical designer and animator extraordinaire Thomas Romain. ― At Anime Boston 2013, scriptwriter Dai Sato revealed that, from the beginning, Space Dandy was planned to be broadcast around the world, simultaneously, right from the first episode. But global appeal requires global talent, and the show's general director Shinichiro ...

Interview: Bryce Papenbrook

The voice of Eren Jaeger talks about the recording process, screaming until his voice broke, what it was like to be picked, and facing the pressure. ― We had the pleasure of chatting with Bryce Papenbrook, who was recently announced as the English voice of Eren Jaeger from the heavily anticipated anime series, Attack on Titan. Previous roles for Papenbrook include Kirito from Sword Art Online, and Ri...

Interview: Yuma Takahashi and Koji Kitakami, Chief Producers of AnimeJapan

It's the biggest showcase for the Japanese anime industry of the year, and we sat down with two of the show's chief producers to discuss the past, present and future of the show and what to expect this weekend. ― ANN: What is your personal history respectively with TAF(Tokyo International Anime Fair) and ACE(ANIME CONTENTS EXPO), which were held until the last year? How did you feel about the split b...

Interview: Tomohiko Ito

A few questions for the director of Occult Academy, Silver Spoon and of course, the smash hit series Sword Art Online. ― We had a chance to sit down with Tomohiko Ito, director of Occult Academy, Sword Art Online, and Silver Spoon. Ito discussed with us the differences between directing an original anime and an anime based on an existing work, what he enjoys about storyboarding a project, and why he ...

Interview: Masahiro Ando

Masahiro Ando, the director of Sword of the Stranger, currently working on Sekai Seifuku, sits down with us for a few questions. We talk future projects, working with Mari Okada and more. ― ANN: Sword of the Stranger was very well received by anime fans in America, and it was compared to many other chanbara films in terms of appeal. These kinds of samurai movies have their own fanbase too, they're fa...

Interview: Michelle Lee

We talk with Funimation social media manager Michelle Lee about the strategy behind the company's foray into the collector's market with their Kamisama Kiss Goddess Edition. ― We had a chance to chat with Michelle Lee, social media manager for Funimation, about the company's decision to release a premium edition of Kamisama Kiss. The complete series was released February 11, and is available in both ...

Interview: Atsushi Ootsuki

Wagnaria!! Season 2 director Atsushi Ootsuki answers your questions, and talks about what it's like to take over a popular series. ― Last fall, we asked readers to send in questions for Atsushi Ootsuki, the director of Wagnaria!! Season 2. Wagnaria!! Season 2 is currently available in North America from NIS America. The two-disc Blu-ray boxset was released on February 4, 2014 and includes a hardcover...

Interview: Mizuho Nishikubo

The director of Production I.G's upcoming animated World War II drama Giovanni's Island sits down for a few questions. PLUS: We have an exclusive new English-language trailer for the film! ― Director Mizuho Nishikubo is a veteran of the anime industry; he's directed classic OVAs from Zillion to Video Girl Ai to California Crisis and has worked closely with auteur filmmaker Mamoru Oshii for years. His...

Interview: Jonathan Clements

Author Jonathan Clements tells us about writing the first book-length history of anime in English. ― Anime: A History by Jonathan Clements is the first in-depth history of Japanese animation in English. It sweeps over nearly a century of the medium, from its shadowy origins as a tiny cottage industry, through a dizzying series of changes; a wartime tool for instruction and propaganda, a kids' medium ...

Interview: Manuel Karamori

We sit down with Manuel Karamori, an Avex Eurobeat artist who tells us how he got his start in music and ended up on the soundtrack of Initial D. ― Although many artists have lent their beats and high-energy tracks to Avex's long-running Super Eurobeat CD compilation series, few can claim the honor of having been selected to have their music featured in one of Japan's greatest Eurobeat exports—t...

Interview: Neon Alley Program Director Kevin Kleinrock

We sit down and chat with Kevin Kleinrock, Program Director for Viz Media's Neon Alley. ― So, to get this out of the way, how did you wind up as Program Director for Neon Alley, given your rather well-known background in pro wrestling? It sounds like a fun story. Haha, fair enough question. I guess the short answer would be that wrestling and anime are both very niche markets with their own niche fan...

Interview: Wikia's Masters of Animanga

We talk to Masao Maruyama, Kazuo Koike, Takashi Okazaki, and Sin'Ichi Hiromoto about their work on Wikia's experimental collaborate storytelling project and more! ― Wikia's Masters of Animanga project had little precedent in bringing together five respected creators from the anime and manga industries. Masao Maruyama has overseen numerous anime productions at Madhouse and his new studio Mappa. Kazuo ...

Interview: BONES Studio President Masahiko Minami

BONES animation studio president Masahiko Minami sat down with Anime News Network to discuss the studio's history, approach to the animation industry, and the anime series Space Dandy. ― BONES animation studio president Masahiko Minami sat down with Anime News Network to discuss the studio's history, approach to the animation industry, and the anime series Space Dandy premiering in January. Minami ha...

Interview: Evangelion Character Designer Yoshiyuki Sadamoto

Prolific character designer Yoshiyuki Sadamoto sits down with ANN to discuss the end of the Evangelion manga and future plans ― Prolific character designer Yoshiyuki Sadamoto has worked closely on studio Gainax's animation projects since The Wings of Honnêamise premiered in 1987, but he might be best known as the artist behind the Neon Genesis Evangelion manga adaptation. Since then, he's also worke...

Interview: Japan Expo USA First Impact CEO Sean Chiochankitmun

Japan Expo USA is over, but we had a few questions for SEFA Entertainment CEO Sean Chiochankitmun about this year's show and its future. ― Japan Expo USA's first foray into the anime convention scene ended on Sunday, August 25, as quietly as it began. The convention pulled in headliners like Evangelion character designer and manga creator Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, Bones anime studio head Masahiko Minami, A...

Interview: Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Sword Art Online's Kirito

The Japanese voice of Asuna's other half from Sword Art Online sits down with us for a few questions. ― ANN: You play Kirito, a swordsman, in Sword Art Online. If you played Sword Art Online, how would you customize your character? MATSUOKA: Well, the most important factor about Sword Art Online is that there's no “continue” option. Thinking about that, I think I would never join the offense team (no...

Interview: Haruka Tomatsu, Sword Art Online's Asuna

We sit down with Haruka Tomatsu, the Japanese voice of Asuna from Sword Art Online, for a little chat. ― ANN: You play Asuna, a swordsman, in Sword Art Online. If you played Sword Art Online, how would you customize your character? Tomatsu: Let's see... If it were me, I'd really want to customize my character with extremely strong equipment, so I think that rather than going for a cute look, I'd try ...

Interview: Shinichiro Watanabe

A few questions with the legendary director of Cowboy Bebop, Kids on the Slope and the upcoming Space Dandy. ― ANN: Most people are familiar with your work as a director, but you're also heavily involved in music production and direction for recent shows like Michiko and Hatchin or Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine. As a music director, what is your involvement with the show's content? Is it as...

Interview: Masahiko Otsuka and Yoh Yoshinari of Studio Trigger

Little Witch Academia script writer Masahiko Otsuka, and director Yoh Yoshinari talk about their experience working on the project. ― Earlier this year, in celebration of the upcoming Little Witch Academia Blu-ray, ANN and the folks at Studio Trigger and Good Smile Company asked fans to come up with questions for script writer Masahiko Otsuka. We're pleased that in addition to Mr. Otsuka's insight, w...

Interview: Shinji Takamatsu

Director Shinji Takamatsu talks about his experience working on the Daily Lives of High School Boys. ― To celebrate the release of the Daily Lives of High School Boys anime boxset, NIS America and Anime News Network asked readers to help come up with questions to ask director Shinji Takamatsu. Here, he talks about what it was like adapting a comedy manga, pacing the series, working with voice actors,...

Interview: George Wada, Producer of Attack on Titan

The producer of Attack on Titan lets us know what it's like to work on a show that's already a huge success. ― As Anime Expo drew to a close in Los Angeles, Anime News Network sat down with Studio WIT founder and president George Wada to discuss the production of popular anime series Attack on Titan, its themes of isolationism, and the company's goals for the future. ANN: The first thing I'd like to ...

Interview: Mamoru Hosoda, Director of Wolf Children

A few questions for Mamoru Hosoda during a press tour for his new film, Wolf Children, in Taiwan. ― Q: Wolf Children uses both 2D and 3D animation. Which parts of the movie were more suitable for either 2D or 3D animation, and how do you make that choice? How does 3D technology make Japanese animation – of which 2D is still the mainstream – better? Mamoru Hosoda: Most animation nowadays produced out...

Interview: Megumi Han

Anime Expo 2013 guest of honor Megumi Han shares her thoughts on voice acting in this exclusive interview. ― Voice actress Megumi Han is best known for her role as Gon in 2011's Hunter x Hunter, but she's also played many other roles that have made her a rising star in anime. From magical battles in Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal II to slice-of-school-life in Chihayafuru, Han has proven herself adept at various cha...

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