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INTEREST: In This Corner of the World Director Sunao Katabuchi Claims He Was Misrepresented in Recen




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El Hermano



Joined: 24 Feb 2019
Posts: 218
Location: Texas
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 2:31 pm Reply with quote
The assertion that anime doesn't do well overseas when it has such a huge presence and eclipses a lot of foreign animation markets is pretty ridiculous, but I guess he's specifically talking about winning award shows and fetstivals. Someone should tell him that's more because judges and western film goers don't care about animation in general.
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Kirki



Joined: 11 Jun 2019
Posts: 92
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 2:53 pm Reply with quote
Regardless of whether one agrees with the director's opinion or not, the journalist's behaviour was extremely unprofessional. You can't go to an interview without researching the stuff you want to ask the other person, or having already decided the things you want to hear from them.
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fathomlessblue



Joined: 28 Mar 2012
Posts: 176
Location: Manchester, UK
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 3:26 pm Reply with quote
El Hermano wrote:
The assertion that anime doesn't do well overseas when it has such a huge presence and eclipses a lot of foreign animation markets is pretty ridiculous, but I guess he's specifically talking about winning award shows and fetstivals. Someone should tell him that's more because judges and western film goers don't care about animation in general.


But again, the audiences those anime appeal to overseas are generally the same as they are in Japan, so I can see the counterpoint he was trying to make. If anime is a medium and not genre as everyone loves to repeat, why is the vast majority of its output created to appeal to closed audiences and subcultures? There's a pretty distinct divide between cultural uniqueness and simply using tropes and recycled concepts in order to play to taste within the same insular communities, especially when the quantity of the latter either leads to less production or a negative perception regarding works aiming to break out of that mold. Given how notorious Katabachi's struggles to make a movie as critically well received as Corner of the World were, I can definitely see where this sense of frustration comes from.

So yeah, while he clearly wasn't stating the Miyazaki/Anno 'anime is dead' line, as the interviewer apparently tried to portray, if anime is as a culturally unique and bold as its supporters claim, the output should really try and reflect that more.
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Kougeru



Joined: 13 May 2008
Posts: 4906
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 3:52 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Isn't it the uniqueness that makes Japanese anime great? I think there's a bigger concern regarding Japan slavishly following the trends from overseas."


Yes! This so much!!

Anyway, people like this need to really take this situation as a lesson and remember to always get in signature that the person interviewed must approve of the final draft before their words are published. Journalists will go almost anything to push the message they want to push, especially when it's to get more clicks so people need to protect themselves wirh legal measures like contracts.
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 4411
Location: Virginia, United States
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:17 pm Reply with quote
Anime became popular because it was different than the rest of the world. At least that is why I started watching Japanese anime in the 80's.

That said, anime doesn't need to be mainstreamed to be popular. It just needs to be good, and have a hook into the audience.

Attack on Titan of more recent anime has made that cross-over into western pop culture. So it does happen. But if they are talking about winning awards, well that is Ghibli territory, just like it is Disney's. It takes money to win awards, in production and in showing your show off. Most anime is produced with relatively small budgets. Looking at the money Netflix is throwing around, you'd think they might budget for a couple of major release shows, just to win an award, but i haven't seen that yet. If I am wrong let me know, cause I would love to watch a big budget anime show.

As to children's anime, I would think that is a world wide trend. Really, children's live action shows are where it's at nowadays. They are cheaper to make, and a good show can rake in those advertising dollars or yen.
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capt_bunny



Joined: 31 May 2015
Posts: 223
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:47 pm Reply with quote
As much as I believe anime can be seen by anyone and anywhere, I don't think its never going to be ever going to be fully accepted around the world. Nor will it be marketed outside of Japan. There is still a strong belief that animation is only for children in many places in the world.
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MrBonk



Joined: 23 Jan 2015
Posts: 188
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 2:26 am Reply with quote
capt_bunny wrote:
As much as I believe anime can be seen by anyone and anywhere, I don't think its never going to be ever going to be fully accepted around the world. Nor will it be marketed outside of Japan. There is still a strong belief that animation is only for children in many places in the world.


This is so true. Unless you are the like of Ghibli most just see things like Anime and don't understand it, don't try to understand it and don't want to understand it. And just assume it's for kids or it's some weird shit.
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Mizuki-Takashima



Joined: 10 Sep 2011
Posts: 184
Location: Central Illinois, USA
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 2:37 am Reply with quote
As someone who loves anime, animation, kids shows, and yes, even anime aimed at children, I'm definitely annoyed by the person who conducted the interview.

That said, I do think it's interesting that anime fans at large don't actually talk about kids anime all that much. I don't know if it's because us anime fans are embarrassed, or because there's a perception that kids shows just aren't really that good? Or maybe because kids anime almost never gets picked up by licensers (since they're tailored to Japanese kids so specifically, it'd be hard to localize them on a global scale without heavy edits? Though I think it can be done faithfully since kids are more aware of things than people give them credit for)
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Erufailon4



Joined: 18 Jun 2019
Posts: 31
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:51 am Reply with quote
Quote:
"What! Isn't In This Corner of the World for children? Am I mistaken?"


Yeah, they haven't even read the synopsis.
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simona.com



Joined: 20 Apr 2007
Posts: 227
Location: Tokyo
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 12:04 pm Reply with quote
As a rule, I never let anyone publish an interview with me without checking it before it goes to press (and viceversa, when I interview someone, I make sure they read the article or its translation and request amendments if necessary before it's published).

Humans are all different, and we all have unconscious biases that often bring us to misunderstand or misinterpret others, so it's really easy to write something wrong when you interview somebody. (Even more if you don't have much of a clue, like it seems to be the case this time) (^^)``

It's very unfortunate that Katabuchi wasn't able to do it, especially since he states that he felt the journalist was unprepared and biased to begin with. The publisher should issue an apology and ideally republish an amended interview, but that doesn't seem to be common practice, unfortunately.
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 3771
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 3:29 pm Reply with quote
fathomlessblue wrote:
why is the vast majority of its output created to appeal to closed audiences and subcultures? There's a pretty distinct divide between cultural uniqueness and simply using tropes and recycled concepts in order to play to taste within the same insular communities,
I do not know if you remember this, but a few years ago in the UK all three of his films were released. Mai Mai Miricles got a Kickstarter campaign, which also funded the dub, Animatsu released In this Corner of the World in cinemas and commissioned the dub and even Princess Arete got a sub-only Blu-Ray release.

Yet hardly anyone outside of those 'closed audiences and subcultures' even cared about In This Corner of the World, it got some reviews from film journalists and some people outside of the Anime sphere seemed to like it, but that was really it. And as for the other two, they went completely unnoticed, even though Mai Mai Miracle could easily be shown on TV during the day for children to watch. So why even bother chasing after other audiences when it seems like such a fruitless endeavour.
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