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Interview: Enter The Anime Director Alex Burunova


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BodaciousSpacePirate
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:40 pm Reply with quote
Well, I can't say that I'm particularly thrilled by Ms. Burunova's answers to these questions (I certainly don't feel as though she said anything that changed my mind about the documentary's more problematic elements), but I appreciate her sharing the thought processes behind her creative decisions. It's interesting that this was something that she pitched, and that it was made - at least in part - in order to capitalize on Netflix's access to these creators.

Edit: Ms. Burunova, not Mr. Thanks, Aezreal!


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Connor Dino



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:49 pm Reply with quote
If only they were asked why they painted a picture of anime fans being into "dark, grim and messed up" cartoons and, more importantly, WHY for the love of god, did they make the editing so obnoxious, resulting in a film that feels like a small child constantly screaming in your face to 'pay attention to me.' It was unwatchable and added nothing to the conversation outside of tired cliches anime fans heard in the 90s. It was out of touch and as cool as it is to get more attention to anime, I cannot help but think that someone who was turned off to anime as a kid being turned on by Enter The Anime. All it does would reaffirm opinions they already have.

It was disappointing. How hard would it be to get a sense of the current anime fandom? Just YouTube search it and you'll get a view of why people like anime that is far more accurate than the documentary. Ahh well, at least some of the interviews were . . . Fine, I guess.
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Aezreal



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:58 pm Reply with quote
BodaciousSpacePirate wrote:
Well, I can't say that I'm particularly thrilled by Mr. Burunova's answers to these questions (I certainly don't feel as though he said anything that changed my mind about the documentary's more problematic elements), but I appreciate him sharing the thought processes behind his creative decisions. It's interesting that this was something that he pitched, and that it was made - at least in part - in order to capitalize on Netflix's access to these creators.


Ms. Burunova*. The article is quite clear about her gender, not to mention the documentary itself.

Other than that, agreed. It's always nice to have more information, but these answers kinda just reinforce my feelings on the subject.
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BodaciousSpacePirate
It's Over 9000!It's Over 9000!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:02 pm Reply with quote
Aezreal wrote:
Ms. Burunova*. The article is quite clear about her gender, not to mention the documentary itself.


Yeah, totally my bad. Embarassed


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whiskeyii



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:04 pm Reply with quote
The cynic in me thinks a lot of this is tied up in “cartoons are for kids”, so when people who are only passingly familiar with even the concept of anime brush up against shows that are very much not for kids, I can see why it’s tempting to zero in on the “so edgy!!!” aspect. That said, I don’t feel like Burunova’s comments were particularly insightful, and by now they’re practically outdated to anyone under 30 who likely grew up with a plethora of anime to indulge in.
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Shadowrun20XX



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:30 pm Reply with quote
It could be the timing too.
I really want a KyoAni retrospect or doc at this point. I'm not really interested in the dubbed Netflix anime right now.

Great interview Zach
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Tanteikingdomkey
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:59 pm Reply with quote
I think zac did as well as could be hoped for, in terms of holding her and the other people working on the production responsible for the problems in the documentary while not being unreasonably mean spirited, or coming across as attacking her and the rest of the staff for not doing the best job on the work they did.
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#884745
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:36 pm Reply with quote
Tanteikingdomkey wrote:
I think zac did as well as could be hoped for, in terms of holding her and the other people working on the production responsible for the problems in the documentary while not being unreasonably mean spirited, or coming across as attacking her and the rest of the staff for not doing the best job on the work they did.


I sort of don't, though.

Was the format of the interview such that there wasn't any opportunity to respond to a response? Like, "You say that, but how do you square that with this moment in the documentary?"

Were these questions just emailed to the director, and their responses were emailed back? Was it not verbal at all? Was it a time constraint?

It's not just this interview, it's not just ANN, but I feel like discussion, journalism, whatever, in general just... doesn't ask or answer questions directly enough to get anything out of things.

Maybe it's because everything has to be short nowadays...

But it is possible to ask more questions, or more direct questions, without attacking. It's possible to ask for more time to do an interview without attacking, and if they take it as automatically an attack, that should be documented.

Anyway, I wish people would emphasize that anime is the only place nowadays to get entertainment that isn't "edgy" or "hardcore". Things like BL and bishounen music anime just... don't exist anywhere else. Those are the truly unique things about anime, since Western media is all just loud, obnoxious Marvel stuff nowadays. Anime has things that are more sophisticated and softer, like StarMyu and Touken Ranbu.
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FilthyCasual



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:58 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
As a newcomer to Anime (and someone more familiar with Western animation) - it's that edginess that stood out and surprised. I didn't really see that in Russian and Western animation I grew up on.

Ahh, the edginess of Pokemon, in comparison with the wholesome The Simpsons, Family Guy, Ren and Stimpy, Cow and Chicken, Ed, Edd, n' Eddy, the list goes on Jesus Christ this is a farce.
#884745 wrote:
Anyway, I wish people would emphasize that anime is the only place nowadays to get entertainment that isn't "edgy" or "hardcore". Things like BL and bishounen music anime just... don't exist anywhere else. Those are the truly unique things about anime, since Western media is all just loud, obnoxious Marvel stuff nowadays. Anime has things that are more sophisticated and softer, like StarMyu and Touken Ranbu.

I guess sitcoms, dramedies, and kid's cartoons don't exist anymore lol
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Tanteikingdomkey
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:25 pm Reply with quote
FilthyCasual wrote:
Quote:
As a newcomer to Anime (and someone more familiar with Western animation) - it's that edginess that stood out and surprised. I didn't really see that in Russian and Western animation I grew up on.

Ahh, the edginess of Pokemon, in comparison with the wholesome The Simpsons, Family Guy, Ren and Stimpy, Cow and Chicken, Ed, Edd, n' Eddy, the list goes on Jesus Christ this is a farce.

This is why you really didn't need follow up questions for this interview, she didn't actually get away with not answering the questions, she did and showed what a huge moron she is, and zac doesn't get in trouble with netflix and can still work with them in the future.

The point of an interview shouldn't come across as a pointed attack with a pre established argument of it's own.
Instead it's better to address the elephant in the room and make the other person go YEP, its a problem, and then fail to make the elephant leave, or in this case have the elephant SIT DOWN ON TOP OF HER. The level of I don't understand the problem shown in this interview is rather astounding to be honest.
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Ashen Phoenix



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:38 pm Reply with quote
Kudos to Zach for these interview questions. I can appreciate that Alex answered honestly, and many creators are not willing to put themselves out there like that after releasing a divisive work.

That said, I didn't care for her answers. To me, at least, there was a tone-deaf quality to them that came dangerously close to, "Anyone who didn't 'get' my vision is dumb." She freely admitted to not knowing anything really about anime before proposing a doc about demystifying it for the unfamiliar, and yet I never got the sense she'd remedied that lack of knowledge outside of, "This is a show Netflix has, so I'll learn the cliff-notes."

From everyone I've talked to, the final result is unwatchable, cliched, misinformed, even stereotypical in ways we as a community haven't seen since the 90s when anime was derogatorily generalized as Japanese Cartoon Porn. It's frustrating and depressing to see a company with such massive influence in entertainment produce a work this terrible.
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harminia



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:04 am Reply with quote
Quote:
Rilakkuma landed itself to a calmer relaxing coverage.

I think that's meant to be "lended".

I haven't seen the documentary so I can't really comment on it (though I get enough of an idea from how people have spoken about it). But it's still pretty weird to get a non-anime fan in. Like, it could be a cool idea for a documentary of someone who hasn't seen anime before being introduced and that's a way to expose them to different styles, from edgy to relaxing. But present it as a journey to understand anime moreso than trying say what anime *IS*.

Some of the questions felt a bit rough (but necessary) so I'm kind of surprised she answered them (though her answers were a bit eh).
I don't think I learned much from this interview other than the fact someone who doesn't know anime made it and is trying their best to defend their film.

While I understand her reasoning to put Castlevania first, it's still a pretty bad idea. Like, once you stick an american cartoon first in your show about anime, you've already lost a large percentage of the viewers.

#884745 wrote:
But it is possible to ask more questions, or more direct questions, without attacking. It's possible to ask for more time to do an interview without attacking, and if they take it as automatically an attack, that should be documented.


I feel like it's just a way of the times, especially if the interview is about something someone is trying to push. It's not dissimilar to all the politics who, when they get interviewed, just say the same thing over and over again as if by repeating it it will somehow become true. When it comes to an interview for a show you made, you'll obviously want to defend it as much you can and that would kind of kill half the discussion because you don't want say "well hey, yeah, maybe I was a bit orientalist in this documentary".

There's also the fact people are sensitive about how they're portrayed so there's a higher chance of someone just noping out of an interview the moment it goes south, so the interviewer has to be careful. If you push too hard the interviewee might just hang up.
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FinalVentCard



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:00 am Reply with quote
#884745 wrote:

It's not just this interview, it's not just ANN, but I feel like discussion, journalism, whatever, in general just... doesn't ask or answer questions directly enough to get anything out of things.

Maybe it's because everything has to be short nowadays...

But it is possible to ask more questions, or more direct questions, without attacking. It's possible to ask for more time to do an interview without attacking, and if they take it as automatically an attack, that should be documented.


I don't read as much pop culture journalism as I used to, but the folks I do read don't do anything like this, so I'd really like to know why you're lumping this article in with the lot.

And that's pretty unfair; this article is about as egalitarian as you can get. The interviewer wasn't asked loaded questions, it was noted that one of the questions went unanswered, and I fail to see how any of the questions here could be construed as an attack. It'd have been one thing if Ms Burunova had been put on-the-spot for her inexperience with anime, but it was handled delicately.
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Cardcaptor Takato



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:40 am Reply with quote
I doubt pressing Ms. Burunova further would have made much of a difference. It's clear for her this is just another job she did for a pay check. And while she may say she has more respect for anime and Japanese culture now, I have my doubts she'll engage in it much again as she moves on to her next project. Given that she just skipped answering a question all together, she was also probably given marching orders either by her agent or her Netflix bosses on what she was allowed to talk about.
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OrdepNM



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:39 am Reply with quote
Burunova:"I knew nothing about (anime)!"

Also Burunova: Actually, Mr. Interviewer for a website specializing in anime, your definition of the entire subject you cover is wrong, there's a "big debate" with "no consensus". We just used the definition that best fit our interests.

I'm pretty sure 99% of the anime community has settled on the notion that inside Japan anime is any kind of animation - as that's their word for animation - while outside Japan, anime means animation done in or closely associated with Japan, very much like chai means any tea inside India, but outside it means black spicy tea - which originated in India. Since the documentary clearly wasn't made with the japanese public in mind, this non-answer was an evasive as one could get.

I know you worked with what you have but you didn't need to tell us that she did the interview from Greece for it to be obvious that this was an email interview. All I got from this is that she was contracted to do a promotional interview for Castlevania and talked her way into making a full documentary out of it. Fair enough, gotta pay the bills I guess.
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