Kentaro Takekuma Holds Indie Anime Roundtable Event
posted on by Gia Manry
Kentaro Takekuma, manga critic and author of Even a Monkey Can Draw Manga, celebrated his 50th birthday on August 28 by hosting a roundtable event on independent anime in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The event was also attended by Frogman (creator of the flash anime series Secret Society Eagle Talon), veteran indie animator Runparo (attending on behalf of creator Nosferatu), and Demerin Kaneko (a researcher and manga creator published in Takekuma's Mavo quarterly anthology). The Tokyo Scum Brigade blog was also in attendance and offers a comprehensive write-up and videos of several of the indie anime mentioned.
The first part of the evening covered how the panelists got into indie anime and the differences between a professional and an amateur, including time and resources. During this time, Runparo made note that Nosferatu's eight-minute anime "The Messenger from the Sea" took six years because rather than making use of in-between techniques he drew each frame from scratch. Takekuma also addressed that professionals need to keep investors and advertisers happy, and that "maintaining a balance between integrity and flexibility is the challenge a true professional deals with on a daily basis."
Towards the end of the evening, Demerin Kaneko interviewed Takekuma about the development of otaku, and Takekuma suggested that it coincided with Japan's economic growth in the 1960s and 1970s due to children being given their own bedrooms — spaces to be filled with toys and figures. "Otaku would not have been sustainable if not for the private bedrooms that the soaring yen provided," Takekuma said.
Takekuma also gave advice to aspiring creators: first, start by copying a work you like (but don't sell it, he stipulated), and second, rather than approaching an editor at a big manga anthology, make your work available for free.
Several of the indie anime titles mentioned in the write-up are available streaming, in trailer form or in their entirety. What follows is a trailer for Nosferatu's "The Messenger from the Sea."
Even a Monkey Can Draw Manga image © Kentaro Takekuma / Koji Aihara / Shogakukan / Viz Media