Kannagi's Yamamoto Wants to Deal with Quake in Next Work
posted on by Egan Loo
On September 30, Shueisha's Ultra Jump Egg website posted an interview with anime director Yutaka Yamamoto, and Yamamoto expressed his desire to deal with the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake (Higashi Nihon Daishinsai) disaster in his next work.
Yamamoto explained that now is the time that anime should commit to reality, and he added that in this moment, anime must reexamine not only human nature and character, but nature and the world as it is. While Yamamoto said that all of his past works have carried an awareness of issues and faith, he acknowledged that anime have leaned towards fantasy and escapism.
However, Yamamoto argued that now is exactly when we cannot look for a world removed from reality through anime. He notes that anime must naturally handle this issue delicately. He needs to think about how to do this, but said that to do so would be a breakthrough lifework for himself and breakthrough work for anime in general.
Yamamoto's directorial credits include Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens and parts of The Melancholy Haruhi Suzumiya and Lucky Star. He also founded the anime studio Ordet, where he oversaw the Fractale anime series. In addition to his anime work, he directed the live-action film Watashi no Yasashikunai Sempai (My Unkind Upperclassman).
When Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara commented in March that the tsunami was "divine punishment" for Japan's "selfishness," Yamamoto responded by saying that no divine punishment would indiscriminately affect innocent people. He added that Ishihara was not qualified to characterize Japan. Ishihara later apologized for his comment.
Yamamoto joined anime fans and itasha (decorated car) owners in going to offer relief aid to Shichigahama, the tsunami-devastated hometown of Kannagi manga creator Eri Takenashi. (The town and the local Hanabushi shrine inspired the backdrop seen in the anime.)