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Mamoru Oshii: Today's Anime Is Driven by Otaku, Merchandise

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Ghost in the Shell/Sky Crawlers director: anime now is a "copy of a copy of a copy"

On Sunday, the Asahi Shimbun paper posted a summary of a two-hour lecture that director and scriptwriter Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell, The Sky Crawlers, Patlabor) gave at the Tokyo University of the Arts on November 12.

During the lecture, Oshii said that the current anime is mostly otaku-centric and made to be turned into merchandising. Oshii added that anime today is a "copy of a copy of a copy that is no longer a form of 'expression.'" Oshii specifically mentioned Unicorn Gundam from the Mobile Suit Gundam UC anime and said that the "idea of a [unicorn] horn is interesting, but so what?"

Oshii said that anime has the advantage of allowing the creator to control a world from its foundation to its smallest details. Therefore, an anime director who uses that power can develop any subject matter from across the world or throughout history, and indulge in obsessions to the ultimate extreme.

Oshii discussed the nature of the "ghost" in Ghost in the Shell, mentioning that Japanese people can understand the concept more easily than foreigners. Oshii also discussed the reception to his sequel film Ghost in the Shell: Innocence, the plot of The Sky Crawlers, and the recent nuclear accident in Fukushima. Oshii did not discuss any of his new works at the lecture.

Oshii is currently working on a manga/anime hybrid called Chimamire My Love (My Blood-Stained Love). The project is aimed at mobile devices — starting with the iPad, and then expanding onto the iPhone and Android mobile devices.

Oshii planned and created the project himself. The story revolves around a timid second-year high school student who finds a kindred spirit in a girl he meets via a blood donation site. The girl is actually a vampire, and the comedy follows the boy's madcap efforts to get blood donations for her. The work will premiere in France in February.

[Via Hachima Kikō]

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