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Under the Dog Producer Hiroaki Yura Also Talks Production Committees, Moe in Reddit's AMA

posted on by Bamboo Dong

With less than three days to go for the Under the Dog Kickstarter, an original 24-minute anime directed by Masahiro Ando (Hana-Saku Iroha, Blast of Tempest) and animated by Kinema Citrus and Orange Co., producer and Creative Intelligence Arts founder Hiroaki Yura hopped on Reddit's "Ask Me Anything" to answer some questions from fans about the project. While we already posted about Yura's comments regarding the project's goals and distribution plans, Yura also discussed the trials and tribulations of working with a production committee and current trends in anime.

To filter out responses from just Yura in the AMA thread, you can search under the UnderTheDogPR username.

On working with a production committee:


aDumbGorilla asked:
"...Do you hope Under the Dog will be something fresh and set a new standard in the modern anime industry?"
Yura:
Absolutely. There are fewer and fewer anime I feel interested or compelled to watch each season. Every year, I hear huge political struggles from industry colleagues and they are saddened by the fact if they could put more effort in their work rather than politics, it'd be so much better.

Without much politics and freely doing what we want to do, I hope simply by doing that, UTD will reach new industry standards.

SolarAquarion followed that up with:
"So the Production committee process creates a massive amount of stupid unneeded politics?"

Yura:
Indeed they do. Most are interested in only promoting/selling their own portions. For example a music publisher may chip in for an anime but what they want to sell and what they promote is solely the music. They are not interested in anime as a whole but more of like a stepping stone.

Yura:
If UTD isn't funded, we have plans and offers from other people/companies to fund the project.

Whilst it's not in the creators best interest, we'll make sure we wont tread the usual Japanese production committee version of funding.

We will still definitely produce it (we already have offer for 2 seasons, 26 episodes!) but we prefer to be funded by the people to retain our creative independence!

percussionfreak9D2 asked: "...Does using KickStarter help you bypass any type of rules or regulations that you would normally have to go through? I noticed the preview you put out was pretty graphic (and awesome by the way), so I was curious if going this route has helped eliminate some of the red tape you'd normally encounter?"

Yura:
It certainly does. Production committees have very specific guidelines when it comes to tropes, content, etc. and we would be forced into obliging them. We do not want to do that and we hope to change the future of funding for anime.

Yura:
There is plenty of anime I don't get hyped about. Just yesterday, a friend of mine told me why a particular anime was popular. "Because the Production Committee spends millions in advertisement to make it seem popular". Then some of the JP Otaku's follow like sheeps...

Yura:
Whatever that tries to create additional revenue for Japanese creators is welcome. However I still feel that the prime evil are the Production Committee.

On the moe trend:

Yura:
I hope UTD will give an example that the Japanese anime industry should really focus their attention globally, not just our tiny Japanese audience. Anime should be for the whole world, not just Japan. We don't always want moe anime or a light novel based anime. I for one long to see anime like Akira.

r_antrobus asked what creative compromises would be made if the project had to be funded outside of Kickstarter:

Yura:
This will not happen. We would get it funded some other way, even if we had to do it ourselves, which we have already spent a good amount getting it this far. Compromises would include product placements in the anime, moe characters instead of characters we want, our lack of say in approval, etc.

And in response to "...anime was laden with so much "moe" that it was embarrassing to admit to my friends that I am into anime at all," he commented:

Yura:
A little moe is ok, but this much moe is unbearable.

Other interesting tidbits:

Regarding the main character of Under the Dog:

Yura:
I think the dark hero types are in "fashion" now but Anthea is not really a Heroine as in like w/ Bruce Wayne. UTD is kind of like a jail break in some sorts as well, and it'll be great if we can express the complexity of the emotions involved with this.

Yura was asked about the inclusion of female animators, and he responded:

Yura:
one of our main animator, Ishii san is a lady (not the writer, they both have the same surname)!

Many female staff in Ogasawara san's Kinema Citrus too. In future projects, we'll actively seek talented individuals, not on the basis of sex.

That been said, there are heaps of talented ladies working in the industry

As for "what recent anime series and movies strike you as the boldest; the most embracing of artistic freedom?" Yura responded, "Kill la Kill is trying so hard!"

And his thoughts on dubs:

Yura:
Knowing both languages, many dubs aren't true to the feeling Japanese creators intended... but it's hard as things get lost in translation. However, if I sit in, I'm pretty sure I can fix this, especially for UTD.

Regarding the hope that Under the Dog will be fresh:

Yura:
Absolutely. There are fewer and fewer anime I feel interested or compelled to watch each season. Every year, I hear huge political struggles from industry colleagues and they are saddened by the fact if they could put more effort in their work rather than politics, it'd be so much better.

Without much politics and freely doing what we want to do, I hope simply by doing that, UTD will reach new industry standards.


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