Anime Director Yamakan Declares Anime Dead
posted on by Eric Stimson
Anime director Yutaka "Yamakan" Yamamoto (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Lucky Star, Wake Up, Girls!) caused a bit of a stir in July when he proclaimed at an event in Osaka that "anime is dead." He was influenced by Toshio "Otaking" Okada, a former Gainax staffer and cultural commentator, who earlier pronounced "otaku is dead" (sic). On September 27, Okada and Yamamoto sat down for a conversation at which the latter explained what he meant.
While Okada meant that generational differences among otaku (avid fans of popular culture) were fracturing the tribal mentality that distinguished the subculture, Yamamoto stressed that "the end of anime" was a more personal thing for him — "anime has steadily moved the opposite way from what I do." He feels that moe is "becoming Fascist" in the sense that its depiction is controlled by unwritten rules: "Don't show panties. Showing panties is in line with male desires, so let's show them." Yamamoto prefers to operate by his own rules, but gets criticism when he does so and claims he "can't handle the times."
Okada followed up the conversation by asking Yamamoto if the kind of anime that made him want to enter the industry had disappeared. Yamamoto largely agreed, remembering that he felt as if an era had ended when Hayao Miyazaki retired. When he watched your name, he felt as if he "still had friends," and he still has hope, but he feels that the times have mostly changed. "I feel like I'm already all alone," he says, and laments the lack of "anime he knows" like Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind or the original Neon Genesis Evangelion. Okada went on to mock the recent Evangelion movies for their zombie-like fixation with moe characters.
On the other hand, Yamamoto later praised a trend he discerned toward producing anime geared towards non-anime fans, using the metaphor of a crowd surging through the walls of a fortress. He says that many anime fans have girlfriends and other hobbies and defy the otaku stereotype. Movies like Godzilla Resurgence, your name, In This Corner of the World and Zootopia fit this category. Okada notes that these sorts of anime are not geared towards selling merchandise.
To read the entire lengthy interview in Japanese, see here. Yamamoto had earlier expressed his envy of your name in a blog post. Yamamoto took indefinite leave earlier this year to recuperate after "far too unreasonable circumstances piling up" caused him to be in poor health.
Okada has previously bashed Gundam: Reconguista in G.
Source: Nico Nico News Original
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