Yamakan, Toshio Okada Criticize Production Committee System
posted on by Eric Stimson
Anime director Yutaka Yamamoto, or "Yamakan" (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Wake Up, Girls!, Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens), and former president of Gainax Toshio Okada, or "the Otaking," have a history of criticizing the anime industry, even going so far as to declare anime "dead." At a Christmas Eve discussion at Akihabara UDX Gallery in Tokyo, they focused their attacks on a topic often considered taboo: the production committee system.
"Sooner or later a slave revolt will come."
Both men considered the system, which originated as a way to disperse risk among numerous stakeholders and to simplify fundraising, a "shackle" around anime. The companies that make up the production committee have an incentive to maintain control of their anime, which translates to at least 40% of the copyright. Despite the presence of Chinese communications firms who are willing to put up as much as three billion yen (US$26 million) to produce anime, production committees are often loath to accept this much if it means sacrificing their controlling stake. Yamamoto said if the managing companies can only put up 40 million yen (US$346,000), that means the production budget will be set at only 100 million yen (US$865,000).
Okada went on to say that if the Chinese firms still contributed a large figure like two billion yen (US$17.3 million), then the production committee will split the money among 10 different projects. This is a factor in the increasing amount of anime in production today, although it (according to Okada) comes at the expense of quality. "If we had a billion yen, we could make a really good anime movie," he lamented. But this would come at the cost of its funding being 100% Chinese. "People want the production committee system because they want money."
Okada advocated for "getting rid of these middle-aged men [on the production committees] and connecting directly with the Chinese funders." Yamamoto didn't want to go this far, but called for a "change in mentality" to raise more money and to value individual anime more. Okada predicted that a "slave revolt" was coming.
Source: Nico Nico News