Yoshiyuki Tomino Says He Has Around 3 Years Left Working in Anime
posted on by Kim Morrissy
In an interview with Weekly Playboy published on Sunday, Mobile Suit Gundam director Yoshiyuki Tomino revealed that he has been suffering from health complications and anticipates that he has only three years left working on anime at the studio.
The 79-year-old director explained that he has spinal canal stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spaces within the spinal column, causing pressure on the nerves. It causes pain and numbing in his rear and legs, making it difficult for him to move around freely. He remarked that when he sees videos of himself walking around, he looks like a sick person.
On the other hand, he revealed that he has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, having received his second shot in June. When asked if he experienced side effects, he answered that his body felt heavy for 3-4 hours after receiving his shots. However, he also said that he understands that with so many people receiving the vaccine, some are bound to be incompatible, so unlike a certain segment of society, he has no intention of criticizing it.
In the same interview, Tomino stated that he has had no participation in the Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway film, which is based on the three-volume novel series he wrote from 1989 to 1990. Although he has no comment about the film, describing it as the work of the director, he said that he might have had passionate discussions with the director about the adaptation if he was not so busy with the Gundam: Reconguista in G compilation films at the time. He remarked that he now understands the position that Osamu Tezuka was in when Tomino directed the Triton of the Sea TV anime adaptation. He described Tezuka as someone who was very hands-off with the anime's production and tactfully restrained from expressing his feelings as the original creator.
"It makes me very happy that I'm now in Tezuka's shoes, but... Oh dear," he said, covering his face with his hands. "It means I've reached a certain age. Right, I'll be 80 soon!"
When asked about the Gundam live-action Hollywood adaptation, he said that he also generally has no comment about that. However, he did admit that he would have liked to be asked to direct it himself, even though he does understand that at his age he is too old to make live-action works at Hollywood. He acknowledged from personal experience as a student that filming is physically demanding work.
"As I am now, I don't have that much stamina left in me. So please let me say that we all ought to value the elderly a little more," he said with a laugh.
Despite his advanced age, Tomino maintains an ambitious outlook towards anime. In a TV appearance in April, he said, "Giant robot shows are for kids, but while I'm alive and can make new works, I'll crush Demon Slayer and Evangelion. If I didn't think that ambitiously, I wouldn't be making TV anime past the age of 80."
Gekijōban Gundam G no Reconguista III: Uchū kara no Isan (The Legacy of Space), the third of five planned compilation films for the Gundam: Reconguista in G anime, opened in Japan on July 22. Tomino, who wrote and directed the series, describes it as "a new story" in the Mobile Suit Gundam's Universal Century timeline that eschews established conventions for a Gundam anime. He said that he was strongly conscious of the logistical difficulties of space colonization while creating the story.
Source: Weekly Playboy