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interview

Interview: Pop Team Epic Producer Kotaro Sudo

The producer of this year's surreal, inspired and wildly creative comedy discusses his favorite scenes, the inspiration behind some of the show's famous moments, and the possibility of another season. ― If you haven't seen Pop Team Epic yet, you're in for something truly special; the surreal, captivating and wildly creative comedy hit earlier this year, propelling the show's two heroines, Popuko and ...
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Interview: Veteran Anime Director Seiji Kishi

The astonishingly prolific anime director Seiji Kishi talks about his jawbreaking new martial arts 3DCG anime for Netflix based on the classic manga, Kengan Ashura. ― If you've been an anime fan for more than a few years, the odds that you haven't seen something Seiji Kishi has worked on are pretty low; the famously prolific director has had his hands in everything from Yuki Yuna is a Hero to Assassi...
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Interview: Hot-Blooded Voice Actor Nobutoshi Canna

You may know him as Fate/stay night's heroic spirit Lancer, but veteran voice actor Nobutoshi Canna has been giving up explosive performances for decades, from Guts in the original 90s Berserk to Macross 7's Nekki Basara! ― You might know him best as Fate/Stay night's heroic spirit Lancer, but if you were an anime fan in the 1990s, Nobutoshi Canna's voice is probably instantly recognizable. The quint...
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Interview: J.C. Staff Producer Yuji Matsukura

The veteran producer behind the CG arcade comedy Hi Score Girl talks about what it took to imbue the show with the romance of the 90s arcade, plus some stories from his time working on Revolutionary Girl Utena! ― If anyone has been around the anime industry block, it is J.C. Staff's Yuji Matsukura. Matsukura has worked with J.C. Staff to produce some of their most premiere titles from Revolutionary G...
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Interview: Studio Ghibli Production Coordinator Hirokatsu Kihara

Find out what it was like to work for Hayao Miyazaki during production on some of his most famous films from veteran Ghibli producer and master storyteller Hirokatsu Kihara! ― Hirokatsu Kihara, a Studio Ghilbi production coordinator from 1985-1990, holds an exceptional amount of knowledge about the studio's early production history with credits most famously to Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, ...
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Interview: SSSS.GRIDMAN with TRIGGER's Masaru Sakamoto and Masato Takeuchi

Studio TRIGGER's tokusatsu re-imagining SSSS.GRIDMAN hits this October, and we've got a fun and fascinating in-depth chat with two of the show's staff - animator Masaru Sakamoto and animation director Masato Takeuchi. ― It's a big year for Studio TRIGGER director Akira Amemiya. After helming two well-received short series (the adorable Space Patrol Luluco and the cult smash Inferno Cop), Amemiya has ...
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Interview: revisions Producer Kazuya Ide

Kazuya Ide, producer for visual effects and animation studio Shirogumi Inc, chats about revisions, his new CG anime from the director of Code Geass, what it takes to put together a CG anime, and the future of animation in Japan. ― Kazuya Ide is a producer for Shirogumi Inc., a visual effects and animation studio in Japan with a decades-long legacy - you've likely seen their work in Shin Godzilla (or ...
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Interview: Fate/Grand Order Game Director Yosuke Shiokawa and Voice Actress Ayako Kawasumi

The director of the international phenomenon known as Fate/Grand Order talks about the last year of incredible success, what the English playerbase has been like, plus some insight from Saber herself, Ayako Kawasumi! ― At nearly every major anime convention these days your eyeballs will be greeted by massive, city-carpeting advertisements for Aniplex's massive Fate/Grand Order mobile game, which laun...
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Interview: Bryce Papenbook and Yuki Kaji, The Seven Deadly Sins' Meliodas

World-famous voice actors Bryce Papenbrook and Yuki Kaji get together for a fun chat about one of the roles they share: The Seven Deadly Sins' fearless hero, Meliodas! ― To the excitement of fans, popular series, The Seven Deadly Sins, returns with an upcoming movie on August 18, 2018. As one of top watched anime on Netflix, an upcoming film in August 2018, and a lineup of the biggest names in the in...
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Interview: The Two Dekus: Daiki Yamashita and Justin Briner

We've got not one but TWO Dekus! Steel yourself for this super fun chitchat with both the Japanese and English voices of My Hero Academia's Izuku "Deku" Midoriya, the charming and energetic Justin Briner and Daiki Yamashita! ― You probably don't need to be introduced to the phenomenon known as My Hero Academia – the blockbuster superhero manga is not only one of the most popular anime to come along i...
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How Creative Original Anime Get Made with Takayuki Nagatani

Super producer and industry veteran Takayuki Nagatani (Flip Flappers, Shirobako, Sirius the Jaegar) goes in-depth with Callum May on what it really takes to produce and deliver compelling, successful original anime. ― “Please help me make (Flip Flappers director) Kiyotaka Oshiyama popular overseas!” In just over an hour of talking to anime producer Takayuki Nagatani, it's easy to get the impression t...
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Interview: Danganronpa Power Duo Yoshinori Terasawa and Takayuki Sugawara on Zanki Zero

The men behind Danganronpa have a brand new game coming soon to the West, with a spectacularly brutal storyline and a whole new cast of characters. Learn a little more about Zanki Zero in today's interview! ― Danganronpa duo Yoshinori Terasawa and Takayuki Sugawara attended this year's Anime Expo to talk about their latest game, Zanki Zero, at the Spike Chunsoft panel. Spike Chunsoft had announced at...
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Interview: Star Ocean Anamnesis

Legendary character designer Akira Yasuda and producer Kai Takaaki share some fun stories and behind-the-scenes details from Star Ocean Anamnesis, the glossy mobile version of the long-running fan-favorite RPG series. Bonus Yoshiyuki Tomino story included! ― Star Ocean was a storied RPG franchise that lay dormant for quite some time until 2016's Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness. Last week saw ...
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Interview: [email protected] CINDERELLA GIRLS

Six of the very talented performers from [email protected] CINDERELLA GIRLS chat us up right before their big performance as part of the Super Kawaii Live event at Anime Expo in Los Angeles this year. ― Returning with new members, THE [email protected] CINDERELLA GIRLS gave fans a night to remember before the clock hit midnight. Featuring a new set of six talented performers (Yui Makino, Ruriko Aoki, Rei Matsuzaki...
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Interview: Shinji Higuchi, Chief Director of Dragon Pilot

The internationally-known director of Shin Godzilla gets delightfully candid about the process of making Dragon Pilot: Hisone & Masotan, a creative collaboration with renowned screenwriter Mari Okada, due on Netflix this fall. ― Shinji Higuchi has been in and around the anime industry for a while. He's an old friend of Hideaki Anno and the others at Studio Gainax, and participated as a storyboard art...
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Interview: AKB48 Team 8

Six members of the spectacularly popular AKB48 "spinoff" group Team 8 performed for the first time this summer at Anime Expo in Los Angeles, and we got the chance to chat with these talented artists on the eve of the big show. ― Making their United States debut, six members from AKB48 Team 8 participated in this year's Japan Kawaii LIVE Anisong World Matsuri at Anime Expo. The lineup featured Hijiri ...
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Interview: Shoko Nakagawa

The unmistakable voice behind the legendary smash hit opening theme for Gurren Lagann and the host of Pokemon Sunday sits down for a few fun questions on the 10th anniversary of her first Anime Expo appearance. ― Well known for her song Sorairo Days and as the host of Pokemon Sunday, Shoko Nakagawa does it all. In addition to singing, acting, and being a TV personality, she has also illustrated and p...
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Interview: K: Seven Stories and Welcome to the Ballroom Actor Shimba Tsuchiya

The up-and-coming voice actor behind Welcome to the Ballroom's Tatara has a new role in the first K: Seven Stories film, and he's here to share some insights from his experiences as a voice actor so far. ― Up-and-coming voice actor Shimba Tsuchiya may have only just popped up on your radar, but he's making a strong impression already. Tsuchiya first appeared in a live-action film role as the ghost ch...
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Interview: Studio Eallin Japan and Director Kenji Kawasaki

One of Japan's burgeoning short-project anime directors discusses his process and the growing trend of 3D with interviewer Callum May. ― Although the anime industry is open to new forms of creativity, there's always space for creative animation outside of a TV series. Eallin Japan is one such company that offers avenues for creative animated projects within advertisements, music videos and short film...
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Interview: Persona 5 The Animation at Anime Expo 2018

The director and producer of Persona 5 The Animation stormed Anime Expo 2018 this year - we've got an interview with the guys behind the anime, and a full panel report from the show. ― At this year's Anime Expo, Persona 5 the Animation's director Masashi Ishihama and producer Kazuki Adachi were kind enough to agree to a one-on-one interview with Anime News Network regarding their newest project. One ...
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Interview: Yuki Kajiura

The legendary composer and musician behind the internationally beloved scores for stuff like Madoka Magica, Fate/Zero, Princess Principal and Heaven's Feel answers a few fun questions ahead of her big performance in Los Angeles next week. ― A musician and composer of Yuki Kajiura's caliber scarcely needs an introduction; her incredible compositions for an ocean of beloved anime have thrilled fans all...
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Interview: Goodnight Punpun Creator Inio Asano

The widely-acclaimed mangaka behind Goodnight Punpun and Dead Dead Demon's Dededede Destruction dives deep on his intense career, the intense feelings in his intense manga, piracy, millennials and a whole lot more. ― Inio Asano is the renowned artist and writer behind a small library of emotionally complex manga that have been embraced and celebrated by audiences in Japan and around the world. Asano ...
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Interview with Deadman Wonderland Creators

The married creators of Deadman Wonderland discuss their completed epic in detail, along with their influences, how they handle all that violent darkness, and what might be next for this creative team! ― Anime News Network had an opportunity at this year's Anime Central to sit down for an interview with Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou, the married co-creators of Deadman Wonderland, who write and dr...
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Interview: Monogatari Illustrator VOFAN

The illustrator for Nisio Isin's smash Monogatari novel series talks in-depth about creating the spectacular images that bring the novel series to life. ― As the illustrator for Nisio Isin's smash Monogatari novel series, digital artist and photographer VOFAN has earned his reputation as a master at rendering light, creating spectacular images that bring the novel series to life, establishing a worl...
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Interview: Becoming Byakuya with Miyavi

The world-famous guitarist discusses his transformation into Bleach's Byakuya Kuchiki ahead of his solo concert this Sunday in New York City. ― World-famous guitarist Miyavi scarcely needs an introduction – after lighting hearts on fire all over the world as the guitarist for visual kei smash Due le Quartz in the late 90s, Miyavi launched a spectacular solo career that took him to new heights of inte...
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Legend of the Galactic Differences

Legend of the Galactic Heroes spans a bunch of novels, a really long OVA series and a brand-new TV show. But what are the major substantive differences between these three versions of the same epic story? ― In adapting any work, changes and concessions must be made - it's the nature of different mediums to have different storytelling priorities. In the case of a massive work like Legend of the Galact...
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A Few Questions for Detective Conan Producer Michihiko Suwa

Just a couple quick answers from legendary producer Michihiko Suwa on his incredible tenure producing the anime adaptation of City Hunter, plus a little bit about his process on Detective Conan! ― Michihiko Suwa has been a part of the anime industry for over thirty-five years. He's probably best known to western audiences for Inuyasha and Detective Conan, but has planned and produced an enormous and ...
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Interview: Gundam Wing Executive Producer Hideyuki Tomioka

The producer of every single iteration of the Gundam Wing series shares a few fascinating stories about his time on the show, plus his take on where the franchise has gone since the 90s. ― Hideyuki Tomioka has had a long and extremely impressive career - he was the Executive Producer for Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, a show that's still one of the most popular series in the Gundam franchise. He was the pr...
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Interview: Crayon Shin-chan Director Yuji Muto

The longest-running director of Japan's favorite wild child talks about his extraordinary run on the show - including the Shin-chan stories even he dreads to adapt! ― Yūji Mutō is most famous for becoming the third director for the longest-running television anime: Shin Chan, holding this position longer than any other previous director behind the series. Mutō-san began his professional career direct...
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Interview: One Piece Voice Actor Kazuki Yao

A few fun acting questions for the unstoppable voice of Franky, shipwright for the Straw Hat Pirates in One Piece! ― Kazuki Yao's has an impressive voice-acting career that spans more than three decades. Among his lengthy list of credits, he's best known for playing Franky in One Piece, but he's also portayed Judau Ashta in Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ and Koichiro Iketani in Initial D. His voice acting cre...
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Interview: Legendary Anime Screenwriter Mari Okada

The voice behind Anohana and Anthem of the Heart is having a spectacular year, with both her autobiography and her directorial debut seeing international release this year. Kim Morrissy goes in-depth in our exclusive interview. ― If you're an anime fan, you've probably watched an anime Mari Okada has worked on at some point. Most famous for her anime-original works Anohana and The Anthem of the Heart...
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Interview: Polygon Pictures President Shuzo John Shiota

The president of Japan's most famous 3DCG animation house goes in-depth on the future of his art form, what Netflix means for the industry, and much much more. ― When it comes to 3D anime in Japan, there are few names more notable than Polygon Pictures. After producing award-winning action TV series for American TV, like Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Transformers Prime, they started producing anime f...
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Interview: Big Fish & Begonia Directors Zhang Chun and Liang Xuan

The two directors of China's biggest animated film ever, the lush and vibrant fantasy Big Fish & Begonia, spill their secrets on the eve of the film's limited American theatrical release. ― Liang Xuan and Zhang Chun are the directors of the hit animated film Big Fish and Begonia, which arrives in U.S. theaters on April 6th, 2018 in limited release (with a wider release coming April 11). Both were stu...
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Interview: Bryce Papenbrook, David Vincent Chat Unlocked

Attack on Titan's Bryce Papenbrook and Kill la Kill's David Vincent sit down for a chat about their new approach to connecting fans and voice actors. ― Fans may recognize veteran voice actors Bryce Papenbrook (Attack on Titan, Sword Art Online) and David Vincent (Fate/Zero, Kill La Kill) from their work in a number of anime and video game series, but the two have a unique off-screen collaboration, as...
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Shirow Shiratori, Author of The Ryuo's Work is Never Done!

The author of the #1 ranked light novel in Japan discusses his incredible success, his own skill at shogi, the anime adaptation airing this season and much more! ― Shirow Shiratori isn't a new face in the world of light novels. His previous series No-Rin was adapted into a popular anime series in 2014. The Ryuo's Work is Never Done! is his latest work. Ranked #1 by Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi! in both ...
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Inside The Manga Industry with Felipe Smith, American Mangaka

One of the only American artists to ever serialize a manga in Japan, Part I of our interview with Peepo Choo mangaka Felipe Smith goes in-depth on the manga industry and his incredible career. ― “Unlike most manga-inspired artists I know, I wasn't so much wowed by the [style of] manga as I was by its incredible abundance of ordinary, lifelike, slice-of-life scenarios and characters.” Inspired by that...
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Interview: The Producer and Director of Mary and the Witch's Flower

Studio Ponoc's Yoshiaki Nishimura and Hiromasa Yonebayashi talk about escaping Ghibli and forging their own destinies with a lavish fantasy film. ― Mary and the Witch's Flower is the first theatrical feature from Studio Ponoc, a brand-new animation house brimming with former Studio Ghibli luminaries (and a whole lot of the artists responsible for making Ghibli films as beautiful as they are). Founded...
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Interview: IDOLiSH7 Producer Sokichi Shimooka and Director Makoto Bessho

The two anime industry veterans behind this winter's glossy new idol boys anime discuss what it's like to try and shift gears from Titans and sci-fi to singing bishonen. ― Ready for more idols? IDOLiSH7 is a mobile rhythm game about male idols that launched in back in 2015, with an anime series already well on the way – a 17-episode adaptation begins airing this January, but you can check out the fi...
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Interview: Princess Principal Director Masaki Tachibana

The director of this summer's steampunk spy smash success Princess Principal goes in-depth on the show - and even discusses sequel potential! ― Princess Principal is an anime set in an alternate-history steampunk version of Victorian London, following a group of five ladies, professional spies who find themselves embroiled in a game of mistaken identities and political intrigue. The show's incredible...
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Interview: Live-Action Fullmetal Alchemist Director Fumihiko Sori

"The original manga is a very deep story, and I wanted the movie to be as profound." Our interview with the director of the live-action Fullmetal Alchemist is live now! ― Earlier this year, the hotly anticipated live-action Fullmetal Alchemist movie made its overseas premiere at AnimeNYC. To commemorate this event, the director himself, Fumihiko Sori, attended the convention on Sunday. I was lucky en...
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Interview: Love Live! Sunshine!!'s Aqours

With the second season of their smash anime on the air this fall, all nine members of Aqours answer some burning questions after their first-ever live performance in the United States. ― Exactly one year since six of the members of Love Live Sunshine!!'s Aqours first visited Los Angeles, they were back again, this time with the full set of nine and a concert experience planned for fans of Love Live! ...
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Interview: RWBY's Kerry Shawcross and Lindsay Jones

The director of Rooster Teeth's hit action series RWBY and the voice of the show's lead heroine go in-depth about what it takes to keep a phenomenon going. ― The American animated series RWBY is in a strange middle ground when it comes to being considered an anime. It is a western show that is produced in Texas by Rooster Teeth, but has the art and atmosphere of a Japanese anime. Because of this, it...
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Interview: Atsumi Tanezaki

The voice of Chise in the upcoming Ancient Magus' Bride anime discusses her new starring role and recent past work. ― The odds that you've heard veteran voice actress Atsumi Tanezaki in one of your favorite recent anime are pretty high – she's appeared in Mob Psycho 100, Sound! Euphonium Season 2, Keijo!!!!!!!!, Monster Musume and even for a moment in Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans. You'll ...
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Interview: Natsuko Takahashi

The screenwriter behind next season's URAHARA offers insights about how anime fandom has changed over the years and how Crunchyroll is perceived within the industry. ― Natsuko Takahashi is a veteran writer in the anime industry, having worked on the screenplay for projects like Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo, Moyashimon, and Tokyo Magnitude 8.0. Although she wasn't officially announced as a gu...
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Interview: Amica Kubo

The director of next season's URAHARA discusses her first TV anime work and the road she took to get to this milestone. ― Amica Kubo is one of the best animation directors that anime fans have probably never heard of. She has dealt primarily with commercial animations for TV programs and short animation films, many of which have won prizes at international film festivals. Her short film Bloomed Words...
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All About The Los Angeles Anime Film Festival

America finally has its own anime film festival, and it's happening in Los Angeles this weekend! The folks behind it all tell us what to expect. ― On September 15th, the first-ever Los Angeles Anime Film Festival begins in Downtown Los Angeles with the English Dub premiere of No Game No Life Zero, a hotly-anticipated follow-up to the smash anime series. That same weekend, a raft of anime films both c...
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Interview: Mugi Tanaka

The character designer behind the kinetic aesthetic of this fall's URAHARA talks about illustrating Harajuku, surviving Comiket and more. ― Mugi Tanaka has a full-time job at a printing company, but that doesn't get in the way of her passion for drawing cute manga art. A long-time participator of Comiket, her art was noticed by the otaku goods and apparel shop PARK, located in Tokyo's Harajuku distri...
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Interview: Welcome to the Ballroom's Tetsuya Kinoshita and Shimba Tsuchiya

Welcome to the Ballroom's producer and leading man answer a few questions about how their performance is going so far. ― We first spoke to the production team behind this season's Welcome to the Ballroom back at the show's world premiere during Anime Expo 2017, and had the chance to catch up with producer Tetsuya Kinoshita (Attack on Titan, From The New World) at Otakon 2017 this year. Kinoshita brou...
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Interview: FLOW

The band behind some of the most beloved anime theme songs in recent history, from Naruto to Code Geass, spill their career secrets and discuss what's next. ― Chances are, most anime fans today know a few theme songs from the five-member rock band FLOW. Kohshi, Take, Keigo, Got's, and Iwasaki have performed theme songs for more than 20 anime together. The group's songs for Code Geass, Eureka Seven, a...
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Interview: Studio MAPPA's Masao Maruyama

Industry giant Masao Maruyama talks about the struggle to get the deeply touching, critically-acclaimed In This Corner of the World off the ground. ― Anime industry giant Masao Maruyama is one of the founders of Madhouse, the legendary anime studio responsible for an ocean of incredible films and TV series, ranging from the high art of Satoshi Kon to pop spectaculars like Trigun and Card Captor Sakur...
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Interview: Gundam Wing scribe Katsuyuki Sumisawa

The prolific screenwriter behind Gundam Wing and countless anime from Inuyasha to Dragon Ball shares some incredible stories from his incredible career. ― One look at the incredible resume of screenwriter Katsuyuki Sumisawa and it's clear you're dealing with a legend – over his long career he's worked on everything from Inuyasha to Macross 7 to Saiyuki to Sailor Moon, having stood alongside industry ...
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Interview: Food Wars author Yuto Tsukuda

The writer of smash hit cooking manga Food Wars spills his secrets, and answers the all-important question: Megumi or Erina? ― Cooking manga and anime have become their own genre, but the ongoing Food Wars! Shoukugeki no Soma is inarguably one of the top titles in recent years. With a third anime season upcoming, Yuto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki's competitive cooking manga has garnered praise for its art,...
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Interview: Full Metal Panic's Shoji Gatou and Shiki Douji

The creator and illustrator of Full Metal Panic talk up the new series due in 2018, their 20-year history together and of course, Deadpool and Kanye West. ― It's hard to believe it, but 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of Shoji Gatoh's beloved, bestselling sci-fi light novel series Full Metal Panic. The franchise never really settled down over the last two decades - a series of smash hit anime adaptat...
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Interview: Yousei Teikoku

The goth metal band behind the themes for Future Diary and Katanagatari opens up about what it's like to rule over the "fairy empire" ahead of their live show at Otakon next weekend. ― “You're getting quite fired up, aren't you, my subjects?” says the woman in black as she gazes down imperiously at the crowd. Then, with a shrug of her head, she asks, “Are you enjoying yourselves?” The woman in the go...
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Interview: Castlevania producer Adi Shankar

The producer of Netflix's Castlevania answers a few questions about his favorite anime, working with an international team and dealing with fan expectations. ― Named “one of the most influential global Indian men” by GQ magazine in 2014, producer and director Adi Shankar has very quickly made a name for himself among anime fans as producer of Netflix's Castlevania, an animated adaptation of Konami's ...
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Interview: Ali Project

The idol royalty behind a string of hit anisong themes from Code Geass to Kizumonogatari answers a few questions about her incredible career (and her incredible fashion!) ― ALI PROJECT doesn't have a hard time getting recognized – if you're not familiar with their signature aristocratic fashion style, then odds are you've heard at least a few of their unique, chart-topping anime theme songs, seen in ...
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Interview: Konomi Suzuki

She's the rising star behind a solid stack of anisong hits, including themes for Re:Zero, Akashic Record of Bastard Magic Instructor and more, and we had a few questions for her. ― Konomi Suzuki's road to stardom has been sudden and swift; the winner of the Animax All-Japan Anisong Grand Prix in 2011, Suzuki's theme songs started showing up in front of new anime almost immediately. 2012 saw the relea...
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Interview: Walküre's Minori Suzuki and JUNNA

The passionate idols of Macross Delta's Walküre were in Los Angeles for the first time ever this summer, breathing fire on stage for an ocean of thrilled fans. We had a few questions for them. ― The latest in a long line of idols birthed by the legendary Macross franchise, Minori Suzuki (as Freya in the series) and JUNNA (as Mikumo Guynemer) flew in to perform for their overseas fans as part of the A...
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Interview: THE [email protected] CINDERELLA GIRLS

The dazzling pop idols of THE [email protected] CINDERELLA GIRLS spill the beans on their first-ever American performance. ― THE [email protected] is a massive mixed-media pop franchise that needs very little introduction. With more than a decade in the limelight, dozens of games, a handful of well-received anime series and countless live idol events, THE [email protected] has long held its place among the most revered i...
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Interview: Your Name's Michael Sinterniklaas and Stephanie Sheh

The two veterans tasked with dubbing Makoto Shinkai's Your Name into English talk about their experience working on a phenomenon. ― Stephanie Sheh and Michael Sinterniklaas scarcely need an introduction; they're a pair of legendary voice actors and directors with a history of home-run English dubs produced in record time from their home at NYAV Post. Sheh has served up countless memorable performance...
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Sakura-Con: Hiroshi Nagahama & The Reflection

The ambitious director of Mushi-Shi unveils his newest project, a Western-styled superhero anime collaboration with Stan Lee! Learn more about "The Reflection", airing this July. ― Director Hiroshi Nagahama is best known to Western audiences for working on critical and fan favorites like The Flowers of Evil, Mushi-shi, and Revolutionary Girl Utena. Perhaps less known is the man's love of American com...
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Living Swords and Pretty Boys: What Is Touken Ranbu?

It's a hugely popular mobile game, a manga,and not one but TWO anime series - but what exactly IS Touken Ranbu? We interviewed the men behind the phenomenon to find out. ― Tōken Ranbu first caught my attention in the last few days of 2014 as an obvious response to the popularity of DMM's other title, Kantai Collection. The trend of turning inanimate objects into attractive characters was just hittin...
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Q&A: Legendary Mangaka Kenichi Sonoda

The man behind Gunsmith Cats, Riding Bean and some of the most iconic designs in anime & manga candidly discusses his life and career in a Q&A session at Sakuracon. ― Manga creator and character designer Kenichi Sonoda is well known to anime viewers who joined the fandom is the late 80s and early 90s. His signature style touched some of the era's most popular works including Bubblegum Crisis, which i...
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Interview: Digimon World: Next Order's Kazumasa Habu

The producer of the latest Digimon game discusses why Next Order is important, how to raise Digimon, and why he'd really like to hear from Western fans. ― Digimon World: Next Order came out a little earlier this year, placing it close behind 2016's Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth. Yet there's more to Next Order than just another Digimon release. It's part of the Digimon World sub-series, which takes a sl...
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Interview: Legendary Anime Producer Masao Maruyama

A true titan of the anime industry with a 50-year career, veteran producer Masao Maruyama discusses his latest film, the touching, widely-acclaimed drama In This Corner of the World. ― In this Corner of the World, a period drama about a young woman growing up in the Japan of the 1930s and 1940s, is currently in Japanese cinemas and racking up rave reviews. (Screen Daily, for example, called it "an en...
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Interview: Tales of Berseria's Yasuhiro Fukaya

The producer of the latest Tales game, Tales of Berseria, dishes about what we can expect from the newest installment in this beloved JRPG series. ― The Tales series was long an underdog in North America. Rampantly popular in Japan, the RPG line made far more modest appearances in the West up until Tales of Xillia arrived in 2013 and Namco Bandai's overseas plans for one of the Japanese game industry...
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Interview: Hunter x Hunter Voice Actress Erica Mendez

Hunter x Hunter's dark, gripping take on the shonen formula has thrilled fans for years - we ask the voice of Gon himself, voice actress Erica Mendez, about the journey. ― It doesn't always pay to rush things. For years, Madhouse's 2011 version of Hunter x Hunter seemed to shimmer and glint, just out of reach of collectors in North America… but eventually, patience was rewarded. The series has been ...
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Interview: Director Keiichi Hara on Miss Hokusai

Director Keiichi Hara brought Edo Japan - and the enigmatic life of the daughter of Japan's most famous artist - to lush, vibrant life in Miss Hokusai. Justin Sevakis has some questions. ― Miss Hokusai (originally titled Sarusuberi), the new feature film from Production I.G, is the story of O-Ei, the young adult daughter of famous painter Hokusai and a hugely talented artist in her own right. The fil...
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Interview: Pop Idols Momoiro Clover Z

World-conquering idols Momoiro Clover Z sang theme songs for anime like Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball, and they're bringing their incredible show to New York and LA this weekend! ― Where do idol groups come from? They don't burst out, fully-formed, upon the streets of Akiba, that's for sure. A look under the hood of the Japanese entertainment business reveals that the girls’ idol singing business is ta...
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Interview: Sword Art Online Hollow Realization's Yosuke Futami

SAO's newest RPG is getting a special edition english release in just one week! Producer Futami tells us all about it. ― Sword Art Online's stock is still rising if its attendant video games are any indication. Namco Bandai brought Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment to the West only in carelessly translated digital form in 2014, but this year's Hollow Realization gets a physical release with a lavish...
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Interview: Dragon Ball Super's Toyotarou

First he was a super-fan of Dragon Ball - now he's drawing the official manga adaption of Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball! Find out what makes mangaka Toyotarou tick! ― Dragon Ball Super is a big step for Akira Toriyama's vast and influential action series. It's the first major follow-up to the original Dragon Ball Z storyline in a long time, and it's the first Dragon Ball TV anime series since Dragon ...
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Interview: Assassination Classroom's Yusei Matsui

The creator of Korosensei, that iconic grinning yellow face from the smash hit manga and anime Assassination Classroom, sits down to discuss his career, his influences, and his thoughts on classroom bullying. ― Yusei Matsui does wonders with weird creatures. His widely successful Assassination Classroom poses an inventive battle: misfit students take on a Koro-sensei, a grinning yellow alien who thr...
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Interview: Aniplex of America President Hideki 'Henry' Goto

Aniplex of America is throwing a huge party in Los Angeles on the weekend of October 15th! We sat down with president Henry Goto to get the details - and get his take on the anime industry in 2016. ― Hideki “Henry” Goto needs very little introduction – the president of Aniplex of America, Goto has had a storied career in the Japanese animation industry, having been a familiar face to American fans si...
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Interview: Nami Sano, Author of Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto

The mangaka behind the smash hit comedy Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto speaks out about her influences, how she got her start, and what she thinks of the recent Sakamoto anime! ― Nami Sano, the manga creator of Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto made her first visit to an overseas comics convention at Anime Expo 2016 in Los Angeles earlier this summer, as a guest of BookWalker Global. While she didn't ...
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Interview: Knights of Sidonia Mangaka Tsutomu Nihei

Deeply influential sci-fi mangaka Tsutomu Nihei talks about his incredible career, and goes in-depth about his most famous creations: Knights of Sidonia and Blame! ― Mecha suits, space motorcycles, morphing space aliens, epic futuristic cities, and talking bears with guns – this and more are the product of the imagination of manga artist Tsutomu Nihei. The creator of mind-bending science fiction seri...
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Interview: Love Live Sunshine - Aqours

Six brand-new school idols appeared at Anime Expo 2016 to introduce the world to Love Live! Sunshine!! We sat down with the group to find out what their visit to America was like and what inspires their music. ― It's been a big year for the girls from Love Live Sunshine. It's the first voice role for many of the girls; they're the new "school idols" from the Love Live project, an all-media project th...
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Interview: Okayado, The Father of Monster Musume

The man behind the smash hit manga Monster Musume opens up about his career, what inspires him, and just how much fan input influences where his beautifully bizarre creation goes next. ― Anime Expo 2016 in Los Angeles attracted an all-star array of top talent from Japan, including several manga creators. One notable guest making his first visit to a N. America comics convention was Okayado, the creat...
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Interview: Xavier Lim, Bluefin's Gundam Guru

If you've ever bought a Gundam model from a store in America, chances are Xavier Lim was responsible for it. Gundam expert Lauren Orsini grills Lim about the market for Gundam models and why it's now bigger than ever! ― If you've bought a do-it-yourself plastic model kit from the Gundam anime franchise in the United States, you've probably got Xavier Lim to thank for it. Lim is Brand Manager at Bluef...
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Interview: Unified Pictures and Vampire Hunter D

Last year, Unified Pictures announced a new Vampire Hunter D TV series - now they're back with more details, some exclusive concept art, and a Kickstarter proposal! ― In June of 2015, it was announced that a new Vampire Hunter D animated coproduction was in the early planning stages, but since that time there have been no further publicized developments. Ahead of their Anime Expo 2016 panel, we touch...
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Interview: Ray Chiang, SPJA CEO, on Anime Expo 2016

With an enormous guest lineup, Anime Expo 2016 is bigger than ever and it's right around the corner. We spoke with the SPJA's brand-new CEO about what to expect this year, and all those controversial policy changes. ― 2016 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of Anime Expo, the country's largest anime convention, hitting a new record attendance in 2015 with 90,500 fans – and they're hoping to crack six...
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Interview: The World's Biggest Visual Novels with Visual Art's

Visual Art's CEO Takahiro Baba, character designer Na-Ga and music composer Shinji Orito discuss the incredible success and behind-the-scenes details of some of their biggest games, including Air and Angel Beats! ― Three members of Japanese visual novel company Visual Art's – CEO Takahiro Baba (left in picture), character designer Na-Ga (not pictured by request), and music composer Shinji Orito (rig...
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Interview: Legendary Evangelion Illustrator Yoshiyuki Sadamoto

The man behind the most iconic illustrations of Neon Genesis Evangelion and one of the most recognized character designers in the world opens up about his career and the state of the anime industry. ― During FicZone, a recent anime, manga and videogames event in Granada, in the south of Spain, we sat down to talk with Yoshiyuki Sadamoto about his current projects, hoping to get his thoughts about the...
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Interview: Kazuya Sasahara on Dai-Shogun VR

The man behind the soldier bunnies of Apocalypse Meow has a vision: anime in virtual reality. Specifically, Dai Shogun in virtual reality, via Kickstarter. Naturally, we had a few questions about his ambitious plans. ― Kazuya Sasahara is known among Western fans chiefly for his directorial work on Cat Shit One (also known as Apocalypse Meow in the US), a little CG OVA featuring realistic fuzzy animal...
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Interview: Bluefin and the World of Anime Collectibles

If you've ever bought a Gundam model, it likely says 'Bluefin' on it somewhere; we sat down for a chat with the folks at Bluefin, who are responsible for getting some of the coolest anime merchandise into your hot little hands. ― If you've ever purchased a Gundam model kit in America, you've probably seen the name Bluefin on the back somewhere. Having recently opened a brand-new warehouse space in So...
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Interview: Akira in Color with Steve Oliff

The man who brought full color to the Akira manga at Marvel Comics so many years ago has unearthed his original pages for sale. Deb Aoki talks to the artist about his experience working on a classic. ― In the 1980's and early 1990's, there was no bigger manga series than AKIRA by Katsuhiro Otomo. Otomo's dynamic, detailed artwork and mind-blowing post-apocalyptic story was a game-changer in Japan, an...
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Interview: Eric Beckman, Founder & President of GKIDS

The man behind GKIDS, the company with the magic touch for getting anime nominated at the Oscars, talks about both the business and the New York International Children's Film Festival, happening now! ― Eric Beckman is the co-founder and president of GKIDS, a film distributor well-known among anime fans for their careful (and Academy Award nomination-laden) handling of several Studio Ghibli films in t...
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Interview: Animator Henry Thurlow on Judgment and Justice

American artist Henry Thurlow, key animator on shows like Tokyo Ghoul and Naruto, made headlines in 2015 with his controversial statements on the anime industry. In 2016, he has a new collaborative short film. Mike Toole gets the details... and a lot more. ― Nine months ago, animator Henry Thurlow's Reddit AMA shone a spotlight on one of the lowest rungs of the anime industry-- the hardscrabble life ...
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Interview: The Pilot's Love Song director Toshimasa Suzuki

The director of the high-flying action-adventure drama The Pilot's Love Song answers your in-depth questions about the series, how to make a fictional death impactful, the challenges of animating flight and more. ― Toshimasa Suzuki is the director of The Pilot's Love Song, an adventure set against the striking colors of the sky. Originally released in 2014, the show is available now on bluray from N...
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Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto: The Anime News Network Interview

The creator of one of the most famous and successful manga of all time visited the US for the first time, and we were there. Catch up with Masashi Kishimoto's panel from New York Comic-con and dive deeper with our exclusive interview! ― For manga fans, Masashi Kishimoto and Naruto needs no introduction. It is simply one of the most popular manga series ever created, not just in Japan, but throughout ...
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Interview: VAMPS' HYDE and K.A.Z

The lead singer of L'arc~en~Ciel and the lead composer and guitarist from Oblivion Dust joined forces to form VAMPS, an "evil" rock band appearing on the west coast next week, and we dared to interview them. ― VAMPS is the brainchild of maybe the most famous Japanese rock musician of the modern era: HYDE, lead vocalist of L'arc~en~Ciel, and K.A.Z, the guitarist and composer for Oblivion Dust. Togethe...
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Interview: Koji Morimoto

Legendary key animator and director, co-founder of Studio 4°C, known internationally for his work on films like Akira, Robot Carnival and now Short Peace - get to know Koji Morimoto in this revealing talk about his career and the animation business. ― Anime director and J-Pop Summit 2015 guest Koji Morimoto is best known for his innovative, dynamic work on films like Akira, and short features in anim...
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Interview: The New Ultraman with Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi

One of Japan's most recognizable and popular superheroes received a major reboot, courtesy of two artists with some wildly creative ideas on how to bring Ultraman into the 21st century. Deb Aoki chats with both artists and their editors for some real insight. ― In N. America, superheroes are synonymous with comics; they represent what most Americans think about when they talk about comic books. In Ja...
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Interview: Kodansha Advanced Media on the Future of Manga

Several top-level executives from the largest Japanese publishing house discuss the future of the manga industry, simulpublishing, fighting scanlation piracy and more in this wide-ranging, eye-opening interview. ― In early August 2015, several top executives from Kodansha, one of Japan's largest publishing companies came to Northern California to celebrate the opening of the Kodansha Advanced Media o...
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Interview: Mega Man Legacy Collection Producer Rey Jimenez

Capcom's Mega Man Legacy Collection is out, featuring the first 6 Mega Man games and a ton of archival artwork. Todd sat down with one of the project's producers to get the dirt on what went in to this museum-quality collection. ― Mega Man is in the midst of a comeback. Well, a minor comeback. After spending a few years on Capcom's disabled list, the plucky robot hero returns with Mega Man Legacy Col...
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Interview: International Otaku Expo Association

These three guys are attempting to create a global otaku community by encouraging communication and collaboration between otaku events (like, say Comiket and Otakon). Let's find out what they're all about! ― We had the pleasure of chatting with three representatives from the International Otaku Expo Association, an organization established this year to "encourage new developments within the wider ota...
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Interview: Yuki Yuna director Seiji Kishi

The director of the late night magical girl anime Yuki Yuna is a Hero answers a few questions about the show, including what went in to writing a disabled character. ― We sat down with director Seiji Kishi to talk about Yuki Yuna is a Hero, which he was representing at Otakon 2015 as a special guest of Ponycan USA. Over his long career, Kishi has also directed other notable series, including Assassin...

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