Nobuteru Yuuki

by Travis Freeman, transcription: George Phillips,
Way back in 2003 Nobuteru Yuuki, character designer of Escaflowne, Heat Guy J, Sukeban Deka and numerous other titles sat down with ANN for a quick chat about his work. We thought it'd be fun to spotlight him, and as if by magic, we found this in our archives. Only... it was shorter than we expected. Was it eaten by something? Taped over? It's a mystery... but it's no mystery that Yuuki is a talented artist, and well-deserving of a spotlight..

You've worked on a number of shows that are specifically favorites for American fans. How do you feel about Escaflowne, and the success of that in America, in respect to its reception in Japan?

I wasn't actually aware of how well-received Escaflowne was, in the US. It was a TV series shown in Japan, and only after that I was invited to Anime Expo. That's when I first had to realization of “Oh wow, American fans actually like it.” It's also been given an award as a favorite TV series.

A lot of your stuff is very aesthetically unique. What would you say your major artistic inspiration is?

With each project, I usually come up with a theme for it, or a goal I set with that project. It's not an outside influence per se, it's an internal drive to accomplish, to challenge myself.

What is your internal goal with Heat Guy J?

My previous works were targeted for the Japanese audience. With this project, it's not aimed in particular towards any group – it's more universal. That's the challenge I set up.

One of your other major projects was the Record of Lodoss War. Can you tell us about your experience working on it? Where does it fit into your history, and what does it mean to you?

It was a milestone in my career. Lodoss War was a project where everything I wanted to do as an animator was actually possible, and I was recognized for it. I'm very happy with the series.

With the growing influence of America in anime production, how has your job changed? Have you seen a change with how anime is produced in Japan?

It has changed to the effect that projects are not just “for the Japanese audience” anymore. It's more for a worldwide audience, so it has changed to a degree. I've worked with Madhouse, and their productions are more for this universal audience. You might lose a bit of the market share in Japan, and it might not be as popular right away, but the worldwide acceptance will make up for it. In the end, it evens out.

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