Yoichi Fujita to Stop Directing Gintama This Spring
posted on by Egan Loo
Director Yōichi Fujita revealed in an group interview with the staff and cast of the Gintama anime series that he will not be working on the series this spring. He participated in the interview with former Gintama series director Shinji Takamatsu, voice actor Tomokazu Sugita (Sakata Gintoki), and voice actress Rie Kugimiya (Kagura) in the February issue of Tokuma Shoten's Animage magazine, which shipped on Saturday. Fujita did not indicate if another director will take his place, or if the Gintama anime will end. Fujita took over as Gintama's director from Takamatsu during the current third year of the anime, and Takamatsu has since been listed as the project's supervisor. When the magazine's interviewer asked Fujita and Takamatsu about how they are doing, they responded with the following:
Takamatsu: This is the first time in a long while that I haven't been busy directing at the beginning of a new year, so I like to do something relaxing. After all, directing work has gotten so hectic. Well, how about you, Fujita-kun?
Fujita: For starters, I won't be working this spring, so I think I'll be going to the Hello Work office. ["Hello Work" is the euphemistic name for the Japanese government's employment service centers.]
Fujita and Takamatsu jointly directed the Gintama series from episodes 100 through 105, before Takamatsu handed the reins of the production to Fujita. Fujita had previously directed episodes of Kekkaishi, Cluster Edge, and Onmyou Taisenki. Takamatsu had overseen After War Gundam X, School Rumble, and several series in Sunrise's Brave robot franchise.
The Gintama action comedy follows a quirky samurai in an alternate-history Japan, where aliens overlords have banned sword-carrying. While the Gintama anime's storyline has been gradually catching up with the storyline of Hideaki Sorachi's original manga, the animation studio Sunrise has not officially announced that it is ending the anime. Viz Media published the ninth volume of the manga in November, while the Crunchyroll website began streaming the latest anime installment, #139, last week.
Image © Hideaki Sorachi / Shueisha • TV Tokyo • Dentsu • Sunrise