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Yutaka Yamamoto Vows to Leave Anime Industry After Finishing Hakubo Film

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Yamamoto: "I swear never to work on anything related to animation again"

Anime director Yutaka Yamamoto posted on his blog last week that he will no longer work in the anime industry after finishing his Hakubo (Twilight) film, adding that he "swears never to work on anything related to animation again."

He came to the decision after special preview screenings of Hakubo in Iwaki, Tokyo, and Osaka. He commented that the film is in a "bad state," and apologized to those involved in the production. In the post, he said that he finally realized after 21 years of working in the industry that "from the beginning, I haven't been able to make anime."

He added that he will still work hard to improve and finish the Hakubo film while still meeting the scheduled June 21 date for nationwide release.

The anime was previously slated to open in Japan at Porepore Cinemas Iwaki Onahama in Fukushima prefecture last Friday, before screening elsewhere in Fukushima and then getting a larger countrywide release. However, the film's website announced in April that the film's release date has been pushed back to June 21 nationwide, with the screening of the film in its current state in Fukushima last Friday instead restricted to the press.

Yamamoto filed for personal bankruptcy on March 4.

The anime had a Japanese Campfire crowdfunding campaign to fund the initial project. The project met its goal of 15 million yen (about US$137,000) in April 2017. Yamamoto launched a Kickstarter campaign in order to create English subtitles and expand the anime's theatrical premiere in Fukushima. The campaign sought to raise 5 million yen (US$45,329) by March 31, but failed. It raised US$12,793 before ending.

Yamamoto is planning the anime as the last of his self-described "Tōhoku trilogy" set in Japan's Tōhoku region in the northeast. Hakubo in particular follows youths living in "the now and present" in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture after the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011. (The previous two Tōhoku projects, blossom and Wake Up, Girls!, were set in the town of Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture and Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, respectively.)

Sources: Yutaka Yamamoto's blog


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