Sorry, no first episode for you all today (this week has been busy with other things), but I thought it would be worthwhile to share some of the interesting anime-related articles that I've encountered during the past week.
First up is an interview, in translation, with both the director and writer of the new anime Star Driver, which has been garnering a lot of attention due to its great animation and unorthodox presentation. The two discuss how the ideas for the series came about, as well as their decision to bring to life a school life/robot anime.
Next is an article, more a conversation, really, between anime directors Hideaki Anno and Kunihiko Ikuhara. They talk about the craft of animation, how the aesthetics are changing with the advent of digital modes of production (the original article is from 1998, around the time the transition from cel animation to computer-aided animation was happening) and how profit-focused processes of bringing anime to the television screen has begun to hinder "me-anime," or productions that may be more creator-focused and less likely to make money back in large profits.
Lastly is the most recent edition of Brian Ruh's column for ANN, Brain Diving, which takes a closer, more academic look at what's going on in anime and anime culture. This time around, he introduces a book by Peter Cary called "Wrong About Japan," which seems to be a firsthand account of the author's own personal douchebaggery and preconceived notions about Japan. I'm reminded of some classmates' reactions to the film Lost in Translation, which came out while I was in college. They complained that the film was nothing more of a travelogue of someone only interested in pointing out the bizarre "foreignness" of Japan rather than genuinely trying to understand the rich culture; I found it to be an accurate telling of what an average person (lacking much of the cultural knowledge my friends and I had of the country) would feel like if dropped into Japan at a time not of their own choosing. The book featured in this column, however, feels exactly like the travelogue of someone only interested in pointing out the bizarre "foreignness" of Japan. Ugh. I'm almost tempted to pick it up just to see how bad it really is (but from the library; I don't want to risk this guy getting any money for it).
I'll be back soon with more first episodes and follow-ups. Looks like I've got about 11 shows to go!