Animazement 2004 Guest Interviews & Con Report [Yamaguchi]

Interviewee Photo
  • Interview with: Yasuo Yamaguchi
  • Interviewed by: Tsukasa on May 29th, 2004
  • Location: Animazement 2004: Durham, North Carolina
  • Publication Date: June 22nd, 2004
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Editor's note (04/10/08):

This interview was originally part of a single page that contained multiple interviews, and the author's convention experience merged between Q/A segments. We've moved to a new format where each person we interview gets their own page, and our experiences related to the interview appear above the interview transcript. A handful of very minor edits and omissions have been applied for clarity. We realize that some of these older pages will still look funny, but we believe that the consistency achieved makes up for that. At any rate, if you wish to view all of the pages that were originally part of the convention report, click here.

Another year has passed, and Animazement has come and gone once again. At Animazement 2004, I was given the opportunity to speak with another assortment of guests from Japan. Once again, I over-prepared, and was unable to ask all of my questions due to time constraints. However, with the aid of a translator, I was once again also able to ask many questions. Like last year, the interviews were organized in sessions, with a few guests at a time.

That Saturday, we first sat down with Akira Kamiya, while Yasuo Yamaguchi and Koichi Tsunoda (the self-proclaimed "old fogeys") took a break on the couch in the back of the room. Mr. Kamiya, who has been a regular guest at Animazement for many years, is one of the most recognizable seiyuu in the industry, and best known for many a classic anime character, including: Roy Focker (SDF Macross), Shutaro Mendou (Urusei Yatsura), Ryo Saeba (City Hunter), Kasumi Kenshiro (Fist of the North Star), and Ashram (Record of Lodoss War OVAs).

Yasuo Yamaguchi and Koichi Tsunoda are both returning guests from previous years of Animazement, and veterans of the anime industry. Mr. Yamaguchi has directed many anime series, including Ge Ge Ge No Kitarou, Getta Robo, and Devilman, but he is best known for having been the chief planner of Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon. Mr. Tsunoda has been Drawing Director for a number of anime series, including Devilman, Mazinger Z, Uchuu Senkan Yamato, and the Mazinger Z meets Devilman OVA. I began with a query to Mr. Yamaguchi.

Anime Dream:

What do you think of the live action adaptation of Sailor Moon that's currently popular?

Yasuo Yamaguchi:

Well I haven't actually had the opportunity to watch much of the new live action Sailor Moon, but looking at the ratings, it seems to be more in the shadows of the original animated show. There was probably more room for the imagination to enhance the show with the animated version.

Anime Dream:

Despite its ever-increasing popularity in America, there's still a fairly common social stigma that anime is either too violent or too sexual. Do you think that stigma exists elsewhere in the world? And do you think that the industry is eventually going to overcome it?

Yasuo Yamaguchi:

That's a tough question to answer. About the notion that there's a lot of violence in Japanese animation, that is a comment that I receive visiting a lot of countries, but in many cases, it tends to be the case that the so-called elders of the respective countries tend to criticize Japanese animation for being excessively violent, whereas the younger watching audience would say that that is exactly the element that makes the medium interesting. And for the children, there has yet to be conclusive evidence that violence on television causes children to grow up and become violent themselves. So there's still room for discussion there. As for the gratuitous sex, there are certain shows that are slated for the late night broadcast slot that do contain that, but it seems like there's a general notion where they would like to take small examples and by that generalize it as though everything is like that. That is a matter of perception.