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Lupin III Anime Producer Addresses Decline Of Anime Creators’ Presence At Events Like AnimeJapan




In a recent interview with Full Frontal, Koji Takeuchi shared his thoughts on the current state of anime events and the declining importance of animation creators within the context of prominent anime events such as AnimeJapan.

Expressing his reservations about Anime Japan, Takeuchi acknowledged its appeal to certain audience, but underscored the event’s primary focus on merchandising and crowd engagement, which often overshadowing the contributions of animators and directors.

While Anime Japan serves its purpose for those who are looking forward to it, it primarily revolves around selling merchandise and attracting crowds for commercial purposes. The focus is on gathering voice actors to draw in audiences rather than directly benefiting the animation creators themselves.

Takeuchi then addressed the diminishing presence of anime creators in such events, attributing it to a lack of platforms for meaningful discussions.

Reflecting on the past, he reminisced about the pivotal role of magazines like Animage and Animedia in amplifying the voices of animation professionals. However, he noted a shift in focus towards prioritizing voice actors, resulting in fewer opportunities for animators to share their insights. As magazines began prioritizing voice actors for their sales-boosting potential, animation creators found themselves marginalized, with fewer avenues available for them to engage with audiences.

That’s because there is a lack of platforms for discussions. In the past, magazines like Animage, Animedia, and Kadokawa’s magazine — although I can’t recall its exact name — put a lot of effort into featuring the voices of animation directors and professionals in the field. It was especially the case for Animage. However, as the popularity of voice actors surged, magazines began to prioritize them due to their sales-boosting effect, sidelining animation directors. Consequently, opportunities for animation creators to share their insights dwindled. Nowadays, there are fewer animation enthusiasts keen on such stories, with more gravitating towards superficial glamor. In a way, it’s inevitable.

What’s necessary is, as you mentioned, establishing a platform where people can delve into the minds of animation creators and understand their creative processes. This is something our film festival should strive to cultivate.

This sentiments was previously echoed by Nishii Terumi, who expressed her concern regarding the lack of presence of animation staff at AnimeJapan 2023 event.

She was of the opinion that the power of anime shouldn’t just be about voice actors, but on anime as a whole, meaning it should regard all of the staff that worked on it equally.

Koji Takeuchi is an anime producer, who’s animation journey began in 1976 when he joined Nippon Animation Co. as part of their production team. There he worked alongside Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki on various TV series.

In 1980, Takeuchi took his talents to Telecom Animation Film Co., expanding his experience with a diverse range of TV series and feature films. This period saw him contribute to projects like Lupin the 3rd, Sherlock Hound, Chie the Brat, and Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland.

Takeuchi’s career wasn’t limited to Japan. He also ventured into collaborations with international studios like Warner Bros. Animation and Walt Disney Television Animation.

He took up the position of the festival director of the Tokyo Anime Award Festival in 2016.

Source: Full Frontal

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