I had the unique priviledge of speaking with director Yutaka Yamamoto at NDK 2011, and it was a very rewarding experience. I had to share the floor with fellow journalists from different outlets, so I only asked him a few questions. Among his best known works are Lucky Star(four episodes) and the recently released Fractale. His sense of humor, sharp wit, and endless knowledge of the industry made the interview a lot of fun and I walked away with a better understanding of a truly fascinating industry. It was truly an honor sitting down and speaking with this influential man.
1. How long have you been a part of this industry?
It is my 14th year.
2. How has the anime industry changed since you became a part of it?
Hard question. Morale and market have been in shrinkage. This shrinkage is specific to Japan. Sales are in decline and production is constricted because of the Internet. The online voices are too loud. And if they are loud enough, then it can have a huge impact on the industry. Because of the steep decline in the market, moral has dropped as well. It will continue to drop as long as the Internet has strength.
3. How has the industry changed your life?
(laughs) I got married and I got older. I used to be just another anime fan and I always wanted to be part of the industry. Once I actually got a job in anime, a sense of responsibility was instilled.
4. Are there any projects you worked on that stood out as challenging or difficult to complete?
Fractale was very difficult because I made it swim against the trend. It takes anime in a bold new direction. There were many trials and I often found myself lost in what to do or where to take it next. As a result of all the hardships involved, it was very rewarding upon completion.
It was fun and rewarding meeting someone with a direct influence on the industry. I found out so much about him in just a few minutes of casual conversation that I wonder how much more I could have learned if I had spent another five minutes talking with him. Thanks, Mr. Yamamoto!