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Unedited Feed from the Yamamoto Yutaka (#2) panel at Otakon 2009. Transcription: bayoab
Note: ( ) is usually commenting on the panel and was not said.

17:04:34 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Yamakan is on the side
17:05:20 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Give a welcome to Yutaka Yamamoto
17:05:37 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Hi
17:05:53 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Only in Japanese....
17:06:14 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> How do you do? I'm Yutaka Yamamoto. It may not be how do you do if you were at my previous panel but welcome
17:06:15 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> going straight to Q&A
17:06:54 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: (couldn't hear at all) (Chocolate coronet question)
17:06:49 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A; the fat end is the head, i start from there
17:07:30 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: Thank you for coming to Otakon. I'm wondering how your work and its huge popularity has affected you.
17:08:18 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: Well, I will agree to the fact that I am a bit surprised by the popularity, but it is also a job that ive been doing for 10 years so i will keep doing what i have been
17:08:23 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: if you had to pick, what was your favorite thing to work on
17:08:30 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: "Again with that question"
17:09:14 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> It's the same answer I gave yesterday. All my works are like my children. You have to love all your children. But you have some difficulty with your children at times and the one i had the most trouble with was Haruhi
17:09:33 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: Fun question: When do you eat the strawberry on a strawberry cake
17:09:34 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: Wooo
17:09:57 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> I'm going to give you a serious answer. There are many occurances where the Japanese strawberry is bitter
17:10:17 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> So the bitterness could be damaging to your palette, so when you are halfway through the cake, you eat the strawberry carefully
17:10:25 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: Would you ever do a work with Nabeshin
17:11:12 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: We have similar taste I supposed, and we have worked together on a daichi title before, but frankly, I don't think our styles would exactly match.
17:12:09 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: About your difficult children, I thought the first 4 eps of LS were pure genius. They were like real high school girls. What is your inspiration for them?
17:11:42 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> And thank you for doing those 4 eps.
17:11:46 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> I wish they would have let you do more episodes.
17:12:15 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: First, thank you for that compliment
17:12:29 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> I didn't get that kind of review in japan so I'm happy to hear it.
17:13:24 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Well frankly speaking, I did a lot of research. I went to the highschool i graduated from and interviewed them in detail, not to sound perverted or anything.
17:13:27 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> And I also did this with Haruhi and Kannagi
17:13:43 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> And I collected a lot of data, and a lot of the things you see are based on true stories.
17:13:46 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> I felt that was the best way to get the essance of the stories.
17:14:02 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: How did you actually get to start directing anime and stuff like that?
17:14:36 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: Frankly, as I said yesterday, I wanted to be an animator, but when it came down to it, I'm not a very good artist.
17:14:53 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> I still wanted to work in the anime industry and when i realized that directing didn't require me to be an artist, i went for it
17:16:18 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: I've been reading his blog. Recently there is this anime called basquash and yamamoto wrote something on his blog about how the director of that show was removed in order to increase the shows popularity. I'd like to hear your thoughts on this
17:16:10 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: let me tell you as an experienced person in such a matter
17:16:44 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> First let me state that I don't know the details on that specific case.
17:17:23 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> So, whether it be he did something wrong, or whatever... .there were fans of the show before he was removed.
17:17:44 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> I feel that the manner he was removed and the way it was announced to the public is not something that should have been done in any industry. That is all.
17:18:16 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: What element would you attribute the shows popularity to beside the characters.
17:18:58 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: I like to incorporate a gimmick in my shows
17:19:04 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Like time rearrangement or dance, but I consider that part of the shows I work on
17:19:41 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> But I still believe the strongest comes from... how to animate the characters realistically in animation and how they act in a dramatic situation.
17:20:23 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: As someone who worked on the first season of Haruhi so much, what's your opinion on the current season, especially tthe Endless 8 arc.
17:20:38 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: (Hilarity reaction)
17:20:41 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> I knew this question was going to come.
17:20:46 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Hold on.
17:21:00 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> (laughs)
17:20:59 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Eeeeeeeeeee-to
17:21:20 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> To tell you the truth, I knew this was going to happen a year ago
17:21:24 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: Why didn't you warn us?
17:21:29 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: I think i would be trouble if i did
17:22:03 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: WHy did they go in this direction then (turing a 30 page short story into blahhh)
17:30:54 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: Kinsoku Jikou
17:23:50 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> (That answer is permanently embargoed)
17:24:20 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q; Do you have a favorite manga or novel that you would like to turn into an anime?
17:24:33 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: of course there are, if i started counting them off, there would be no end
17:24:48 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> There is 1 title that preparations are underway for it...
17:25:17 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> And amongst the ones im working on, there are two that i don't think are going to happen that but I'd like to do
17:25:35 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> (Withheld)
17:25:58 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> But in the case of the latter, the director Anno was also pitched for it so I probably won't get it.
17:26:04 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: Good luck with 801-chan
17:26:33 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: Was it difficult for you to leave Kyoani and form (Editor correction: Studio Ordet)
17:27:11 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: This also, I've said in various venues, but this is the first time im going to be saying it publically
17:27:12 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> I loved kyoani
17:27:15 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> It was very hard to leave
17:28:01 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> But after leaving, I continued my ideas and the beliefs that kyoani had in my own studio
17:28:11 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> and i would like to continue doing work befitting of a former kyoani employee
17:28:34 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: Birdy 7 animation was different, reason? DVD to fix? Style?
17:28:52 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: I think it's best to ask the producers from A-1 pictures on that, Mr. Shimizu
17:29:10 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> I wasn't involved in that so I can't answer that.
17:29:49 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: As both as a director and a writer, (lost question)
17:30:50 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: I said something similar previously, but there are situations where you have something yo uwant to do and there are situations where you do things that you have to do
17:31:14 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> In cases like that, I find myself in a quandry, in fact, I am in one right now.
17:31:39 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> But since we do animation as a business, I think its my job to lessen the distance of those things, infact make the distance 0
17:32:18 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> and because of that, reaching a balance of those two, its what we need to do as a business.... (lost it)
17:32:34 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: In doing both live action and anime, what are things you like both for anime and drama?
17:32:37 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: I haven't worked on any live action.
17:32:59 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Sorry, I haven't experienced working on a live show yet.
17:33:30 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: I heard that the studio that you came from, they never worked animators or any employees? Is that true? If so, how is it achieved?
17:33:50 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> (Re kyoani)
17:33:51 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: (He laughs)
17:34:33 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> I have no idea what kind of idea they have at Kyoani currently. However, when I was there, there were many overnights.
17:34:36 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> I can't say anymore.
17:34:58 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: Do you believe your work gives an accurate representation of how japan is to people outside of Japan.
17:35:01 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> (para)
17:35:17 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: When it comes down to it, anime lies.
17:35:32 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> So I can't say that's everything to... say? about japan
17:36:20 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> But I feel that, even if a little part of Lucky Star was accurate with how high school students are, I believe getting it accurate is something important and how it should be done.
17:36:35 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: How do you give the human element to your characters beside doing research?
17:36:41 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: I have no idea...
17:37:16 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> This is said a lot, all of your characters are a reflection of you in some way...
17:37:40 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> So if you are able to ... (lost it) (connect to the characters as person then......something liek that)
17:37:58 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: How did Haruhi's popularity match with your expectatinos when you were making it? (para)
17:38:24 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: When I was making the show, whether it was popular or not, I was very nervous or not, I was very unsure.
17:38:59 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> It was said that this would be a very hard story to turn into an animated series...
17:39:26 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> My head was full on ways of how to succesfully turn such a difficult novel into an animated show.
17:39:43 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> So I didn't really start worrying if it would be popular or not until 3 days before adventures of mikuru aired.
17:40:55 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: Was Fumoffu's covering of modern news done to...... (lost)
17:40:40 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A; I'm sorry, you would have to ask the original creator
17:41:02 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> I never thought I would just need to take the story and turn it into an anime.
17:41:49 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> I had many discussions with the original creator about the bio weapons, terorrism, and to put a message in fumoffu and tsr
17:42:05 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> and should the director, takemoto, come here, ask him the same question
17:42:31 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: I read recently in an interview that you prefer anime that can reach a wide audience. What are some anime that you've seen that influenced that style.
17:43:12 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: This is a real childhood experience of mine. When the family would sit down to dinner, we would watch TV.
17:43:36 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> I remember sitting ther watching Dr. Slump, Patrillo, and Yawara on tv with my family.
17:44:14 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> And so having had the experience as a child of watching animation with your family, it's something that i want to strive to do with my works now and in the future
17:44:29 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: Are you surprised by the amount of cosplay and dancing from your works?
17:44:54 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: I did it too in my life so.... so I'm sad that I can do it anymore.
17:45:04 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: You can still do it.
17:45:06 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A; I think i've had enough
17:45:28 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: What are the daily or long term hurdles you face as being a director on specific projects. Walk me through the day in the life of a director.
17:45:42 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: It's kinda get a little detailed...
17:46:29 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> First of all, I'm very bad a doing story boards... well, i"m really fast at coming up the story lien without any art, and as I said repeatedly, im not good without art. So it's very hard to have to do. That's the biggest hardship I have in my day to day work
17:46:37 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> There is some storyboard pages in the hotel room. I'll do my best.
17:47:25 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: Many studios have acquired a reputation for quality or not quality.... having worked at several studios, what do you feel is the secret to constantly creating quality shows.
17:47:59 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> (Kyoani was compared to the yankees)
17:48:12 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: But the yankees haven't won any world series recently...
17:48:17 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: I'm an O's fan.
17:48:43 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A; It's not a question you can answer easily. Everyone is bound to have diferent reasons and different explanations.
17:49:14 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> But I'm sure its true with other studios you know well, Ghibli, IG, Madhouse, it's true that every day is a battle.
17:50:04 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: In the past we've seen the influence of american products in anime. Recently we saw an american property to an anime (witchblade). What's your opinion on such? (missed part 2) Any american products you want to work on?
17:51:12 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: Even though I would like to see back to the future done. Even if it was aniamted, i think it would fall short of the original due to the quality of the original.
17:51:25 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: Why did you create your own studio instead of going to an already established one?
17:51:28 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> What troubles were there with creating one?
17:52:16 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: Well, first of all, I was planning to make a one man office, but my father had created a company on his own so it was a dream of mine.
17:53:02 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> So, but, just as i was deciding to create a studio, alumni fro kyoani came along and said they wanted to take part (so thats the studio that i have now.)
17:53:21 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: Which way do you like to eat a chocolate coronet?
17:53:31 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: I already answerd that. Q: Came late. A: Fat end.
17:54:01 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: I asked him who put a lot of detail into concert scenes if he had seen K-on
17:54:13 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: I'd like to ask, what do you think of the live scenes in K-on...
17:54:38 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> (Audience is like ma-ma)
17:54:46 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: Truth is... I haven't seen it.
17:55:13 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> But in K-on's live alive, there are people who i work with who are participating in that.
17:55:42 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> But not to sound high and mighty or anything, but since its the people I worked with before, I'm sure they did their best in creating te animation.
17:56:36 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: Is the end of Kannagi a hint to there being a sequel when there is enough material.
17:56:39 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: Please ask Mr. Kurata
17:56:58 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> That is a script Mr Kurata wrote. All I did was what he wrote, No further coment.
17:57:20 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: In FMP:F, there is a scene in gym class where they are all dancing together, was that your idea?
17:57:36 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: Actually, that wasn't me... far as I remember...
18:00:15 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> It's something the director takemoto added.
18:00:04 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Kinsoku Jikou
17:59:02 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: What did the parent companies think about the "It's a Sony" line?
17:58:55 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: Ask Mr. Kurata about this as well.
17:59:09 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: Did you hear anything from them?
17:59:16 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: We got permission ahead of time.
17:59:53 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q: If there was a budget or time, would it be good to make more episodes to expand the characters.
18:00:34 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: I too feel air was short, but because it was short, there was some anticipation/expection from how i told the story in those episodes
18:00:54 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> But in the following series, Kanon, when I asked if i used those episodes to the utmost potential, I can't say if i did or not.
18:01:16 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> So that being said, I think that 12 episodes of Air was just about the right number of episodes.
18:01:38 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Q; What was it like working with Kikuko Inoue ...
18:01:43 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> A: she, having the personality that locks her in 17...
18:01:57 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> I had her participate in lucky star as well, but she's always like that...
18:02:20 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> And she never seems to remember me, so hopefully after Otakon, she will remember my name and face.
18:02:28 <bay|Ota|Yamakan> Thank you very much.
Notes: None