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Unedited Feed from the Maruyama panel at Otakon 2012. Transcription: bayoab
Note: ( ) is usually commenting on the panel and was not said.

(Correction: The below previously used Nabeshin (Excel Saga director Shinichiro Watanabe) in place of Cowboy Bebop director Shinichiro Watanabe. I apologize for the any confusion created.)
15:14:59 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> Welcome to the Maruyama and Mappa panel
15:16:00 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> Hi, I'm Maruyama, and starting this year, I'm maruyama of mappa, i worked at madhouse for 35-40 years, and starting this year, i started to seek out new challenges and a new company
15:16:29 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> And the first work, the first piece of animation is kids on the slope (sakamichi no apollono)
15:17:18 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> the director on the kids on the slope is watanabe shinichiro, and the another thing you should know is it was broadcast simultaneously in the US and france as well as Japan,
15:18:49 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> before we start the panel, we're going to show a short film from kids on the slope, and we're going to show commercials that you won't probably see in the US for gummies by meiji seika
15:21:12 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> the voice roles for it are done by mizuki nana and tomokazu (sugita?)
15:28:47 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> the character designs were done by yuusuke nakamura who did an anime at madhouse called tatami galaxy
15:28:48 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> now we're going to switch to kids on the slope with a short 30s trailer and an ending theme song
15:28:49 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> i showed the ending here off a whim, i like the ending theme song a lot, so i wanted to share it with you
15:28:48 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> it's very dear to me because it was a lot of work putting it together
15:29:16 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> the on air date for the show had been decided long ago, so the composition wasn't finished, so we had to make the animation first, without hearing the song, so i was worried about whether they would match or not
15:29:11 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> usually with works of anime, the opening and ending anime are made by the episode animation staff, but this time, the animation staff was busy with the first episode, so completely different staff put together the opening and ending (lost)
15:30:12 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> so with works of anime, the opening and ending theme songs are like the front and back covers of a magazine, they are there to get the audience attention, and since kids on the slope is about music, we had to create opening and ending themes to match the music
15:30:19 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> that's enough from me, let's start q&a
15:30:32 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> Q: (couldn't hear)
15:31:42 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> A: that's actually one of the items that i would really like to animate right now, the problem is the original work behind it is really long, so when we pace the anime, it comes to 8 hour long anime episodes, which means we need a big budget which means we need a lot of money, now, where is this money going to come from?
15:31:43 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> give me money
15:32:00 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> Q: Tibetan Dog was released in Japan earlier this year, any chance it would make it over stateside?
15:32:40 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> A: You are right that I am the person who producer it, but unfortunately, that piece of animation is sold by my former company madhouse, i would like to answer the question but i don't know
15:34:21 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> but one thing i can say, is that if a US distributor were to purcahse it, madhouse wouldn't say no... one thing i would like to say that naoki urasawa designed the characters for that animation, if you aren't aware, he's probably one of the highest selling mangakas right now, and he only typically works on his own stuff
15:34:38 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> this is the first time he's worked on something that someone else produced
15:35:20 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> so this piece of animation was developed with china before problems arose between china and tibet
15:37:03 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> so we took a chinese story (lost)
15:37:03 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> i went to tibet four times to check out the locations when producing this anime
15:37:03 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> as you know, tibet is high up, every time, it was a tough trip
15:37:04 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> but because i took 4 trip to tibet, i think we were able to reproduce the (imagery) very well
15:40:53 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> naoki urasawa designed the main character to be an adorable boy since the anime is designed to be seen in the living room
15:40:53 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> Q: Regarding Shinichiro Watanabe, he's esteemed but does little work, how were you able to get him on board in general?
15:40:53 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> A: I was working with Shinichiro Watanabe back in the madhouse days, and unfortunately, there was 3 years at madhouse where his 3 works didn't get out into the world, they were stopped at planning, so after i left madhouse, i handed him the original manga and told him "you, you are doing this"
15:40:54 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> and more on why his project didn't get animated at madhouse, he and i were working on theatrical movie, we had planned it and scripted it, but then i left madhouse, so that fell through, so when i went to mappa, i brought him on kids on the slope so he would have some work to do
15:40:54 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> i really think shinicihiro watanabe is one of the top 5 directors in japan
15:40:54 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> and that's why i wanted to created a theatical animation with him, and when i went to mappa, i broughgt him onto this project instead, but up until this, he had only done original project,s, he had never done adaptation, so this was his first
15:41:26 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> because he had never adapted manga into animation, he didn't know how much liberty was at hand, whetherh he could change the original or (if he had to follow it.... lost)
15:41:38 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> and so he put up a lot of resistance to it
15:42:09 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> Mr Shinichiro watanabe loves music, he's very passionate about it and has deep thoughts about it, so when i told him to sign up, i told him it's a jazz animation and music is an integral part of it
15:42:29 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> And then Ms. Yoko Kanno said that if Shinichiro Watanabe is working on it, she wanted to work on it too
15:43:17 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> Q: Regarding Kids on the Slope, the animation of them playing music in the series, it's very detailed and fluid, did the animators have to do a lot of work to get that?
15:43:31 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> A: About half of the time, work and money went into those musical performance scenes
15:44:03 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> back when i was at madhouse, i actually worked on a lot of music animation, like beck and piano no mori
15:44:21 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> So I had some confidence going in that we would be able to do it
15:44:45 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> With this piece, something that was challenging was the (performances, especially the drummer)
15:46:00 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> When preparing to create this, we found an 18/19 yr old drummer called ishiwata, but we had him playing drum in the studio so we can study the movements, and someone else we brought is mr. miyanaga(?) who we had doing playing the menu
15:46:59 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> just creating the level of movement for the musical performances alone would have been twice as much work, but we had to match the music, so we studied (lost, and the sounds... so the two had to move in concert
15:47:07 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> and that took alot of time and money
15:47:21 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> and i'm sure you are thinking, "jeeze, he thinks about money a lot"
15:47:53 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> when i was planning the first episode with the director, we were both very insistent that every episode needs to have a musical episode
15:48:01 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> but by episode 3, i was trying to figure out how to avoid it
15:48:29 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> i was in tears and begging him to go one episode without a performance, and the director was very insistent that they have one
15:48:58 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> ( especially episode 7, if it's a person playing a single instrument, it's not too bad, but ep 7 has a whole band)
15:49:21 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> Q: Could you talk about the decision to release Kids on the alope in the US/France/Japan simultaneoulsy.
15:49:29 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> what difficulties, would you do it in the future?
15:50:00 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> A: unfortunately, stories about simul release depend on the sponsors, and what they want and who theya re
15:51:20 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> so for distribution in the US, it's really up to the US distributors, if they look at the preliminary material and decide it will be popular and if they want it, then there is usually not many problems and barriers to doing it
15:51:32 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> but in the past, but their stance has been to look at swtuff that is popular in japan and then bring it
15:51:38 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> so there was a 1 year time lag between the US and japan
15:52:08 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> but if the right holders want to do it, and if the US distributor want to do it, but at this point (we're at the stages where there aren't any problems really)
15:52:21 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> Q: Any projects you are thinking about that are very differnt from madhouse?
15:53:25 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> A: back when i was at madhouse, my stance toward creating new pieces of animation is that we should do whatever we can and we'll do everything
15:53:51 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> but then if (someone wants to do it), my stance was generally let's do it, and now at mappa, my stance on it is not changing
15:54:08 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> but one of my festishes is that i want to create pieces of animationt hat other people aren't interested in creating
15:54:40 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> Q: What kind of spirit, goals would you like mappa to embody
15:56:36 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> A: when creating the name mappa, it's actually a solilioquy with madhouse
15:59:31 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> and people don't like when i talk about this but it's actually an acronym for (lost), meaning bare naked
15:57:02 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> there is also the japanese phrase which means penniless, to start over and make something out of it
15:57:26 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> which is a connotation mappa has
15:58:32 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> but, i had some staff members tell me that they really dislike answering the phone, hell this is bare naked, so after i made the name, they came up with the more professional name of MAPPA (maruyama animation produce project association) but the name doesn't really matter
15:59:27 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> it's been about 40 years since i created madhouse, so i created mappa as a new company where we could face new challenges, so i hope you enjoy kids on the slope (and i hope you support mappa)
15:59:47 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> Q: (What was it like working with.... missed)
16:01:06 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> A: nationality is something that doesn't concern me much, regardless of the ... as long as they have a picture and they have talent and (lost)
16:01:24 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> Q: Making another Vampire Hunter D or working with Kawajiri again?
16:03:01 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> A: so there are more hurdles to create pieces of animation now that i'm at a different ocmpany and he's still at madhouse, but i would like to still work with him in the future, and if we are oging to create something in the future, of course past titles like nina scroll and vampire hunter d, but i personally would like him to show a new side in his next piece of animation
16:03:29 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> Q: There is a lot of musical anime that uses CGI to show the instruments being played... i wasn't sure if it was cgi or not in sakamichi.... which do you prefer, is it more cost effectiv eot use cgi or general?
16:04:45 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> A: which is more cost effective, which is more exepsnive, that's a hard question, there are ways to produce both in expeensive or cheap matters, so it's not a matter of if one or the other is more cost effective than the other, it's more a question of how much money you are willing to spend
16:05:01 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> though some people do say using more cg means less manual work by poeple, so some people say it's less work
16:07:26 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> but i well, if the work was all cg, then that's fine, but if the character designs are based on 2d designs and it's just the performance that looks cg, it's not going to look the same, and my personal philosophy is to make it look the same, so even if using cg, it should be created with physical artwork. so when doing kids on the slope, i tried to make it hard to tell which scenes are based on cg and which are based on 2d, i made it very difficult to be differentiated and i would be impressed if someone could figure it out (paraphrase)
16:07:55 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> Q: (about staff used for performance scenes)
16:09:39 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> A: well the animation was finished because we had a main core staff of key artists who i relied on for the performance scenes, and they were the reason that the work finished, and there are 3 art directors who were basically working 24 hours today and i wouldn't be surprised if they won't work with me again
16:09:58 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> unfortunately, if i name them, it becomes complicated, but if you look ta the credits, you can figure it out
16:10:29 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> Q: You haven't joked about this age, so i'm hoping you feel younger, and one of the things you brought up last year, you were talking about satoshi kon's last project, and you were thinking about how to get money together
16:10:40 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> i was wondering if there was any light of hope in the future for that
16:11:21 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> A: yes, i feel reinvograted and youthful once again
16:11:34 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> i made a personal rule that every year after my 70th birthday, i'm going to become one year younger
16:13:09 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> and in response to your question about satoshi kon unfortunately we dont' have enough money, my personal goal is to get enough money within 5 years, this coming august is the 3rd anniversary of his death, but i'm still working to put together the money to release his last work
16:16:56 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> so if i'm getting younger by a year each year, so hopefully we can release it by the time i'm 65 again
16:16:57 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> Q: coming from a studio like madhouse with a long history, what ways have your creative and production decisions changed moving on to the new studio
16:16:59 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> A: no, there's really been no change in the creative decision making, madhouse is a company that i created and many of the staff working there are th staff i worked with for a lon time, so madhouse is very dear to me, the first season for chihaya just ended, but the director for it is a brilliant director, and if i were to ask to list the top 5 directors in japan, he would be on the top of that list
16:25:31 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> but here at mappa, my intention is to create works as good as he is
16:25:33 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> and since it's a new company, i want to take on new challenges
16:25:33 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> (lost rest)
16:25:32 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> and one more thing, i'd like to make a silly fun, something cheap and funny
16:25:32 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> of course we're going to make the deep and hard stuff others don't want to do, but i also want to make something sily that others will watch and go huh
16:25:32 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> so please help me support mappa going into the future
16:25:32 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> thank you very much
16:25:39 <bay|Ota|Maruyama> end
Notes: None