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Dogasu Translates 2015 Iwane Masa'aki Interview

Discussion in 'Pokémon Animé Discussion' started by Yuugis Black Magician, May 16, 2018.

  1. Yuugis Black Magician

    Yuugis Black Magician Well-Known Member

    I hounded the poor guy for three years but the day has come at last when Dogasu has posted his translation of this awesome Iwane Masa'aki interview from the March 2015 issue of Animage! Dogasu also added in helpful translation notes to update some things that have obviously changed in the past three years.

    I gotta say, this interview is a goldmine. Getting confirmation of some of the historical points I've assumed from looking at the credits and learning about the raise in the number of drawings has been a real blessing. It's really amazing to see in Iwane's own words how he started doing solo key animation and confirming that during Adanced Generation and Diamond & Pearl he was focused on helping teach younger key animators, too.

    I hope another Iwane interview is done. With XY finished and Sun & Moon seeing Iwane up his game even further I'd loved to read the story of just how production has changed now that Iwane is pumping out even more dense animation than ever before.

    You can find Iwane Masa'aki on Twitter as @Animator1965. I've compiled a list of the credits that Iwane has for the Pokemon franchise here.
    Leonhart and satopi like this.
  2. satopi

    satopi All hail Satomine Night!

    Thank you for the link (as well as pestering Dogasu over this lol!) This was a really insightful look into not just what consists in animation throughout its history (that's funny that parents back when he was a kid called cartoons "TV comics" :p) but also how Pokémon episodes are scheduled around and handled. It was great for Animage to explain the animation terms. I agree with his thinking at the time that when the characters are talking amongst each other, there doesn't have to be much movement aside from mouths moving and saving the rest of the useable drawings for big moments. I enjoyed reading about his past animation work and hearing from the other animators' he's worked with in the past, their animation style, what they specialize in, and how he learned from watching them animate scenes, comparing it to what he originally thought. It's so intriguing to read about how he got into animation and knowing, he's a big fan of Yamato, eventually getting to work on it, and how working on Pokemon affects dealing with other projects. Now that Pokemon has transitioned to a more simpler style of drawing, I'm still blown away by the vast fluidity of animation, as well as small details, being put into every episode of Sun and Moon. Now, in the back of my head, I question if the number of drawings allowed increased just as it did in XY. At least it's a big relief on the animators.

    What a fascinating read! It may be long but well worth it!!
  3. Yuugis Black Magician

    Yuugis Black Magician Well-Known Member

    Yeah, in the 1960s what we call 'anime' was called 'televi manga' in Japan. In fact, Miyazaki Hayao still calls his movies 'manga eiga' (comic motion pictures) rather than 'anime' because he's an irrational man-child and doesn't want to admit that what he makes and what the rest of the industry makes is the same thing.

    I'm glad the interview covered Kanada Yoshinori a little bit. Iwane's snappy movements are inspired by the Kanada style. When Kanada started to variate the timing of his drawings to make the animation expressive and powerful using few drawings he created a big following in the 1970s and 1980s. Most animators from Studio Cockpit had a Kanada-style to them and it has continued on even as we approach the tenth anniversary of Kanada's death next year. Kanada truly doesn't get enough praise for being the man to save and make television animation relevant. The originality that he impressed with is precisely why we have so many unique animators being allowed to express and develop their originality in the industry today.

    I do wonder if Sun & Moon has a higher drawing count than XY. Iwane says in the interview that simpler drawings make it easier to move but at the same time it is confirmed in the interview that it is Iwane's sense of timing that allows him to out-pace other animators on the series. I'm not sure that the regular drawing count on Sun & Moon episodes is higher than 4,000 although we do know from comments that Yong-ce Tu made on social media that Episode #53 used 9,000 drawings, so I'd say that important episodes get a lot of special treatment. For comparison, the first six or seven minutes of Naruto Shippuuden Episode #167 used 5,500 drawings along (all drawn by Key Animator Yamashita Shingo so he could have full control of the experimental animation he was using).
    satopi likes this.
  4. Leonhart

    Leonhart Disney fanatic

    It was an insightful interview, mainly as far as the information about the animation process of the Mega Evolution specials was concerned. Some of the middle section kind of rambles off track a bit, but I appreciated it all the same.
  5. Yuugis Black Magician

    Yuugis Black Magician Well-Known Member

    The interview wasn't supposed to be entirely about Pokemon. It's a general animation magazine. Pokemon just so happens to occupy half of his career. It's also important to understand Iwane's influences, too, since he was bred initially during the Animation Boom, the era that turned Japanese television animation into the creative and unique powerhouse it is today while the US industry completely collapsed.

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