OKADA: Yeah, maybe that's right. Right now, many anime fans in Japan are fighting each other over whether that ending was good or bad. Some say, "Anno must feel no obligation towards the fans--he must make something true to himself." Many fans are fighting over this. Your question has come up in these debates. In my personal opinion, if he wanted to make such a statement, to say, "this is just fiction, and you should go back to the real world," he could do it a better way. If that's what he wanted to say, it's not necessary to make an anime to do it. But he's still an animator, and he wants to make another anime series. So his true mind does not say, "it's only animation, and I should go back to the real world." So I think Mr. Anno's confused just now.

AUDIENCE: I'd like to hear something about your books.

OKADA: OK...I've already written two books. The second one, the new one, is INTRODUCTION TO OTAKUOLOGY, which answers "what is an otaku, and what is otaku culture, in Japan and in the world?" My first book was OUR BRAINWASHING SOCIETY, was about business, society and the media, and what may happen over the next thirty years. And I think my third book will be about evolution and the human motivation to make culture, politics, and science. I'm very interested in the question of the interaction between society and the media over the next thirty or fifty years. I'd like to write two or three more books--one about otaku outside of Japan. Just like you, or Russian otaku, or Turkish otaku, or Chinese otaku...I want to ask these people what they feel about Japanese otaku culture, or what Japan means to them. I'll write perhaps two books more on otaku and animation culture.

AUDIENCE: If you had the chance to pick a story or manga that's already out there, and turn it into an anime film, which would you like to see done?

OKADA: I'm not interested in taking a manga that's already interesting and turning it into an anime. I'd rather take a manga that's *not* very interesting and make it better as an anime. A good manga is a good manga--if anyone makes an anime based on it, it's not better than the manga, or more than the manga originally was--merely that manga in a different medium. And I think that's a waste of time, opportunity, and money. I sometimes say that RANMA 1/2 is a case like this. Everyone must read Rumiko Takahashi's original manga. But in my opinion, the anime version is not greater than the manga. Some producers want to make good anime from good manga. When you have a good manga to work from, it's easy to attract a sponsor, a studio, and staff. Good manga have the kind of star power that will make animators and character designers say, "Oh, I want to work on that! I love that manga!" So, it's very easy to get your production together. But that's not my style. My style is to look for a good idea, or a good scene, in the midst of a not-so-good manga. If I make it into an anime, maybe it can be better than it was. I heard that Mr. Miyazaki thinks the same way. In FUTURE BOY CONAN, he took the basic novel THE INCREDIBLE TIDE, by Alexander Key--not a very good story, in Mr. Miyazaki's view. But he said, "I can take that story, and make a good anime out of it." He has the power to turn a not-so-good story into a good anime. I think he's a not-so-good person--just like me.



©1996 Viz Communications, Inc.