AUDIENCE: Lots of your programs are very contemporary or futuristic. Why have you never made a period film like THE HAKKENDEN, or something else? Are you just forward-thinking, not looking at the past?

OKADA: Because I'm a science-fiction fan. So, I can make just a future, or near-future, or robot, or girl-fights-against-space-monster-and-saves- Galaxy story, that's O.K., but--ninja, or samurai, or sword--Ha? [LAUGHS].

AUDIENCE: They have robot ninja in some films...

OKADA: That's nice [LAUGHS]. Have you ever heard of AKAKAGE? It was a live-action series in Japan, about 30 years ago. The Akakage ninja, red-masked ninja T.V. series. In that T.V. series, there were many monsters, large *kaiju* monsters or mecha, just like Area 45 [?], or these kind of very strange stories. I loved it. So--if you can make some ninja story or ancient Japanese story, maybe I can make some monsters, or some strange mecha, but, normal, fantasy samurai stories, or ninja stories--sorry, I can't make it. There is no motivation in my heart.

AUDIENCE: If you had the chance to do it again, would you do an epilogue to THE WINGS OF HONNEAMISE?

PANEL: I'm guessing, it's because you don't get the ending?

AUDIENCE: No, I get the ending, but--sometimes it leaves you with a feeling of wanting more. Just a little bit more, to see what happens with the characters.

OKADA: In THE WINGS OF HONNEAMISE's story, that planet is six light years from our Earth. So, I told Mr. Yamaga, we should make a continuation story where their spaceship, not interplanetary, but interstellar, arrives here 100 years after the time of HONNEAMISE. So, they come to our Earth, and make contact with Earth. So, it is a continuity of that story. But it is very difficult to make. The plot I want to have, if I am to make a continuation of THE WINGS OF HONNEAMISE, is to have the story of them making their own interstellar ship, And that ship will arrive in our solar system right about the time Earth is able to colonize Mars. Not a warp drive, but an acceleration ship.

AUDIENCE: A long trip.

OKADA: Yes. It would take 30 or 40 years. And then I'd try to show the conflict between the two cultures, the two planets. I would be really enthusiastic were I able to make a war between the two planets.

AUDIENCE: Apparently one of the more difficult aspects of translation is to carry over trivialities of the other culture. Some American anime companies include a pamphlet to explain references to Japanese culture in the films they release. Last year we learned that an American show, THE SIMPSONS, which is based almost completely on American errata, was distributed in Japan. I was wondering how it was received there?

OKADA: It was not popular at all. It was only the hard-core otaku who really watched it. My favorite episode was the one where the Simpsons went to Itchy-and-Scratchy-Land, but no other Japanese understood it. Ha? [LAUGHS] "Very strange animation."

AUDIENCE: You were an ordinary otaku, and then you became the president of one of the most influential anime studios. And then you changed from being president, to some, like, professor. So how would you describe these three different phases of your life, and which phase did you most enjoy?

OKADA: I've had fun in all parts of my life. What it was, is I became an otaku and tried to have as much fun as I could, and when I came to the limit of having fun as an ordinary otaku, I jumped to Gainax. And then when I was in Gainax, I came to the limit of making animation and games, I then jumped to becoming a professor.

PANEL: Our time is almost up. Are there possibly one or two other people who would like to ask Mr. Okada a question?

AUDIENCE: Do you think that there is any difference in being an otaku today, than an otaku in 1983 or 1985? I mean, is it easier, is it harder--do you feel there's any difference the way the otaku are perceived in the eyes of society?



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