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