OKADA: The difference I see is that it's becoming merchandise-based. And if they see something wrong with it, they don't have this burning sensation inside of them to basically say, "Well, if I made it like this--" For example, if you watch RANMA 1/2, and say, "Well, there's something wrong here, but if I made it like *this*, it's going to be like this..." But I don't see that burning sensation as much in the United States or Japan as I did back in 1983 or 1985. What I first started learning in my high school years, when I saw STAR BLAZERS, UCHU SENKAN YAMATO, it was like, "If I had made it like this, it would have been like this." So there's not too much of that anymore, so I guess it's like, "Oh, well, then, I guess everybody's happy--that's fine, then."

PANEL: We're going to have two more people--I have them here...and we'll get to them, shortly.

AUDIENCE: Konnichiwa, Okada-sensei. What I would like to know is your relationship to Shigeru Watanabe when you planned out THE WINGS OF HONNEAMISE.

OKADA: Ha! O.K., O.K. Interesting question. You know Shigeru Watanabe?

AUDIENCE: I'm not familiar with him...

OKADA: Right now, he's an executive at Bandai Visual. And he still has a religion: he believes in Mamoru Oshii, just like Jesus Christ [PRAYS TO HEAVEN]. In those days, in 1983 or 1984, he asked of everything to Mr. Oshii: "Is it good, or is it bad?" And if Mr. Oshii said, "Oh, it's good!," so Mr. Watanabe would think, "Oh, it's good, it's good, I must make it, I must make it!" And then I told Mr. Watanabe, "I want to make this film, THE WINGS OF HONNEAMISE," and he thinks, "I think it's a good idea, but I can't decide if it's *really* good. So--just a moment, I must go to Mr. Oshii's house" [RUNS IN PLACE; LAUGHS]. And Mr. Oshii says, "Oh-- it's interesting!" So, he thought, "It's good, it's good, it's good!" [LAUGHS] And it's a very powerful motivation for him, inside. So, he works very hard, and gets a very large budget for our film from the president of Bandai. So Mr. Oshii, he is a very good person for me, or for Studio Gainax, is very strange to say, "Maybe it is good, but maybe it is not so good." It was a religion. But just now, Mr. Watanabe, he's come out of his brainwashing. So, he sometimes says: "Maybe...maybe, *maybe*, Mr. Oshii is sometimes wrong." [LAUGHS]

PANEL: We have a last question.

AUDIENCE: Some people say that the late '70s and early 1980s were sort of a golden age of Japanese animation. And some people say that that golden age is over. What do you think?

OKADA: That period, that golden age you're talking about, is when there were variations--a golden age of variations. And then, for expression of other elements, it's the 1980s. For U.S. science-fiction, the 1950s were the golden age of expression, and setting the stage for that were the 1930s. In the same terms, in anime, the time for time for setting up the variations were the 1970s, and the golden age of expressions and new ideas were the 1980s.

PANEL: That's about all the time we have for today, or in this room--I want to thank you very much, Mr. Okada, for coming, and speaking to us. I know you have an autograph session [DOUBLE TAKE]--tomorrow. [LAUGHS]

OKADA: [RELIEVED] I know, I know!



©1996 Viz Communications, Inc.