Minami Masahiko Interview

Here’s a link to a short interview BONES founder Minami Masahiko gave recently.  I love BONES, as longtime readers here know, and Minami-san is one of the most important figures in modern anime.  I think this gives an idea as to why BONES is a special company, and just what a thoughtful and savvy guy he is.

Also, it was announced today that Space Dandy will be premiering on Cartoon Network on January 4, 2014 – before it does so in Japan.  As always, BONES is at the forefront on reaching out to Western audiences.

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12 comments

  1. s

    Space Dandy is going to air on adult swim first?? get outta here that's amazing: that's a perfect way to get western audiences in on the anime scene (do you know if it will be aired dubbed or subbed). From the interview, what do you think is the current status of the studio? Bones is one of my favorite anime studios (its definitely in the top 3) and i would be more than happy to know whether they are still hanging in there

  2. q

    Definitely dubbed, Toonami staff recently said they will never air subbed anime on their network.

  3. R

    "With each title there were always hardships and joys during the process of making it."
    "…who want to create something with their hearts."

    Very true, and it applies to anyone in any situation.

    Thanks Enzo for the link. It's always great to learn about what's in the mind of an influential industry leader, and Minami-san is absolutely one to represent the anime industry.

    I like Bones in many ways — they always bring a different level of creativity and always aim higher. Their latest installment — Zetsuen No Tempest — and many of their previous ones are prove to the ambition and philosophy of what makes Bones Bones. Seriously, while the "kawaii" culture may be a distinctive identification of uniquely Japanese, I don't think it should restrain its representation narrowly to moe in anime form. I like Minami-san's vision and ambition of bringing anime to a broader audience internationally, and I absolutely agree with his view that this should be what the Japanese government focuses on when positioning anime — or even Japan — to the world. I may not know a lot, but, to me, anime itself is cool and very uniquely Japanese — the creativity, imagination, ambition, and aesthetics in many of the shows have converted many to love not just anime but anything Japanese.

    Some random thoughts:
    – Working at Bones is awesome — they have work retreats and sometimes go to hot springs. Neat!
    – Minami-san seems to speak genuinely, and he certainly has a huge passion in the industry on top of trying to be commercially successful.
    – Yes, Minami-san, I absolutely will look forward to Space Daddy, and I think I will enjoy watching it.

  4. y

    Dunno how it is for the typical employee – Minami is speaking from the perspective of a manager. On major projects, there may be work retreats for producers and the core staff (most of whom freelancers as opposed to Bones employees), but that probably doesn't extend to the animation grunts toiling away each day.

    Bones has an amusing history of disgruntled employees whining and even leaking confidential info on 2ch. However, I suppose that discontent is common throughout the industry.

  5. BONES has a reputation for better conditions than most in the industry. That said, the lower-level animators still have the long hours and low-pay issues that every studio has – it's part of the economic reality of the industry as it currently exists.

  6. R

    Lol…I didn't think at all but got excited as soon as I see the word hot springs…if only they're as accessible as in Japan in our city.

  7. T

    "I hope you look forward to Space Dandy, the universe's stupidest [baka] anime! We've taken one great hardships to ensure this is the universe's stupidest anime."

    This is going in my book of best quotes I've ever heard in my life.

  8. S

    I also love BONES! They might not be the best, but their works are quite solid.

    P.s : I was hoping that Mahouka would get picked up by BONES, but sadly that didn't happen. :(

  9. i

    That was a great interview. Really enlightened one of the leading stars of the anime industry and I see why you like them so much GE. That they're actually thinking about those who don't commute to Akibahara and Otome Road says a lot about them. If anyone can find the new economic options the industry needs then it'll be Bones for sure.

    And Bones always do alright commercially and critically unlikely there rivals who have a more inverse relationship between the two. I hope Space Dandy is as great as it sounds.

  10. BONES has had a pretty rough couple of years commercially though, possibly because they aren't playing by the rules of this marketplace. It's not like any of their recent series have been hits – E7 AO did decently, about 4-5 K average, but I'm sure they were hoping for more. They do better in the overseas market than most, but I don't think that amounts to a large amount of money compared to BD sales.

  11. H

    I've never been the biggest fan of Bones but I do admire their efforts in reaching out to western audiences. Something I think other studios, who are stifled under the crippling otaku-focused market in Japan, should do.

  12. G

    Bones in my eyes has always been more rebellious than most other studios, they stick to their passion and creative vision, which is truly admirable. I think 2014 is going to be an incredibly good year for the studio, especially after the long hiatus.

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