The 28th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) held a special program called The World of Gundam. There were total of 26 Gundam’s film screened for the event. One of the film screened was Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin I Blue-Eyed Casval, which tells the story of Char Aznable.
Director Yoshiyuki Tomino, mechanical designer Kunio Okawara together with director Yasuhiko were once reputed as the “big three” that made up the golden age of Gundam.
During the screening in Shinjuku Piccadilly for talk session, Yasuhiko himself says that “I had given up on anime. Even now, I don’t think of myself as someone in the anime field”, he said.
He also said of the period when he was at the forefront of animation production “in myself, I felt as though I was making anime in an empty way. In addition to that I didn’t have any talent, so I don’t have any good memories of my time in anime”, he reminisced, and went on to say “now, I am fulfilled to the point where I can finally really feel as though I am working in anime. Thanks to wonderful staff and cast, I can say I am satisfied with the current film, and the next one”, he revealed in a deeply emotional way.
I was lucky enough to scored interview with him.
Finally, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin is released. How do you feel seeing it being revived for the big screen?
Thank you. It feels like “we’ve finally made it to this point,” and I finally feel I’m working in anime industry. The rest of the film is still in production and I’m so glad with the staff and everything in this project. It probably will be released every six months or so.
During the talk session, you’ve said that you’re done with anime, what makes you comeback?
There are few reason why I take part in the project. As chief director, I was able to check up on all aspects of the production, so things worked out well.
The story has already been written in detail, though the manga, and if I could trust someone to recreate it properly with animation then I’d leave it up to them and retire. But I could not trust anyone.
Char Aznable also become the reason I take this project. It has international setting which probably wont be possible years ago.
Gundam is very huge in Asia but not so much in Europe or America like Transformer. Do you have any theory in regards to this?
Gundam has very complex story and I must admit that it is not for everybody. The story is complex and there is no clear boundaries between characters. One thing I would like to emphasize is, Gundam is not about war or creating war. On the contrary, Gundam is about peace and mutual understanding.
Since, you said you are finally happy to be in anime, do you have any near future project aside from Gundam?
I’m almost 70 and I will be still working. Anime require psychical work so maybe if I cant see clearly anymore or if my hands start to shake, I will retire.
Text: Tatu Hutami
Photo: Tatu Hutami & TIFF