From left to right:-
- Fuminori Kizaki (Director of Afro Samurai, Animation Director of Blue Gender, Character Designer of Galaxy Railways, Key Animation for Macross Pluss OAV)
- Eric Calderon (Writer of Afro Samurai Season 2, CEO of Wild Boar Media)
- Takashi Okazaki (Original creator art/manga of Afro Samurai)
- Danny Choo CEO Mirai Inc/Key toilet cleaner [li] Hiroya Iijima (Afro Samurai Character Design/Animation Director, Black Cat Animation Director, Gantz Key Animation, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: Solid State Society movie Key Animation)
Spent last night having a cozy dinner at Okazaki-sensei's gaff with a few other folks in the anime industry. Decided to take the car as I knew I would be there until past midnight when all the trains stop and taxi prices triple.
Arrived to find other comrades already enjoying the evening festivities. Okazaki-sensei is the creator of the original Manga Afro Samurai which has been made into a TV series and a movie. The movie stars Samuel Jackson and the second season stars Lucy Liu and Mark Hamil as voice actors.
Some Afro Samurai Resurrection below.
Having some lovely home made food while going over some industry chit chat.
A room full of anime industry folks is the perfect place to ask why many anime series starts off with great quality but quickly deteriorates over time.
The first EP is for the most part is produced with loadsa budget and time and is usually used to negotiate for the TV air time. A whole anime series is seldom made prior to getting air time.
Once air time is secured, they start to animate the stories and this usually happens while the series is being aired. Everybody is working on a tight schedule and sometimes quality has to be dropped to make sure the show gets aired in the allocated slot.
The quality of Geass stayed pretty much the same throughout the series and most of that is thanks to the folks who do the quality checks - forgot the job title but they check the quality and make changes. Geass apparently had quite a few quality controllers at each stage of production. They also managed to get very talented folks with much experience to handle Geass production too.
Another thing I would love to talk about is the up n coming anime that these guys are working on - but would have my spleen sliced by Okazaki-sensei's samurai sword.
Okazaki-sensei is a huge Star Wars fan and has just about every R2D2 known to wo/man.
Two of these are dustbins, and the other two are remote controlled astro mechs.
This is where Okazaki-sensei does all his work.
Hes got a load of memorabilia n merchandise. The name of that ship on the far right is on the tip of my toe - '1999' or something?
So why do I put 'sensei' on the end of 'Okazaki'?
The Japanese use 'sensei' meaning 'teacher' when referring to their teacher or doctor too but I learned when starting to work with Azami Yuko that illustrators are called 'sensei' as well.
'sensei' is also used colloquially in the Japanese workplace when talking to a colleague who has lots of knowledge or skill in a particular subject.
Something special about this shirt but cant remember what. Think it was a gift from Samuel Jackson or something.
The creator of D.Gray-man does a doodle for Okazaki-sensei.
Okazaki-sensei's Mac setup.
Okazaki-sensei has a load of Star Wars related artwork.
You may need to enlarge this one to appreciate it.
More Japanese styled Star Wars artwork.
Hayao Miyazaki-sensei does a Nausicaä doodle for Okazaki-sensei.
I'm forgetting my Alien terminology - that Ripley with her Powerlifter?
The English language Afro Samurai manga.
Signed goodies by Samuel.
Name that Mecha.
Anybody here who does not have tissue near the desk?
More manga related working utensils.
Okazaki went from having is work published in a doujinshi that had a circulation of about 2000 to having his creation turned into a multi-million dollar series.
A great example of how good things always happen around folks who focus on what they are passionate about.
Watched the first cut of EP1 from the second Afro Samurai season on their huge screen.
I met Eric at Promax Asia a few weeks back in Singapore - hes in Tokyo for a few weeks before flying back to LA. Look forward to seeing more awesome stuff from him soon - and more cute interns like Samurai Girl.
The view from Okazaki-sensei's apartment.
Some Afro Samurai goodies from sensei.