Anime Director Brands Violence and Eroticism as the Reason for Anime’s Success

In recent years, animation studios have grown increasingly open to featuring violence and NSFW content, driven by fans’ desire for faithful adaptations of manga without censorship. While studios that avoid censorship often receive praise, the inclusion of controversial themes can sometimes result in anime being banned in certain countries. A prominent anime director recently shared in an interview that the current success of anime is, in part, due to the incorporation of such mature content.

CINRA, a famous Japanese website, interviewed Mamoru Oshii, a famous director, for 30 minutes during a Film Festival. In the interview, the director said that the anime industry is thriving today because of displaying violence and 18+ content.

Anime Director Brands Violence and Eroticism as the Reason for Anime's Success.

On 17 March 2023, the CINRA website posted the details of the 30-minute interview they conducted with the legendary director Mamoru Oshii. Mamoru Oshii has been working in the anime industry since the 1970s, and his most famous works include Ghost in a Shell Movie, Blood+, Blood The Last Vampire and many more! He has also been a mangaka in his early days, and some of his famous manga series include Seraphim: 266613336 Wings and Kerberos Panzer Cop. Here are some of the important points he talked about during the interview.

The Difference Between Artistic and Moneymaking Anime

The first question Mamoru Oshii was asked during the interview was his views on the difference between artistic anime and anime constructed to make money. Mamoru shared his view that there is a clear-cut difference between these two anime perspectives.

Artistic anime can never be used for commercial purposes, and only the people who enjoy art will cherish such anime. He said that artistic animation began in Europe and was started by individuals rather than large companies.

Commercial Anime Lacks Inspiration

Mamoru Oshii noted that commercial anime often features brief time-lapses due to the high production costs involved. He explained that creating a commercial anime TV series necessitates a team of 200 people, while a commercial anime film requires thousands of individuals working for nearly 2-3 years.

Additionally, Oshii mentioned that the budget for such projects can reach billions of dollars, with potential increases depending on the duration of the anime or TV series. This financial burden highlights the reality that commercial anime cannot be produced solely based on an author’s inspiration, resulting in a potential lack of creative spark.

World of Eroticism and Violence

Mamoru Oshii later described everything happening in the anime industry as a “world of eroticism and violence”. He said that most of the budget in animation goes to animating cute girls, robots, battles, fight scenes and related things, so anime is full of eroticism and violence, which has become its main selling point.

Upon saying this, he referenced his “eroticism and violence” statement, as it was initially said in the American Film “Pierrot Le Fou“. He later added that there might be a biasness in this statement according to the time or era we are living in. Still, the extract of commercial anime is ultimately “eroticism and violence.”

Commercial Anime and Current Trends

The director added to this point that commercial anime must always have the urge to make a profit, which will only be possible if they follow the current trends in the anime community. But still, even if artistic anime follow these two points, they can never be timeless and have an artistic message, which is the point where artistic anime excel. The director says there is a clear distinction between commercial and artistic anime beyond differences in media or consumer preferences.

He further mentions animators like Yuri Norshtéin, who always have a message in his works, and that is what makes his works eternal. He later mentions that movie series of the popular Mecha shows, like Neon Genesis Evangelion, were solely created for commercial purposes, which is why they can never be timeless.

Anime Director Brands Violence and Eroticism as the Reason for Anime's Success.

Artistic Anime Are More Appreciated in Europe

The director urged us to think why the fan-favourite movies like “Neon Genesis Evangelion” or “Mobile Suit Gundam” series never receive any awards or appreciation awards. He said that the artistic approach to media is more appreciated and preferred in big awards ceremonies like Annie Awards or Annecy Animated Film Festival.

The director later mentioned his “Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade” work as a commercial project. It was mentioned in the Annecy Animated Film Festival because it included some elements. He added that his project barely even made it to this award, which he was not sad about. That is the reason Europe appreciates artistic anime more than commercial anime!

Anime Director Brands Violence and Eroticism as the Reason for Anime's Success.

This interview was conducted with Mamoru Oshii as he will be featured as the first judge during the Niigata International Animation Film Festival. This film festival will be conducted later this year, and the purpose is to promote otaku culture for the future, irrespective of whether it is “artistic” or “commercial”. Kenta Terunuma interviewed Mamoru Oshii.

Also Read: Top 5 Anime Series With Controversial Endings

What are your thoughts on this interview? Do you also think artistic anime should be appreciated more than commercial anime? Let us know in the comments down below!

Source: CINRA

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