Questions from the Big Giant Heads (Part One)

As promised, the first part of the ‘the all encompassing answers to every question I’ve ever been asked…probably’.

What was your inspiration behind the ‘Schoolgirl Milky Crisis’ name?

I think it was about 2003 at Newtype USA. I was writing something about a Japanese show and knew I couldn’t name it truthfully, because people would get into trouble. So, instead, I came up with a stupid title for a non-existent show. It was one of several. I think we also had Devil Devil Beast Beast, My Girlfriend is a Wolfgirl, Geek Gets Girls, and something called Pointless Harem Boy, which for some reason Newtype refused to use!

Japanese TV shows often have strange titles, ironically because that makes them sound exotic and foreign and cool to local audiences. American TV shows all gained long, unwieldy descriptive titles in translation, in an attempt to explain to the audience what was coming. So you had shows with titles like Great Battle in Space STAR TREK, Seven Lawyers LA LAW, and My Wife is a Witch BEWITCHED.

When did you first become aware of anime and was there a particular film/tv series which sparked your interested?

For any anime fan, there are usually two answers to that question. One is the name of the anime that I first recognised as Japanese, and sought out because it was Japanese. That was Akira, by Katsuhiro Otomo, back in the 1980s. But with an interest in anime comes the realisation that many of one’s childhood favourites were also made in Japan. In my case, Battle of the Planets, Ulysses 31, The Mysterious Cities of Gold, and Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds.

What made you decide to start writing articles about the anime industry?

Surprisingly few people write about the anime industry. They’ll write about shows they like, and summarise plots, and talk about their favourite characters, but when it comes to the actual Business, the nitty-gritty of who’s shafted whom, who ripped off whose artwork, who drowns puppies for fun, that sort of thing, it’s still kept surprisingly quiet. The Japanese don’t like it discussed in print, so very little of it makes it over to the West. So when I had a chance, I took it!

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