Despite using the “Schoolgirl Milky Crisis’ name to avoid legal action, has anyone from the industry figured out you were talking about them?
So far, only two. But they were both rather flattered by it. It’s one of the reasons I maintain anonymity now, even though I am freer in NEO magazine to say whatever I want. A lot of creators are surrounded by an orbiting cloud of busybodies who want something to complain about to justify their jobs. But these days, even people who recognise themselves get to laugh about it with plausible deniability. And on several occasions, someone has come up to me and said: “I want you to put this in your column, because I have had enough of…. x.” That’s “X” the undefined problem, not “X” the famous manga series by Clamp.
Schoolgirl Milky Crisis isn’t malicious. It just tells the kind of stories that I think improve everyone’s understanding of how the Japanese business works. Many Japanese corporations want to control all news, they want everything to be a press release. I think the anime business makes a lot more sense when you hear about what goes on behind the scenes.
There were several articles that Newtype USA refused to print because they were too close to the bone. Of course, I’ve included most of them in the book as well.
What are some of your favourite anime films and TV series?
You’d be surprised how much of a loaded question that is. Despite having more than three thousand to choose from, there’s always someone who gets on my case if I mention something that’s too old, or too new, or too fan-friendly, or too obscure. But I’ve gone on record in the past saying that my favourite anime ever is the original Gunbuster, an everyday tale of kamikaze schoolgirl robot pilots. I love it not just for the affection that its makers have for the anime medium, but also for its position in anime history. The makers went on to make Evangelion, which changed the face of anime (and people still get on my case for saying that, as well), and the series is suffused with a passion and a sense of purpose that has been very deliberately lifted from WW2 movies.
And I also have a soft spot for Momotaro’s Divine Sea Warriors, a 1945 propaganda movie in which an army of Japanese animals fight evil British ogres.