Conan & the Ratings

In a tongue-in-cheek reminiscence, Yasuhiko Tan, the NHK producer who greenlit Future Boy Conan over dozens of other possible projects, wrote of his interest in the show as if it were a deluded romance. Bewitched by the charms of the original offer, and over-awed by the appearance of the pilot episode, he alluded to the progress of his “relationship” as he continued to throw support behind a project that fell behind and became too big to fail, only to snatch disappointing ratings on broadcast.

“These days,” he wrote to Conan as if it were a fondly remembered ex, “people talk about you like you are the great anime masterpiece, but back then, your reputation, to be honest, wasn’t so good. The audience share didn’t meet up with people’s expectations, and I heard all sorts of stories. You know how difficult it is to hear bad things about the one you love, don’t you?”

Over at All the Anime, there’s an extract from Future Boy Conan: Miyazaki’s Directorial Debut, the book I’ve written with Andrew Osmond to accompany the UK release of the 1978 TV series.

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