NTP Exclusive: Interview with Kenji Kamiyama

19 Nov , 2012,
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We caught up with Kenji Kamiyama on the second day of AFA12 and we got a chance to plumb the mind of the man who’s wowed anime lovers around the world with seminal titles like Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Eden of the East.

Kamiyama-san at the 009 RE: CYBORG booth at AFA12.

The acclaimed director was in town to promote his latest works – 009 RE: CYBORG, a fully 3D re-imagining of  the 1960s classic, and Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. Solid State Society in 3D. The animated movies will air in Singapore later in the year, and fans can be sure they’ll be in for a visual treat paired with a compelling storyline – both Kamiyama-san’s trademarks.

In this interview, we talk to Kamiyama-san about his thoughts on the anime industry. He also has some advice for aspiring anime scriptwriters and directors.

Edric: Kamiyama-san, storytelling has always been one of your strongest points. How do you feel about creating complex stories?

Kamiyama-san: First of all, there is a main story and there are sub stories. The sub stories are constructed around the main story. This leads to the audiences getting various interpretations from the movie.

Edric: How do you feel about the anime industry today? The viewers are usually fed with the same narrative.

Kamiyama-san: The anime industry will always try to satisfy the majority of the fans. The industry itself tries follows the fashion. That is why there will always be a replication of the same trend. On the other hand, there are some good works coming in amongst those works. I believe that there is still a variety of animations.

Edric: Will there still be a market for complex stories?

Kamiyama-san: I believe there is a mainstream and there are some like myself. Anime fans are getting older. Especially for those who watch Ghost in the Shell. People who follow Ghost in the Shell demand higher quality animation. At the same time, there are mature and senior viewers who want to watch such animations. I think there is still a market for such animations.

Edric: After 009 RE:Cyborg, will there be another Ghost in the Shell sequel?

Kamiyama-san: I have realized that there are so many people from around the world who are fans of Ghost in the Shell. Many people are asking me to make a 3rd season. Currently, the contents and production is about timing. If there is a good time, for me, there might be a possibility of a 3rd season for Ghost in the Shell. I will like to work on another sequel.

Edric: Are there any advice you will give to people who are inspired to create their own stories after watching Ghost in the Shell?

Kamiyama-san: I hope that people should make their own films as directors and creators. This way, they can put their own originality into their films. To make a film is quite tough as many people are involved in a single project. It is tough for the director to put his or her own personal message and/or originality. Still, I hope that someone can come up with their own original script and direct it himself. I am rooting for them.

Edric: Will you be creating another one?

Kamiyama-san: In the future, I would like to create another animation where I am both the storyteller and director. Eden of the East is the only work that I have worked on both the story and direction. In the future, I would want to produce more of such films.