Mishizuma Strikes Back


……And The Demotivators Aren’t The Only Thing That Are Getting People Demotivated Where It’s Concerned Either

Okay, well demotivators have nothing to with it really, I just needed an opener.  What we’re….or rather Hajime Yatate is talking about is the negativity in online communities, you know the variety I like to mention from time to time.  Don’t take it from me though since apparently I don’t actually need to try and speak for Gundam’s producers anymore and am sick of playing the Superior Defender role anyway, take it from the director himself who has taken the task of defending his teams work upon himself  by checking out the comments he made in an interview with Dengeki Business Online. 

Sankaku Complex the unofficial hub of all things Japanese (including the unsettling underground aspect of the culture) was courteous enough to give us the low down on the interview where Mishizuma talked about the “knee-jerk reactions” against Gundam 00 that you often find on the internet that are (were?) getting the staff down a little and demotivating their efforts.  Though I have to wonder, if the latest episodes have been the result of low morale efforts then I can only wonder at what high morale Gundam 00 is like.  Mishizuma would do well to shut that stuff out from the offices so his team can work at full capacity, but I digress.

What get’s me most about the interview is how strikingly accurate he seems to be, at least from my point of view, about what motivates the 2ch anti poster types in making their disparaging remarks about anything that is considered popular and also his noting that there is a difference between criticism and prejudice, which I’ve often made an effort to point out as well.  He also chose to use the term “anti-popular” instead of anti-Gundam 00 in a bid that I think allows him to escape from playing the victim too much and also works as a good retort to some of the more unfair critics of the show.

Let’s just hope that 2ch can take at least 1% of what it dishes out in terms of negativity and criciticm on a regular basis and that there isn’t a huge blow up that causes Mishizuma to lose his job ala Takami Akai.  The why I see his commentary during the interview was a classy and fairly insightful response from a director that is under a lot of pressure compared to the more blunt “anus” remark made by Akai in regards to Gurren Lagann’s 4th episode that was less then a mature response  for a professional individual.  Keep it real Mishizuma-san and keep up the good work as well.


15 Responses to “Mishizuma Strikes Back”

  1. 1 ghostlightning December 28, 2008 at 1:43 am

    While it’s one thing to be disappointed in a show when it doesn’t meet expectations it set for itself, I clearly can’t support the prejudice and hatred that often issues from imageboards.

    >>think the approach of not simply watching the show for enjoyment, but rather to criticize it from the very beginning is something that is especially noticeable on the Internet. On the medium of the Internet, the sentiments of animosity towards major works is very strong, I feel.

    -from the interview

    This (the phenomenon he talks about) to me is inauthentic, and we’d do well I think to stay away from such discourse, as it’s the kind of noise that can get in the way of our enjoyment of a show.

    I am disappointed in Gundam 00 too, but I remind myself to take responsibility for my own expectations, and that others may not feel the same way. Lastly, the show isn’t quite over yet, so I’m very open to the possibility that it’ll wow me again (beyond the mecha battles).

  2. 2 Kaioshin Sama December 28, 2008 at 6:23 am

    @GL: Well obviously I’m anything but dissappointed with G00 and I don’t think you’ve ever shared what it is about the show that makes it difficult for you to get into. I’d be interested to know though since I’m sure the reason is fair. Also the phenomenen he speaks of does indeed occur on such forums as 2ch which is known for it’s large anti-thread community where the sole goal is to rage, coherently or not, on a variety of popular topics. Remember that thing about Kannagi? Mamoru Miyano’s marriage announcement? I’d suggest reading up on them as two of the most recent 2ch events that got back too and had an effect on the anime industry and it’s representatives. In some ways I actually wish Mishizuma was on about nothing but much of what he said is a sad reality if a touch exagerrated to include the whole internet.

    I’ll say one thing though no Gundam director since Tomino himself has been quite so brutally honest about his job. Fukuda would have probably brown nosed through the whole interview swear to god. Mishizuma’s sentiment is healthy though and seems to indicate he is concerned about but won’t let fans influence the show to the degree they did with Seed Destiny.

  3. 3 sadakups December 29, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Seems like it has gotten to Mizushima and his staff, all those senseless hate his work gets. Maybe he’s been reading blogs made by KyoAni-tards, loli-lovers and Sunrise haters, who tends to bash any other show that is not their favorite. And we have some SEEDers that don’t like Gundam 00 because it’s not like SEED.

    My message to the director is that he and his staff take those “knee-jerk criticisms” as a way to make Gundam 00 better. If anything, I hope he doesn’t change Gundam 00’s production despite that. You can’t please everybody, as the cliche goes, but know that some actually like it.

    As far as 38 episodes are concerned, it’s still good. My only worry is that 12 episodes seem a bit short to end things properly, but let’s see what he’ll do.

  4. 4 Kaioshin Sama December 29, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    @Sadakups: ….but I’m a loli-lover. 😦 Anyway, he won’t change production, he’s not a total panderer like Fukuda….even if he strangely resembles him in appearance. And yeah, 12 episodes doesn’t seem like a lot of time, but with Memento Mori down and Ribbons probably forced to play a newer more deadly final card, if the writers in turn play their cards right they can make the next 12 episodes the end game ones and handle everything that needs to be handled in a decent amount of time to give room for closure aka Turn A and Gundam 00 season 1. Though there’s always the chance they go the usual Gundam/Sunrise route (I mean you have to admit, they love their open endings) and have the final minute get used as the wrap up and have a vague ending that forces the viewer to interpret the preceding events.

    There’s quite a few scores to settle and motivations to clear up though (mostly for Ribbons) so after the break we’ll hopefully see Ali and Graham/Mr. Bushido back in the fray.

  5. 5 ghostlightning December 29, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    @ Kaioshin

    In my view, it could be a directorial thing:

    In many many sequences, I’ll watch Allelujah or other Meisters do something awesome with their Gundams, and the immediate scene afterward is a close-up of sorts of Marie or Sumeragi or other Meisters (not to mention Saji, Marina, and to a far less extent Louise) either:

    a) looking down
    b) staring into space

    (may or may not involve some voiced-over introspection)

    In both cases the characters are nursing a/their melancholy.

    I think each character’s internal conflict can be established in far fewer scenes, and we no longer have to be reminded of their emotional turmoil. The show I think plays Sergei (and Shirin) well, but the others’ introspection/melancholy scenes I find superfluous – and there’s just so many of them every episode.

    The second thing I find disappointing (even when I reasonably expected its volume, the intensity still gets to me) is the amount of crying and shouting (Saji, and Allelujah in his arc). Once is enough. Season 1 was enough set-up already.

    The lack of ability for the emotional scenes to inspire genuine emotional empathy makes for the vulnerability of the show to be lampooned, panned, and dismissed. Unfortunate, because there’s nothing wrong with the internal conflicts of each character, they are interesting. How these are communicated to me via the show is where it breaks down.

    Macross Frontier dropped the ball almost completely in this area as well, especially with the Ranka character (particularly depressing because she’s my favorite). They saved something through Alto and Sheryl – which are good emotional treatments relative to the franchise, but not in the same league as the example below (imo):

    I see all of this done very well in Xam’d: Lost Memories. There is a similar amount of melancholy, anguish, temporary amnesia, and introspection (there’s even far less action, and no cool mecha – the biological stuff …just aren’t Gundams lol). However, I feel they almost always hit the resonant emotional note. The dialogue is top-notch.

    These are my considerations Kaio, I’ve mentioned something relevant (I think) in my comment in your Tytania post as well. Thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt re the fairness of my considerations, ultimately they are arbitrary – but I assert that they come from a good place: love for Gundam.

  6. 6 ghostlightning December 29, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    Btw, it’s not that I’m not into 00, I just feel like I could get into it harder if not for my own disappointments. Fanboying hard is how I like it, as you may have noticed.

  7. 7 Solly Rushadale January 2, 2009 at 3:41 am

    Could you please post a link to the article?

  8. 8 Kaioshin Sama January 3, 2009 at 9:18 am

    @ghostlightning: Thanks for sharing. Gundam has actually had a long history of tending to focus more on the characters and their conflicts and relationships then it does the mobile suit action, unless of course there’s a major conflict going on.

    Usually you’ll get at least one light skirmish an episode, but it’s not abnormal for a Gundam series to go an episode’s length worth of time combined (as in the time between the ending portions of one episode and the point at which the next battle occurs in a latter episode) or more with nothing more then talking, thinking, planning and people making their power plays. That’s one of the things that has always drawn me to the franchise though and I’m sure as you see more of it you’ll come to get used to how it usually works.

    @Solly Rushdale: Highlight the section of text that says, “low down on the interview” and click. That’s where the hyperlink is.

  9. 9 ghostlightning January 3, 2009 at 11:48 am

    @ Kaioshin

    I’m well on my way, thank you. Turn A is good, I’m changing my opinions already. Despite what can appear as pressure, you actually gave me the space to discover my love for Gundam on my own terms. And I truly appreciate this. The 08th MS Team is also very good, as I’m 2/3s into it. Gundam 00 could have been as good, but hasn’t been – in the areas of portraying emotional/internal conflict. Michel from 08th is mighty annoying, but I find his story resonant and restrained/understated compared to Saji’s, and Allelujah’s.

    I’ll be forward too. I want your opinion on a post series I’ve started on WRL http://ghostlightning.wordpress.com/2008/12/31/tactics-are-sexy-the-battle-of-saturns-rings/

    If you think this is a worthy project, I formally request your help. I find myself inadequate to take on subject battles that are very interesting to me, but may be very easy for you (Solomon and A Baoa Qu primarily; I’ve reserved Code Geass’ Battle of Narita, and Macross’ last stand against Bodolle Zer for myself).

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