In a recent special exhibition sponsored by Hokkaido Shimbun, Yoshiyuki Tomino, creator of the Gundam franchise talked about how Japan is no longer an advanced country when it comes to the production of anime.
Director Tomino openly stated that “I would like you to recognize that Japan is no longer an advanced anime country. Nevertheless, the media and the business world should be aware of it.”
Tomino revealed that the animation industry is in a critical situation now with the evolution of digital technology. He mentioned that amongst the regions other than Japan, Beijing, really felt like a threat.
The director pointed out that the trend of animation has changed. China, as a nation, provides considerable support to the anime world. On the other hand, Japanese politicians are still living in the past like they did 30 or 40 years ago.
“There is a sense of crisis that Japan will lose completely to those in Beijing if they are making anime from a business-oriented perspective. But I didn’t mean to send salt to them who came to listen to my lecture, and I didn’t want to lose to them.,” he told Hokkaido Shimbun.
He went to give a lecture at Peking University 10 years ago, and the number of responses he received comparing the animation environment globally at that time, was overwhelming. Later, after 10 years, most of those attendees have grown up to be professionals in the industry.
“I gave a lecture at Peking University 10 years ago, and the number of people who gathered there, such as anime clubs, was considerable. After 10 years, they became professionals. The scary thing is that a prestigious intellectual called Peking University has entered the world of animation.,” said Tomino.
“The World of Tomino Yoshiyuki: Gundam, Ideon, and Now”, is a special exhibition held at the Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art in Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Japan from Nov 17, 2021- Jan 23, 2022. It traces 57 years of Yoshiyuki Tomino‘s career.
The exhibition showcases examples of his sketches, drawings, and more from his early years working on Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy series at the Mushi Production animation studio to recent works.
Included in the show are storyboards, design pieces by Yoshiyuki’s fellow creators, original sketches, the lyrics of theme songs for various anime he directed, and a novel about the world of Tomino’s animations.