Following this year’s Anime Japan event, the Chief Animation Director of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable, Terumi Nishii, took to Twitter to express her concern regarding the lack of presence of animation staff at the event.
Terumi was saddened by the fact that there were only voice actors present during the Anime Japan event.
She was of the opinion that the power of anime shouldn’t just be about voice actors, but on anime as a whole, meaning it should regard all of the staff that worked on it equally.
Anime isn’t just about the power of voice actors, I want it to be the power of anime. I went to AnimeJapan today and it was sad because there were only voice actors.I would like to see more staff from the animation industry get involved. I wish they would do autograph sessions like they do at overseas events.
In order to raise the status of the animation staff, those working on the frontlines should get out there and talk about the work. However, according to her, there aren’t much opportunity for that in Japan, the home of anime, like that of overseas.
In fact, Terumi expressed that she is very sure the anime audience must have never seen the creators speak on any kind of stage events or panel discussions, other than the voice actors, who are present in all of them.
She said that it would be fun to see the voice actors having a dialogue with the on-site staff at events. It includes conversations, not just with the director, but also the other crew members and production staff so that the fans can get a deeper understanding of the work.
“It would be fun to see how everyone works together to create a work of art,” Terumi said in the tweet.
She further clarified her statement saying that it was not about whether the voice actors were superior or inferior to the production staff, but rather giving the staff the opportunity speak at the events as they have spent more time with the anime, and naturally will have more insights to provide.
This would also motivate the staff to stay at the top of their game, according to her.
I’m not saying that the voice actors are above or below the production staff, but the production staff spends a lot of time with the work. Each episode takes two months just for the drawing. Including pre-production, it takes nearly three years to finish airing. What do you know about a work if you don’t mention the on-site staff who spend their entire lives working on it?
I fear that the quality of new creators continues to decline because of this. Because people don’t know what we in the field are thinking about when we are making animation. It seems that there is neither a place to train nor a place to talk.Nishii Terumi on Twitter
In response to Terumi’s tweet, netizens pointed out that animation staff don’t have the same face value as that of voice actors and most of them aren’t even trained on how to speak. This will make it difficult for them to interact in such events.
Terumi however was of the opinion that even if the staff chose not to speak, it would be good if they got the exposure they needed, even if it meant they were just signing the merchandise.
All the stage events at AnimeJapan 2023, which was held on 25-28 March 2023, predominantly hosted more voice actors in comparison to the production staff members. The event attracted over 100,000 attendees over the course of the weekend.
AnimeJapan is a Japanese anime consumer show held for the first time at the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition center in Tokyo, in March 2014. It was created from the merger of the Tokyo International Anime Fair with the Anime Contents Expo.
It is organized by the AnimeJapan Executive Committee with support from The Association of Japanese Animations and The Association of Manga Publishers.
Terumi is currently working as a freelance animator, after previously being affiliated with Studio Cockpit. She has held staff positions in DARLING in the FRANXX, Death Note, Jujutsu Kaisen 0, Knights of the Zodiac: Saint Seiya, among others.