The world premiere for Garden of Remembrance, Naoko Yamada‘s 17-minute movie at Science SARU, was being premiered at the Scotland Loves Anime festival in October this year, and Yamada was present at the event as a guest.
A couple of days before the festival, Yamada talked about Kyoto Animation, its style and how it compared to Science SARU, in an interview with Anime News Network.
Talking about KyoAni, Yamada said that the studio focused on portraying what a character was going through, treating them as beings with life. The aim wasn’t to create animation, according to A Silent Voice director, but more about bringing a character to life.
“At Kyoto Animation, I really learned how to portray human emotions, and what was going on in the characters’ minds and hearts. It wasn’t just an animation; it was more about how to portray what they were going through, as if they were real-life characters,” Yamada told ANN.
“The aim wasn’t to create an animation; it was more about how we could treat them as real beings, to create the real life,” she added.
Yamada’s role at the studio was to be a director of photography, capturing what the characters go through their life, and not be just an animator. This is what the studio explored, and this was the challenge that animators faced there.
Compared to Kyoto Animation, Yamada’s current studio, Science SARU had an approach which was in stark contrast with the former.
“When I worked on The Heike Story with Science SARU, the difference between the two studios was quite stark, because Science SARU really embraces the pleasure of making animation, everything is about being happy creating animation,” Yamada said. “So when I worked on The Heike Story, I consciously stopped becoming the camera person, almost. I did that again more consciously for Garden of Remembrance as well – it’s an evolution of what was done for The Heike Story.”
Yamada worked at Kyoto Animation till 2020, helming K-ON!, Tamako Market, A Silent Voice and Liz and the Blue Bird, before moving to Science SARU.
She has directed two anime, including one movie at her new workplace (The Heike Story, Garden of Remembrance) and is currently working on her next full length feature film.