Interview
Eiko Tanaka
Shoji Kawamori's Shanghai Dragon, from Genius Party. © Beyond C
Tanaka criticized some of the existing animation in Japan.

"Now, many of the animations are turning into something like "moving comic books". On the other hand, real animation made with the original methods are decreasing. For example there was a short animation film about a stone, rolling up a hill. Yes, just rolling up a hill from the beginning to end. But the audience somehow got empathy from the stone that was just rolling up the hill. That's something you can only do with animation, and that's a very special power of this art form. I want to make Genius Party as a very attractive film filled with the characteristics of real animations. After all, the animated films are the products. It means that they have to have saleable contents. That is one of the reasons that many of the animation films are based on popular comic books. It is also true that the brilliant pieces are made based on comic book stories. So it becomes even tougher to create something original that is more attractive than the comic book-based products."

However Tanaka worries if we rely too much on easier sales methods the animations might lose a certain radiance. Making what the creators really desire to make and making something that can only be made through animation are the two most important policies that Studio 4°C has been focusing on. These policies are the source of the radiance of the films produced by Studio 4°C, and have captured many fans of animation. Of course for Eiko Tanaka, coming this far while maintaining her vision has been very difficult, harder even than rolling a stone up a hill.
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