Hello Anime!
Emru Townsend · From fps #8 · June 20, 2006 | The documentary Hello Anime! had three pretty ambitious goals: to uncover the history of anime in North America, to explain its appeal, and to look at where it is now and where it might be going. The result is a two-hour, two-DVD set crammed with interviews that almost, but not quite, succeeds; a final product that is essential yet doesn't fulfill its stated mission.

Hello Anime!
Directed by Manuel Stagars and George Fick
Gokaza, 2005
120 minutes

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The discs are divided thematically between the art of anime ("Interviews with the creators") and the business of anime ("Interviews with the industry titans"). They're also divided by location, as all of the second disc's interviews take place at the 2005 Anime Expo convention held in Anaheim, California.

The first disc's definition of "creator" is a bit elastic. To pick four examples, Cindy Yamauchi is the producer of the American release of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure; Masahiro Kimura is an animator, illustrator and designer who has worked on Video Girl Ai, Battle Angel Alita and Gungrave; Scott Haile is an art director and game designer who has worked for Sega, Sanrio, Atari and Sony; Tatsuya Hayashi works in A&R (artists and repertoire, essentially talent acquisition and production) for Domo Records, with the Steamboy and Metropolis soundtracks to his credit. The final effect is a good one: by mixing it up between the Japanese and American anime industries and getting opinions from people coming from different fields, the viewer ends up with a mosaic of the anime industry and the forces that drive it here.

Want to read the rest of this review?

You'll find it and many other articles in the June 2006 issue of fps, available for only $1.49 US.
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