Katsuhiro Otomo created the now classic Akira manga. He brought that to the screen as a groundbreaking anime. And Otomo is not interested in making a sequel.
In a Japanese TV interview earlier this summer, Otomo talked about his latest effort, the anime Short Peace. Otomo also talked about why he continued to produce varied projects. His experience on Akira seems to have influenced his decision not to repeat himself.
After working on the manga for eight years, Otomo directed the Akira anime, but also found himself doing more than just directing. “I was always correcting poorly executed key frames,” he said, adding that it was like he didn’t know anymore what his job was: doing his own work or fixing other people’s. “It’s not something I really want to remember,” he added.
“That’s the way it goes when everything gets tough,” he added. “It’s inevitable that drawing is no longer fun.” Otomo said he thought this was perhaps where his desire to work on new projects came from. This attitude, in turn, keeps things fresh for him. That hasn’t exactly made things easy for Otomo, as fans often want more of the same. He said wryly, “Each time I always come up with a new project, and everyone generally rejects it.”
“You all want me to do Akira 2, right? I’m not going to do it, however,” he said with a laugh.
Akira, of course, is a landmark manga and anime that helped define a generation and even influence Hollywood films like The Matrix. For years, the movie industry has been trying to turn it into a feature film.
According to Otomo, “it can’t be helped” that he wants to work on new things. He explained that years are spent working on these projects. “That’s why I think it’s good to attempt something new,” he said. And while the fans might be content with more Akira, Otomo’s work shows what he’s content doing.
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