Date: 2013 July 27 16:38
Posted by Joe
It's not every day you meet an anime director, yet alone one from one of the most highly regarded anime series of all time. Thanks to good folks at Anime Limited we were able to catch up with Shinichiro Watanabe, who is best known as the director of Cowboy Bebop. He has also directed the hip-hop samurai mash-up Samurai Champloo and more recently the jazz anime Kids on the Slope.
We caught up with Shinichiro Watanabe at the May 2013 London MCM Comic Con. He was in town to promote the new release of Cowboy Bebop on Blu-ray along with the DVD and Blu-ray release of Kids on the Slope.
With a lot of your work music is an important element. Macross Plus features Sharon Apple and Pop Idol Music. Cowboy Bebop features lots of music and each episode. Samurai Champloo is infused with hip-hop and Kids on the Slope is all about Jazz. Would you say you're as much as a curator of good music as an anime director?
Yes, I think so! As a director if you're working with music you don't like it doesn't put you in the right mood so I always try to find the music that matches the work best. I'm always looking for new styles of music and new music to match to the work.
A lot of your work includes music collaborations with Yoko Kanno, what's she like to work with?
I really respect her work and she really understands what I'm trying to do, so it's very easy to work with her. Some people for example you need to go into a lot of detail when you explain to them the kind of thing you're trying to create. With Yoko I just say a few words and she understands what I'm saying, so it's really easy to work with her.
Are there any musicians you'd like to work with?
Lots! For the next TV series I want to collaborate with a lot of different artists and have it be like a compilation or an omnibus. I think there will be more than 10 artists involved.
Are you musical yourself?
I used to play the synthesiser, but I was useless. So now I just listen!
You've covered anime in alternate pasts, real life situations and futuristic Sci-fi. Is there any other genre / area of fiction you'd like to cover next?
There are lots of genres I'd like to work in, in the future. But one of the genres I'd most like to have a go at is a real western. A strange western!