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An Interview with Stuart Claw

Date: 2007 June 04 17:50

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From this Sunday anime fans with Sky in the UK will be be able to tune into Anime Network on Propeller TV (Channel 195). The slot runs from 8pm to 10pm, and currently consists of Coyote Ragtime Show, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Guyver and Elfen Lied. We sat down with one half of Anime Network UK's dynamic presenting duo Stuart Claw at the official launch, gazed rather too hard at the candles (and indeed Joe's camera flash) and took a look at the past, present and future of anime both in Stuart's life as a fan and the general future for wider anime community.

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Exclusive Otaku News Interview as follows:

The Past
It's probably best to start at the beginning, so we dove straight into the interview by predictably asking how Stuart got into anime. For Stuart it started with a babysitting job. The person he was babysitting for suggested that if he got bored after he put the kids to bed he could check out his anime collection. Needless to say he worked his way through a range of titles which included the original Guyver series. He was also extremely fond of classic TV aired animated series such as Thundercats, and the Mysterious Cities of Gold (which frankly we are too).

Stuart Claw

The Present
Stuart incidentally is still extremely fond of the Guyver and is keen about the new version Anime Network is showing. He's also been watching Elfen Lied, This Ugly yet beautiful world and everyone's favourite angst filled tweenage ninja show Naruto. He was also keen to highlight Noein, a series which he thinks has been massively overlooked and whose visuals he really admires. Those of you with keen eyes will have noticed the shows he listed were rather adult in tone which made the inclusion of Naruto in some ways surprising until we asked why he liked those series in particular. He told us he liked series that really grip him, good visuals are nice but what he really likes is plot.

Plot of course can be a tricky way of judging longer running series purely because many anime can have such different opening episodes to the rest of the series. Stuart gave us the perfect example of Full Metal Alchemist, which he admits he didn't like at first. It was only when he gave it another chance that he found it was really worth watching. He advises fans to give new anime a chance, to let the plot get going so that they can really get to the heart of the story.

The Future
Fans are an important part of the industry, Stuart describes it as being an embryonic state that needs to be natured. He does say even at this stage he was impressed at the response by fans both at events like London Expo and fan events such as Amecon. He cites cosplay as a visible example of this, and is amazed at the effort fans put in.

He warns that the Industry needs to remember that fans are at the core, and reminds fans that they have more manpower than before.

We also asked about the shady subject of importing. Stuart warns that it's inevitable, an that there will always be a gap from when a show appears in the US to when it appears in the global market place. He cites ADVs new commitment to download services as one solution, where shows like Air Gear are appearing much more quickly than traditional DVD counterparts.

Right now we're only at the start of Anime Network's life. What we wondered would Stuart fill those empty slots with once the current shows come to an end . if he was in charge? After some consideration he comes up with four titles; Madlax, This ugly yet beautiful world, Yugo: the Negotiator and Jinki Extend. Madlax he says is under appreciated, Yugu stands out because of it's international settings. He then pauses after confirming that he's listed four, and then adds Burn Up Excess for the soul reason of getting ADV's infamous jiggle counter on British TV.

Stuart will be revealing the hidden talent of his co-shost Emma on his show on DTRN radio on the 8th of May at 8pm.

Source: Otaku News
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