Location: Anime NYC
Interview Date: 11/17/2018
Anime Herald: Were you happy with the 5.1 channel theatrical sound in the theatrical release of Kase-san and Morning Glories?
Takuya Satō: Yes. Quite satisfied.
Anime Herald: Were the audience reactions different between here (Anime NYC) vs. Los Angeles (Anime Expo)?
Yusuke Terada: [There were] some small differences. We generally felt both audiences found the film quite powerful.
Anime Herald: Are you planning any other theatrical releases of a similar style?
Takuya Satō: Yes, but they have not been publicly announced. There are a lot of things I would like to do. Ask me again next year.
Anime Herald: YouTube was instrumental in getting Kase-San and Morning Glories produced. Do you see that potentially happening again with any future projects?
Takuya Satō: Maybe. It depends on which anime can get a positive reaction on YouTube. Sometimes it works well. Sometimes it doesn’t work. This time it worked very well.
Anime Herald: Mr. Sato, you have an unusual resume in that you’ve done pretty much every job in the industry. What led you to performing so many different roles?
Takuya Satō: Everything I have done was with the goal of becoming a director. As a director, I have to perform a lot of different roles. It was always my goal to become a director.
Anime Herald: When did you decide this is what you wanted?
Takuya Satō: High school.
Anime Herald: Were there any particular anime that inspired you to pursue a career in directing anime?
Takuya Satō: I was inspired by Haha wo Tazunete Sanzenri (3,000 Leagues in Search of Mother). Kenji Miyazawa’s Nokto de la Galaksia Fervojo (Night on the Galactic Railroad), as well. (He showed me that he keeps a picture of Night on the Galactic Railroad on his phone.) The music for the movie was fantastic.
Anime Herald: Have your experiences at Anime Expo and now Anime NYC changed your views of the American audience?
Takuya Satō: There are a lot of different audiences. Some are quite “hot,” some are quite “cold.” (Editor’s note: In context he may have been saying that some audiences are quite emotional, and others are more cerebral. That was the impression that I got from his facial expressions when he responding to the question.)
Anime Herald: When we spoke in Los Angeles, you planned on hitting up a theater and enjoying the American experience. What are your plans for New York?
Takuya Satō: I’ve been enjoying the sunsets. They’ve been beautiful.
Anime Herald: Do you have any questions for us?
Takuya Satō: I didn’t even think about that! What is your favorite Anime?
Anime Herald: Baccano! It was like New York and America the way my grandparents described it. A very exciting place. The reality was a bit grimmer and grittier, of course.
Takuya Satō: That’s a great experience. As an anime director the American audience, like yourself, is very desirable. I’m jealous. *Laughing*
Yusuke Terada: As a producer, the most difficult part of my job is raising money.
Anime Herald: (Laughs)
Yusuke Terada: To make a successful presentation in front of multiple corporations is quite difficult. We need to have some idea how to promote the movie. In Japan we expect the anime that will be popular in America will be action. That’s the general thought. We’re wondering if American audiences would like this kind of story.
Anime Herald: The anime that succeed in America are the ones that explode on Twitter. Attack on Titan was big on Twitter. Yuri!!! on ICE was enormous on Twitter. Food Wars has anime stills of key animation that seem perfectly designed to be posted on Twitter.
At this point the interview went off the record. Mostly, it involved sharing cat photos.
Thanks to Anime NYC for making this interview possible. Special thanks to Pony Canyon, Takuya Satō and Yusuke Terada