The more popular an anime director is, the more they tend to speak their minds. Hideaki Anno (Evangelion), Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away), and Yoshiyuki Tomino (Gundam) are all infamous for making their beliefs heard. However, while there is clear respect among each other, another iconic anime director doesn’t seem think too highly of them. In a recent interview on Pia, Patlabor and Ghost in the Shell director Mamoru Oshii made his opinions about other legendary anime directors known.
The interviewer asked Oshii if he has already seen Evangelion: 3.0+1.0: Thrice Upon A Time. The director admits he has not yet seen it, and says that Anno is now more of a producer these days than a director. Oshii says that while Anno is more engaged in the business side of anime, he himself is not. He also says that Anno’s works “lack a theme,” though he praised the visual aspects of Anno’s style, even though they have no theme underneath that style.
The opinionated anime director also says that “expressions are different from theme.,” Oshii would then add that he is much more like Anno’s own mentor, Hayao Miyazaki, as both are more old school, always thinking about what to express in their works. He also admits that he makes anime do he can “pick a fight with society”. The Ghost in the Shell director also admitted that he thinks Miyazaki is the same as him, even if he claims that he is making movies for kids to enjoy.
Other noteworthy anime directors also did not escape Oshii’s opinions, including Mamoru Hosoda (Wolf Children) and Makoto Shinkai (your name.). He says that they are like Anno, as they both “lack a main theme”. He admits that he cannot feel their motivation for making movies at all.
The legendary anime director did admit that his comments about Anno are “necessary criticism”. However, Oshii did also admit that no matter what Anno does, he would always remain true to himself. The real question is whether one can accept his approach to making anime or not. He also recalled a previous conversation he had with Anno, stating that he thinks that the Evangelion creator wanted an “upward trajectory”.
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