From Patlabor to Ghost in the Shell, Mamoru Oshii is one of anime’s greatest directors. Yet, these days he’s switched over to live-action movies. He’s no longer interested in directing anime. Here’s why.
Looking at Oshii’s filmography, his early career is dominated by anime. However, his last anime project was in 2010, and that was a 12 minute short. Excluding that, since 2009, he’s largely busied himself with live-action films. (Previously, during the 1990s and 2000s, he would do both anime and live action.)
In a recent interview Oricon, the 64 year-old Oshii discussed why he doesn’t want to do anime.
“Making anime is also the world of the artisan,” Oshii explained. “I’m the kind who wants do my own part 120 per cent with perfection, but because if I’m allowed to do that, the whole work will head towards ruin, so I think 90 per cent is OK.” Meaning? Oshii pushes himself hard to make the best work he can within whatever constraints there are.
“However,” Oshii continued, “the number of people within this country able to work with such high precision is less than five per cent. The younger generation is more individualistic, and while the world appreciates how good their art has become, they’re unable to do exhausting work like their older predecessors. The biggest reason why I’ve stopped making anime is because the people who I can do [anime] with are disappearing.”
Oshii added that if you look at all the artisans working in the anime industry, the older type of animator he wants to work with are nearly gone.
Shame he doesn’t want to do anime, but at least he, and his collaborators, have given us scenes like this.