Sunday, November 18, 2007
Pokemon, Masakazu Kubo, Monster, Naoki Urasawa, Japanamerica, anime and manga
Last night I was blessed to appear in downtown Tokyo with Pokemon Executive Producer, Shogakukan editor and creative designer, Tokyo Anime Center founder and director, committee member for the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) and the Tokyo Anime Fair (TAF)--Mr. Masakazu Kubo. Together we addressed members and guest of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators at the behest of director Holly Johnson.
Kubo-san is now involved in the development of a feature film of Naoki Urasawa's MONSTER manga series. Responding to certain questions, he urged audience members to "read Roland's book," Japanamerica. He believes I got it right--which is a considerable relief to me, as he is one of the book's key voices.
Meanwhile, it appears that Chinese and/or Chinese-Americans are helming several Hollywood versions of manga and anime titles. James Wong will direct the upcoming Dragonball Z live action film, starring Justin Chatwin and James Marsters. Joseph Chou is co-producing several Hollywood projects, and John Woo produced Shinji Aramaki's Appleseed: Ex Machina.
Question is: Are the Japanese losing out again? Will the Chinese scoop the spotlight, not to mention the big bucks, off Japanese originals?