The Creator of “Gundam” Reveals the Secret of His Creation Just Before His 80th Birthday | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The Creator of “Gundam” Reveals the Secret of His Creation Just Before His 80th Birthday

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“I will continue to defy the times.

Mr. Tomino’s talk was fast and furious, and he answered questions one after another without hesitation. This magazine was overwhelmed by his youthfulness. ……

“If I hadn’t been working in animation, I might have become a criminal (laughs). When I was in the first year of junior high school, I once chased my mother around with a knife. I am such an impulsive person. I think I was able to save my life by putting my impulses into my work and not going to jail.

So confesses Yoshiyuki Tomino, director of “Mobile Suit Gundam” and many other masterpieces in the world of animation. He will celebrate his 80th birthday on November 5 this year.

In recent years, the Gundam series based on Mr. Tomino’s works has created a new whirlwind. Mobile Suit Gundam: Senko no Hathaway,” a novel written by Tomino, was made into a movie by Shukoh Murase, and grossed over 2 billion yen at the box office. He is also the general director of the five-part film version of “G no Reconguista,” of which the third part, “Legacy from Space,” has already been released. In 2010, three new Gundam works are scheduled to be released by different creators.

I’m very happy that the world of Gundam is spreading like this, but will this be enough to beat “Blade of the Demon” and “Eva”? No, I feel that we need to be determined to win. Nowadays, Gundam is becoming a content that is cutting into the Asian region and other parts of the world. This is a kind of war in which Gundam is going global.

Mr. Tomino’s works are known for their foresight. The aforementioned “Senko no Hathaway” is a novel about the struggle of terrorists, even though it was written about 30 years ago. It seems to foresee the world after the 9.11 attacks.

“When I was writing the book, the Cold War was coming to an end. At that time, I thought that even if the Cold War ended, weapons would remain. I thought that the weapons would be passed on to other countries and guerrilla warfare would be waged by those who were entrenched in ideologies. That’s the natural course of events if you have an accurate grasp of the history of war.

In “Senko no Hathaway,” the main character is executed at the end of the story, which is also a natural consequence. There should be no terrorism in the real world. It is natural to be judged. How can you say, “Long live the evil hero! There is no way I can say that. That’s how I’ve consistently portrayed Char Aznable. And yet, there are those who argue that the ideal boss is Char, which is a problem for me (laughs).

On the other hand, “G no Reconguista”, which depicts the world about 2000 years after “Mobile Suit Gundam”, shows a further prediction. In “G no Reconguista,” which takes place about 2000 years after “Mobile Suit Gundam,” even more foresight is shown: the use of space elevators to transport goods, energy compression technology, and candy balls that can replenish a day’s worth of water.

In “G no Reconguista,” we have an economic theory that has never been seen in robot animation before. The reason why I persistently introduced the space elevator is because resources can only be transported if there is transportation between Earth and space. The world is established because of those resources, and people can live there. …… I wanted you to know the principle of it. This is exactly how I feel about the hydration candy balls. I’m a coward, so I think that if I were in a cockpit without a water bottle, I would die in a few hours.

This time, I installed a toilet in the cockpit of the mobile suit because I urinate so often that I have to go to the bathroom every 15 minutes (laughs). (laughs) All the devices and contraptions I draw are things that are necessary when assuming that people will live in space. It would have been unacceptable for me to draw the world without them.

What are your plans for the new work?

Tomino directs his works with an overwhelming sense of insight and reality. Tomino, who directs his works with overwhelming insight and reality, says that from his perspective, the real world today seems somewhat distorted.

“Looking at the commotion from the announcement of the prime minister’s resignation to the LDP presidential election, there is a lack of a realistic perspective that people are suffering from economic deprivation and dying of depression amidst the declared state of emergency due to the Corona disaster. And, taking advantage of some populism, they are not afraid to mention the Emperor System and the revision of the Constitution. The Constitution was created by our forefathers with a lot of blood on their hands. I feel that such basic thinking is missing.

This is not only a problem for politicians. I feel that many people today are becoming foolish. The Internet has given us access to a vast amount of knowledge, but it has also given us the ability to scoop up only the surface layer of wisdom. I call this the “foolishness of knowledge. I want to fight against this situation, even if only a little. The old man should say what he has to say firmly.

On the verge of turning 80 years old, his sharp tongue, analytical mind, and creative spirit show no signs of slowing down.

I have a plan for a new work after “G no Reconguista. But I don’t know if it will come true. I’m a person with narrow interests, so I think I’ll have to go with ‘Tomino of Gundam’ for the rest of my career. But I am happy just to have that crown. Right now, my daily routine is to do Radio Gymnastics No. 1 every morning. As long as I can kick the earth and walk on it, I want to do everything I can to show it.

Mr. Tomino is currently hard at work on the fourth part of the theatrical version of “G no Reconguista.

In the studio of the animation production company Sunrise. Mr. Tomino is working on his new work here.
Tomino in 1961, when he was a first-year university student. At the camp of the broadcasting club he was a member of.
From the film version of “G no Reconguista” “Legacy from Space,” for which Mr. Tomino is the general director.

Tomino Yoshiyuki

Born in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1941. Animation film director and author. Graduated from Nihon University College of Art. Worked for Mushi Production before going freelance. Major works include “Triton of the Sea,” “Invincible Superhero Zambot 3,” “Mobile Suit Gundam,” and “The Legend of Ideon. Currently, the theatrical version of “G no Reconguista” (5 parts) is being sequentially released.

From the October 22-29, 2021 issue of FRIDAY

  • Interview and text Yukinori Otani Director of Photography Hiroyuki Komatsu

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