Yasuhiro Imagawa is the fucking MAN. He’s a brilliant director, renowned for his care for the stories he writes and the perfectionism that he puts forth in all of his projects. Here are the top 5 reasons he’s worth driving all the way to Georgia to talk with for an hour or two at Anime Weekend Atlanta.
5. Imagawa has played director and scriptwriter to a good number of shows over a span of about twenty years. I haven’t had a chance to watch some of them, such as Nana Seven of Seven (on which he did pretty much everything), Souten no Ken (script), Violinist of Hamelin (srcipt), or the most recent Tetsujin 28 adaption (Directing and screenplay), however I can say that he did great work on some shows I have seen such as Berserk (script) and my favorite, the severely uknown cult hit Bartender (script).
4. Imagawa did Series Composition and Screenplay for Hatenkou Yuugi, another cult favorite (as all of his shows tend to be!) which has been renowned for having some of the best dialog in anime history. The anime was a 10-episode adaption of a 10-volume manga that pissed off fans of the manga by changing story elements, adapting random chapters with no real connecting plot, and generally being short. However, it grabbed a new fanbase on the greatness of it’s dialog, which saw the three main characters interacting in some of the most fun conversations you’ll likely have the pleasure of observing, along with Rahzel, one of the wittiest female leads to grace the face of shoujo manga. While it owes the basic nature of the characters and events to the manga, none would deny that Imagawa’s superb writing made the show as great fun as it was.
3. Let’s not forget, Imagawa has a show that’s on the air RIGHT NOW! Shin Mazinger Shougeki! Z-Hen on Television is Imagawa’s latest insane super robot anime, with the ‘insane’ part cranked up to eleven. The latest in Go Nagai‘s legendary Mazinger series, this anime kicks off like no other with far more than just a ‘bang’ and cranks into a series full to overflowing with epic fights, moving character drama, and pure, unbridled manliness. Just as it is incomparably wacky, it is incomperable awesome, as only Imagawa could have made it.
2. The Mobile Suit Gundam franchise is ordinarily credited and prided with inventing the ‘real robot’ genre, whereas mecha anime had always been about ‘super robots’ before, but when the time came to make a super robot Gundam series, Imagawa was at the helm to create Mobile Fighter G Gundam. Sure, there are a lot of really silly episodes, the plot is totally out there, and a whole lot of really hilariously weird shit can happen, but that all adds to the charm of what is undoubtedly one of the most epic and manly giant robot shows around. Imagawa’s usual spectacular flair and taste for super robot shows is all there, and this show burns with enough manly passion and fighting spirit to burn brighter than a brilliant supernova! THIS HAND OF MINE IS BURNING RED! IT’S LOUD ROAR TELLS ME TO GRASP VICTORY! BAAAAAAKUNETSU! GOOOOOODOOOOO FINGAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!! …*ahem*, sorry.
1. And then there was Giant Robo, arguably Imagawa’s Magnum Opus. The seven episode OVA that Imagawa created, wrote, and directed came out over the course of nearly 10 years due to Imagawa’s perfectionist touch, and it’s worth for that time shines. Part moving character drama, ensemble vocal smorgasbord (inc. Norio Wakamoto), and of course, ultra-epic super robot fighting masterpiece, it is one hell of a gem that has unfortunately been nearly lost to time and lack of attention, only recently having resurfaced to the knowledge of many new fans. Andrew Cunningham makes a point to say “Giant Robo is the greatest anime of all time” every once in a while. Maybe he is right.
So, these reasons should all be enough for you to take any measures necessary to gather in Atlanta, Georgia, to discuss this man’s brilliance with him. I’ll be trying as hard as I can to get there myself.
I learned about this from Ogiue Maniax, who asks if you’d rather see Imagawa or Tomino. Imagawa is the very obvious choice, because Tomino is insane.
I did a post on the first ep of the new Mazinger though I never remembered to continue the show, lol.
I still haven’t posted on Giant Robo, but I did a post on G Gundam where I started my endless fanboying over Allenby Beardsley.