Check out this interview with him that Toco Toco TV posted last year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1tiKOsCz2M
I’ve talked a lot on this blog about how amazing Simoun is, and I’ve also talked about how the Region 1 DVDs are some of the most worthwhile purchases you can make. Aside from great package art, they have all 26 episodes on just five singles with a full retail price of 18 bucks apiece. All of the DVDs feature cast interviews and games, and several of the DVDs feature a commentary video with the director, Junji Nishimura, and character designer/animation supervisor Asako Nishida, wherein a lot of behind-the-scenes information and bonus facts are revealed that dramatically enhance the experience. In the comments of my last Simoun-related post, remm noted how he wouldn’t be able to get the DVDs where he lives, so I figured, what the hell, I’ll do the world a favor and transcribe the commentaries! Plus it is great for referential use.
Taishou Yakyuu Musume has one of the best starts to a first episode ever. This leads into a charming slice-of-life anime with excellent direction, pretty art and animation, a very soothing soundtrack, and an interesting premise (girl’s baseball in 1920s Japan). The episode is what one might call ‘very good.’ However, it is also what one might call ‘very goddamn boring.’ — HOWEVER, when I did a little research to decide if I should drop the show, I found myself so dumbstruck by the show’s insane pedigree that I honestly just couldn’t bring myself not to continue.
On the surface (no pun intended) Umi Monogatari looked like an Aria spin-off almost. For obvious starters, it’s directed by Junichi Sato (Aria, helped on Sketchbook, Kaleido Star, Magic User’s Club, Princess Tutu), has some focus on beautiful background art (Shichiro Kobayashi is art director (Simoun, Angel’s Egg, Ashita no Joe 2, Berserk, Detroit Metal City, Figure 17, Castle of Cagliostro, Melody of Oblivion, REVOLUTIONARY GIRL UTENA, Space Adventure Cobra) and he’s definitely one of the best – I talked about him more in my Simoun review), has quiet, soulful piano songs by composer Ken Muramatsu (Kurenai and Sketchbook), and some extremely familiar character personalities. However, Umi Monogatari seems to be hiding a slightly darker card up it’s sleeve.