26 August 2013

Yoshiyuki Tomino visits Hong Kong

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Yoshiyuki Tomino, who was well known as the directing Mobile Suit Gundam anime and creating the Gundam franchise, came to Hong Kong
last week as he personally visited the 1/3 scale Gundam and Char's Zaku in Times Square!

According to Unwired.hk, Tomino said he is moved how Gundam is still popular after 30 years, with support from old and new generations of fans. He attened an autograph session, and also participated in an interview with the Hong Kong media.

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Here is the translated interview (I hope I got most of the details right!):

1. The Gundam in Hong Kong is of 1/3 scale (6m tall). Is this more suiting than to your original settings of 18m?
Tomino (abbreviated as "T" in questions below):
Yes. The Gundam was to be piloted in the first place, therefore it's big enough for the robot to be 6m tall. However, as the Gundam would have to fight in space as well, it had to be upsized.

2. Why is the Gundam designed to be manned and piloted?
One would feel uneasy in space, therefore mobile suits are designed to look like human. Getting to see the head of a MS in space is like seeing your friend.

(It looks like Tomino means how one can get lonely in space, so having MS in the form of humans will give a sense of familiarity)

3. Amuro's quote "humans always repeat the same mistake" is a catchphrase in Hong Kong's Internet community. Do you agree with this quote?
It can't be helped, but I still think this statement still stands true, and is also inevitable.

(The said quote is seen in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. The image is still being used as a meme in local forums)

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4. There are a various scenes in the anime where they would seem scientifically plausible. Why
It wasn't meant to be scientific. To me it's a surreal anime, and not scientific. Of course with Japan's technology, building a Gundam is possible, but it won't necessarily be comfortable to sit in, so it's still surreal, haha!

5. The ending in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam is considered one of the saddest in the series, with a majority of characters killed in combat, as well as leaving the protagonist Kamille in an unhappy conclusion. Will you consider rewriting the ending?
A lot of children do watch the anime, therefore it would make sense to put in more aspects of positiveness and hope. But in reality people die in wars, therefore the characters should face and accept that fate. As for the ending, I think that there are still some untied ends and space for further intepretations, therefore I have no intentions of rewriting it.

(Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam was remastered and recompiled into a movie trilogy, which did have a slightly different ending though. At least there is more of a happy ending for Kamille)

6. Gunpla (Gundam models) are always very popular. What do you think of them?
I take a liking of them since the very first Gunpla came out. I have to admit that I haven't built Gunpla for nearly 10 years, as I have no space left to put them!

7. 3D animations are becoming more and more popular. Will Gundam be released as a 3D anime as well?
Actually I don't really understand 3D animations, and I don't get them.

(That reminds me of how Tomino is not interested in making live action for Gundam, saying "something like a live action movie wouldn’t last in those days since it would be restricted a lot by a sign of the times and fads")

8. Anything you would like to say for young people in Hong Kong who would take up animation as career?
Anime is surreal, but there are things that you can take away and learn from them. Making animations is a fun process, and it's the way how I can still understand how young people think. I wish them the best of luck!

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Aside from the autograph with fans, Tomino also signed on the 6m Gundam itself! Wish I'd get to see it soon as the exhibition is coming to an end!



  1. WOW - that must have been a very cool day in Hong Kong to have him there. I certainly appreciate you dropping this post. We don't get to see much insight to the man himself and nice to get that.

    1. Too bad I didn't get to see it myself, but it sure looks very eventful!

      HIs latest known interview before this was supposedly that for Anime News Network back in 2009, which was the 30th Gundam Anniversary. It's interesting to see some of the thoughts behind making the Gundam anime series!

  2. Thanks for the interview text. Put many things into perspective about man behind the series.

    Also: " I have to admit that I haven't built Gunpla for nearly 10 years, as I have no space left to put them!"
    Ah... the typical issues that a many gunpla folks WILL face.

    1. Thanks! I personally quite like the stuff he talks about behind the scenes of Gundam. Interesting to know that he actually wanted Gundam to be smaller, which would seem more plausible on Earth I'd say.

      Lack of space is definitely a big problem for Gunpla fans and many hobbyists in general! ^^;

  3. God, I wish that someone would ask him a question on Victory Gundam and Brain Powerd!!

    I'm sure the response should be interesting to say the least!

    1. Haha, those were truly the dark times of Tomino. I too would be interested to know what he thinks of them retrospectively!

    2. I think he still hates Victory, since it was made at a particularly low point in his life. Brain Powerd would be very interesting. Afterall, it was supposedly his response to Evangelion, which in turn was heavily influenced by space runaway ideon, which was a show Tomino made in the 70s! Anime-ception?


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