So here is part two of my interview with awesome Dai Sato from Animefest 2011. We start off talking about animation and then switch gears to movies. By the end, I wish the interview could go on forever and that me and Dai could just sit down with a 6-pack and watch horror movies all day. But alas, all good things must come to an end.
Here we go!
KOALA – If you could bring back any anime artist who would it be? [I am asked to specify if I mean a dead artist] Yes.
DAI SATO – Just one?
KOALA – Yep.
DAI SATO – [In a dramatically sad tone of voice] Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. [begins smiling again and thinks hard for a moment] So from the last three or four years, a lot of the animators that have kind of been my big inspiration in the 70’s and so forth growing up, have passed away. So from a perspective of not wanting to collaborate with, but to see one more work from this individual, I would have to say Kon Satoshi. I’d really like to see him complete another work and experience that.
But if you asked if from the perspective of who I would like to collaborate with, I would have to say Mr. Kanada (Yoshinori Kanada). So Mr. Kanada was a robot-designer/animator from the 70’s who did things like Yamato or Galaxy Express 999. You want to see his works. He was really good at animating smoke.
KOALA – Nice. So I meant to ask this earlier when I asked the question about learning English. Has learning English changed or made a difference in how you write, now that you understand parts of the culture more?
DAI SATO – So maybe from the time I started writing Samurai Champloo. To some extent I maybe knew it was going to be brought oversees and translated, so there were definitely some lines in there that I worked with the director to create some particular expressions in Japanese that would be translated into english a specific way. So in that regards I was aware and there were some conscious choices made. Since you’ve seen Samurai Champloo, you may recall there is a certain expression in Japanese, Murasaki Kasumi, which means “purple haze” and Ai no Natsu, which is “summer of love”. [we all laugh]
KOALA – I play guitar so I personally was a big fan of those references!
DAI SATO – So you noticed it then!
KOALA – Yes! My next question is what is your inspiration just to write in general?
DAI SATO – [thinks hard] Hmmmm, So I think probably the biggest influence or inspiration for me, is by traveling and meeting new people and interacting.
KOALA – So I have two last questions here, and because I love movies, what is your favorite movie and who is your favorite director?
DAI SATO – [Dai Sato and the translator both laugh happily] Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh [In an excited voice] I have soooooo many.
KOALA – A couple is fine, I won’t limit you to one.
DAI SATO – Yeah so John Carpenter for example, last night I was at a DVD store and found They Live on DVD. I was really happy to find it and it’s not available in Japan. I was exceptionally glad to find it.
KOALA – Do you like The Thing?
DAI SATO – [very excited] Ahhhh so nice! The head…. [Dai Sato then put his head on the table, puts his hands on top of his head and uses his fingers as legs to move his head like the scene from The Thing]
DAI SATO – And George Romero. Richard Madison from a writer’s perspective. He wrote Twilight Zone. I also really like Spielberg from back when he made Duel. It’s the story of a businessman who is pursued by a truck, almost like Jaws with a truck.
KOALA – ….and the front of the truck has the big steel grill!
DAI SATO – Ah, that’s probably a different movie like Devil Truck [we all laugh] But I like that one too!
KOALA – So you sound like you are a big horror fan?
DAI SATO – Yes, yes. Dan Obren and Tobe Hooper are good too.
KOALA – What do you think of Takashi Miike?
DAI SATO – Ahhhhhhhh [ironically Dai Sato answers immediately and has to tell the translator who I am talking about] So what I really like about him is that he can do things like Yatterman which is very comical and light-hearted and then do very serious works too.
KOALA – Yep, have you seen 13 Assassins?
DAI SATO – [in an excited voice] Ah yes! Nice movie! Yeah, so I really love his style, it always seems so busy and so action filled. It is almost the complete opposite of Kubrick’s style.
KOALA – Kubrick is great too. Well, thank you very much and I had a great time talking with you.
DAI SATO – Thank you!