Industry Reacts to Anime Supremacy! Live-Action Film

Staff for the live-action adaptation of Mizuki Tsujimura’s Anime Supremacy! (Haken Anime!) the novel held a special animation industry preview screening on May 10. Approximately 200 people from the Japanese animation industry, from directors to animators, attended the screening and shared their impressions on social media while others wrote their thoughts on an oversized banner hanging up at the preview.

Industry Reacts to Anime Supremacy! Live-Action Film

An assortment of comments are translated below:

Shirobako assistant producer Manaho Shigeyama: “I wanted to look back at the story that made me want to dive into the anime industry. I am once again thinking about what I dream for in anime, and who I want to show that dream to… but for now, I have work!”

Hajime Ataka, co-founder of Tokyo Otaku Mode: “It’s amazing to see live-action crossed with anime, but it’s a great film where you can feel the youthful passions through work. I can recommend this film to people in the Web3 industry as an easy way of understanding what makes Japanese anime so amazing.”

Yasuhiro Yoshiura, director of Time of Eve and Sing a Bit of Harmony: “Although it can be described as a story about the anime industry, in a nutshell, watching the film reaffirmed to me that every studio has very different ways of doing things. That reminds me that I might be the kind of person who has been to various different studios. Just recently, I’ve been at Trigger, Khara, and J.C. Staff.”

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood director Yasuhiro Irie: “A masterpiece. It immediately grabs your interest from the opening dialogue scene and keeps that momentum to the end. An incredible masterpiece. It hits you in all sorts of places. I have to hold myself back from gushing about what I got to see early. Man, oh man.”

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Sound director Yukio Nagasaki: “Oh man, it’s been a while since I last saw a Japanese film packed with this much emotion. Since Tokei Doga is modeled on Toei Animation, it doesn’t have an in-house sound director. The genius Chiharu Oji belonged to Tokei, but it’s been seven years, and he goes AWOL, so as I watched I found myself imagining them establishing a sound director.”

Manga Artist Hiroya Oku (Gantz, GIGANT): “I bought the deluxe pamphlet for Anime Supremacy!. It’s been many years since I last bought a film pamphlet.”

Manaka Naka, a young animator at Wit Studio: “In Anime Supremacy!, there’s a scene where an animator introduces themselves, and an anime shop worker says, “Y-you’re the one who drew that mind-blowing sakuga…?!” They have an over-the-top reaction like they’ve just met a celebrity. “I fricken love that bit in that scene you drew!” they say. It’s such a nice film that humanizes animators and sakuga otaku.”

Tomohiko Ito, director of Sword Art Online and ERASED: “It was great! I remembered the feelings from my youth. I understood the feelings of the characters so well that it was eerie. You can enjoy it even if you don’t know all the ins and outs of anime production!”

Takayuki Hirao, director of Pompo: The Cinéphile: “A film that depicts anime production through live-action is the exact opposite of Pompo! It’s touching to watch the drama around these characters as they pour everything into creating something. There were numerous times when I was on the verge of tears…! It was a wonderful film that is relatable to people who are involved in the creation, and it will also affirm the dreams of those who aren’t involved yet!”

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Singer and voice actress Eimi Naruse: “Anime Supremacy! might be the hardest hitting live-action film I’ve watched. I bought the pamphlet without even thinking about it… Whoa!!!”

Anime Supremacy! (Haken Anime!) is a drama film that follows the competitive work relationship between a rookie animation director named Hitomi Saito and an older, well-established director named Chiharu Oji. Oji is currently in a slump but is determined to win out against the newcomer.

Kōhei Yoshino directed the overall live-action film, and Yōsuke Masaike wrote the script. The film stars Riho Yoshioka, Tomoya Nakamura, Tasuku Emoto, Seiji Rokkaku, and Machiko Ono. Toei Animation’s Atsutoshi Umezawa (producer of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal, Digimon: Data Squad) oversaw the depictions of the animation industry for the entire film.

Additionally, the movie features two in-universe anime, “Soundback – Kanade no Ishi” and “Fatal Front Ridelight.” Azuma Tani (Thermae Romae, Waka Okami wa Shōgakusei!) directed the “Soundback” anime. Manga creator and illustrator Eisaku Kubonouchi (Carole & Tuesday) designed its characters and Takayuki Yanase (Mobile Suit Gundam 00) served as the mechanical designer. The sequence was animated at Production I.G

Takashi Otsuka (One Piece Stampede, Glitter Force) directed the “Fatal Front Ridelight” anime with character designs by Takahiro Kishida (Durarara!!, Baccano!) and animation direction by Hideki Takahashi (Run with the Wind, Haikyu!!). The sequence was animated at Shirogumi. Yuuki Kaji, Yui Horie, Megumi Han, Rie Takahashi, Marika Kōno, and Kana Hanazawa make up the animated portions’ voice cast.

The film opened on May 20.

“Haken” is the title given to the most successful animation in the Japanese TV animation industry.

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