By: Jonah Morgan
Few Japanese artists have captured the spirit and detail of the fantasy canvas like Yoshitaka Amano. Videogame RPG fans have been familiar with his character designs for the Final Fantasy Series for nearly 2 decades. His 1987 renditions for the characters of the original video animation of Hideyuki Kikuchi’s Vampire Hunter D helped made it one of the earliest and most popular anime video releases in the USA. We posed 10 questions Amano-sensei that are quite a wide range of topics.
Hello Mr. Amano, thank you for agreeing to our interview. Before I move into the main questions, I have one based on some breaking news in Japan. According to a Famitsu article published this week, Mr. Sakaguichi of Square announced he has founded his own independent development company, Mist Walker. He mentioned your name and manga artist Takehiko Inoue as possible future collaborators with the new studio. Can you comment on your position regarding Mist Walker at this time? Do you of other who are being considered to do work with the studio.
Mist Walker is Mr. Sakaguchi’s own project and I wasn’t involved at all. Mr. Sakaguchi has been a very good friend of mine and though we don’t have anything definite at the moment, I expect to work with him in many projects to come.
Many of your fans in America were excited to learn several years ago that you relocated to New York City in the USA. What first drew you to the city? What were your impressions of New York over your stay and are you currently still located there?
I wanted to challenge myself in a new environment where many talents are competing with each other. I also wanted to see and experience NYC by myself. You can have a lot of information about anything these days, but those information are filtered through other people’s eyes. I wanted to have a first hand experience.
Do you find the city (New York) to be very talent rich across the various media?
Have you done any recent work in anime / manga? Do you have anything coming up?
Right now, I’m working on three separate projects, one in NY, one in France, and one in Japan. Sorry, can’t tell you the details yet!
Your artwork has peeled back the layers of reality and fantasy. Away from art do you carry out any interests in reading topics and music types?
I see a lot of movies, not only Sci-Fi and fantasy, but in all category. Beside that, I love opera and ballet, so I go to see the stage whenever my schedule permits.
Can you tell us your personal view on the realm of the paranormal and supernatural?
Honestly speaking, I’m scared of paranormal and supernatural phenomenon. I can work on the theme in my imagination because I know it’s my imagination and not reality. If things happen in reality, gee, I’ll be terrified!
How about advanced ancient civilizations?
I don’t think it’ll be so different from what we have now. After all, our civilization did develop from ancient civilizations. I’m more interested in the future of this civilization we have now.
What are your thoughts on humanity’s destiny taken as a whole? Do you believe there is a hope we can break free of this almost genetic predisposition to killing one another and possibly evolve above that level or do you feel this flaw ultimately will doom our species.
The technology will never stop to advance, bio-chemical, computer, nano and space, you name it, but I don’t think humans will change much in its basic element. Suppose I live another 1000 yeas, and I’m not surprised to find myself not much different from what I am now. I’ll see and lean many thing, but it’ll still be the same damn me!
100 years from now, almost all of us living today will be gone. I just want to believe that trying our best today leads to a better future.
Can you tell us your current projects on the table in the realm of games or anime character design?
I’ve been working on a new game which will be released early next year. No details yet, sorry.
Finally, any words out there to your fans?
I’d like to thank you on this opportunity for all the supports I received from my fans throughout my carrier. Take care of your health, and I hope you’ll enjoy my works in the future too!