Interview: Anime Sushi TV Producer Karl Laundy
There have been many attempts of a magazine-style video series bringing fans the latest in the world of Japanese Animation and Culture. However, previous attempts fail to extend beyond the usual content such as reviews and reading letters from other fans of what their favorite anime and/or manga is of the moment. Enter Anime Sushi: an upcoming weekly web-based series with a goal of giving fans what they want besides the normal offerings of an Otaku lifestyle series.
Anime Sushi TV aims to keep fans in touch with the latest in the world of anime, manga, and gaming, as well as a look at recent releases in DVDs and manga, cosplay fashion, and a review of the biggest anime conventions in the country. Anime Sushi is hosted by Tadao Tomomatsu, former host of the British TV show Banzai, and Ella Bowen, a multi-talented performer and journalist. Both Tadao and Ella have years of experience in the world of Otaku interest, and proud to share their expertise with fellow fans.
On their Kickstarter page, a typical episode of Anime Sushi goes like this:
Curiosity has been raised as to what would be on a typical episode of “Anime Sushi” -!*@*!- Well, Tadao and Ella would open at the home stage and then it would look a bit like this:
Tadao shares some of the latest news, including screening many clips from current and upcoming shows and movies.
He throws to Ella for a location piece, perhaps an anime con, perhaps a movie premiere, but always something for the eye.
Then back to Tadao for an interview with a major figure in the anime or gaming world.
For three Acts the show often flies through uncharted territory, into the inner workings of the animation or gaming industry with an up close look at a studio where artists, writers, computer geeks and other crazed geniuses join forces to make on-screen magic.
Fans will be celebrated in their brilliant cosplay attire. Everywhere we look it’s theater, when fans show the passion, laughs and games of anime. Internet savvy viewers describe their discerning thoughts about the shows they love by Youtubes and posting photos.
Anime Sushi is being funded via Kickstarter with the goal of bringing fans a quality series as one would find on a cable or satellite channel on a reasonable budget. The production staff of Anime Sushi have over two decades of experience with major media companies when it comes to filming and editing well known TV shows and movies. The Kickstarter Risks and Challenges states:
One concern is that among the over 200 networks now delivering content over the air, on cable, and via satellite systems, none may find that our project meets their current programming needs. Even our fallback position of distributing our show over one of the numerous internet streaming video services, such as Neon Alley (with whom we are in touch), poses challenges. One is that they may not accept our series for their channel. Another is that because some of these channels are sponsorship financed, our series not generate the large and broad audience needed to make this business model work.
I was able to chat via e-mail with the producer of Anime Sushi, Karl Laundy, with a few questions.
What inspired the creation of Anime Sushi?
Karl: Some of us (and our kids!) being anime fans, we realized there was need to find out about what’s happening in our favorite animes, manga and games more then every few months when we go to a convention. There is really news about anime 52 weeks a year and Anime Sushi is the outlet that wants to bring it to you along with advice about how to get your Otaku On for all to see.
According to the Kickstarter page, Anime Sushi “dodges the magazine show label by mixing review and info segments” rarely found in this kind of video program. On the subject of magazine formats, in the North American anime community, the printed format is becoming obsolete due to the growing demands of digital editions, insufficient sponsor support, or the lack of reader interest. Between video and print media, even audio, which format do you think would be of more interest?
Karl: Anime and manga are VISUAL mediums although I think things like Anime Idol at AX have proven how important the audio is to alot of people. One thing about the internet and TV is that you can now get really high quality images and they move! So I think that is where people will be going to stimulate their geek. That is why people go to conventions and watch podcasts is to get excited about what they like and what’s next. There will always be time for manga and print of course, because, sometimes, we like our theatre IN our mind… It’s also quieter that way too. You don’t always want your parent/wife/girlfriend yelling, “Will you TURN THAT DOWWWWWN!”
If the Kickstarter project fails to meet its goal, are there still plans to launch Anime Sushi through other means?
Karl: Yes. Absolutely. We have had enough fan reaction to know there is a hunger for some Anime Sushi (I punned, I’m sorry). But we’ve also had great reaction from the studios and the networks. Funimation has supplied us with clips and updates already. Neon Alley has been running a promo for our Kickstarter campaign on their air for the last couple of weeks. We’ve also gotten some reactions from studios in Japan (Madhouse, Toei Animation). So we are building on several fronts to try to get the show off the ground.
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Anime Sushi’s goal is to reach $75,000 by February 2nd, 2013. Check out the Kickstarter page for more information and donation rewards!