Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Anime… : Talk with Hirokatsu Kihara and Michihiko Suwa

18 January 2013 from 6.30pm

The Japan Foundation, London

Japanese animation has enthralled audiences worldwide and through its stories, concepts and visual splendour, the enchantment of the likes of Studio Ghibli and abundance of television series continue to captivate the imaginations of many. But how did such ideas come about, what is it that makes anime so distinct and original, and how has animation developed over the decades to become such a worldwide success?

The Japan Foundation has invited two of the most renowned figures in the industry behind this phenomenon, Hirokatsu Kihara and Michihiko Suwa, to introduce the real world of creating Japanese animation. Through Kihara’s involvement with early Studio Ghibli productions and the current subculture scene and manga, and Suwa’s role as Chief Producer at the Animation department of Yomiuri TV for anime franchises including Detective Conan(aka Case Closed), City Hunter and Inuyasha, they have helped realise a number of world-famous anime television series and movies during their illustrious careers. Despite their differing experiences, productions and working styles, Kihara and Suwa both hold a huge passion, understanding and vision for the medium, expressed through their work and activities.

Having witnessed the Japanese animation industry’s rise to the worldwide phenomenon, Kihara and Suwa will be joined by Helen McCarthy, journalist, author and anime expert, to explore the different sources of anime – both manga adaptations and originally crafted stories – and discuss their position in the Japanese animation industry, suggesting what the future holds for the medium. With Kihara’s experience of the celluloid-era of animation, and Suwa’s experience of its transition to digital, this event will also provide a fascinating insight into the ‘behind the scenes’ of anime production, telling the real story and history around the animated images.

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