Otaku USA Magazine
Anime Director Mamoru Oshii Offers Online Course

Mamoru Oshii, best known for directing anime like Ghost in the Shell and Blood: The Last Vampire, is offering an online course through the Japanese video on-demand site Narō! The course is more than five hours long, and will be in Japanese with English subtitles. This is not a case where you’ll be seeing Oshii live or able to ask him questions. Instead, these will be pre-recorded videos with Oshii talking about “his take on key moments from his classics, a deep-dive into how he created his incredible oeuvre, and advice on ramping up your creativity and creating your own.”

Narō gave this description for the course:

“20 videos totaling 5+ hours of legendary anime and film director Mamoru Oshii, of Ghost in the Shell fame, sharing his creative formulas, development methods, and tales from his life as a director in the pop culture industry that has given Japan another claim to global soft power dominance.”

The course is advertised as $75, though right now it’s available for $61. The site did not say how long this limited time offer for $61 would last.

Oshii had this to say:

“In theory, at least, an anime director’s job is to make films. But arriving at work, what’s on the proverbial desk to work with? There’s nothing to serve as a base, no background or landscape, no actor to inhabit a character. The tool kit consists entirely of words and whatever images they can conjure up.

That is why I’m so fastidious in how I communicate a film story: an animation director’s destiny is to forever rely on language as the sole basis for filmmaking.

What convinced me of this truth about the vitality of film-telling as a crucial part of directing is that in actuality, there is no other basis for creating film at all. Film-telling is what makes a film possible, and a film finds completion only by being told. And it may be an obvious point, but telling the story of a film requires a listener.

The tough reality is that animation production staff – particularly the animators – typically hate talking about story. Moreover (and this I find surprising), film audiences also seem to only enjoy talking about film in everyday terms.

In my case, it’s not only that I desire viewers to watch my work, but that I desire viewers who talk about my work. No matter where you are in the world, I have faith that these words about my films will find these people.

Because, as someone once said, the net is vast and infinite…”

Are you interested in learning from the one and only Mamoru Oshii?

Source: ANN, Narō


Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.