The “Women in Anime” event at the 17th annual LA Femme International Film Festival had international producer Jinko Gotoh, who is the vice president for Women in Animation, interviewing Minako Fujiyoshi. Fujiyoshi is the first female producer at TMS Entertainment, and has worked on MEGALOBOX and MEGALOBOX 2: NOMAD, among other titles.
The panel can be watched virtually here, but is only available for the next three days.
The panel begins with an introduction from Gotoh, who talks in English. After that the two women converse in Japanese, with subtitles available on the video.
At the beginning, Gotoh asked about women in the anime industry.
“Simply speaking, the number of women has increased incredibly,” Fujiyoshi said. “Also, compared to the working environment when I was young . . . it’s no longer an environment where it is tough, dirty, and you can’t go home, so I think the working environment has improved significantly.”
Still, she admitted the competition must be intense.
“Regardless of gender, but including the factor of marriage and childbirth for women, to advance up after spending a long time working, one would need to put in a tremendous amount of effort, though the surrounding environment may also have an effect.”
Asked what she thinks is the biggest obstacle to women advancing in the anime industry, Fujiyoshi talked about how it can be hard for a woman to return to work after having a baby, because her job might have been filled. She thinks it would be great to create an environment where this doesn’t happen to women. Gotoh remarked that this is an issue women face all over, and not just in the anime industry.
Then they turned to talking about female characters in MEGALOBOX 2. “The scripts for MEGALOBOX 1 and 2 were created solely by the director, two screenwriters, and myself,” Fujiyoshi said. “The director and screenwriters were all male, so they would try to depict women in a way men see as ideal, through character lines and actions. However, as a woman myself, I thought, ‘I don’t like this kind of woman.” She laughed, and continued to say she had a lot of different opinions. “However, it doesn’t mean it is ‘correct’ just because I said so, as a woman myself. . . If the director and screenwriters agreed, they would fix it, but, I also remember heavily discussing our opinions.”
The talk also moved to female characters in MEGALOBOX 2: NOMAD, and how the creators brought out their individuality. Fujiyoshi thanked all of the fans, and the panel revealed the first two episodes of MEGALOBOX 2: NOMAD.
Source: Women in Anime panel
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, and its sequel, Manga Art for Intermediates, with professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.