Madman is bringing over director of ERASED, Silver Spoon, and Sword Art Online, Tomohiko Ito to Madfest (Madman Anime Festival) in Melbourne, Australia in September.
Obviously, with the addition of Ito to the line up which includes freakin’ Shingo Nastume (director of One-Punch Man and Space Dandy), this news makes a few of us here very excited, myself and Callum especially, just so we can get Ito to dance the opening of Silver Spoon in front of everyone.
Who is Tomohiko Ito?
For those of you unaware, Tomohiko Ito isn’t just the director of ERASED, he’s the guy that kick started the adaption of the series after being shown the manga by one of his work mates and presented the series to Aniplex (owners of A-1 Pictures) to try and get the rights to make it. They did, obviously.
He worked closely with the mangaka of the series to make sure not only his vision was brought to life, but Ito’s vision as well as he implemented his own style into the show, making it the breakout hit it was during the summer season.
Before going to A-1 Pictures, Tomohiko Ito was working closely with Madhouse before the re-structure. Ito was the assistant director of the films, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars, working under the great Mamoru Hosoda. Hosoda’s training and creative influence has carried over to Ito’s own works, which Hope Chapman of ANN pointed out in his review of Occult Academy, commenting “it’s … a little reminiscent of the most humorous bits in Mamoru Hosoda’s films”. Of course it is, Hosoda trained Ito.
Ito’s most famous work though would come in the form of one of his first, Death Note. Ito worked under Tetsurō Araki (Attack on Titan, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, Guilty Crown) as an assistant director, episode director and storyboarder for the show. Araki must have liked Ito enough that they worked together again a year later on Kurozuka, and again when Araki storyboarded episode 23 of Ito’s Sword Art Online, an episode that was very action heavy, something Araki excels at.
All in all, my favourite factoid of Tomohiko Ito is that he gets very into the anime he directs. For example before directing Silver Spoon, he spent a lot of time up north of Japan on agriculture farms (something the mangaka Hiromu Ararkawa does when writing the series), and he went to a Netcafe and played around for a few days to make sure he understood how gamers spoke to each other before fleshing out the characters of Sword Art Online.
So as you can tell, I’m very excited to meet Tomohiko Ito at Madfest, hopefully I’ll get an interview!
(Disclosure: I used to work at Madman as their Community Manager, clearly I don’t anymore, doesn’t stop me from being excited about what they do. This wasn’t paid for.)