Sunday, February 03, 2008

Yamakan Returns? With Gonzo?

Watch! Seiyuu-san reports rumors that Yamamoto Yutaka 山本寛, the ill-fated first director of Lucky Star, is back in the game, directing Opoona - The Animation for Gonzo.

"Yamakan" is the visual and comic genius (my opinion) who created the Suzumiya Haruhi ED and the Lucky Star OP, as well as doing the Mikuru's Adventure and ENOZ concert episodes of Suzumiya Haruhi.

KyoAni yanked him as director of Lucky Star after four episodes, for reasons that still aren't fully clear. People have variously speculated that it may have had to do with unusual comic timing, poor budget control, or offending executives or sponsors.

The photo shows him with Hirano Aya a year ago, before Lucky Star aired.

Opoona is a future fantasy role-playing game for the Wii that was released in Japan in November and sank without a trace. According to Wikipedia: "Opoona, a descendant of the brave Cosmo Guards, after being separated from his family during a visit to the planet Landroll finds himself injured in a hospital and unable to remember how he wound up there. It is your job as Opoona to earn a license to travel to other colonies and find out what exactly happened to his brother and sister."

The rumors are based on posts on 2channel, in the Sawashiro Miyuki and Saitou Chiwa threads. Both posts say that the director will be Yamakan and the writer will be Kuroda Yousuke, the lead writer on such shows as Gundam00, Ookiku Furikabutte, Honey & Clover, Best Student Council, Madlax, Kokoro Toshokan, etc., etc. But the posts give different possible casts.

In the Sawashiro Miyuki thread, it says that the cast will include: Kugimiya Rie, Sawashiro Miyuki, Noto Mamiko, Nakata Jouji, Inoue Kikuko, Hirano Aya, Namikawa Daisuke, Kuwashima Houko, and Wakamoto Norio.

In the Saitou Chiwa thread, it mentions Saitou Chiwa, Yamaguchi Kappei, Toyoguchi Megumi, Wakamoto Norio, Inoue Marina, Kadowaki Mai, Miyano Mamoru, and Tomatsu Haruka.

There is no suggestion of when the show would come out, if these are more than rumors.

According to Japanese Wikipedia, NewType reports that Yamakan has started his own company, called Ordet, in Osaka. On MoonPhase, he is listed as director of the OP for an anime called Kemeko DX, which is slated to come out sometime this year, animated by Hal Filmmaker.

EDIT: Thanks to "Nai" for the comment (1) correcting Yamakan's given name from Hiroshi (another name written with the same kanji) to Yutaka; and (2) mentioning that he and Ordet worked on the animation of the second OP of Shakugan no Shana 2 (which I haven't been watching...until now).

I'll add here that "Yamakan," his nickname, can refer to Yamamoto as a director (a kantoku) or come from another pronunciation of that same kanji 寛: "kan."


Nai said...

Isn't his name Yamamoto Yutaka? But anyway, his latest work and maybe the first Ordet's work, is Shana 2's OP 2. He's credited for storyboard and Ordet for animation cooperation.

ranma9037 said...

If Chiwa Saitou's report about Kappei-sama being in the cast is true,it would be sweet...