AX 2008 Press Junket Interview: Masahiro Ando

Here’s our interview with Masahiro Ando, a animation director key animator on Jin-Roh, storyboard artist for Full Metal Alchemist, and the new director of the feature film Sword of the Stranger. This was held on the day of the press junket, July 2. We got this interview literally two minutes after we walked into the press waiting room, and I was a bit nervous and talky, as a result 🙂 Plus, you can only see me in the reflection in the mirror! Subsequent interviews have better camera angles.

Author: gendomike

Michael lives in the Los Angeles area, and has been into anime since he saw Neon Genesis Evangelion in 1999. Some of his favorite shows include Full Metal Alchemist, Honey and Clover, and Welcome to the NHK!. Since 2003 he has gone to at least one anime convention every year. A public radio junkie, which naturally led to podcasting, he now holds a seminary degree and is looking to become Dr. Rev. Otaku Bible Man any day now. Michael can be reached at You can also find his Twitter account at @gendomike.

3 thoughts on “AX 2008 Press Junket Interview: Masahiro Ando

  1. First of all, he is not an animation director for Jinroh. He was a key animator for the film. Do your homework and stop relying so much from Anime News Network and English wikipedia as primary source of information

    Okay…Actually Anime Expo is really bad at dealing with guests. Every year, the distance between the guests and fans are seem to be getting wider and wider. I can’t blame you for having extremely short time for interviews.

    Actually there is better interview in Japanese website ANIME STYLE ( You just have to know Japanese.

  2. h park: I appreciate the correction. I’ve made it and it seems that ANN has the correct information as well (now). We will strive to do our homework better next time. Do you have any suggestions for more accurate sources than ANN Encyclopedia or Wikipedia, though?

    I’m also sure the Japanese language interview is a lot better–there isn’t the downtime it takes for translation for one during the interview, and so it’ll flow more naturally like a conversation. We did what we could under the circumstances, though, which was at a press junket where each organization was given 15 minutes max for the interview. I haven’t been to any other convention where we got any private time at all with a guest other than Pacific Media Expo, so I still count it as an early success.

    If anything, the situation in 2008 (which is when this interview took place) was much better than in 2009, where they decided to group guests together and so many questions we had prepped for specific individuals had to be thrown out or redone for a group-appropriate setting. And due to time constraints we didn’t get see half the people we had prepped for anyway. In 2008 we saw everyone we wanted to.

    Anyways, I’m glad someone’s still looking at the old stuff, and hopefully we can do good interviews at this year’s AX as well.

  3. I should apologize that my tone was rude.
    I feel sorry to hear that you didn’t get much from AX guest interviews. You did your best. They should’ve given you at least 30 minutes for some solid interview. I have to say that AX is slowly forsaking real Anime fans who built their convention.  I still can’t believe that AX is wasting money bringing in 6 Japanese DJ’s for upcoming convention.
    On Japanese resource materials, English Wikipedia only has bare bone information and ANN encyclopedia is full of mistakes.  It’s far better to use Japanese Wikipedia and Sakuga@wiki.  Japanese Wikipedia is more thorough than English Wikipedia.  Either you or your colleague can read some Japanese,  they’re very informative.
    Sakuga@wiki is an animator-only wiki site where hardcore animation fans submit specific scene that certain animator worked on.  For example, Yutaka Nakamura, aka super action animator, animated Sword of the Stranger final sword fight scene. While Hidetsugu Ito animated opening fight scene.
    Even though internet has advantage, it’s recommended to get hands on Japanese printed media for research. When Hiroshi Ousaka, an AX guest few years ago, passed away, Animage magazine published complete film list including the uncredited shows that he worked on.
    Right now, I’m working on fan translation of 100 or so Japanese animation artist interviews from Animage.  Each interview is 5000-6000 words.
    Do you remember Masahiko Minami, the Bones producer who was with  Masahiro Ando at AX? I did rough translation of interview on him. When he was working on Cowboy Bebop TV as Sunrise studio producer, his boss worried that he would bankrupt the company because the  pre-production was very costly.  When he worked on Cowboy Bebop, the original title was called “Shooting Star Bebop”.
    here’s my email address if you’re interested

Comments are closed.