Are you familiar with any of the 4 masterpieces we are currently featuring?
Nishio : ’FLCL’ and ‘GHOST IN THE SHELL’.
If so, could you share any personal episodes related to that masterpiece?
Nishio : Since I was about the same age as the main characters of ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’ when it first aired, I immediately got hooked and got massively influenced by the whole series.
So I eventually got myself into the whole anime world including anything that GAINAX Co., Ltd created. That was then I learned about ‘FLCL’.
At that time, I was pretty much broke to buy the VHS video version so I headed right straight to my local video store on the day of the release and I found myself facing huge disappointment when the only video they had at the store was already rented out.
What kind of an impact did it have on you?
Nishio : I used to copy Yoshiyuki Sadamotos’ distinct way of illustrating the characters bottom eyelashes and methods of illustrating wrinkles that was somewhat like Production I.G. and I feel that I still carry that kind of element in my own art today.
But since I was so immensely into his artwork, I think that I also got negatively influenced by him and I adapted his ’superficial’ storylines in a way (having a huge climax at the end of the story and abruptly end the whole storyline etc).
So in that sense, I actively tried hard to brush off that element I had adapted from him when I had just debuted as a manga artist.
Could you tell us your favorite masterpiece?
Nishio : I have several favorites but I would say the one that still speaks to me the most is ‘Jing: King of Bandits’.
Actually the manga version of ‘FLCL’ was serialized in the same magazine back then I think which is quite a coincidence.
I also think Hajime Ueda’s comicallization techniques were amazing too. His skills are so amazing that they are just as close to an animation illustration level.
What’s your definition of a “Masterpiece”?
Nishio : Something that can leave a mark in a long line of history and is something that can distinguish the before and after of that distinct moment.
It could be something that is known amongst a wider audience or it could be something on a personal level.
What is your opinion of how the younger generation are consuming media contents today ?
Nishio : I don't really think there is a clear difference in how the younger generation and the elder generation are consuming media contents in this present time. (Naoki Inose as former governor of Tokyo could be bookmarking xvideos and your dad could be accessing illegal sites on his way to work) So I guess I would like to answer to this question in perspective of the way people are consuming contents nowadays.
I think what is happening is that people thought that all of this was something convenient where we could access to worldwide contents while being in your own room.
But what is actually happening is for example, when global users of youtube are discovering Japanese 80’s music as their new and own “discovery”, it is actually just based on a very simple algorithm that adapts to the users “recommendation” feed.
So actually the majority of the audience is just swimming around the same water tank and I think that this understanding is finally and gradually coming to light.
When we come to that point where we are about to go on our “second round” of swims in the same tank, I hope we can jump out into open waters and not drown in empathy (=number of likes) and spread our fins in a not so lukewarm world and feel the waves and the wind head to toe.(I tried to say something good related to ‘FLCL’ but I failed!!!!!!!)