One Piece and Naruto animation director Mamoru Yokota offered an alternative perspective from several prominent animators, including Jujutsu Kaisen 0 animation director Nishii Terumi, following accusations from MAPPA freelance in Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2.
Chansard Vincent’s previous viral statement on MAPPA about why he would never work with MAPPA again caught the attention of many animators in the industry, including Yokota. Through X (formerly Twitter), he stated: “Regarding the statement by foreign animators that ‘I will not work for this company anymore!’ – Although the working environment is one thing, what are the conditions like when ordering a work for the first time? If you meet the job requirements, it is not the fault of the director, the production department or the production board, not the fault of the manager. production company? If there are pay cuts, delays or exploitation that is one thing, but otherwise….”
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In another post, Yokota said that animators need to respect that Japan is different from other countries, has better financial resources, and if anyone is going to make criticism they should establish a company. private company. “If you say ‘I am the standard!’ then you need to start a company and become a flag bearer for the work environment, right? I have said this to others before and they got angry with me,” he added.
Yokota asserted that people need to remain neutral until the full truth is known, and made predictions about events based on his extensive experience: he believes that some animators underestimated the requirements while others decided to do more than what was required. “I thought it was just a case of intentionally jumping into the pit of hell because you can’t estimate calories in the storyboard and being boiled alive,” he said, “but when I casually mentioned it, I being told ‘What will happen? What do outsiders think?’”
It is difficult for MAPPA to provide answers to all allegations. However, a MAPPA freelancer who accused the studio of repeatedly delaying payment negotiations while leaving extra work behind said the situation was quickly rectified after the online uproar – which which, if it can be believed, shows that MAPPA has admitted error in that matter. Naturally, Yokota’s comments were controversial and he addressed his critics across multiple posts. “People say you can say whatever you want on social media because it’s your space, but that’s wrong! Saying things like ‘You’re so stupid!’ It’s like spitting into the sky and then having it fall back on you,” he said in a post.
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Yokota also gave advice to animators who are facing difficult conditions because they cannot negotiate in advance. “I understand that some people cannot negotiate before causing a ruckus, but then ask friends to do it or hire an agent – you have to do something! Then it takes courage to refuse! Whether you do it or not, it doesn’t matter. up to you. If things go south, the production company will be in trouble.”
In contrast to Yokota’s views, Nishii called Chansard’s comments “refreshing,” praising what she saw as a trend of French people launching protests against any erosion of their privileges. Bleach and Attack on Titan animator Mizue Ogawa, who previously criticized the new ‘soft anime’ development deal signed by one of Japan’s largest publishers, says the opposite . Instead of foreigners being too radical, she believes that Japanese people are simply too indifferent.
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Yokota’s One Piece work can be seen in Stampede and Film: Red – the highest-grossing One Piece film of all time. The film is also the sixth highest-grossing Japanese film ever. He frequently appears in the credits of the “Wano” arc of the One Piece anime and was last seen for his work in One Piece Episode 1085.
Source: Mamoru Yokota via X (formerly Twitter)