Masahiko Minami is an awesome producer. Owner of his own anime studio – Bones – he is a self-made man who has produced amazing content, both at Bones and at his old production studio, Sunrise. Some of his most famous works include Cowboy Bebop, RahXephon, Full Metal Alchemist, and Space Dandy. While at Anime Boston, I was lucky enough to be able to sit down with Masahiko and ask him a few questions about producing anime and being your own boss.
What was it like going from working at someone else’s studio at Sunrise to co-founding Bones?
Masahiko: While I was at Sunrise I was involved in the production of many shows, but after I produced Escaflowne and Cowboy Bebop, creative artists such as Toshihiro Kawamoto and I decided we wanted to fund our own studio so we could make our own shows. This is allowed exposure for our creative artists to work with many more people.
As for myself, if I had stayed at Sunrise there are shows that would not have been made, such as Eureka Seven, FMA, and My Hero Academia. Having my own studio allowed for the freedom to create those shows, and that’s been the most interesting development in my creator. Probably one of the best examples would be Space Dandy. Most likely the pitch for a show like Space Dandy would not have been greenlit at Sunrise.
The majority of the shows you’ve produced have been sci-fi or fantasy themed. Do you find that is your preferred genre to work with?
Masahiko: I would say that’s true. As a kid, I always loved science fiction. I grew up on sci-fi material, including American shows such as Star Trek. I also loved to read a lot of science fiction novels. Science fiction and action was always in my blood, and these are the types of shows I’d like to make myself. Also, the animators at Bones tend to do well at animating action, which is why we create a lot of science fiction and action shows. Also, I have a hard time understanding moe, so it’s not something I dabble in.
Candid and introspective, I learned about Masahiko and the production industry from the questions I was able to ask. Most of all, I learned that the most important person to work for and impress is yourself. Only you can know what you want to get out of life, and only you can be daring enough to achieve it. On behalf of everyone at Mithical Entertainment, I would like to thank Masahiko Minami for his time and responses.