Crunchyroll Expo 2022 is back in full swing, and all eyes are on the main stage thanks to Studio Bones. The convention brought the co-founder and president of the studio to speak with fans, so Masahiko Minami sold out. The crowd is thrilled to hear about Bungo Stray Dogs, Mob Psycho 100, My Hero Academia, and more.
Chris Han moderates the panel and everyone is excited to see the president. He says the photo shown on Crunchyroll’s website shows him when work was underway with Space Dandy, so it’s a bit dated. He has to take a new photo next year for the panel.
First, Minami is asked what it’s like to be President of Studio Bones and what it’s like on a daily basis. He feels more like a producer because he works with the others at Bones. He collaborates on all projects from conception to script. In a single day, he consults his many emails before going on to meetings in the afternoon. At night, he drinks alcohol to relax. It’s usually with other colleagues, whether at Bones or elsewhere. They discuss what’s going on at work, so Minami considers it working.
As for how he got into anime, Minami goes back and says he really liked anime when he was a kid. His favorite at the time was Moonbeam from Finland. It also grew up with other anime like Space Battleship Yamato and Gundam. He had a deep interest in the media and studied it at university. As he started working, he moved on to animation. In fact, Minami says he wanted to be a director. He was a big fan of Tomino Yoshiyuki from Gundam, so he first worked at Sunrise but Minami learned that he enjoyed direct production more than directing in general.
Minami is asked which of the studio’s anime recognized the company the most, and he says Fullmetal Alchemist. This brought everyone to Bones and helped them become aware of his offerings. At that time, Bones was working on Wolf’s Reign and Ouran with FMA. These are the projects that put Bones on the world stage, so Bones considers them their global foundation.
Eureka 7: Hi-Evolution is brought to the table. Minami is asked why the three movies were ordered after Bones made the original anime. Minami says they worked on the original show 16-17 years ago. The idea here was to watch the first anime before checking out the rest of the franchise. After making the Eureka movie, the team then discussed the idea of reimagining the original anime as a movie trilogy. With these films, Minami’s team wanted to make these films to set a new tone that would set up the franchise’s next projects. So, of course, Minami wants us to look forward to more to come.
Minami is then asked about Josse and the Tiger Fish as the romance anime was met with praise. Minami is asked what led Bones to choose the story, and he says it was different from other things Bones has done. There were no robots, no explosions and no fighting. The director, who also worked on Noragami, wanted to try something new with a movie. Josse became this challenge because it was a new type of work. The team insisted on going ahead, and Minami asked if there would be any action, but they said no. However, the team was so passionate that Minami agreed to greenlight the show.
As for SK8: The Infinity, the president is asked how the unusual story came to life. Minami says Josse’s producer also oversaw that skateboarding series, and again, when he asked about the action or the involvement of robots, there was nothing. However, Minami says he was interested in skateboarding because he likes sports in general. They had never found the opportunity to do a sports series before, and as the producer insisted, SK8 aired for one season. However, he can see that the show was very popular with both domestic and overseas fans, so Minami considers the show a success.
As for this year’s titles, The Case Study of Vanitas is mentioned, and Minami said he was excited to work on this show because of his acting. Original publisher Square Enix was familiar with Bones because of FMA. When they launched this latest series, Minami thought it was great and had great art. However, the art was so delicate that it would be difficult to easily capture it in animation. Vanitas was only for two classes, and there’s still a lot Bones couldn’t explore, so Minami hopes they can explore the series even more.
When asked what was the hardest aspect of animating Mob Psycho 100, Minami said the webcomic creator has incredible world-building skills. However, in animation this can be tricky when dealing with environments. Minami wanted to treat him well and accurately. In most anime series, even Bones, there is a hybrid structure when it comes to adding CGI and hand-drawn work. However, MP100 is completely handmade. However, Minami says it’s incredibly difficult to do all the hand-drawn work because it’s such a struggle. It’s in his own work when it comes to effort.
Now, Bungo Stray Dogs Season 4 is taking center stage. Minami is asked how the pacing is handled with the anime given its complex story, and he says that with the original source material, the creator helps so much with the script. Each court asks the director to work with the creator to ensure that the story unfolds without a hitch. It’s unusual, but they do it to make sure the anime’s main story isn’t lost in translation. For season four, the director worked with all of the executives overseeing Bungo Stray Dogs. He works on it every day, from storyboarding to individual frames and beyond. So if fans can continue to enjoy and watch, Minami says he would be grateful.
Last year, Minami says Bones took over many projects like Godzilla: Singular Point and Carole & Tuesday. The president says the company has a lot to do. And of course, Mob Psycho 100 comes next in conversation to trigger fans.
Are you excited for the next big Bones projects? Which of his series is your favorite? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.