Japanator has posted a transcript of Yamakan’s various Q&A sessions at Otakon. He touched a bit on Haruhi’s first season, as well as his other works. Here are some interesting excerpts…
Q: What inspired you to become a director?
Yutaka Yamamoto (Y): I want to be an animator. But I am not that great at drawing. So I became a director.
Q: Were there any old shows that inspired you?
Y: The one title that made me do what I do today, it was Laputa, Castle in the Sky. If it wasn’t for that movie, I would not be here today.
Q: Do you feel it’s important to add something original to a manga adaptation or sticking closely to the source?
Y: When it comes down to it, when making an anime out of a book or manga, some things you can’t translate directly. You respect it as much as possible but some things don’t translate. You also want to throw in some originality. I butted head with Tanigawa (author of Haruhi novels) with my ideas, and I think sometimes originality needs to come out in an adaptation. I felt once the show was done, I can go to Tanigawa and say this is the way it worked out best.
Q: Your shows are very detail and unique. What details do you specifically categorize as most important to express your message?
Y: Without getting into ideologies or theories of filmmaking, there are many popular titles that don’t pay attention to details, but I think characters are the most important. How characters stay in character, their motivations and being consistent with that and remaining in character is the most important thing in creating a show.
Q: Can you personally do the dances you directed?
Y: I came up with all the dance moves from Haruhi in my apartment, standing on my futon. I can do those moves. However for Kannagi we hired a choreographer, so not for that.
Q: Out of all the project you worked on, was there a favorite episode you worked on?
Y: Ones that were most memorable? As a director–I didn’t want to be emotionally worked up with my own work. But I was breaking into tears for Live Alive (episode 12 of Haruhi) and last episode of Kannagi.
Q: What was your favorite series as director?
Translator: Is it like asking which is your favorite children?
Y: Indeed. I love all my children. Some are good children, some are bad children, some are introverted and some are wild. The child I have the most problem with is Haruhi!
Q: Is there an American property that you want to see as an anime?
Y: I would like to see Back to the Future done, but even if it was animated, it would fall short of the original because the movies were so good.
The full transcript can be found here.