●BLU-RAY● Crusher Joe Blu-ray BOX Limited Edition (クラッシャージョウ Blu-ray BOX 初回限定生産版)

The 1983 animation film series CRUSHER JOE (クラッシャージョウ) was released in Japan in a Blu-ray box set that collects the original movie and various OVAs, all based on a science fiction novel series published back in 1977 written by Haruka Takachiho (高千穂 遙) . The movie is the first directorial work by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko (安彦 良和), who is widely known as one of the creators of Gundam. Katshuriro Otomo collaborated as special guest designing the ship Anakune. 


★"Crusher Joe" movie version remastered in 4K
★ 2 OVA works from 1989 remastered in 2K: Crusher Joe Hyouketsu Kangoku no Wana (クラッシャージョウ―氷結監獄の罠―) & Saishu Heiki Ash (クラッシャージョウ―最終兵器アッシュ―)
★ Bonus video: Special roundtable discussion (74 minutes) Starring: Haruka Takachiho, Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, Hiroshi Takemura and Run Sasaki 
★ The box includes a 100page booklet with a lot of materials with many unpublished setting images.


Publisher: VAP Co., Ltd. (株式会社バップ)
Release date: 2016-XII-14
Format: 3 Discs | Region A | MPEG-4 AVC | 1080p
Audio: Japanese Linear PCM 2.0 & DTS-HD Master Audio 4.0 Stereo
Subtitles: Japanese
Duration: 246 min
Retail price: ¥25,000 + tax
Cataloge number: VPXV-71486


Amazon JP: https://amzn.to/3LN3SAI
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3JKsZlR
Amazon CA: -
Amazon UK: -
Amazon DE: -
Amazon FR: https://amzn.to/35elkNG
Amazon IT: https://amzn.to/357A0hs
Amazon ES: https://amzn.to/3v3PMVF


This regular edition doesn't include the 3rd bonus disc and the 100page booklet

Publisher: VAP Co., Ltd. (株式会社バップ)
Release date: 2016-XII-14
Format: 2 Discs | Region A | MPEG-4 AVC | 1080p
Audio: Japanese Linear PCM 2.0 & DTS-HD Master Audio 4.0 Stereo
Subtitles: Japanese
Duration: 246 min
Retail price: ¥18,000 + tax
Cataloge number: VPXV-71487

Amazon JP: https://amzn.to/36m2CnH
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/33zwAUa
Amazon CA: -
Amazon UK: -
Amazon DE: -
Amazon FR: https://amzn.to/356Ht0d
Amazon IT: https://amzn.to/34Q9UQq
Amazon ES: https://amzn.to/33BbR2t


The movie is presented in both the full frame and widescreen versions on 2 discs. The OVAs were released separately. 

Publisher: Discotek Media
Release date: 2020-VI-30
Format: Region A | MPEG-4 AVC | 1080p | 1.78:1 & 1.33:1
Audio: Japanese & English LPCM 2.0 (48kHz, 16-bit) | Japanese: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.0
Subtitles: English
Duration: 125 min.
Retail price: $29.95

Amazon JP: https://amzn.to/3LFWruM
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3uO3wng
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/3JvrxUi
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3gNSTZh
Amazon DE:
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Publisher: Discotek Media
Release date: 2020-VIII-25
Format: Region A | MPEG-4 AVC | 1080p | 1.33:1
Audio: Japanese & English LPCM 2.0
Subtitles: English
Duration: 125 min.
Retail price: $29.95

Amazon JP: https://amzn.to/3H4Yq8C
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3s3e1kG
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/34VDXpB
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3v1LmP1
Amazon DE: https://amzn.to/3Iarq00
Amazon FR: https://amzn.to/36tD8oA
Amazon IT: https://amzn.to/3LQmsaQ
Amazon ES: https://amzn.to/3sXxC52


MUSICA NOSTRA (ムジカ・ノストラ) #28

Published in Shueisha's GRAND JUMP (グランドジャンプ) no. 22 magazine in 2016-X-19. 
2 pages | B&W.


Publisher: Shueisha (集英社)
Release date: 2016-X-19
Issue date: 2016-XI-2
Language: Japanese
Size: 25.4 x 17.2 x 1.8 cm
Retail price: ¥350

Available in Amazon JP:


Katsuhiro Otomo has talk about Bande Desinee or french comics in a event organized by Kinokuniya book stores thta took place in Shinjuku's 8-floor event space. There was space for 25 attendants and the price was ¥3,000.

Oficial announcement: goo.gl/sxrIuH

Otomo is known to have been influenced hugely by french comics, he has  mentioned many times in interviews the appreciation he has for the work of french artist Moebius among others. The appreciation from the french public is reciproque as in 2015 he was awarded with the grand price on the  'Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d’Angoulême' and next year he attended as special guest and gave a master class. He has also been honored with  Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Govermnet.


The second issue of Pandora, a collection of comics that is published in France by Casterman features the last comic work by Katsuhiro Otomo, WARUI ROBOTTO MO KOWARETA JIGOKU E IKU NO? (悪いロボットも壊れたら地獄へ行くの?) originaly published in Geijutsu Shincho (芸術新潮) in June in a number mainly dedicated to Otomo and the french comics or bande dessinée. 


Publisher: Casterman
Release date: 2016-IX-21
Language: French
Number of pages: 264
Size: 18,4 x 25,9 cm
Retail price: 18€
ISBN-10: 2203119519
ISBN-13: 978-2203119512


In october 2015 manga author Isami Nakagawa (中川 いさみ) started the serialization of MANGAKA RESTART! (マンガ家再入門). The first two episodes featured Otomo Katsuhiro as a guest. Today the first collected book was published.


Publisher: Kodansha (講談社)
Release date: 2016-VIII-23
Language: Japanese
Number of pages: 192
Size: 21 x 15 x 1.3 cm
Retail price: ¥980
ISBN-10: 4063378519
ISBN-13: 978-4063378511


Amazon JP: http://amzn.to/2bcAKGG
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2drDkH5
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2dW6IYW
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2eDSfzL
Amazon DE: http://amzn.to/2eDXeQY
Amazon FR: http://amzn.to/2eDSkTM
Amazon IT: https://amzn.to/2vrrSG7
Amazon ES: http://amzn.to/2eDSjiG


MUSICA NOSTRA (ムジカ・ノストラ) #28

Published in Shueisha's GRAND JUMP (グランドジャンプ) magazine in 2016-VIII-17.
2 pages | B&W.


Publisher: Shueisha (集英社)
Release date: 2016-VIII-17
Issue date: 2016-IX-7
Language: Japanese
Size: 25.4 x 17.2 x 1.8 cm
Retail price: ¥350

Available in Amazon JP:


Katsuhiro Otomo and other 10 manga artist interviews are collected in the book MANGA NETSU: MANGAKKA NO GENBADE WA NANI GA OKOTTE IRU (マンガ熱: マンガ家の現場ではなにが起こっているのか) by manga researcher, editor and poet Nobuhiko Saito (斎藤 宣彦)


Publisher: Chikuma Shobo (筑摩書房)
Release date: 2016-VII-25
Language: Japanese
Number of pages: 268
Size: 19 x 13 x 1.6 cm
Retail price: ¥1,944
ISBN-10: 4480873872
ISBN-13: 978-4480873873


Amazon JP: http://amzn.to/2aApUGz
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2ej79IH
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2djzDzH
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2eEmZ3o
Amazon DE: http://amzn.to/2e7CrlU
Amazon FR: http://amzn.to/2eEmWoe
Amazon IT: http://amzn.to/2e7CEp5
Amazon ES: http://amzn.to/2eEppPz


Today it was released in various digital music formats the ULTRA DEEP HIPER HIGH RES "SYMPHONIC SUITE AKIRA 2016" (ウルトラディープ・ハイパーハイレゾ 『交響組曲AKIRA 2016』) composed by Soji Yamashiro (芸能山城組) for the animation film AKIRA directed by Katsuhiro Otomo. A 36 page digital booklet was also published  for the occasion. The Music performed by the group Geinoh Yamashirogumi was originally released in CD and LP back in 1988.


1. 金田 KANEDA
4. 鉄雄 TETSUO
5. ぬいぐるみのポリフォニー DOLLS' POLYPHONY
10. 未来 REQUIEM


Release date: 2016-VII-16
Duration: 70min 29s
Size: 4.6GB (flac) | 5.7GB (DSD)


WAV 192kHz/24bit: ¥3,672 
flac 192kHz/24bit: ¥3,672
DIFF 5.6MHz/1bit: ¥4,212 
DIFF 11.2MHz/1bit: ¥5,292


The audio files are available in this websites
e-onkyo music


Published in Geijutsu Shincho (芸術新潮)
2012-VI-25 | 8 pages | Color

This month's Geijutsu Sincho (芸術新潮) magazine features a new 8 page color manga by Katsuhiro Otomo, a sequel to his manga DJ Teck  Morning Attack published in the same magazine back in 2012. This issue also features a conversation with Otomo about the Bande Desinee (french comics) that have been influenced Otomo's since the early days.


Publisher: Shinchosha (新潮社)
Release date:  2016-VI-25
Language: Japanese
Number of pages:
Size: 28 x 20.8 cm
Retail price: ¥1,435


Amazon JP: http://amzn.to/28YGh0m
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/28VD16H
Amazon CA:-
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Amazon DE:-
Amazon FR: http://amzn.to/28UEPrC
Amazon IT: http://amzn.to/28VV1c0
Amazon ES: http://amzn.to/28UFDMY


Katsuhiro Otomo has directed the music video of Aya Nakano's (なかの綾) song JUKU-HATACHI (じゅうくはたち). The song was released as a single on May 11 and will be included in Nakano's new album EMERALD IN PARADISE (エメラルド・イン・パラダイス) that will be released on June 15. It is the first time Otomo directs a live action music video.


Label :Vivid Sound / High Contrast
Release date: 2016-V-11
Language: Japanese
Format:  CD + 7inch  45RPM
Retail price: ¥1,500
Catalogue number: HCCD- 9571

A side: じゅうくはたち
B side: KISS feat. CENTRAL

01 - じゅうくはたち
02 - KISS feat. CENTRAL
03 - じゅうくはたち (Karaoke)
04 - KISS feat. CENTRAL (Karaoke)

Amazon JP: http://amzn.to/1YpKJaw
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/237EdFM
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/25Vew0x
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1Ub0pOX
Amazon DE: http://amzn.to/1Ub0x0V
Amazon FR: http://amzn.to/1Ub0Clc
Amazon IT: http://amzn.to/1Ub0mCL
Amazon ES: http://amzn.to/1Ub1wy2


LabelVivid Sound / High Contrast
Release date: 2016-VI-15
Language: Japanese
Format:  CD
Retail price: ¥2,800
Catalogue number: HCCD-9573

01 - じゅうくはたち
02 - シャングリラ
03 - KISS feat. CENTRAL
04 - 午前2時では早過ぎて
05 - エピソード1
06 - スキャンダル
07 - 曲がれない角
08 - グッド・バイ・マイ・ラブ
09 - I’m Still Fallin In Love
10 - またひとりになって

Amazon JP: http://amzn.to/1ZOtFcL
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1sEGjk1
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1URvOzZ
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1Ub0gv0
Amazon DE: http://amzn.to/1Ub0Jxb
Amazon FR: http://amzn.to/1Ub0S3G
Amazon IT: http://amzn.to/1Ub1JRQ
Amazon ES: http://amzn.to/1UaZNZD


Arvo Brothers not only made a wonderfull replica using LEGO pieces of Kaneda's bike featured in Katsuhiro Otomo's AKIRA but they also published back in january 2014 an instruction book that depicted step by step how to build one by yourself. The book even included die-cut decals to decorate your model. After being sold out for a long time today they have released a second edition, this time with a  hardcover binding.

The book features 200 pages divided into four chapters:
C2.- CONSTRUCTION OF THE MODEL (description of the process)
C3.- INSTRUCTIONS (two versions, "complete" & "naked"; steps & catalog)

Visit Arvo Brothers and follow them on facebooktumblr and flickr


Publisher: Arvo Brothers
Release date: 2016-VI-7
Language:  English
Number of pages:  200
Size: 30x20 cm
Retail price: 26€
ISBN-13: 978-84-6164188-8


You can order through arvo@arvobrothers.com

●MAGAZINE● JAZZ JAPAN(ジャズジャパン) Vol.69

The last issue of JAZZ JAPAN (ジャズジャパン) magazine features a two page talk with Katsuhiro Otomo on his collaboration with Aya Nakano (なかの綾) and the upcoming Kichijōji Music Festival (吉祥寺音楽祭). Otomo's drawing for Nakano's concert poster is printed in a full page.

Official Magazine site: http://www.jazzjapan.co.jp
Official Kichijoji Music Festival site: http://www.kichion.com/


Publisher: Shinko Music (シンコーミュージック)
Release date: 2016-IV-21
Language: Japanese
Number of pages: 176
Size: 28x21cm
Retail price:¥1,030

Available in Amazon JP:


Katsuhiro Otomo has drawn the key image of the poster that promotes Aya Nakano's Band (なかの綾バンド)  concert that will take place on May 1st 2016 in the upcoming 31st edition of the Kichijōji Music Festival (吉祥寺音楽祭).

A limited 300 copies of the poster will be available at the concert with a price tag of ¥2000.

Here the Official program of the festival: http://www.kichion.com/2016/31.pdf


Casterman has released the first number of a new comics collection that includes short stories by a diversity of authors. Katsuhiro Otomo's DJ TECK NO MORNING ATTACK (DJ TECKのMORNING ATTACK) originaly published in 2012 in Geijutsu Shincho (芸術新潮) Otomo Special in Japan has been inverted for western reading and translated to french for the first time.


Publisher: Casterman
Release date: 2016-IV-13
Language: French
Number of pages: 264
Size: 8,4 x 26 x 1,9 cm
Retail price: 18€
ISBN-10: 2203109912
ISBN-13: 978-2203109919


Amazon JP: https://amzn.to/36X5aWs
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2vtv6Jv
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/26ybdtL
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1T84YCP
Amazon DE: http://amzn.to/1SCigIo
Amazon FR: http://amzn.to/1rlDpQy
Amazon IT: http://amzn.to/1SCifED
Amazon ES: http://amzn.to/1T85bWP


LuckyMe Records has reelased an 9 track EP titled Capsule Pride by the Toronto-born, Berlin-based  producer / artist Bwana featuring a techno re-work of Katsuhiro Otomo's AKIRA animation film's soundtrack by Shoji Yamashiro. 

This EP will be available for free starting March 29, at the official site:

You can aslo listen and see the videos of each track in a an official YouTube playlist and in SoundCloud.


Label: LuckyMe Records
Release date: 2016-III-29
Format: Digital EP | stereo | 33 1/3
Duration: 43 min
Reatil price: Free
Catalogue number: LMW006


01. Capsule’s Pride (Bikes)
02. Kiyoko’s Vision
03. Nightfall in Neo-Tokyo
04. Failed Escape (Where You Belong)
05. The Colonel’s Mistake, The Scientist’s Regret
06. S.O.L
07. Akira’s Light
08. K&K (Lovers In The Light)
09. Tetsuo’s Dance (Ascendance)


Felix Comic Art has published this video where Steve Oliff remembers how it was working with Otomo in the colored edition of AKIRA. 

Steve Oliff 's original AKIRA color guides are available exclusively at: www.felixcomicart.com

Steve Oliff is a comic book colorist who has worked in the industry since 1978. His company, Olyoptics, was the first to use computers to do color separation. In 1989, Steve was personally selected by AKIRA creator Katsuhiro Otomo to color the seminal work. Steve and Otomo-san worked side-by-side at Steve's studio in Point Arena, CA to develop the color scheme that would be used throughout the series. The guides were printed at Otomo-san's studio in Japan on 10"X14" heavy-stock artist's paper and then sent to Steve, where he hand-painted them using some combination of airbrush, felt pens, gouache, cel animation paint, colored pencil, Pantone film and more! These are not your typical color guides; each piece presents beautifully as its own work of art and is suitable for framing (although as with all colored art, best to keep out of direct light). Felix Comic Art is excited to present this rare opportunity for fans to own an original piece from this legendary work. 


Katsuhiro Otomo has offered in the 'Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d’Angoulême' an extended lecture about the days in which he was working on the serialization of AKIRA back in the 80's


Glénat has awarded Don Rosa, Milo Manara and Katsuhiro Otomo with this years Albums d'Or (Golden Album)award to the most sold comics. Otomo together with the other awarded artist received his price in Angouleme.


Katsuhiro Otomo has autographed collector silkscreens copies of his key illustration for this year's 'Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d’Angoulême' at the Cultura stand. The prints will be on sale for 250 euros at the store in Champ de Mars and in internet after the Festival (by writing to info@bdangouleme.com)

The Silkscreen was done by 'Les Mains Sales' workshop
Comisioned by 9eme Art
Here the making of video by Nicolas Olivier:


Gallerie Glénat has organized in the caves of the theatre of Angouleme a tribute exhibition to Katsuhiro Otomo that is going to be the honor guest in the 'Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d’Angoulême' that starts today and last until January 31. The exhibition will take place again in summer time in Paris at the galerie Glénat. Otomo has designed the key image that was also used in the catalogue cover.

Here the list of the  artist that have participated in the exhibition:

Virginie Augustin, Bannister, Dominique Bertail, Matthieu Bonhomme, Aleksi Briclot, Francesco Cattani, Lorenzo Ceccotti, Merwan Chabane, Olivier Coipel, Luigi Critone, Simone D’Armini, Ludovic Debeurme, Benoît Feroumont, Manuele Fior, Juan Gimenez, Joël Jurion, Jean-Philippe Kalonji, Viktor Kalvachev, Nicolas Keramidas, Kim Jung Gi, Olivier Ledroit, Stéphane Levallois, Li-An, Liberatore, Julien Loïs, Vincent Mallié, Dilraj Mann, Stan Manoukian, Thierry Martin, Laureline Mattiussi, Hugues Micol, Timothée Montaigne, Nicolas Némiri, Vincent Perriot, Gloria Pizzilli, Victor Santos, Stan Sakaï, Otto Schmidt, Guillaume Singelin, Jirô Taniguchi, Lucio Villani & Vince.

The exhibited works were collected in the exhibition catalogue: TRIBUTE TO OTOMO


Galerie Glenát has published a catalogue that collects all the illustrations shown in the TRIBUTE TO OTOMO exhibition at the 'Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d’Angoulême'. The cover features the brand new illustration of Kaneda and his bike drawn by Otomo himself. This catalogue was released as a limited edition of 999 numbered copies.

Here the list of the  artist that have participated in the exhibition:

Virginie Augustin, Bannister, Dominique Bertail, Matthieu Bonhomme, Aleksi Briclot, Francesco Cattani, Lorenzo Ceccotti, Merwan Chabane, Olivier Coipel, Luigi Critone, Simone D’Armini, Ludovic Debeurme, Benoît Feroumont, Manuele Fior, Juan Gimenez, Joël Jurion, Jean-Philippe Kalonji, Viktor Kalvachev, Nicolas Keramidas, Kim Jung Gi, Olivier Ledroit, Stéphane Levallois, Li-An, Liberatore, Julien Loïs, Vincent Mallié, Dilraj Mann, Stan Manoukian, Thierry Martin, Laureline Mattiussi, Hugues Micol, Timothée Montaigne, Nicolas Némiri, Vincent Perriot, Gloria Pizzilli, Victor Santos, Stan Sakaï, Otto Schmidt, Guillaume Singelin, Jirô Taniguchi, Lucio Villani & Vince. Available in Galerie Glenát 


Publisher: Galerie Glenat
Release date: 2016-I-28
Language: French
Number of pages: 88
Size: 27.5 x32cm
Retail price: 29€
ISBN-13: 978-2-344-01509-4


Amazon JP:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2zb1JZg
Amazon CA:
Amazon UK:
Amazon DE:
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Amazon IT:
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Katsuhiro Otomo has answered to the French media from the Museum of Louvre in Paris where he has arrived today in it's way to the 'Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d’Angoulême'. Manga.tv & Musekai Productions have created the videos that collect most of the event.


(Thanks to Noelis Prieto for the translation)

Q: You have always talked about your work in your place, why do you open up to your readers and followers today?

A: I was extremely delighted and grateful to the Festival d'Angoulême for awarding me such a prestigious prize rendering homage to my career. I would like to thank the Festival d'Angouleme and the French public who has always supported me. As you may know, I am someone who talks very little in front of the camera, I don't usually do this kind of thing, so I would like to thank you very much. The international meeting is planned in Angouleme, and suddenly, not being accustomed to conferences, I didn't know if I was going to be here. Anyway, I'll do my best and hope that you will be kind to me.

Q: In an interview in 2009, Naoki Urasawa said that Fireball was for a whole generation of mangaka equivalent to "Nouvelle Illustration". What is it like to be a superstar and is it not a bit paralyzing?

A:I am touched by all the praise, but I try not to be disturbed by the appreciation of others because creation is a whole other thing. So, I try to be faithful to my opinion and be creative.

Q: In retrospect, what would you do different and what would you change about your work Akira?

A: Nowadays, I think I would never do Akira. That's a question I have never asked myself, so it's hard to answer. When I think about the times in which I created Akira, I really gave everything to it. There is nothing that I didn't manage to put in the work. While I was working on the manga I began working on the animated film and there were a lot of constraints, like it was necessary for the film to last less than two hours. I was very frustrated during the theatrical release and so I finished the manga. When I look at the manga I feel like I put in everything I wanted. In any case, I will not repeat Akira.

Q: In France, Manga sales are dominated by works such as Naruto or One Piece. What is your view on these types of Manga?

A: I hope that my works are selling as well as those titles.

Q: We have the unfortunate habit of forgetting that the Akira was released more than 30 years ago. You have inspired many filmmakers and comic fans. What do you think of the younger generation of manga artists (beginners or experienced), like Mamoru Hosoda and his recent work The Boy and the Beast. Do you have names you would like to highlight through this platform?

A: I recently participated in a book called Oyajishu which is a collection of stories, manga, and illustrations where I worked alongside young Japanese authors. I loved it. The mangaka work a lot and are not necessarily known. It was a really fabulous experience that made me really happy so I hope it'll continue. In any case it has made me want to work with young authors.

Q: Akira is a phenomenal success. Does this not lock you in an international momentum? Does this not put aside your other works? Does this summarize you to Akira?

A: It all really depends on the works. Some of my works have met their success and others haven't. All of these works remain as my works and I have no reason to complain. They are all as important as each other.

Q: The idea of making a televisions has crossed your mind. Is this still relevant or is that gone?

A: I don't know how or what to say. It's true that there is a television project. On the other hand, I'm not with the person involved with this project, so I don't know what I am entitled to say or not. It would be better that you were not talking about this issue.

Q; What has been the imaginative and creative base of your works?

A: Daily life gives me a lot of inspiration, but it is not only that. There are also creations, Mangas, novels, and works that I've discovered and read during my childhood and have inspired me a lot. Maybe not at that time, it took some time, but those are all memories that have given me inspiration. It took a certain maturation time for this influence to permeate my creations.

Q: Apart from your main work, you have participated in four films including "Manie Manie", "Robot Carnival", "Memories", and "Short Peace". What do you like most? Would you do it again?

A: Yes, I would like to repeat those experiences if the opportunities arise. Short film is lighter than the feature film, because I am less concerned about commercial success. In addition, it allows me to try things, make experiments that are practical in the short film format, but are more complicated with the feature film format.

Q: We are getting closer to 2030, the time in which Akira takes place. Does it amuse you to see the differences between what you imagined and what you see today?

A: I think that everyone working in the Science-Fiction world shares that idea. Nobody could imagine what the future really would be. Who could have predicted, for example, the importance of the mobile phone today? And I think that with the progress of technology, both the present and future are very different from what we had imagined.

Q: What do you think of the colorized version of Akira?

A: Today, I find it perfectible, but back then it was a good job. It was Marvel who had the idea and wanted to work with a colourist -I forget the name- who wanted to work the colouring with a computer. I didn't know this technique and it intrigued me, so I accepted and worked with the team. It would have been better now, but at the time we worked well.

Q: Could you tell us a bit about your current projects? There was talk about you working with the Louvre on a comic about the Edo period. Will there be a return to animation...?

A: I cannot give you any details, but yes, the manga on the Edo period is still ongoing but I cannot move forward because I do many things simultaneously. I have a live-action film project, an animated film...I am currently working to find budgets but I am also in discussion with the Louvre and the Orsay museums. I would like to finally plan everything this year.

Q: Do you know European comics, especially the French-Belgian? What do you think of the production and do you have any favorite authors?

There are many authors I like! It's been a couple of years since I've visited France so, I don't really know all current authors but I like Nicolas De Crécy, Kerascoët, and Lewis Trondheim. I'm certainly all ears if you have authors to recommend!

Q: Is a project for making an Akira film with real actors conceivable? To what extent would be your investment?

A: So, I guess you're referring to a live Akira film project produced by Warner. To this day, I have still not received the script, so I'll have trouble commenting. I know the Warner team is working very hard on it but I have no more information to give you. On my part, I did the Manga and an animated film, I think I did everything I could and I do not really intend to participate in this project. I'd rather watch the film as a spectator.

Q: One can feel an anguished view on the world in your work Akira. Has your view of the world changed? Is that anguish still the same?

A: Yes, it's true I can have a kind of anguish towards the world today; the same anguish as when I wrote Akira. Human beings are creatures that aren't absolutely perfect, and that is why sometimes unfortunate, strange, and mysterious events happen, and this is reflected in my works; this spirit that we must have to cope with such events.

Q: You are absolutely a great influence to other comic artists and many of them have said they would like to access your brain to know the origin of your genius and your ideas. Is there an artist about who you feel the same way?

A: I confess I don't worry too much about other authors and rather concentrate on my work. With age, I've realized that I still have many things to do and I want to fulfill my duty. Others do not interest me.

Q: What inspired you for this festival's poster?

A: Finding the idea for the festival's poster took me an enormous amount of time. I was very late and I had to bother the world because of it. I wanted to make a poster that nobody had seen before, something surprising. For some time I've been very interested in traditional Chinese and Japanese writings, so I wanted to insert this traditional culture. Before that, I did a poster for a very colorful Jazz music festival, much like the Japanese prints "Ukiyo-e". Wanting to do something very different for Angouleme, I used the Chinese inkwash technique with very little colors, hoping that you liked it. 

Q: What do you think about the polemic concerning the lack of nominations of female artists in the Festival d'Angouleme?

A: I think the sex difference, man, woman, ultimately doesn't matter when facing the interests of the work. It is simply that the works should be interesting.

Q: In which way does the matter of equality (male/female) concerns and/or interest you (or not)?

A: It is true that equality between men and women is not fully implemented in today's world. However, I am speaking purely of creation, and the world of online publishing doesn't pay attention to whether the author is a man or a woman. I have to do works that sell, otherwise the publisher wont publish it. Thus, the criteria for publication does not depend absolutely on sex or color.

Q: Some years ago you adapted a Manga into a live action film. What have you retained from this experience? What are the differences between the Manga and the actual shooting? What are the filmmakers that have inspired you?

A: I love live-action films and I can mention plenty of directors I respect, like Akira Kurosawa. When I make a live-action film, I like to mix real life and the fantasy side. That is why I made the film you mentioned, in order to mix the universe of those two worlds. In the old days, it was very difficult to realize this because the computer processes did not allow it. Suddenly, the special effects were very artisanal. Today, with the technological advances, we can absolutely make extraordinary special effects. I am very interested in that today and if I should give you other names of classic Japanese film directors apart from Kurosawa, I would mention Yasaujiro Ozu or also Shohei Imamura. I love all the classic directors that you certainly also know.

Q: To stay on the cinematographic side: How was the transition from solitary profession of designer to team work as director of Akira? What were the challenges? How do you write a movie without revealing the end of the Manga?

A: It may seem a little strange, but when I draw only for my Manga, it makes me want to work for the cinema, which is a collective work, and when I work on a cinematographic project, it makes me want to go back to my solitary work. When I started to work on the animated version of Akira, I had not finished my Manga, but I had already drawn the end of the story. The most important constraint was the duration of the film, because it was necessary that I tell it all in 2 hours, so I didn't do everything I wanted. That is why only after the completion of the film, when I took up the manga, I took a long time to do all that I had not been able to do in the film.

Q: You say you don't know too many contemporary comic authors but in particular I think you were working with Moebius on a project that was aborted called Airtight Garage. Could you talk a little about Moebius and your relationship?

A: I absolutely love Moebius' work and it's true we had a common project that was abandoned. We were working on an animated film and we discussed it a lot in Japan with Moebius because I also like other European comic artists like Enki Bilal. In fact, I found out I'm not the only one who enjoys Bande Dessines. In the late 70's and early 80's many people loved European comics and there were people coming to France every two years to check up on the comic scene.

Q: Video games can be considered an art form, same as manga. Would you not want to contribute your touch in this environment, or would you prefer to concentrate uniquely on manga and Japanese animation?

A: Personally, I love video games. I know one mustn't abuse, but I play a lot. But, the video game world has changed dramatically and we invest a lot of money to create video games. The image quality of video games has increased in considerable ways and now high definition 4k is used to create images for video games. It's become extremely complicated for me to go into that environment because it has changed and when I look at the work done, I find it very difficult. I also have a very good friend who is one of the most important people in Bandai-Namco, important society of video games in Japan, who told me that it has become very expensive to produce video games.

Q: Animation techniques have evolved a lot. Has that influenced your way of writing and approaching new projects?

Finally, advanced technology and history have nothing to do with the plot of a film. Even if there is progress, technology doesn't change my way of writing. But it is sure that this technological progress gives me ideas, and it is through this that I have the opportunity to show some sequences. But the technology and the content of a movie are two different things.

Q: Kaneda's bike has become an emblem of Akira. What was the creative process of this bike? What do you think of the excitement around Kaneda?

A: In fact, I intended to mention Kaneda's motorcycle at the Festival d'Angouleme so I don't think I'll talk about it here.

●EVENT● Katsuhio Otomo's reception at Louvre


Katsuhiro Otomo has been received at the museum of Louvre in Paris where he has answered the questions of the media extensively. Otomo is on his way to the 'Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d’Angoulême' that will take place from january 28 to 31 in the city of Angoulême. He will be the honor guest in the festival after receiving the 'Grand Prix' last year. Otomo has contributed designing the key art for this year's Festival and he will held a conference on Saturday 30 at 14:30.