Author Topic: Interview with a pig; "that other interview" that ANN didn't see fit to print..  (Read 4544 times)

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Offline Sindobook

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We all know that ANN is biased; if you don't believe me, 1 week before they interview Tofu, they interviewed the pig but then declined to post his interview on their site.  I guess he just wasn't telling them what they wanted to hear... I was hoping they'd still post it but it's been a while since they posted Tofu's so I think it's time I post this already.  As if people didn't know ANN was biased already, but it's an interesting read nonetheless.  ANN wasn't always like this, but sometime several years ago they turned; enough said, here it is.

Q:

You say that you're the 'leader' of live-evil but most people don't acknowledge
it.  They say that Tofu is the active leader, or that there really is no
leadership other than the collective will of the group.

A:

You need to understand the way that leadership works.

What does a real leader do?

How many decisions does he actually make himself?  Mostly, a leader just
delegates, he makes others in charge of things and lets those people run things,
defering to them and trusting their judgement when the time comes. 

It's rare for a leader to actually make a decision that actually does something
or makes a difference.  Granted, if one of those people he appoints does
something that is obviously wrong, or just isn't working out, he might pull
that one guy out and have him replaced with someone he feels better about. 
But he doesn't really have his hands in every decision made, he doesn't use
his power often, he mostly just sits back and watches.

It's like setting up a machine and then just letting it run.  If the machine
is running well, you just let it churn and do its job.  If the machine starts
to get squeaky, maybe you need to take it down for a little maintainance, but
then you start it up again and let it churn again.  If the machine breaks or
something goes horribly wrong, you get rid of the broken part, maybe change
the design a little bit to make it more robust, and then fix it up with new
parts and start it up again.  That's all a leader really does.

Sure there are leaders who lust for power and who try to have their hands
in every little decision the group makes, who won't delegate at all out of
fear and frequently have to remind everyone or let everyone know they are the
ones in charge, but I'm not one of those kinds of leaders.  Those kinds tend
to waste a lot of their own time in often-pointless tasks and they tend to
burn out or self-destruct in the end.

A real leader doesn't need to let others know he is the one in charge, as far
as the group is concerned he's just trying to keep the machine running; and
when the machine is running smoothly, he just sits there and nods occasionally,
smiles, maybe poses for a photo every now and then, etc.

Q:

So what about Tofu?

A:

What about him?  He's the right guy for the moment, the right guy for his role
and what he's doing right now.  Not much else to say there, really.

Q:

With the local industry in crisis, what is your feeling about the future of
fansubbing?  How do you feel about what you do every day?

A:

I feel just fine, really.  It's much ado about nothing.  There will always be
people running around like chickens with no heads yelling 'the sky is falling'.
There were people like that since the beginning.  So what.  It doesn't really
change a thing.  Good businesses suceed, poor businesses die; that's the world
we live in.  There was a big flap about 'fat boy' produce a while back, pigs
complaining left and right that their lettuce was below par, it was often old,
had brown spots that wouldn't come off even if it was washed, their genetically-
modified carrots just didn't taste like real carrots did, etc.  At some
point the pigs stopped eating their food, and hence people they lived with
stopped buying it; and where is 'fat boy' produce today?  You can't even find
'fat boy' produce anymore, they had a massive recall, they went bankrupt and
ended up shut down, a general business failure and a textbook lesson on how
not to run a produce company.  In any market, in any field of business; you
understand the customer -- what they want, how they want it, etc.  If you
don't do those things, and then you blow it, whose fault is it that you failed?
Just as there are always people who live in a state of perpetual panic, there
will always be people who try to blame those around them for their own
failures; but in reality it doesn't change a thing.  They failed, and that's
that. 

Q:

What about [deleted]?  You live with her, wasn't she a bit pissed off a while
back about the whole thing?  How did that turn out?

A:

I think the truth is she just found something better to do.  Seems pre-occupied
with other things lately.  I really don't worry too much about that... last
I checked she was working with [deleted] and those guys, saying that she could
do things where the creators were actually quite helpful in getting it out
there, they would actually peer review your scripts and help you express their
'original intent' in english, etc.  I mean here I have to tell our translators
to just guess and do the best job they can, we don't have inside people like
that in live-evil.  In a perfect world we would, but those people just aren't
there, or if they are, they're certainly not working with us.

Q:

Weren't you going to do something like the live-evil new fansub lottery a while
back?  To let the fans at least have some say in what was done, if they could
prove they deserved it by beating you at shogi?  Whatever happened to that?

A:

The truth is, that didn't work out so well.  For starters, no one actually was
able to beat me at shogi.  Okay one guy did, but he was playing to have a IRC
ban lifted.  He wasn't playing for the lottery.  Of the guys who were playing
for the lottery, most of them had already lost before they even got to the
endgame.  The only guy who had the advantage going into the endgame made a
total newb mistake and forfeited once he realised that. 

And people were getting impatient.  They had projects in the works and they
wanted to release them.  So that was it, really.  If you have something that
must be done, or it's already done and just needs to get out there, you can't
hold it back forever.  You could try, but it would be futile.  It wants out,
it's going to get out and if you stand in the way too long you'll get pushed
out of the way or even rolled over and flattened.

That's the way things happen today, it's not so much order but more organized
chaos, survival of the fittest, a dog-eat-dog world where 'rules' are really
just guidelines, morals are an illusion and people do what they want, when
they want to.

Q:

How do you feel about the current course of the industry in general?  Not the
local industry but the industry in Japan, do you think it's healthy?  Do you
think it can survive what is happening out there today?

A: 

There might have been a slight dip in 2004 but today I think the industry is
doing just fine.  Look at the quality of the shows that come out at the top
of the game and compare those with a few years ago.  Sola.  Clannad.  When
Noir came out, it was on the top of the game.  But today, if you compare, the
characters, the sense of mystery and anticipation, the plot, the character
designs and the background, it's plain to see the industry is still advancing
and improving, todays best works are better than the best works of 5 years ago.

Some people will be negative about anything, they will cry wolf or yell 'the
sky is falling' and if you listen to them, and who is worse, the fool or the
guy that listens to and believes him?

Q:

What about this season in general though, a lot of fans tell you that the
middle-of-the-line shows are losing quality or that there are nowhere near as
many 'good' shows as there used to be.  What would you say to those people?

A:

That maybe they outgrew the genre and need to move on?  There are many shows
I still find enjoyable, mid-level shows that people often overlook b'cos they
don't start out with all that flash and pizazz but if you sit down and give
them a chance they are really very good.  My personal favorite this season
was 'sketchbook:  full color', a slice-of-life show about some cats and the
seemingly ordinary people around them.  Episodes like "Neko Neko no Hi" and
"Nekoneko part3" which were masterfully done and so true to life I couldn't
believe they were showing it on TV.  The issues the cats had like with the
foreign cat who wasn't able to speak cat-japanese.. that's just like irl where
I still get calls over Skype from Japan or Korea that I have no hope of
understanding and when I call [deleted] to translate me for she just looks
at me funny and shrugs.  Even the human plots are very insightful, either way,
it's a perfectly good example of a middle-of-the-line show that is what it is,
stands alone and doesn't try to be any more than itself.. yet sets a new
standard for shows of its type.

Q:

So with that said, can you give us any hints as to the future direction of
live-evil?  Will you be doing more 'classic' shows in the future?  Will you
do another mega-popular show?

I don't know if we'll ever do another Death Note or Tsubasa Chronicle... but
it really depends on what they want to do.  This year we had Shion no Ou, which
to me was a really big show in its own right; rivaling and far exceeding Hikaru
no Go if you ask me, but it largely got swept under the rug by the other groups
b'cos when it came down to it, it was a soft, tender story about a young girl
who doesn't talk, doesn't have large talents[1], and keeps her hair pretty
short... and of the other major characters, you have an effeminate male
crossdresser, an ojou-sama girl who wishes she could play with the guys, and
so on.  Shion still has a significant following, but the usual groups won't
touch it with a 10-foot pole so go figure.

As for future shows, I can assure you we'll do Yotsuba when it finally comes
out in Japan, that looks really good but again it might be too 'sketchbook-full-
color-ish' to be another Death Note. 

Q:

Okay pardon me, I'm going to have to take a little break here, pardon me while
I feed my bunnies, Jojo has been acting a bit strange lately and Mr. Sparkles
is hopping around like there's no tommorow; you know how that is...

A: 

Yes, I have to deal with Min-min and Yue-bing all the time... I'm honestly
surprised she hasn't driven Vincent insane yet...

Q:

Alright I'm back, who is this Vincent guy anyway?  I can't help but see his
name come up occasionally in your answers.

A:

Actually I don't know much about Vincent other than through Yue-bing.  So I
can't really say much, everything I get is rather second-hand which might be
okay except that, that second-hand, I don't really trust it.

Q:

Since the topic of Yue-bing came up, I know you make no secret that she's
not exactly your favorite bunny, but overall how well do you think you get
along with members of other groups?  Mascots, active members, people, etc.  Or
do you stick pretty much with your friends in live-evil?

A:

Just fine in my opinion, honestly I'm not the only one who has problems with
Yue-bing.  I was never on that friendly terms with her but she's been in a snit
ever since the bunny caucus, not willing to admit she and she alone was the
reason she was so far behind and making even more enemies as of late.

I mean overall I can assure you, I've gotten along just fine with the animals
employed by other groups.  As mascots, active members, or whatever.  People
say animals in groups are unusual, or that it's a big thing when a pig is in
charge of a group, but I don't think it's really that unusual -- I mean one
of the very first groups elite-fansubs had a chihuahua who was a very active
member, h-b has been around for a pretty long time and they have always had
a bunny at the top, animejunkies had a turkey, and even a cow at one time who
was in charge of running their distro.  And I've always gotten along fine with
those guys, so I don't think you can really say that the animals in the scene
don't get along or that there's antagonism between the animals.

Q:

Okay well it's been nice talking with you, I've got to wrap this up, do you
have any parting remarks to the fans or anything else you want to say?

A:

In general no, it's been nice talking with you, thanks for taking the time
to do this.  And to the fans, hang tight, we got some great stuff for you guys
coming out real soon, I know several months ago people were saying we'd had
it, but as long as I'm in charge, that's never going to happen.  Live-evil will
never die, we're going to keep doing what we have been doing, and anyone who
tries to get in our way will get forced aside or rolled over.  And thanks to
everyone who's supported us along the way, we all really appreciate it here.

--- END ---

NOTES:

[1] - "talents" - This is archaic otaku-speak for 'breasts', basically there was one scene in the dub of BSSM where they were trying to decide who should play a character in a play, Lita(?) pointed to her breasts and they translated it as "I have the most talent" so thereafter that became a bit of an in-joke among Otaku... I don't know where the pig picked it up but that's what it means.

Offline Tofusensei

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Wow, what a great interview! I had no idea they also interviewed the pig :)

-Tofu
The alpha and the omega of Live-eviL.

Offline pokute

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It is a great interview. Much better than Tofu's because it mentions Yotsuba.