What is your vision of Lantis in the next coming years?
We want to make animation that based on anisong singers and musicians that people can enjoy overseas as well. I think you may had experienced this before, but sometimes there is a case where the theme songs are changed into another song for that country.
Yes I have experienced that.
-I think the people singing now should work a little harder. They should learn English or even Chinese. I think it’s important to make that platform. I want to have artists that can be successful in foreign countries as well. I also want AniUTa to expand overseas and do copyright agreements and commission overseas. We need to do something that benefits the composers of the songs as well.
-JAM Project sings for an anime called One Punch Man. The song has been played 30 million times and 84% of it was streamed overseas.
Yeah One Punch Man is really popular overseas! Maybe because they don’t sell the theme song CD over there.
-Also the official site of Lantis has more access overseas. 60% of the total access are from other countries. When I see that it makes me realize there are fans outside of Japan and we need to go out there more frequently.
I agree. Sometimes you realize what’s popular overseas by looking at which country is accessing the site.
-Yes, exactly. For JAM Project’s One Punch Man theme song, more than 80% are people overseas. It’s Youtube so China is not included but if it was included I’m sure there would be more views. That shows how popular anime is globally.
I have friends overseas who sings the One Punch Man songs all the time.
-One Punch Man is about a guy names Saitama who lives in a 4 and a half tatami mat apartment. Do people overseas understand that phrase?
I don’t think so. It’s like living in a tiny little room. But the anime is really popular. I want the second season.
So are there any artists you recommend or want to promote overseas?
-A lot of artists want to go overseas. So I think it’s important to make animation that will be popular overseas. So the new company that will are setting up in April will make a platform for that. It’s important to get fans of the animation first. After that, it will be nice to have Lantis Matsuri again with more audiences.
I see. So it’s important to make new animation.
-Yes. It doesn’t have to be just anime, it can be movies, short movies, and anime music videos.
So kind of like a PV?
-Yeah, Love Live actually started off like that. The promotion video was the anime.
I see. That is pretty fun to watch!
Next I would like to ask you a few questions about JAMLAB projects. So you’ve been the project leader of JAMLAB since the beginning. Do you have any advice and ideas you can give us?
-In the beginning, when I went to France, I talked to Amuse France and made a joint company called AmuseLantis Europe about 2 years ago. When I was meeting up with people in France, there was a cable TV company that wanted to introduce Japanese anime music and artists but they didn’t know who to contact to get in touch with Japanese companies. Lantis and Amuse was pretty easy to reach but of course even in Amuse there are artists that can offer videos and artists that can’t. A-Sketch is part of Amuse and for the most part, they are able to offer their videos. We were definitely open to have other media’s contact us and use our live performance video to promote us in their country. That’s when I thought, if there is an artist that some companies are interested in, it will be nice for them to at least be able to get in touch with them somehow. I felt there was a need to make a system in Japan to let companies know who to contact and which label to contact.
That’s very true.
-I work with a few conventions oversea, but I feel like there are a lot more conventions or people that are trying to set up a convention and medias that we don’t even know about in the world. It would be great if those people can contact Japanese companies through JAMLAB. I only know about 10 to 15 anime conventions in the world and I hope that through this, there will be more anime conventions in the future. It’s our job to help promote events like this.
Thank you for your advice. We will try our best.
-This started with anisong but I think another goal is to have JPop and JRock become more global too. First, we will promote anisong, and through that maybe Japanese record labels can get together to promote general Japanese music. Maybe we can make another site that’s for general Japanese music.
That sounds like a really good goal!
-No need to rush, just take your time.
Yes, but we’ve been getting emails recently so we’re very happy.
-Oh! That’s great!
How many anisong artists are there now?
-There’s about 150 anisong artists right now.
Oh! That’s a lot!
-I’m pretty surprised too actually. There’s already that many anisong artists and musicians and I believe Japanese music will also start expanding overseas. It would be great when a time comes where artists can go on tour oversea as an extension of their Japanese tour and to be able to sell their CD’s there too.
This will be the last question. I would like to know what is Anisong to you.
-If I need to sum it up to one word, it would be “Gratitude. “It’s a hard question but you know how I made my debut in 1977. Things were not going too well. This goes for Kageyama and the others too. We were able to get a chance to work with music through anisong again, so I am very grateful. Also I feel “KIZUNA (a bond of friendship)” to Anisong. Anisong is KIZUNA with the world. We are able to bond with the rest of the world through Anisong.
Wow!! That’s awesome!
-I want to keep making an environment where I can interact with everyone all over the world.
Thank you so much!!
It was pleasure interviewing you
-Thank you very much.