Guillermo del Toro Talks Manga in Q&A

Adaptation of "Pacific Rim" director's vampire series "Strain" hits FX this weekend

His mercha versus kaiju specular Pacific Rim made it pretty obvious that Guillermo del Toro has an affection for Japanese pop culture. He also had thwarted plans to adapt Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo's Domu manga. And, he had development plans with HBO for Naoki Urasawa's Monster. With an adaptation of his vampire novels The Strain hitting FX this weekend, he did a Reddit Ask Me Anything q&a, and, of course, the subject of manga came up.


Well, I am a huge anime and manga fan, as is my daughter. In fact, I have an entire cabin in my office in the garden dedicated just to manga and anime, where I keep my books and my movies. I have never seen Evangelion, I love the designs and am very familiar with the designs of the EVA robots and Angels, but I have never actually sat down to see the series. Some people pointed out - I don't know if Travis who wrote Pacific Rim saw Evangelion - they saw the gel that connects the people to the robots, I came up with that myself, without seeing Evangelion. I however fully acknowledge the influence of Patlabor, Ghost in the Shell, Tetsujin 28-go, Space Giants, Mazinger Z, and many many other anime that I have watched and enjoy. I love very much the work of Osamu Tezuka, whose work influenced me growing up as a child, and I love quite a bit of the work of Mamoru Oshii, Katsuhiro Otomo, Satoshi Kon (big big time, whom I think was the finest narrator in anime other than Miyazaki and Takahata).

I also love the work Jiro Taniguchi, which I find incredibly contemplative and meditative,highly influential for me are the sculptures of Mirasawa, and the horror stories of Junji Ito, whom I met on my last trip to Japan. He was very very shy, and I kept slapping him on the back, which was not very Japanese. Junji Ito is the only author of comics that has scared the shit out of me. When the shark takes the stairs in GYO, grows the mechanical crab legs chasing them up the stairs, I literally threw away the comic and yelled "NO!" i was so absolutely scared.

I also think that I am very influenced by Japanese game designers. I am friends and a big friend of Hideo Kojima, and I have been lucky enough to be friends with Otomo-San. But the series I think would be FANTASTIC to adapt, but I would love to adapt live-action GANTZ. I love the books, I love the book i don't know if you're familiar with it, called BLAME - it's a really surreal, beautiful book, but I don't know if you know it. But it's written by Tsutomu Nihei. And I love the work of Katsuya Terada. But I tried my best as an anime fan to try to do the first live action anime movie with Pacific Rim. And that was one of the reasons why I wanted to achieve an almost superpure color palette of super-saturated colors. I was hoping to make the movie feel as dynamic and as vibrant as anime.


Scott Green is editor and reporter for anime and manga at geek entertainment site Ain't It Cool News. Follow him on Twitter at @aicnanime.

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