Learn, Understand, Grow. Dedicated to the challenge. For the future of Manga.
The expanding role of North Stars Pictures.
“The rise of the e-book is a fantastic opportunity”
What role does North Stars Pictures play in comparison to Coamix, which is a publisher successfully engaged in making manga and training editors?
Horie: First and foremost, manga has huge potential in other media, such as movies, TV dramas, video games and animation…, consequently, this success in other media will further highlight and add to the charm of the source material; the manga itself. In order to support our manga in those other fields, we divided the company’s function and created North Star Pictures.
In recent years, there's been a growing trend in adapting manga to the big screen but the rise in such adaptions seems to be poorly recieved. What are your thoughts on this?
Horie: Originally Osamu Tezuka sensei prepared his stories by laying them out on manuscript paper in a dynamic way. In this way, we can see that manga was meant to work as a storyboard to begin with. As such, it's only natural that movies and TV dramas are so easily adapted.
Printed media is becoming less mainstream as we head further into the 21st Century. Will North Stars Picture play a crucial role in this new digital age?
Horie: Indeed, print media has suffered a dip in relevance since the advent of the internet but, the growing interest in e-books indicates that manga accounts for a large proportion of digital usage. Some people involved in manga from the beginning are showing a stubborn resistance to digital media, preferring print, but I don’t share their viewpoint. Rather, I see digital media as a fantastic opportunity.
Horie: For example, the e-book presents an established concept such as manga in a fresh new way, whereas the same 20 year old manga title in print form already feels old. The e-book combines the “past” and the “future”, creating a juxtaposition that works wonderfully. Furthermore, in this modern digital age, the sensory perceptions of a 20 year old and a 60 year old are actually more alike now.
This is certainly true when compared with the past.
Horie: I’m 62 years old now and genuinely enjoy the music my daughter likes. She, too, happens to like the kind of stuff I enjoy listening to. We both enjoy listening to rock, reggae and rap so I get a feeling that generational differences are rapidly disappearing. When I was young I listened to rock music whereas my father was listening to Enka, or even Naniwabushi (laughs)! It was very difficult for cross generational communication back then, but not so now. This is why I think manga as a medium will continue to familiarize itself with digital media, and with it bring many new opportunities for the future.