Scott Green interviews the creators of IGPX (IMMORTAL GRAND PRIX), the folks that did the anime sequence in KILL BILL!!
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with Scott Green, the AICN Anime guru. I confess to knowing very little about anime outside of AKIRA, GHOST IN THE SHELL and NINJA SCROLL, but the anime sequence in KILL BILL had my jaw on the floor, so I'm very happy that Scott got to interview the heads of Production I.G. about their newest. He even got some info out of them about it playing on a big network here in the States as well as who may be doing the English voices... Enjoy!
Scott, the AICN Anime guy here. One of the announcements from the
2005 Tokyo Anime Fair in Japan with immediate ramifications for anime
in North America was the initiative by Production I.G. and Bandai
Entertainment to produce IGPX, an original series for Cartoon
Network's Toonami block. The sci-fi mecha-racing show from the
acclaimed producers of the Ghost in the Shell anime incarnations,
Jin-Roh, Blood and Love Hina among other works, will pick up on the
5-minute episodes of IGPX which aired on Toonami in 2003.
Production I.G Spills the Beans on New Anime, IGPX and Is got Cartoon
Network Written All Over It
Kyosuke here with some pretty interesting news out from the land of
the rising sun. For those of you that remember the 5 minute short,
IGPX airing on Cartoon Network's 'Total Immersion' it looks as though
those crazy animators at Production I.G are hitting the drawing boards
again with a brand new 26 episodes series, titled 'Immortal Grand
Prix' or 'IGPX' expanding on that original short. What makes this news
even more interesting is the fact that Cartoon Network has signed on
to co-produce this brand new series together with Japan making this a
truly interesting blend of East meets West animation and storytelling
– we saw glimpses of this on Production I.G's short on Tarantino's
'Kill Bill', imagine the possibilities! I had a chance to speak with
the President of Production I.G, Mr. Mitsuhisa Ishikawa and director
Mr. Mitsuru Hongo, here's what they had to say…
Q: How did the collaboration for IGPX all start?
Mr. Ishikawa: Cartoon Network had previously inquired about some
development projects in the works here at I.G, looking around; there
was a short development short in the works involving futuristic
gladiatorial battles, this later became one of the shorts aired by
Cartoon Network. The response from the viewers were overwhelmingly
positive, to the point that Cartoon Network came back to us and
together began looking into possibly doing a new co-produced anime
involving the same concepts.
Q: How far is the show in development? Did Cartoon Network demand a
Mr. Hongo: The show is progressing quite nicely! We've taken over a
year to truly flesh out the story details, background, mechanical and character designs.
Looking at the show now, it's quite a bit different from the 5 min
short aired in the United States. Creatively? Both Cartoon Network
producers, Sean Akins and Jason Di Marco played a large collaborative
role in the conception of the world itself and with them being such
huge anime fans themselves, it was a very enjoyable experience. I
think the end result will be an original Japanese animation with a
story understood by a truly global audience.
Q: What's the show about?
Mr. Hongo: IGPX is a story based in the future focusing on an elite
racing/battle competition where two teams of mecha operated by human
pilots compete in the biggest sport in the world. The main characters,
Team Satomi are a group of young rookies thrown into the big leagues.
The series is a combination of 2D and 3D CG animation.
Q: Has the English voice cast been set yet?
Mr. Ishikawa: I believe the Cartoon Network team and Bandai
Entertainment have received confirmation from Haley Joel Osment from
the Sixth Sense, Michelle Rodriguez from Biohazard [note: Resident
Evil outside of Japan] and The Fast and the Furious, Tom Kenny the
voice of Sponge Bob, Joseph Hahn from Linkin Park, and an invitation
has also been sent to Quentin to lend his voice.
Q: Wow! What's the budget for this?!
Mr. Ishikawa: The budget is very similar to our high-end television
productions like, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and 2nd Gig.
Q: When will we see IGPX here in the United States?
Mr. Ishikawa: You should ask him [points to Jerry Chu of Bandai Entertainment]
Mr. Chu: IGPX is planned for broadcast on Cartoon Network's Toonami
block of programming this Fall. Further details and announcements will
be made at this year's Comic Con International.