‘Gundam’ creator takes a frank look at family values

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

Anime director Yoshiyuki Tomino takes a closer look at family relationships in his new book, “‘Gundam’ no Kazoku-ron” (On the family of “Gundam”), published by Wanibooks Plus Co. this month.

Tomino is the creator of many classic anime series, including “Mobile Suit Gundam” and “Space Runaway Ideon.” He is also responsible for 1972’s “Triton of the Sea,” “The Wings of Rean,” an animated TV series aired in the 2000s, and many other works.

A recurring theme in his anime works has been the parent-child relationship.

Now, the leading anime director frankly discusses family in his new book, aimed at those who grew up watching “Gundam” and are now raising their own families. Tomino aims to send an enthusiastic message about family, describing his views about what makes a good society.

The director begins with how he tries to achieve reality in his anime. He also refers to today’s modern and materialistic society, which he says has lost touch with real values, as well as to myths circulating on the Internet.

Tomino then offers his interpretation of family. He encourages readers to fight for real values in a world that increasingly appears like fiction.

As expected, Tomino pulls no punches in his book. But he doesn’t sound preachy. Many times he simply quotes from his own works.

Tomino’s anime refer to a variety of family relationships. For example, he explains how he conceived ideas for Gengoro, a strong father figure who appears in “Super Machine Zanbot 3.”

Other anime titles Tomino refers to as illustrations of family issues include “Mobile Suit Gundam,” “Space Runaway Ideon,” “Mobile Suit Gundam F91” and “The Wings of Rean.” The director thus reveals what he thinks about family and modern life.

The book also provides behind-the-scene accounts of his creative processes. Fans will enjoy reading how Tomino for the first time reveals how he came up with his anime ideas.

Tomino has published novels, essays and many other books throughout his career, but “‘Gundam’ no Kazoku-ron” differs from his previous books.

This is an essential read for anyone hoping to understand more about Tomino, who has made significant contributions to Japan’s anime industry. The book is priced at 800 yen ($9.50), excluding tax.

Copyright The Asahi Shimbun Company.