You don’t get better
Kaiyodo became a model company with a name known all around the world. This entity still has a “hard-working family management,” and is a small company with 41 employees. It can feel unexpected from amateurs, but these days there aren’t any young people wishing to join aiming to be sculptors.
“Sometimes people do come saying with confidence, ‘I’m good’ when they aren’t, or, ‘My soon took gold in arts, so please use his talent,’ haha. But there’s no one like the kind of people that came here 30 years ago. Models aren’t the kind of things you get better at with practice. Your technique can be refined, but talent doesn’t change. Bome, he was practically useless at first.”
Those recruitment standards might be based on a ‘how mad are you to make models?’ way of life. On the one hand, if you get a good look at the entire model industry, it seems the managing director has an interesting presence.
“If we’re the old-fashioned yakuza, having taken Wonder Festival from General Projects, then nowadays there are more and more intellectual-type gangsters, emerging manufacturers who excel at business. If there’s even one victor within those, it’s Good Smile Company, right? What’s amazing about their president, Takanori Aki, is that even though he makes models for himself, he’s not an otaku, but he understands the feelings of people who like them, and moreover, he supports other colleagues that make things. There are no other producers doing business like that yet. He’s our greatest rival, but at the same time, he’s Kaiyodo’s greatest sympathizer, as well. If we and Eva have a sympathetic alliance of continuing to do crazy things, then Good Smile Company is like an allied force.”
A mischievous model shop with an old-fashioned way of just doing stuff they like. For the managing director, that’s how Kaiyodo should stay.
“I think beginning at the next Wonder Festival, there will be a rapid evolution of models made using 3D printers. An incredible new talent was born from people being able to make models through carefree drawing. So within the next 5 years, I think Wonder Festival will become more and more like Comiket, and we can’t stop that. Right now, we can’t think about stuff like raising our successors, what’s becoming of the model industry, or what the new youth are like. Even presidents reading economics magazines talking bossily about 5 or 10 years from now will eventually go bankrupt, haha. It’s over when you die, so we keep on struggling. People who can’t get there already know. If we stand on the top of the industry like Anno, will we be able to make things more easily? This is all just about us enjoying ourselves. A world where we couldn’t do that would be better off ended.”
- 7/26/2015 Wonder Festival
An enormous booth appeared in commemoration of the same day as the 20 year anniversary of Eva’s TV broadcast. Past masterpiece figures, and diorama masterpieces made by Kaiyodo were displayed.
- Kaiyodo’s Gatekeeper, Mallow (T/N!!!: Thought this might be better than Maro) the White Cat
Finally, in thanks to those of you who read this lengthy interview to this point, here’s a freebie column. Within Kaiyodo, there’s a tale of a fostered cat found and raised at the company office. With its transparent blue eyes, the pure white and lovely Mallow. Its personality, however, is a 180 degree change from its appearance. You might think it has a soft voice, but it suddenly turns ferocious, and has already sent 3 office employees to the hospital (!). Staff who have been bitten describe the pain of a hole being put into your arm as being “like an ice pick.” Nonetheless, Mallow is adored both inside the company and out as a poster cat. You’ll hear it purring, and that’s when it strikes. Basking in the sun by the building’s entrance everyday, the gatekeeper depended on by Kaiyodo!
Kaiyodo Co. LTD
Using “Make an infinite number of things, as many as there are stars shining in the sky” as a catch copy, they do figure model planning work and sales.