Introducing our new interview column, “Hi, I’m…“. In this series, we sit down with fantastic folks who influence the world of Japanese culture, from AniTubers to experts & industry celebs. Every other month, we’ll present a new interview with insight on their daily life, their thoughts on the Japanese Culture industry, and tips for those wanting to debut in the same field as them. If you have any suggestions of who we should interview next, let us know on Twitter or email us: YattaTachi[at]gmail.com.
Even though Callum’s word to describe himself tends to be procrastination, he still manages to produce fully researched videos about Anime Studios and sakuga (animation). I’ve personally known Callum for over a year through Twitter, and it’s rather inspiring to see his works. I’m hoping to one day soon dive in and learn more about the mechanics that go into creating anime. Hopefully, you will find this Q&A as insightful as I did and learn a little more about this 21-year-old Digital Media Student turned AniTuber from Adelaide, Australia.
How did you come up with your channel’s name (The Canipa Effect)?
Not many people know this, but “Canipa” is Ancient Greek for “great knowledge”.
Or at least I wish people would believe that. In fact, the reason for my channel name is incredibly boring. When I was younger and first got an Xbox, it was in the living room and it was for the whole family. So my mum ended up suggesting “CaNiPa” which was the first two letters of everyone in the family. However, I was the only one who ended up using it and for some reason, I’m still using a name that my mum suggested to this day. As far as “The Canipa Effect” goes, a website called “The Punk Effect” launched and I thought it sounded very cool.
What is your overall goal for your channel?
The idea is hopefully to make industry information and research entertaining and interesting. Facts can be more fun than fiction and not only can awareness be satisfying, but also demonstrate a level of respect towards the creators that make our favourite shows.
What is your process when it comes to creating your videos?
My process consists of 2 parts existential terror at getting things wrong and 3 parts editing until 4 AM. Videos take a long time to make and by the time it’s ready to publish, I usually end up only liking the parts that I haven’t had to watch through thousands of times.
What got you into creating sakuga/anime studio based videos?
It was actually my friend Glen (from GlenLovesAnime) that I currently co-host the AniPod Podcast with. He’s been an anime fan longer than any of us and he’d occasionally correct something that I said at the time. I then remember following more sakuga accounts on Twitter and in 2015, I started thinking that there was a lot of potential in doing this sort of content as video. I later started doing studio spotlights, mainly because I really really didn’t like the ones that were currently being produced.
What’s your workspace setup like?
It’s actually quite clean now. I have a room that’s entirely for producing videos in. A large desk with dual monitors with some Gunpla and amiibo, a Shirobako wall scroll (to remind me of what good anime is) and Kenji Horikawa (President of P.A. Works)’s business card on the wall. I then have a sofa with a wall of anime posters facing the TV that I watch anime on.
What word of advice would you give to a novice starting out?
Find something that you want to do before trying to find something that people might like.
The one thing you can rely on is that you have no idea what will be popular or not, so just for your own sake, make something that you can be excited about. If it’s original, well produced and you seem genuinely interested in making it, people will come along to see what all the fuss is about.
What shows do you watch that are NOT anime?
I actually watch more shows that aren’t anime these days. I watch a lot of British panel shows and sketch shows, along with Netflix Originals. The problem I’m going through at the moment is that I’ve begun to associate “watching anime” with “work”, so that’s something I’ll need to move through.
Favorite Anime Studio?
This is a difficult question, because if I was striving for a “correct answer”, I’d have to say Kyoto Animation. Their corporate structure is remarkable, built up through the years with no need for overtime or underpaid animators. They are the gold standard.
But putting that aside, my real answer is Doga Kobo. With directors such as Masahiko Ohta and Yoshiyuki Fujiwara returning to work on strong comedy series, the animators that work at or with Doga Kobo are people whose work seems to resonate personality. I love action and effects animation as much as the next guy, but there’s something incredibly fun about exaggerated character animation for comedic effect.
If you could name ONE scene from an anime that impacted you the most what would it be? Why?
I mentioned before that Glen had gotten me interested in anime production, but the cut that really ended up bringing me into this obsession was the first moment of Your Lie in April.
It was only ten seconds long, but the idea that one person animated it all was enthralling. I actually planned to do a video on Megumi Kouno from the very start, but it ended up coming out this year instead of the last.
What is one thing that people don’t know about you?
I am not a genius, a guru or an expert. I don’t watch anime, look at a scene and immediately think, “Well, this was obviously a Hidetsugu Ito cut”. There’s a fantastic article on Sakugablog about this, but all of the information about which animator did what is shared and archived. In fact, many of the videos I do often start production whilst I know nothing about the subject. When I sound excited about something in a video, it’s often because I’ve just learned about it as well.
Who are three people in your line of work that influence you?
I really really wish I could give references as to my video work, but I actually started doing anime youtube without watching any other creators. I originally came from video games, so I originally set out to do exactly the same thing I was doing there. But over this year, I’ve met some fantastic people who have helped me evolve my writing, whether they know about it or not. Even though these are people that don’t do video work, much of their writing skills helped me solve problems I was having in my own field.
Frog-kun is a brilliant writer and translator for Crunchyroll who is best known for “Found in Translation”. I really liked how they structured articles and how they became this seamless story without losing the reader at any point.
Liborek’s episode coverage thrives in its wording. Animation and animation production can appear to be tedious, but even though SakugaBlog is a specialist website, the phrasing never assumes that the viewer knows everything, and always attempts to explain things in a way that is both base level, yet never patronizing.
This last one is going to seem strange, but AnimeStyle’s Yuichiro Oguro. As the editor in chief of AnimeStyle, he conducts interviews, writes about animators and speaks enthrallingly about the behind-the-scenes of anime production, and it’s a constant reminder that this sort of content is valued.
What do you think the anime community can improve on?
Getting over the stupid stuff. I’d say “do more research” or “Pay more respect to creators”, but that’s like telling someone to wash the dishes when the sink’s broken. The most basic idea of “people like different things” seems to be absent from conversations, and there are constant unending arguments about why someone else’s opinion on an anime is shit. Recurring “gotcha” moments where one person claims a sort of moral superiority when in actuality, they just look like a prick.
So yeah, that.
What is one misconception you wish people would stop repeating?
The obsession with budgeting. The actual mechanics of how anime budgets are used or divided are complex, but the one thing that has constantly been asserted is that the budget for a show has far, far less impact on animation quality than literally every other factor involved.
The obsession with seeing a scene and referring to its budget is toxic and leads to even dumber conversations that seem to discuss how the budget in one scene (that happens to look a bit rough) was put into another scene (which looked quite good). I am comfortable with these people living in their delusional dream world, but the spread of this information just gets irritating.
What is your “dream job”?
Honestly, I want to produce animation. Seeing the ways in which anime producers gather and work with staff is inspiring. This was one of the reasons why I was incredibly frustrated with the Youtuber Misty Chronexia’s attempt at creating an anime series. It demonstrated a lack of respect for the animators, a lack of care and self-indulgence.
I want to create something that animators can enjoy working on just as much as people will enjoy watching. That’s the dream job anyways. Backup plan? Make a documentary about anime production. That’s somewhat more realistic.
What is something you struggle with when working on your channel (promoting, editing, etc) and how do you overcome it?
It can sometimes be difficult to stop myself from releasing scripts and information early. To keep engagement and interest high, I always schedule videos for when they’re most relevant. For example, I’ve got an entire script on the animation of Konosuba, so it can be difficult to keep myself from just dumping the script online as a counterpoint to ridiculous assumptions. But instead, I just take a break and reason with myself that my points will mean a lot more in video form.
What do you think is your biggest accomplishment so far?
My promotion of the NPO Animator Supporters project was something that I’m the proudest of. I can never be sure how much I am personally responsible for, but knowing that I raised some thousands of dollars for the project was incredibly satisfying and I even received a message from them thanking me for my support and promotion.
That’s all for this interview! Callum recently launched a Patreon for his channel to fund translating interviews of anime creators. You can find Callum on Twitter and be sure to subscribe to his channel!
Editor Note: This interview was edited slightly for clarity.
In the “Hi, I’m…” series, we sit down with fantastic folks who influence the world of Japanese culture, from AniTubers to experts & industry celebs. Every other month, we’ll present a new interview with insight on their daily life, their thoughts on the Japanese Culture industry and tips for those wanting to debut in the same field as them.
Have someone you want to see featured or questions you think we should ask? Send us an email: YattaTachi[at]gmail.com.