Interview : William Macphee, Currently working in Microsoft in Seattle.
An inspiration for me to get a job at an anime producion company in Japan
was back in my college days when I actively ran a Japanese anime club.
Initially it was started by a couple of people who later became very good friends.
Initially I offered to help by writing the newsletter, but soon ended up helping even more.
Eventually I ended up as the president of the association.
I had always liked Japanese anime in nature, however, with the introduction of my new friends I became interested in gatherings with other people who like anime.
We organized the club, arranged club activities and posted our latest anime news via web page which was yet rare at the time in early 1990s.
In 1994, just before graduating from college, the economy in the United States was not so good and, inspired by a recent trip and my love of Japanese culture, I tried to get a job in Japan.
I originally applied to the US branch of Pioneer as they had recently started importing anime titles from Japan.
My resume sparked an interest there and they recommended me to the production company that was making the majority of their titles at that time, AIC (Anime International Company).
As luck would have it I was able to coordinate an interview at a convention with the president of the company which led to a job offer.
Working at an anime production company in Japan was very exciting for me.
Naturally all of the people in the company were Japanese. The only people who were able to speak English in the company were the president of the company and one of the directors, Mr.Hayashi, who later became my best friend in Japan.
The immersion of that environment really allowed me to grow my Japanese language skills faster than anything I had previously experienced.
The atmosphere at the company was very flexible and friendly.
I was put in charge of administration of the company web server and site which allowed me an amazing amount of creative license at the time. At the time, internet technology in Japan was still behind the U.S and other early adoption countries.
Because the company was not so so large, I had multiple roles and opportunities.
Building the internet infrastructure, designing the web site, creating the content were all expected.
Bonus opportunities abounded including discussing stories and ideas with directors and designers, interview with voice actors and actress', going to the recording studio.
Later these opportunities proved to be very beneficial to my future career choices.
Specifically the broad experiences of setting up networks and servers, web site development, CGI programming and Japanese language skills.
Although the pay was not as high as some other opportunities, I was just graduating from college and this allowed me to acquire great experience and confidence with my Japanese language skills. I was also lucky enough to have met my wife when she was an exchange student in college who came to our anime culture parties to practice her English.
We continued dating when she returned to Japan and eventually married there.
Introductory of Anime production company in Japan:
AIC(anime international company)
Number of employee: 43
Oh My Godess
Web page: http://www.anime-int.com/index.html