NOBORU ISHIGUROThe Super Dimension Fortress Macross/
September 27, 1982
If Macross was the first afterschool project of the Gundam children, Ishiguro was both their father and headmaster. He shepherded a motley crew who had never created their own series before, and together, the veteran and the upstarts created a bona fide classic. Despite this (or perhaps because of this), he was a kind, grandfatherly figure then and still is 25 years later.
I visit his studio Artland right after he finished the 110-episode Legend of Galactic Heroes space opera opus and is about to tackle some side stories. It is after Star Trek: First Contact's American premiere but before the Japanese premiere. So, I play international courier of intrigue and hand-deliver a toy of humanity's first warp drive spaceship.
Ishiguro eyes the toy with his trademark twinkle and hustles it over to the only animator who stumbled into work "early." (For 12-hour-shift Japanese animators, early means 2 p.m.) The young animator opens his sleepy eyes, croaks his earnest arigatou, and stashes the toy in his desk. Apparently, it would be a very productive night for him.