OSAKA, Japan — Declaring that he has found a calling more worthy of saving than anime, Japanese anime director Yutaka Yamamoto, known to fans as Yamakan, has told the media that he will apply his talent and creativity to saving the art of stamp collecting. The 41-year-old former anime director, known for directing Fractale and Wake Up, Girls!, caused a stir in 2011 when he vowed his new project would save the anime industry. Now, several years later, Yamakan has moved to another field.
“The problem with stamp collecting is that fans are obsessed with presentation, and thus demanding higher quality stamps which lowers the value of first edition definitive and commemorative stamps,” Yamakan tells Anime Maru. “The postal service is churning out commemorative stamps to meet the high demand, but if they make so many they’re not even really commemorative anymore and it’s flooding the market.”
When asked about his anime career, Yamakan was dismissive. “Anime isn’t worth saving anymore. I tried my best and no one appreciated it and just made fun of Black Rock Shooter. But I can make a difference in the stamp collecting world and they will be grateful for my impact. I know it.”
Yamakan explains that stamp collecting should be about appreciating the contextual meaning of philatelic design throughout history instead of having the newest, shiniest collection of stamps still in circulation. He showed our interviewer several binders of stamps he owned, gesturing at the significance of a set of stamps from 1998 featuring agricultural equipment.
“My new stamp collection is going to save stamp collecting, or as we in the business say, philately,” Yamakan proclaims. “When I get my hands on that Inverted Jenny it’s going to be perfect. My name will be right up there with Philipp von Ferrary and Thomas Tapling.”
“Oh that old Japanese dude? Yeah I know him,” Stamp and Card Monthly editor Jacob Driskill tells Anime Maru. “He’s been showing up to stamp conferences yelling all these crazy things and we just do our best to nod along and ignore him.”