She had the delight to be interviewed in a *Megane Suit Cafe, surrounded by, well, sexy dark haired young men in suits and glasses. The following is a portion of her lucky interview.
The Mainichi Daily News: How did you become an otaku?
Simona Stanzani: When I was a child, many Japanese anime were already being shown on TV in Italy, such as "Lady Oscar," "Aim for the Ace" and "Rocky Joe."
The first time we Italians realized that the anime were from Japan was when "Grendizer," the anime adaption of Go Nagai's manga began. Before that, anime such as "Heidi" were European stories and the drawings were not so different from Disney's, so we didn't really think much of where they had come from. But Grendizer was such a culture shock that you couldn't possibly ignore the fact it was Japanese. It had all sorts of weird aliens modeled after Japanese demons. After Grendizer, the second most famous was "Captain Herlock." I think all the boys wanted to be Herlock.
MDN: I heard you wore a black dress when your favorite character died.
Stanzani: I get moved very easily when watching a movie or reading a manga, so I cried so much over anime like "Candy Candy," saying, "Oh no! They didn't meet again!" I think the Japanese are really good at doing this setsunai thing. Setsunai is hard to translate, but to me it has something to do with solitude. It's a very Japanese way of making people cry, I think.
MDN: This is a labor of love for you.
Stanzani: Of course. Sometimes you have to translate stuff you don't like, but apart from that, the only pressure that I really have is my deadlines. It's the freedom, really. Also, I welcome a challenge, and I'm a very positive person, so I can always find the bright side even in the worst situation. Even when translating is very hard, on the next page there might be something really amazing. I'm very happy with my job.
It'd be worth your time to read the entire interview (it's really not too long). She's a pretty interesting person. She had a passion and a dream, and it happened to be anime related. It doesn't happen often, but it's just a tad inspiring. Be inspired DARN YOU!
*Megane is a Japanese word basically referring to people who wear eyeglasses. It often refers specifically to men.