A Studio Full of Ninjas:
The Making of a Modern Animation Classic                  
By Alyce Wilson and Mike Ryan

FROM: Max Gorgonzola, CEO/Chairman/President/Creative Director, Ephemera Studios
TO: Department Heads
SUBJECT: Strategic Plan

As you know, our quarterly results were weak. We've had our posteriors handed to us on a breakfast tray with plasticware, a paper plate with a spork.

We need new ideas now. We'd hate anyone to return from vacation to find we've rented their desk to bridge people.

Go team.

FROM: Blanche Wolfington, President, Entertainment Division
TO: Max Gorgonzola
SUBJECT: Brainstorming

We put our heads together at a weekend retreat (see attached beer and pizza invoice) and have some suggestions.

Why not put our animators to work on a low-cost property in the public domain? We could capitalize on the Japanese animation craze.

If the animators do not soon get work, we suggest cutting them loose. They consume an inordinate amount of a Japanese chocolate treat, Pocky.

FROM: Carey Winkerstein, Information Services Manager
TO: Max Gorgonzola

Blanche tells me you're looking for someone with Asian culture expertise to suggest an animation project. She was right: I am knowledgeable. Perhaps she saw my Shogun poster and collector's set of Sanrio Junior Executive Desk Toys.

I think The Tale of Genji would be a perfect selection because it would maximize our leverage potential while minimizing capital outlay. Plus, it's really old so you won't need to pay much for the rights.

FROM: Clio Zamboni, Project Manager, Genji
TO: Writers
SUBJECT: Herculean Endeavor

As our illustrious leader has by now informed you, we are embarking upon a task to bedevil the banal amongst us, to trouble the trite, to flummox the fatuous. In short, jettison your clichés, cast off the hackneyed trifles of youth and join me on this most noble quest, to assail the summit of one of this globe's most hallowed tomes, The Tale of Genji.

To lighten our individual burdens, I assign us 19 chapters each, distributed in alphabetical order, excepting J, to be read by Monday.

FROM: Bart Fling, writer
TO: Charlie Algernon, writer
SUBJECT: Tale of What?

I thought Tale of Genii was a sushi place in Chinatown. Will you read my chapters? I have a hot date with Candi from the typing pool. She says words give her hives.

FROM: Charlie Algernon
TO: Bart Fling

Why bother to read them? Just make something up; they're going to change it all, anyway. Don't bogart the typing pool. Peace, out!