Become a fundamental pillar of Channel 13’s morning show, the versatile journalist with extensive experience covering politics analyzes the contingency from an otaku point of view. “Ricardo Lagos wanted to be President Netero (Cazador X) of the constitutional process,” he maintains.
It was almost 8 in the morning of September 4 at a school in Florida and they were in the middle of setting up tables, when a reporter from Canal 13 approached a spokesperson who, like many on election days, came in disguise: he had a mask with a strange nose and a red ribbon chupalla. Hat equal to the one worn by Luffy, the pirate protagonist of the famous anime One Piece.
“Awesome anime! It is one of the most awarded historical anime, in Japan they go crazy and here I think the gentleman too”, Francesco Gazzella broke in in the journalist’s office. The vocal preceded to open his jacket and showed a shirt with the faces of all the characters of One Piece. “You overdid it, you made our day. Extraordinary”, pointed out the face of the morning Your day.
Francesco Massimo Gazzella Contreras (32) has become in recent months a fundamental pillar of the morning schedule on Channel 13, where he animates with Mirna Schindler and Ángeles Araya. Her profile was a bet to add current analysis to the program: with a past on Emol TV, Radio Universo, CNN and Vía X, her specialty is political contingency.
But he has also sung Chayanne, tried to surf in front of the cameras, and has even shown seductive skills in Italian, a language he knows by descent from his father. A versatile personality, which was also shown when he revealed his taste for Japanese anime in full coverage of the constitutional plebiscite. In fact, at the closing of the morning, Francesco says that he always says goodbye with a Kame kame ha.
“I grew up with the classics that were played in Chile: Super champions, Knights of the Zodiac, Dragon Ball. Then came the time of Slam Dunk, At school there were several of us who liked the subject, but I always continued and have never stopped,” Gazzella tells The Clinic.
Today he sees other adult series that have more elaborate content with transcendental messages, sometimes with visions different from the Western one on very human topics. Shingeki No Kyojin, Jujutsu Kaisen, The Promised Neverland, Demon Slayer, among others.
Therefore, we talked with him about his love for anime, and we tried to make him will analyze the national contingency with symbolisms of this Japanese culture which is becoming more and more fashionable in our country.
“It is a genre that has known how to age”
Apart from watching anime, do you read manga too?
-Very little. But the same ones I see: Attack on Titan, Demon Slayer. I follow anime more, but I have friends who read a lot of manga and then tell me or send nonsense from time to time.
Japanese culture came to Chile with everything and has increased its audience. How do you think he conquered our country?
–I have always believed that it was much bigger than we thought, and I have the impression that it is a genre that has known how to age. That is, a bit like what happens with some video games: they have to be able to create new things that the new generations like, but also me. You have to manage not to lose this world that you already created. On that side, they have been very ingenious, they have managed to make projects in which a teenager can enjoy with an older person.
In addition, this issue brings a whole culture behind it. I was in Japan for two weeks and in Tokyo I dedicated a couple of days to this issue of anime. I went to see the giant Gundam, and then you realize that although I am a person who enjoys watching these series, the world is much bigger than just series, anime or manga. There they had a quantity of material that I never imagined existed in my life. The merchandising, the monkeys, things to decorate your house. It’s infinite, so it seems logical to me that here they also manage to get beyond the fact that you’re just watching an issue on TV. People buy shirts, books, everything. It’s very heavy…
The same is still a more conservative view that believes that anime are just “monkeys for children”…
-I was more a teenager with my mom. She didn’t understand why she kept seeing little monkeys. Nobody cares now, but of course (…) the story of Hunter X is enjoyed by a young child because he wants to see an adventure story, but when you’re older you can grasp all the psychological and strategic part behind it. You can be watching an animation, but it’s too powerful, they have everything.
What is your favorite?
-I think that, Hunter X. Or Full Metal Alchemist. But there is also a peculiarity: I can’t imagine my childhood without Goku and Dragon Ball Z. It happens to me that when I was a kid, the Knights of the Zodiac or all these series like that were too important in children’s lives. The albums, the pogs, Pokemon, playing cards and the whole world behind it. Now I don’t know, with Demon Slayer (Kimetsu No Yaiba) and its last season I was crazy. The last chapters are a masterpiece.
In general, it seems that you like the shonen genre, teenage series that emphasize camaraderie in combat, vital energy, etc. Do they identify you?
-As there is something more than life as we know it. Of course, the vital energy that in some cases is the toor the nen and the cosmos. It’s like a very Stars Wars thing, very Jedi. I find it interesting if someone could connect to that, or have superpowers. As if you could project something more from your body than just your own physique.
“Ricardo Lagos wanted to be the Netero of the constitutional process”
Which politician would you like to part your Pokemon path with?
-A good coach would have to be a mix between young politicians and those with more experience. The government is giving us lights on that. The president just changed all six of his pokemons let’s say; he must have had a hard time choosing. I can’t name a politician in particular.
What anime would you recommend to the politicians who are negotiating today in the constituent process?
-Shingeki No Kyojin (Attack on Titan). That one broke it, it became the Game Of Thrones of the animes. There they would find several interesting things: honor; also a political/religious division of society; secrets, the series is always about the search for the truth but in a world in which, although they live protected from an external evil, something happens, there is a lie of who governs you that must be revealed. But with all the political/religious structure, I think they could learn a lot from that. In addition to the fact that it is a very very entertaining series, and more than learning, it is enjoying, since you dedicate yourself to power. A wonderful story about power, truth and honor, which is part of politics whether we like it or not.
What is your favorite anime character?
-There I go back to the origin. I was amazed at the Supercampeones, and I liked them all, but particularly Benji Price, the Niupi goalkeeper. Or in Knights of the Zodiac Seiya anyway. But the one I’ve had the most fun with would be Hanamichi Sakuragi from Slam Dunk.
And the villain?
-Kira, the main character of Death Note, the series whose first season was quantum. He is the protagonist, whom you follow, but at the same time he is the villain and that is the grace, because it is impressive how he conquers you. Today the anti hero is very fashionable.
Someone more typical would be Frieza (Dragon Ball). Sounds like a badass to me too.
Do you identify him with a politician?
-It is that he was like an emperor of the galaxy or of the universe. This guy is looking for eternal life, that was the grace. I don’t think there is a politician with so much power or who wants to have an empire, but of course to dispute power, you have to make it grow.
According to Hunter X, who would Meruem the Ant King be?
-That guy was too powerful but inexperienced. He had no idea about anything and gets carried away with a game that he can’t win. Complicated, because the guy is bad and he doesn’t care if he kills anyone.
But he has a roll in which he becomes more human…
-Of course, humanity itself is beginning to draw his attention. You made it difficult for me. You like bad guys…
So who would be President Netero?
-Ricardo Lagos Escobar wanted to be the Netero president of the constitutional process.
But the villain… I’m going to try to make an analogy, but maybe I’m going to miss three towns. The wave of fake news that we had on the constitutional issue was a disaster. No media knew how to handle it well, but in the end, some of them ended up with some ideas that were not far from the truth and that made much more sense to people. And that’s how fake news became humanized. I have that feeling. I’m not referring to lies or misinformation, because that will always remain what it is, but later in the daily discussion, something made more sense than the attributes of a text.
Italy, surfing and masks
Francesco Gazzella keeps his Italian roots intact. In his Instagram account he has shown several times his fanaticism for the Negroni, a cocktail originally from Florence.
What do you prefer, the aperol or the piscola?
Italian or chacarero?
Plaza Italia or Dignidad?
-Dignity. Plaza Italia is not the same, it is next door. Although I still like the concept of Plaza Baquedano, mind you. There are people who are very hurt by what happened there, so it had little dignity for the tenants or those who live there.
What is more complicated, trying to surf for TV or explaining the fights of the current political moment?
-Surfing anyway, hahaha. It cost me a world. Explaining the fights of politicians entertains and excites me.
Now that the end of the use of masks has been approved. Who in politics should keep their mouths covered?
-I am convinced of something -with regard to what we have experienced in recent months- that there are groups that are more interested in the boycott than in the legitimate debate about what is good or bad. All those people, please keep wearing the mask and don’t take it off.
I know you want me to give you names, but if you look at the Convention there were people who tried to suck a text. What contribution is that? On the other hand, you had people coming up with articles that frankly all they wanted to do was bring this down. They are highly identifiable, and there were people from the People’s List -not all of them, because there were valuable people in all sectors-, what do I know… But I think that anyone who wants to boycott, obstruct, would like to keep the mask longer and cost them more, because they generate a lot of noise.