Code Geass’s main writer takes a trip down memory lane

Code-Geass-2

With just one week until the first of the Code Geass recap films hits Japanese cinemas, Series Composer and main writer Ōkouchi Ichirō took to Twitter yesterday to reveal some early production soundbites about this decade-old anime behemoth. Some of these might already be known—I do remember hearing rumours about timeslot changes and how they affected the plot, especially when R2 was moved back to the Sunday 5pm slot. Going by the wikipedia entry, Ōkouchi apparently talked about it in his BD/DVD interviews. It’s something I’ve been meaning to verify, but I simply haven’t gotten around to it. Well, perhaps this 10th year anniversary revival might finally galvanise me into creating another series masterpost! For the moment though, here’s what Okouchi had to share.

(Geass Memory #1) Looking back now, I really think that a successful anime is born out of hard work, but you need to be blessed as well. For example, when Geass started airing in October of 2006, that was actually some time after the airdate we’d originally aimed for.

(Geass Memory #2) But thanks to that, we were able to have (mecha-designer and main animator) Tanaka-san and (sub-director) Murata-san, who’d both been working on Eureka Seven, join us on board. If we hadn’t had them, then I really don’t think we’d have gotten the Geass we got, so it really was an incredibly boon for us.

(Geass Memory #3) The same thing happened with the timeslot. Originally, we’d aimed for and pitched it as a show for the Saturday 6pm slot (where hits like Gundam SEED and Fullmetal Alchemist were airing at the time), but we weren’t successful there. And so it became a late night show.

(Geass Memory #4) Knowing this, we made big changes to the project. As a result, instead of following the tradition of a protagonist that piloted a mech, it took a rather heretical turn and became a mecha show where the lead was a commander instead of a pilot.

(Geass Memory #5) But thanks to that, Code Geass became a title of unique worth, one that resembled no other, and many people came to love it. It really was just good luck.

(Geass Memory #6) Incidentally, before we made those big changes, the project’s working title was “A war with rules,” and that’s why my folder of Geass material is named “Rules.” The protagonist was already named Lelouch at the time, so there’s probably a connection somewhere to some of the details we came up with for “A war with rules.”

(Geass Memory #7) I only found out later that Lelouch’s voice actor, Fukuyama Jun, had scored his first regular role in Turn A Gundam. Funny thing is, Turn A Gundam was also my first time working as a scriptwriter, so I felt some kind of affinity with him. It’s been 17 years since then. Our fellowship has been a long one.

(Geass Memory #8) That said, at the time of Turn A Gundam, I’d only just left the publishing world and was taking my first steps into the anime industry, so each and every actor was like someone from a different world, so the thought that Fukuyama-san was a newbie VA didn’t even cross my mind.

Man…this really brings back memories! Geass was probably the show that got me interested in anime production…unfortunately, by the time I was good enough at Japanese to translate, the Macross Frontier films had taken over my life. If Ōkouchi tweets some more—and I think he might, going by what he said in this earlier tweet—I’ll translate those memories too. As usual, this translation is entirely my own, as are any mistakes, though I hope there are none. Please let me know if you spot any and I’ll get them corrected ASAP!

About karice
MAG fan, freelance translator and political scientist-in-training. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

2 Responses to Code Geass’s main writer takes a trip down memory lane

  1. Pingback: Masterpost: On Anime ‘Writing’ Project | HOT CHOCOLATE IN A BOWL

  2. Pingback: Koudou Seiyuu Celebrating Movie « All Hail Britannia – The Code Geass Fanlisting

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