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.

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Lost in Translation: YOI characters’ handwriting!

Well, turns out that another of those “Lost in Translation” pieces found its way into my head this week, courtesy of Twitter and tumblr. But hopefully, this one’s just going to amuse you as much as it did me.

Early on Wednesday morning, Yuri!!! on ICE animator Itou Noriko posted the following image on twitter:

It reads: “It is said that your handwriting can reveal your personality and traits,” with the tweet noting that this was “Yuuri’s writing.” I think we’ve heard about this before, but Itou-san is the person responsible for all of his writing, not only on the famous “love” placard at the the TV Asahi Grand Prix series opening press conference, but also on all the chalk board explanations throughout the series.

Of course, this tweet has gone viral. In fact, it hit the English-speaking fandom within a few hours, on Twitter and on Tumblr, with both translators pointing out one of Itou-san’s subsequent comments about Yuuri’s writing looking like a/his mother’s (お母さんみたい).

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Yuri!!! on ICE, one year on…

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year since that first episode dropped on us. Whilst I have yet to make it to an actual skating competition or ice show (it WILL happen!), Yuri!!! on ICE certainly changed my life. One year ago, I would never have thought I’d go to another anime convention, much less one in the US. I wouldn’t have encountered many of the people that I met there, whom I now consider my friends. And I may have gone many more years before discovering Yamamoto Sayo and the “relationship without a name” theme that runs through so much of her work, a theme that means a lot to me personally.

Hence, to celebrate this anniversary, I bring you another translation. But I’ve put aside my rule of “full interviews only” for a day, in order to focus on the few minutes in episode one that captured so many of our hearts. I present, thus, a collection of translations on Victor’s free skating program, Aria 《Stammi vicino, non te ne andare》.

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Kato Taihei on doing play-by-plays for Yuri!!! on ICE

SPOTTED!

The “Bento Announcer”!?, Katō Taihei, and the show that has left the Queen speechless!

Katō Taihei (TV Asahi Announcer), who plays announcer Morooka Hisashi

T/N: During his college days, Katō—not to be confused with the skier with a similar name (different kanji)—was known for his aggressive and dynamic plays as a forward in the Waseda University soccer team, the Inaho Kickers. Following graduation, he has worked on the announcing team at TV Asahi. He’s known as the “Bento Announcer” amongst fans because he often tweets about the boxed lunches he eats in the course of his work. This interview was part of the “Sports News!” broadsheet that came with the January 2017 issue of Newtype.

Meet the announcer Katō Taihei, who has achieved great success doing live commentary (play-by-play and analysis). The design of the announcer he plays, Morooka, also seems to be based on Katō himself, complete with his cheerful and refreshing personality.

—As we plunge into the Grand Prix Series and watch the performances of the skaters one after another, I suddenly realised that each of them was graced by your voice, in ‘live commentary’ mode.

Katō: The other day, Toyonaga (Toshiyuki)-san took a little playful jab at me, like “It feels you’re the one who has the most lines, don’t you think?” (chuckles). Read more of this post

Kubo Mitsurou on Yuri!!! on ICE: an early interview

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And here’s my ‘Anime Writing’ post for this week! This interview, from Spoon.2Di vol.18 (published September 30, 2016) is one of the earliest interviews that Kubo Mitsurou did for Yuri!!! on ICE. If I’m not mistaken, it’s her second magazine interview, after the short one in the October edition of Pash!1 In it, Kubo expands on the way all the stars lined up such that, in the summer of 2014, she embarked on a journey to help Director Yamamoto Sayo create the figure skating anime that the latter had long been dreaming about. If you prefer to read the Japanese original for yourself, aliasanonyme has shared the scans here.

This is the full translation of the interview that I discussed in this editorial. As I mentioned there, I originally intended to post it back in January, until frog-kun advised me to write a more in-depth piece about the mistranslations and misinterpretations we found. I only addressed one of them in the editorial, but if you’re curious about the other major mistakes, you can take a look at them here.

But if you’re only interested in what Kubo herself said about Yuri!!! on ICE just before it started its broadcast, you can find it right here, just under the cut.

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That’s what she said?! Kubo Mitsurou and Yuri!!! on ICE

If you’re a member of the hard-core Yuri!!! on ICE fandom, what has happened over the past few weeks can hardly have escaped your attention. On February 7, the March issue of CREA saw Kubo Mitsurou—who’s credited for the original story and the scripts—indicate that Victor and Yuuri can be thought of as “soulmates,” inciting cheers and celebrations in various places around the web. Then on February 10, her comments in Pash! about the rings being akin to items worn by “members of the same circle” created a fair amount of consternation amongst fans who believe Yuuri and Victor to be engaged.

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(Thank you to @3A3T_ for passing me this scan from CREA!)

The fallout was immediate. Some fans started criticising Kubo for again leaving mixed messages over what she really stood for. In response, others pointed out that what she said did not negate “just how much Yuuri and Victor truly love each other,” an interpretation that the show itself amply supports. But the order of the day seems to have been confusion—one person even asked a major YOI translator not to translate what Kubo said about the rings so as “to keep everyone in YOI fandom happy.”

toraonice responded as I would have, Read more of this post

Kenji Miyamoto on skating as the characters of Yuri!!! on ICE

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Kenji Miyamoto with Japanese junior skater Koshiro Shimada (source)

My plans for blogging and translating have been all over the place these last few weeks. I’ve actually been sitting on an early interview with Kubo Mitsurou, but the editorial that I’m drafting to accompany it is still in the works. The skating songs and Rakugo Shinjuu interview that I highlighted last week are also in various states of progress, and one of them should be finished by early next week. But then I started reading this interview…and got to a point where I couldn’t stop laughing for about a minute. Imagining Yuuri and Yurio as those animals…oh, Kenji-sensei!

In any case, this is the last interview from the “Miracle on ICE” special that came with the Jan 2017 issue of Animage. After I translated Kubo-sensei’s long interview back in December, Toraonice has slowly been working through the rest. If you’ve missed them, you’ll be able to find all the links in the masterpost.

I honestly wish I’d found time to translate this interview back in December. Being a former figure skater himself, Kenji-sensei has always been the one best able to share just how realistic Yuri!!! on ICE has been, and he goes into far more detail here than in any other interview I’ve read so far. The wrap-up posts I’m planning will be dominated by just how much I love this show as a figure skating fan, but I’m tempted to just let Kenji-sensei do all the talking for me! So please enjoy this interview, and let me know what you think of it in the comments!

I skated the choreography as if I were playing the characters themselves.

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A little update on where I’ve been…

wiped

If you’re wondering where I’ve been the last few weeks…well, the picture above just about sums up how I’m feeling at the moment. I usually take a one or two week break from posting after finishing up my 12 Days of Anime posts…but the start to this year has been crazy. The immediate reason, of course, was the Rakugo Shinjuu interview that I translated—and in some ways, it’s kind of fitting that I’m talking about it again this week, given what happened in episode 5.

I had been looking forward to having a rest after that, to recoup and catch up on a long backlog of anime and translations. But then Lauren Orsini published a piece arguing that screenwriter Okada Mari’s work on the latest Gundam is entirely in keeping with what we’ve seen in the franchise so far. And that’s how my 15th post on Anime ‘Writing’ came to be. I had to do a fair amount of research for the piece—Iron-Blooded Orphans is NOT “Mari Okada’s Gundam”—but it worked out, since I was long overdue for another editorial on screenwriting in this medium!

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But putting aside the Okada interruption, I’d actually planned to have the Ishida x Hayashibara interview translated before starting on my 12 Days posts. So why did I find myself still wrestling with it on the night before the second season started? Well, if you follow me on twitter, you’d know the answer to that. For those of you that don’t, however, here’s what else I’ve been doing over the last few months: Read more of this post

Celebrating the Sexiest Female Voice in Anime Today

When a certain seiyuu special aired two weeks ago as part of the ongoing celebration of 100 years of Japanese animation,1 I suspect that the initial reaction in the West would have been “Who…??” Whilst older fans—and anyone watching this season’s best show, Rakugo Shinjuu—would undoubtedly recognise the names of Yamadera Kouichi (Sukeroku), Seki Tomokazu (Yotarō) and Hayashibara Megumi (Miyokichi; also Rei in Evangelion), I suspect that many of the younger crowd would have drawn a blank even on these talents.

seiyuu_sousenkyo

Once you know how this ranking was created, however, the results shouldn’t be a surprise. Read more of this post

Rakugo Shinju: Ishida Akira x Hayashibara Megumi on the challenges they faced

And here’s the second half of the interview from Febri vol.34. Once again, please do not copy and paste more than a sentence or two elsewhere, though feel free to link to it if you wish. And if you happen to spot any careless mistakes i have made, please let me know! Otherwise, please enjoy!

Interview and text: Maeda Hisashi

rakugo-shinigami

—Thinking back over the entire show now, are there any scenes that have left a deep impression on you?

Ishida: In the end, the most daunting and difficult scenes were the rakugo ones. Having to perform famous stories like “Shinigami” and “Kajika-zawa1 right from the start, and do them well, no less…I was like “These aren’t stories that an amateur can pull off just like that!” Read more of this post