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

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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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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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A little update on where I’ve been…

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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

Kawamori Shōji: The Making of Macross F the Movie

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“When I’m in the studio, I find myself coming up with new ideas.”

Macross Frontier the Movie: The False Songstress was released in Japan on November 21, 2009, just over a year after the controversial ending of the TV series aired on broadcast television. This interview with Kawamori Shōji, who is credited as director, screenwriter and for the original story, comes from the film’s Perfect Triangle guidebook, which was published on December 18, 2009. In it, he talks about the changes and adjustments the film’s staff made and had to make to bring the story of the Vajra war to the screen in this shorter but more elaborate format. Read more of this post

Kikuchi Yasuhito on making Macross F: The False Diva

Interview with Kikuchi Yasuhito (Technical Director1), from The Macross F The Movie Official Guidebook: Perfect Triangle.

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“Turning those strange ideas into reality is what my work is all about.”

Profile
A director and episode director, Kikuchi Yasuhito’s association with the Macross series began with The Super Dimensional Force Macross Flash Back 2012, where he was an in-betweener. As a director, he’s worked on titles like El-Hazard: The Alternative World and The Legend of Black Heaven.

Putting together all the materials to produce new visuals

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Kawamori Shōji on writing Frontier, from 2059: Memories

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Sorry to have kept you waiting! Amidst all the Yuri!!! madness, I’ve finally made it back to my project on Anime ‘Writing’, with the bonus entry I promised over a month ago. This time, let’s take a look at Kawamori Shōji’s comments on each and every Macross Frontier episode, from the TV series guidebook 2059: Memories. The first five entries are revised versions of what Gubaba posted years ago on a discussion forum…and I must say, I think I understand why he didn’t continue. The text is smaller than that of the main interview, so these were a lot longer than I thought they were at first glance. So please pardon any strange sounding expressions…by the time I finished it, I really didn’t want to give it another run through! Read more of this post

Kawamori Shoji talks ‘story’ in Macross Frontier

This is Kawamori’s interview from 2059: Memories, which was published in October 2008. (Which means that I should really have tackled this interview before I did the fan book ones…oh well…) The interview was accompanied by a short commentary on each Frontier episode. I’d originally planned to dig up a friend’s old translations…and then I found out he only did five of them, after which I realised that there’s a heck of a lot more text than I originally thought.1 All of which is to say…I wasn’t able to finish them this week, so they’ll be in a follow-up post. Until then, here’s the last of the interviews that I’ll be doing for the Frontier TV series.

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KAWAMORI Shōji
Born in 1960, and hailing from Toyama Prefecture. A visionary creator active in a wide variety of roles, ranging from developing original works, scriptwriting and directing to mecha design. He’s produced work not only for the screen, but also toys, games and various publications. Most representative of his anime oeuvre are the many entries in the Macross series. As a director, he’s also worked on shows like Genesis of Aquarion (2005) and Earth Girl Arjuna (2001).

Is there anything that happened during production for Macross Frontier that has left a deep impression on you?

There are many things like that, but first and foremost, we actually wanted to have it on air one year earlier. Read more of this post

Kikuchi Yasuhito: Remembering Love via Macross Frontier

From the Macross F Official Fanbook.

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“Basically, we just go at it right from that first chord.
If there’s a problem somewhere, we’ll think about it later.”

The vivacious and rhythmic scenes unfolding on the screen, which words cannot describe. Be it the battles or the concerts, the life in the imagery is unmistakable! We speak with series director KIKUCHI Yasuhito, who has brought us this extravagance, about the ideas behind the direction of Macross Frontier.

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Kawamori Shōji on conceptualising Frontier: gut feelings and cyborgs

Continuing my exploration of the creation of Macross Frontier, this week, I bring to you Kawamori Shōji’s interview from the official fan book. Here, the director delves into the real-life concepts that he drew upon, including some surprising elements of scientific research and the complex ecological systems of the Amazon. He also discusses the fold bacteria that are now featuring in Macross ∆, and how they are relevant to the core theme of communication and discommunication in Macross.

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“What matters when you want to change something is
whether you can come at it from a different angle.”

Love triangles, singing and variable fighters. Along with the Vajra and implant network that support these three elements from the ground up. These are the background settings that give rise to the immense depth of the story before us. In this interview, we probe into the origins of this fantastic world. Read more of this post

Yoshino on the Frontier TV series: triangles, loli characters and working with Kawamori

This is the interview that Yoshino Hiroyuki (Series Composition / Episode Script) gave for the Macross F Official Fan Book, which was released in January 2009. In it, he elaborates on the controlled madness through which he worked with Kawamori and the various producers to create the story and scripts for the Macross Frontier TV series.

I wish I’d translated this interview in full years ago. The first third—which is about the all-important question of the love triangle—was translated by Gubaba around the time the fan book was released, and updated by me a few years later. But what I was really interested in was Yoshino’s detailed description of who was involved in the script meetings and what each of them contributed to the scripts that he was in charge of putting together. It probably wouldn’t have stopped the viewers who were ranting at Kawamori and/or Yoshino over the ending, but at least it would have clarified what went on behind-the-scenes for the rest of us. In any case, I hope you all find it as informative and amusing as I did!

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“Won’t the viewers be angry?”
“Probably. But that’s fine, I’m prepared for that”

Frontier, the show that has entertained us with a myriad of triangles—it’s not just Alto, Ranka and Sheryl! We also have the magnificent curiosity that is Grace, Mishima and Birler. Here, we speak to the person behind the colourful relationships that form the basis of our tale.

If we’d settled the triangle, the concert at the Budoukan would have been…

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