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.

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

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


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.

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.

“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.

“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!

“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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Masterpost: On Anime ‘Writing’ Project

Since I’ve managed to pick up all the interviews I was looking for, it’s probably time I set up a Masterpost for this On Anime ‘Writing’ project of mine.

As many of you will already know, I’m currently carrying out a blog project about the role that anime screenwriters—such as Okada Mari, Urobuchi Gen and Yoshino Hiroyuki—play in the anime production process. All related posts can be found under the tag, but this is where I’ll keep a record of all the editorials and translations that I’ve published as part of it, along with links to any other relevant translations I’ve done in the past.

If you’re new to this project, I recommend starting with my first editorial, where I compared the ‘writing’ stages of the typical anime production with that of Avatar: The Legend of Korra. A more comprehensive collection of links to behind-the-scenes resources can also be found on ‘White Box’ Treasure. I hope you find this project interesting and informative, and that you will join in the discussion on anime production here and elsewhere! Read more of this post

Kawamori x Yoshino on Creating Macross Frontier


This was a discussion between Kawamori Shōji (Chief Director) and Yoshino Hiroyuki (Series Composition), in which they discussed the genesis of Macross Frontier, the 25th anniversary production that reignited the Macross fandom both in Japan and around the world. It appeared in the first volume of Animage Original, which dates from August 2008. Since it was released during the second half of the show’s original TV run, there is nothing in the discussion about the controversial ending. However, I do recommend this to anyone who wants to know where the ideas for their favourite characters came from, or who is interested in the earliest stages of creating a TV series.

At first glance, “an incompatible pairing.” On one side is the genius designer and director whose unique works such as Genesis of Aquarion have attracted the support of a core group of fans. On the other is the popular screenwriter that has participated in all manner of hits, starting with Mobile Suit Gundam SEED. How did these two creators, who arguably stand at opposite ends of the anime world, come together to develop the story of Macross Frontier? Read more of this post

Director Yasuda Kenji on Macross ∆

I’d been planning to take a break, honest. But then Bandai Channel published their next Creators Selection interview, and it turned out to be Yasuda Kenji, director of Macross ∆. In the second half, he talks candidly about developing the new Macross series with Kawamori Shōji, and I felt that I just had to share.


Do note, however, that Yasuda does give a few light spoilers about what’s going to happen in the series from here on out. So if you’d rather not be spoiled, please stop once they start discussing the Aerial Knights. If you read on, don’t say I didn’t warn you! And without further ado, please enjoy.

Bandai Creators Selection #32: Yasuda Kenji (2nd half only)

Interviews where creators reflect on themselves and the shows they’ve worked on.

This week, we speak with Yasuda Kenji, the director of Macross ∆, which is the talk of the town and whose theme has topped the music charts. ~~ Together with Director Kawamori Shōji, who’s renowned for his fantastical ideas, he has developed the world views, characters and story of a new addition to the franchise. And idol unit, a rune sparking on the head of the heroine, and dancing valkyries—all this and more in a new development in Macross. How did these ideas come into being? This month, we press yet another creator for the reality behind his work.

Edit: Interview conducted and written up by Ryūsuke Nagakawa

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Okada Mari on the people who’ve made her who she is


Here’s the other half of Okada Mari’s bandai channel interview from March 25 of this year. In it, she discusses the anime, directors and screenwriters that have influenced her on the path to developing her own style as a creator. Among these luminaries are Dezaki Osamu and Kawamori Shōji, the latter of whom she regards as an inspirational genius. What I found particularly interesting was what she said about how she works with the other staff to bring these stories to the screen.

I forgot to mention this for the first half last week, but the interview was conducted and written up by Nagakawa Ryūsuke. Also, this is the 6th post in my “On Anime ‘Writing’” project, so if you like it, feel free to check the others out. Read more of this post