Still looking for translator… http://community.livejournal.com/ai_no_kusabi_/166141.html
This interview is from the additional booklet of OVA 1 Blue-ray limited edition. Feel free to post it somewhere else, but I would ask that please give me credit.
- Please feel free to correct my English.
- Sensei = master or teacher, San = Ms/ Mr in Japanese.
- Please tell us your first thought about the remake of 1992 OVA.
Initially I was told that there are 13 episodes same as the TV anime, so this is a big challenge, but in the end it turned out to be 12. Considered the length of novel, I would regret if some important plots are missing. Therefore, if it wasn't AIC (Anime International Co., Inc.), I might not agree to the remake.
- Does your trust come from the achievements of previous OVA?
Yes, this is one of the reasons. Most importantly, the producer hold a very dedicated heart that strongly conveyed the message: "Please let us do it!" Therefore, I felt that I really can trust them.
- This time you are involved in the script writing, any special ideas aroused in the process?
When have I started to be the script writer *laughs*? In fact, I am a total layman with animation script. When I was about to write whatever I like, some corrections such as: "could you please modify this into ~ " appeared, for example the distribution of spaces on paper, how long a line of text could be… thanks to the staff they taught me a lot about script formatting.
- The production team members of the old OVA are assembled for the remake. How was your discussion with director Akiyama(秋山)?
This is obviously the first time for me to meet director Akiyama, but we got a feeling that we “run into an old friend”. Director also felt that "eh? Is this the first time we meet?"
- You two never met before? How about for old OVA?
At that time the publisher was the coordinator, so there was no opportunity for us to meet. Putting aside whether it is good or bad for me as the original author to participate in script writing, I could see the differences in point of view for male and female in staff meeting. The most interesting thing was, the director asked me if nipples were important.*laughs*
- Was he asking if it is necessary to draw that? *Laughs*
Yes, obviously, it’s necessary for me, so I didn’t know what his intension was when he asked me. Lower part of the body could be omitted, but not nipples *laughs*. On that occasion, the only female were AIC staff (producer) Hayashi San and me, we unanimous said that they were very important!
- As the original author, which part you think should be carefully made?
Because I pay attention to the subtle part of RIKI’s flanks and the bending of his feet, etc… so these important points were noted on the script. Although the plot I want to show is clear, it’s hard to transform the images in my mind into a concept by texts. The director insisted that some parts needed to be shown, so a different narrative point of view from me in the OVA is highly recommended to the audiences.
- A lot of efforts were devoted in background setting. TANAGURA, MIDAS, etc. The urban landscape is charming and very worth watching.
It is really awesome! In my mind, MIDAS and slums are just 2D, but this time, they turned into a level structure, layer upon layer, and were clearly shown on the screen. I won’t be able to do it, so I entrust the visual part to them.
- Concept art by Takeuchi Atsushi (竹内敦志) San is also amazing.
Yes, very beautiful! When AIC asked me what I want for memorial, I asked for "Official Art work". Because they didn’t have something like this, so this troubled them *laughs*.
- And Onda Naoyuki (恩田尚之) san is still doing the character design; the idea comes from the old illustrations by Katsumi Michihara (道原かつみ) san.
I am not worry at all knowing that it is Onda San to do the job. He showed me the settings before finalizing and asked if it was fine, and I replied, "It’s totally Okay!"
- Sensei, what are your requirements for the Character design of Blondy?
"More gorgeous for Blondy." I said so, happened that I had no idea what the feeling of "gorgeous" was. *laughs* Basically, IASON is Nordic, RAOUL, as I remember, is Latin, (
Translator: Well I personally think they are all Egyptian ...) but don’t overlap the image of Gideon's with his. The hidden setting of Aisha is he was a puppet of the supercomputer JUPITER, so I asked them to draw him like cyborg more than others. Although they were all blond-haired, there were also some differences in their hair, like honey-colored, or platinum gold color etc.
- Onda san seems to have put a lot of efforts on the clothes design.
Each Blondy has their own emblem on their clothing. To distinguish between formal dress and everyday clothing, if there’s something likes shoulder ornaments hanging on the suits will be nice, the idea was from Hayashi San. When I saw the draft design, I just said that "It will be nice if the belt can be a little wider" etc. (and they've made substantial changes.) I really think Onda san has done a hard work.
- KIRIE looks more childish with the freckles on his face.
I didn’t particularly aware of that, but still want to emphasize his three years age difference from RIKI. Giving audients the impression that he was surrounded by adults, even if he had ambitions, he was still a kid. In Episode 2 there is a scene that KIRIE looked into the mirror, humming♪ and combed his hair in an arrogant attitude, looks like a kids that is too self-righteous and funny. Audiences can look closer to find out more about the character’s personality in many scenes in episode 2.
- I think the fans are also very concerned about the Seiyuu lineup, and this time it follows the one in the DRAMA CD released in 2007. What are your requirements for the selection of candidates?
Because DRAMA CD released earlier than the anime (new OVA), so during the discussion on the anime, I have the idea of, "If any one of the Seiyuus in Drama CD resigned, then please have all of them replaced". I intend to let Seiyuus from DRAMA work on new OVA, and therefore if it is going to change, I’ll simply make a difference between drama and OVA. Fortunately, director did consider my request and kept the original lineup, so I only had problem in selecting the DRAMA CD casting.
- How did you select the Seiyuu?
The seiyuu of IASON was the first to be decided. Fans from previous OVA/drama have the diehard rules of "IASON = Shiozawa Kaneto(塩沢兼人) san ”, so compared to other casting, this is always the priority question. My answer is, I still think that Ookawa(大川) san is the most appropriate candidate.
- I think Ookawa san also feels a considerable pressure, any anecdote of recording?
It took him many trials to perform the lines with no emotion and it really brought him pain, after the recording he told me that it was so hard! Layman like me would think that cold and distance tone should be easy. I finally know after asking the Seiyuu, saying the words with no feelings is the hardest thing. Isn’t Ookawa san’s voice very gentle? So I imagined the feelings when he speaks in the distance tone of IASON. In the first recording, I was really excited to hear that.
- How about Itou Kentarou (伊藤健太郎) san as RIKI, how do you feel?
Be able to match with Okawa san, I think there’s none other than Ito san. It’s just that when he was recording the lines when Riki was a pet (in episode 4), every time he spoke, he was reminded "Younger! Younger!" It seemed really hard. *laughs*
- When you actually saw the character move on the screen, what gave you the deepest impression?
The erotic part. *laughs* Each director of each episode added some original elements that are not in the script into the OVA, so that each character has a profound description, it is so great!
- By the way, what is your favorite and must-see scene in the first volume, please share we us if there’s any.
I really think all of them are. In my point of view, because the story is the same, so most surprising scene is where the computer screen was reflected on DARLY’s pupil, I cried: "it’s really shown ~! " And there is a final scene when RIKI ran back to the slums, the car that IASON rode was soaring up to the sky, and left a trajectory by the car lights, that scene was dazzling and really touched me.
- Lets move to the original novel. Although the novel is serialized in 1986, do you think that Science fiction theme for Yaoi is still new?
At that time it was not BL but JUNE. Oh well, it was free submission work so there wasn’t any limitation and I could write whatever I like. For now, because bad ending is not popular, the story may not be passed by the publisher. If it is happy ending with this fantasy and Science fiction theme, it is possible. And for the content... *laughs*[Note: it means readers nowadays may think bad ending is boring or out of fashion.]
- What was the opportunity for you to write the novel?
Because I have first written the final scene: the last smoke (kiss) of RIKI and IASON... This is the climax of the series of plots. To accomplish this ending, I conceived a class system that absolutely could not be subverted, two characters with a huge different, one from the most dominant top class and one from the lowest class, the slums and so on, from there I started to think about the related settings. From the start of this serial, I had already decided the ending.
- As time passes - since the issue of the novels, you have added things and made some corrections for the Tokuma Shoten’s edition and finished the whole six volumes. Finally it returned to book stores with such a rich quality.
Rather than increasing the content, I should say I’ve gained 20 years of age and want to deeply explore the unwritten part. In the past, I only straightly and speedily focused on describing the relationship between IASON and RIKI, although some of the side story lines were there, they have not been extended. To re-publish it on the CHARA文庫 of 德間書店Tokuma Shoten’s edition, I felt that this is probably the last time I can add something new into the story, generally, at a later stage, it turned out to be rewrite rather than addition *laughs*.
- Readers think that sensei’s works almost contain a keyword: "(執着=しゅうじゃく) tenacity ". Did Sensei insist upon or pay attention to anything during writing?
Instead of " tenacity ", I’m more likely to pay attention to the detailed and heavy description in my novel. Not only love scene, I emphasized on the profound relationship between people. I never aware of myself being tenacious, because when I write the story, instead of 「執着! 執着!」, I’ll rather say「(wide fantasy)妄想!妄想!」. What I insist for literally, is to focus on how to describe the same action differently etc. I like to quote new and special words from the dictionary.
- Which dictionary do you like?
I still prefer 広辞苑. In fact, the title "間の楔(Ai no Kusabi)" is found from 広辞苑. Because novels are different from comics or anime, with only texts, even a slightly change of words and sentences can have an impact. I would like to find out a more appropriate description. Even phrases or words created by myself are fine. Talking about “self-creating phrases”, when I decided the Kanji (Chinese Characters) in the title of OVA 1, I tried to make people understand the meaning without knowing the pronunciation.
- So Volume I became「~ petere 檻獣~」
Basically when considered the word「檻獣」, after I wrote down and explain its meaning, others also found the Latin word consistent with it: “petere". However, the producers asked, "how to read this character? " I replied," The pronunciation doesn't matter, " and this really surprised them. After a short silence, they earnestly asked me, " is it really Okay? " (laughs).
- From the start of the series until now, 間の楔 has accompanied us over many years, for you as the writer, what kind of story is it?
This is my first serial work, though not the starting point, but I have a feeling of returning to the starting point, so far I’m still writing related stories. Recently, a short story (Musk) has been published on 小說CHARA (vol.25 / 德間書店Tokuma Shoten Publishing) for this occasion. The story was about the three years’ time that RIKI being a pet. If there are more invitations, I would still like to write more. For me, 間の楔 is a novel that I can develop the plot from any point in the book.
- Finally, please say something to the fans.
For the first volume, really hope that everyone will watch it. It is touching to see my own writing to be converted into color, sound, and even 3D CG. My wish is to watch all 12 episodes, so hopefully by support from all, the production of the second season would start.