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Kemono Friends - Tatsuki Interview

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Feb 20th, 2017
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  1. Kemono Friends is a New Genre of Anime? Interview with Director Tatsuki.
  2. Published 2017, February 13th on webNewtype
  3. Translated from:
  5. Among the TV animations that have started broadcasting in January, "Kemono Friends" has caught attention for its unique atmosphere, why is it that this show's animal themed characters have explosively captured viewers' hearts? To try and answer this, we did a special interview with the director, Tatsuki, for the January issue of Newtype (published 2016, December 10th).
  7. --"Kemono Friends", a franchise that has many different animal-themed characters spread across various media including a game and manga, was there any requirement or anything similar for the animation to reflect the world as shown in those other forms of media?
  9. Tatsuki: Rather than be asked to follow other media, it was more, "Keep the animation as its own thing". Those words really made us feel like this animation was worth doing, but at the same time put a lot of pressure on us. Mainly because since while the development of the game and the production of the animation started roughly at the same time, the animation released somewhat later (lol), the product that released first would usually leave a bigger impression than whatever followed. However, concept designer Yoshizaki(kan'non[not sure what this is supposed to signify])-sensei, has a very clear view of what the world is. So I think that while "Kemono Friends" is spread across a lot of different media, the center of it all is the "Japari Park Feeling" that Yoshizaki-sensei has.
  11. --Among the directors, what kind of direction would you like to go in?
  13. Tatsuki: As what I've been given responsibility for was decided to be a full CG animation, and I feel that since CG is our strong point, that is what we would have wanted. I thought that CG would be able to effectively portray the animal gestures Yoshi-sensei was so insistent on portraying in his work.
  14. As such, in both drawings and camerawork, we used wide camera shots to try and show of the world properly, and tried to avoid cutting out limbs from frames in each shot. I felt that by doing that viewers would be able to get a good sense of the world as well as enjoy its portrayal through art. Though there's really nothing to show but nature shots (lol). There isn't really any way to get around it, so it's quite difficult.
  16. --Difficult as it is, such wide shots are unique to the animation's potrayal, right?
  18. Tatsuki: That's how we feel as we work. While the characters are in CG, the backgrounds all have to be drawn. So we try our utmost best on that. Be it a savannah, jungle, or anywhere else in the park, we wanted to bring out the charm of all the different areas as possible, so I requested both the camera director and art director to try and bring out the "likeness" of a work that shows nothing but nature scenes as strongly as possible.
  20. --We've heard that you used V-Con (ビデオコンテ) [animatics] for this work. Is there a reason behind that?
  22. Tatsuki: Including what I was talking about before, we wanted to take proper care of the various body movements and gestures of the characters. Also, Yoshi-sensei stated in a meeting, "I want the pauses and emotions to be cared for as well" So we considered using V-Con since it was good at portraying pauses and atmosphere. For instance, like the rhythm in scenes where Serval is swinging her tail back and forth. That can't be portrayed very well in a normal drawn storyboard, so I think using an animatic storyboard like V-Con was a good choice. Though it did make things difficult for a few people (lol).
  24. --It seems that the first episode was recorded a while ago, how are things on location since then?
  26. Tatsuki: Personally, I feel really relieved. I felt the cast were able to get proper grasp of their roles. Using feedback from sound director Abe Nobuyuki, I felt they were able to bring out the image I had of Serval in my mind into reality [kind of shaky on this translation]. I hope that things can continue like this.
  28. -- Looking back on your work, what is the most difficult thing you've had to accomplish?
  30. Tatsuki: Making sure the atmosphere of the park isn't ruined is definitely giving me stomach problems. That's the most difficult thing. Also, personally, I feel that "Kemono Friends" is a work that's removed anything that might be considered poisonous. While strange objects keep appearing, it's not a work where characters end up dying or anything, so we need to consider the contents of each character very deeply, otherwise the story won't have any impact. We put a lot of consideration into that so that viewers would be able to enjoy the story's ups and downs properly.
  32. -- The show has a pretty calm atmosphere, but what kind of anime would you say it is, as its director?
  34. Tatsuki: It's like there's really a park out there somewhere that's like this, and like you're actually visiting. I'd be happy if viewers would watch the show feeling like they're following Serval's group around. I think it's a unique theme park where viewers would be able to enjoy both great views and a good atmosphere along with the characters. While visiting the various areas of the park various things can happen with the friends there. As such there are a few "road movie" themes in there as well. Please watch over Serval and friends' travels. Since Newtype's readers might be people like Yoshizaki-sensei I do think that you'll be able to enjoy the anime as well. Please enjoy watching "Kemono Friends", a new genre of show that didn't fit into any other category. Thank you.
  36. In addition to this interview, in Monthly Newtype March Issue that's currently on store shelves, we've published an interview with "Kemono Friends"' concept artist Yoshizaki Mine. To those of you who went "わーい!!" "たーのしー!!" to Director Tatsuki's comments in this interview, you'll definitely enjoy what's written there!
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