Takeshi Shudo talking about the Lugia movie

Apr 26th, 2020
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  1. No. 186 "Deep Sea Currents," the second film
  4. The second "Pokémon" movie is an adventure action movie.
  6. Despite the Pika Pika incident, the ratings after its resumption were not too bad, and there was a high expectation that Mewtwo's Counterattack, whatever its content, would be a hit.
  8. But the reality is that it's a huge hit that far exceeded expectations.
  10. Some people said it was unexpected and would have been a bigger hit if it had been an exhilarating adventure action movie like Pokémon's original story, while others said the so-called "tear-jerking" was the reason for the hit.
  12. There was little to no interpretation of why it was a hit, such as because it was about "self-existence.
  14. I myself, who brought up the theme of "questioning the existence of the self" as a theme for anime to show the world, never thought it would become such a hit in the West.
  16. In the first place, an anime script as heavy, dark, and uninspiring as Mewtwo's Counterattack would have been met with a barrage of complaints from upper management if not for the Pika Pika incident.
  18. That's why I ended up aiming for the exhilaration of the original adventure action drama in the second film.
  20. Even for me, the next episode of Mewtwo's Counterattack, which is an extension of the theme of "Questioning Self Existence," which is heavy on me, was too heavy or too much trouble... At least, I had to drink thirty bottles of alcohol and dozens of boxes of tranquilizers (commercially available) to bear the weight of the theme of Mewtwo's Counterattack, which was stopped by the doctor.
  22. As an afterthought, at the time I was able to adjust my drinking and medication, so I was using the script as a way to put together my cluttered thoughts on how to do this and that and how to do that, so I wasn't drunk to the point of being unable to reason.
  24. I'm still being told by psychiatrists who specialize in alcohol that I'm not sure if I'm a real alcoholic, a drug addict, or just pretending to be one.
  26. No matter how much he drinks, he's a bit chatty, but he's never come up with too many strange ideas.
  28. I don't fight, I don't drink with women, I don't have any so-called guilty thoughts, and I don't use the power of alcohol to woo them.
  30. When you hit on a woman, you are usually sober, even if there is a little alcohol in the atmosphere.
  32. When I am aware that I am in danger, I can stop drinking and taking drugs. There are also no withdrawal symptoms that occur when the so-called drug runs out.
  34. Usually, an addict can't stop drinking or taking drugs on their own, even if they want to. There are many people who commit suicide because they are so despairing of themselves, or are truly insane.
  36. The average life expectancy of an alcoholic is said to be 52 years. People with alcoholism anxiety should beware.
  38. Alcohol is one of the worst and most approved poisons compared to banned drugs.
  40. Another approved poison is tobacco, but no matter how much I try to stop it, I can't.
  42. So, being a tobacco addict is a sure thing.
  44. I digress, but even if I'm not an addict, I have trouble losing my appetite when I drink alcohol or stabilizers (over-the-counter).
  46. Occasionally I take nutritional supplements, but sometimes when I'm researching material, thinking about things, or writing out a manuscript, I'll just settle for Pocari Sweat for a day or two.
  48. Add to that alcohol, drugs, and tobacco, and you can't have sustained physical strength.
  50. If he wrote two scripts like Mewtwo Strikes Back, he would starve to death in this age of insatiability.
  52. So I thought it would be hard to get world-class adventure action, but I thought it would be a nice change of pace.
  54. However, this is the second of his works on the theme of "questioning self-existence.
  56. I don't feel at ease unless there's a proper theme.
  58. The theme was ready to go.
  60. After "self-existence," it is "the coexistence of each self-existence.
  62. But how do you turn it into an adventure action movie? Moreover, the main stage this time was the sea.
  64. What immediately popped into my mind was "deep ocean currents".
  66. Deep ocean currents will circumnavigate the world in 2,000 years (?) This is the ocean current flowing in the deep sea, and I can write about this current in a new book, so I won't explain it here.
  68. If you are interested, please search the Internet.
  70. If you want to know more, I'm sure a top-notch library will have specialized books.
  72. Roughly speaking, it is said that the ocean currents control the world's weather, are rich in nutrients, and have become the source of life on Earth.
  74. The reason why I know this current is because it took me almost ten years to write a novel called "Eternal Filena" about a girl who is a descendant of a destroyed marine royal family... It wasn't a big hit, but one of the nine volumes was serialized in Animage, and it was published in paperback, which lasted for ten years to nine volumes, and then it became a video anime and NES game.
  76. The maritime nation was conscious of Carthage in Roman times. The country was also a trading power, so it goes without saying that it had Japan in mind. It is a nation that will eventually die.
  78. She was raised as a man and raised as a gladiator in order to hide her royal identity.
  80. At the time of Carthage's demise, most of its people were slaughtered. Women and children, too.
  82. If he was to survive, he had to be raised as a strong boy, a slave gladiator, and put on a killing show as a spectacle.
  84. Her life and death were always on her back, and she herself thought that she could die at any moment, or even better, die.
  86. But somehow the people dying around her say to her as if it were a will, "You will live.
  88. Those who are dying feel a life force within her that is inexpressible.
  90. However, he thinks that he can die at any time.
  92. However, the image of the sea that she had seen and felt as a toddler remained vividly in her mind. The sea gave birth to life. Although she didn't realize it, there was a life force breathing inside her.
  94. The novel ends where she decides to "go on with her life".
  96. Needless to say, the theme of this novel is "Live it! It is the "life force of the sea".
  98. Then "Live! was used as a catchphrase for an animated film. The theme of that anime is "Live! I was a little bothered, though, because I wasn't.
  100. In order to write this novel, I moved from Shibuya, Tokyo to Hayakawa, the nearest JR station to the sea in Japan, where Odawara Port is located, and ended up living there for 20 years.
  102. This novel went on for nine volumes, so a variety of themes come into play.
  104. However, it is basically a story of the power that gave birth to the life of the oceans that made Earth a star full of life, and of a woman who decides to "live" on that irreplaceable planet.
  106. There was a criticism that this novel, "Knight of Ribbons" and "Belvara" are not the same, and that it is impossible for a girl to be raised and live as a man.
  108. But the determination to live and the ability to produce life (?) I wanted the main character to be a woman, even though I knew it was unreasonable.
  110. The sea I see is a woman. No matter how stormy and stormy, the sea, in this novel, had to be a life-bearing motherhood.
  112. However, the main character doesn't say a single word, "I want to have a baby because I'm a woman.
  114. 'I'll live', she says, those are the only words she says.
  116. In order to write such a novel, I looked at the sea of Hayakawa every day and did quite a bit of research on "the sea".
  118. From the imagined primordial sea to the current state of the sea.....
  120. So I was also aware of the existence of "deep ocean currents" as an important element of the novel.
  122. However, the term "deep ocean currents" does not appear in the novel.
  124. There is no way that the characters in this novel would know about the "deep ocean current". One can only feel that there is a mysterious force deep within the ocean that gives rise to life.
  126. But as a writer, I kept thinking about the existence of "deep ocean currents" as I wrote my novels.
  128. So, with the second Pokémon movie set in the ocean, the opportunity to depict the "Deep Sea Current" itself has come.
  130. Luckily, at that time, deep-sea water as drinking water was beginning to be talked about.
  132. At the time, Kochi Prefecture was the only place in Japan where deep sea water could be pumped up.
  134. By the way, Kochi was my wife's hometown.
  137. I decided to pick up some bottled deep sea water.
  139. Odawara is close to Hakone, so the water is not bad.
  141. The family that went to the trouble of getting water from Kochi may have seemed quite extravagant.
  143. However, I wanted to keep drinking deep-sea water for at least a year, not river or reservoir water.
  145. Taste? To my taste, it wasn't much different from the tap water in Odawara.
  147. What was even luckier was that around that time, NHK broadcast a documentary on the theme of the "Deep Sea Currents".
  149. A bigwig from the makers of the "Pokemon" game happened to see it and was very interested in it.
  151. A story about Pokémon in action based on the theme of "deep ocean currents"... and so we got the go-ahead for a second Pokémon movie.
  153. But what's a deep ocean current? was the way the main staff received it.
  155. I couldn't help it, so I took a bottle of "Deep Sea Water" and said, "This is the water, so please try it. I remember that I felt like I was selling "deep sea water".
  157. But at that point, I hadn't decided what kind of adventure-activity it was going to be.
  159. If I said that I wanted to make "coexistence" the main theme, I might be told not to put anything difficult into it, and if I tried to say that "coexistence" means "friends", I might be told that there is no way it would be an interesting adventure action drama because everyone is friends.
  161. On top of that, there's no new Pokémon game out, so no new Pokémon are going to appear.
  163. The phantom Pokémon, Mew and Mewtwo, came out in the first movie.
  165. Furthermore, a phantom Pokémon called Houou appears briefly in the first episode of the TV version, but in the game being produced, he has fallen in love with a sober Pokémon that lives in a temple somewhere. It seems to be there.
  167. It's not a Pokémon that can be used as a main character.
  169. However, there were three second-class Pokémon left, though not as many as Mew and Mewtwo.
  171. Compared to the other Pokémon, it was a little too strong to be used by Pokémon Trainers to get it or make them battle with it, so it was left with no use.
  173. It is the Fire, Thunder and Freezer.
  175. They all seem to be fierce, and it's going to be like a clash of three major monsters.
  177. As you can see from the examples of previous monster movies, when a strong monster comes out and starts fighting, there's no place for humans and it becomes a pro-kaiju wrestling movie.
  179. Even if the Self-Defense Forces or others were to come out on their own accord, it would be of no use.
  181. I believe that adventure movies are interesting because they involve full-blooded people having adventures.
  183. Kaneko's version of "Gamera" seems to have handled this well, but I don't feel that the cuteness of the beautiful girls who appear in the film is a cheat.
  185. Even if Pikachu plays an active role in the second "Pokemon" movie, it's too much for the three major monsters, and Pikachu's role is so familiar from the TV version that it doesn't have any new flavor.
  187. In order to do so, I thought I needed a Pokémon with a completely different personality other than the Three Great Monsters, but not comparable to the Three Great Monsters.
  189. It must be able to relate to humans to some extent, unlike the other three major Pokémon.
  191. If we can have a relationship, we can have a place where people can flourish.
  193. I thought the existence of such a Pokémon was necessary...or rather, I had thought of it from the beginning.
  195. It is a Pokémon that symbolizes the "deep ocean current" that is the source of life, including humans.
  197. In "Deep Sea Currents," it's not a picture because it's a water flow.
  199. Even if the current has some kind of will, it is difficult to express it in motion.
  201. After all, you need a Pokémon that can be the symbol of the Deep Sea Current.
  203. But, however. Until now, no Pokémon has appeared in the game that didn't appear in the game.
  205. In other words, it is an original Pokémon exclusive to the movie.
  207. Is that acceptable or not?
  209. For this movie, I want to create an original Pokémon that lives in the deep ocean current.
  211. I thought there would be a lot of opposition, but it was easily approved.
  213. It seems that the crew and production executives were concerned about the lack of Pokémon that could withstand a second movie.
  215. And maybe I didn't have the meaning of the deep ocean current in the script I was trying to write, either.
  217. Maybe that's why they felt the need for a flashy, original Pokémon.
  219. I think that was the first time that Gamae didn't argue with my opinion.
  221. The screenwriter, who was planning to write a short film, seemed to be surprised that the original Pokémon appeared so easily, saying, "I'm glad. He said, "It's like you've made a second film." "It's not so easy," he said. We'll see what the problem is," he responded.
  223. I had no intention of making a pro wrestling movie about the Four Great Monsters Pokémon.
  225. The original Pokémon, which had neither a design nor a name, was called "X" for now.
  227. Therefore, the title of the poster was "The Birth of X" for a while.
  229. ------------------------
  231. Episode 187 - Lugia Apocalypse
  234. The Pokémon movie Mewtwo's Counterattack was such a bigger hit than expected that the second movie was naturally made with the expectation that it would be a hit.
  236. It was also agreed that the film's own Pokémon X, symbolizing the deep ocean currents that were hypothesized to be the source of life, would appear in the game, which was not originally in the game but would later be named Lugia.
  238. However, what is required for the second film is an exhilarating adventure action drama that does not give the impression of the hidden theme of "self-existence" that Mewtwo Strikes Back" has.
  240. By the way, the theme of Mewtwo's Counterattack itself isn't over either.
  242. Mewtwo himself became aware of his "self-existence" and literally said, "Mewtwo! It is a theme that can be completed when we are convinced that "I am here, I am there".
  244. However, "Mewtwo's Counterattack" ended the "questioning of self-existence".
  246. The next theme is whether the self-existence that each person has can coexist or not.
  248. No matter how exhilarating and adventurous the second film is, if it forgets the themes presented in the first film and becomes nothing more than an aloof action film, the existence of the first film will be isolated.
  250. As a series of films, I felt that they couldn't be made to completely ignore the themes of the previous films.
  252. Those of you who read the plot of The Birth of Mewtwo in my 183rd column will have noticed that the clone girl's name, called "Mie" in the plot, has been changed to "Ai" in the script.
  256. By the way, Mie is the abbreviation of my daughter's name, Miho, and I usually call her "Mie".
  258. Therefore, in the plot stage of Birth of Mewtwo, I was very comfortable with the name "Mie", but as I was writing the script, I felt that there was a difference in the sense of self-consciousness between Ai and Mie, notwithstanding the possessive "Mai".
  260. I felt that Mee had a stronger sense of speech than Ai when it came to asserting its self-existence.
  262. The girl in "Birth of Mewtwo" is an ephemeral being destined to disappear.
  264. I felt that Ai's name sounded more similar than Mee's, so I changed it when I made the script.
  266. The girl who uses the name Me, I thought I'd make an appearance elsewhere.
  268. Mi didn't plan to make it the third movie version - actually, it wasn't meant to be the third episode, but it turned out to be the third movie - and she named it after the girl who played the main character in The Stellar Emperor.
  270. In other words, while writing the screenplay of "Birth of Mewtwo", the plot of "The Emperor of the Beacon" was created, and Mie decided to name it after the girl in "The Emperor of the Beacon".
  272. The Eye of the "Birth of Mewtwo", which is destined to disappear, is also Mewtwo's Mee in "The Emperor of the Crystal Tower".
  274. The difference between Eye and Me is the difference in awareness of "self-existence".
  276. Mee has a stronger obsession with "self-existence" than Ai does.
  278. In other words, "Mewtwo", "The Birth of Lugia" and "The Crystal Beacon Emperor" are connected with the theme of "self-existence"...or rather, they are connected.
  280. Furthermore, the main theme of "The Emperor of the Beacon" is the self-existence of a father who has a daughter.
  282. In addition to this, the anime special "Mewtwo! If you add "I, hakoko nishinri" to the list, you will find that my screenplay is very much concerned with "self-existence".
  284. The reason I say "appalling" is that the writer of the script did not intend to express it so strongly and consciously.
  286. Later, he found out.
  288. So, other than Pokémon, when I look back at them later, most of the other works are concerned with "self-existence".
  290. It's blatantly obsessive.
  292. Instead of being disappointed in myself, I am somewhat disgusted with myself.
  294. In the postcard to the picture book version of "The Birth of Lugia", I wrote the following ostensibly.
  297. × ×.
  300. The second theatrical version of Pokémon was created long ago with the goal of being a nostalgic adventure action movie.
  302. It's the kind of movie that's fine if the end marks come and go while you're watching the characters whizzing by without thinking about it.
  304. However, no matter how adventurous the film is, the last one, The Strikes Back of the Mewtwo, was a "Who am I! The theme of the film was the question of self-existence.
  306. There may be a faint whiff of an answer to that in this work, too, behind the scenes.
  308. Who am I? .................................. I'm nobody else.
  310. ................................................. The destruction of the world begins when the balance of existence (coexistence) of the Pokémon fighters is upset, and the world returns to its original self (self-existence) when each of them returns to his or her own self.
  312. This world may be like a symphony of music. As long as you continue to play your instrument, the one you call your own, to the best of your ability, your music will remain unbroken and the world around you will remain unbroken and in harmony.
  314. So towards the end of the movie, Satoshi's mom says to him.....
  316. Saving the world isn't something you can risk your life for. You are you and no one else. You are the only one, so take care of yourself and go for what you want to do.
  318. If parents and children can talk to each other about this slightly insane sounding dialogue, this anime may be worthy of existence as an adventure film of today's era, which no other film is.
  322. In everything, parents and the environment around them determine the way a child lives. This is the age when children cannot have childlike dreams, retreat to their rooms, play games that are little more than virtual self-satisfaction, and interact with others on mobile phones where they cannot see the other person's face. I aim to do what I want to do, and it coexists with my surroundings as it is, and the world is in harmony like a symphony of music.
  324. That's the world it's supposed to be.
  326. In fact, the film's script consciously portrays the music as significant, featuring a Pokémon named X, a symbol of the deep ocean currents that protect the world's natural harmony, and tries to restore the crumbling harmony. That's the way it's written.
  328. It's certainly a good theme.
  330. However, this is also a somewhat ostensible theme.
  332. The reason is that the scriptwriter Tsuyoshi Suto doesn't really believe in the balanced coexistence of the two selves.
  334. In this episode, an ideal storyline development, we have a powerful villain who disrupts the coexistence of the world, and each of the world's self-entities put forth the power they can have to defeat the evil and protect the world.
  336. However, there is no such villain in my script.
  338. In this film, a collector named Girardin is featured.
  340. This individual doing what he wants to do seems, in the film, to be just another villain who sets the stage for the world to go to ruin.
  342. However, that is not the case in the script.
  344. He's a paranoid collector, and he doesn't just collect Pokémon.
  346. It's not your average collector who collects all sorts of treasures and keeps them for himself and feels good about them.
  348. He is a strange person who wants to change the things that are valuable to him to his own liking instead of keeping them as they are.
  350. A creepy person with a sense of self-existence who wants to change what is valuable in the ordinary world into what is valuable to him.
  352. He's not a bad person. He is a person who wants to create his own world and become euphoric in it, whether the world is destroyed or not.
  354. For example, Milo's statue of Venus has no hand in it. However, Girardin would like to see Venus with a hand.
  356. The mysterious smile of the Mona Lisa painting.... Girardin really wants to see the Mona Lisa giggling, giggling.
  358. He has a self-consciousness that differs from common sense values... it is his self-existence.
  360. People like this are real.
  362. Or rather, there is such a part of every human being.
  364. If Mewtwo is Hamlet-ish, Girardin is a wisecracking Don Quixote.
  366. To act such a human voice, one has to be the voice of Mewtwo, an actor comparable to Mr. Ichimura.
  368. There are stage actors like that...............................................
  370. Mr. Takeshi Kaga.
  372. If Ichimura is "Phantom of the Opera," then Kaga is "Les Miserables" and "Jekyll and Hyde.
  374. I don't know if they are the same, but they are considered rivals as famous actors by those around them, and they often perform together on the same stage, as if they were competing in their performances.
  376. And neither of them can be beaten. He makes himself useful.
  378. That Mr. Kaga was playing Girardin.
  380. In other words, Girardin in the script was a necessary role that Kaga just had to play.
  382. However, there is little to show for Girardin in the film.
  384. It seems to be just another expedient villain for the destruction of the world.
  386. Girardin's showpiece scene from the screenplay was cut and replaced by more flashy action scenes.
  388. The general manager muttered to himself during the previews.
  390. "Ten more minutes, if it's long enough...
  392. One producer responded immediately.
  394. 'You can't do that. We can't increase the running time.
  396. What did the general manager intend to put in those 10 minutes?
  398. Had it been a Girardin scene, The Birth of Lugia might have felt a lot more inflected rather than a straightforward, light action anime.
  400. I think it's a waste of time and effort to use Takeshi Kaga.
  402. If you were to say, "It's your fault for writing a script that doesn't fit in the running time," I'd be tempted to reply, "What's wrong with adding extra action scenes that don't make much of a show?
  404. Furthermore, as those of you who have seen The Birth of Lugia may remember, there is still a scene near the end where Girardin, who seemed to have lost everything, somehow shed an invincible smile while looking at Mew's Pokémon card, and I wonder what this smile means.
  406. Furthermore, there was one point in "The Birth of Lugia" where the screenwriter was responsible for a major failure. There are at least two other factors that still have me personally twitching my neck.
  408. At the first plot meeting of the second film, a man nicknamed Gamae said, "I'm not going to do this.
  410. ''The hit of 'The Backlash of the Mewtwo' was a surprise. So for the second film, I'm not going to say anything about the content. I just want you to put these words in the title.
  412. Gamae went out of his way to write on the white board.
  414. The Birth.
  416. It doesn't even appear in the dictionary, probably coined by the Gozen-sama.
  418. In the second storyline, nothing is born.
  420. In fact, when we talk about "birth", it means that something is born in the explosion.
  422. I was surprised by this coined term. No, there was terrible resistance.
  424. However, it may have seemed like a cool, flashy title to Gamae and many of his staff.
  426. Is it a generational difference? Well, as far as the title was concerned, I kept my mouth shut, thinking that the screenwriter wouldn't mess up the meeting by mentioning it.
  428. Incidentally, I remember that it was released in the US under the title of "Lugia Apocalypse".
  430. It's more tasteful than "The Nativity" and suits the content of the second film.
  432. If it was released overseas under the title of "Lugia Apocalypse", oh well.....
  434. Even now, I refer to "The Birth of Lugia" as "the second Pokémon movie" and rarely refer to it as "The Birth of Lugia".
  436. I'll tell you why next time.....
  439. translated by DeepL
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