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"A New Approach to the Future" - Interview with Takuya Okamo

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Dec 12th, 2019
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  1. "A New Approach to the Future" - Interview with Takuya Okamoto
  2.  
  3. > How did you proceed for the "Gundam Build Divers Re: Rise" project?
  4. The initial request included a series that would fit within the previous Gundam Build Divers, so I reasoned about what was meant by the "Build" of "Build Divers", and the result was that of "a series in which you would fight with what it was possible to build ". Adding the "Diver" feature was contextualized in the online world of the "Gunpla Battle Nexus" (GBN), an easily accessible place with a certain volume of content, and this is where we started. Later it was decided what to add more.
  5.  
  6. > So the project started as genuinely linked to "Build Divers".
  7. Exact. A sequel to Build Divers was not specifically asked. It was my decision to put it at its peak. Apart from Gundam Build Fighters Try: Island Wars I have never been involved in the production of this kind of work before. However, working in the same company, I often followed the transmission. Therefore, after discussing it with the members of the previous staff, he took the current form.
  8.  
  9. > As a producer, what did you focus your attention on?
  10. This is the fourth work in the Build series. I felt that due to the focus on merchandising the series was losing a bit of freshness, so my priority was to realize if I could add something really new to the saga. So I looked for an approach to this slightly different series.
  11.  
  12. > What kind of approach?
  13. The previous series started more or less from the same assumptions, a lively setting in a new user felt at ease. However in this work I preferred to concentrate a little more on the growth of the awareness of the characters. So it has a slightly more dramatic approach than the previous series.
  14. The concept of the "Build" is understood as "enlarging one's own circle of associates".
  15. Gundam in particular has a long history, and my impression is that people find it difficult to get close due to its size. I want to proceed without changing the role that Build has played in this sense.
  16.  
  17. > In what sense is there a more dramatic approach to the characters?
  18. This time, starting with the protagonist, there is the feeling that this is a group of "vagabonds". Hiroto, Kazami, May, Parviz are the main characters, but the main story will concern the links being built between these four people. The point is to see how these mismatched characters will form a bond. In particular, since a cornerstone of the Build series is that the protagonists are immediately introduced as good friends, I wanted to change the story from here.
  19.  
  20. > There is also the impression that Hiroto as a protagonist is much more skilled than others.
  21. Exact. To conceive the Core Gundam and its Planet System it is an extremely skilled expert user. Moreover, so far the protagonists of the Build series have been middle or elementary students, but here we pass to high school boys.
  22. I wouldn't have minded using the previous target to tell tormented stories, but I thought it would be too heavy, this is the right age to tackle a little more serious subjects.
  23.  
  24. > Ebikawa is again in charge of designing the protagonist model.
  25. It is my impression, but as a designer I think it is really fast and understands the needs of work and its dynamics. He also always has an ace up his sleeve, and has extensive knowledge of Gundam. I have not had the opportunity to work with those who put their whole self into what they do, so when I think of Ebikawa I believe that there are not many people capable of giving certain results.
  26.  
  27. > I have the impression that there are not many substitutes.
  28. Exact. I have been in this environment for a long time, and it is always nice to deal with people who know how to maintain different approaches depending on the situation.
  29.  
  30. > How are you adjusting for the exit of the gunpla that will appear later?
  31. The principle is to satisfy Bandai's requests, developing the character around the chosen model. There are not many restrictions, and this time it seems that there is much more free field. We basically treat mobile suits as characters. Since the characters that appear this time are very special, this also applies to their gunpla. I think it's an interesting choice to make the model participate in the drama of the character.
  32.  
  33. > Has the idea of designing the MSs really 18 meters been taken from the previous series?
  34. Yes, we have resumed the idea of scanning your gunpla and bringing it back to its realistic dimensions in combat. Two years have passed since then, so the process is even more sophisticated. In particular, the GBN system itself was implemented, such as the idea of feedback to make the experience more immersive.
  35.  
  36. > We were surprised that this time the main transmission takes place through Youtube.
  37. First of all, today's young people hardly come into contact with the robotic series on their own initiative. With this assumption we have chosen this type of diffusion, obviously hoping that it will reach a wider audience in general. Obviously, this being also the first time that we experience this thing, we are anxiously awaiting the results. I am part of the TV-grown generation, so I feel the huge difference in proportion between the two media.
  38.  
  39. > Obviously a part of our generation wonders if everything will be fine.
  40. The Gundam Channel was opened on Youtube and to us it seems a great challenge, but considering how the use of the media has changed over the years, my impression is that perhaps we are even a little late.
  41.  
  42. > Do you create your works thinking about how they will be transmitted?
  43. No, this does not change the way we work on a product. If you are aware of the medium used obviously there are some tricks you can take, how to reduce the duration to 10 minutes and change the update frequency. Obviously we can adapt to such requests, but as I said before, in this series we focused on the story, so we interpreted the need to shorten the times as a risk. Our goal remains to maintain the quality of a television product.
  44.  
  45. > In short, you focused on developing the "Divers" style in various ways.
  46. Exact. Especially with regard to gunpla and data, we want to pay tribute to our work. However, despite being given, it does not mean that they become animated automatically, there is behind the same soul and commitment. I don't know how much this is transmitted to the spectators who watch the series, but I don't want the public to forget what they are feeling looking at it.
  47.  
  48. > I think this could be the turning point of the series.
  49. This time I supervise the composition of the series, and I hope I can create something interesting in collaboration with Watada.
  50. I'm still facing the challenges that engaging in such a series entails, but I'd be happy if you took a look at it.
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