Animate Ishihara interview

Dec 21st, 2012
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  1. It’s chuunibyou, but I still love it!
  2. Interview with Supervisor Tatsuya Ishihara
  4. Differentiating between happiness and sorrow
  6. -There are two episodes remaining in the story. Please tell us about episode 7, the turning point in the story.
  8. Ishihara: Though we called it the swimsuit episode, it really wasn’t one. Sorry for lying. (laughs)
  10. -They were only on screen for a moment. (laughs) The first half of the show was so much fun, but the second half is more serious.
  12. Ishihara: Isn’t it the standard for directors to hit you over the head with the serious material after you’ve had fun? Like the swimsuit scenes, we see it after Rikka escapes from her grandparents’ house. We livened up the escape scene with uplifting music and her saying “The Dark Flame Master is the strongest!” but once she arrived at her old house, it was just a vacant lot. In just a moment, she fell into the abyss.
  14. -On the way there, she had such a happy expression on her face, but her eyes froze once she arrived. It was such an amazing shift.
  16. Ishihara: That’s what I aimed as director. Or perhaps that was emphasized by how her sorrow turned out.
  18. -At the moment Rikka laid eyes on where her house use to be, I wanted to raise so many complaints to her father for hiding his illness from Rikka.
  20. Ishihara: It was all his fault wasn’t it? It would have been nice to have told her about it, but he fell ill. Though his death definitely cast a shadow on Rikka’s soul, it wasn’t the cause of her chuunibyou. He probably didn’t want to be seen as an awful person to her since he loved her so much. He didn’t want to see her sadness. Though I can’t say I don’t understand how he felt, I don’t think he himself is an awful person. He just wounded Rikka by not telling her. Rikka was in the upper grades of elementary school, but she wasn’t at an age where she could understand what was happening. That’s why I say it was his fault.
  22. -And then episode 7 linked into episode 8 where we see Rikka’s love for Yuuta start to bloom.
  24. Ishihara: In episode 1 Rikka was already noticing Yuuta, but her “respect” for him was very strong at that time. Slowly it was turning into love, but she didn’t realize it until episode 8. When Shinka told her what it was in episode 9, she finally realized “so that’s what it is.”
  26. -Episode 9’s first half where Rikka couldn’t bear to look at Yuuta’s face was so cute.
  28. Ishihara: Depicting when two people are falling in love is the most enjoyable time, isn’t it? Episodes 8 and 10 had insert songs featured. For 8’s song I requested “Please give me a song that signals she’s found her ‘Fated Companion.’” But for episode 10, my request was “Please give me a song that signals that anxiousness when you’re not sure how the other feels.” It’s so enjoyable when you realize you’re in love, but you’re in suspense until you confess.
  30. -The song played when they were returning home on the train in episode 8, right?
  32. Ishihara: She wasn’t in love at that time. This song was just an omen.
  34. -My feelings for them grew once I heard the song.
  36. Ishihara: I’m pleased to hear that. This song was difficult to make though. I had to study very much for it. This is going to become a bit technical, but when I previously made games into anime form, I would think “this had a song, so let’s put one in the anime version.” In Chuunibyou there was multiple times where I paid attention that the insert song’s lyrics wouldn’t clash with the spoken lines. Actually, I learned it was surprisingly difficult to do that.
  38. -Previously when we talked, I asked you about the episodes where Yuuta’s attraction to Shinka was more than his attraction to Rikka. Of course at episode 10 he’s in love with Rikka. How strong a love is it?
  40. Ishihara: Yuuta’s fallen for her hard. It’s not a shallow attraction for her. For example, if Rikka said “Let’s elope!” he wouldn’t have any hesitation at all. (laughs)
  42. -She also confessed before he did too.
  44. Ishihara: Where he’s a bit shy, Rikka’s more proactive. He’s the more passive of the two.
  46. -Jun Fukuyama, the voice of Yuuta, said that the pinky touching scene was sweet and that Rikka was very cute.
  48. Ishihara: It was definitely a wonderful scene, but it felt somewhat sexy too. (laughs) I might be thinking too hard about it though. I was reminded of a scene from The Silence of the Lambs with Clarice and Dr. Lector. It wasn’t a romantic scene, but I was just reminded of the scene when their hands come together.
  50. Pay attention to the napping Kumin-senpai!
  52. -Please tell me your impressions since episode 7 regarding Shinka, Kumin, and Dekomoari. Shinka is probably a nice character who takes care of others.
  54. Ishihara: She was like that from the beginning. She’s probably the most adult-like of all the club members.
  56. -Sometimes Kumin-senpai is like an adult too.
  58. Ishihara: At first glance you’d think Kumin is an airhead, and that’s what she actually is. Here’s my defense of her. (laughs) You might think she’s staring blankly, but really she’s looking around her. I’m quite familiar with that feeling. (laughs)
  60. -And Dekomori is as restless as ever.
  62. Ishihara: I’ll just state that she’s the same as before. (laughs)
  64. -Dekomori helped keep the seriousness at bay in episodes 7-8. She made a seal on her stomach, got a sunburn, and played a prank on Shinka.
  66. Ishihara: I thought I’d try having a sunburnt character. Afterwards, I found I liked them. (laughs) This is something not well known, but her magic circle was higher on her stomach at first. I requested that “the center of the circle should be around her belly button” to character designer (Kazumi) Ikeda and she changed it. I think belly buttons are sexy.
  68. -The dog becoming attached to Shinka was amusing.
  70. Ishihara: Both he and Dekomori became attached to her together, didn’t they. He had this playful feeling around him while Shinka didn’t. He wouldn’t listen to her complaints though. (laughs) Surprisingly, I thought Shinka could become a very good kindergarten teacher.
  72. -I’m curious about Dekmori and everyone else’s actions in episode 11 and 12.
  74. Ishihara: Even Dekomori, who said “I deathfinitely won’t allow [their love]” was happy when she saw how Rikka felt. What will she do... Well, I get the sense she’ll act like she’s giving away her loveable older sister.
  76. -What about Kumin and Shinka? Last time we interviewed series composer (Junki) Hanada-san and he said “Shinka is a very grateful person.”
  78. Ishihara: I get the feeling that Shinka took over the “watching over everyone” role from Kumin mid-way. When we finished the scenario for the final episode, I felt we finally grasped Kumin’s character. Of course Shinka has her highlights too, but they’re not as sweet as Yuuta’s. (laughs)
  80. The chuuni Rikka and the old Rikka are the same Rikka
  82. -It felt like we got a few glimpses of the Rikka without chuunibyou when she called Touka “Sister” and when she was remembering her father.
  84. Ishihara: That was the true Rikka speaking. It’s a bit different. As someone who has the memories of being infected with chuunibyou, it’s like having both a light side and dark side inside you at the same time. Regardless, both of them are yourself. It’s the same for Rikka. For me, there was a part of me that felt I may have psychic powers, and a part of me who felt I absolutely did not, inside me at the same time. Rikka has a part of her who says chuunibyou phrases and a part of her who doesn’t. It’s still the same Rikka. Putting it into words, you perhaps could call that part the “old Rikka.” It’s the middle schooler before she was infected. Saying she’s split between them and that she’s reverting back are different ways to put it.
  86. -Certainly. That doesn’t mean that the light side is fake or that the dark side is fake.
  88. Ishihara: It’s no different from how I talk at work and at home. It’s not about which is real and which is pretending since they’re both me. That Rikka isn’t what you’d call the original version. If I dare say, there may be a time where they’re mixed together.
  90. -That’s how she’d act in the future, right?
  92. Ishihara: So how she talks in the future after she becomes an adult intrigues you? It’s quite possible that she would continue to talk in chuuni terms as an adult. (laughs) There’s nothing like a chuunibyou adult, so she’d be someone with a weird speaking pattern. Touka wouldn’t think so would she?
  94. -Touka-san never was infected was she? (laughs)
  96. Ishihara: So you wonder if she talked like that when she was young? Maybe she might’ve felt like that when she was in elementary school. (laughs)
  98. -The delusional battle in episode 8 was very severe wasn’t it? Touka struck Rikka.
  101. Ishihara: I’ve heard that quarrels between sisters are quite violent. They’ll do things like pull each other’s hair. I was a bit worried about going that far when depicting it though.
  103. -But we see Touka crying. It definitely says that she’s very very worried about Rikka.
  105. Ishihara: Of course she worries about her. But you can’t hit the chuunibyou out of someone. (laughs)
  107. -So she unintentionally struck at her?
  109. Ishihara: That’s probably true, but I think she’s a cute woman. She’s either a true mistress of the house and meek outside or just shy. I’ve struggled in various ways with that kind of personality, so perhaps she may have treated Rikka poorly.
  111. Will she be cured from chuunibyou?
  112. Will Rikka change now that she’s in love?
  114. -Since episode 9, Rikka hasn’t been able to have a delusional battle.
  116. Ishihara: The fact that she hasn’t been able to form a delusional battle since she realized she was in love in episode 9 isn’t just because she wasn’t in the mood for one. (laughs) I think there’s a big issue with a girl falling in love and not being able to be chuuni. There’s no chuunibyou explanation for love itself. This also relates to the first argument I had with Hanada-san. In other works you’ll see a shrine maiden’s or dark lady’s power weaken when she falls in love. My feeling is that falling in love doesn’t cause your magical power to weaken.
  118. -Regarding Rikka’s mother making her a bento, the last part of episode 10 turned very serious.
  120. Ishihara: Now that she’s acquainted with the weight of reality, there’s some kind of uneasy sensation between Rikka and Yuuta. What’ll happen next...
  122. -She sung “Please Look to the Stars Above” on the culture festival stage, right?
  124. Ishihara: It was a song her father loved. The meaning behind choosing it was to send a comment towards Yuuta.
  126. -What would that be?
  128. Ishihara: When he told Rikka to “take off her eyepatch” it was an incredibly huge thing to ask of her. It’d be like someone telling me to stop making anime. (laughs) She’s said that he’s been the one person who understood her up until now. This was Rikka’s way of telling Yuuta “I’ll stop my chuunibyou activities.” She just wanted to show a modest objection.
  130. -Now that Rikka’s taken off her eyepatch, has she been cured of chuunibyou?
  132. Ishihara: Rikka’s chuunibyou is a problem for her life. As she was living her life, she had no awareness of the term chuunibyou. “Chuunibyou? What’s that? I’ve never heard of such a term before.” (laughs) But that doesn’t mean she’ll stop acting chuuni by simply taking off her eyepatch. Like Yuuta, she’ll take great effort be moderate in her actions and put away her chuuni items. Please check out episode 11 to see what happens.
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