Interview with Kinoko Nasu on the Theatrical Version of Kara no Kyoukai: Part 2
The novel was first published at Comiket 61 in 2001, and was later re-released by Kodansha in 2004. At the end of 2006, Type-Moon announced that Kara no Kyoukai will be adapted into a 7-part movie series by ufotable under the title Kara no Kyoukai ~Garden of Sinners~.
As Kara no Kyoukai is being fully animated for the big screen, Karzu, an impassioned fan of Kinoko Nasu, got to talk to him about this and that. The 2-part interview was published on Akiba Blog in September. Below is the English version of Part 2 of the interview.
[Karzu SP] Interview with Master Kinoko Nasu concerning the theatrical version of Kara no Kyoukai: Part 2
Oh, this is great!
Nasu: I don't think anyone will be able to complain about the quality.
I caught a glimpse of it here in the PV, but how much detail have the more brutal images (such as arms being torn off) been drawn in? Has it been rated?
Atsuhiro Iwagami (Aniplex producer): We're trying to keep things as close as possible to the original. The rating itself is entirely up to EIRIN's (*1) decision, but (the images) are pretty much in shadow, so it'll be fine.
Nasu: Um, no, it looked very realistic in the PV just now. (Laughs)
At the Comike venue, when that brutal part of the PV showed up, there weren't any cries of outrage or denial?
Nasu: It was absolutely fine. And the next venue over was playing moe songs... (Laughs)
(Laughs) This will be (TYPE-MOON's) third animation, after Tsukihime and Fate; is it coming as an extension of those previous two, or has it followed a different visual path?
Nasu: Tsukihime and Fate, both being based on games, already had visuals, so there was the double hurdle of preserving the game's visuals while having to transform it into an anime. You try to live up to the hopes of the original's fans and to recreate the scenes from the game, but since those scenes were unmoving pictures, you also have to bring them to life; making those two angles compatible is hard.
On the other hand, Kara no Kyoukai is being drawn from scratch. Since there aren't any visuals that the animators have to stick to, they have more freedom where that's concerned, but there are "labor pains" involved in making something from nothing. Both types of hurdles are high ones, but I think the one involved in drawing Kara no Kyoukai will, due to its unique characteristics, bring a fresher surprise to the viewers when they watch it.
The director, the staff, and you, Nasu-san, all have different ideas of what things should look like in your minds. Do those differences ever come up?
Nasu: I think it's inevitable that those come up, in any project. It's just, even if our ideas differ, I personally have no talent for drawing, so it only ever gets to the level where they'll show me a picture and I'll say either, "Yeah, go for it!" or, "Do you think you could bring out this sort of atmosphere a little more here?".
Then, to begin with, the art boards (*2) for Kara no Kyoukai always surpassed my imaginings, so there was nowhere for me to inject my opinion. Because of that, I almost want to tell the people who'll decide to read the original book after seeing the movie, "Don't read it!" (Laughs)
How the Casting of Voice Actors for Kara no Kyoukai was Decided
The cast of voice actors has changed quite a lot from what it was on the drama CD; how were they chosen?
Nasu: The four companies - ufotable, Aniplex, Kodansha and TYPE-MOON - decided the auditions by vote. However, fundamentally, ufotable is producing the anime; they said "We'd like to make this sort of film, so we're looking for this sort of voice", and we made that top priority. Meaning that our opinions were really used only when ufotable's internal opinion was split; they were then taken into consideration to aid in the decision. "This is a theatrical release, and the voice will be played into a huge closed room, so it would be better to have a voice that's a little 'chic'-sounding", or "It would be better to have a lower voice here", etc. - We took concepts like those as our starting point, and narrowed the choices down from there.
Nasu-san, was there anyone besides Nakata Jouji-san that you absolutely wouldn't give up? (Laughs)
Nasu: No, no (Laughs). I thought, if we were changing one actor, we might as well change then all, but ufotable thought Nakada-san was best, no matter what. They said things like, "Jouji is best for Araya. Araya is best for Jouji." (All laugh.)
As far as Sakamoto Maaya-san for Ryougi Shiki was concerned... At the audition stage, we had quite a strong image of Shiki, and I thought I'd like them to decide on Sakamoto-san.
I liked Kawakami Tomoko's Shiki on the drama CD, too, though.
Nasu: Oh, I loved Kawakami's Shiki! After the new cast was publicized, I got protest e-mails from acquaintances (Laughs). Kawamoto Tomoko-san's Shiki was an "upper" type, a rather energetic Shiki. Sakamoto Maaya-san's Shiki is a "downer" type. In order to suit the heavy atmosphere of this "Theatrical edition: Kara no Kyoukai", we chose to have Sakamoto-san act for us this time.
I thought the choice of Suzumura Kenichi for Kokutou Mikiya was pretty unexpected.
Nasu: Suzumura-san delivers a good voice. The young voice I heard at the audition had no irony in it, and it sounded main character-ish, even so: I thought, "This is the image for Mikiya."
Why was Honda Takako-san chosen to play Aozaki Touko?
Nasu: First of all, she has a powerful voice, but she still sounds very feminine. Plus, since her character talks for the longest period of time of anyone in this story, we thought it would be best to have a voice that people wouldn't get tired of, no matter how long they listened to it. Then, we also needed someone who could make the scary voice for the times when she takes off her glasses...
And Fujimura Ayumi-san plays the role of Kokutou Azaka? I believe this was the hardest character to cast...
Nasu: Right; we had to choose between making her incredibly bright and cute, or modulating her character to fit the chic theatrical atmosphere, and we went for the latter.
By the way, Nasu-san, who is the most moe-type character here as far as you're concerned?
Nasu: To me, Asagami Fujino is the most straight-forwardly moe character. I love angst-filled characters; now that I think about it, maybe that's the only kind of character I've written... Well, but looking at the moving pictures, Ryougi Shiki's taken first place. Her "downer" voice, too: since I like angsty heroines, I just can't get enough of it. (Laughs)
Also by the way, are you aware of any rival anime movies?
Nasu: If I were to say this prettily, the rival would probably be the immediately previous Theatrical Edition: Kara no Kyoukai. They each have different directors, so while the story is continuous, the visual works themselves will be different.
Come to think of it, you wrote quite heatedly in your own journal (Chikusou Nikki) about the new Evangelion theatrical release.
Nasu: I'm feeling a bit apologetic about that myself (Laughs). However, any work that can deal out an impact like that is a treasure; if you're grateful, the least you can do in return is call a delicious thing "delicious" and thank them. All I can do now is pray that the release times don't clash. But I do want it to be released quickly, tomorrow if possible! As a fan, I couldn't be happier about the new Evangelion movie. For me, a rank-and-file soldier, seeing that the king is still as invincible as ever makes me incredibly happy.
In conclusion, could you say a word both to the fans of the original work and to people who aren't familiar with it, telling them what you'd like them to look out for?
Nasu: I'd like fans of the original work to really feel to their bones the surprise that they'll get when they see things -- things which were, until now, taken care of solely in the text -- transformed into visuals. For example, Shiki is a character who includes quite a lot of lies. Kimonos are such that you can't really spread your legs, so she couldn't really do actions scenes wearing what she does. When "lies" like that are transformed into visuals, how far can they follow the original while simultaneously creating something beautiful?
For example, even in the PV we just saw, she flies quite properly, with her legs together. I'd like them to look out for places like that. To those who haven't yet read it, first of all, I'd like them to feel charmed by Shiki's behavior; she's a heroine who has some very courageous, masculine places, and also some very girlish ones. I think it would be good if they could then use that as a foothold and really enter into the story.
Thank you very much for your time.
*Nasu-san knew of Karzu SP beforehand, and when he told Karzu, "I've read all of 'Yandere Dai' (*3), Karzu (as one who had written a "The Yandere heroines who appear in Kinoko Nasu's works" corner), felt quite unbalanced... How did you feel about this extremely dense, heavy interview?
Theatrical version Kara no Kyoukai Chapter 1 will be released on 12/01/07, Chapter 2 will follow on 12/29/07, and Chapter 3 is scheduled to begin showing on 01/26/08.
Theatrical version Kara no Kyoukai
*1: EIRIN = The Administrative Commission for the Motion Picture Code of Ethics.
*2: Art board - Graphic reference materials drawn by the art director to keep the director and staff on track about the direction the art is supposed to take. (Rather like an instruction manual.)
*3: Yandere – Defined as a type of character who starts out by acting sweet and loving, but gets very violent when events turn against her (usually) or him.