During Anime Festival Asia Indonesia 2014 (AFA ID 2014), we had the rare and valuable opportunity to be seated together with the people who made the series come to life!
They are, the author himself, Shiden Kanzaki Sensei, his editor, Yasutaka Kurosaki, and last but not the least, the producer of the anime series itself, Mitsutoshi Ogura!
Along with media friends from SGCafe, AFA Channel and Journal Otaku. We certainly had an fun and entertaining time during the interview as laughter constantly filled the room and that it almost felt like it only lasted a moment!
We shall not leave you any spoilers and without ado, let us move on to the interview segment of this post!
What do you think of the anime version of the series?
Shiden Kanzaki: The anime version was able to show more in regards to the relationship between Rentaro and Enjo as well the feelings and trust they both hold for each other.
Were there any difficulties when producing Black Bullet, since there were its heavy as well as light hearted moments throughout the series?
Shiden Kanzaki: In the original novel version, the story emphasizes more on how Rentaro faces off with the villain, Kagetane, so there wasn’t much development between the other characters. As for the anime, up till the forth episode, where Rentaro battles with Kagetane, there was much more development between the character other than just Rentarou himself.
Mitsutoshi Ogura: We initially took some time before we were able to decided how we wanted the anime to be, whether for it to be light hearten, or heavy like the novel. And therefore, in the end, to appeal more to the audience, we decided to make the series a little more lighthearted than the novel, and therefore there was a lesser emphasis of discrimination between humans and the cursed girls as compared to the novel.
What was your inspiration when writing Black Bullet?
Shiden Kanzaki: As far as I could remember, I have always loved and admired movies. Although I usually watch Japanese movies frequently, I have also enjoyed Hollywood movies just as much. And so one day, I decided to take up the challenge to be part of the movie world as a scriptwriter.
And could you share with us, how did the idea of the Gastreal come about?
Shiden Kanzaki: Eh? Where did that come from again?
Mitsutoshi Ogura: Didn’t it come from the idea of zombies initially?
Shiden Kanzaki: Ah right! Zombies! But before that, I was thinking about the kind of creature that I was most afraid of, living things other than humans, for example, insects or arachnids. And so if those creatures were capable of evolution, like for examples humans to zombies, I felt that it could be an extremely scary thought itself.
And since I felt that it may be a pretty bad idea to use the idea of zombies, I tried thinking of a different approach that I could utilize. Thus, I took the scary part about zombies, and mixed it up with other common creatures. And that’s how the idea of Gastreal came about.
What was the hardest part that you took the longest time to make a decision while making the anime series?
Shiden Kanzaki: The part that we took the longest to decide was how much or how wide the parameter of Tokyo Area was going to be.
Mitsutoshi Ogura: For the novel, it was only mentioned that it would be a part within Tokyo, and thus it wasn’t specific about where those the area will stretch till. And so, we had to take out an actual map to the existing Tokyo, and plot out where the setting is going to be in order to match up with the original story as much as possible. Like for example where the monolith where going to be erected at.
How could you kill off those cute little girls? Were you aiming for a huge reaction from the fans?
Shiden Kanzaki: That’s not quite right, as I wasn’t aiming for such a reaction. First of all, I had to consider the progress of the story, like for example, within the first volume of the series, till the 4 episode for the anime series; there was indeed one girl who passed away. This was done in order for the audience to understand the discrimination these little girls are facing from the human society even despite being so cute looking. It was kind of saddening, since I didn’t had such plans of these girls dying initially when I started the series.
Mitsutoshi Ogura: And since after it became an anime, the characters all took on a much more visual appearance. I can relate to the fans feeling remorse over the little girls being cute. After all, they are all so cute. But these girls have all given in and accepted the harsh fate in which they will be facing, and due to that, despite being just 10 years old, they become much mature and stronger mentally to the point where they could even be much more mature thinking as compared to some adult humans.
Because of these harsh fate these girls face, Enju, being one of them also grew stronger as the story progresses. Was deliberately having this setting part of strengthening Enju as she progress on?
Mitsutoshi Ogura: When writing the novel, this might not have been deliberate. However the other hand, that was what we were aiming when producing the anime series. But rather than just that, we wanted to also express the trust and relationship Rentarou and Enju both have for each other, not just because of their role as Promoter and Initiator. In the series we were able to see other paired up Promotor and Initiator, but even though they are partners, you do not really see them being as close as Rentarou and Enju.
Before ‘Black bullet’, you wrote ‘Koi no Cupid wa Handgun’ which was a love comedy. Which type of story do you prefer writing?
Shiden Kanzaki: Even before ‘Koi no Cupid wa Handgun’, my debut work entitled ‘Marginal’ was a work that was similar to Black Bullet. And so, I enjoy prefer coming with works that have to do with life and death situations. And I realized that rather than writing novels which are lighthearted, I specialize more in writing stories with a deep setting. And so I feel that I am able to connect more with stories such as ‘Marginal’ and ‘Black Bullet’.
A question to everyone, who is their favorite character within the series?
Shiden Kanzaki: I love them all, everyone! Reason being, as a author of the series. I believe that it would be better to not show any form of favoritism towards an individual character as it may influence my ability in writing the story.
Mitsutoshi Ogura: I like Enju the most! Although as the producer, I face myself with the characters all the time. But because I spent most of my time on developing Enju, I found myself drawn towards her personality, and admire how she overcomes all her problems and how she is still able to support Rentaro at the same time.
Yasutaka Kurosaki: I like Tina Spouts the most! Whether is she in battle or in an everyday situation, I found her to be really cute all the time!
If you could live in the ‘Black Bullet’ universe, would you want to?
Mitsutoshi Ogura: If I could live in it, cute little girls will keep appearing whenever I knock on the manhole, so it may not be such a bad thing! Would it?!
Shiden Kanzaki: On the contrary, it’s more like a universe that I would very much rather not have to live in! But it wouldn’t be that bad if Enju and the rest are around.
Yasutaka Kurosaki: In response to that, I would like to be an Promoter and have a cute little girl as my Initiator, and fight against the Gastreal for peace!
That’s all we have for Black Bullet, stay tune for more from Ani-Culture.net !
If you haven’t seen it, then fret not, for here’s a brief description of what you have been missing out!
In the year 2021, mankind is decimated by the epidemic of Gastrea, a parasitic virus, and is forced to live within the Monolith walls, which are created from Varanium: a metal that is able to subdue Gastrea. Soon, children who were born with the Gastrea virus and obtained superhuman abilities as a result, are discovered and dubbed “Cursed Children“.Civil Securities are formed to specialize fighting against Gastrea, operating with the pair of an Initiator, who are cursed children, and a Promoter, serving to lead the cursed children.
Ten years after the epidemic, Rentarō Satomi, a high school student who is also a Promoter is paired with his Initiator, Enju Aihara, conducts missions to prevent the destruction of the Tokyo Area and the world.