An interview with Blue Exorcist Movie Staff Takamitsu Inoue and Atsushi Takahashi
Date: 2014 June 4th Wednesday [16:59] | Posted By: Joe
A few weeks ago two of the production staff behind the Blue Exorcist Movie were visiting the May 2014 MCM London Comic Con. They were there to promote Manga Entertainment's UK release and catch up with fans. We were lucky enough to meet and interview Takamitsu Inoue the film's Producer and Atsushi Takahashi the director.
With Blue Exorcist you worked closely with original manga artist Kazue Kato to produce the anime. With other anime works is the close collaboration like this normal? How did it change the production?
Atsushi Takahashi: It varies from anime to anime how much input there is from the creator of the manga. In this case there were characters in the film who weren't in the manga. It's a different story as well, so Kato-san designed the new characters for the film.
Takamitsu Inoue: It depends on the film, but in this case for Blue Exorcist she designed the characters and helped write the story, because she's got a very distinct flavour to her work it was better to ask her, rather than us trying to come up with something for ourselves.
Recently Japanese fans are interested how involved the original manga artist was in the animation.
How does anime movie production compare to TV production? Is it more challenging as the resolution is higher?
Atsushi Takahashi: It's not that you need to draw more detail or less detail, with TV anime the schedule doesn't allow you to draw that much detail. So for example there are scenes where someone should be walking, but there's no time to animate them walking, so they're just standing still.
Or would you crop it, so it's above the waste?
Atsushi Takahashi: Yeah, that often happens.
Where there any trouble producing the detailed backgrounds of the show?
Atsushi Takahashi: I only got involved in the film, so the colours and things like that were mostly already fixed in the TV series. So there wasn't much of a problem.
Who's your favourite character from the film and why?
Atsushi Takahashi: Yukio! Although he didn't have much of a role in the film. So I'd like him to have more of an opportunity in future to be more active in the film. I'm reading up on him!
Takamitsu Inoue: I like Rin, he's the main character.
Were you surprised at how popular Blue Exorcist would be? Did you ever imagine one day you'd be taking about it overseas in places like London?
Atsushi Takahashi: When I came on board, they told me it was pretty popular overseas already. So I was kind of expecting it.
Are you surprised at how passionate UK anime fans are? Did you expect to see this many cosplayers?
Atsushi Takahashi: It's interesting how many people here are cosplaying. In Japan at these kind of things, some people will be in costume, but here it's almost like everyone is dressing up.
There's a really wide range of cosplay too, from really old ones to the most recent ones.
Atsushi Takahashi - You've worked for Studio Ghibli as an assistant director for Spirited Away. How does working for Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki compare to other studios?
Atsushi Takahashi:The big difference is that Ghibli does everything in house. The art, the backgrounds, the filming, the colour, even the PR, editing, the merchandise department. It's quite unique in that respect, where most studios will just do the animation and just do the background art.
You've worked on a wide range of anime projects. What was it like to work on Kemonozume with Yuasa Masaaki-san? How much does the creative process change when working on a more unconventional series?
Atsushi Takahashi: Nowadays there are a lot of small studios working together to create something. So you have common rules, that as long as everyone sticks to them everything will work OK. But Yuasa-san tends not to stick to those rules! So what he creates is something that's hard to create in the current system. It can cause confusion, but it's also great fun!
The movie was released almost 2 years ago in Japan. Does this lead to any interesting issues when talking about it 2 years since making it?!
Takamitsu Inoue: For anime because the release is much later than in Japan, during the overseas interviews you find the creators have forgotten details of the film because they haven't seen it in a while. It's been 2 years since it came out in Japan, and I've seen it about 10 times. So I haven't really forgotten anything.
How many times do you think you'll see this movie?
Takamitsu Inoue: (Jokingly) I might not watch it again in a while.
Atsushi Takahashi: Sometimes when you watch it back you find mistakes, things that you've overlooked that people don't notice. Things that you notice that you can't tell anyone. However many times you watch it, that's not going to change. You start picking up on all those bits. So I try not to watch them too often.
Would you like to make something else with exactly the same team in future? If you would, would it be another Blue Exorcist Movie? Or would it be something else?
Takamitsu Inoue: I don't think there would be another opportunity to get that team together again. Atsushi Takahashi the director, the character designer Keigo Sasaki, the art director Shinji Kimura. It would be good to get them together if we could. I'd like to do Blue Exorcist with them if I could.
Shinji Kimura the art director's daughter is a fan of Blue Exorcist and that's why he took on the job. When Kazue Kato came to the studio he got her autograph for his daughter!
Otaku News: We would like to thank Atsushi Takahashi and Takamitsu Inoue for taking time out for this interview and being such awesome guests. We'd also like to thank Manga Entertainment UK, Anime Limited and the organisers of the MCM London Comic Con.
The Blue Exorcist Movie is available to buy now on DVD and on blu-ray from Amazon.co.uk