Opening this weekend in 27 theatres across Japan is the highlight film of the first Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! TV season, Rikka Takanashi Revision. To promote the film, the director of both the TV series and the film, Tatsuya Ishihara has done various interviews with various publications. One of those publications which focuses on subcultures is bonet. They published an interview in two parts; one prior to the film, which is spoiler free, and one following the film’s release which has spoilers for the film. This post will translate the sections of the interview that were first posted and are safe to read before watching the movie. Linked at the top of this post will be the first half/non-spoiler portion of the interview. Thanks to irrevilent for editing!
–Speaking of comical portions, we were surprised that the Lite episode started the movie.
Ishihara: Foreign animation films usually have a short shown at the beginning, don’t they? With that in mind, we decided to try and replicate that with opening with our Lite episode. The newly made samba ending for this lite is among my favorites. (laughs)
–Just like before, the Lite has a distorted Rikka doing the Samba. In contrast, the opening for the movie has Rikka singing, which was not the case for the TV series, but representative of a movie detailing Rikka’s tale. The visuals emphasizing Rikka were also impressive. Were you the storyboarder/director for these?
Ishihara: I was in charge of it. For the scene in the opening where Rikka grows wings, one side’s wing is smaller. Since Rikka’s a dark chuunibyou girl, I quite liked using the “incomplete winged angel’ motif for her. (laughs) Personally, I feel that image is quite representative of people like Rikka. There’s more than a few people out there who don’t do well at academics, don’t fit into their environment, or who are anxious about finding a career or not becoming useless. So that useless wing image is representative of the chuunibyou patients unable to become adults.
–At the beginning of the movie, Rikka appears in a wedding dress similar to what you’d expect to see in a fan movie. It’s contrasting with her “incomplete winged angel” motif, but is still entertaining. By the way, though I know you can’t reveal some details, were there any scenes in the movie that you had a particular image in your head for?
Ishihara: Since it’s a movie, shouldn’t it have that “movie surprise” to start it off? (laughs) While I was meeting with Hanada-san, we both agreed “we want to start off with a flashy action scene.” But we also wanted the audience to understand that this is a lie despite having a fantasy world action battle scene with Rikka and Yuuta unfolding. Regardless, the dream had to end. I thought adding Yuuta’s narration combined with a bit longer reality exposition to start the film would be a bigger surprise, wouldn’t it? Also, shouldn’t the audience be able to read what Rikka’s feelings were during that scene? Besides, that type of self-deprecating humor is very chuunibyou-ish.
–The battle scenes in the film made great use of CG, especially depicting the group battle against the dragon. It felt powerful. Which of the new scenes in the film would you say is your favorite?
Ishihara: One would be Kumin’s battle/action scene. Since she never had chuunibyou, she was more in the expanded world as I call it, but…. she couldn’t participate in the battles in the fantasy worlds like Rikka, Nibutani, and Dekomori thought up in the first season. Then at last she’s finally there in the movie. I was pleased. Her finishing attack literally is spelled out “fast asleep” but read “EXPLOSIVE SLEEPING.” I was exceptionally pleased with that scene. (laughs) In addition, I was pleased with Nibutani’s transformation that was included as well as Dekomori’s introduction.
A mysterious new character… the curtain rises on a new chapter!
–At the end of the movie, a new character and setting appears to bridge the gap to the second season. At the start of the highlights, Rikka holds her hand outside the door of a train at the exact time it opens while the new character holds her hand inside the door of a train at the exact time it opens. I was impressed with the lovely interaction between the two.
Ishihara: I wanted to really emphasize the rival, opposing, nature to Rikka in that scene.
–When I saw the actress listed for her in the credits, it appeared she had a history with past Kyoto Animation productions before casting her in this role.
Ishihara: I was very worried relating to casting the key character for the second season. Usually when casting a new character, you’ll request someone who knows what recording is like and who’ll grow accustomed to the atmosphere. This time however, I decided upon someone who participated in the first season via a student role.
–At the present point, there some other points you’d like to talk about regarding the second season’s plot, right? How about preparing the shocking development seen at the end of the movie concerning Rikka and Yuuta.
Ishihara: This was also suggested by Hanada-san, but I absolutely wanted this kind of setting to give a fresh feeling. Not quite devastating, but isn’t it giving off a different feeling when starting than what you’ve seen before? Ordinarily when seeing something like that begin, fans would be shocked and think immediately that Kuzuha, Yumeha, and Touka’s screentime would drop. When you check the first season again, they didn’t have a lot of appearances, so their screentime wouldn’t change a lot.
I’ve said before regarding the story that while the love story between Rikka and Yuuta would be the main plot, the comedy aspect would be stronger. We’re also preparing episodes that dig deeper into Dekomori, Nibutani, and Kumin, so please look forward to those.
–Having experienced the movie myself, haven’t there been pieces that have changed like direction and image drawing? At the start of the first season, the processing of hair gradients was something I noticed when watching. The color of the principal lines were also exceptionally peculiar on the screen.
Ishihara: I’m grateful you noticed that. I wanted to give the female characters a softer impression in the colored outline when there was a close up. However, it’s not a simple change. For example, a stray line in a black uniform feels out of place; proper coordination of colors is needed. It’s definitely difficult to do. Although since we’ve done this before, the second season won’t have a very different taste.
–Finally, would you please give a few words to the readers?
Ishihara: Up until now I’ve worked on a lot of anime with original materials. Though Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! is a light novel written by Torako, I’ve been able to add original characters and alter it to find an ending. For me, it feels like it’s nearly an original series. Of course I’ve loved all the series I’ve worked on thus far, but I have a different kind of love for this anime. I think it’d be great to do a third season or second movie.
In regards to Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! The Movie ~Rikka Takanashi Revision~, I’ve made this film while working hard on the drawings for the battle scenes at the beginning and contemplating how to finely tune the audio to suit the 5.1 channel audio mix. I’ve pondered how to make this worthwhile to those who go to the theatre to see the movie, so I’m grateful to those who have/will go to see it.