This is one of the three staff interviews featured in the guidebook for Amagi Brilliant Park. All three will be translated, but let’s start off nice and easy with the director of the show: Yasuhiro Takemoto!
Amaburi Staff Interviews
Director: Yasuhiro Takemoto
Director at Kyoto Animation. Notable works include Hyouka. Has participated as director in past Shoji Gatou animated works.
While including many original elements, director Takemoto also endeavored to show the charm of the original novels. Here we talk to him about the charm of the anime and the portions he was fixated on.
Properly re-show the charm of the original in the visuals!
– What impressions did you have when you first read the novels?
When I first read the novel, I felt “this is really a Gatouesque work.” I thought Yuka Nakajima-san’s illustrations are cute after I quickly saw them for the first time. Moreover, taking place at an amusement park makes it a wonderful setting and a lighter work. Furthermore, the story’s base is rather stout and the writing is both simple and yet thorough. Once again, I thought “Gatou-san is mentally a macho man” like I did when I read the Full Metal Panic! series.
– When you were making Amaburi into an anime, what points did you endeavor to keep?
“Properly deliver what I feel are the most emotional parts of the source I’ve been entrusted with.” It’s not just for Amaburi; our staff has handled each of the works that we’ve adapted like that. In Amaburi’s case, its greatest charms ares the cute visuals from Nakajima-san combined with the stout story from Gatou-san. We’re always thinking about how best to convey the atmosphere of a work like that.
– Gatou-san served as series supervisor for this anime production. What discussions did you have with him as production advanced along?
Every time we met, he would chatter about “let’s make Amaburi a bright and fun work.” I felt the same and probably our staff also shared that sentiment. There’s often a lot of give and take when creating the details you pack into the setting for anime, but we didn’t experience any struggles though this process. All my conversations with Gatou-san were always entertaining.
– The protagonist Seiya is a cool yet narcissist protagonist who’s a bit detached from the other characters. What did you focus on when depicting him?
You could say that about him, but I personally find him to be an awfully cute boy. He’s not used to being frank in public, so he spontaneously begins to act that way in front of others. That’s why I always worked to bring out that cute portion of him since it was so important to his character. If perhaps everyone thought he was “cute” it would make me very happy.
– Then what did you think about one of the heroines, Isuzu?
Isuzu is a stiff personality with no lovely portions at all. But there’s a gap for her character because attached to that stiff personality is a sexy body. In order to convey that sexiness, I fixated on the camera angles and her trifling gestures.
– What about the other heroine, Latifah?
Usually, I have no interest in the so called “princess character” description, but Latifah is a special case. Despite being in such a sad situation, she has such a brave personality and a strong core above that. She also has a proper understanding of right and wrong as royalty; I think she’s a marvelous girl. I very much wanted to show off the various smiling faces a girl like that would show.
– Other than those three, please tell us about your favorite character.
Since every character in Amaburi is distinct, I have a certain impression for each one of them. Of course, I have special thoughts for Seiya, Isuzu, and Latifah, but other than those three…. It’d have to be the idiot trio of Moffle, Macaron, and Tirami. Those three are the symbol characters of Amaburi. If they weren’t around, the story wouldn’t start. I felt the performances by (Ryouko) Shiraishi-san, (Ayako) Kawasumi-san and (Ai) Nonoka-san splendidly fit their characters in the anime.
The work was produced by all the staff and cast supporting it
– You yourself were in charge of directing and storyboarding the opening animation. Please tell us about parts you put a lot of effort into, highlights of your direction and anything else.
It was nice to be able to create something where, as we introduced more characters, they would be added into the opening visuals. The last cut of the opening and the last cut of episode 12 were constructed similarly. That image was completed relatively early on in production, so I thought it would be interesting to include it in the opening animation. I’m personally happy with that effect. I wasn’t sure if the viewers would be able to feel the way I do, but I think they would be entertained with it regardless.
– You also were in charge of the scripts for the anime original episodes 3 and 7. Please tell us about the highlights of those episodes.
While I think that they became entertaining episodes thanks to the staff who worked on them, I personally look back and think “they could have been more entertaining” and “we weren’t able to think of a better way to show this.” For those who watched those and were able to find something to enjoy, I feel incredibly happy. That’s why it’s tough for me to say something is a highlight. ….If I’m forced to say something I’d say how everyone in episode 7 is dressed like a pirate or in swimsuits. I’m especially pleased with Isuzu’s pirate captain outfit.
– Then, looking back at everything, what episode do you have a particular attachment to?
I have attachments to each episode, but the one I have the most to is episode 12. The scene where all the characters celebrate after achieving that impossible goal of “250,000 customers in 3 months” which had been built up episode-by-episode, was, in one word, moving. When it came time to make episode 12, I was swamped with various other jobs to do, so just for episode 12 I said “I definitely want to draw the storyboards myself.” I’m very thankful that the staff was able to construct it along the way I hoped it would be made.
– Were there any memorable scenes with the cast’s give-and-takes?
When I talked with Latifah’s seiyuu, (Yukiyo) Fujii-san, afterwards, she said “I’m immensely thankful for you allowing me to play as Latifah” incredibly sincerely. It made me immensely happy and still remains strongly with me today. I too am incredibly thankful for her to play Latifah. Of course Amaburi was created with marvelous performances by all the cast. I truly think everyone in the cast was a perfect fit for their role.
– Finally please give a message to all the fans who supported Amaburi.
Thank you so much for continuing to support us. Though the anime has ended, the story continues to continue in the novels and the manga versions. I think you’ll be able to enjoy the story in that form as well. If you enjoyed this anime, and think back with fond memories for the scenes you watched from time-to-time, it would make me very pleased.