This is another translation that I originally translated in 2017 to run on another site, but due to various circumstances, it was never run. With the recent arson incident, I’m posting these so that they’re out in the public for people to read. This is a preview interview from the “This is Who We Are Now! 2017” book from Kyoto Animation released in 2017 to coincide with the event that year.
New work interview:
Love, Chunibyo, & Other Delusions – Take On Me –
Director Tatsuya Ishihara x Character Designer Kazumi Ikeda
The cast after 2 years
– Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions – Take On Me – (Chunibyo) has been announced, so please tell us your feelings about the production.
Ishihara: My feelings haven’t changed a lot since the film was announced, but I’ve once again fired myself up feeling “I’ve gotta get this done!” and release the film on opening day. Until then, I’ll have fun depicting the cast. Also, from another perspective, I’ve held onto a bit sentimental side of things. “Rikka and Yuuta are about to begin a new trip, but this might be a farewell trip for me with them.”
Ikeda: For me, I feel like “I get to do this again.” I’ve drawn countless promotional illustrations for Chunibyo, so it was a bit nostalgic to draw the characters moving around again. There’s a charm in drawing expressions that only happen when the characters are moving around, so I enjoyed thinking how would the characters move during this film. Time has passed in the story as well, so characters’ appearances have changed. It was important for me to think how to express the changes that would spontaneously occur since the second season finished.
Re-evaluating Rikka during the trip
– Please give us a summary of the film.
Ishihara: That’s a secret. (laughs) In seriousness, it’s a story fundamentally about Rikka and Yuuta taking a trip. Of course Nibutani and Dekomori and others also appear on the trip too. Up until now, the story has had many portions occur near their schools or homes, so I thought about taking them to some far away places since it’s a movie. During that process, Yuuta would once again look at who Rikka is and re-evaluate his feelings for her.
– Do the main characters who appear in the TV series make an appearance here too?
Ishihara: They do. The teaser illustration features all four members of Black Raison d’être, but other characters like Shichimiya also appear.
– Since they go on a trip, you must have planned where they travel to, right?
Ishihara: You’ll have to enjoy seeing those places for yourself. I won’t explain in full detail, but some places that I’ve walked throughout my lifetime……is all I’ll say. However, it may seem that the mood of the teasers and other videos indicate they travel overseas, but they will not travel overseas.
– How did you do location scouting for the points of the trip and such?
Ishihara: We didn’t do any formal location scouting trips, but I did go previously to places that they’d likely head to.
Ikeda: Naturally, the director scouted it all.
Ishihara: That’s right. I needed to in order to draw the storyboards. However, going to these places was quite challenging, even for the ones I thought would be nearby.
– Can you give us a hint as to what director Ishihara depicts in this film?
Ishihara: One thing comes to mind….but it’s a bit too simple of a hint. I’d like it to be a bit more complex. (laughs) But… the hint is “trip.” Life itself is a trip. Actually, we included that aspect in the logo as well.
Ikeda: That airplane became something like a symbol as well.
Ishihara: It did. Furthermore, we took out parts of the logo we used previously that felt manga-ish like the bandage and eyepatch.
Ikeda: They don’t spend a lot of time in their uniforms, but things that were usually attached like the chains and such were also removed.
– Looking at the official site, it seems that time for the characters has passed too.
Ikeda: The second season ended during the summer of their second year, so it’s been about half a year or so since the second season in the film.
Ishihara: Right now, the character designs haven’t changed. Although I say that, I discussed with Ikeda-san about that setting. I thought about changing Rikka’s design just a bit to be more mature.
Ikeda: Just a bit?
Ishihara: Yes. Just a bit. (laughs) I thought “wouldn’t that be nice as well?”
Ikeda: Rikka: New Version, right? For me, I thought that it would be necessary to change the designs for characters who would have very striking growths like Yuuta’s sister Yumeha and the kittens….
Ishihara: Surely Yumeha needed to have her design changed. She’s now become an elementary schooler. Would a cat grow that much in 6 months?
Ikeda: Of course. Their growth from newborn kittens is much faster than human children. I think they’d grow quite big accordingly. I had already drawn the illustrations that would be on the clear files bundled with advance tickets, but I wanted to at least show the “newborn kitten size” that appeared in the final episode of season 2.
Ishihara: Thinking about it, there weren’t a lot of newly created character designs. Instead, we had to think about the costumes they’d wear once again.
Ikeda: In this film, they’re travelling around the country instead of being at school or home, so I had to keep changing my designs thinking about how much they’d change their outfits as they traveled.
Ishihara: That’s right. You drew some of them for promotional illustrations and the like and then they would become designs used. However, when I drew the storyboards, necessary things like props and background designs were also things that needed to be finished.
New clothing designs
– How did you decide upon the designs for their casual clothing options?
Ishihara: Generally, I would meet with Ikeda-san about it and then she would draw what I asked for.
Ikeda: That’s how it went. However, for casual clothing designs with nothing special planned, there were times where I would show him something that I had designed previously saying “how about this?
Ishihara: For this film, I think I asked for Rikka’s clothing to be “the usual feeling” but for the others, there were points where I did have a few requests in particular.
– Were there any struggles designing the new clothing?
Ikeda: Rikka’s clothing in particular has a lot of ornaments, but as I like to usually have my designs summed up in this nice silhouette, I was very perplexed as to how to balance those aspects. Rikka’s clothing has an image color, but there would be different distinctions of colors used in her clothing. I was worried if they would resemble her or not. In contrast, I felt completely free to do what I wanted with Dekomori’s clothing.
Depicting the fictional setting of “Chunibyo”
– As it’s been 2 years since you worked on the production, what were some points that you struggled on?
Ishihara: There wasn’t anything in particular that I struggled on. I began to remember how to draw Chunibyo storyboards bit-by-bit, so it was fun to draw them. It’s really entertaining to draw the world and characters of this series. And I personally also drew then while revisiting my own thoughts on Rikka’s character. I thought once again that I sympathized with Yuuta, wondering through his eyes “what does Rikka mean to me?”
– What was the most enjoyable part of working on the storyboards?
Ishihara: Working on storyboards means “dreaming.” When I was a child, I was someone who drew blueprints of spaceships, putting all my thoughts into those blueprints. Storyboards are dreams like that. They’re a blueprint, so it’s fun to draw them thinking about how they’ll become visuals. Also, as a director, storyboards are about the only physical work you do on a show, so I feel that including the things you want to do in them as much as you can could change the work.
– What is something fun that you’ve experienced while in production?
Ikeda: I draw a lot of the female characters for promotional illustrations, so I don’t get to draw Yuuta that much. It’s been fun drawing him.
Ishihara: There’s not a lot of Yuuta illustrations, are there?
Ikeda: Outside of when he’s a pair with Rikka, there’s hardly any. There’s one promotional illustration with him and Isshiki though! (laughs) However, it’s been quite a while since I’ve drawn Yuuta, so that was fun.
Ishihara: For me, it’s been fun seeing how far we can make the production more elaborate in things like the animation drawings and such. Of course, that’s dependent upon the schedule. This is a continuation from the TV series, but that doesn’t mean that we can simply re-use the previous designs and such, so that’s a difficult spot.
A film that could be called a culmination
– Finally, please give a message to all the fans.
Ishihara: It’d be best for people to see rather than have me say something. I feel like anything I say beyond that becomes redundant. When I have had to say something, I’d say “this work is a culmination” as I think that nuance is particularly strong in this film. I don’t know if those of you reading understand what I mean, but I think you’d get it if you see all of the film. Also, we’ve completely made this film into a “road trip movie.” I think everyone who sees it will feel like they’ve gone on a trip, so I hope everyone enjoys seeing it.
Ikeda: I mentioned this before, but I’ve only drawn promotional illustrations for Chunibyo for a while, so it was very nostalgic to draw everyone moving around again. It was fun thinking “oh, it’s been a while since I’ve worked on this.” I think that fun will be communicated to everyone watching. Please go see it.
– Thank you for your time today.