Love, Chunibyo, & Other Delusions – Take On Me Roundtable #2 – Digital & Background Staff

This is a newly translated roundtable featuring the staff involved with the digital and background portions of Love, Chunibyo, & Other Delusions – Take On Me!- (background art, painting, compositing, 3D animation). It was published in the “This is Who We Are Now!! 2019” book sold alongside tickets to the 2019 KyoAni & Do Event and sold individually.

Looking back at our works 2019

Love, Chunibyo, & Other Delusions – Take On Me –

Interview 2:

Art Director: Mutsuo Shinohara
3D Backgrounds: Joji Unoguchi
Color Designer: Akiyo Takeda
Compositor: Kazuya Takao
3D Director: Rin Yamamoto

Chunibyo is our specialty

– When production started on Love, Chunibyo, & Other Delusions – Take On Me – (hereafter Take On Me), what kind of discussions did you have?
Takeda: Since I’ve worked on the Chunibyo series for a long time, I didn’t have anything in particular to discuss.
Yamamoto: It was the same here.
Takeda: Of course, if something intrigued me, then I’d instantly start researching it. Also, this film was about a journey, so it was tough to do research as well.
Takao: Then, did you go on a journey like the characters did?
Shinohara: I did go on one. (Tatsuya) Ishihara-san, the design manager, and I went by ourselves. When we listed down all the places we wanted to see, the list was quite long, but as we worked out the details, it actually went quite smoothly.
Unoguchi: For the 3D backgrounds, Ishihara-san mentioned quite early on that he wanted the ferry to be animated in 3D.
Takeda: Similar to that, he also told me that he “wanted Rikka to go from caterpillar to butterfly in this film,” so I had that on my mind while coloring Rikka’s clothes.
For example, I would make the ribbon on her green caterpillar-like clothing be an orange like you’d sense and I’d make her coat brown like a cocoon. Oh yes, he also said that somehow “Rikka was in her cocoon when she was curled in her bed.”
Takao: I see it now!
Yamamoto: She really is in one!

– Please tell us some stories that took place while working on Take On Me.
Takeda: There were a lot of clothes this time around. Since they’re going on a trip, everyone would be wearing clothes that fit their personalities, but they may not all synchronize well on the screen together. I kept having to change the color of Touka’s pants.
Takao: Chunibyo is a very colorful series, but it feels like it was more difficult this time around because you had to design a lot of complimentary colors like green and orange. Did you have a trick you used when determining what colors things should be?
Takeda: A trick? (laughs) I worked while thinking “this character would choose this color” pretty much. That’s why things were determined without me thinking about complimentary colors. This film isn’t live-action; it’s anime. Since the story is colorful, I didn’t want to shade it too close to reality. That’s why there’s a lot of clothing that were brighter colors than you’d see in real life. I did hold back a little with the brightness in some colors compared to the TV series, but it’s Chunibyo, so I chose the colors thinking that bright colors would suit this title.
Takao: People definitely wouldn’t wear those colors in real life.
Takeda: However, I didn’t think about Dekomori’s clothing’s colors as “because it’s anime,” but rather I chose them because “it’s Dekomori.” One peculiarity for this title is that I don’t have any certain instructions or directions from Ishihara-san; it’s more often that I send him a proposal of the colors I’ve chosen instead. Since we’ve worked on this title a while, I know generally what he wants, so because of that I can work more efficiently.
Takao: For compositing, we were requested to make the series consistently softer, so this time we tried to represent that softness using some tricks and filters.
Takeda: Chunibyo always has some fantastic processing.
Takao: That it does. Ishihara-san requests that we do some compositing technique beyond anything we could imagine. “Are you seriously asking us to do that?” (laughs) For evening scenes, we usually insert flares for light patterns over the whole screen, but for this we had moments where they filled up half the screen.

– One of the highlights of the Chunibyo series are the delusional battles in the “Chuuni world”, so how was working on them in Take On Me?
Yamamoto: The animation drawn for those was amazing. The compositing team had snow crystals falling and from those light came out to make it a wonderful scene.
Takao: That was a request from Ishihara-san to have snow crystals falling around, so we made them using materials in 3D for compositing. And furthermore, I added hand-drawn T-light effects to make them glitter.
Yamamoto: That really added the feeling of space in the area as well as made it feel three-dimensional.
Takao: I think so too. Since Ishihara-san worries about the amount of information present on the screen, I wanted to insert some meaning like “Rikka” (her name has the characters for “snow”) in the “snow crystals to increase the amount of content on the screen.
Yamamoto: We wanted that in the 3D realm too as the weapons they used were in 3D. However, there is a moment where it changes when Dekomori grabs two to become hand-drawn, so I was amazed at our work and how well that blended together.

– The opening animation has a different feel to it than the main film too, doesn’t it?
Takeda: That was because Ishihara-san said to “restrain the amount of colors” so it felt different than the usual Chunibyo.
Yamamoto: The clouds that appear in the OP are 3D, but he told us that he “didn’t want them to flow realistically, but like an illustration.” I was immensely worried how you could show that. There’s a lot of elements in this OP that feel special, but they were troublesome to work with. For example, the trains that appear in it. In the storyboards, there were only 4, but Ishihara-san said “more! More!” and wanted me to increase the number to around 24 trains. (laughs)
Takeda: He also asked us about our thoughts to put polka dots on the minor characters walking around Rikka too.
Yamamoto: At the beginning, we attached 3D textures to them, but for some reason, it looked awful on them…… Once we used a 2D image on them when compositing, for some reason it became the easy to see image you see now.

Creating virtual space by splitting duties

– Please tell us any difficulties that arose during production.
Yamamoto: Conversely, was there anything that wasn’t difficult?
All: (laughs)
Takao: Creating that map in 3D was quite the challenge, wasn’t it?
Yamamoto: That was certainly difficult to make. Actually, that map of Japan that appears through the film was designed by Ishihara-san himself.
Takao: He often creates those designs for things himself, doesn’t he?
Takeda: He also drew Yuuta’s “God” image too.
Yamamoto: I went to create Isihara-san’s map in 3D and move around it, but the continent itself felt a bit lonely….. So gradually I asked Ishihara-san to fill in portions of the map with his illustrations and it became what we see in the film.
We didn’t create the entire map in 3D however; when we moved to have it as a level field, the moving waves would move due to compositing and the 3D portions would be the mountains that rose up and the arrows that appeared three-dimensional and some camera work. We wouldn’t have been able to complete this without cooperation from different groups.
Takeda: Anime titles themselves wouldn’t be able to be complete without cooperation. The compositing group is always helping us out.

– How did you determine what the compositing group and what the 3D group would work on?
Takao: Icons that appear on smartphone screens and map displays are always something the compositing team handles regardless of title.
Yamamoto: 3D is mostly used to make sights like tourist locations appear more lively. For example, we’ll add more luggage at the airport and have the background cars and people made mostly in 3D.
Takeda: Wasn’t the mani wheel that Rikka bought in Tokyo made in 3D too?
Yamamoto: It was. Really Isihara-san was immensely terrifying when he thought of it. He knew it’d be immensely challenging to draw it by hand, so at the beginning he thought naturally to make it in 3D, but…..
Takeda: It rotated when the camera was up close on it. However, I was surprised to see that there were portions when it appeared small on screen.
Yamamoto: However, the person who made it was in good spirits as they created the 3D model. Also, the baby mobile that appears in Yuuta’s delusion was made in 3D as well. At the beginning, we colored it as 3D staff ourselves, but they became a bit gaudy, so Takeda-san helped us fix that. If you look closely at it, you’ll see that I was conscious of making it soft so it would be okay if the baby put it in its mouth.
Takeda: It’s only on screen for a moment, but in that moment, you pack it filled with fixations.

– What kind of backgrounds did the 3D background staff prepare for this film?
Unoguchi: We used 3D backgrounds in scenes like the backgrounds when vehicles were moving. The streets in the background by the station when Dekomori and Nibutani are riding in their car at the beginning of the film are mostly 3D background. We also used camera mapping on the pan up when Rikka and Yuuta are eating mochi in the shopping street to make it feel deeper. When you can’t tell that it’s 3D at a glance, I feel fulfilled as a 3D artist. Also we polished things minutely in the ferry scene.
Yamamoto: At first we made a quick model to use in 3D layouts for it. Usually, we don’t attach any lighting when we use 3D layouts, but since this scene takes place at night, we attached lighting where there would be lights on board the ship at the beginning. It was needed because we needed to verify how the light and shadows would play with each other. There’s two types of lights from inside the ship and from the lights outside the ship and their shadows converge on each other and the lighting can blur at points, so we had to attach it there.
Shinohara: When there’s more than one light source, shadows become quite complex. Usually for 3D backgrounds, the 3D section will create the structure and then we’ll draw the backgrounds to be attached as textures. For this ferry scene, we received the 3D layout and then drew the backgrounds based off of that. Since the lighting and shadows were already there, we could draw to match those lights. I was immensely thankful for that.
Yamamoto: Glad to be of service!
Takao: Come to think of it, the 3D was nicely used when Ishihara-san wanted the camera to move.
Unoguchi: Ishihara-san often speaks of “wanting to direct the world the characters live in with 3-dimensions like the real one we live in,” so he’ll insert cuts where the camera rotates like that. It’s one way to showcase the same three-dimensional structures between our world and theirs.
Takeda: I thought that rotating the camera around and around was a nice touch, but it has that meaning? I understand now why he said he “wanted the camera to spin around” in that scene.

To not feel awkward

– Please tell us about anything you fixated on.
Shinohara: When we took photos of the bus boarding area that Rikka and Yuuta board at night, it was actually during the day. Since it would take place at night, we talked as staff about how the atmosphere of the area would change once it became night. As we were talking, one member (Nao) Hosokawa-san said “wait a minute, I’ll head there!” and went to that spot to take pictures of that one location.
All: What?! (laughs)
Shinohara: It’s just one cut in the film, but I can boast that it’s faithfully represented.

Takeda: This might be a little different from a fixation, but during the confrontation scene between Rikka and Shichimiya, we kept the line from the key animation as-is for Rikka’s worried expression. Usually we binarize the lines after scanning, but for that one we kept the pencil line as is when handing it over to the compositing section where they inverted the color.
Takao: Actually, in that processing, there’s a faint bit of light that we inserted in the darkness. We made that light using raw materials.
Yamamoto: You mean original ones you filmed?
Takao: That’s right, real video we recorded.  We set up a Christmas tree in the middle of a pitch black room aiming for lights at a “mall” and filmed it with a video camera. As the lens blurred the light, it had a good feeling to it.
Takeda: Couldn’t you just do that on a computer?!
Takao: Wouldn’t it be the same as being focused on food while painting a culinary scene? You could use it to make something look delicious.
Yamamoto: If you applied realistic colors to something like that, it wouldn’t look tasty, would it?
Takao: It wouldn’t? For us, we can find colors we like in photos and such and drop them in pretty much as-is.
Takeda: When we’re coloring food, we insert “the idealized color” into the food we see at that time. You could go after the color you have in reference images, but since it won’t appear tasty at all, we don’t use that method.

– Please tell us about any other techniques you used to not have any awkwardness on screen.
Unoguchi: For 3D graphics, we can do various things with our software to change how it looks. We can change where the light comes from to place shadows and change the texture’s feel. However, we can’t use any of those tools when it comes to 3D backgrounds. It’s because when we change the light and dark, all of that is due to hand-drawn background art that’s placed on the 3D surface itself. For example, if we want the screen to be dark, then we can’t just set the 3D light source darker, we have to stick a “darkly drawn background piece” on it. It feels like you’re making a “pop-up book” without intending to use CG displays.
Takeda: Doesn’t that take a lot of time to make?
Unoguchi: It does. If you have to make revisions, then at each revision, you have no choice, but to re-draw the background art you pasted. But if it’s just a little bit, then we’ll attach a light source in 3D and then we’ll see what appears to be different. That’s why we can’t ever compromise. Besides that, I think there’s a bit of surprise and wonder when there’s “something that’s drawn moving in 3D.” The reason why we have to decide first where to use 3D backgrounds is because we know that they take a lot of labor and time to accomplish.
Shinohara: For the background side, when we’re working on a large scale 3D background, then I’ll ask Unoguchi-san to please make it early because we can’t work on it if we don’t have anything to work on!
Yamamoto: 3D may appear “convenient” to make, but it’s really quite challenging. Roads and lots of cars are quite difficult to make….. They’re stopping, they’re moving, and you have to make sure they’re following traffic rules, so we’re picky down to the point of which blinking lights we’re lighting up. We’ll check what way the lights are facing and how many cars to put out there when we’re making the scene. Sometimes we’ll make a mistake in the amount of lanes and have to ask the background staff to revise the backgrounds.
Shinohara: That happens, doesn’t it. It’s easy for mistakes to happen with road lanes.
Yamamoto: When there’s differences between real-life locations and the spots we create for anime titles, we have to think about how to make them congruent when creating them. It’s a lot of fine work, but we strive to make sure that people watching don’t feel any awkwardness.
Takao: How we depicted water in bathrooms troubled me this time. We put ripples in the water surface, but actually that type of water wouldn’t have any ripples.
Takeda: And if you don’t put in any ripples, then it won’t look like water.
Yamamoto: Right. Water in Take On Me is fully transparent, so we can’t help but put something in it to make it look like water.
Takeda: Everyone was looking over the price of dishes and joke items on the conveyer belt sushi that the 3D section made.
Shinohara: If anyone found a difference between what was written and the price on the menu, they instantly contacted us.
Yamamoto: That they did. (laughs) People who love sushi on conveyer belts would watch, so it was quite the problem.
All: (laughs)
Takeda: The street tram in Hokkaido had lots of jokes packed into its advertisement. The magazine book published title in the Love, Chunibyo, & Other Delusions – Heart Throb – opening was titled “Sold Any Day Now!” too. Ishihara-san is also immensely fixated on joke portions like that. It’s quite fun when others take a look at something you’ve focused on!

– Thank you for your time today.

Love, Chunibyo, & Other Delusions – Take On Me! Roundtable #1: Hand-drawn Animation Staff

Love, Chunibyo, & Other Delusions – Take On Me! Roundtable #1: Hand-drawn Animation Staff

This is a newly translated roundtable featuring the staff involved with the hand-drawn animation portion of Love, Chuniybo, & Other Delusions – Take On Me (key animation and in-betweens). It was published in the “This is Who We Are Now!! 2019” book sold alongside tickets to the 2019 KyoAni & Do Event and sold individually.

Looking back at our works 2019

Love, Chunibyo, & Other Delusions – Take On Me –

Interview 1:

Director: Tatsuya Ishihara
Character Designer/Chief Animation Director: Kazumi Ikeda
Prop Design: Hiroyuki Takahashi

Continue reading

New title: Love, Chunibyo, & Other Delusions Take On Me Preview Interview

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 Continue reading

Love, Chunibyo, & Other Delusions! Heart Throb Japanese Blu-ray Box review

In 2010, the producers at Kyoto Animation decided to make one of the honorable mentions in 2009’s Kyoto Animation Awards into an animated TV series to broadcast in 2012. In contrast to the vast majority of the works produced by the studio, this would be a series in which they financed the majority of production. To reduce the risk, the producers chose a romantic comedy to be adapted by a director who had helmed many romantic comedies previously. This was the first season of Love, Chunibyo, & Other Delusions. The series was a massive success for Kyoto Animation and sold many pieces of merchandise and brought their KA Esuma Bunko label to many more bookstores than previously. As a result, it was natural that it would get a sequel. Said sequel was previewed at the first KyoAni & Do fan event in November 2013 before broadcasting in Winter 2014. In 2016, Kyoto Animation and Pony Canyon released a Blu-ray Box of both series. This is a review of the sequel’s box. Continue reading

Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! -Rikka Takanashi ver- Japanese Blu-ray review

In 2012, Kyoto Animation’s producers chose to go on a very risky course; instead of adapting something given to them from producers at Kadokawa Shoten or TBS, they would choose what they wanted to adapt and become the biggest financier of production. The first series they chose to use this strategy on was Love, Chunibyo, & Other Delusions, a romantic comedy helmed by Tatsuya Ishihara. The series was very popular and did very well financially for the studio, which prompted a second season to be greenlit alongside a recap film to remind viewers about the franchise. The movie would run in theatres starting in September 2013 while the second season would air in January 2014. Before the first Blu-ray/DVD volume of the second season would be released, the movie would be released on Blu-Ray/DVD. This is a review of that film’s Japanese home video release.
Continue reading

Love, Chunibyo, & Other Delusions JP Blu-ray singles review

In 2009, Kyoto Animation continued their desire to produce original series by holding an awards competition designed for new authors to submit titles that could be adapted into an anime series/film.  They announced 5 honorable mentions in the novel category in 2010 and published one of those winners in May 2011 with plans to produce an anime adaptation in 2012 following Yasahiro Takemoto’s Hyouka. With it being a romantic comedy, the producers turned to Key visual novel veteran Tatsuya Ishihara to helm this very important adaptation. They gave him 12 broadcast episodes, an OVA, and a bunch of web shorts to tell his tale and compiled all of those onto 7 Blu-Ray/DVD volumes. This is a review of those 7 Love, Chuunibyou,& Other Delusions Blu-ray Limited Edition volumes.

Continue reading

Photography and resolution of anime

A couple years ago, I wrote a piece talking about the Anibin blog and how the author measured resolution of anime by using the television broadcast. Later on, I noticed that the methods used to judge the productions from Kyoto Animation was a bit suspect. Simultaneously, I started to notice the photography of shows a lot more, especially on the Blu-ray versions of the show. I’ve seen many people quote that KyoAni produces at 955.5p for main feature and full HD for openings and endings. I accepted it initially as I trusted Anibin as a source, but later I started to question that as the logic behind producing something like that didn’t add up. The following is a brief overview of the photography of anime and how that affects Anibin’s resolution guesses. Continue reading

Chu2Refresh & S2 Preview

With the second season of Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! coming up soon, I thought it would be a good idea to refresh our memories of the characters and recall where everyone is at the beginning of the second season. Thus, I’ve translated the character summaries on the official site.

Yuuta Togashi

yuuta01
Voice: Jun Fukuyama
This story’s protagonist. 2nd year high schooler.

Still holding onto his dark history of being infected with evil eye type chuunibyou during his second year of middle school, Yuuta successfully moved on and made a fresh start in high school. Since he’s the kind of person who looks after others, he’s always revolving around Rikka.

Rikka Takanashi

rikka001Voice: Maaya Uchida
This story’s heroine. 2nd year high schooler.

Self-claimed wielder of the Wicked eye.  A small and fair-skinned cute girl. Numerical subjects are her weakness. Outside of sewing, her feminine charms are near level 0. An awfully pitiful girl.

Shinka Nibutani

nibutani001
Voice: Chinatsu Akasaki
2nd year high schooler.

During her first year, she was the classmate of Rikka and Yuuta and was a member of the cheerleading team. She has the personality of a class leader. One of those new tall beautiful girls.

Kumin Tsuyuri

kumin001Voice:  Azumi Asakura
3rd year high schooler.

An easygoing girl who loves to nap. She’s lost a lot of items that fell off of her clothes, but she’s never forgotten a pillow.

Sanae Dekomori

dekomori001
Voice: Sumire Uesaka
A new high school student who’s an underclassman to Rikka and Yuuta.

The (self-claimed) wielder of the Mjölnir Hammer, she serves as Rikka’s disciple. She has a bit of a complex regarding her height, but she dislikes to drink milk.

Satone Shichimiya

shichimiya01Voice: Juri Nagatsuma
A friend of Yuuta’s during middle school; she was the cause of him becoming chuuni.

Currently infected and titles herself “Dark Magical Girl Sophia Ring SP Saturn the 7th”. Known to talk about the “rule of the world – Everyone’s connected.”

Yuuta’s Mom

yuutamom001
Voice: Yuri Amano

An easy-going mother who enjoys playing with her children. As she’s very busy at work, she’s not around the house very often. Her husband is working in Jakarta now.

Kuzuha Togashi

kuzuha001Voice: Kaori Fukuhara
The older of Yuuta’s sisters. 2nd year middle schooler.

Reliable and good at cooking. She and Yuuta divvy up the chores since their parents are rarely there.

Yumeha Togashi

yumeha001
Voice: Mami Shitara
The youngest child in the Togashi family. One of the oldest in Kindergarden.

A precocious child who wants to play a more realistic version of house.

Makoto Isshiki

isshiki001Voice:  Souichiro Hoshi
2nd year high schooler.

Yuuta’s friend since they met in their first year. Straight, not easily discouraged, and someone who wants to be cool. He’s always checking out girls and won’t stop at anything to become popular.

Nanase Tsukumo

nanase001
Voice: Kikuko Inoue
Yuuta and Rikka’s homeroom teacher.

A gentle airhead… or so she seems. She’s unexpectedly crafty. She tends to stretch out the end of her sentences.

Toka Takanashi

touka001Voice:  Eri Sendai
Rikka’s older sister.

Expressionless and doesn’t let her emotions show. However she’s a bit overwhelming in her requests despite sounding un-interested in them. Others can’t say anything against her wishes.

Preview

When we last left off in the TV-run, the series was occurring in November of Rikka/Yuuta’s first year in high school. The OVA takes place in late December while the movie occurs in March of their first year. The new season starts at the beginning of April in their second year, thus everyone’s moved up a grade. What waits us in their second year? We’ll find out in 1 week!

Megax’s favorite characters #1B: Not your typical chuuni

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, but my anticipation levels keep rising for next month’s airing; thus I felt writing this would help get some of that energy out. In May 2012, I translated the first Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! light novel and thought it was a cute read, but nothing I would grow immensely attached to. After a little break, I finished translating the second novel in July of that year and something kept gnawing at me. I couldn’t get someone out of my head. Throughout the last year and a half, I’ve been involved in many other franchises, but my mind keeps coming back to one character from the novels, specifically the second novel. Her name: Satone Shichimiya. This post will delve further into exactly why I like her so much and why she’s on the same level as Itsuki Koizumi in my favorites. Of course, novel 2 spoilers await.

shichimiya01 Continue reading

CTFK 2013 KyoAni, Pony Canyon, and Lantis Producers’ Discussion Translated

This is the third in a series of posts translating transcriptions/summaries of the four stage panels at Kyoto Animation/Animation Do’s CTFK 2013 event held November 30, 2013. This post will be about the Producers’ Discussion panel detailing background information about the works featured at the event. The transcriptions/summaries for this panel come from these bloggers. Editing support comes from irrevilent. Continue reading