Ghastly Prince Enma Burning Up: Ask A Question, Win The Show! Results Edition
A few months ago we asked fans of NISA's new series Ghastly Prince Enma Burning Up to ask 5 questions of director Yoshitomo Yonetani! The show is out today, so here are those 5 questions with Mr. Yonetani's answers.
Michelle Parsons: Reboots of classic series can be a daunting task--you want to keep enough of the original intact to reel in fans of the old series, while keeping the material fresh and new enough that it doesn't alienate or disinterest newcomers. How did you go about making decisions for what elements from the original series would remain unaltered and what would be updated or changed altogether in Ghastly Prince Enma Burning Up?
I never felt that this was a reboot. [laughs] I wanted to express "Enma-kun" as a new series. With that being said, I didn't really want to add new aspects to the show and I thought that it would really be something of value using today's technology to animate a Go Nagai manga.
Jared Hagen: Were you a fan of the original 1973 Dororon Enma-kun anime as a child?
In the original anime, "Enma-kun" is carefully depicted as the hero type, but in the manga version of the show really focuses on comedy making the two things completely different. In the new anime which was based off the manga version, there are barely any hero moments, but rather it's a show filled with many specialized Japanese-specific gags. I'm sure many people watching were confused. The reactions of the fans were extreme, fans of the original anime were surprised and the fans of the original manga were delighted.
Greg Wicker: What was the biggest challenge involved with bringing a series out of the 1970s into present-day and making it seem relevant to today's audiences?
I had no intention of making it relevant to today's audience. [laughs] My direction with this show was to allow the watchers to thoroughly enjoy the good old feeling of the 70s. In that sense I guess there are many older fans. This series is the the result of opening up a treasure chest filled with the history and culture of animation with science, magic and spirit.
Danny Bergman: Which is more difficult (and why), making good horror or good comedy?
A good sense is needed for both so I think both are hard. However, comedy can be hard because different age groups laugh at different things. It is essential to get the generation setting right. For Enma-kun, I limited the setting to my generation so I was able to expess it relatively easily.
Meredith Mulroney: Though many of us recognize the references to your previous series in Enma, you seem to have touched on many more themes and subjects that are near and dear to your heart from the Showa Era (more so then in previous works). One very notable touch was the combination of Masaaki Endoh singing with The Moon Riders. How was the experience of working with these extremely notable musicians and what are your feelings on the outcome of your combined efforts?
The "Enma Hammer" may have brought up memories of my previously directed series, The King of Braves: GaoGaiGar, the horror that bled through the gags in Betterman and the scenery and the setting of Brigadoon. I guess these things will always be in my pocket and burst out whenever they have the chance to. Regarding the Showa references, I put them in all throughout the show in order to maintin the good old Japan feel that the manga had. Regarding The Moon Riders, they have been active for a very long time, and therefore they have a good understanding of things, therefore they were very open to the directing suggestions I made. Working with them was like going back to childhood, catching bugs, playing in the river, it was lots of fun. It was really old but it felt new... that distinct feeling was brought home with the inclusion of this super powerful music.
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