Sakura-Con 2012 Exclusive Interview w/ Gen Urobuchi, Atsuhiro Iwakami and Katsushi Ota
by Lynzee Lamb, Apr 9th 2012
Aniplex USA arranged the opportunity for freelance writer Lynzee Lamb to exclusively interview Fate/Zero and Madoka Magica writer Gen Urobuchi, animation producer Atsuhiro Iwakami and Seikaisha publisher Katsushi Ota Sunday morning. The creative minds behind season two of Fate/Zero sat down to discuss what to expect from the second season as well as the Madoka Magica movies and other upcoming projects.
Q: The upcoming Madoka Magica movies were announced last year. Now, are these compilation movies or all new content?
Urobuchi: The first two are compilation films while the third is an all-new story.
Iwakami: The movies are titled Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Zenpen Hajimari no Monogatari and Puella Magi Modka Magica: Kouhen Eien no Monogatari. The third film's title is undecided.
Urobuchi: The original idea was to have a concluding story within the original series but through producer Iwakami and director Akiyuki Shinbo's enthusiastic support we decided we wanted something expandable as a world and concept. We wanted to make it have more breadth and be a bridge to the world view within the series and the franchise.
What kind of enemies can we expect in the new movie? Will it feature more witches?
Iwakami: That's a secret, however I can say that aokiume has produced some very attractive designs.
Q: This is more of a fun question. Lately, there have been talks of American adaptations of Japanese properties such as Akira. If an American adaptation, either TV or film, of the Fate universe, what actors would you like to see in the roles?
Urobuchi: I think the Fate universe is very dependent on the illustrations by Takashi Takeuchi. It's very much a manga style of illustrating that doesn't translate to live-action. However, if someone was capable, I would love to see it.
Q: There are a lot of philosophical view points discussed in Fate/Zero such as what it means to be a king and what is worth fighting for. What things did you keep in mind when translating those ideas?
Urobuchi: The episode with Berserker was important to me. In the original novel there is a lot of expression in printed text and we had a lot of discussions on how to translate that into the series.
Iwakami: There is a lot more information in printed text so it is hard to decide what to cut out. The same issue arose when I worked on The Garden of Sinners. However, when working Urobuchi's writing is very logical. I don't want to say it easy to translate for television but it is very suitable.
Ota: For example, Kinoko Nasu's writing is more poetic while NISIOISIN is flowing.
Q: What can fans expect to see in the upcoming season of Fate/Zero?
Urobuchi Fate/Zero is the prequel to Fate/Stay night so it is the build up to the tragedy that is resolved in the later series. There will be a lot of tragedy and a lot more drama.
Q: The family dynamics in Fate/Zero are very different. Tokiomi as a father figure and his decisions with Sakura and Rin versus Matou's relationship with Sakura and Tokiomi's wife is one example.
Urobuchi: The world Kinoko Nasu created transcends our ordinary world, similar to Tsukihime and Garden of Sinners. I wanted to incorporate his view of magic users and their hierarchy.
Q: Urobuchi is very busy with the Fate/ZeroMadoka Magica movies and your Toei project Exiled From Paradise. Do you have any plans to go back to writing novels after these finish up?
Urobuchi: Well, the release date for Exiled from Paradise hasn't been decided yet and I'm working on two more TV projects. One will be released in October and the other in January. (turns to Iwakami) Is it okay I said that?
Iwakami: I'm not in a position to say.
Q: You're pretty busy. Can you tell us the titles of the upcoming works?
Urobuchi: There's currently a gag order on the projects.
Ota: We do have an image drawn by Simadoriru we can show you. These are our RPG characters. We currently have a transcript of our RPG sessions in Japanese called "Red Dragon". We play with Durarara!! writer Ryohgo Narita and Nasu. The central character (a blonde, male warrior) is Nasu's character. Urobuchi plays an assassin. We might make an English version available and novelize it. If it's successful, maybe we'll animate it. (pause) Just kidding.
Iwakami: I'll be working on Fate/Zero for the next three months. In July, I'm producing Sword Art Online and Love, Election and Chocolate(Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate). Also, for English fans, a second season of Oreimo was recently announced. The release date is to be decided.
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