Anime Expo 2013
Studio Trigger

by Bamboo Dong,

The Studio Trigger panel was packed with attendees for their Friday afternoon panel. It started with a screening of Little Witch Academia, an animated short produced for the Young Animator Training Project's Anime Mirai 2013. It was followed by a short behind-the-scenes clip of the production process. It was announced last month that the OVA would be released on Blu-ray this August. The Collector's Edition will come with one Blu-ray disc that includes the 26-minute episode of Little Witch Academia, a 66-minute making-of video, an original soundtrack disc, and a collectible 112-page art book. After the screening, Trigger also showed a 20-second clip of their next project, Kill la Kill. The series is Trigger's first original TV anime project, and is being directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi and written by Kazuki Nakashima, with character designs by Sushio. The series will premiere this October.

Trigger also announced that they have plans to crowd-fund a second episode of Little Witch Academia. They will release more details when their Kickstarter launches next week.

The moderated Q&A that followed featured Little Witch Academia script writer Masahiko Otsuka and Akko voice actress Megumi Han.

How was Little Witch Academia born? Tell us more.

Otsuka: This project was funded by Anime Mirai, which is funded by the Japanese government. We got most of the money from there.

For Ms. Han, please tell us how you became involved in this project.

Han: I was called into the audition, but first, before the audition happened, I went to the theater and saw posters for the Anime Mirai project and became interested. Looking at the poster for Little Witch Academia at the theater, I really wanted to do Akko, the main character. I got the offer right after that, so dreams really do come true!

For Mr. Otsuka, after hearing Ms. Han voice Akko, did she fit your imagination of what the character was like?

Otsuka: Her voice was perfect for the role. As the show says, believing in yourself is the real magic, and she really embodied that.

How long as the recording session for this title?

Han: Normally for a standard 30-minute episode, it takes around two to five hours, but the audio recording for this took almost ten hours.

The animation was really smooth. Did it exceed your expectations?

Otsuka: I'm the script writer for Little Witch Academia, but I'm also the president of Studio Trigger. When I first checked the visuals, I was quite surprised with the quality of animation, and I was very surprised with how much it cost as well. After watching it, I really wanted more.

The last three questions are from audience members.

Did you have to supervise Ms. Han's voice acting, to match the character's personality? Or did you give her free reign?

Otsuka: We didn't have to give her too many orders. She was the character from the beginning.

Regarding Ms. Han's relationship with her mother (voice actress Keiko Han), and whether or not she ever received preparation help from her, she replied, "I look up to my mother a lot. She is to me like Shiny Chariot is for Akko. I respect her a lot."

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