Sonny Boy Director Shingo Natsume Explains Why The Anime Has No Monologues

posted on by Kim Morrissy
"I've felt that lately, characters tend to say anything at all that's on their mind ... I don't think that's very entertaining to watch."

Sonny Boy director and writer Shingo Natsume highlighted something distinctive about the anime in an interview with Funimation: Although the series tells an introspective story about teens navigating their adolescence, there is no monologuing.

"During the initial stage, I made a rule for myself that I wouldn't include anyone doing monologues," he said. "I've felt that lately, characters tend to say anything at all that's on their mind, or what they're going to do next, through monologues, and I don't think that's very entertaining to watch. Since this was going to be my own original series, I wanted to do away with that, so I made that rule for myself.

"Now, by doing away with the monologues, it's inevitable that the viewer can only tell what a character is going through emotionally by watching how they act. And there's a kind of... How can I say this? I ended up creating a sort of internal grammar, you might call it, a visual grammar, as a result of that."

He revealed that this approach created extra work to consider: Whenever a new phenomenon happened to the characters, he would have to find some way to express that, which would inevitably lead to another thing. He would also have to continuously reappraise the work to ensure that his ideas were getting across.

"I don't think it's about why an apple falls to the ground, but imagining why some phenomenon has taken place is the real thrill when it comes to watching the video," he elaborated. "In those cases, I deliberately produced it in that way."

Natsume also discussed his storytelling inspirations, his desire to tell a unique story, the animation and design processes, and the visual direction of several key scenes. Character designer Norifumi Kugai, key animator Nobuhide Kariya, and animator and episode director Keiichirō Saitō also appear to share their insights. The full interview, which was posted on Funimation's YouTube channel on Wednesday, is embedded below:

The science-fiction survival television anime premiered on July 15 on the Tokyo MX and KBS Kyoto channels. Funimation is streaming the anime, and it streamed the first episode early for a limited time in June.

The science-fiction ensemble drama centers around 36 boys and girls. On August 16, midway through a seemingly endless summer vacation, middle school third-year student Nagara, the mysterious transfer student Nozomi, and their classmates are suddenly transported from their tranquil daily lives to a school adrift in an alternate dimension. They must survive with the powers that have awakened within them.

[Via Purple Geth]

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