Interview: Blood-C's Junichi Fujisaku

by Zac Bertschy,
Junichi Fujusaku has been writing the Saya character and working on the Blood: The Last Vampire franchise for nearly a decade. We had the chance to pick his brain about this latest installment, with CLAMP in the driver's seat. You can catch Blood-C simulcasting on

ANN: Having worked on the entire franchise so far, how did you approach Blood-C? Were you given a set of guidelines to follow when scripting this series? How much creative freedom did you have?

JUNICHI FUJISAKU: The story of the first Blood: The Last Vampire film was utterly simple: we had these hematophagous creatures called Chiroptera which had lived in the shadows of history for ages, and a girl called Saya who hunts them down. The movie gave some hints about the world setting, but ended without any real explanation of what it was all about. In the Blood+ series I had the opportunity to expand the Blood world throughout the span of a 50-episode long story. The story focused on Saya but also on Diva and the Chevaliers, who by manipulating the economy and wars - two major driving powers of our society- were trying to find their place in this world. For Blood-C I asked myself what everyday life would look like in a world where you can have a monster-slaying girl like Saya. Then we incorporated ideas from CLAMP and the director, Tsutomu Mizushima. And we came up with this story depicting how an apparently eventless everyday life slowly crumbles to unveil horror beyond imagination.

What was it like collaborating with CLAMP? How did you prepare for working with them on this series?

There was no specific preparation, actually. At first, I explained to CLAMP the concept I had in mind, and based on that, CLAMP proposed a number of ideas and developments. We came up with a very compelling story. The result is the series that is on the air now, and the movie that is coming next year. I had previously collaborated with CLAMP in xxxHOLiC - A Midsummer Night's Dream and Tsubasa Chronicle - The Princess of the Birdcage Kingdom, so I knew what they like, dislike and how they work, therefore I could fully make use of that experience for this project.

How eager were you to reinvent the characters? Having written Saya for years now, were you nervous at all about remaking her personality as radically as Blood-C does?

I change Saya's character setting in each of her incarnations, which is always an enjoyable process for me.

Saya singing songs, being a meganekko (glasses-wearing girl) and her hairstyle are all features coming from CLAMP. I think all these elements are very CLAMP-like and I always appreciate it when the character designer is free to express his or her creativity in full. Freedom of creative expression like that is always the best thing for any project. At the same time, I was aware of the great number of differences between this Saya and the previous ones, so I intentionally did not use her surname, Otonashi, as I wanted to make clear with the audience we were dealing with two different characters. The continuity in the “Blood” world doesn't include the character being the same person; it's in the essence of the character itself.

What creative challenges did you run in to while writing Blood-C? What was the biggest challenge for you personally on this series?

For Blood-C, Ohkawa-san from CLAMP is taking care of the storyline for each script, and I dramatize the fight scenes. Ohkawa-san's dialogue has a very distinctive style, so I carefully avoid any intervention that would eventually spoil the final result. I revise only in the case of inconsistencies with the story setting. Since this is how we work, the only real “challenge”, if any, is when the scripts are turned in late. But this happens in every production.

If you had one personal creative mission for Blood-C, what was it? What did you want most to come out of this project?

To create a new Saya and introduce her to the audience. “Blood” is possibly the one I.G franchise where creators are allowed the highest degree of creative freedom, so I was eager to expand the potential of the original concept we developed more than 10 years ago.

Thinking back on the franchise as a whole, are there any changes you'd make? Anything you look back on and wish you could fiddle with, even just as a personal nitpick? Alternatively, what were your proudest moments? What were the most satisfying projects in the franchise to work on?

I believe that both Blood: The Last Vampire and Blood+ are the best possible results that could be achieved under the circumstances they were created, so I'm totally happy with them. Regardless, I think that creating new “Blood” projects is definitely much more fun than going back and revising the old ones.

Going to the second half of your question, I'm not sure about “proudest moments”, but I'm always happy when fans say, “I liked that scene” or “I loved that character.” It's a little thing, but it's a big source of happiness for every creator, I guess.

If you were to work on another project in the Blood franchise, what's your dream project? Where would you like to see the series go next?

So far all the chapters in the “Blood” saga have been somehow connected to the past, so I'd like to create a story about Saya in the future. This is also the difficult part as I'm confident I can write anything set back in history, but I need to imagine the future from scratch. It would also be fun to expand the previous “Blood” projects with side stories, as there is tremendous potential sleeping there.

© 2011 Production I.G, CLAMP / Project BLOOD-C TV / MBS

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