Citrus is a currently-airing anime about a serious black haired girl and a pure-hearted gal (Japanese: ‘gyaru’. It refers to a subculture where young women dress a certain way) and their pure love. The story is based on a manga by Saburouta and is currently being serialized in Monthly Comic Yuri Hime.
Citrus Second Trailer
The series started airing in January and anime fans were sitting in front of their screens when the credits started rolling, asking themselves, ‘How did they get this attention to detail?’ Mixed in with the very familiar and regular staff positions like ‘director’ and ‘color setting’ were the positions of a ‘Gal Supervisor’ named Rie Hiraoka and a ‘Food Supervisor’ named Tatsuya Fukushima.
Seeing unique positions like this in the credits made us wonder what it was about, so we asked Takayuki Nagatani from Infinite, the production company of the series.
As it seems, these two supervisors were needed from the very beginning.
The Generation Gap Between Gals and Their Current Image
At what point during the production did you feel like you needed a person to help out with knowledge about gals or food?
Nagatani: I thought we should prepare these positions from the very first meeting.
And why were they necessary?
Nagatani: For the food, I just thought it would be necessary to portray it realistically, but for gals, I only ever had a stereotypical image in mind, so to give life to a real gal and to feed my interest in them I thought it would be necessary to have someone who knows things about gals. However, there is also the generation gap between previous gals and their current image.
How was it to get a gal supervisor involved?
Nagatani: She was an active gal when I asked her to become a supervisor, which turned out to be very helpful. But it seems like she retired from the scene about the same time the anime started broadcasting.
Even though she does not seem like someone who watches a lot of anime, she worked together with us very well and saved us many times. Because of her influence, my image about gals has changed as well.
Please tell us what exactly a gal supervisor does.
Nagatani: There were mostly men at the scenario meetings and we thought it would be a plus for the anime if we could show the right kind of gal, since there are so many differences between the generations and the types of gal, because even though we call them all ‘gal’, one gal is nothing like the other.
Talking for myself, I only knew the type of gal that would wear ‘loose socks’, so I wanted to get the opinion of those who can call themselves a gal expert and close the gap between their knowledge and my humble opinion.
What kind of impact did the supervisor have in the end?
Nagatani: What interests does a gal have, what gets them interested, what do they treat with care, on what part of life do they emphasize? Those are the points we were able to reflect, along with the story of Citrus, their daily life, and their problems. Although the story is based on a manga, thanks to the ideas and insights I received, we were able to put in scenes that are not in the manga.
What kind of person was the supervisor? And was she familiar with the Yuri genre?
Nagatani: If it can be called ‘ordinary’, then she was just ‘an ordinary gal’. [laugh] And I heard that she doesn’t really watch anime.
Nagatani: But as I said earlier, around the time Citrus started airing, she decided to retire from being a gal, which is a bit sad. Even though she was very cooperative and seemed interested, she doesn’t watch anime and I do not think she knows much about Yuri and other things like that. But I think she might get interested if people watch Citrus, since she helped us.
Not going by ‘gut feeling’ but giving birth to a new opinion through listening closely
And what were the results with your food supervisor?
Nagatani: For the food supervisor, we simply asked a creator from our studio. I have the impression everything went smoothly because we found the right person at the right place.
For this series, we assumed there would be many scenes where they eat, so to not make those scenes look shabby, we let someone supervise the work. As it is now, there really are many scenes with dinner at home, at fast food stores, bento boxes and more, so I wonder if we were able to pull it off well.
Do you think these unique supervisors will also be used for other anime in the future?
For this work, those two positions were put together, but as the work changes, it will also be necessary to change the positions. I think, as a creator, it is important to fill this position, as to not just produce with only a ‘gist’ on a certain topic. It’s better to interview and make new discoveries, to allow a new point of view to develop.