Summer 2019 Anime: Official Twitter Hashtags & Pages
Summer is near, my dear friends, and our tablets and phones will need some extra space for all the amazing anime that are coming our way.
— Ryosuke Takahashi, one of the judges of the 20th Japan Media Arts Festival Animation Category, stated your work as ‘a challenge to a tough subject’, and praised the movement and music added into the anime film when adapting from the manga. Let me ask, what did you pay attention to when describing serious issues such as bullying, disabilities, and suicidal urges?
I know such serious issues attract people’s attention, but I believe that these are not the main part of the work to show. I thought I had to make sure that people understood that. Therefore, each behavior described in the film was neither approved nor disapproved, but instead portrayed as something that nestled close to each character and their mind.
— As for movement, one of the highlights is a sensitive description of sign language. I’m afraid it’s quite a hard motif to draw in anime. What kind of procedure was taken for it?
Sign language is a sensitive language and even slight differences, for example the direction of a palm, can change the meaning. That’s why I had our sign language supervisor check the storyboards and asked them to show us all the actual sign language parts to make sure of their accuracy. Animators checked the video for reference and made the footage carefully. It wasn’t just the accuracy of the language itself but also each character’s personality and their language proficiency that were taken into consideration for their movements.
— Another thing on movement. Director Yamada, you are often known for being particular about using feet in animation to express character’s emotions. How about this movie?
I haven’t been following certain rules or anything on purpose to show feet in my works. It’s just a result of showing what I thought was needed to be nestled together, but just ended up that way more often. As this film is about Shoya, I made sure to make it the world Shoya can see camera-wise too. I wove two different worlds into one: what Shoya chose to see and what Shoya will start to see when he realizes later.
— As for the music, the unique theatrical music co-produced with musician Kensuke Ushio received huge attention. What kind of procedure was taken?
We started talking in the abstract like ‘the concept of creation’ when we first met, and Mr. Ushio said, ‘I’ll compose a piece based on our talk first.’ Then, I showed the storyboard little by little as I drew, he read it, sent us new pieces of music, calling them ‘sketches’, and repeated the process. So, by the time I realized, I actually didn’t have to order new pieces later as I had all the pieces ready that fit the work. The dubbing process to match the music to the complete visuals too was done together in a timely manner while talking things over.
— I guess it is a special production style in which the visuals and sound stimulate each other. Why did you stick precisely to music?
Because I believe this work is about what nestles with human physiology. I want viewers to watch or even experience the music that exists in the womb or inside a living human being’s body.
Music is often what people recognize to hear, I guess, but it’s not just that. I believe it is phenomena that are tied to various things and can resonate with your body depending on its frequency. I thought it was very meaningful to compile them into one film for this work. Sorry, I know I’m not wording this well…
— It’s quite fine, I understand you well.
To be frank… I wanted to make ‘music’ into a movie.
— So you are precisely forming the ‘shape of voice’ as the title says. [NB: the Japanese title ‘Koe no Katachi’ literally means ‘shape of voice’] Did you feel a good response?
Very encouraged. I discovered new challenges for the future through this experience.
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