The TV anime adaptation of Sagrada Reset (Sakurada Reset) began this April, part of the Spring 2017 anime season. The original story comes from the light novel series written by Yutaka Kouno and published by Kadokawa Sneaker Bunko. It takes place in Sakurada, a town where nearly half the population has some sort of supernatural ability. Protagonist Kei Asai has the power of ‘memory retention’, in which he can remember anything he experienced in the past. The other protagonist of the story is Misora Haruki, who has the power to ‘reset’ the world back three days and undo anything that happened until the rest. Together, the two characters use their powers to change the past, and thus, change the world’s future.
We got the opportunity to interview the show’s director Shinya Kawatsura. The original work has already been adapted into a manga, and a live action movie is screening now in Japanese cinemas. We got the chance to ask Kawatsura how he will express the delicate adolescent feelings of the characters in the anime.
We hope to make the scenes faithful to the original story as possible.
――So, can you first tell us how you got the opportunity to be involved with the making of Sagrada Reset?
‘In the past, I joined the making of the TV anime JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure at david production, and I had frequent contact with director Naokatsu Tsuda at the time. Thanks to that experience, I got an offer to join the production of Sagrada Reset.’
――How did you first feel when you read Yutaka Kouno’s original light novel series?
‘To be honest, I didn’t know about the novels until I got the offer, so I read the books right after I decided to take the work. As I started reading, I found out that the story contained many different aspects, such as adolescent relationships and science fiction, and I started to feel, “How are these aspects going to interact with each other in the story?” Then, as I moved on to the second and third volumes, the story faced great turning points, and I was fascinated by the story’s structure.’
――Will these ‘great turning points’ be illustrated in the anime adaptation?
‘Yes, they will be. We hope to make the scenes as faithful to the original story as possible. In anime, the length of time is limited, so we’re trying our best to include the important scenes of the original story in great detail, especially towards the end.’
―― With the anime running for 2 back-to-back cours, it may be easier to make the scenes in full detail, right? By the way, was it decided from the beginning that the anime would have a 6-month run?
‘It had already been decided when I received the offer. The story includes tons of important aspects, so, to be honest, I would have liked it to be a whole year [laugh].’
―― What was the factor that you cared about most when making the anime adaptation? This is a story with many varied aspects.
‘Not just for Sagrada Reset, but whenever I join the production of an anime, I always try my best to make the story faithful to the original work. I think it’s important to remember my first impression of the story and include this impression in the story’s atmosphere. As I mentioned before, the original work has its own story structure, so I am trying not to change the flow of the story in the anime. In any case, I think the most important thing is to respect the story’s atmosphere.’
―― Specifically, what is the ‘atmosphere’ like in Sagrada Reset?
‘The atmosphere created by the three leading characters, Kei, Misora, and Sumire, is very different from the atmosphere created by others. It’s like the three are always looking at somewhere far away. They look at everything with such strong philosophical eyes, that it is almost hard to believe that they are only high school students. They take one step at a time, looking far into the future. Even when they are solving the problem they are confronting at the moment, they are also taking a farsighted view of another problem. I think the difference in the characters’ point of view is what is creating the story’s atmosphere.’
―― Kei and Misora are characters who have special abilities. Do you think the difference between the characters’ abilities is another factor that is influencing the story’s atmosphere?
‘No, I think the more influential factor is the difference between how each character lives and thinks. They are always thinking of ways to solve their problems, just like an ordinary high school student would. It is normal for teenagers to think about and suffer from dealing with too many things. Although Kei and Misora have supernatural abilities, they are also going through adolescent days just like the rest of the students; They think about their test results, their future careers, and so on.’
―― I see. It first seems that the characters’ unique powers are the most important aspect of the series, but you believe the delicate psychological depictions are more important. Is this correct?
Yes, indeed. We’re trying to illustrate each character’s unique personality, while also illustrating the happenings in the story. These two factors are the central point in the anime, especially in the beginning. In the latter half of the story, we would like to put more strength in the characters’ psychological depictions.
―― I see. Nevertheless, the characters’ special powers will become an important factor in the story, right?
‘Every ability which appears in the story is something that the characters had wanted in the first place. That is another reason I believe that “the way each character lives” becomes a key factor in the story. In the anime, I plan to faithfully illustrate the incidents in the original story, but I do not want to focus too much on the characters’ supernatural abilities.’
―― So, you’re planning on highlighting the incidents in the story, rather than the abilities themselves
‘Yes. Each incident that occurs has the aspect of “mystery”, and we plan to show them in a good tempo.’
―― When deciding what to focus on, did you have a lot of discussions with Katsuhiko Takayama, the man in charge of the anime’s composition?
‘Yes, of course. However, what we discussed more was about how to include all the important scenes of the original story in the series. Takayama had the same idea as me about keeping the original story the way it is. We both did not want to change the storyline just because the length of anime is limited. The original novel series has already ended, and we have an overall picture of the story, so we both agreed on trying our best to be faithful to the original story. ‘
(Next Page: The Scenes are Illustrating the Characters’ Feelings)