The original animation Dragon Pilot: Hisone and Masotan (Hisone to Maso-tan) held a screening event at Shinjuku Piccadilly in Tokyo on 11 April, prior to the release of the first episode, which aired last night (12 April) in Japan. Executive director Shinji Higuchi (Shin Godzilla, Nihon Chinbotsu), Misaki Kuno (main character Hisone Amakasu), Tomoyo Kurosawa (plays Nao Kaizaki), and opening theme artist Riko Fukumoto were present and talked about the title and unveiled unknown details about the characters’ development.
The venue seemed to be satisfied with the first two episodes, because loud clapping occurred right after the screening. Executive director Shinji Higuchi set foot on the stage with a relieved look on his face thanks to the fans’ positive response. He said: ‘I am happy even if its all a lie. I am happy even if it’s just an obligatory reaction’ and made the audience laugh. Higuchi had overcome the difficulties of creating an original anime with reliable staff and cast members. Together they went through trial and error in order to create a title which is already beloved by fans.
Main character Hisone Amakasu is a character that immediately says whatever pops into her mind. Although it isn’t with ill intent, it may not come across well at times. Executive director Higuchi revealed: ‘We put Hisone together, nervous about what we would do if she became a hated character’. Someone in the audience shouted: ‘I like Hisone!’ Hisone’s voice actress Kuno showed her state of relief and said: ‘She really is a strange girl. I was worried about what you would think of Hisone after seeing her on the screen. Therefore, I thank you for saying that you like her.’
Higuchi explained that he is imagining characters inside an animation to be that way (a little bit strange) and used examples like Neon Genesis Evangelion‘s Asuka Langley and other characters from titles on which he was part of the staff. Furthermore he added: ‘It is important that there is a large range of personalities to some extent’ and even answered Kuno’s question ‘Is Hisone your type?’. He thought for a while but then admitted that she was his type of girl by saying ‘She might be my type’ and aroused laughter.
Nao Kaizaki’s voice actress Tomoyo Kurosawa mentioned: ‘The fact that Nao wears her hair in pigtails despite being a delinquent is incredibly cute.’ and explained in her analysis that one of Nao’s charms is that instability that girls have as they mature into adults. She added how touched she is by the anime’s depiction of the beautiful scenery of Gifu: ‘It makes you think, that if you go to Gifu you might find the same scenery there. Its a fantasy mixed with reality.’
After they talked about Hisone and the scenery, the cast and director came to disclose the secret behind one of the series’ most important characters, Masotan. Higuchi, who has done location-hunting at the Air Self-Defense Force bases, shared how he got the idea for Masotan. ‘There is always an aircraft hangar at Air Self-Defense Force base which people are not allowed to take pictures of. Are they hiding something? They seem to be hiding a huge creature there…’. That was the beginning of Masotan’s birth.
Opening theme artist Riko Fukumoto expressed how she sang the song imagining wide places like the sea or sky during the recording. Fukumoto explained: ‘It’s a magnificent song because it also contains an orchestra.’
Kuno and Kurozawa, who were in charge of the French ending song, said: ‘It was a spectacular recording’. The reason they chose a French song could only be given by Higuchi. He disclosed: ‘It is somewhat cool.’ and this caused the biggest laughter of the day. By the way, the ending theme is going to change from episode to episode after the third one.
As for the last greeting of the event, Higuchi declared: ‘If you had any expectations, then we have completed a title in return for you. Please enjoy it!’
If you’re interested in my impressions of the first couple of episodes of the anime, check out my report on the Press Screening which took place a few days earlier:
Dragon Pilot: Hisone and Masotan Preview Screening Report
Dragon Pilot: Hisone and Masotan
Spring 2018 | Anime Info | Simulcast