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The MANGA.TOKYO staff had its share of summer. Now, all we wish is for the hot and humid weather to go away and give its place to the red and cool autumn.
Psalms of Planets Eureka Seven is a legendary top-selling anime series which aired in April 2005 in Japan. It is getting a anime film trilogy called Psalms of Planets Eureka Seven: Hi-Evolution with a new story centered on Renton and Eureka.
The first of the trilogy, Psalms of Planets Eureka Seven: Hi-Evolution 1, will be released in Japan on September 16. To celebrate its release, three major anime magazines in Japan, Newtype, Animage, and Animedia, for the very first time in history co-hosted a special screening event on September 8 at Akihabara UDX Theater in Tokyo, called Our Dear Eureka!: Collaboration Screening by 3 Anime magazines. It’s exceptional to see them collaborate this way , since the three magazines are rivals in the anime-related publishing industry.
After the screening, they welcomed chief director Tomoki Kyoda and anime critic Ryouta Fujitsu as speakers on stage. They enthusiastically talked about the new story of Renton and Eureka in a Q & A session with Fujitsu asking questions and Kyouda answering them.
First, Fujitsu asked what it’s like to be busy running around doing campaigns for the films day in and day out. Kyouda replied, ‘To be honest, I couldn’t believe I really had to go to such lengths. [laugh] I’ve just returned from Osaka today and hurried here for this. I had never done this kind of work [like campaigns, screening events and talks] before… I’m quite amazed that there is so much work to do.’
As the screening was co-hosted by three major anime magazines in alliance, Fujitsu asked which magazine was Kyouda’s favorite. Kyouda promptly said ‘Animec (an old anime magazine published from 1978 to 1987),’ and recalled his days saying nostalgically, ‘Back then, there were no front covers drawn on cells.’
The new trilogy is centered on Renton. Fujitsu asked if the 14-year-old Renton described in the film reflects Kyouda’s mindset. ‘Generally I feel distant from Renton. There may be some reflections of my ideas at an unconscious level. I try to think how I would have reacted if I were a junior high school student,’ Kyouda said.
Regarding their commitment to the new films Kyouda said, ‘We didn’t have the old materials left for the old television series, and we had to recreate dialogues and background art all over again to reproduce the old scenes. So, I decided to add further details including eye level movements as well.’ He explained, ‘Renton in this film is not someone new for us, but more like ourselves in the past whom our present self is looking back upon.’
As for the thoughts on Renton and how they treat him now, ‘He’s like my own child,’ Kyouda said. ‘I’m almost 50 years old now and I can’t have a mindset of a 14-year-old junior high school student. It’s tough. So when we received the offer, Dai-san (Satou) and we were saying that we couldn’t be Renton any more.’ He then further explained the background, ‘The staff didn’t want to see Axel Thurston voiced by anyone else but Takeshi Aono (who passed away in 2012). So, for the plot of the story, we needed to add a new guardian. That’s why we now have Ray and Charles. Making them proper parents was necessary to develop the story.’
Having Tohru Furuya voice Adroc, Renton’s father, is one of the most significant highlights of this film production, and as for the reason of offering him the job, Kyouda said, ‘Adroc is a cool old guy, but I didn’t want him to be just that. He is actually delicate, sensitive, and romantic at heart. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have named the incident “Summer of Love”, you know? Considering his character setting, his voice shouldn’t be something just cool. He has to have a strong presence and should sound like someone capable of taking the main role. Nobody else but Furuya could do it. I remember him as a real professional actor from when I worked with him before, so I always wanted to work with him.’
Kyouda closed the event by saying that ‘We owe it all to the fans who have loved Eureka for 12 years, A lot of people helped and supported us to make miracles for this work. We created it to return the courtesy to everyone. I believe we managed to make it better than what we did 12 years ago, and the second and the third movie of the trilogy will be even better. So please hang in there with us for about two more years.’
At the photo session after the talk event, fans gathered with their own favorite characters’ fliers in their hands and got their photos taken with Kyouda.
Psalms of Planets Eureka Seven: Hi-Evolution 1 will run in theaters all over Japan from September 16, 2017. The movie will also open in other countries such as United States, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand, so keep an eye out!