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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.
The anime movie adaptation of Tsutomu Nihei’s Blame! was released on 20 May, and in commemoration, a stage greeting event was held at Shinjuku Piccadilly in Tokyo. The guests on stage were Takahiro Sakurai (Killy), Saori Hayami (Sanakan), Aya Suzaki (Tae), director Hiroyuki Seshita, and assistant director Tadahiro ‘Tady’ Yoshihira.
The theater’s seats were all filled with fans, and the guest speakers had a fun talking segment in an exciting atmosphere. Then suddenly, many Exterminators, the robotic creatures from the film, appeared on stage and surprised the fans! They had come to ‘exterminate’ the fans, who did not have the net terminal genes!
‘I am just so happy that the movie was completed and we were able to show it to everyone today. That’s all I have to say. I was so anxious to see the completed version, and I was finally able to see it on this big screen. Plus, we were able to have so many people come today and watch the movie with us. I just can’t stop grinning [laugh].’
‘For the scenes of movements and actions, we had many discussions on how we should dub them. For example, for the running scenes, we talked about how fast the characters were running and what they were thinking about while running. Also, we imagined how many steps the characters took before they stopped and turned around. We talked a lot and read the directions over and over again, while listening to our directors’ instructions.’
‘When a movie is categorized as “serious sci-fi,” I believe that many people would think it is too difficult for them to watch and understand. However, I believe that this film has all the best aspects of a serious sci-fi movie. It includes human relationships and the drama among the people living in a world so cool and bitter. I think this makes it easier for the viewers to feel the warmth and love among the characters. This movie contains all the fascinating elements of CG animation.’
‘Just like Sakurai, I can’t stop smiling either [laugh]. I truly believe that Blame! is something perfect to watch on the big screen of a theaters with the best sound equipment. I want to know how everyone felt about the movie. I am so excited and nervous.’
‘There were even scenes where I had only one line while the directions on the script went up to four pages [laugh]. When we record the dub before the animation is done, the tempo and atmosphere of the conversations become very important, and there are things that we can feel only at that moment. However, many of Sanakan’s lines are quite difficult to read aloud, and she’s not a character who speaks in a good tempo with others. That’s why I changed my way of thinking and decided to focus on creating Sanakan’s own atmosphere.’
‘I, Sanakan, “speak” with Killy through fists and punches. I think that quiet people think a lot in their heads. Looking at quiet people makes me imagine a lot about what they thinking about.’
‘When I first learned about Sanakan, I thought she was an impersonal character. However, as I continued to dub her voice, I started to feel the life and the “organic” aspects in her. This film has so much love included. The love spreads through to the 0.0001th second of each scene. I guarantee that you will be surprised!’
‘Sakurai is grinning on the outside, but I am grinning in the inside. I am really glad that so many people came to see us today. I assure you that the movie includes so many great aspects! It will definitely exceed your expectations!’
‘Because we did not have anything to look at, I listened even harder than usual, and tried to carefully listen to the other cast members’ voices, so that I could grab the sense of distance in the scenes.’
‘I think everything is amazing. Is there anyone here who have never seen sci-fi movies before? I think that this movie is easy to understand even for those who have never seen sci-fi movies. The story is simple and not complicated, and the action scenes are awesome. The computer graphics and sound effects are powerful and outstanding. You can enjoy the movie from many different aspects. Also, there are many cool characters. Although the protagonist hardly speaks [laugh], I think this is a movie full of human warmth.’
‘Because Killy doesn’t speak a lot, the fantastic music stands out. I think the orchestra is speaking for him. ’
‘The movie’s script had so many instructions with the setting’s information. I’m sure there could be many different interpretations made for each scene. I believe that thanks to the staff members’ hard work and sharing of thoughts, the movie was completed and we were able to be here today. I was watching the movie while thinking that it has the best images and music. I am sure everyone will enjoy the movie as well!’
‘I am so excited to be here and finally be able to show everyone the work filled with our staff members’ passions.’
‘When I closed my eyes and listened to the cast members’ voices, I was able to see the characters moving around, even if there weren’t any images. It got me really excited.’
‘We were able to hear sounds from behind us, even for things which did not appear on the screen.’
‘I think that the movie has refreshing and exciting actions scenes, just like in Mad Max, and also has universal human drama aspects!’
‘It is such an honor! I am so grateful about it that I still cannot believe what’s going on. It might be all a dream [laugh]. I’m pretty sensitive, so I’ll try not to think about the movie’s rating overseas… I’ll be perfectly happy and satisfied if the people who came for us today had enjoyed this movie. I couldn’t sleep yesterday, thinking, “What if the fans get disappointed?”’
‘It was like a rehearsal for a stage play. Hayami, who played Sanakan, was amazing at getting into character, and she was completely ruling the atmosphere! I think the scenes with Sanakan will burn into the viewers’ memories.’
‘Killy is a character who has not spoken a word for probably about few hundred years. Therefore, I asked Sakurai to speak in a tone that sounds like Killy is feeling, “Are these the right words?” I think that, although he doesn’t say them out loud, Killy has many speech bubbles inside his head.’
‘The protagonist doesn’t speak, and the other characters do everything on their own [laugh]. I think music is what is connecting the characters’ feelings together.’
‘I tried to make them look like something that nobody would want to become friends with and are impossible to speak with [laugh]. I tried to make them look like insects, rather than mammals such as squirrels and rats.’
‘This is a movie that the staff members put all their love and efforts into. I hope you watch it over and over again to experience fully the world of Blame!’
※At the end of the stage greeting, Hayami shouted out, ‘Wait! I am Sanakan. I will exterminate all of you fans who do not have the net terminal genes!’ Then, 20 Exterminators appeared on the stage and made the fans roar in excitement!
Currently Running in Theaters in Japan (Two Weeks Only)
Distribution: The Klockworx (105 mins.)