Interview with Gintama Author Sorachi Hideaki & Gintama Anime Director Fujita Yoichi in Celebration of the Restart of the Anime
Gintama editor Matsuo conducts an interview with the original author Sorachi-sensei and anime director Fujita Yoichi in commemoration of the anime's restart!!
Matsuo: As the long-awaited anime restarted on October 4th, do you have any thoughts on it?
Sorachi: Last time when it ended, I knew they would do it again. Yeah, it's the feeling of knowing they would do it again (laughs).
Matsuo: Only half a year passed since the previous last episode. I think Gintama fans are happy.
Sorachi: Honestly, if there was more stock of the manga saved up, all of it could be new (laughs). Well, there were various reasons for this though.
Matsuo: Sorachi-san, are there any episodes that left an impression on you?
Sorachi: Definitely the Kaien episode in the Renho arc.
Matsuo: The drawings in that episode were certainly amazing. Gintama completely became a robot anime instead.
Sorachi: I wondered if Sunrise would work really hard on it when I was drawing it, but the quality was considerable. I didn't really request anything either, it'd be very difficult.
Matsuo: Was there any need to tell the anime staff you wanted something to be a certain way?
Sorachi: I don't need to tell them how I want it done. If they have fun making it then that's fine with me. On the other hand, they let me do as I please in this magazine (WSJ) too.
Matsuo: Well, because of that the voice actors are made to fire off dirty jokes like crazy (laughs). Speaking of which, Sorachi-san, you also got to be a voice actor and voice yourself before right?
Sorachi: I didn't want to do it in the first place, they tricked me into adding my voice.
Matsuo: Sorry, what do you mean? (laughs)
Sorachi: The anime staff were like "do you want to have a tour of the dubbing studio?" Of course I was interested in that stuff, so my first editor and I went together.
Matsuo: The first editor was Onishi-san right?
Sorachi: Yes. Once we arrived at the dubbing studio he suddenly said, "Soo since we went through the trouble of coming here, why don't we try adding your voice?" Why was I was forced to add my voice saying lines I made up, really.
Matsuo: It was too sudden, huh (laughs). You didn't refuse?
Sorachi: No, I couldn't refuse in that atmosphere. I could see an aura going "You'll do this right?" emitting from the big grown-ups. On top of all that, the editor patted me on the shoulder and said "Sorachi-kun, you have no choice now."
Matsuo: Oh, so the editor and the anime staff became accomplices.
Sorachi: They really tricked me. Grown-ups are so dirty. I don't think I'm ever going to the dubbing studio again.
Matsuo: So is there anything you want to say to Fujita who represents the anime staff?
Sorachi: I'm really sorry for exposing the thing about the divorce in the previous anime's last episode.
Matsuo: ...Uhh, that was not a sincere apology at all!! It was packed with evil intentions (laughs). So then, lastly, please give a word to all the Gintama fans.
Sorachi: While the Gintama anime is truly interesting, the original work even more interesting, so please purchase the manga version of Gintama.
Matsuo: By the way, the 46th Gintama volume is now on sale with great reviews!! Sorachi-sensei, despite how busy you are thank you very much!!
Matsuo: It's great to have you, Director Fujita.
Fujita: Thank you for having me.
Matsuo: Moving along now, please tell us the highlights of the new Gintama anime.
Fujita: Right, if you've read the original work you'd know about this, but watch the dialogue between Ichiko and Momiji over the Fortune Energy...
Matsuo: ...Um, Fujita. That's probably a different anime... I don't think a Binbogami-ish keyword like Fortune Energy appeared in Gintama... ("Binbogami ga!" joke)
Fujita: Oh, sorry. I'm in charge of that series so I got mixed up.
Matsuo: (mentally: Is this director okay?!) So~ once you've put yourself together, if you can tell us about the highlights...
Fujita: Right, we made the rendering of Gin-san entering the zone during a basketball game so it wouldn't lose to the manga version.
Matsuo: ........No, um, Gin-san and the generation of Jouishishi were not known as the "Generation of Miracles". ("Kuroko's Basketball" joke) Or rather, if we talk about other series like this it'll become troublesome...
Fujita: Oh, sorry. I'm in charge of a lot of series so I got very mixed up.
Matsuo: (mentally: No, no, first of all Fujita-san wasn't even in charge of that series.)
Fujita: Well, jokes aside, if we're talking about the Kintama arc, I'd say it's Gintoki and Kintoki's entanglement.
Matsuo: (mentally: All right. Looks like we're getting somewhere) In the Kintama arc currently airing, Nakamura Yuichi was put in charge to do Kin-san's voice. Nakamura-san's voice matched Kin-san's image quite well.
Fujita: Yes, it did. Kintoki had the image of a straightforward, handsome lady's man, so it felt like it was a perfect match.
Matsuo: What was it like at the studio where Kintama is being dubbed?
Fujita: Since the Kintama arc has a wide range of characters appearing, it was reasonably busy. It's a fun place so I'm glad that the anime is being made there.
Matsuo: From here on the Kintama arc is getting more and more interesting. Although the episode was altered, Sorachi-san was praising the Kaien drawings from the Renho arc. How did the studio feel?
Fujita: It was important to rival the best of each successive arc. It was about the same with the Four Devas arc's endgame battle scene, where a considerable amount of time and effort was put into the details of the work.
Matsuo: The amount of work got overwhelmingly large, huh.
Fujita: Yes, but we also didn't have enough people within our staff to draw full-blown mecha in the first place. Therefore, we called other studios to bring in mecha drawing people to finish it off.
Matsuo: It seems the anime is similar to the manga in terms of barely making it through the work schedule... which reminds me, when there isn't any stock and you have to do an anime original episode, do you keep Sorachi-san's literary style in mind when you make them?
Fujita: Even if we imitate Sorachi-san's unique line deliveries for the sake of following the style, we easily lose its charm. That's why we adopted a stance where we'll create stories that can only be expressed through anime. We aim to make something that Sorachi-san is not likely going to do.
Matsuo: There was a reason like that behind the big number of anime original hits. So is there anything you'd like to say to Sorachi-san?
Fujita: It's not like I really care, but with how my divorce was exposed in the previous final episode, I hope one day I'll seize Sorachi-san's weakness and expose it in the anime.
Matsuo: Yeesh, you're definitely holding a grudge. But personally I'm somewhat looking forward to it (laughs). So then, apologies for wrapping up, but please give a final word to all the readers.
Fujita: The first DVD of the "Binbogami ga!" anime is now on sale with grea-...
Matsuo: Sorry, I'll get mad if you finish that sentence.
Fujita: Just joking (laughs). Well, with the previous last episode ending the way it did, we didn't know if it was okay to come back no matter what expression we wore, but we intend to work hard without getting worked up so please continue to support us.
Matsuo: Thank you very much. The Gintama anime is now airing every Thursday at 6:00pm on TV Tokyo. Everyone, please watch it!!