Otakon '13: An Interview with Oreimo's creators


Team OreImo under the spotlight

To get you ready for the world simulcast of the Oreimo OVAs on Saturday, Japanator chatted up the Oreimo guests at Otakon 2013--light novel author Tsukasa Fushimi, his editor Kazuma Miki, and the director of the anime series Hiroyuki Kanbe--right before the world premiere of the episodes at Otakon 20.

It's rather difficult to talk about Oreimo before you watch the somewhat controversial ending that was revealed via the recently released, last volume of the light novel. However these hard questions about incest just has to be asked, right? Who will you choose? More importantly, will the anime deviate from the novel?

The interview took place roughly two hours before the Oreimo OVA screening at Otakon. Present at the interview was the light novel author Tsukasa Fushimi, novel editor Kazuma Miki, and anime director Hiroyuki Kanbe. We were joined with also Aniplex's Mr. Goto and Ms. Tsukamoto. The Q&A began after exchanging pleasantries--

Japanator: How do you feel about screening the finale to Oreimo at Otakon even before the Japanese audience?

Fushimi: I'm happy that lots of people are watching it. I'm looking forward to it as well, because now I can see the final episodes on the big screen. I have not seen the anime's ending yet, so this will be my first time.

J: How do you hope people will react to the ending of the anime?

F: I would be really happy if people can just enjoy the episodes. I would like to have fun watching everyone else having fun watching it.

J: From Oreimo anime's website, there is a lot of English-translated text, to go with the "From Chiba to the World" campaign. Whose idea was it to have such an international campaign?

Miki: It's the idea from Mr. Takashi Yuma of Aniplex's. He is in charge of the PR and marketing for the show. He is a dangerous man.

J: How is he dangerous?

M: He spends a lot of money. *laugh*

J: Have you listened to the Oreimo web radio? If you did, how do you feel about the oversea fan letters?

F: I didn't listen to the radio, but I am delighted to read and hear about the oversea fan messages.

M: I see the fan mail for the radio come in from dozens of countries all over the world. The letters say how they love Oreimo and we're very happy about that. We're surprised even with the help of the internet, that people are able to catch the show and follow what is happening.

Kanbe: I occasionally listen to the radio!

J: Which countries do you think has the loudest fans and the most fans?

F: Regarding the novels, Taiwan has the loudest. Then China is second.

K: Maybe someone from Aniplex can tell us how the anime is doing.

Tsukamoto: For the anime, American fans are probably the loudest.

J: When the ending of the novel was published, there were some fan murmuring about the ending. How do you feel about it?

F: First I'm surprised that you know about this! We did get a lot of feedback and I'm happy about the feedback regardless what they are. Because it is the last volume, I want to slowly savor the fan responses one by one.

J: Kirino's relationship with her brother--is this something that is inspired by something you know or something you came up completely?

F: That is something I came up completely from scratch.

J: How about the characters themselves?

F: It's not really based on any real people.

J: Kuroneko or Kirino?

F: If I answer this question I will probably get some threatening letters! *Everyone laughs*

M: Kirino for me.

K: Kuroneko for me.

F: Maybe I really like everyone? They are characters that I made and gave birth to, so I love them all.

J: Between Kyousuke and the girls around him, is there a particular girl that you enjoyed writing the most?

F: It has to be Ayase and Kirino.

J: Why are these two the most interesting?

F: I don't really know the reason myself. It's just that when I started to write, the readers react strongly to them and I end up enjoy writing about them more.

J: I have a question about the title of the work. First, who came up with the title? And second, there are a lot of light novels with similar structure for the name as OreImo [Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai], so why are these novel names so long?

F: I came up with the title of the show with editor Miki. 

M: And yeah, you are right, light novel names are really long! How do you know about them?

J: There's all these anime adopted from light novels with these long names!

M: Ah that is true. It's kind of like a fad. It's just how this age of light novels are. In the previous age, the names were simple. The long names are just for the current round of books. Sooner or later it will change to something else.

J: How is the process of working on the anime for the script of the show?

K: Every week there is a script meeting. Mr. Kurata [series writer] will present the concept of how the novel will be translated into the anime. We will work with Fushimi-san to determine the result.

J: How was this changed in season 2 compared to season 1? How was editing the novel story to fit into the length of the second series?

F: The biggest difference between season 1 and 2 was that the novel wasn't completed by season 2's planning. 

M: We waited until Fushimi-san was done before we can go ahead with the anime.

J: Why was the anime for seasons 1 and 2 both extended into the OVA episodes?

K: Well, TV anime is usually one or two cours, so if it fits then it works, if not we will have to come up with another way. We originally wanted to fit in to one season irrespective to the original story but it didn't work that well. Aniplex then suggested to make more episodes so we can do a better job matching the story. The same happened with season 2.

J: Of all the various marketing and promo events for Oreimo, which ones do you like the most?

F: Otakon would be the one I'm hoping to like the most!

K: I would hope for Otakon as well, since it hasn't been done before that the US gets something before the Japanese. Also I like Oreimo Festival, which is an event where the voice actors talk about the show.

M: For me, it's the monorail promotion. The entire monorail train has a full wrapping for Oreimo characters. I was surprised that the Oreimo themes continued inside the rail cars.

J: Is there anything you can tell us about new works?

F: We are working on a new project. Mr. Miki and I were on this 13-hour flight from hell to here and we were working on it on the way.

K: I have a few projects planned right now. I'm also going to work on other anime as an animation director.

J: And to wrap it up, any final words for your oversea fans?

F: Thank you for watching or reading Oreimo to the end. I would be happy if everyone has at least one favorite heroine, may it be Kirino or Kuroneko or anyone else. I hope you will remember them.

K: I hope for those who has not watched the show yet, they will check it out!

M: Originally, the project in Japan was just between me, Fushimi-san and Kanzaki-san [Light Novel Illustrator]. It was originally made for young Japanese people so we never expected it to be this big in America. We are glad to be able to share the same feelings about Oreimo with you!

J: Thank you very much!

[Special thanks to Otakon's George Endo for interpreting and Aniplex's Tsukamoto-san for facilitating!]


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Jeff Chuang
Jeff ChuangAssociate Editor   gamer profile

Yet to be the oldest kid on the block, this East Coast implant writes cryptic things about JP folklore, the industry or dirty moe. Attend cons and lives the "I can buy Aniplex releases" life. ... more + disclosures



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