Yuri on Ice interview translation - Otomedia 2016/12 (p35)
Wow, translation post! You might wonder “why did you translate this interview now??”. The answer is “because I hadn’t translated it yet!”, so for the sake of completeness. It was published when the anime only aired up to episode 6, but I’m going to post another interview after this one which was published later so I thought it was better to post this first anyway. The last question is SO random, lol…
(By the way, Otsuka is the producer but didn’t really have a big role in the creation of the story. He mainly manages MAPPA since he’s also the current representative director and I guess he’s busy enough with that)
***If you wish to share this translation please do it by reblogging or posting a link to it***
***Re-translating into other languages is ok but please mention that this post is the source***
What troubles the man that is considered a genius?
Producer Manabu Otsuka interview
—What was your impression when you heard about this project?
First of all, I thought Mitsurou Kubo-san’s pictures were powerful. It was convincing enough to make me believe that it would be interesting to see these characters animated. At the same time, I also thought that it would be extremely difficult to animate figure skating (wry smile).
—At that time had you already decided how to animate the figure skating scenes?
Director Sayo Yamamoto had previously created a short anime about figure skating, and we had talked about the fact that we could use that know-how. We also had experience turning real life scenes of people playing music into animation in “Sakamichi no Apollon”, so we reckoned that we could both put our knowledge to good use.
—They both involve turning real life footage into animation, but what was most different between people playing instruments and figure skating?
In musical performances the camera was fixed, so there was no difficult camerawork. However, skating was filmed with a camera that followed Kenji Miyamoto-sensei during his performance, therefore it involved a lot of complex camerawork which was a pain for the digital staff to handle (wry smile).
—You also used a lot of camera angles that are not normally seen in regular live coverages.
Adding those kinds of camera angles and other elements had an interesting effect, because they emphasized the most exciting parts of the skaters’ performances and the songs. Seeing how the scenes were structured made me realize once again how much the director loves figure skating.
—How do you feel looking back on the anime up to episode 6?
I feel that the presence of Kubo-san in the anime production process made it possible to keep a steady characterization and development of the characters. It’s quite rare to use a manga storyboard as the scenario for an anime, and it makes many things more difficult, but I’m pretty satisfied because I think by now you are all able to appreciate its drawing power.
—Could you tell us what you think is especially interesting about the main three characters?
Regarding Yuuri, it’s interesting how he is influenced by Victor and gradually changes. Unlike the flow of normal hot-blooded anime, in episode 6 it looks like he gave his best performance, and then he suddenly gets anxious afterwards. He’s not constant. In response to Yuuri’s fluctuations, Victor, who is inexperienced as a coach, tries to do various things, some of which work and some don’t. I think that their relationship feels original because it’s not typical. Yurio is only 15 but fights to overcome lots of obstacles. I liked how even though he looks like an elite Kubo-san chose not to have him walk an easy path.
—What about Victor?
He’s difficult. I can never imagine what he will say next. He’s an alien, I tell you (LOL). However, the reason he chose Yuuri, the issues that trouble him because he’s a genius, the distress of always looking for something new not to disappoint his fans… I don’t know if the story will delve into these things (wry smile), but I believe they are connected to the reason he became Yuuri’s coach. I think what troubles a man that is considered a genius is something that will eventually be explained.
—What will be of the coach & student relationship between Yuuri and Victor?
In the anime it might look like Yuuri has stolen Victor from the world, but that’s actually Yuuri’s own idea. Why it was necessary for Victor to become Yuuri’s coach is something that will be depicted. They are a coach and a student, and also buddies. At first glance, sometimes it might look like Yuuri and Victor are flirting as they compete in tournaments, but I have my own idea that Yurio is the one passionately showing them that “this is a serious fight, you idiots!”.
—Lastly, the theme of this issue is “Christmas”. Until what age do you think Yuuri, Victor and Yuri used to believe in Santa Claus?
I think Yuuri might have realized quite early that his parents were Santa Claus. His father is a bit of an airhead and might have not been good at hiding it (LOL). In Yurio’s case, it looks like his family environment might have been a little peculiar… Maybe Santa Claus never came to his house, so he told his grandpa “Doesn’t Santa Claus come to my place?” and his grandpa said “I’ll buy you a present”. I can picture them having a discussion like this. Victor might begin to say that he himself is Santa Claus (LOL). Or maybe he still believes in his existence. He’d say “Yuuri, have you never seen Santa Claus?” and Yuuri would look at him like “what is this guy saying?” (LOL).