10 supporters
Kare Kano: Interview with Matsukura in t ...

Kare Kano: Interview with Matsukura in the Blu-ray limited edition booklet 1 of 4

Jun 21, 2022

Chapter 3: Confession

Interview with Yuji Matsukura, Producer

It's my job to make things work.

How did you and J.C. Staff Co., Ltd. receive the offer to produce an anime in the first place?

Soon after finishing the TV version of "Revolutionary Girl Utena" (April 1997), I continued to work on the film version of "Maze the Megaburst Space" (April 1998).

I was exhausted and was offered the chance to quit J.C. and start my career as an freelance creator.

From there, many things happened that I can't tell you here, and I was temporarily transferred to a production company called GANSIS, Inc. that Toshimichi Otsuki had started, while still being a member of J.C,.

GAINAX alone could not produce an anime for television.

So J.C. became involved in "Kare Kano" as the prime contractor.

Plus, we were producing "Sorcerous Stabber Orphen" at the same time...

Talking about it reminds me of many things (with a melancholic feeling).

You were in your 20s at the time. How many years had you been a producer?

I think it's been about a year since my title on my business card became producer.

But I had been doing the same kind of work since I was 20 years old...plus, I knew Anno, so I thought it would be okay.

After episode 14, Hiroki Sato, who was one of the producers, became the director. So you worked hard as a producer all by yourself?

Well, Sato was in charge of the GAINAX side contact and did not serve as a producer from the first place. So, I guess I could say that there was not much change.

But it was a time when the studio, which was already in a mess, became even more confused.

I particularly remember around episode 20 or later, when we caught up with the original manga that had been serialized in a manga magazine and ran out of original material to generate a script.

Then, a copy of the manga serialized in that month's magazine arrived at the studio from GAINAX in a cut bag (a bag containing the original artwork and animation). They said, "Here is the scenario."

I was like, "Are you kidding me?" I was pissed off.

I started making episode 20 and after without hesitation, saying, "If you guys are going to do whatever you want, I'm going to do whatever I want."

After Anno dropping out of the director's chair, the GAINAX staff was in a mode where they would participate in only parts they wanted to do.

When Anno started the project "Kare Kano," he originally had in mind the theme of developing talented young staff and sending them off to the next stage.

“If so, why don't I select young staff members to help me move forward with the production!”

I then told Yuichi Takahashi and Masahiro Fujii, who were inbetweeners* at J.C. at the time, "You will be in charge of storyboards and animation direction from tomorrow."

I asked Iku Suzuki, an experienced staff member, to direct and follow up with them.

I felt like I couldn't continue the production without some positive merit.

I promoted some young staff members but later the company got very angry at me (laughs).

There are senior members in the field of original drawings.

In addition, the company has a process of training young staff members from animation to original picture and then to animation director.

Nevertheless, I jumped over the line and suddenly promoted them to the position of animation director (laughs).

Not only the two of them, but also many other staff members were promoted from inbetweeners* to original picture directors on my own initiative...

No wonder they were angry at me.

*Often the first job for newcomers. Adding movement to the original image.

After episode 14, we have Anno’s name as director in Katakana (one type of Japanese character). Did you leave his name alone?

We have his name because he worked on the sound (dubbing).

That's a surprising situation, isn't it?

It is surprising. It is a rare experience.



Enjoy this post?

Buy Rikki a pizza

More from Rikki