Editorial office Shueisha shared an interview with Keisuke Seshimoanimation producer in the studios MAP for the anime adaptation of the manga he wrote and illustrated Tatsuki Fujimoto, The man with the chainsaw. In the interview, the publisher inquired about the behind-the-scenes aspects of the production, how the company became interested in the project, and other aspects of interest such as author involvement.
- Why did MAPPA decide to finance 100% of its own production costs instead of the production committee method, where several companies finance the production costs?
- For our part, we had in mind the idea of making a better animated version of “The Man with the Chainsaw”. We talked about what kind of structure would be better and we thought that if we financed 100% of the project, we would have more freedom in business and expression. This does not mean that “the system of production boards does not give creative freedom”. Many works are carried out under the guidance of an understanding team.
- However, our goal is to visualize it in the best possible way, and to present “Chainsaw Man” in a way that the audience enjoys the most. In order to achieve this goal, we felt that it would be better to continue to create interesting content with only Shueisha and our company, instead of creating content with various leaders and a mix of different ideas.
- The fact that twelve artists perform the final theme of the show every week was possible only thanks to the financing of the company itself.
- Yes, when we released the presentation video in June 2021, we were contacted by several record companies. While deciding on various options for the theme music, director Nakayama informed us that he wanted to make the ending close to the content of each episode if we were going to do it, and when we were thinking about what to do, MAPPA said, “If we always use the same sequence, we can change the ending every episode.”
- But then we thought that the ending sequence of each episode should be changed to make it interesting, so of course there was a discussion about whether there was enough space on the page. So we talked about it with the director and the site staff, and they said, ‘Let’s do it.’
- Ryuu Nakayama, who is directing the project, is a first-time director of animation for television. I understand that Mr. Seshimo made you an offer, but for what reason did you offer it to Mr. Nakayama?
- I wanted to work with a new team, with the creators I am most interested in, to create the work entrusted to me. First of all, we producers think about which form would be best for visualizing a work. Then a picture of address and expression is developed, and the address is sought from someone who can perform address and expression or is good at it.
- We thought about doing the same thing with The Chainsaw Man, but since the original was a “different color” from Jump’s previous work, we thought it would be more interesting to have it directed by someone new and unconventional, rather than someone with an established background. direction and expression formula.
- Then the director Nakayama came to my mind. Ever since I started working in the industry, I’ve been aware that director Nakayama is an excellent animator. I was very impressed by his work on animation and directing some short films that were being created and I wanted to work with him one day, so I offered him that this is the right time for it.
- The main character, Denji, is portrayed by new voice actor Kikunosuke Toya in his first leading role in television animation. As with the choice of director Nakayama, you wanted someone to play the role without a set formula.
- You’re right. We didn’t decide the cast based on the image of the characters’ existing voices, but by thinking about the voices of Denji as Denji and Makima as Makima. For this reason, we spent a lot of time auditioning, and the voice actors went through several selection processes, including tape and stand-up auditions. It was then decided that Toya-san would be Denji, Kusunoki-san Makima, Fayrouz-san Power, and Sakata-san Aki.
- I think you mentioned when you announced the cast that you cast people with voices that were close to the quality of the character’s voice. What points did you pick up during the auditions?
- We pay attention to the type of vocalization they usually use to speak. Before an audition, voice actors always come up to the staff booth and say, “Thank you so much for your time today.” I remember the tension that ran through the cabin members when Toya-san and Sakata-san said, “Please, I’m in your care,” knowing that someone with potential had entered the cabin.
- Did the original author, Tatsuki Fujimoto, make any suggestions?
- There are many occasions in which we communicate, but of all, my favorite is this request: “My intention is the first: I want to see good designs. I will do my best to get it. If I have to put my stamp on any document, I will do it here and now“. I think it was probably a joke, but it struck me as a very undisciplined opinion of Mr. Fujimoto. This is also the reason why we seek Mr. Fujimoto’s opinion every time we decide on the design and cast of each character, check the scripts, visual expressions, etc.
- What was Dr. Fujimoto’s reaction when he saw the production process?
- He didn’t say as much as you might imagine, so we didn’t get more detailed comments or requests. However, when he was checking material in the finalization process at the time of recording and sound, his face would sometimes relax when he saw a character with a particularly good performance or movement. He laughs and has fun, and that makes me happy as a producer.
- As the owner of the project, I wanted to adapt it as much as possible to the intentions of Mr. Fujimoto, who created “Chainsaw Man” from scratch, and the vision of Mr. Hayashi, the editor. So for us who work in animation production, the motivation is that the original author, Fujimoto-sensei, is happy.
Source: Shueisha official website