Fans eagerly crowded into the Otakon panel room to spend an hour with a few special guests – original light novel creator and screenwriter Wataru Watari , Producer Masazumi Katō , and voices of Kakeru Tobe, Horii Tea Ceremony . Guests greeted the cheering crowd and shared their roles in the production of the episode. Then they surprised the attendees with video messages from the voice actors Takuya Eguchi (Hikiya Hachiman), Saori Hayami (Yukina Yukinoshita) and Nao Tōyama (Yui Yuigahama).
The guests also took the time to answer questions from the host and the audience, and revealed the tidbits in the production of the crew, such as the actor selection process – Du said that almost all actors are instant was chosen, except for Eguchi who played Hachiman. Three other candidates were also running for the role, but ultimately chose Eguchi because “[he] has the greatest future potential, which means he’s not that great. But that’s what I saw in Yawata! Simple definition that has to be Sex.”
Asked by an audience member if there was a chance for a few more seasons, Kato replied brazenly, “We’ve covered all the novels at the moment, so really It’s over to let Mr. Du write some more,” Du Zai replied, “I’m definitely interested in writing more, so it’s up to your support to motivate me.” This drew thunderous applause.
Another viewer mentioned that the club members spent a lot of time planning things that ended up not that important, and asked if this happened in any part of the light novel or anime creative process. Wataru replied with a smile: “For me, writing a novel is sometimes one thing. A lot of effort goes into something trivial.” Wearing a New York Yankees hat, Horii enthusiastically used a baseball metaphor in his answer , he replied, “I’ll go to the studio as much as I can, sometimes home runs, sometimes outs. But sometimes it’s just…safe.”
We had a one-on-one interview with Watari, Great opportunity for Kato and Horii to dig deeper.
is very popular worldwide. As you both begin your personal journeys with this title – as creators, producers, actors – do you think you’ll have so many fans of this work overseas?
Ferry: I didn’t see it really, as you probably know, this anime is about normal high school life in a relatively microscopic environment centered around a high school student. We did not expect this to resonate with the suffering of American students, or people around the world and their own suffering and way of life.
Horii: I didn’t expect it to be like this It is also very popular worldwide. Being summoned to America like this makes me so happy for this anime and I’m excited to share my love for this anime with everyone here.
Kato: As a producer, I The project started in the second season, when the novel was already selling well in Japan, but I didn’t expect it to be so popular in North America. By being invited here, I got confirmation. I am very happy.
Have you ever been surprised that things like comedy and romance can transcend language barriers so well?
Ferry: I actually didn’t expect – especially when it comes to comedy – that this comedy would resonate with North American readers because the comedy I do is relatively Japanese because it focuses on Word games. Because of this, I wasn’t sure at first, but seeing the magic of translation and editing on localized versions, I was impressed with the effort they put into adopting my comedic elements.
Horii: I didn’t expect to cross the language barrier comedy elements. I’m glad it did because now I can share all these fun moments with the SNAFU family here.
Kato: 8511125 For me, I’m happy with the presence of these elements and everything, but I actually think it’s also about the times, because this anime was the first anime ten years ago. If we go back further, say ten years – then, let’s say a total of Years – I wonder if North America accepts the same elements. I think fans in North America might have a better understanding of Japanese anime over the years.
I think a medium like anime does remove some cultural barriers between countries. In that case, I think it’s a little bit of a privilege to be a cultural ambassador, but it’s also stressful. Do you find it challenging, or do you simply not think about it when you make your product? 8511125
Watari: There may be some pressure, but the fact that we were invited to the US was just that – we actually got fan letters from across the ocean as well. what can I say? They are like our source of strength! When you look at Twitter and similar platforms, you see tons of tweets and messages, almost like a bullet storm, and you just see how many people are excited about our work. So I see it as a source of strength. Maybe one day I can be a bridge from Japan to the rest of the world. who knows? I want to go to that one day. It’s an effort.
Horii: As a Japanese voice actor, I’m honored to work with such great content that people around the world love. Here we can witness firsthand how much people love this anime, and I think yes, maybe one day, we can understand each other better, like the whole idea of ”love and peace,” right?
Kato: 8511125 I’m going from the anime From the perspective of producers, merchants and content creators. As a producer, I want the things I like and the Japanese audience to like to remain high quality, but I also want to be able to sell those things all over the world, including North America. We have some great games and everything in the US, and I believe that one day – as a businessman – if I can be in the same market as well, that’s what I’m striving for. In Japan, 2.5-D stage plays are gaining popularity. Anime is 2-D, live action is 3-D, and 2.5-D will be the reality of anime on stage. I hope this catches up in North America as well.
We are ready! Bring it on!
I’m actually somewhere online I see that you (Du) didn’t participate in many clubs in high school. However, this wildly popular series revolves around an unusual club. Will you join this club? 8511125
Watari: Ummmmmmmmmmmm…well…if I don’t know who’s in the club, I might have made a mistake somewhere in there and I might have joined it. Maybe. But if I knew everyone there, especially Hachiman, I would probably stay away from there. (laughs)
The series is a comedy, but it also contains a lot of heart. There are many sweet moments. Do you find it challenging to find those tender moments in all of comedy? 8511125
Watari: While I personally have no difficulty writing them, I think when readers or observers think the anime or novel is just a comedy, they will see things like depressing scenes or romantic scene or something. There may be a discrepancy between expectations and what we expect in anime. But I want to write a life story for these characters, I don’t think the comedy or romance really stands up on their own, totally on their own. They are an integral part of a person’s story. It’s part of human drama, and I believe in life, there are moments in life, you have those comedy moments and you have sad moments and happy moments. I wanted to write about Hachiman’s life and all the elements associated with it. If you’re familiar with this series of Japanese series, Taiga, it’s about history, and the great flow of history. I kind of want to write something like this.
gentlemen. Horii, your character (Kakuto Tobe) is interesting. Emotionally, he wears a mask all the time. Is that what you thought when you read his lines?
Horii: I think Toby is kind of a mood maker in a sense. I think what he wants to do is, wherever he is, he wants everyone to have a good time. There are times where I think Toby doesn’t really show the parts of his story, where he doesn’t appear, but I think when he’s in front of everyone, he’s kind of focused on everyone having fun. So if I can communicate that, it means I’m doing it right.
In the United States, there is a concept called “hype man”. Your character is like the ultimate hype man.
So in terms of production, I know A little delay due to COVID. Does this make production planning more challenging?
Kato: In the third season, a lot was affected by the new coronavirus. Not that one person is affected or anything, but more of a company-wide schedule. In Japan, so we had to delay the animation by three months. Luckily for us, we were able to show season two during that time, so it actually ended up being pretty good in Japan.
This is a good time to be on a global scale because I think people need something at that time Cheer them up.
Kato: If we do our part to make the world a better place, then I’m happy. (laughs)
When we started wrapping things up, I had a question that inspired Mr. Horii’s character and a SNAFU scene. Would you rather be romantically rejected face-to-face by your crush, or have someone like Yawata save you from rejection?
Horii: I love Yawata, and the fact that Yawata remembered and saved Toby…I want to be in that situation too. I have to say I’d rather Hachiman intervene so I could be “Whoa Whoah Whoah!” (a baseball umpire). I would definitely go, “Bah! All going well! Cool!” Yawata was a great helper.
Ferry: 8511125 In that case , I also want to be rescued by Hachiman. Think about it – if you’re rejected face-to-face, there’s life after that rejection. A high school student’s heart can easily be broken. I didn’t want to suffer the trauma of that rejection, so yes, I wanted to be saved by Yawata too.
Thank you all. Do you have anything to say to your fans? 8511125
Watari: Thank you for supporting SNAFU for so long. In a sense, it’s a strange story centered on Japan in the small prefecture of Chiba – it’s very specific to a country and a place. So you in North America might find it a little weird sometimes, like what happens in a very specific part of Japan. But this is actually modeled after the real location and everything. While we may still be locked down by COVID, maybe take a moment to watch the series a few more times. Once COVID is over, come to Japan, go to Chiba and enjoy being the foundation of SNAFU in Japan.