Nitro+ Q&A Panels at Animagic 2013

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The Q&A includes possible spoilers for all of nitro+ works, take care and read at your own risk.

Contents

Format

Saturday

  • Madoka Magica Panel – Gen Urobuchi
  • A screening of the first Madoka movie (jp BD, en sub), afterwards half an hour Q&A, half an hour signing.

Sunday

    • Gargantia Panel – Gen Urobuchi and Takaki Kosaka
    • A screening of the first Gargantia ep (jp BD, en UT), afterwards 45 minutes of Q&A consisting of a "Gargantia making-of" presentation, a trailer for the different works of nitro+ and a little rock paper scissors competition with neat nitro+ related prizes. After that about half an hour Q&A and half an hour signing.

Madoka Magica Panel

Trivia

Although it mentions in this interview that Mami is the strongest of the three, various battle scenes through various media has consistently proven that Kyoko is the strongest. - Drama CD 3, Different Story, Madoka Magica Portable, etc.

Q: Madoka seems to be inspired by Goethe's Faust and in Psycho-Pass you quoted

works from Max Weber and other German writers. How did you discover them and how did they inspire you?

A: The designers from SHAFT thought of inserting the quotes from Faust. I only noticed them when people approached me asking about them. My main inspirations are eroge and classical literature.
Q: With Gargantia a post-apocalyptic setting, Psycho-Pass a cyberpunk-distopy - writing stories with different genres, which do you consider your favorite?
A: I really liked Psycho-Pass' cyberpunk setting, so yeah, it would be that I guess.
Q: There is cat in the opening of the Madoka series, yet it never appears in the anime. What's going on with that?
A: I really don't know myself. The only specification was to create a very fluffy, happy opening which doesn't hint at the events to come. I would like to know what happened with this cat myself.
Q: I heard on the internet that there were initially plans to include a Chibi-Asassin to accompany Rider and Waver in Fate/Zero, why was idea that discarded?
A: I talked it over with Nasu and it would've put the focus too much on Waver and Rider. They would be the protagonists instead of Kiritsugu.
Q: What was the overall production cost of Fate/Zero
A: When it comes to money I'm lost. No idea.
Q: If Hitomi Shizuki were to become a magical girl, what would she wish for?
A: For Kyuubey to disappear immediately.
Q: Did Homura see the witch forms of Kyouko and Mami in the timelines she lived through?
A: Probably.
Q: Aside of Madoka's goddess form, rank the magical girls by their power.
A: Mami > Kyouko > Sayaka. It depends really on the situation though, while Mami is really strong she goes down easily when she doesn't pay attention. Homura is the strongest when no one finds out how she uses her powers.
Q: Why is the life of magical girls in Madoka so terribly sad, why did it end this way?
A: I don't think the ending was too sad, to be honest.
Q: Blassreiter is set in a fictional Germany. Why there?
A: That was Itano's idea - he went to the Animagic immediately before thinking about Blassreiter and wanted to include the scenery and the feelings he experienced there.
Q: The Fate/Zero anime lacks a lot of scenes from the F/Z novels. What do you think about it?
A: I don't know if "lacking" is the right word - I really like the focus the F/Z anime set and I think an adaption shouldn't be exactly like the original but transfer well to the new medium.
Q: Kyuubey is such a rational character, yet why is he so hated?
A: Doing everything "right" does not equal being universally accepted.
Q: What is your favorite Madoka character?
A: I liked writing Sayaka's story the most, so it would be her.
Q: Did Homura get her weapon from Madoka?
A: The weapon Homura got filled the hole that Madoka left when she couldn't use the bow anymore. [Note: I'm not sure if I got this right, maybe someone who still remembers the details of Madoka's ending properly could fill me in with the details of this]
Q: Will there ever be an anime adaption of Saya no Uta?
A: Because of the contents, there is no way a producer will risk their money on that.

[Note: Addition from the second panel, where the same question was asked, starts here:] When the comic version was released in America, we thought about doing another adaption if it's accepted well, possibly a live-action adaption, but it did not turn out this way. [Note: Shouts from the audience for a kickstarter; Takaki Kosaka added laughing that he still tries his best for a possible live-action-adaption]

Q: If Saya were to meet Kyuubey, what would she wish for.
A: I can't possibly think of that. Since both are aliens, I cannot even think about how they'd react to each other when they'd meet.
Q: The Phantom anime ended differently than in the corresponding ending in the game, what do you thought about that?
A: I thought they did a good job.
Q: Is Homura in love with Madoka?
A: Probably.
Q: Why did you choose to portray a homosexual love?
A: I don't think it is that special - a really strong friendship turns into a lovelike-relationship without the sexual attraction, in their case.
Q: Will there be a second season of Madoka Magica?
A: Nothing decided yet. [Note: The translator left that out, but I heard him saying "Ah, I can't talk about that yet" before saying that they haven't decided on anything yet.]
Q: How did you think about the forms of witches in the anime?
A: That was also purely thought of by the people of SHAFT - I thought about things like Godzilla before I saw the first concept art for Walpurgisnacht - I was like "how can Homura possible fight against something like this?".
Q: Why was the Madoka movie shown a recap?
A: The movies are for those who haven't seen the series, but they'll also be able to see the new continuation with the third movie.
Q: How many timelines did Homura go through?
A: Approaching 100.
Q: If you lived in a Psycho-Pass-like world, would you have problems with your crime coefficent?
A: Oh and how I would have problems. That would be very bad indeed.
Q: There are lot of historical figures shown in Madoka, like Anne Frank, Cleopatra or Jeanne D'Arc, who are said to have been witches. What were their wishes?
A: That is not really known since society only sees the side that history brought to them, but their wishes were probably closely related to their historic achievements.
Q: There is a character in Revolutionary Girl Utena that is called Miki - he has short blue hair and is in unrequited love, like Sayaka Miki. Was she inspired by that character from Utena?
A: She was not inspired by that, but now that you've said that - I can totally see the connection! What a coincidence.

Gargantia Panel

Presentation "Gargantia making-of"

Bandai Visual, Production IG and nitro+ came together intending to create an anime with nice mecha or robots. Then they fetched Urobuchi and he worked on a possible concept. When the director Kazuya Murata was added to team, he brought in his own ideas which influenced the concept - essentially an old black-and-white sketch of the Gargantia fleet he'd love to include in an anime someday. Urobuchi worked the concepts over with having that sketch in mind.

The original title of the anime was supposed to be "Oceanus". [Note: If my memory doesn't fail me, this is still the name of the production comittee of Gargantia, to be precise オケアノス] but with the change in concepts it turned into what it is now. The concept art gave off the strong feeling of a close bonded community at sea and they wanted to capture this better.

After the scripts were finished, the character designer (Hanaharu Naruko) was asked to draw designs based on them. They pretty much took the first drafts, only Ledo's space suit was worked over by a scifi-specialist from nitro+ (Makoto Ishiwata) who also worked on the design of the mechanical calibers. Chamber was originally a bit more broad and had green linings instead of what is white-orange now, but the director Murata asked to change that and make him a bit slimmer so he could stage him better in fighting scenes.

Then they showed some pictures of the finalized character designs for the anime, commenting on the Bikini-shots that they wanted to include fanservice (comment by Urobuchi: I'm really bad at writing fanservice scenes, so I asked other writers to do that for me.), continuing with how Chamber's energy field and his body is constructed via CGI. The next point was the conception of the whole 5km long fleet with it's different ships - they put a lot of work into that, took care to give every ship a different design and a purpose (next to industrial ships there are also ships for agriculture etc.). Then add the music and until now what was concept only goes into production to become an actual anime.

Q&A

Q: Why did you decide to become a writer and what were your first steps towards achieving that?
A: I read short stories by Stephen King and was really impressed by them, and I thought it would be nice to become a writer. I wrote some stories myself but did not really come to terms with it. So I thought I'd apply for writing at nitro+ and that's how I ended up there.
Q: There are a lot of light novel translations for english-speaking fans, but official releases are scarce in the western world. What do you think about that?
A: I went to a bookstore here and saw books that I thought could resemble light novels, but it's not easy to understand the needs of a certain country's market. There are books in the western world that don't ever cross the ocean to be released in Japan, for example.
Q: Why was the language-barrier included in Suisei no Gargantia?
A: The main theme of the Gargantia anime was to show how teens or tweens cope with the adult world upon entering it. The language is supposed to convey how the people around one seem to speak a "different language" which one has to understand first to advance in the world of adults.
Q: Where the backgrounds of the Servants for Fate/Zero specified by Nasu or did you think of them himself?
A: It was all talked over with Nasu, but I researched and thought of a lot myself.
Q: Why is Sakura conveyed the way she is in Fate/Zero? Why does she act like that towards Kariya in the end?
A: This shows that Sakura has pretty much given up with life and doesn't consider other people to cope with it either.
Q: Are you involved in the ufotable F/SN remake? Heaven's Feel is the only route not adapted yet, and since Fate/Zero is closely related to it, I thought you could be involved.
A: I don't know a lot about it, I'm not involved. But if I remember correctly it's an Unlimited Blade Works adaption.
Q: How did the language in Gargantia came to be? Some people on the internet claim it's mixed-up German, is that true?
A: The people of IG thought of that, so I'm not sure myself. Could be that German is included though. [Note: Takaki Kosaka added that it's still a secret, and we should watch out for possible reveleations concerning that]
Q: I did have problems understanding especially the first half of the first episode upon watching it, is it supposed to be that way or am I just too dumb for that?
A: I did not write the dialogue in that scene aside of Ledo's and Kugel's conversation, the techno-babble was written by a nitro+ member [Note: Sorry, didn't catch his name].
Q: Are there plans for a second season of Suisei no Gargantia?
A: The new OVA episodes are being released with the BD boxes first, aside that nothing is decided yet.
Q: You're producing quite a lot lately. Do you sometimes have writer's block and if so, how do you deal with it?
A: Mostly I just try to write and if write no matter what, something will come to be. But if it gets really bad I just sleep, watch a movie, drink alcohol etc.
Q: Was Muv-Luv an inspiration for your works? Where there any other significant inspirations?
A: Muv-Luv is in some ways quite similar, but came out at about the same time, so I think both works were influenced by the same works before them [Note: No idea about Muv-Luv, so I don't know which work is related here]. A significant inspiration for Saya no Uta was the first Silent Hill game - it made me want to create a world where the character has distorted senses.
Q: So I heard there will be a second season of Psycho-Pass, is that true?
A: Someone let it slip at a convention in the US, right? There is no deniying anymore that something is in production, but it does not necessarily has to be a second season.
Q: How did you came up with the social system of the Galactical Alliance in Gargantia?
A: I wanted to create a system which is a big contrast to the life on the Gargantia fleet. An open world and a strict hierarchical war-oriented world. In the Galactial Alliance, you have to be in the military for 16 years, starting from your birth, before you even gain first citizen rights.
Q: If the Galactical Alliance and Hideauze would fight each other in a final battle, who would

win?

A: They'd both end. The Galactical Alliance is a society with no future and the Hideauze do not consider the consequences of the battle for their species.
Q: Why did you decide to make the designs of Madoka, aside from the witches, so abstract? For example Madoka's house..
A: That is a quirk of Akiyuki Shinbou, the director - if you have seen other works by him, like Bakemonogatari, and took a look at for example Araragi's room, you'll notice that he does not really like plain, realistic backgrounds.
Q: Do you have a tip for all aspiring writers?
A: Never lose the fun when writing - that's all that matters. And if you work in a team while creating somethingthat's even more important. [Note: Addition by Takaki Kosaka "Find what you love, work on it, see it through till the end and you will succeed]

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