Audio Commentary/Episode 6

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This Just Isn't Right
こんなの絶対おかしいよ
Commentary Aoi Yuuki
Chiwa Saitou
Yukihiro Miyamoto

The 6th commentary features the 'series director' Yukihiro Miyamoto.

They start out asking what exactly a 'series director' does. They've seen him around, but the seiyuu don't really know what is role is. He says jokingly that he basically wanders around and says "Please do this". He also though generally gives advice on the contents of the series; the general flow of things and such. He'd be correcting things such as overall lighting saying "it's night, it should be dark". Maybe he had a big role in the revisions between the TV airing and the blu-rays? They made a lot of such continuity corrections.

Then they joke that theyll now go ahead and spoil the whole rest of the series, since by the time this commentary was recorded they finally finished recording episode 12.

So next, Saitou asks the general circumstances around the planning of the work. Miyamoto says that they were doing Arakawa Under the Bridge, and they couldn't fit Madoka into the schedule at that time, and then Denpa Onna was on the table, so it was kinda fit into the schedule fairly suddenly. But when it was time for work to start, they basically gave it to him and said "Make atmosphere". He did say that instead of making too many changes, he just left it to Akiyuki Shinbo (the main director of the series). But when changes would be made, it was up to him to get things done.

They next talk about the changes between TV and BD; there were a lot of things that they simply couldn't finish in time for the TV airing, but that they still wanted to do and so those were put off for the Blu-rays. Clearly, they were definitely in a rush. Saitou said that although she was already used to working with Shaft, she found that the drawings that they were dubbing to were far rougher than usual. "Aren't these drawings kinda bad?" And then when it actually aired, her reaction was "Huh? THAT got finished in time? Did anyone die doing this?" Miyamoto does say that if anyone died, it was probably Abe Nozomu, the animation director, who really worked on the action scenes. Apparently, he'd die every time a cut would be changed, and so would the person whose job it was to make the actual animation changes.

Due to the state of the pictures (sometimes just "..."!), Saitou felt strongly that they were relying on the animators to follow things up. But there were benefits. Normally, you do more animation before the voice-overs are completed, but in this case the artists and animators get to hear the voices before putting things down on paper. So here, they got to really animate things according to the voicing, which really lets them fit better than they would have otherwise. Miyamoto said that it's significantly easier to imagine the facial expressions given the voices made beforehand.

I wonder if that is yet another part of why the dialog feels much more natural... The voice actors get to make their own interpretation of the emotions in the script, and then the art is drawn around their performance. In other series, the voice actors would have to work around facial expressions provided to them by the animators, and it's probably more forced. It makes me feel bad for the foreign language dubs of this series since the animation is fit exactly to the original performances...

Miyamoto says that his favorite character is Kyubey, because he's goal-oriented and seems like he'd follow a schedule to the T.

They next talk about quality control; in the aired version of Episode 6, there was an error in which they mix up the terms 'soul gem' and 'grief seed' and that probably didn't get corrected in time because of the overall time pressure on the series. Miyamoto apparently decided the timing of every single cut in the series, so he really has a lot of work to do...

They do talk more about Kyubey, because here he starts getting really dark. Katou Emiri (Kyubey's seiyuu) would be apologizing after each episode for "burdening everyone with darkness". Miyamoto said that Kyubey was a very helpful character, since his mouth doesn't have to be animated, and his tail flipping around is enough to make him look cute. Laziness for the win. And it's not like it appeared lazy, it's a really great effect in-story.

He finished up saying that everyone really was immersed in the show. Even the animators would say "I haven't seen up to here on air yet, so I don't want to animate this part". Even the people making the series didn't want spoilers!