Audio Commentary/Episode 8

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I'm Such a Fool
Commentary Aoi Yuuki
Chiwa Saitou
Junichiro Taniguchi

The 8th episode features the chief animation director, Junichiro Taniguchi, in addition to our standard Aoi Yuuki (Madoka) and Chiwa Saitou (Homura).

This is the guy who makes sure that the series and characters all have a sort of unity. It's the sort of job where if you do it well, you're not noticed. He says that honestly, the people who keyframe and tween have the harder job overall. There are about 10 such animators for the series. And then there are one or two who help do corrections to the drawings.

He says that regarding the content, they all are surprised every time they're told what to draw.

Next, Saitou asks about how they decide on facial expressions, since the show is big on using the facial closeups to really evoke the emotions that the characters are feeling. Taniguchi says that he himself would often be doing the faces. He says that he'd be making weird faces (looking at himself in the mirror), but that they turned out nicely on the screen.

Yuuki asks about the wideface style. Taniguchi says that they certainly start out with very 'kyun' style smiles, but by this point, it's really distressing and dark. The wideface style really works well for these sad expressions...both here and in the later seasons of Hidamari Sketch. Saitou says it really hurt when acting some of those sad scenes, but it must have been just the same for the artists drawing them.

Kyubey is probably pretty easy, says Yuuki. He just moves his tail around, no facial expressions. They start discussing if he's trying to express something with his tail. When irritated, Yuuki's cats will whap their tails on the floor, and when they're interested in something their tails go up.

Saitou then asks about the artists, since they often skip episodes like working on the first one and then the fifth one...would they need to be filled in on how the story is going? Taniguchi says that that is the producer's job, to give them an understanding of how to draw.

They then talk about how difficult the characters are to draw. Taniguchi says that Hitomi is the hardest, because she's constantly filtering her emotions. On the other hand, Homura is easy. The cool beauty.

Finally, here in episode 8, Homura says 'Madoka' in front of someone else, instead of 'Kaname Madoka'. She's really shaken up at this point.

Next is the scene in the train, with Miki Shinichirou and Tobita Nobuo playing the role of the hosts. Apparently, Urobuchi Gen basically pulled this conversation he actually heard in person on the train. Saitou thought it was pretty amazing to pull in big-name seiyuu for such a small role.

There really are a lot of scenes wher the characters just stop and think or talk. Saitou asks about how much they have to think about other items in the scene. For example, when Madoka is talking with Kyubey, they have to have the CG artists provide most of the motion in the scene. The fountain is moving around and changing colors. In this scene, Taniguchi says that they want the viewer to be noticing things...subconsciously? Temporarily have your attention drawn away from the characters, probably.

Then there's the big scene where everyone cheers, and then... Homura comes up. This is the real first time where Homura breaks down. It was written in the script for Saitou to express that Homura hasn't run out of power, it was just emotion that caused her to lose strength.

Finally is the scene in the train station. Sayakaaaaaa..... 'Atashi tte...hontou baka' Now it's fully a tragedy.

And here we have Kyubey explaining exactly what's going on. In the initial airing, Kyubey narrowed his eyes, but remember that Kyubey's not supposed to make facial expression, but they corrected it for the blu-rays. ...

It's pretty interesting how different commentaries are difficult to summarize. Sometimes the staff guests are easier to write up, but other times the commentaries are easier to write with seiyuu as the guests.