At Japan Expo, we are very honored to interview Gen Urobuchi and also be graced with the presence of Nitro+ president Takaki Kosaka. Let’s begin.
Translated by Emmanuel Bochew.
How has your trip to the US so far this summer?
It is the first time I have been to San Francisco. It is a very beautiful city. On the first day of our visit we went to the Golden Gate Bridge. Seeing the bay view was really pleasant.
Every time I am watching movies in Japan, the city and the bridge always seem to get destroyed. I didn’t know the city was so beautiful in person.
The bridge might not be around next time I visit so I’m glad I got to see it.
How you think about your work being very popular in the west?
Some of my work has been set in America, so I am very pleased and honored that my work is loved here.
Are there any differences between writing a light novel and writing an anime?
When I am creating a light novel, I am creating it mostly alone. When I am working on anime there is a director and the staff with a point of view on my works. There usually are several revisions regarding the storyboard. What is interesting is what will come back. It’s a very interesting part of the work.
During your early years was there anything that inspired or sparked your imagination to start writing the way that you have done so far?
It’s quite an odd question, because I really wanted to start writing when I read lots of Stephen King stories. His stories were quite astonishing and interesting.
Do you feel any of your works are underrated or wished was a little bit more popular?
The fact is that I really don’t care about the popularity and also really focus on my work. Every time I always focus on how best to proceed with the next scene. My focus is on the action and story, never the popularity.
You’ve usually stated in past interviews that you have connections to your characters. In Aldnoah Zero, which is currently airing, what do you think is your connection to Inaho?
I did not create the characters in Aldnoah. I made the mainframe of the story until the preliminary version. But in fact Inaho’s character is different than what I wrote. I don’t really have a connection with this character, so this is an exception.
How do you feel about working with Ei Aoki again in Aldnoah?
Aoki-san is a pleasure to work with on storyboard. With Aoki-san on the team it feels like a sure thing. The vision of these animations will be perfect.
Last question: a lot of the work you’ve done brings out a lot of strong emotions in a way that it kind of questions the morality of heroism and justice. Is there anything related to you that makes us think of ourselves being a hero or yourself as one?
A hero is one that doesn’t want to be a hero. A hero is a one with all the possibility to make the choice but take the responsibility of the moment. And it’s really something hero has got to do. For example, in 9/11 some of the plane’s passengers fought with the terrorists. In Fukushima’s radiation leak, some people went and tried to fix the nuclear plant and died. But they have to do it. They are heroes. They don’t try to be heroes. They take responsibility and try to do what is right.