Interview anime chainsaw man Screenplay by Hiroshi Seshko
The TV「 anime Chainsaw Man,」 based on an original story by Tatsuki Fujimoto, has begun broadcasting.
The anime production of this work, which has gained a devoted fan base, is handled by MAPPA, creators of Attack on Titan The Final Season and Jujutsu Kaisen, and the script for this work is written by Hiroshi Seko, who has worked on numerous hit anime scripts.
Seko, who has been entrusted with the scriptwriting of numerous anime productions in recent years, was interviewed about the appeal of “anime Chainsaw Man” from his point of view, and what he thought about while writing the script in order to translate that appeal to anime.
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Love and respect for the original work is the starting point for the screenplay
–What was your impression when you read the original story of “The Chainsaw Man”?
Hiroshi Seko: I thought it was a very cinematic manga. There are few monologues, the camera work is sometimes dynamic and sometimes subtle, and there seems to be a constant flow of air on the screen (for example, there is always dust flying and wind blowing). I felt like I was watching a good quality two-hour action movie. It is full of intense energy and power that does not let go of the reader once picked up, and when writing the scenario, I was conscious of not cooling down the heat of the original work in any way.
-You have written many scripts for anime adaptations of popular manga.What do you pay most attention to when working on a script based on an original work?
Seko: In my case, I am often in charge of adapting original manga works into anime, and I meet the original creators, all of whom are literally grinding their bodies and souls while drawing the manga. And I have love and respect for the works created in this way. That is the starting point for me. Based on that, I read the original work carefully and deepen my understanding of it while writing the script. This way, for example, when I create an original scenefor Anime, I think I can take the correct approach to the original manga work. On the other hand, if I have to cut a scene due to the length of the anime, I think can cut the content correctly. Adding or subtracting scenes without understanding the original work can result in a broken story or a distorted structure, and if that happens, I think everyone will be unhappy, including the fans, the original author, and the animation producers. Therefore, for this “animeChainsaw Man,” whether it is the series composition or the script, we are proceeding in a manner that Mr. Fujimoto has confirmed and agreed to. In any case, in the case of TV animation, the length of time can never be changed, so I always think about how to bring the work to the best state within the given time.
-I understand that “Chainsaw Man” is a manga like a movie. What do you pay attention to when writing a script for such an animated ?
Seko: Although it is a manga like a movie, as long as it is a manga, it is drawn on paper, so I always think about how to maximize its charm and interest when it is made into an animated film. however, we take different approaches depending on the work. For example, in the case of 「Jujutsu Kaisen,」 I consider it a 「manga-like manga,」 so I created the script for the original scenes with a manga approach.
Seko: As a basic premise, whenever we add original scenes to an anime, we always pay close attention to not detract from the charm of the original work and to not cause any conflicts with the original work. However, there are various reasons for adding original scenes, such as when a scene needs to be added simply because of a problem with the length of the anime, when the space between frames is too long in the anime, to supplement the space between frames, or to further improve the resolution of the depiction in the original work, or to supplement it.
-Are there any places in the first episode of anime Chainsaw Man that you stuck to and added scenes to?
Seko: One scene that is not in the original story is when Denji is running away from the zombies, we added a scene where he knocks over a locker to block the zombies from getting in his way. This is an action often seen in zombie movies and “The Walking Dead,” but I wanted to do that “knocking over the locker” scene, so I added it.
-What are the key aspects of working on an animated TV script?
Seko: First, as a phase before actually creating the series composition, I discuss with the director and decide how much of the original story will be visualized. Once that has been decided, we then consider what will be done in each of the episodes and divide the story into sections, which are then adjusted with the manga artist’s confirmation of the original work. I believe that this process of assigning the stories is the most important part of the series structure. In my case, I place importance on whether each episode has a proper theme and how to draw the audience in at the end. I also think about whether or not the story feels like 5 minutes once you start watching it, but that’s just in the scriptwriting stage. In any case, the importance I place on these things is completely influenced by foreign dramas.
-Did you have any requests from Mr. Fujimoto, the original author, or Mr. Rin Shihei, the editor in charge?
Seko: There was no particular request from the two of you. There was not a single request for us to do this or not to do that. Of course, Mr. Fujimoto and Mr. Rin read all the scripts I wrote, and there were times when I asked for their interpretation of details or asked them questions such as “What does this mean? We also added a lot of original scenes in order to make the anime fit in the time frame, and we were grateful that they said yes to those parts as well.
The team at Anime Chainsaw Man is energetic and cleaver.
-What kind of work did you and director Ryu Nakayama exchange?
Seko: We often exchanged specific requests, such as “I would like to have this to-script (the part that instructs the characters’ actions) a little earlier,” or “I would like to add a little description here.
-In another interview, Director Nakayama said that he wanted to do take a realistic approach to “anime Chainsaw Man. Did you have any specific conversations like that when you were discussing the script?
Seko: I learned after the script meeting that the director wanted to take a realistic approach, but I also thought of 「Chainsaw Man」 as a manga like a movie, and that was the direction I was going with the script, so I think our intentions were aligned from the beginning.
-This is an animated work with many young people on the main staff, including director Nakayama. What do you think of their work sense from your point of view?
Seko: My first impression is that they are very powerful and energetic. But they are not only energetic, they are also very clever and smart. In terms of the industry, he is a full generation younger than me (although I think his actual age is different (……)). When I started in the animation industry, most people were still drawing by hand with pencil on paper, but I think it’s fair to say that the directors are completely of the digital generation. In “anime Chainsaw Man,” it is easy to see the flashy depictions, but the everyday depictions are also very appealing, and it is in these scenes and I think that the director’s realistic approach, which he is particular about, is utilized. In animation, it is very difficult to depict such everyday movements as walking, standing up or sitting down from a chair, pouring water into a glass, etc. with natural movements, but I think it is great that the director took on such a challenge head-on.
-You mentioned that 「Chainsaw Man」 is a manga work that is like a live-action film.How do you think live-action-like and manga-like differ for you, Mr. Seko? I think this is a sensory aspect and varies from person to person.
Seko: Certainly, it depends on the person. Also, it is completely my personal feeling, so I can’t explain it well, but if we limit ourselves to superficial aspects, I think that in the case of animation, there are many insert shots, flashbacks, image scenes, and monologues, and they are often shot from angles that would not be possible in real life. Also, my impression is that animation is busier in terms of cutting than live action. However, it is not the case that slow pauses and long takes make it look like live-action. For example, even in the movement of the characters, it is not the case that tracing the actual human movements as they are will make it look like live-action, but it is difficult.
-Seko, you came from the production process, but did you always want to be a screenwriter?
Seko:I originally went to a live-action film school to become a live-action director, but when I actually tried shooting a film as part of my practical training, it didn’t suit me at all. I woke up early in the morning on a very cold day and went to a distant place with heavy luggage, and when I came back late at night and thought I could take a break, I had to go to another distant place early in the morning again the next day to …….(Laugh). This went on for two weeks or so. I thought this was a bit tough. After graduation, I had a little chance to try my hand at animation, and I got a job at an animation company, where I became a production assistant. I was going to be a director at first, but I was hopelessly inept at drawing and had no idea how to read a timesheet, so I thought it would be impossible for me to direct, o I decided to write a script. It was pretty haphazard (laugh).
Message to fans who will be watching the anime Chainsaw Man
I see. It is true that directing live-action and animation is done in a very different way. Lastly, do you have a message for those who will be watching “anime Chainsaw Man”?
Seko: I feel that in this day and age, life is “cramped,” or that there is a great sense of entrapment, and I don’t want to say that it is as bad as Denji, but I think it is okay to live the way you want to live (while obeying the law, of course) with your head somewhat unscrewed, instead of getting bogged down in the details.I hope that this work will make you feel that way, even if only a little. I believe that people can gain courage when they come into contact with good works of art, not just animations, and I myself have been saved in this way, so I would be happy if this work gives people even a little bit of courage.
Thank you for watching. See you soon. (*´ω｀)ｂ
chainsaw man. (World’s largest number of translations)