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Interview with director Dir. Yoshida "Tady" Naohiro in winter 2020 anime "Airborne Dragons"


This work, which directly visualizes the world view of the original comic that draws attention by describing beautiful and magnificent fantasy worlds and careful character depictions, is just excited by the publicity that has already been released.

Such a work, however, began broadcasting on Fuji TV "+ Ultra" in January 2020.

Naohiro Yoshida, the co-director of "The Knight of Sidonia, Ninth Planet," and "BLAME!"

This time, what kind of depiction did you focus on for the first director's work, Airborne Dragons? In addition, I heard plenty of where this work was fascinated in the first place.


──Please tell us your first impression of the original “Airborne Dragons” and your first impressions.


Yoshihira "Tady" Naohiro (hereinafter referred to as Yoshihira) Actually, when I was searching for a work that I wanted to animate as "Director Dragons", I met the first episode of the original and fell in love with it at the moment I saw it . It was a very unique and unique view of the world, and there was an excitement as a reader as to what kind of story will begin. Because it is a fantasy, it is not a work like "defeat the dragon with a sword and magic", it is a very casual picture atmosphere, but it was a work that thought deeply about the world view and contents and had a deep theme . On the other hand, it is very easy to understand as a manga, and it is interesting for people of all ages to read. I thought it was a work packed with fascinating elements.

How wonderful would it be to draw this worldview with CG? If you visualize this world, you can absolutely be impressed. After reading like that, I came across an image where the image spreads quickly in my head.


で す I heard you met at the stage of the first episode, but at that point you do not know how the story will develop in the future, right?


Yoshihira: In the case of ordinary manga, there are categories such as "action stuff" and "suspense", but this work was also very attractive because there was no such fixed framework. While "Airborne Dragons" is changing and changing into various styles of work, it does not lose its essential theme. In that way, I felt like a work with one straight line.

That's why I thought Polygon Pictures was the best work I wanted to spend a lot of time trying to visualize.

CG animation has a low production cost per episode, and it is difficult to go through the project itself if there is no merit to do with CG. As a result of considering the merits, so far, CG animations have become extremely flashy robots and VFX-oriented action works where monsters rampage.

At the same time, I myself wanted to create a drama with a CG animation that had a deep and memorable drama. "Airborne Dragons" was a work with all the elements, with the merit of producing with CG such as action and monsters, and also a drama where people of different generations and ways of thinking collide.



で す か When you read the first episode of the original, did you tell the producers that you want to make an animation?


Yoshihira: That's right. However, at that time it was not enough to run the producer. After that, when the first volume of the book came out, the story of animation was gradually assembled, including Kodansha (the publisher).

Above all, this work was a work that felt a fateful encounter. Fuji TV's Forest Producer asked, "I would like to ask Mr. Makoto Uesu for the screenplay," but just saw "BLAME!" (From Polygon Pictures) and said, "Let's do it together!" Also, the original creator, Takuma Kuwanohara, came to Polygon Pictures to visit just before the animation was decided ...

With such wonderful connections among people, work creation began in the whirlpool of passion that we wanted to make seriously, and to create works that can be thrilled, rather than just making fashionable things. did.


You mentioned earlier that `` Airborne Dragons '' is a work that is not restricted to categories, but I thought that being unable to express the work in one word is a difficult aspect when appealing to the outside. .


Yoshihira: I wasn't saying anything but saying, "A story about flying in the sky, hunting a big dragon, and eating it deliciously." It's just the introduction of this work, which has a story of action and everyday features in a unique world.

Also, in recent works, I think that content density is necessary, and I may get tired of just 30 minutes of action or just drawing everyday. But I thought that if you had both, you could end up with a TV series that would always be a highlight.



── A large number of human characters, dragons with complex structures, dragon boats, etc ... I felt that this work was a work that could fully utilize CG models. What were the specific advantages of drawing this work with CG?


Kihei (including the protagonists) is a member of the Queen Zaza, with 19 members, many dragons, many dishes, and some ships have complicated structures. We needed to raise them as 3D models. In the case of ordinary cell animation, there is no cost for model creation, but in the case of CG animation, you must consider the proportion of the cost of 3D models and the budget for making actual cut shots. You shouldn't be in a state where your shots aren't powerful or have no effects because you've created so many character models.

The trial and error of such cost design was a severe problem that we faced at the beginning of the animation project. However, with the motivation to manage and overcome such situations, I tried to turn the difficulties of CG animation into the attractiveness of the work. If you make such a character model, you can move the character thoroughly. The interior of the ship can be described at various angles. In such a way, if drawing with CG would further enhance the attractiveness of the work itself, I wonder if our struggle can be turned into quality.


You didn't make any compromises even if you created a lot of characters.


Yoshihira: In the end, if you compromise on the 3D model of the character, a compromised character for 12 episodes will appear, reducing the overall quality of the image.

So even if the budget was not enough for the resources, I was thinking of trying to devise without compromise. What kind of attractiveness this character has, what kind of attractiveness of this video work is it? . If there was a part where the quality could not be improved, I made it while thinking that it would never appear on the screen.



──In the original, dragon dishes are also attractively drawn, but the sizzle of the dishes is a part that was difficult to express in conventional CG animation. How did Airborne Dragons address these issues?


Yoshihira: The first thing we focused on was to dispel the prejudice that "cookings drawn by CG aren't delicious?"

CG is relatively good at making realistic images, but real images do not fit into the anime world. Also, even if you convert a realistic image into an anime-like image with technology, the original sizzle feeling may not be extracted.

So, at the same time as developing the character, we were making delicious dishes that could be moved. "Moving" means that we are confronted with expressing exactly with CG. Ultimately, as long as the image doesn't move, you can rely on someone who is good at drawing and it will work as much as you want.

The concept was simple: it wasn't just about cooking as you saw it, but about the elements that felt "delicious". Even if you draw with CG as you saw delicious food, it never looks delicious, so what elements of the food make the viewer feel delicious? While extracting such elements, we performed moderate detail control.



──Specifically, what factors made you feel “delicious”?


Yoshihira At first, the story was about eating "dragon meat", so it started with "What is meat delicious?" When I drew the meat as it was, it looked real but it didn't look good.

Small highlights that convey meat quality and color, melted fat, heated roasted and raw meat colors, blood dripping colors, surface reflections that express meat quality, and detailed meat quality. Was carefully watched for each dish.


れ ば If you can accumulate techniques to draw such "delicious" dishes, it will be effective for other works.


Yoshihira: What makes this very interesting is that there are no rules that are convenient for "delicious", and the way of expression changes depending on the ingredients and cooking methods, such as chicken, beef, and pork. So, I think that the method of drawing "delicious" itself can be used elsewhere, but I think it is very difficult to summarize what you draw and what you feel "delicious" with one rule You.

In "Airborne Dragons", it was a journey to find out what "Dragon Meat", a dish that nobody had ever eaten, would make it "delicious".



──But so much about “drawing food” was something you should focus on drawing “airborne dragons”?


Kipei's "cooking" will definitely be included in the ranking of this series' "Tough Things" series (laughs). "Many character characters", "many dragons", "complex ship", "cooking" ... These are the first tasks in drawing, and when they get over these, the attractiveness of the work That's why I decided not to escape from drawing.



が "A lot of dragons" was included in the "Tough Things Series", but in this work, various dragons from small to large dragons will appear. Director Yoshihira is directing and deputy director of the animation "GODZILLA" series. How is your experience and knowledge gained in this work?


In the case of Yoshihira Godzilla, the image of the character is already enough, and if it satisfies the symbol, it is a Godzilla, so the expression is close to a live action, different from normal cell painting Was. However, in drawing the dragon of "Airborne Dragons", I had to look for not a Godzilla expression technique but a drawing expression as a creature that can live together with a more anime-like character.

Also, since the dragon is huge, the hurdles required were extremely high, such as having to balance the detail when viewed in a long size and the detail when riding on the back of the dragon in close-up. In that sense, we needed very high quality that is no different from Godzilla. However, if Godzilla makes one body, it will be active for more than 100 minutes, but the dragon of "Airborne Dragons" can be eaten in just one episode (laugh). It was very hard to make 10 or more such dragons.


The dragon Dr. Kuwahara draws is very unique, but don't feel like a lie, no matter how fantasy. That's why we collect hundreds of real life references, such as "this part of the mouth resembles the fish here" or "this part resembles the insect here" and live there for hundreds of years. In order to gain the reality that it is a living creature, I did trial and error with my design.

In the end, the dragon is dismantled and eaten, but what kind of bone structure at that time, how the muscles are attached, if so how to fly in the sky ... Until then.


作業 It will take a lot of time before you can actually use it as a CG model ...


Yoshihira : First, I spent a lot of time designing, so I didn't reconsider my CG production work or try and error. First of all, we decide how to show and how to use 3D models, and then focus on only the necessary parts. Because of that approach, if we needed a special model for a particular situation, we could have it ready in advance. For example, a scene in the mouth of a dragon.


── In the anime "Airborne Dragons", the exchange between characters seemed to be increasing, for example, Jiro also participated in the capture of the small dragon in the second episode. Please tell us about your intentions that incorporate these anime original elements.


Yoshihira: It 's not an idea to increase the number of anime originals, but anyway, this world view and characters are wonderful and attractive, so I decided to maximize it first. On top of that, the fans of the original have fun unique to anime when they see the animation, and if the people who saw the animation read the original, they could admire the beauty of Mr. Kuwahara's picture, I wanted to create a work that enjoys both manga and soaks in the world of "Airborne Dragons" longer.

Also, the most difficult thing about anime is having to remember 19 characters in 22 minutes. Therefore, various approaches are added to make each character remember from the scripting stage. In the process of elaborating the story, there was a natural increase in the number of lines that were unique to anime, and in the scenes where characters began to move. Mr. Kuwahara, the original author, also participated in the screenwriting conference, and restructured the story for anime based on the concept of this animation together.

So, we intend to make it in line with the world of the original, and it would be nice if the original fans could watch it naturally without discomfort.



──Lastly, please give a message to readers expecting "Airborne Dragons".


Kippei "Airborne Dragons" is not a serious story that is dark and killed, but I want to make such a happy work that makes me feel happier after work or after a fun day. Working.

In addition, I myself make it while feeling like that, but it is a work that I can see as if I was one of the sailors of the Queen Zaza. Surrounded by the beauty of the colors of the sky, the texture of a long-lived ship that is ragged and adorable, and has a unique character. It should be a video that allows you to experience such a world.

And there are some uncles who have given up their dreams on the Queen Zaza, some fresh and fresh rookies, some people who are angry, some who are booze-drinking or some who don't speak well There are people, unique people like Mika who flies around the dragon, and so on. In such a situation, everyone appreciates the diversity of values, everyone is working hard and it is fun to be together And I want to make a work that makes me feel happy when I eat together.

I'm glad if you can have a TV and have a fun 30 minutes without having to hate and eat it because it's a cell-look CG.



(Interview, text, photo / Michi Sugahara)


[Broadcast information]

■ Airborne Dragons

Available on Fuji TV "+ Ultra" every Wednesday from 24:55

All stories are being broadcast at once on NETFLIX

Kansai Television: Every Thursday from 25:55 to 26:25

Tokai TV: Every Saturday from 25:55 to 26:25

TV West Japan: Every Wednesday 26:05-26:35

Hokkaido Cultural Broadcasting: Every Sunday from 25:15 to 25:45

BS Fuji: Every Wednesday 24: 00-24: 30

* Broadcasts are subject to change without notice. For details of broadcast information, please check the website of each station.

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