The article provides the roughly translated version of the exclusive interview of Tokyo Anime News with Toaru Majutsu no Index Movie: Miracle of Endymion's director, Nishikiori Hiroshi, posted on its website on March 22. The article only provides the interview and not the glossary list and character introductions included in their article.[Notes 1]
As of February 23 of the release of "Toaru Majutsu no Index: Miracle of Endymion", within 2 days the film earns a whooping 1 million yen, and now recently even passed the 3 million yen point. This amount of hit for an animated film movie can be quite a splendid thing, and can even be quite an incident as well. This time we were able to get an exclusive interview with the director, Mr. Nishikiori Hiroshi!! Since its after the film was released, we have decided to interview and find out more about this production. We would hope that new readers, as well as long time fans would be interested in checking out the interview with the director. After reading this interview, we would hope that you can understand what points and how you can enjoy the film even better!!
The aim of the movie was the characteristic of being "festive"
——Congrats on hitting the 3 million yen point for this film. Were you even expecting to earn this much for this film?
I think that much of the revenue came from the young enthusiastic fans who watched the film again and again. Compared to the other films that were aired at the same time such as "Space Battleship Yamato 2199" or "Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn", the types of audiences for those films were drastically different from this particular film.
――Now, I would like to ask you... around when did you start planning for the production of this film?
Around the time the TV series for "Toaru Majutsu no Index II" ended, there were several conversations that began from that time. Actually, we began to review the content for the film at around the end of 2011. First, the producer's side proposed a"song" and "festival" like theme for this film. For that, Mr. Kamachi Kazuma has help us brainstorm ideas for this film. When it comes to asking Mr. Kamachi to do something, you would always get back something quite huge in return. And this time, he even this time he submitted to us content equivalent to 2 cour (6 months) of episodes for a television show (laughs).[Notes 2] Thus, based on that, we decided to use that as our base to structure the basis of the film production.
――What, 2 cours!? So that would mean that there are tons and tons of parts within the film that were not used at all for this production?
Well, rather than actually discarding those certain ideas, much of the original scenarios and ideas are embedded within the film. For instance, even though in the film some of the details are not mentioned, however they are mostly drawn into the art... And if you did see the film numerous amount of times, you may even discover something new every time you watched it. For instance, the title "Endymion" and the one of the major character Ladylee Tangleroad all derive and originate from Greek Mythology - so please look closely for those particular aspects of the film. Perhaps you may find some interesting way of looking at this film.
――So how was working together with Mr. Kamachi Kazuma like?
Well just like working together on the TV series, he was quite busy and was heavily involved in the process of writing the original script to the lines of the voice actors. Rather than just "simply writing the script and coming to me for a specific demand", he really wanted to make this production a very successful one so he contributed many of his thoughts and ideas as well as his efforts.
In the television series, our goals were to "create a loyalty between the viewers of the film", so oftentimes we had to add portions reiterating the plot of the previous episode—which we had to compensate for the tempo of the story. For this production, we used an original plot along with the rich usage of visuals, so we were able to take the script and make it very attractive to view on the big screens. That is the essential difference between a television production and a film production. Of course, major themes from the 1st season "Toaru Majutsu no Index" and some of the episodes from there are reiterated to provide context.
We were hoping to produce a film equivalent to a whole book... However, that was quite a huge scale and thus, we had quite a difficulty trying to fit everything within a span of 90 min. When thinking of this project as a movie production, we often had to cut out some character information or contextual stuff but, for this particular film we wanted to have a festival like theme. Especially, for the "Toaru" series, there were quite some fans for each of the characters, so I thought bringing them out together might be quite possibly an interesting thing to do.
――Hmm... interesting. So your theme was a "festive" (more like excitement) theme right?
Yes, exactly. While speaking to producer Matsukura (Yuji), he said, "For an anime production, the many plot twists may have been a bit rough, but in the end I was hoping to produce a film where the views are really intrigued and into the plot." The plot for "Toaru Majutsu no Index" is quite huge, so there were quite a lot of time where we had to explain a lot of the story, however this time within the time span of 90 min we were able to compress that all along with the intensity of the plot. And I believe that this is the really exciting portion of the film.
The secret story of the birth of new characters and Mecha Design
Shutaura was set up as a character that had an unfortunate accident that strangled her feelings. That image overflows with those strangled feelings of hers. In comparison to Arisa who says "I work hard to achieve my dreams but sometimes I get depressed!", is a character who is honest. Rather than a simple difference between bright and dark characters, it is a comparison in how they express their feelings.
――The song that Arisa (Misawa Sachika) sings is also an element that holds the key to the story. Is it also an element that holds a significant contribution to the "sense of festivity" that is unique to the movie?
The song, though, does not mean the entire movie, that is not the idea. Mr. Kamachi said that "The song and music cannot be told in sentences." It was not originally the aim of the work, but the sound and voice itself became an important factor. I was particularly conscious at the time I received a song that was not arranged suitably for the PV, I tried to supplement the flow of the story and the feelings of the characters. Also the lyrics and melody, each scene presented, must fit with the proper image. The story was made on the assumptions based on the first total five songs, but the script that was needed was unreasonable, so one final song was added. Since then, the animation, directing, voice actor's performances, and tension had been completed earlier after the song was inserted, I too was greatly helped by the song.
――Dengeki Bunko-related illustrators (Mr. Noizi Ito, Nagiryo, Yuugen) where responsible for Arisa's costumes. How was this collaboration realized and what were the circumstances?
The original character was drawn very carefully by Mr. Haimura Kiyotaka. As he focuses on the original character's design, other people were asked for the variations in costume. Doing so required a consultation with Dengeki Bunko's Mr. Kazuma Miki, and asked him to tap Dengeki Bunko personnel.... As a result, the lineup was very luxurious. The costumes have a respective color for each artist as so each can be differentiated. Along with the element of the "festivity," I believe it was a great success. Then, I asked Hoshino Lily Ladylee's subordinate characters, which was also great.
Stiyl appears in a position before Kamijou as an enemy, an image that was present in the original. However, because Stiyl himself is not a character that talks much, I thought we needed a useful characters as support. Originally, they hardly had any dialogue at all, still, Mr. Haimura came up with something very catchy. As a result, the appearance of dialogue increased significantly in the scenes, and the characters became a strong presence. I was very happy on the movement of the play.
――On the other hand, Mr. Akitaka Mika was responsible for the mecha design. Personally, it was a point that cannot be ignored by a robot anime fan. Also, it was a surprise to see Misaka Imouto appear at the end with the equipment from the Modern Day Musumecha series Mr. Akitaka had in NyanType (Kadokawa Shoten).
Even in the original, as it progressed by volume, mecha ones have appeared many times, Mr. Akitaka Mika has been responsible for some of its design, right? Already in the original story, I have been drawn to that goal much in the chronological order from the story that has been visualized with connection to the mecha. It became the prototype of what appeared in the original, counting backwards from there when I allowed it. Also, Mr. Akitaka, this time, was not just designing the mecha, but was also deeply involved with the designing Endymion's surroundings, as well as the designing of the world. I would like you to pay attention to that.
The"Toaru" series at its maximum level! It's story is close to spectacular!!
――I'd like for you to confirm, does this film occurs between episode 7 and episode 8 of the TV Toaru Majutsu no Index II?
Yes. Kuroko is still riding a wheelchair. The schedule that has been drawn from the story of Toaru Majutsu no Index has been decided quite finely. The Miracle of Endymion together with the game, in which the incidents occur between about 4 days or so, have made the schedule pretty tight (laughs). But once the parallel world has been set, any content can be made, only 1 episode of Toaru Majutsu no Index has been portrayed. By default, Kamijou gets cured immediately after being injured. Because he has a good doctor (laughs).
――It is said that the final battle even reached space, a development of an unprecedented scale in the history of the series. Where did this idea come from exactly?
Mr. Kamachi was aware that for a story this big, he would always need to incorporate a gimmick. As such, the element of the space elevator was not specifically prepared just for the movie. On the other hand, using the theme of a space elevator establishes the scale of the movie, that was a challenge for us. Setting it up its existence and its coming in order for the space elevator to appear, different stories and settings were made with feelings. Therefore, the final stage was in space because the space elevator appeared, as such, we'll lose the viewers because they'll get angry if don't go to space (laughs).
――So far we have talked about various topics, the highlight that pulled me in was of Nee-chin's (Kanzaki Kaori) pluck (laughs).
It was because Kanzaki's demonstrating her powers as a Saint where small in the TV series. However, she demonstrates her best when she is on the ground, the ground would break for sure (laughs).
――For those who have yet to see it, I will avoid mentioning any detailed content, but if one looks at the last scene, the theme of the work is neither magic nor science, but the "Miracle" in the title, right?
The "Toaru" series is typified by the catchphrase "When magic and science meets, the story begins!", where invisible paranormal forces like magic or esper powers exist. However, this time, the mysterious power—like fate, for example—instead of waiting just for that, held out its hand and caused a miracle, this is what I wanted to portray. To portray that "Miracle" is the third force alongside magic and science.
Change in the production technique by the introduction of 3DCG and post recording of the extreme battles.
――So, let's change the discussion, I want to know about how the story was made. What was the aim for the introduction of In this film, mecha battles, live scenes with full-fledged 3DCG?
With the limited resources and the movie's sense of scale, that kind of idea was born out of that. the storyboard and art was done in CG and the traditional methods were decided to be avoided. A lot from that stage is to decide on how to the stage operated while the image is visualized, and then doing a technique that makes sure that each necessary element is parallel with it. After the storyboard, it is in the form built using already completed elements. It should be noted though, that it is easy to the part where you see mecha battle and the live scenes are using 3DCG, in addition to this, so far, Kamijou's room and the background art were drawn by hand, but a significant portion were created using 3DCG. Also, one of the major problems we had was to expression of the light, I think this represents that we gone one step further than ever as we haven't been able to do so before.
Furthermore, one of the goals this time, rather than question about the behind-the-scenes of the 3DCG, we wanted to see if we could shape the personality of the persons who were responsible. Thanks to SANZIGEN's CG models, CG animators, and JC STAFF's CG department who really tried their very best, I think we would not be able to clear some issues here.
――So, as the director, are there any favorite scenes?
In this regard, the images from the screenplay stage, something finished that comes to that is the flow of the battle with Stiyl in the evening and the Shutaura mecha battle. Night scenes like those had successfully represented the reflection of light, it was something better than we originally imagined.
――Since a lot of characters were brought together to meet, I think the post recording by the voice actors were great, such as during the post recording for the episodes, etc., could you tell me more of it?
Everybody's mood was great since the scheduling was convenient. There was a tendency of making use of different recordings, though this time, thankfully, we could play in the same space as much as possible. So then we heard the impossible, we were to record, except for one of the songs, in almost a single day. As a result, we began at 10 in the morning, and was recording for hours on end until about about 2 o'clock. The recording went chronologically, together from the beginning until the climax when Kamijou gets worn down, where Abe (Atsushi) summoned up his last bit of strength to play Kamijou Touma's role. It was helped by the unity and zeal of everybody in the cast.
"Toaru" series' future development and a message to the fans
――By the way, on April "Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S" will start airing. I wonder, will Director Nishikiori will come in and get involved in some way with its production?
You may be surprised, each part of the work of "Toaru Kagaku no Railgun" is the directed Mr. Nagai Tatsuyuki, and we rarely interact with each other. Of course, I am deeply involved with people who are the core of the original side such as Mr. Kamachi and Mr. Miki, there is a sense of unity with the "Toaru" series, basically, I think, each piece has its own place that it can fit nicely on its own.
――I see. Of course, since the "Toaru" series is a very large series, there is a kind competitive spirit with each other. Then straight to the point, do you think there will be a "Toaru Majutsu no Index III"?
Currently, the "Miracle of Endymion" seemed to have gathered a large number of people to support it, the "Toaru" series itself, games, and comics, it has spread greatly. With this trend, of course I think it would be nice for a "Toaru Majutsu no Index" anime sequel. However, for now I'd like to wish the best of luck for "Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S" (laughs).
――We very much look forward to both. So, finally at the end, can you please give a word for everyone of the fans?
Thanks to everyone the screening of the movie has been expanded. For those who are unacquainted with it, please check it out in theaters near you. I thank you all kindly!
――Thank you for your time!
- 「劇場版 とある魔術の禁書目録 －エンデュミオンの奇蹟－」大ヒット記念特集！錦織監督インタビュー（その1）.
- 「劇場版 とある魔術の禁書目録 －エンデュミオンの奇蹟－」大ヒット記念特集！錦織監督インタビュー（その2）.
- 「劇場版 とある魔術の禁書目録 －エンデュミオンの奇蹟－」大ヒット記念特集！錦織監督インタビュー（その3）.
- 「劇場版 とある魔術の禁書目録 －エンデュミオンの奇蹟－」大ヒット記念特集！錦織監督インタビュー（その3）.
- ↑ Special thanks to the To Aru Majutsu No Index & Railgun Fan Page from Facebook for the translation of the Introduction and Part 1 section. Special thanks to js06 and Anonymous of Raildex General.
- ↑ Cour is a Japanese term used to refer to the number of episodes in a single season. Typically, a 1-cour anime season will have 12-13 episodes, playing for three months, and likewise, 2-cour seasons have 24-26 episodes that plays for 6 months.
- ↑ 「劇場版 とある魔術の禁書目録 －エンデュミオンの奇蹟－」大ヒット記念特集！錦織監督インタビュー（その1）. (Japanese). Retrieved on 13/3/31.