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Interview: Hidekazu Terakawa

Hidekazu TerakawaHIDEKAZU TERAKAWA profile
Hidekazu Terakawa was born on July 26, 1965. He joined Production I.G in 1992, and worked as a production assistant for the feature film Patlabor 2: The Movie (1993). He debuted as a sequence director in Mamoru Oshii's promotional video Samsara Naga 2 (1994). After working on such shows as Crayon Shin-chan as sequence director, he became a producer. Projects include the Tales of series (since 1997, animation producer), Sakura Wars 2: Thou Shalt Not Die (1998, animation producer), Wild Arms 2nd Ignition (1999, animation producer), Jin-Roh (2000, producer), and Surveillance (2000, game designer/game director/producer). His motto is: "It's important to be prompt in doing things! This means appropriately and not too seriously..."

On the collaboration with the Cartoon Network:
Initially, they asked us to produce a 13-episode original TV series. Since it was a request from none other than the Cartoon Network, we recognized it as a chance for our global expansion, but realistically speaking, we were not 100% sure what was expected of a program "made for America". In that case, we thought, we should just stick to our traditional approach to creating anime. This meant simple stories and fun to watch programs. After further discussions, we finally decided to go for a 26-episode series instead. This was to accommodate the exploitation in the Japanese market.

On the IGPX production staff:
When the project was initiated, it coincided with the time when Eiji Mizutani, our 3D producer, organized a 3D team at I.G. So we decided to have all the mecha scenes in 3D. We also picked Atsushi Takeuchi as a mechanical designer and 3D director. The accumulation of 2D animation techniques and the expertise of 3D technology were combined in the 3D team to create impressive battle scenes.

On what 3D scenes can deliver:
It was the first ever endeavor to try 3D, so it seems the director Hongo had a hard time initially, but with the collaboration of the entire staff, I think it's getting better with every episode. As the producer of the program, I do attend sessions to go over the finished episode and I find that the animes are getting visually crispier and clearer. I really look forward to watching a new episode.

On the dramatic storyline:
My utmost concern is to make an "easy-to-understand show." This is a story of a boy growing up as he overcomes anguish to aim even higher, and also his friendship with his peers as they take part in the futuristic sport similar to F1 races today. It is simple, but interesting. You'd want to see the sequel the following week.

Message for the fans who are anxiously waiting for the show to start:
Basically, I try to be positive. Whatever happens I promise I will never fall backwards; I'll move on. Hope you will enjoy IGPX.