Production I.G> WORK LIST> Le Chevalier D'Eon> SPECIAL FEATURE> Les 24 Chevaliers Part III: Shotaro Suga (Scriptwriter)

Les 24 Chevaliers Part III: Shotaro Suga (Scriptwriter)

This series will feature key production staff members of Le Chevalier D'Eon. In each feature, they will talk about their aspirations, how they came to join the staff and some of the insider stories.

Part III
Shotaro Suga's In principio erat Verbum: "Journey"!

Shotaro Suga
Born in Tokyo on December 31, 1972; Scriptwriter. For Production I.G, he worked on the Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. series, Blood+ and Le Chevalier D'Eon, but his credits include TV drama productions and feature films such as Casshern. He is one of the acclaimed scriptwriters for both live action films and anime.
"We tried not to leave anything vague, and I feel our thorough discussions propelled us to create a solid worldview together. It was like a journey."

How did you join the Le Chevalier D'Eon team?
The producer Tetsuya Nakatake contacted me in the beginning. When he told me Ubukata-san and Furuhashi-san were going to take part, I accepted. At the time, I was right in the middle of the production of Eureka Seven. After I heard the summary of this project, I knew I couldn't work on two projects at the same time, so I decided to join them later.

Did you have any specific difficulty writing the script for Le Chevalier D'Eon?
Right from the start, I was nervous about working with Furuhashi-san who was an experienced director. For my previous works including GitS S.A.C., Blood+, Eureka Seven and Casshern, the directors were all debutants. For those productions, we had a lot of discussions to contribute ideas and to check the content. In a sense, we very much worked cooperatively to create the script. I was used to working this way and I was more comfortable with it. But if you look at it differently, I could say that in such a working environment, I owed a lot to my colleagues for filling out where I was not fully capable. So, at the time I joined the staff of Le Chevalier D'Eon, I wasn't sure if I could really fulfill the job on my own, and I was quite nervous at the beginning. But the script readings for Le Chevalier D'Eon turned to be ever more intense and all of us kept on debating to scrutinize each and every detail.

As for the content, I picked up ideas from Ubukata-san and the director for each episode, and tried to compress their intense scenario into the script. When we work on a series, we often scrape off unwanted aspects of each character as the series progress and the characters develop because we gradually realize the main qualities of each of them. For Le Chevalier D'Eon, I think we almost never removed any content from the main characters' resumes that was set at the start. I feel we were able to keep the intended atmosphere of a cathartic drama of people who were and were not loyal to their country "on the eve of the French Revolution." We stayed true to the plot given to us initially and I feel we actually added depth to it.

What was the most impressive thing you remember about the script meetings?
The director Furuhashi is quite stubborn about what he wants to do. In contrast, Ubukata-san is used to simulating hundreds and thousands of patterns for his work. So he always comes up with new ideas one after another for the director. On top of that, Yasuyuki Muto (note: the chief writer) and the script team contributed their expertise in rendering, utilizing technical skills and structuring the story in the finished script.

Compared to other works, the script for Le Chevalier D'Eon is enormous. One of the longer episodes has about 100 pages. I always think how challenging it would be to convert them into storyboards. But every time they let me read them, I am impressed by their superb rendering skills, considering also that in the next step they will translate all this into moving pictures. That's simply amazing. I am excited about the final result, not only as a staff member, but also as a member of the audience!

I've heard that the scriptwriting for Le Chevalier D'Eon is almost done. What are your thoughts now?
For me, scriptwriting for Le Chevalier D'Eon was like a journey with the characters. I always feel that way with serial projects, but I felt ever more so in this show. It might be due to the fact that the story follows the actual history to some extent, but I think it owes a great deal to the way we worked. We tried not to leave anything vague and our thorough discussions propelled us to create a solid worldview together. I hope the audience will share that inner process.