Production I.G> WORK LIST> Le Chevalier D'Eon> SPECIAL FEATURE> Les 24 Chevaliers Part XXIII: George Wada (Assistant Producer)

Les 24 Chevaliers Part XXIII: George Wada (Assistant Producer)

Production I.G has not only a team of skilled animators. Selecting appealing new projects and developing them from the financial and marketing side, is in fact the job of the Planning Room's producers. This is the second of our two-part double interview with producer Katsuji Morishita and assistant producer George Wada, the duo behind the realization of Le Chevalier D'Eon.

George Wada's In principio erat Verbum: "Faith"

Katsuji Morishita (left)
Born in 1972. Producer in charge of planning new projects. For Le Chevalier D'Eon, he made a project proposal and oversaw the business development. He recently took part in Reideen, Guardian of the Spirit and Sisters of Wellber.
George Wada (right)
As an assistant producer, he was responsible for product merchandising and Web publicity for Le Chevalier D'Eon. After this project, he worked as a producer for Tokyo Marble Chocolate and Library War.

What was your key focus for this project?
Morishita: In my case, I'd say the "people." I fully trusted the staff around me and I knew that they had confidence in the potential of the project, so I could be positive in working on the business development. And when I heard Director Furuhashi saying, "it's fascinating to see how this story engages words," I felt something click in me. Normally, people would pay attention to things like the story-setting in France on the eve of the Revolution or acrobatic action scenes with skilled swordsmen. But the story centers upon the meaning and power of "words" and how they could be forceful and frightful - including the presumption that the revolution itself was initiated by "words." I could see the strong theme behind the story. This might come from the fact that Ubukata-san, who wrote the original story, is a novelist who works with "words." I could relate to the idea and get a clear picture, so I was aware of the importance of "words" myself. And that worked well.

Ubukata-san lives far from Tokyo, but he came to every single script meeting. He said he wanted to bring out the distinctive charm of the anime version. It is very rare to have the original author participating in every meeting. As the original author, he was unbending about certain important sections, but at the same time, he took the ideas contributed by all the participants at the meetings seriously into consideration. This was quite revolutionary for us at Production I.G and I think we can utilize this valuable experience in our future projects.

Wada: I still remember what Furuhashi-san wrote for an interview article: "I'd like to make an anime that would still be watched after fifty years." The entire staff of Le Chevalier D'Eon was able to work so hard, because we felt this project would "stay." I had always reminded myself that I must do a good job too.

At the script meetings, we didn't really pay attention to how the story would end. Instead, we all contributed our ideas seriously as to how each character would move. Each of us spoke on behalf of a certain character. We felt like these characters' souls had entered us.

Is there anything you gained or did that made you go through a change after working on this project?
Morishita: The biggest change for me was that Wada came to work with me as an assistant producer. Previously, I did everything by myself, so I felt good that we could do a wider scope of things between us. And above all, I was thrilled to meet Tow Ubukata and to actually work with him. I have this feeling that I might be collaborating with him in years to come and create exciting works together. I sense a new change with this encounter with him.

Wada: I realized that it was the "faith" in the project that moved people. You know, there were so many people participating and contributing to this project. And we were able to share a place where we could join with Tow Ubukata, to construct the story together. And there was Director Furuhashi in the center of it all. With all of them put together, I think we were able to complete such a wonderful work.

In that kind of environment, the staff came to share a "faith" and that was the reason we could all put ourselves out. I am grateful I was able to experience and learn the importance and the strength of that kind of sharing, and of the determination to never give up. That "faith" is not only for the work itself, but also for each other; this was very strong. Those who create the anime and those who publicize and promote it - everyone worked very hard for the project. I think it was because we all strongly felt, "let's make it a thrilling anime!"

Which character in Le Chevalier D'Eon is your favorite character? And the reason for that?
Morishita: Probably King Louis XV. During the reign of his predecessor, Louis XIV, France was at its peak. And his successor, Louis XVI, was beheaded on the guillotine. Therefore, both of them are historically very well known historical figure among Japanese people. On the opposite, we are somehow unfamiliar with Louis XV. In Le Chevalier D'Eon, he is portrayed as an king who had to live an unfortunate fate and life, and the course of history gave him that image. So he is portrayed as a character that you may not completely sympathize with, but at the same time is impossible to hate. At the end of the opening sequence, he lifts his face helplessly. I think that represents him entirely. He is one of the key characters and appears regularly in the story. His end surprised me.

Wada: I'd say, the lead character, D'Eon de Beaumont. It might be because his situation overlaps mine. D'Eon saw collapse after collapse of his beliefs, from his homeland France to the king to whom he pledged allegiance. Everything around him rapidly changed or was crashed while he continued with his journeys, causing him more and more distress. I feel the circumstances that surround us are similar to that. Nothing to believe in and questions that are left unanswered. In this kind of situation, you can only go on to achieve what you think best. D'Eon pressed forward as he contemplated. That impressed me the most. And also the way he is not that skillful in the ways of love. (lol)

Those people D'Eon came across stayed true to themselves. And he accepted the outcome. So in retrospect, I don't think D'Eon was remorseful. France, the country he believed in and loved outlived all. And he lived his remaining days cherishing the "faith" that his fallen comrades passed on to him.


Can we close with your messages to the viewers?
Morishita: I wish that Le Chevalier D'Eon will remain in the hearts of the viewers forever. And I have the feeling that this project does not end here, so I hope the viewers will remember Le Chevalier D'Eon.

Wada: I hope the fans will keep watching the series till the end and see where D'Eon and his comrades' journey take them. And when you finish watching, I'm sure you will remember how you felt forever.

© Tow Ubukata · Production I.G/Project Chevalier 2006