Production I.G> WORK LIST> XX> SPECIAL FEATURE> The Making of XX: Interview with Junichi Fujisaku (4)

The Making of XX: Interview with Junichi Fujisaku (4)

Junichi Fujisaku, the acclaimed director of the TV series Blood+, talks about his new project, the mobile phone comic XX. This is the fourth and final part of our long interview with him.

"I wanted to recreate raw footage that could have been shot randomly with a handycam." (Junichi Fujisaku)

Junichi Fujisaku - Born on August 6, 1967. Director, scriptwriter, game designer and novelist. He joined Production I.G as Game Production Department Chief Director, but soon became one of Team Oshii's core members. With Kenji Kamiyama, he participated to the creation of the theatrical feature Blood: The Last Vampire (2000). The girl in sailor suit fighting monsters with a Japanese sword was in fact Fujisaku's idea. For the Blood franchise he also directed the game version and wrote the novelization. While being the mastermind behind the hit game series YaruDora (1998), Fujisaku also gave his valuable contribution to the expansion of the Ghost in the Shell world, writing the scripts for many episodes of the Stand Alone Complex series, producing and directing the game version for PS2, and writing three related novels. Recent credits include the scripts for Otogi Zoshi and the xxxHOLiC and Tsubasa Chronicle theatrical features. In 2005 he debuted as TV series director with Blood+, and he's now working on the screenplay for Real Drive, the series directed by Kazuhiro Furuhashi and based on a story by Shirow Masamune, to premiere in Japan April 2008.

Which parts would you say are characteristic of your works? You used the song, "Kagome, Kagome" (*) as a theme.
Yes, I wanted to attract some more attention, so I incorporated some oppressive indigenous Japanese occult elements. I tried to see how a traditional aspect would find a way into high-tech mobile phones.

Many of your works deal with these features.
You might be right. I really like it, you know, the surrealistic romance. It could be that I can only do Sci-Fi or surrealistic romance. (lol) But this time, I am not making a fantasy out of the entire story. I am thinking of making an entertaining story with a bit of fantasy.

You seem to have planted a lot of gags as well.
For this story, I have decided to allocate gags deliberately. I mean adding at least one silly gag per episode. Not that I have everyone's consent to do that. (lol)

Storyboard excerpts from XX.

And... talking about girls' bosoms...
Yep, I did emphasize them. I was told this comic targeted "males". So why not make Aiko's bust size 100 cm? (lol)

A lot of "squeezing" breasts and so on.
Squeezing and grabbing are mentioned in the script, but how these would come out on the screen was up to the animators. You could label them as coarse, but I kind of like to bring on a light, lowbrow literary slant. Erotic or sexy, you name it; I am really excited to see how Tajima-san expresses it. Of course, we are making it sure that the female readers won't be offended.

With sexy scenes for the male readers and the gags that have become one of the staples, this project represents something different from the style Production I.G is otherwise famous for. It should be noted that a lot of next generation creators from I.G are taking part.

I am looking forward to checking out Fujisaku-san's fixtures in the completed work.
I wanted to recreate raw footage that could have been shot randomly with a handycam. Sort of like an uncomplicated handycam movie. I think that would give off more energy. I seldom reject young creators' ideas. Rather than being strict, I am trying to develop individuality.
I'm sure you will be stunned by the final result. (lol)

(*) "Kagome, Kagome" is an old Japanese children's game that dates back at least to the mid-Edo period. One child is chosen as the "demon", and sits with his eyes covered. The other children join hands and walk in circles around the "demon" while chanting the song for the game. When the song stops, the "demon" speaks aloud the name of the person behind him, and if he/she is correct, that person will take the place of the "demon".
The most popular version of the chant is as follows:

Kagome, Kagome,
the bird is in the cage
when will it come out?
In the evening of the dawn,
the crane and turtle slipped.
Who is right behind you now?

The actual meaning of the word "kagome" is disputed, and may refer to the stitch in a bamboo basket (or cage) to a pregnant woman or even to a magic hexagram. Accordingly, the overall meaning of the cryptic text of the chant has seen several interpretations, from reference to the Tokugawa family to more occult connotations, and today "Kagome, Kagome" is playing an eerie role in Japanese fiction.

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