This time it’s an interview with Nishida Masafumi from the Official Hero Book. He makes a few interesting points about the show while trolling with some almost-spoilers.
Disclaimer: not a professional translator, doing this for fun, etc. Standard fantranslation rules apply.
Q: First, tell us about the progress of your involvement into the show.
Nishida: First the director, Satou Keiichi, looked over the productions I had been involved in and asked if I could create dialogue with a similar atmosphere for his anime. However, the truth is… At that time I was busy with other work so I refused once, but he talked me into meeting with the producer (laughs). I’m really grateful for that.
Q: What themes influenced the creation of the story?
Nishida: From the beginning there was a possibility that the anime would air in the evening, so I started thinking about a story that I always wanted to create – something that would appeal to both young and old, men and women, something just in the middle. When it comes to the story and the appearance of the world, I wanted it to be straightforward and fast and exciting, but at the same time I wanted the characters to be seen doing things from their daily lives, so that the viewers could feel closer to them. It was one of the things I paid extra attention to.
Q: Is writing for an anime something different for you, does it allow you to do more or less things?
Nishida: I wasn’t really aware that I was writing for an anime – I was offered this job because they wanted me to write drama-style dialogue. That’s why I wasn’t really constricted by it, I could write freely. However, there is a limit to how much emotion the characters can show with their expressions in the anime, so I was trying to focus more on the lines, make them more distinct.
Q: Aside from the fact that you were creating a hero show, was there anything else you paid special attention to?
Nishida: The show is one of those representing the hero genre, and so far there have been many great productions in the genre so everyone has a certain image of heroes in their mind. We wanted to use it as a base and turn it around. For example, the heroes always seem to appear at the best timing possible when something bad happens – but what if in reality they were hiding near the scene, waiting for a good moment to shine? That’s how we wanted to create our story.
Q: Did you have problems with creating characters with different characteristics?
Nishida: The important point was not to make the characters appear overly cool. Heroes are very different from normal humans, but contrary to what you might expect, the key to creating them was deciding just how “human” they should be. When I started writing, the appearances of the characters were already decided and drawn by Katsura-sensei, but I was free to decide how many faults their personalities might have (laughs). When I said – almost jokingly – that I wanted a “photo-bombing” character, it got approved. So going with the flow I asked “How about we make the top hero a good guy but completely out of it?”, and then the new ideas just kept coming and all of them got the green light. I was so happy. Just like that I was free to decide on how the characters would be, so working with everyone was easy. However, I was aware of my personal experiences from working on the other projects. I tried to make it so that the characters weren’t funny because they act in a way that’s supposed to be funny – they live their lives to the fullest, and funny things just happen to them without being “forced”. I tried to protect this rule while writing.
Q: Tell us some interesting points of the characters you created.
Wild Tiger/ Kotetsu T. Kaburagi
Nishida: The problem with Kotetsu is that he’s a very charming man so it’s easy to accidentally make him appear too cool. So for a long time I wondered what not-so-cool flaws he should have. I believe the interesting point in the second cour might be the feeling of distance between Kotetsu and Kaede when he visits her back home.
Barnaby Brooks Jr.
Nishida: I had the most problems with the feeling of distance between Kotetsu and Barnaby. Kotetsu really draws people in – in a way they were almost automatically getting along from the very beginning while I was writing, so I just had to keep them both at a distance. In the coming episodes the interesting part will be how Barnaby – who always lived only for revenge – experiences happiness for the first time in his life, and then…
Blue Rose/ Karina Lyle
Nishida: Her feelings towards Kotetsu and her self-awareness as a hero are her interesting points, I think. She’s pretty weak when it comes to love, so I think she might be a bit troublesome for people around her.
Rock Bison/ Antonio Lopez
Nishida: Because he’s one of the people with the deepest relationship with Kotetsu, he’s treated a bit sloppily – maybe I should say his role is burdened with that duty. It’s also because he’s the one who understands Kotetsu the best. I think the interesting point with him is how the strength of their trust is shown in just the few lines they share in the show.
Sky High/ Keith Goodman
Nishida: He’s a really freely living character, he really is! I wanted to create a character who – even though he’s the top hero – has no trace of sarcasm or irony inside of him. I think his lines were always the easiest ones to write.
Dragon Kid/ Huang Pao-Lin
Nishida: She’s the youngest of the heroes. I wrote her as a character who’s just about to reach adolescence. I think you could describe her as a very sports-oriented person.
Origami Cyclone/ Ivan Karelin
Nishida: One of the interesting points is the way he grows in the show, how his negative self changes. But in his heart, he always has problems with believing in himself.
Fire Emblem/ Nathan Seymour
Nishida: He’s a person you can depend on. I think it’s interesting how he keeps everyone in line, how he always gets to the heart of the problem. However, he’s a person who hides a deep sadness in his heart. I believe that’s why Nathan can be so nice to the others.
Lunatic/ Yuri Petrov
Nishida: From the very beginning, I wanted to make an episode like episode 16. Personally, I think that in the end he’s a pretty charming character.
Nishida: When we’ll be nearing the end, two characters will be unexpectedly teaming up…?
Q: As for the last question, give us some message for the fans.
Nishida: Thank you for always watching Tiger & Bunny! I wanted to create a show with characters that people would be able to be empathize with, so please keep enjoying it! The second cour is a cheering song for everyone out there working hard everyday. How the people who are driven into painful, hard situations will think, what decisions they’ll make… I hope you’ll enjoy it.