In 2016 spring, I watched the Doraemon movie at a theater after an interval of over two decades. “Doraemon: Nobita and the Birth of Japan 2016” was it. When I was a child, I had been close to Fujiko F Fujio works like Doraemon. From the time the author passed away in 1996, however, I gradually got to be estranged.
“Doraemon: Nobita and the Birth of Japan 2016” was, to put it the other way around, a marvelous masterpiece as impressed such me. It made me happy most that Doraemon has evolved without my knowledge. I would love to rebuild the joy with reading politely. Now, I got to interview with the director, Yakuwa Shin-nosuke.
■ I am so glad to see you. Now, first, would you talk about the reason why you got to direct the “Doraemon: Nobita and the Birth of Japan 2016?”
Yakuwa Shin-nosuke: I also worked as a director of the 2014 film “Doraemon: New Nobita's Great Demon.” Just after the release, the then producer asked me to direct the 2016 movie. In 2014 June, we decided to remake “Nobita and the Birth of Japan 1989.”
■ Differently from the 2014 film, you wrote the scenario this time. Did you do for efficiency?
“Doraemon: New Nobita's Great Demon.”
Released on March 8, 2014 (Japan)
Y: Yes. Scenario writers are seldom devoting themselves to one work and almost have several jobs. So depending on them tends to make it late. On the other hand, it makes the progress rapider that the director also writes. In 2014 September, actually, the scenario was done.
■ Did you feel kind of vexed in the case of the 2014 film?
Y: …I can hardly deny. I was able to work as a writer because we decided to remake what already had its original story. If that was a perfectly new film without the original, it is difficult for the director to write because he cannot have a birds-eye view. So I believe it is a correct answer that we make the new one without the original getting along with a scenario writer.
■ I see. How about it from 2014 to 2015?
Y: I had described the image boards to tell the staff my images plainly. I had done design for a series of the opening scenes within 2014. At the beginning of 2015, I started to make all-out story boards.
■ It went smoothly?
Y: No, it did not always go smoothly. For example, there are several checks of the pictures animators describe, by the director and animation directors. So we were difficult to send back the checked to animators at once. Moreover, we ordered some overseas since the work amount was beyond our capacity. But their pictures were almost useless and then, we finally had to amend most. We have got over a lot of difficulties.
■ That sounds it bothered you very much.
Y: I agree. That is the difficulty of making an animation work. It is so hard to make it clear where the responsibility lies. Of course, I am also responsible. Dubbing went fine. Lately, we have usually let voice actors dub separately. However, the “Doraemon” method is traditionally to make them gather in a room for dubbing. Luckily, all actors did it and then, we spent only two days.
■ Would you tell me when it was finally finished as a film and what your reflection point was after the release if you had?
Y: I would. Making the film was finished in 2016 February. In creating this one, I can swear I did my best. There are no reflection points, therefore. Of course, it includes some trivial errors. I will amend before the release of the DVDs.
※The interview was done in 2016 May. Now the DVDs on sale!