The following article is a transcript of a Q&A panel with Taichi Ishidate, director of Beyond the Boundary and upcoming anime Violet Evergarden, both at Kyoto Animation, and TRUE, the singer of the opening for Violet Evergarden, Sound! Euphonium 2, and the second ending of Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, at AnimagiC 2017.

Just like the Haikyuu!! transcript, we couldn’t record the Q&A panel. We wrote everything down as it was told so questions and answers are not quotes but more the gist of what was said. Additionally, all answers were given in Japanese, translated into German by a translator and then translated into English by @Somatoshi and @Asukaratechop. Take this translation with a grain of salt.

Saturday’s Panel

Question @Ishidate: How difficult was it to switch from the Japanese landscape Kyoto Animation normally uses to the western/European one in Violet Evergarden?

Ishidate: It was extremely difficult. Drawing the backgrounds was hard since we wanted Violet Evergarden to take place in a European-esque setting. We had some references but didn’t actually visit Europe beforehand which I regret now. I should have come here earlier.

Question @TRUE: Why did you decide to become an anime singer/songwriter?

TRUE: Just like Ishidate [similar question before that we didn’t quite catch] I had a lot of good experiences through anime. That was the reason I wanted to do something with anime when I grew up and that’s why I became an anime singer.

Second OP of Sound! Euphonium 2, used to hear TRUE's song.

Question @Ishidate: This is Kyoto Animation’s first anime that focuses on the west. Did you make some adjustments for Violet Evergarden to reflect that? [I think the asker meant whether they changed something in the anime itself. The translator didn’t quite get this across.]

Ishidate: By now, anime is popular around the world. This news made it to Kyoto Animation as well and that’s why Violet Evergarden was chosen to be premiered in the west. We could have taken an anime with a more Japanese setting but we wanted to give you something that you are more accustomed to. [Might be related to the information at the beginning of the panel that Kyoto Animation themselves negotiated distribution rights.]

 

Question @TRUE: What is important for your job as a singer?

TRUE: My voice plays a huge part in my job. That’s why I try to care for it as much as I can. I try to be as easy as possible on it so it won’t get hoarse.

[Other questions that were asked were either really generic or totally out of place (one person referred to Ishidate as the mangaka and asked about the story). But there was one question that could be used as some “savage Ishidate” trivia]

Question @Ishidate: Did you direct other anime before Violet Evergarden? [We both sank into our chairs with shame.]

Ishidate: Hai. [Translator didn’t even bother translating]

(Editor Note: Ishidate debuted as a director on Beyond the Boundary in 2013 and has been an episode director on many of Kyoto Animation’s works).

Sunday’s Panel:

Question @Ishidate: What were your thoughts while working on the series. What can we expect?

Ishidate: The first episode shows where Violet starts. From now on she will visit lots of places, meet a lot of people and learn from them. Please look forward to it.

 

Question @TRUE: What was your inspiration while making this [the opening] song?

TRUE: Violet has to learn a lot of words one by one. That’s why I wanted to put every word in this song together as careful as possible and give it my all. Although self-praise is not recommended, I think I did pretty well.

 

Question @Ishidate: It is known that you like live-action films as well. How big is their impact on your series? Did you watch certain European movies while preparing for Violet Evergarden?

Ishidate: I am influenced very much by them. But this is not limited to live-action but to all kinds of motion picture. I want to see as much as I possibly can. I have a lot of favourite western films and am not sure what I’m allowed to say, but to name one, I love Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.

 

Question @Ishidate: How long does it take to produce an anime episode?

Ishidate: If we look from the early planning stages to the finished product then we are talking 1-2 years. If we only count from the moment we start drawing and animating the episode, then it is usually about 2 and half months.

Violet Evergarden

Question @TRUE: How do you come up with your songs?

TRUE: Usually I get to know the anime first and then try to create the most fitting song for it.

Question @Ishidate: [The asker noticed some asynchronicity between the hand-drawn and the CGI parts in one of the scenes.]

Ishidate: Backgrounds are done in 3D while the characters are hand-drawn. It is quite a challenging task to bring them together to one picture and I have to admit, I don’t always get it 100% right.

 

Question @Ishidate: Which European influences flew into Violet Evergarden? [Similar to  the question on Saturday but Ishidate expanded answered differently.]

Ishidate: We wanted Leiden to be a European city and first thought about setting it in Great Britain, but that’s a very cold place and would fit Violet too much. We chose somewhere warmer to create a stronger contrast. A place where people would wear shorts and shirts, and only Violet wouldn’t fit in as a cold/unhappy person. This would allow us to create more friction.

 

Question @Ishidate: Where do you find the motivation through tough times? [e.g. huge workloads in the anime industry, writer’s block, etc.]

Ishidate: If you are really passionate about it, you will surpass it. If you meet a point where you can’t progress anymore, that might be the extent of your passion and you should try something else. If you truly love what you do, nothing will be able to stop you.

 

Question @Ishidate: Why did you decide to do a series and not a film?

Ishidate: The episodic nature of Violet’s jobs and the length of the story fit a TV series much better so we decided to go with that.

 

Question @Ishidate: What chances do you see with a big distributor like Netflix entering the industry?

Ishidate: [He was clearly caught off guard with this question (no wonder, it’s not his job to know that). He let out a long “eto” before speaking] We produced Violet Evergarden and Netflix approached us since they wanted to take care of the international distribution. I don’t know much more and sadly we don’t have anyone from Netflix here we could ask.

 

Question @Ishidate: Can you tell us something about working with Takase, as she’s still very new to the industry and this is her first major work?

Ishidate: Takase is pretty new and doesn’t have a lot of experience yet. Since I don’t do character design, I can’t help [translator said “assess”] her with that. We consult with each other whenever we both lack experience and work alongside like that.

I have gotten to really like this though. With experienced character designers, everything is already “finished”. You can always talk about it but usually you trust in their experience in the end. However, talking about it with one another helps creating synergy effects that can lead to completely new things. I really enjoy this.

 

Question: What is currently your favorite anime? [maybe it was “recent” or Ishidate just wanted to dodge the question]

TRUE: I like sports anime or anime that are about youth.

Ishidate: I used to go to the cinema a lot, but I have a child now so all my free time goes towards my family.

 

VIOLET EVERGARDEN EPISODE 1 CREDITS 

CAST

  • Violet Evergarden Yui Ishikawa
  • Claudia Hodgins Takehito Koyasu
  • Gilbert Bougainville Daisuke Namikawa
  • Cattleya Baudelaire Aya Endo
  • Benedict Blue Koki Uchiyama
  • Tiffany Evergarden Toshiko Sawada
  • Oliver Satoshi Taki
  • Lillian – Rie Hikisaka
  • Nerine – Aya Saito

Executive Producers

  • Yoko Hatta
  • Yoko Kosawa
  • Masayuki Nishide
  • Shunji Inoue
  • Yota Tsuruoka

 

Based on the novel

“Violet Evergarden”
written by Kana Akatsuki

(KA Kouma Bunko/Kyoto Animation)

 

Script

  • Reiko Yoshida

Character Design

  • Akiko Takase

Storyboard

  • Taichi Ishidate

 

Episode Director

  • Taichi Ishidate
  • Haruka Fujita
  • Shinpei Sawa

Animation Director

  • Nobouki Maruji
  • Akiko Takase
  • Yuko Myoken
  • Tatsunoko Maruko

Prop Design

  • Hiroyuki Takahashi

Prop Design Assistant

  • Minoru Ota

Background Setting

  • Takasaki Suzuki

Key Animation

  • Yoshinori Urata
  • Chiyoko Ueno
  • Seiichi Akitake
  • Hiroshi Karata
  • Fumie Okano
  • Kunihiro Hene
  • Nobuaki Maruki
  • Shinpei Sawa
  • Taira Yamaguchi
  • Nami Iwasaki
  • Kohei Okamura
  • Tatsunari Maruko
  • Hidehiro Asama
  • Sena Suzuki
  • Kota Seto
  • Ryosuke Shirakawa
  • Sae Sawada
  • Shiho Morisaki
  • Ryo Miyagi
  • Ami Kuriki
  • Aoi Okune
  • Sayaka Watanabe
  • Chiharu Kuroda
  • Saeko Fujita
  • Aoi Matsumoto
  • Chika Kamo
  • Sumire Kusano
  • Yuki Yokoyama
  • Kyohei Ando
  • Mariko Takahashi
  • Rie Sezaki
  • Tomoko Yoshimura

In-Between Animation Check

  • Hiroki Kuroda

In-Between Animation

  • Kenji Murayama
  • Yumiko Hashi
  • Chitose Nakamine
  • Emi Nakano
  • Aya Seto
  • Yohei Kawasaki
  • Akiyoshi Shito
  • Naoko Fujita
  • Noriko Kashihara
  • Natsumi Tada
  • Fumiyashu Kotaka
  • Naoki Nakanishi
  • Atsushi Miyaji
  • Kaori Furukawa
  • Maki Inoue
  • Minako Usuki
  • Kazuhiko Horikawa
  • Genki Matsumura
  • Yuki Noguchi
  • Manami Natsumeda
  • Hana Hosoda

 

  • Sayaka Ikeda
  • Junichi Uda
  • Atsushi Ishida
  • Satoshi Sugitani
  • Masafumi Tamura
  • Takaya Funahashi
  • Tamami Tokuyama
  • Aya Hikita
  • Maiko Mibu
  • Yusuke Miyahara
  • Yukiko Kai
  • Saki Kamidozono
  • Rie Maegawa
  • Mei Isai
  • Kazuki Kawamura
  • Momoyo Yoshizaki
  • Yumi Okawa
  • Maiko Tanigami
  • Shoko Higaki
  • Naoko Machida

ST. BLUE

Color Design

  • Yuka Yoneda

 

Color Stylist

  • Yuka Yoneda
  • Kana Miyata

 

Color Check

  • Naomi Ishida
  • Naomo Takahara

Special Effects

  • Rina Miura

Scan & Paint

  • Hitomi Imaizumi
  • Ayumi Shimoura
  • Akiyo Takeda
  • Sachie Tsuda
  • Yuki Semori
  • Fuyuki Otsuka
  • Norie Oto
  • Erika Nishiyama
  • Yuki Mori
  • Aya Toyosawa
  • Shoko Doi
  • Rina Sasaki
  • Rie Takaki
  • Mayumi Nagayasu
  • Ayana Ohashi
  • Chieko Okumura
  • Nanako Kitaoka
  • Mihoko Koda
  • Emi Ebisu
  • Shoko Sasaki
  • Yoko Shukutani
  • Tomoko Shima
  • Ayumi Yamamori
  • Yasumi Kawai
  • Shizuko Kanbara
  • Kaeko Maki

ST. BLUE

Art Director

  • Mikiko Watanabe

Art Design

  • Joji Unoguchi

Background Art

  • Shingo Kasai
  • Tomoki Hiraishi
  • Manase Yamatogi
  • Momoka Hase
  • Toru Hasegawa
  • Tatsuro Onishi
  • Ryoko Yamada
  • Miyuki Hiratoko
  • Ikuko Tamine
  • Nozomi Oishi
  • Shuhei Okude

Director of Digital Composite

  • Kohei Funamoto

Digital Composite

  • Yoshiko Tanaka
  • Kazuya Takao
  • Akihiro Ura
  • Hikaru Matsumoto

3DCG Director

  • Rin Yamamoto

3DCG

  • Tetsuro Umetsu
  • Yuji Shibata
  • Norihiro Tomiita
  • Tatsunori Kase
  • Shota Yuba

Screenplay Manager

  • Haruna Matsuda

Design Production Manager

  • Kazuki Kurihara

Production Manager

  • Takahisa Fujita

Sound Director

  • Yota Tsuruoka

Audio Recording

  • Satoshi Yano

Sound Effect

  • Hiromune Kurahashi

Audio Recording Assistant

  • Mai Sunaba

 

Sound Production Manager

  • Tomomi Yano

 

Recording Studio

Studio2010:

 

Sound Production

Rakuonsha

 

Theme Song

“Sincerely”

Lyrics by Miho Karasawa
Composed by Shota Horie
Arranged by Shota Horie and Evan Call

Song TRUE

 

Music Producer

  • Shigeru Saito

 

Music

  • Evan Call

 

Music Production

  • Lantis
  • Miracle Bus

 

Editing

  • Kengo Shigemura

 

HD Editing

Studio2001:

 

Online Editing Studio

Q-tec. inc

 

Online Editing

  • Gen Itakura
  • Hitomi Kimura

 

Studio Manager

  • Takayuki Tahata

 

Publicity Producer

  • Yasushi Miwa

 

Publicity

  • Mayumi Yamaguchi

 

Official Website Design

  • Natsumi Hamada
  • Shinya Tomofuji
  • Momoyo Kawabata

 

Official Website

http://violet-evergarden.jp

 

Logo Design

NIPPON PLANNING CENTER INC.

 

PV Production

  • Tomotaka Kawabe

 

Licensing Management

  • Nagaharu Ohashi
  • Katushiko Muramoto
  • Rise Sakai

 

Planning Cooperation

  • Yoshimi Nakajima
  • Sho Takahashi

 

In Association with Netflix

 

Violet Evergarden Production Committee

Kyoto Animation

  • Ichiro Miyoshi
  • Tatsuya Ishihara
  • Yasuhiro Takemoto
  • Shoko Ikeda
  • Noriyuki Ktanohara
  • Futoshi Nishiya
  • Naoko Yamada
  • Hiroki Ueda
  • Taichi Ogawa
  • Sayaka Negoro
  • Yuhki Tsunoda
  • Chihiro Nakamura
  • Naoki Hosokawa
  • Mutsuo Shiohara
  • Sayaka Ichiyama
  • Shoko Ochiai
  • Mayumi Noguchi
  • Yukiko Takeuchi
  • Kazuki Ueno
  • Maiko Nishioka
  • Atsuko Tanaka
  • Masashi Nishikawa
  • Ryuta Nakagami
  • Satori Senami
  • Ryohei Takashima
  • Koichi Takenishi
  • Keisuke Yokota
  • Yotaro Sato
  • Ryoma Ogawa
  • Hayaki Yasuda
  • Yuka Furukawa
  • Mihwa Jang
  • Taira Kashiwagi
  • Reiko Deguchi
  • Reina Suzuki
  • Shigenobu Hisatsugu
  • Ayaka Nakagawa
  • Yusuke Hirota
  • Miho Sawa
  • Miyo Nishimura
  • Chisa Minami
  • Noriko Ohashi
  • Tomoyo Kurita
  • Hiroaki Kanbara
  • Kumi Kuroda
  • Ruiko Tajima
  • Eri Matsuo
  • Masato Fukushima
  • Miyuki Tanabe
  • Kyoko Matsuno
  • Yurie Nagasaka
  • Hitomi Sato
  • Kazumi Ikeda
  • Eisaku Kawanami
  • Ryohei Muta
  • Tatsuya Sato
  • Kayo Hikiyama
  • Miku Kadowaki
  • Takuya Yamamura
  • Seiya Kumano
  • Maiko Hado
  • Chinatsu Morimoto
  • Keita Nagahara
  • Yurika Ono
  • Miho Kitaji
  • Tomomi Sato
  • Azumi Kuno

PONY CANYON

  • Takahiro Sasaki

ABC Animation

  • Yuri Hasegawa

Lantis

Rakuonsha

 

Animation Production

Kyoto Animation

Assistant Producer

  • Midori Nonoue
  • Tomoki Ueda

Producer

  • Shinichiro Hatta
  • Shinichi Nakamura
  • Kazusa Umeda
  • Shigaru Saito

Planning Producer

  • Hideaki Hatta

Director

  • Taichi Ishidate

Exclusively Available on NETFLIX
Coming soon in 2018

Violet Evergarden

Posted by Chris Haase

A 21 year old girl spending her time on the internet, always looking for that one anime that can be called "the best" (And then for the one that's even better). The best is Diebuster by the way. Diebuster is the best.

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