Seiji Kishi is a director with a wide swath of genres under his belt. He has worked on numerous video game to anime adaptions like the Persona 3 movie, Devil Survivor 2: The Animation, and Danganronpa: The Animation. He helped bring to the life the multi-media project Hamatora. He knows magical girls (Yuki Yuna is a Hero) and alien teachers (Assassination Classroom) and washed-up heroes (Astro Fighter Sunred). He has worked with Type-Moon. And he is currently working on the Noitamina series Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace inspired by the works of Japan’s most beloved mystery writer Edogama Rampo. We sat down with Mr. Kishi for a few minutes to discuss his unique style.
Reverse Thieves: How much of Edogawa Rampo had you read before Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace? Do you have a favorite story of his?
Seiji Kishi: You know him as the father of Japanese detective stories, but he is also required reading for all children in Japan. He is very famous among children. I, too, as a child read many of his works; in fact, that is when I read him most, when I was small.
RT: Do you have a story you are most looking forward to adapting?
SK: Well, the plan with the new series isn’t episodic. It doesn’t use any one specific work. Edogawa Rampo’s stories exist as the basis for the ideas [in the new show].
RT: What were some of the difficulties of modernizing Edogawa Rampo’s ideas?
SK: I’m not sure I would call this difficult, but when starting the project we had to sort of adopt [Edogawa Rampo’s] mentality. And one of the personalities he holds inside himself is this, kind of, insanity deep within. So, we used that insanity to make his works visual.
RT: Speaking of the visuals, at the beginning of Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace many of the background characters appear faceless until they are introduced. Can you talk a bit about this styling and the reasoning behind it?
SK: The approach we are taking is from the protagonist Kobayashi’s eyes. You’d be surprised by how much you don’t perceive or memorize unless you take an interest in it and this is how [Kobayashi] sees the world, too.
RT: Hamatora also had a unique visual style using scene transitions, color, and other design elements. What was the philosophy behind those decisions?
SK: I was most attached to American TV dramas from the 60s and 70s, the feel and the color, those are the things I wanted to put in there. It isn’t 100% the same as those, but that is where we got many inspirations from.
SK: You speak about a difficult task! [laughter]
From my perspective, Mr. Takeuchi is a huge supporter of Mr. Nasu. Because of all the intellect that Mr. Nasu has in terms of his writing and everything, Mr. Takeuchi provides the pictures and visuals to support that. I see him [Mr. Takeuchi] as a person who devotes his life in supporting Mr. Nasu to do his best.
In regards to Mr. Nasu himself, getting all that support and devotion from Mr. Takeuchi, he does whatever he pleases. [laughter] He goes all over the place, he does what he likes, he is a very unique character.
They are very well together.
More Otakon 2015 posts:
Otakon 2015: Tweets
New Anime for Older Fans 2015
Otakon 2015: General Impressions
Otakon 2015: 15-minutes with Director Shinji Takamatsu
Crime Scene Investigations #009: Otakon 2015
Otakon 2015: Guests
Otakon 2015: 15-minutes with GARO’s Yuichiro Hayashi and Toru Kubo
Otakon 2015: Artist Alley