GARO is a very popular live-action tokusatsu franchise which has now branched out into other media. Studio MAPPA paired director Yuichiro Hayashi and producer and monster designer Toru Kubo to bring this new story by Yasuko Kobayashi to life as an anime. GARO the Animation was so popular that another anime series is starting in fall and the first series is getting a complication movie.
Mr. Hayashi is just ramping up as a director, but he is already an accomplished key animator. His understanding as an animator allowed him to create some very memorable sequences throughout GARO and easily transition the live-action series into animation.
Mr. Kubo was involved with the live-action GARO franchise bringing all of that knowledge to the table. While he spent most of his time as producer on the animated series, he also contributed many monster designs to it as well.
They spoke with us about adapting a live-action series and the Horror designs. And they also gave us a tidbit about the upcoming movie.
Reverse Thieves: Since GARO the Animation is based on a live-action tokusatsu franchise, was adapting it into anime different than when the source material is a manga or video game?
Yuichiro Hayashi: It really wasn’t that different in this case because the anime is an original story based on the GARO franchise. Also, GARO [live-action] cuts a bit towards anime.
RT: What were the most important elements from the live-action series that you wanted to express in the anime?
YH: What we didn’t change, what we inherited, was Garo’s design of course. His actions and his sword, props and those kinds of things were important to keep. Also Zaruba, the ring, is one of the key elements of Garo. These were all things that we believed strongly that we should keep.
[With regards to story], I wanted to bring everything I liked about tokusatsu into the anime. And GARO as a relatively adult tokusatsu [franchise], we wanted to keep that horror feeling in the animation, too. And there are other aspects, like Garo being kind of a dark hero, that we wanted to preserve in the anime.
RT: Let’s talk about the Horrors design. With the Spanish Inquisition setting, what sort of material were you inspired by.
Toru Kubo: We first had to think about what really existed back then because we didn’t want to throw in things that would look too futuristic and not fit the era.
The horrors are the greed of the person they hold. And what kind of greed would a person back in those time be exposed to? The greed would have to an everyday thing they were exposed to.
One of the horrors, the gate, [. . .] is the idea of fear, a Hell’s gate. Disregarding the time it would be in, it is what people would imagine it to look like. How did it move, would it open? All of these things work on people’s fears.
RT: Did the story always come first, before the monster designs? Were there any Horrors that actually informed the story?
YH: We had a bit of both.
TK: I think there were more cases where the story came first.
YH: The opposite was actually Octavia. She became a part of the story [because] we wanted a character who was a sort of knight in armor to do a final standoff against Garo.
RT: Mr. Maruyama (head of studio MAPPA) mentioned there will be GARO movie or movies compiling the story of the first season. Will there be any new material included?
YH: We kept elements of the TV show of course, but we also wanted to make it a bit more flashy. It is a movie! So it needs to be fitting for something that size.
TK: But we can’t really talk about it too much right now. What I will tell you is that [. . .] there will be things that we couldn’t express in the [TV] anime. We will go in with a blast and end it with a blast! We expanded the scale on the action.
YH: I would also suggest that the fans take a look at the TV series once again because we took care to change some minute details, too.
More Otakon 2015 posts:
Otakon 2015: Tweets
New Anime for Older Fans 2015
Otakon 2015: 15-minutes with Director Shinji Takamatsu
Otakon 2015: General Impressions
Otakon 2015: 15-minute with Director Seiji Kishi
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