Otakon 2017: 15-minutes with Hidenori Matsubara

This post contains spoilers for In This Corner of the World

Reverse Thieves: The MAPPA Staff at AnimeNEXT expressed a lot of passion for In This Corner of the World. What was your experience with the atmosphere surrounding the project?

Hidenori Matsubara: We were actually pressed for time while making it. I was stuck in the studio for half a year. It’s almost unethical don’t you think! [laughs] But I do think that everyone working on it had a sense of mission; that they must see it through.

Everyone working on it knew the charms of the original manga. However, we didn’t exactly think the anime would sell well. But we all believed it was a wonderful story so we continued making it. So what we thought was, even if people don’t notice the charm in it at first, as long as it was out there people would probably eventually see it and gradually recognize it. In Japan, it has won lots of awards and lots of people have recognized it.

After the panel yesterday, I noticed myself willing even more people to see it. It’s a very unique experience.

RT: You mentioned at the screening that you did a lot of research for the film. Can you tell us more about that and anything you learned that surprised you?

HM: There’s too much! I don’t know where to start from.

So it was the director who started the research. At the beginning, we did not have the funds to immediately start working, so we ended up with lots of time to research. During the movie, the director became synonymous with a researcher even more than a director.

In Japan, there were many events where we announced some of the findings from this movie. We were thinking of putting in the research as a voiceover on the DVD. But since the movie is about 2 hours and 9 minutes, we’d probably need ten times that much to get through it all. In Japan, there are ways for us to put what we found on the Internet, but over here I don’t exactly know how we would start.

It is a wartime story, but the more you find out about it the more interesting it becomes.

RT: As an artist yourself, did you connect with Suzu and the many hardships she goes through especially losing her hand?

HM: It would be horrible wouldn’t it? But I personally think Suzu would have done great drawing with her left hand. I think I’d do the same if I lost my right hand.

RT: Having spent time at Studio GAINAX in its early days, can you tell us about your experience with Hideaki Anno?

HM: Like what? Oh like maybe how he doesn’t eat meat? [laughs] But he doesn’t eat vegetables either. He’s not a vegetarian though. I think he just doesn’t like things. [laughs] I remember when I was 20 and back then I wasn’t exactly a rich person. Sometimes we would go out for ramen. And the pork slice, he’d give it to me! I remember being very happy. That is how old of buddies we are.

RT: Can you tell us if you are working on the 4th Evangelion movie?

HM: Since the project hasn’t exactly started yet, it will be in the future tense but yes, I will be part of it.

More Otakon 2017 posts:

Otakon 2017: Ani-Gamers Podcast
Otakon 2017: General Impressions
The Speakeasy #092: Otakon, More Ideon, More One Piece
Otakon 2017: Artist Alley
Otakon 2017: Panels


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