Chika Umino and Akiyuki Shinbo Interview Parts 2 and 3

As part 2 of the interview was quite short, I decided to also add in the next part. In this, Chika Umino talks about the unique execution used by Shaft works and how she feels about this in regard to the anime adaptation of March comes in like a Lion.

**Possible Spoilers for March comes in like a Lion**

– But, speaking seriously, we’ve always been listening to these thoughts from Umino-san.

Umino – I really like the anime made by Shaft, so I don’t quite get it when talking about how Shinbo-san may be criticised. I even end up thinking “what, why?”

Shinbo – Up to now, the second it’s announced that production will be done by Shaft, we’ve been criticised you see (laughs).

Umino – That’s probably something that happens at least once to anyone. Like a baby starting off in a state of excitement not showing a great range of emotion, it may be that everyone’s getting worked up all at once.

– I see.

Shinbo – I don’t really look at the internet so I don’t know directly, but I often hear this sort of thing from the staff around me.

– There’s no doubt that Shinbo-kantoku and Shaft have quite a unique image in the anime industry, especially in the direction. So because of that I think people may feel nervous about it.

Umino – On the other hand, fans of Shinbo-san may feel that with my work, it may not let Shinbo-san and Shaft go to their full potential. For example with novels, Senjougahara-san’s (from the Monogatari Series) house is set up like a stage setting with the use of the steel framework. These sorts of arrangements or imagined landscapes are possible with these novels, but with ‘March comes in like a Lion’, the setting is limited and have already been set up in the original work. So maybe people will worry that they won’t have complete freedom in what they want to do. I thought that if the anime adaptation had been declined, this would be the reason. I also liked anime by Shaft because the girls were cute, so it makes me a bit sad that we may not be seeing that in ‘March comes in like a Lion’.

Shinbo – What do you mean?

Umino – It was always a lot of fun seeing the girls in the ‘Monogatari Series’, but with ‘March comes in like a Lion’ it’s quite a stiff story. There aren’t many scenes where I feel excited by the girls¹ so I do feel a bit disappointed by this.

Shinbo – In the ‘Monogatari Series’, we do draw the girls to make them appear cunning² in places.

Umino – I really like that sort of thing, you see. To the point where I feel a bit sad that the character designer isn’t Akio Watanabe (laughs).

Shinbo – But the character designs you’re looking at at the moment are very cute aren’t they?

Umino – The designs look just like my own drawings. As they aren’t moving yet (as an anime) it felt like I had just been shown my own drawings, so I was very surprised. Just that everything was so similar. Thinking that this will be moving… it’s amazing…!!

Shinbo – But it vaguely looks like Rei-kun’s hair is able to move.

Umino – I’d really like it to.

Shinbo – Like it’s being blown by the wind³.

Umino – He doesn’t show his emotions much, so like Ashitaka (from Mononoke Hime), we can express them with his hair movement (laughs). He wears quite tight clothes, with his shirt tucked in, so he can’t show his emotions. Wind blows on the bridge,  but it doesn’t blow in the shogi hall.

Shinbo – But, it’s really good when characters like that that don’t show their emotions gradually start to open up.

Umino – Thinking that Kiriyama-kun’s embarrassed, there are scenes where I draw Kiriyama’s face small and side on. But then Shinbo-san says (in the scenario meeting) let’s do a close-up of the face (laughs). I thought wow, adults are mean (laughs), men don’t feel any mercy towards the same sex. I’m a women so I made it into a long shot as I felt sorry for him if I forcefully did a close-up.

– This is the scene in chapter 28 ‘Blinding Darkness’, where Rei-kun runs out of the shogi hall after losing to Shimada 9-dan, isn’t it?

Shinbo – As much as I knew why you did it, I thought that this was the place it had to be shown.

Umino – I gave careful consideration to Kiriyama-kun in that scene… But maybe it might be fun for the audience to be forcefully shown Kiriyama-kun’s embarrassed face.

– There’s also the point that it’s easier to understand.

Shinbo – After all, I want everyone to come together and come closer to Kiriyama-kun’s character.


1. 女の子にときめくシーンが少ない was used here. ときめくis quite difficult to translate  into English so I have slightly changed the sentence.

2. あざとい, means cunning and also calculated sexual attraction.

3. ぶわっと. *boom*, *whoosh*, etc. to describe hair movement.




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