Kazuya Murata Interview @ Otakon 2011

As if the premiere of FMA: The Sacred Stars of Milos isn’t fortunate enough, I had the distinct pleasure to interview the director hours before the film. Kazuya Murata has also lent his talents to other animes including Eureka Seven, Pokemon and Gunsmith Cats. Transcript of the interview below, followed by an edited video.

The Paper: First, I want to thank you for taking the time to grant us the interview. On behalf of Anime Diet and Dragonfish Films, I really appreciate your time.

Kazuya Murata: Same, the honor goes to me.

TP: You have done a lot animes. Which one is your favorite?

KM: The most favorite work of mine is the current one, Fullmetal Alchemist: Sacred Star of Milos.

TP: Why is that?

KM: Because it succeeds in having the most interesting animation that I had in mind to entertain the audience.

TP: You have done everything from Pokemon to Gunsmith Cats, two very different animes. How do you approach a project?

KM: There are a lot of genres. But there are certain elements that ensure that the viewers always have a good time. Whether it’s something that feels good or grasps the viewers’ hearts, the basic ingredients are the same. So I like to conjure those essences that makes anime enjoyable regardless of the genre. So actually my approach is always the same.

TP: Well, That definitely explains the magic of your works because the vast majority of your work indeed are very entertaining… definitely grabs the audience. Is there anything else, any other ingredients, to use your word, that you put in?

KM: Anime characters run into a lot of situations. I want the viewers to simultaneously share the same emotional experiences that the characters are having. If the character is surprised or having fun, I want the audience thrown together into the world along with the character. I try different camera angles or rearrange plot development throughout the process.

TP: Well, I must say that you do that very, very well. Of the works you’ve done, has there been something that you like to change?

KM: Personally, I want to make a lot of changes in my animes but once shown, they become part of the viewers’ property as well. Since a particular change I want to make may be in fact an aspect very dear to the viewer, I don’t actually want to change past works I’ve done.

TP: That’s a really good answer. Is there something that you might
want to direct? Is there something that interests you?

KM: Actually, I’m already working on something that I’m interested in but I can’t reveal it here. I rather you to look forward to it than having me tell you about it right now.

TP: That’s funny because my next question was actually to ask what’s your next project but I guess I will have to skip that now.

KM: [Smiles. Chuckles.]

TP: What’s the best part about your job. The worst part?

KM: The best part is that I’m in the position to actually realize the thing that will best entertain the viewers. In turn, the worst part is if the viewers are not entertained, then all the responsibility falls on my shoulders.

TP: I was thinking since I can’t ask what your next project is, how do you approach a project?

KM: In Japan, works are constantly produced but I want to make an anime with a vista that noone has seen. Not just in terms of animation but something that’s completely new in the animation field. Rather, a new vision, a new breeze to mankind. Something really new.

TP: Last question. I am a big music fan so as a silly question, when you go into a record store, which section do you goto first?

KM: [Chuckles.] That’s a hard question because I don’t goto record stores that often.

TP: Ah but the music in your movies are really amazing.

KM: Really?

TP: Yes, like Eureka 7 or FMA.

KM: [Nods.] If I must choose, I like classical and movie soundtracks. Since childhood, I’ve listened to Beethoven, Schubert and Tchaikovsky. Those are my favorite composers and I used to listen to them a lot.

TP: Thank you so much.

KM: Thank you.

Video generously provided by Dragonfish Films.