MAPPA Team Discuss Chainsaw Man Anime – Anime Expo 2022

MAPPA closed off Anime Expo with a rousing Chainsaw Man panel. Although the panel did not show new footage, replaying the trailer was able to rouse the Main Events hall into a fever pitch. Promising to stay true to the original material, the staff are hard at work to bring the best version of Chainsaw Man
possible. As the audience echoed the crowd in the manga panels by chantingChainsaw Man!”, fans left the convention even more enthusiastic for the anime release. Shortly after the panel, Manabu Otsuka (CEO, Studio MAPPA), Hiroshi Seko (scriptwriter), and Makoto Kimura (executive director & rights management director, MAPPA) spoke with ANN on the process of adapting the manga to an anime.

Makoto Kimurasince you oversee new business development/project sales, how did you coordinate with Shueisha to get the rights to adapt Chainsaw Man? Were there any other competitors?

Kimura: As mentioned in the panel, we put together a proposal that outlined how we were very interested in adapting the manga series. We did talk about the visual, the creative art, and the financial aspect of it. We proposed that we were not going to have a committee, and this would be 100% MAPPA
making it. That’s how we were able to get the license for the original work. It’s the first time that something like this is happening for MAPPA. There must have been other companies that also wanted to adapt it, but our proposal was the one that went through.

Ryū Nakayama will make his directorial debut with Chainsaw Man. Why did you choose him to lead the project?

Otsuka: When we were creating the team, we wanted to make sure that the team matches the age of the original author, Tatsuki Fujimoto. Most of the team members are actually one generation younger, except for us three [Otsuka, Seko, and Kimura]. That’s something that was important because we wanted to match the younger generation for the story as well. For instance, in regards to Director Nakayama’s skills, he directed Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 19. I noticed that the fans really loved it, and really enjoyed his animation work. His skill is respected and well received, and I knew that it was a really great role for him. But, having only younger folks can be a little nerve wracking because it’s their first time doing everything. For the script writer, we had Mr. Seko take that lead as somebody that we’ve worked with in the past, and we feel very confident in their skill to hold that position.

Because MAPPA takes chances younger directors and staff members, how does Mr. Seko work with Director Nakayama?

Seko: There isn’t specifically different from what I usually do with any other production. The director gives a request and puts in an order for a certain script, and then I write a script and submits it to the team. The work is the same in terms of collaboration, however, I am an age range higher than Director Nakayama.


In regard to Denji and Makima, how did you balance their interactions considering their complex relationship?

Seko: The dialogue is in the original series, so there’s not adjustment there. But in terms of emphasis, we made sure that Makima’s lines were much more seductive towards Denji. Of course, it’s not just their dialogue. We need to also be conscious of body language and how they carry themselves.

As MAPPA Continues to work on projects such as Chainsaw Manhow do you balance MAPPA‘s resources so that you continue to release high quality anime? Especially Mr. Otsuka because you’re involved in series that are in development as well.

Otsuka: I’m dealing with it properly. Series like Chainsaw Man isn’t just loved by fans, but also by creators themselves. I am always thinking about how the company is going to provide an environment that these creators, that also love these titles, can put their heart and soul into.

MAPPA has consistently come to Anime Expo and is very invested in international fans. What does MAPPA Want to get out of events like Anime Expo?

Otsuka: It’s really important to be able to personally experience fan reactions and their voices at these events and then take it back to the team back in Japan. We share what we saw what the fans are doing and how they’re reacting towards our titles and announcements.

Kimura: It’s interesting to see how fans globally are enjoying and watching anime. It’s also important to see what kinds of products and merchandise are also available to the fans overseas and to reference those as well.

Did you visit Exhibition Hall and Artists Alley? What are your thoughts on products that are available here that are both licensed and not licensed?

Kimura: I did go to Artist Alley. To me, I see it as a combination between licensed events like Anime Japan and Comiketwhich is more of a fan driven event.

We don’t have as many anime products as Japan, unfortunately.

Kimura: If there’s any companies or vendors that are out there that are interested in creating products with MAPPA, they can also get a hold of us through our online contact info. We’re also making products too, and we would like to directly work with folks that are interested.

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