Bungo Stray Dogs with Masahiko Minami and Chiaki Kurakane – Crunchyroll Expo 2022

It’s been four years since the last entry in Bungo stray dogs anime series (san pale!), but fans were ready to learn more about the upcoming season and the chance to rejoin the adventures of the Armed Detective Agency and the Port Mafia. Crispy roll Senior Brand Manager Chris Han He welcomed the president of Studio Bones Masahiko Minami Other Kadokawa producer Chiaki Kurakane on stage to discuss the series and share brand new announcements. Guests appeared on stage in matching t-shirts with manga panels (Minami, which was outfitted with three back-to-back panels, would later undergo some clothing changes).

After the events of the third season, Kurakane explained that the new season is about Atsushi trying to figure out how to continue with the agency without the usual help of his friends. The series will introduce a new enemy group, a police squad known as the Hunting Dogs. The trailer featured both these new enemies and the new characters Nikolai and Mushitaro.

“I really like this new character called Mushitaro,” said Kurakane. “He’s so cute and he’s my favorite, so I hope all of you guys can appreciate his sweetness in him.”

Han sat down with the guests after the reveal of the trailer to discuss the production of the series over the past three seasons.

Bones is known for his flashy action and wide range of animation styles and specialties. What specialties did you want to focus on during the production process?

Minami: With Studio Bones we focus on a lot of action, explosions and missiles – this is the direction we go with our work. Bungo stray dogs it’s a lot about superpowers, so how do we express that? Through art. We asked the manager [Takuya] Igarashi and the staff to work on a new style of expression to capture the wonder of Bungo stray dogs. I’ll talk a little bit about this in my next panel on Studio Bones, but for whatever reason we have it My academic hero, Bungo stray dogs, Mob Psycho 100 – we had this super powerful trio to work on. With Bungo we wanted to add an element that differentiates it from the other two series.

What kind of discussions did you have with the original author and how much involvement did the author have in creating the composition and scenario of the series?

Kurakan: Kafka Asagiri he is one of the original creators and is always very helpful. He always shows up at all of our meetings and planning sessions and is a key part of our planning and is always ready to help and share his views. This is kind of a friendly story to share, but while we were working on the script and scenery for the first season, a lot of different people on the staff – like the producers and Asagiri – we all went on a trip to Yokohama and worked on the script together as a way to get away from the office but still have a fun and collaborative environment.

Is it normal to have authors / creators involved in a production?

Minami: In the case of adaptations, most animation studios would involve the original creators and would like them to participate out of respect and due diligence. However, Asagiri is kind of a special case in that he comes to every single meeting every week, which is a bit rare because usually a publishing house sends a representative of their editorial team to act as an intermediary between the author and us. . But Asagiri is so helpful and incredibly active in participating in the production.

We didn’t know Asagiri at first, so we didn’t know what kind of person he was initially or what to expect. But by being able to build a relationship with him we built a sense of trust, and with this fourth season we have had a lot of discussions and collaborations, so a lot of new ideas have come up.

At this point in the Q&A session, the host took some time to recap the last few seasons of Bungo stray dogs along with Kurakane and Minami.

What’s the most important thing to remember in Season 1?

Kurakan: With season 1-2 and the movie, it’s all really about Atsushi and it even goes into a little bit of his past and how he finds his place and himself and what his role is in the world.

Minami: With Season 1 we brought together 4-5 animators, but as this was a new series for Bones, everything from character design to storyboard was based on Sango Harukawais art. How do we make them move, act, etc? Based on this, this is how we chose a character designer. [Nobuhiro] Arai has a unique art style that tends to be a little sexy; we knew the original work was very popular with the fans, so we wanted to appeal to that sensuality. This is how we chose Arai.

What are the important parts or highlights of Season 2?

Kurakan: With some characters like Mori Ōgai, it was really important to emphasize their relationship with the Port Mafia and with the agency. Throughout the guild there have been battles and conflicts between them, and some discoveries need to be made about who is above the humans and who is at the bottom. Both Akutagawa and Atsushi are at the lowest level, so how do they struggle and reconcile with that position?

Minami: The manga was centered around the guild arc and a novel was also made at the time that it caught up and carried on, so there were several challenges in adapting it into 12 episodes. Thanks to Kurakane and all the staff for their hard work in expanding the world of Bungo stray dogs.

What are the important parts or highlights of Season 3?

Kurakan: Continuing from season 2, a new character was introduced – Fyodor Dostoevsky – who was kind of a boss in the story, so we wanted to express the struggles with his underlings and the political dynamics involved. We also wanted to focus on Akutagawa and Atsushi, both characters with traumatic pasts and united by a kind of sibling rivalry that really shows the burning passion of a shonen manga.

Minami: There was a lot to do with many characters being introduced along with new guilds from overseas. It may have been a little too much with all the world building going on, so we tried to clean it up a bit as we worked on the theatrical release. The art for some reason got really detailed to the point where you could see the wrinkles and skin folds on the characters’ lips. I think the art was taken to the next level in season 3.

(For Kurakane) What do you think about the relationship between Atsushi and Dazai?

Kurakan: As the story focuses on Atsushi and his growth, it really starts from the moment Atsushi and Dazai meet. It is therefore very important that the detective agency is presented to Atsushi by Dazai; Atsushi had no confidence in himself, so Dazai takes on the role of mentor to hint but not give him the full answer on how to find your place in the world.

There is some unease between them, but once they get to the point where they separate and can no longer be in contact with each other, it’s really up to Atsushi to take the initiative and protect Yokohama.

What other roles did Arai take on in production besides designing the characters?

Minami: Because there are so many different characters – a new one is introduced almost every week – we asked Arai to manage the animation direction. He is involved in every part of the process where a character appears. The direction of the animation is really handled by Arai to make sure everything comes together and is consistent in the look and feel.

Can you briefly explain the process you go through when selecting jobs at Bones and the production process?

Minami: Within Studio Bones we actually have five secondary studios (A to E) all working on different projects and, although they are separate, we try to match the staff to the right project based on their abilities. It’s not that we only work on the same projects, and even if we did Bungo stray dogs working in the same secondary office, sometimes there is a bit of openness, a certain availability. We have studio D running our manufacturer Suzuki – which they worked on Sk8 – and while it’s a bit of a tough and really tough schedule, sometimes these kinds of opportunities arise. That’s a lot of work. We are really famous for our action and mechanic anime – this is our reputation from the outside – but we try to make these decisions internally so we can find out which projects are best for us. Within our staff we have a regular presentation on what they want to work on; as an example, Fullmetal alchemist was proposed by the character designer [Yoshiyuki] Ito and my reaction was like “yes this is really good, sure”.

Tell us about your process during planning and production Bungo stray dogs?

Kurakan: When vol 1 [of the manga] it was finished, Kato da Kadokawa he brought it to us and said “this was a really fun project, and I think it would be a great thing to turn it into animation”, and it really started from there. As Minami previously said, the animation process is very difficult, but there are times when we are not working on anything directly and during this time we work hard with social announcements and new projects like theatrical release to keep it going. It is really thanks to you guys that we have been able to continue with our work and produce more and more content for Bungo stray dogs; I have a lot of appreciation for everyone here.

Is there any original anime scene in the anime series that didn’t have an original source?

We typically try to stay true to the original source, but around episode 7-8 in the first season – it’s a scene involving Kunikida and Dazai – the original source had Atsushi joining the agency afterwards, while in the anime there we had him, so he joined first. This is one of the biggest areas where the anime differs from the source material.

Minami closed the panel with a final message: We have really worked hard to make this new season so great and to bring it to you guys in a state that would be exciting. Please wait for it and enjoy.