CLAMP Talk – Magic Knight Rayearth Scenario Collection vol. 2 (November/1995)

© CLAMP/ 講談社

Ohkawa: The airing of the TV show of Magic Knight Rayearth will be over soon[1].

Mokona: One year and three months[2] seemed to be short and long at the same time, and it was short after all (laughs).

Ohkawa: Then, let’s talk about the impressions of the TV anime.

Mokona: It was strange (laughs). Even if our work was shown on the TV screen and it was broadcast all over the country, I wasn’t aware of that.

Igarashi: Before the TV broadcast, we had samples of the video and watched it first, so it was like showing us the video production… (laughs).

Nekoi: I was able to realize that it was being broadcast nationwide when all the elementary school students in the neighborhood of my house were saying “PuuPuu” (laughs).

Ohkawa: For the TV anime, CLAMP also participated as staff from the second season. I have written the scenarios since episode 21. 

Mokona: I did the prop design that appeared in the anime for the second season, and the opening and ending storyboards that changed from episode 43.[3]

Nekoi: How was to do the storyboards of the opening and ending?

Mokona: I was nervous. I can sing both without looking at the lyrics card anymore (laughs).

Igarashi: It was your first time working with Director Hirano.

Mokona: Yes. As a disciple of Director Hirano, the director himself gave me the approval of “Hirano’s Team and Mokona Apapa” (laughs).

Nekoi: It’s a lie. You had the consent of Director Hirano against his will (laughs).

Igarashi: Against his will (laughs).

Mokona: I should have added “Mokona Apapa and Hirano’s Team” to the ending credits (laughs).

Nekoi: (laughs). By the way, there were several OVA versions of our works, but when you write a scenario, did the one for a TV anime differ in many ways?

Ohkawa: There are differences. First, no blood (laughs). No sexual description. Of course, cruel depictions are not good either.

Mokona: That’s no good (laughs).

Ohkawa: It happened once. There was a scene in the 19th episode when Zagato said to Alcyone, “You dare to speak such nonsense with this mouth of yours?”. So, in the first draft I wrote, at that time Zagato puts his finger on Alcyone’s mouth. Of course, it didn’t happen (laughs).

Igarashi: If they had done it, I would have been tense watching the TV (laughs).

Mokona: But do you know the little children? The meaning of this is… (laughs).

Nekoi: There are many people who don’t understand the feeling of being an adult because they are not one (laughs).

Ohkawa: Also, in the second season, it was a shame because the scene where Debonair traces Alcyone’s chest and her abdominal part with long nails was also drawn fairly easily (laughs). I wanted her to touch it more so that you could see the mellow body lines of Alcyone (laughs).

Mokona: At least, you can see her rich breasts (laughs).

Ohkawa: Director Hirano did his best to include as much as possible.

Igarashi: There were too many scenes (laughs).

Ohkawa: Why does that happen? (laughs).

——

Ohkawa: How did Mokona-chan set up the props and costumes for the anime?

Mokona: It was hard. However, I drew too many details, and some retakes occurred. Still, I thought that there were many details, and I was sorry.

Nekoi: By the way, there was a couple, a man and a woman, who came to see the Rayearth Original Art Exhibition. The woman said, “I wonder if the robots in this manga were designed by the mangaka?”, and then the man said, “I don’t think they have done that. I’m an animator” (laughs).

Mokona: I was there (laughs). At that time, I wanted to tell the man, “I definitely did it”. But if I had said that, maybe he would not believe me.

Ohkawa: First of all, I don’t think they can believe it because you are Mokona Apapa (laughs).

Mokona: It’s okay because I look like Rayearth‘s Mokona.

Ohkawa: Be proud… I think (laughs).

Mokona: Some of the robots only appeared in the anime and were designed by Moriki-san and Yamane-san, but I did the Mashin.[4]

Ohkawa: Originally, the FTO had an anime and a manga version and there were plans to change it, so while I was writing the scenario for episode 22, it was not decided yet, but in the end, it was Mokona’s design the used one. 

Mokona: But the anime one is cool.

——

Ohkawa: There were a lot of products related to Mokona, but from the standpoint of designing, how was it Nekoi-chan?

Nekoi: There were a lot of them. All the products were very good, probably because of the simple modeling.

Ohkawa: Were there any products you liked?

Mokona: When my four-year-old niece carried a Mokona’s backpack, she said that she was an idol in the kindergarten (laughs). Also, the prototypes of Kana Minamida-san’s for the dolls released by SEGA-san were beautiful.

Nekoi: I was happy that all the stuffed toys of Mokona were cute.

Igarashi: I used Rayearth shampoo (laughs).

Ohkawa: It’s not a toy, but the Sega Saturn video game was fun, as we also love video games (laughs). The graphics are beautiful, and above all, it’s fun to play. I love both Game Gear video games, 1 and 2. In the second one with the training game, I haven’t been able to make the girls the Magic Knights yet (laughs).[5]

——

Igarashi: But for the time being, I’m glad that writing the scenarios is all over.

Ohkawa: Truly.

Nekoi: Did you have any difficulties with the anime and the manga, which were going on at the same time?

Ohkawa: Well, it was hard not to overtake the manga. The characters’ first appearance and their techniques must appear first in the manga. Also, because the anime ends earlier, the ending for the manga cannot be used. The settings differ between the anime version and the manga version, it’s complicated, and there was a lot of people who mixed them.

Mokona: For example?

Ohkawa: For example, the manga version of Eagle never spitted out blood. However, in the anime version, due to his disease it is easy to understand it as a picture, so he spits out blood. Another thing is the crisis of Autozam. In the anime version, Autozam is depleted of mental energy, so in the manga version is different and it is air pollution, but this part seems to be mixed by people, “Autozam has air pollution and Eagle spits out blood”. That’s why I was surprised to receive a letter saying that he got sick of his lungs because of the polluted air.[6]

Mokona: I see. The manga and the anime are mixed.

Ohkawa: Yes. One difference between the anime and manga are the characters of Nova and Debonair, and I know that they get mixed in the manga by some people.

Igarashi: Nova doesn’t appear in the manga.

Ohkawa: In the anime, part of the story of Eagle in the manga is played by Nova. For me, the biggest differences between the manga and the anime is Mokona (laughs) and the other one is Eagle.

Nekoi: The ending is completely different between the manga and the anime.

Ohkawa: The ending of the anime version is a compilation of the ideas of Director Hirano and TV producers. My stance on the TV anime is not as the original author, but the writer who knows the original story to the end. Of course, if a remake occurs, I’ll rewrite as many drafts as possible, and even if it’s completely different from what I originally thought, it’s my job to discuss and write it into sentences.

Igarashi: Your highest mark was to correct the draft up to seven times (laughs).

Ohkawa: I did that (laughs). However, the anime version of Rayearth was easy because there were no restrictions such as “Every time transform and unite”, “The sword is up for more than ten seconds”, or “Be sure to transform every time” (laughs).

——

Ohkawa: Do you have any favorite episodes from the whole TV anime?

Mokona: The episode 30 is impressive. It was the time when Regalia came out. Each Mashin is cool.

Nekoi: I like episode 28 in which Lantis and Hikaru go on a journey, and Eagle ignores Lantis’ presence and then it becomes a battle.

Igarashi: Episode 30 is wonderful. Just before Regalia breaks the sword and Rayearth disappears, the scene where he receives Hikaru-chan in his hand is wonderful, isn’t it?

Mokona: I also like episode 33. I like the scene where Nova comes into the heart of Hikaru and shows her the images of the past. But these are going backwards.

Ohkawa: What I like the most… I can’t choose (laughs). What I enjoyed watching was the story of Umi-chan fighting against the Djinn and the story of Fuu-chan in the archery match inside the Dome.[7]

Igarashi: But there are times when the story in the scenario of the anime is completely different from the first draft.

Mokona: Sacchan must read the first drafts (laughs).

Igarashi: It’s a good role (laughs). 

Ohkawa: There are opinions from various people included in the scenarios of the anime. Since each of the “final drafts” are published in the Scenario Collection books, there are some stories that are completely different from the ones I originally wrote. But there were times when I haven’t done many changes (laughs).

Nekoi: I’d like to see that one too (laughs).

Mokona: In other words, the scenario of the TV version of Rayearth is different from what Nanase-chan thought of.

Ohkawa: But I think that it’s better to have a lot of opinions from various people and to continue to refine them in order to create a better scenario.

Nekoi: Please, show me the first drafts later (laughs).

——

Mokona: The TV anime ends in November, but the manga is still going on.

Ohkawa: Thank you for your help (laughs).

Mokona: No, you’re welcome (laughs).

Ohkawa: The second part of the manga is in the last of the three volumes, as I originally thought.

Nekoi: Nanase-chan thinks about any story from the very beginning to the end.

Ohkawa: That’s right. If you don’t do that, you won’t be able to draw any hint or end as planned (laughs).

Mokona: I was listening to the reading of the two last chapters, so I know what happens (laughs).[8]

Igarashi: I know (laughs).

Nekoi: For the time being, I know too (laughs).

Ohkawa: The manga ends with the second part, but Rayearth has an OVA.

Mokona: Now, I’m setting up the costumes.

Ohkawa: I’m writing the scenario (laughs).[9]

Nekoi: It isn’t like the TV anime.

Ohkawa: No. The ending of the manga is the original one. I think the anime conclusion should be put on TV. If you think, the OVA is a parallel world… The three girls are in the same school.

Igarashi: CLAMP school (laughs).

Ohkawa: Yes, for the time being (laughs).

Ohkawa: The original story was about “Hikaru-chan and Co. going to a different world and fighting”, but for the OVA, it is in the form of “People from a different world come to Tokyo and Hikaru-chan and Co. meet them”.

Nekoi: I think, it’s going to be for adults (laughs).

Ohkawa: This time, I would like to make a story for adults (laughs).

Nekoi: Are there Mashin?

Ohkawa: Yes, but the size is different. The design will be a little more natural.

Mokona: The half of the name is written like that (laughs).[10]

Igarashi: It sounds splendid (laughs).

Ohkawa: Not only Hikaru-chan and her friends will have one, also Cephiro’s people will have a beast like a partner, which transforms into a Mashin. Not all characters from the first and second parts will appear.

Nekoi: Who will appear?

Ohkawa: For the time being, Emeraude, Zagato, Lantis, and Eagle are going to appear. The costumes and the setting are completely different.

Igarashi: Will Mokona appear? (laughs).

Ohkawa: I think, Mokona will appear (laughs).

Nekoi: As a character? (laughs).

Ohkawa: I have a serious plan for the time being (laughs).

Mokona: It’s an adult story, and the OVA is okay for that (laughs).

Ohkawa: Yes (laughs).

Mokona: Is blood okay? (laughs).

Ohkawa: It is (laughs).

Mokona: Is destruction okay?

Ohkawa: Why do you want to destroy it? (laughs)

Mokona: No, if the Mashin go rampant in Tokyo, wouldn’t they destroy it? (laughs).

——

Ohkawa: By the way, the TV version has not been aired for a week.[11]

Mokona: Oh, that’s right (laughs).

Ohkawa: The flow of a short time is written over 29 episodes. I think some of you have noticed that there are few places where you can judge that a short time has passed since dawn. The story of the resurrection of the sword of Hikaru-chan, that takes about three episodes, is also a really short time event.

Nekoi: Most events are happening at the same time.

Ohkawa: That’s right. It has become a form in which there are many simultaneous stories starting from episode 21. However, I think that those who were watching felt that the flow of time was slow, and they were gritting their teeth. However, for TV you can’t decide what story ends until it just happens. There were a number of episodes that I had a hard time not being able to tell the story easily because it suddenly extended, or it was cut down. 

——

Igarashi: By the way, who is your favorite character in the second season of the anime?

Mokona: I guess, it is Primera. When I see her moving around, I think that she has wings, and they are small and cute.

Igarashi: Then, what about the manga?

Mokona: I’m the type who loves the main character (laughs). I think that it’s Hikaru-chan. What about you Nekoi-chan?

Nekoi: That’s a difficult question (laughs). I like the anime Geo. Because he is a person with a sense of stability.

Ohkawa: And for the manga?

Nekoi: I like Geo from the manga too (laughs). It is a person who seems to be able to go out with a peaceful mind.

Ohkawa: I see (laughs). What about you Sacchan?

Igarashi: Nova-chan because she is an original character from the anime.

Ohkawa: Nova seems to be always happy while everyone is worried (laughs).

Igarashi: What about you Nanase-chan?

Ohkawa: Me? Hmm. For the anime version it is Nova. Since it’s not in the manga, there’s not much to worry about, so that child is easy to write (laughs). Besides, I have only one thing to think about; therefore, it’s easy to draw her emotional expressions (laughs). For the manga it is difficult. If it is the first part, it is Presea, but if it is the second part…Well, maybe it is Caldina.

Nekoi: I like Caldina and Presea too.

Mokona: Me too. It’s so fun to draw both (laughs).

Ohkawa: Personally, I like Alcyone. I think she’s really honest and cute.

Mokona: I’m so sorry that in the manga she doesn’t appear anymore (laughs).

——

Nekoi: So, to finish. What was the hardest part of writing the scenario for the second season?

Ohkawa: Picking up some settings (laughs). Since I entered in the middle of the first season, there were some settings and characters that I couldn’t really understand, so it was quite difficult (laughs).

Igarashi: What made it easier to write?

Ohkawa: I was no longer busy with some setting corrections that the first season left; it was after episode 28.

Mokona: Starting from the scenarios included inside this book.[12]

Ohkawa: There were many characters in the second season; therefore, it was a lot of work, but for the time being, I’m relieved that I finished. The manga is still going on, so I would like everyone to look for the ending there as well.

Mokona: Let’s do our best together! (laughs).

Everyone: Yeah! (laughs).

Notes

[1] The last episode of the Magic Knight Rayearth TV Anime was aired on November 27th of 1995.

[2] Maybe Mokona is talking about all the time that the whole anime of Magic Knight Rayearth was aired (first and second season), plus the planning time. So, that gives us two months for planning approximately.

[3] These materials are included inside the Magic Knight Rayearth Materials Collection.

[4] She is talking about the GTO and Regalia made by Yasuhiro Moriki and Masahiro Yamane.

[5] For the Game Gear games, their names are Magic Knight Rayearth & Magic Knight Rayearth 2 ~ making of magic knight ~. For the second game, you have 50 days to train the girls, developing different skills by training, studying, singing, praying, dancing, etc. Depending on the skills you have and the items you get during those days, you get a different ending for each girl. To obtain the Magic Knight ending for each girl is a pain in the ass because you must get an item that randomly appears when you fight the monsters in the game.

[6] That is why Ohkawa was insisting so much not to mix the settings for the anime and manga in the interview included inside the Materials Collection (you can read that interview here).

[7] Ohkawa is talking about episodes 32 & 36. Dome = Aska’s dragon ship.

[8] This talk was taken around September-October of 1995 and they were talking about the ending of the Rayearth manga, which was only published in March of 1996.

[9] Although Ohkawa says here that she’s working on the script for the OVAs, the person who is credited as the scriptwriter for the three OVAs is Manabu Nakamura, not Nanase Ohkawa. What may have happened is that, by the time this talk was taken, Ohkawa was supposed to work on the script and maybe she had some work done but eventually the work was done by somebody else. Given that the OVAs seem very close to a story that Ohkawa would write, we could assume that she drafted the general story and Manabu Nakamura took over and turned it into a proper script.

[10] To explain what Ohkawa and Mokona were talking about… As you may know, in the manga the name Mashin uses ateji. The kanji are 魔神 which could be translated as Magic Spirit God, if you try to combine those concepts, you get the translations of genie or Rune-God. The way to pronounce the kanji is written as マシン that is the English word of “machine” pronounced as “mashin”. Here, CLAMP not only played with the kanji and the pronunciation, but it was also a way to say that the Mashin have a spiritual and mechanical part. That’s why the Mashin design in the manga have mechanical parts and they resemble fantastic creatures such as a dragon and a phoenix. In the OVA, the ateji is eliminated, so the name only is kept using the kanji 魔神, which leaves only the magic spirit part. And that’s why the Mashin in the OVA doesn’t look like robots and resemble more like animals (fantastic creatures).

[11] It is hard to tell which break Ohkawa is talking about, because the second season of the anime of Rayearth had five weeks without airing an episode, and the Scenario Collection book doesn’t specify the date of this talk. But taking as reference the Materials Collection interview, you had a time of two months between the making of the interview and the publishing of the book. Following that, the break Ohkawa is talking about took place on September 25th of 1995, with the anime airing again on October 16th with episode 43. So, this talk took place between the last week of September and the first week of October of 1995.

To learn more about ateji and how CLAMP uses it in their works, please read Painting Words and Worlds by Mia Lewis.

[12] Scenario Collection # 2 includes the scenarios of episodes 28 to 34.

Translated from Japanese by shidouhikaru15.

Source

Interview originally published in Magic Knight Rayearth Scenario Collection 2 (Kodansha), released on November 30, 1995. Original text available upon request.

If you found mistakes in this translation or would like to contribute with translating other interviews, please contact me.