Lupin III – A Short Interview with Monkey Punch (Animage, 07/1978)

8R5oOYVb_400x400The following interview was originally published in the July issue of Animage, 1978. The interview has been translated by Twitter user @kit_flowerstorm © 2017 Wave Motion Cannon

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Interview with Takahashi Seiji, Nihon TV studio producer. As for animation, this is his second production.

What are the intents of the studio?

S. Takahashi: In the first place, well, I think that when we first produced it, Shueisha guided us with their own wishes (and we weren’t exactly sure what the heck we were doing), but with the results of the investigation of the market, if we’re going to do Lupin, we’re now 99% more on the ball, more confident.

What’s the age range (of the audience)?

S. Takahashi: Well, when you talk about Lupin… the original work was geared towards adults, but broadcasts like these tend to be seen as more for children, right? So I think, now, we’re creating it for high school (age range)…

Interview with Takahashi Yoshimitsu, Tokyo TV producer, who worked on the previous series of Lupin III.

How is it different from the original work?

Y. Takahashi: The original work’s art has to be changed (to suit the medium) because animation is constantly moving images. So the animator naturally has to be very clean (about the art for the animation). Also, for the animation, we did all new scenarios.

Tell us about Fujiko…

Y. Takahashi: Her image is constantly changing. She’s a little malicious, but a charming woman who reaches out to get what she wants. In the original series, she’s a bit amorous, isn’t she? But for the animation, she’s a bit more cool, sorry (laughs)

What have been some of the difficulties with production?

Y. Takahashi: I hope to get the techniques down before I die! (laughs) But also, I think the setup and working with Shueisha on aligning with our desires and theirs, that’s always a concern.

Interview with Monkey Punch, original creator of Lupin III. Original name: Kazuhiko Kato

Lupin’s charming isn’t he…

Monkey Punch: In a word, he’s all about “freedom”, isn’t he. I think this makes him a reflection of what we’d like to be ourselves.

Tell us about Lupin and the supporting characters…?

Monkey Punch: I didn’t have much in mind for Fujiko originally, but I wanted a strong character who contrasted with Lupin… who could be seen as going against him, too. But I didn’t really have much in mind other than that… so every time she appeared, she changed a bit, didn’t she? (laughs)

What’s different in the TV series?

Monkey Punch: It’s a bit like a dream or a fantasy, getting to be called the parent of this work, but it’s a lot of pressure too (laughs). Because of that, though, I think it’s a little… that it’s going to be certainly different and that it’s important that it is. For example, there’s so much emotion and sense going on frame by frame, that if you’re reading the book you can just go back and review it, but you can’t do that the same way (in a TV production). Me and people like me believe that it’s useless to think of books and television the same way. Television is television, so you have to go with what’s good (for television), is what I think.

As a writer, do you have any special news for us?

Monkey Punch: No, not particularly. Unless daily life is news… in which case, I’m terrible at cooking.

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