The time has come! The final day of Crunchyroll Expo is live, and that means one of the event’s biggest panels is here. Chainsaw Man is taking the main stage with several of Studio MAPPA’s top executives all for fans. CEO Manabu Otsuka is here alongside producer Makoto Kimura, and as you can imagine, the crowd is lit. So if you want the down-low on team’s big anime, read on!
The panel begins with an introduction of the talent, Otsuka and Kimura. They are led by moderator Kyle Cardine at Crunchyroll.
The pair are asked how their recent travels for CSM have gone. Kimura is the first to speak, sharing that they were in Los Angeles and Paris in July. The panels were all completely full that they held, and each was held in the event’s largest space possible.
Both are deep in the series’ production right now. The team promises to speak to CSM. First, Otsuka is asked what appealed to him about the manga. The CEO says he began reading in volume one, so he was a fan from the start. He knew the series needed to be at MAPPA if an anime were to be ordered. As soon as he saw the characters and setting, he knew he wanted to give it a cinematic outing. In terms of production, the team is moving along well to the October premiere despite some hurdles. There were a lot of difficulties including COVID, but we are putting in everything we’ve got.
The pair are asked how they view CSM now that the manga has gone on for so long. Otsuka says it is a little different for him to read the manga now since he is working to adapt it. He is reading it now for work rather than just a fan. The appreciation is different. I don’t know how far I can talk, but part two? It is a very different world, so I am feeling like an excited fan.
Kimura is asked how CSM is being handled from a business perspective without a production committee. He admits it was important for the studio to produce the anime independently. I think the newest challenge is that we have to think about how we are delivering what we are producing – where do we release the teaser, key visual, and merchandise. They have to do that on their own, and that is a difficulty we are challenging ourselves to do.
Ryu Nakayama wants CSM directly. Otsuka is asked what fans can expect from the young animator. It was important to find someone who was young and in turn with Tatsuki Fujimoto’s worldview in order to do his vision justice. They want to inject younger blood into the project as they are enthusiastic creators.
Shihei Lin, the editor of CSM appears in a video to speak with fans. He says the show is focusing on the rawness of the series Fujimoto first made. Fujimoto looks to realism, and the characters are very real so the voice actors are keeping that in mind while working. Fujimioto gave a note on the PV, saying, There was a lot of blood and I loved it. While he works on the manga weekly, he is also checking animation for the show. So of course, he’s busy. The editor says MAPPA is thinking more about the anime than the creators are at times.
The next question goes to Kimura on how Lin and Fujimoto are involved with the anime. It really feels like they are there for the whole thing, he says. They are working closely with every step from scenario to dubbing and animation. We are working very closely with both of them. Not only in the anime production side are they involved but also merchandise. They are giving us lots of advice because it is important for us to deliver the best of CSM to fans who love the series. As for that advice, Kimura says the two have lots of trust. So they don’t make major changes most of the time because the anime staff is filled with fans. However, they do give advice on detailed nuances here and there.
The producer is asked about part two of Chainsaw Man. Kimura says fans have the same reaction as the anime staff. We were just shocked and in awe. When we first started reading, I mean – Bucky. That was totally shocking and just wondering when Denji is coming. We are feeling the same thing fans are, for sure. Otsuka is also asked about his reaction. He was shocked about Bucky, those first pages made him wonder if the chicken was coming back.
Otsuka asks if part two will be animated. The CEO says nothing has been confirmed but they would love to do an adaptation at the studio. And of course, Fujimoto’s other works if given the chance.
Otsuka is asked how the team feels about production now that it is so close to airing. The CEO says he loves hearing everyone’s excitement, and he is looking forward to the premiere in October. However, on the other hand, the team does feel a bit nervous until they see how fans like it with their own eyes. Otsuka has full faith in the director and their team on this series though.
Otsuka is asked what else he is excited to see in CSM other than its much-anticipated action sequences. He says in the PV, you can see Nakayama really authenticity of the anime – the rawness and almost live-action realism of Fujimoto’s world. And as for action, you can tell Fujimoto put in a lot of excellent action and choreography. We really put in a lot of work to bring that picture to life on screen.
The talk moves to the PVs and the scene changes between the two. Some aspects and moments were revised as you can see. Otsuka speaks to those changes, saying, that the teaser is like a test film for the production team. Once we get feedback after its release, we can make adjustments are needed. We put our full heart in them, but they are also a great testing ground. We look for ways to upgrade any complaints, and then we add that into the anime itself.
The team is asked about how the new trailer went over in Japan. It was there netizens geeked out about the voice casting, and Kimura says it was so cool to see people commenting on the studio’s live stream in all sorts of languages. It’s still up, so you can watch it right now!
How are you feeling about Chainsaw Man ahead of its big October premiere? Are you going to be tuning in? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.