Works for Toei Animation. Has been responsible for animation in many works, including the One Piece anime series, and the PreCure All Stars NewStage3: Eternal Friends film. Dragon Ball Super: Broly is the first work for which he has been appointed as animation supervisor.
Please tell us how you felt when you were chosen to be the animation supervisor for this film.
First off, I felt pressure. I’ve watched the many Dragon Ball movies that have been made up till now, so I was quite anxious. I hoped I would be able to portray the same image of Dragon Ball that I’d experienced when watching it as a child.
Is there anything you were particularly attentive to while working on this film?
Early Dragon Ball didn’t use very much shading, so we talked about using that same approach for this movie. However, during the course of production, we thought that giving the action scenes shading would make them more thrilling, so we ended up going that route. So the everyday life scenes were given less shading, while the action scenes didn’t have to stick to that requirement; all that mattered was making them look cool. Adding shading increases the amount of visual information, and thus it ups the intensity as well. So I believe the clear contrast between the everyday and fight scenes will differentiate this movie from the others.
How did you go about drawing designs for the new characters?
For Cheelye and Lemo, I basically drew them to be as faithful to Toriyama’s designs as possible. Broli was a different story, though. The only designs I received were up to him wearing his armor, and it gave off a very different impression than the Broli of the past. Personally, I had a very strong image of Broli based on the previous movies, so I created my own design for him at Full Power from scratch. I just had the urge to see him lose his shirt and run wild at the end. Toriyama had stated that he didn’t want him to be overly macho, so I aimed to make him look as huge as possible, yet still within the confines of not going overboard with it.
In what ways does the Broli in this movie differ from the previous one?
The past Broli was nothing but a dangerous guy (laughs). But this time, there are scenes that humanize him, like the incident with Bah, and him connecting with Cheelye and Lemo. I wonder if we’ll leave the audience feeling wistful at the end when Cheelye uses the Dragon Balls? This Broli is a different character than his previous incarnation, and hope he becomes popular in his own right.
Which aspects were you most meticulous about when designing the characters?
The balance of the faces. Also, I made a conscious effort to keep the characters’ bodies slim since that was what Toriyama wanted. Though I personally liked the look Bardock had in the old television special, staying close to Toriyama’s new style took precedence over my own image of him. Another challenge was the Saiyans as young children. I’d had the image of Goku being more like an infant, but seeing the way his early childhood was depicted in Jaco the Galactic Patrolman, he was developed enough that he’d be able to walk. I tried to stick close to the manga when drawing the child versions of Vegeta and Raditz, as well.
What sort of corrections did Toriyama make on your character designs?
He made corrections directly on top of my drawings digitally, so I could redraw them straight from that. Though he didn’t change much about Broli, Lemo was heavily corrected. I believe he also made corrections to Cheelye’s profile. His corrections were particularly exacting for female characters like Bulma.
Who was your favorite character from this movie?
…Maybe Paragus. The animators were granted the freedom to draw however they pleased, so I enjoyed seeing their finished work. Director Tatsuya Nagamine made a request that I found noteworthy: just because Paragus is a character who looks like he’s just wearing underwear doesn’t mean he should be drawn any old way, but should instead be fairly attractive, so the viewers might notice his backside and think, “looks nice.” Then, in the scene where Paragus and Broli are first found, the direction said for them to look “as smelly as possible.” It’s hard to express smell in drawings, but we tried our best to convey the image of underwear that hadn’t been changed in a long time (laughs).
Tell us about something you were attentive to in the animation.
There are parts in the battle scenes featuring line drawing effects that we’ve never used before. Typically when drawings are created digitally, the lines are all uniform, but we took those lines and applied effects to mimic the look of lines in the past that were drawn on cels, making it feel a bit rougher. In doing so, we created lines that aren’t perfectly even, achieving the effect of making them look like they’re drawn with a brush, like in the past when some of the color would bleed outside the lines when painting cels. The effect of this technique is incredible, and I think it would look spectacular even as a painting.
Lastly, please tell us about this movie’s highlights.
There are many high points all throughout, so I’d say the highlights are the whole thing! I think you’ll want to watch the action scenes in the second half over and over; your eyes won’t be able to keep up with just one viewing. I myself could even enjoy it from the perspective of an audience-member (laughs). Director Nagamine included scenes that were homages to the previous movies in the fight between Goku and Broli on the ice continent as fan service, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for that. He also did an amazing job at placing the music, so I think you’ll all be able to get really into it while you watch; at any rate, it’s a movie you’ll really enjoy!