In a cruel twist of fate, Studio MAPPA took to the stage at Anime Festival Asia (AFA) at the most explosive time- Jujutsu Kaisen had one of its most explosive episodes, and Attack on Titan fans were reeling from the series finale just weeks prior.
At a panel featuring producer Makoto Kimura, director Yuichiro Hayashi and screenwriter Mari Okada, the team talked to fans about their reactions to MAPPA’s latest productions to be released- as well as sharing their experiences working on it.
Talking Jujutsu Kaisen
At their panel, producer Makoto Kimura showed a PV for the second season of Jujutsu Kaisen and saw the excitement for the crowd whenever Nanami showed up on screen.
“You guys really went all [in] for Nanami, huh? You know, we’re having the anime airing right now and we feel [your] very intense reactions”, Kimura says.
Given the anime is still airing, he commented how good it feels to be seeing these reactions while they’re still fresh.
“I can really, really feel all the guys’ passion here just now”, he says. “The show airing at the same time and you guys just giving your reactions around the spot. We’re very glad to hear all of your reactions live in person. Thank you very much”.
He also shared his own favorite scene from Season 2, focusing on Toji and Megumi.
“As you know, the scene between Toji and Megumi, and a lot of you have seen the emotions going into this particular scene”, he says, putting up the shot on screen. “All the artists really did their best to make the best of it. I think we’ve confirmed that this is a very popular scene”.
Adapting An Infamous Ending For Attack On Titan
On the Attack on Titan side, Anime director Yuichiro Hayashi shared the experience of working with Hajime Isayama to get the series’ finale just right.
“There were a lot of scenes where Isayama-sensei said, “Okay, this is not good, there’s a lot of many many changes to get the particular scene right.” But I managed to actually get it done properly as he wanted”, Hayashi says.
Fans might have noticed a lot of minor changes in the anime adaptation of the infamous finale as compared to the manga. According to Hayashi, these decisions weren’t made lightly.
“When I asked Isayama-sensei, he said that he was very worried when he was writing the storyboard. So, for Isayama-sensei, it took a lot of work to decide whether to change the scenario as he said”, he says. “But in the end, he felt that he was really glad that he was able to make the change that he wanted to change in the final episode”.
“Of course, Isayama-sensei was very very particular, he had a very very strong attachment to the scene with the baby. He really wanted it to be reflected in the anime as perfectly as possible”, Hayashi adds. “So, it really made the final episode a more complete and fulfilling experience for the audience. I think the story of the final episode was perfect”.
This is the second year in a row AFA has featured a panel by the Studio MAPPA team- last year’s one featured deep dives on Chainsaw Man as well.