An animation "Emma: A Victorian Romance" depicting the love of the difference in the identity of the maid Emma and upper-class trace son William on the stage of London in the late 19th century. Produced based on the manga "Ema" by Kaoru Mori, and broadcasted from April 2005. It is directed by Tsuneo Kobayashi, and animation production is Piero. The work is produced by the members of “Twelve Kingdoms." However, the name of Mr. Oshikiri Banyo, who worked as an animation producer in “Twelve Kingdoms ", is not credited.” In Emma, I wanted to put in charge of the production that have walked with me, so I didn't give my name. Basically, my production team made it and I was backing them up." That's what he said.
"It was around 3 nights and 5 days in London, that I went for the location with the main staff. Unlike in the past, it was rare to go overseas for location, but with director Kobayashi's attention, he really wanted make it in the realistic atmosphere on the spot. At that time the building had a very high door knocker, and that was used to ride a horse. That was something we had to see. Because of the culture of riding a horse, in Emma, the height of the gate was supposed to be able to ride a horse, too. These were the things I wasted to make real.
Almost no sunny days, the atmosphere of the city of London was also felt because I actually went there. In the work, a screen process called diffusion is used to express this feeling of air, and the background and the outline of the characters look soft. Director Kobayashi's very favorite method, and this work’s atmosphere of is also very fit, where the subtle sense of distance between Emma and William continues from beginning to end. Although the original manga is drawn with considerable attention to the city of London and the life at that time, Director Kobayashi's attention has also been kept in detail.
"The animation is surprisingly hard to express everyday movements. The action of walking, standing up, turning around or picking something takes a lot of time. In Emma, Director Kobayashi tries to draw a movement without a sense of incongruity, and he makes one gesture with a tea cup more than twice the number of regular animations. He also makes a neat picture even when the skirt turns around. I believe Emma's view of the world is being expressed by continuing to draw that way. "
It was also a very happy work in that there was a scale that can faithfully and carefully express a highly complete original. While it was usual to broadcast about 5 volumes of the original in 1 cool, only 1 to 2 volumes were animated in all 12 times. It was an unthinkable luxury. Later, " Emma: A Victorian Romance Act 2" was produced, and this was drawn in the original 3 to 7 volumes in 12 times. At the time of the first act production, the original was not yet been completed, and it seemed that in fact it was not decided whether there would be any more productions or not. So, when the sequel was decided, “it was not the right timing for the company”, then the second act was in charge of production by the company to which Director Kobayashi originally belonged.
In addition, it was fortunate to the creator that it was produced by the production committee method. In this work, Kunihiko Ryo took charge of all the opening and ending, and the all BGMs in the work, and all of them were instrumental. This is quite unusual among the anime theme songs that are the main battlefields of singers, and it would have been difficult to gather investors on the premise that they were originally such works.
"When I heard the demo of the opening song, that was already the best. Mr. Ryo really knew about the image Mr. Kobayashi wanted to make, and he added all the impressions from the original. I have been doing this for many years, and I really think that the opening is the best I have ever had. "
Director Kobayashi and Kunihiko Ryo have also tagged in their previous work, Twelve Kingfoms. However, in this work, the full power of Kunihiko Ryo was fully exhibited, which is completely different from the music of "Twelve Kingdoms" which expressed the Asian worldview magnificently. Mr. Oshikiri expressed that "Listening to the opening makes us thrilled, although that’s what we made." For sure, the song has a strong power to invite us to London in the end of the 19th century, and to a romantic but not easy difference world of love with different classes.
"Basically, the background music was made in the same way as" Twelve Kingdoms". First I asked to read the original and tell what the director wanted. For example, when I order battle music, sad time music and so on, I usually make a detailed list for composition. However, for "Emma," I asked Mr. Ryo to make some songs and apply them to the scenes. The ending recorder was also really good, and that song makes us think the day is already over. I think Mr. Ryo is also very good at using the instruments tailored to the work. By working on all the songs, I think that the world as an artist possessed by Mr. Ryo has come out very much. Maybe there are almost no such works. It was very interesting for me as a creator.
Among Mr. Oshikiri’s works, " Emma: A Victorian Romance" was able to shape the intention of the creator to some extent.
"I strongly believe Director Kobayashi's own work could be properly shaped, and it may not be possible to do the same again within the current commercial base. A great deal of flexibility in the matter of making things was given to the creator. I sometimes have to give up on creating what were discussed in the beginning, but I think that I was pretty much in shape about what I thought about "Emma". It's hard to find such a work. The work made me realize Director Kobayashi was really great. I don’t think it was even enough for Director Kobayashi, though. "
photo by：野﨑 慧嗣
Written by：Namiko Hamano(濱野奈美子)