Dragon Quest: Your Story, the CG movie based on Dragon Quest V, is set to release tomorrow in Japan, and co-directors Ryuuichi Yagi and Makoto Hanafusa were interviewed regarding how main character Lucas, as well as Nera and Bianca’s designs were decided upon. [Thanks, Famitsu!]
Here are the highlights:
When were the character designs decided upon?
Makoto Hanafusa, co-director: “The character designs were settled upon in an earlier phase than the deciding of the voice cast, but as production on Lucas went along, he might have started to look closer and closer to Takeru Satou-san’s [his voice actor] appearance.” (laughs)
Ryuuichi Yagi, co-director: “Especially Lucas’ eyes looked closer and closer to Takeru Satou-san’s.”
Considering you already had Satou-san in mind from the pilot version, it might have been a natural process. (laughs) Regarding Lucas’ design, were there any other points of consideration apart from his look?
Hanafusa: “If we were to base Lucas on DQV, he would have a strong impression of being a traveler.”
To the point where DQV’s official art for Lucas has him holding a staff.
Hanafusa: “In this movie, he’ll be involved in some pretty tough fights, so we kept that image, but also arranged his design so he’d look like he’d last in a fight. That’s also the reason we made him equip a sword.”
Speaking of arranging characters’ looks, Bianca gives off quite a different impression as well.
Yagi: “For Bianca, we increased her spunky impression compared to in DQV.”
Hanafusa: “We made sure that she wasn’t ‘just a pretty girl’, but ‘a pretty girl with a standout personality’. In order to bring out her tomboyish side and differentiate her more from Nera, we changed her hair to be more tousled compared to the straight hair she has in DQV.”
Yagi: “The freckles she has were also to enhance that image and to not make her just another pretty girl.”
Hanafusa: “Her outfit is based on DQV, but if we were use it just like that in CG she wouldn’t look like someone who’d fight monsters, so we made it feel more like armor. The shape of Bianca’s cloak is quite special, with it tucked under her belt, then opening wide again. We worked to make sure the design wouldn’t feel incongruous with the rest of the design.”
So what concepts did you have in mind when designing Nera?
Hanafusa: “Regarding Nera, her concept was ‘a classic beauty without distinctive features’, but designing her was difficult. If we continued with the concept and didn’t have any distinctive features, it would lessen the appeal of her model-like charm.”
Yagi: “Originally, her eyes were longer, and she had an Audrey Hepburn-esque air about her.”
Hanafusa: “But with that, she didn’t have that air of softness on her, so it was trial-and-error.”
Yagi: “We also debated about her blue hair.”
Hanafusa: “For us, we wanted to show things as realistic as possible. In that sense, we were quite troubled by Nera and Harry’s hair. There was a proposal to make it look darker, but that would be betraying the original game.”
Yagi: “However, it would be hard to show off the appeal of her expressions if her eyebrows and eyelashes weren’t of a richer color, so we kept adjusting the color up to near deadline.”
Hanafusa: “Speaking of making things realistic, we were also troubled by her pink clothes. In order to match with her hair color, we constantly adjusted the colors.”
Dragon Quest: Your Story will be screened starting August 2 in Japan.