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Kare Kano: Interview with Matsukura in the Blu-ray limited edition booklet 2 of 4

Jun 22, 2022

In the second half of Kare Kano, there is a mysterious development in that you have more compilation episodes.

Was that allowed because you had experimented with "Eva" as well?

No, not at all. TV Tokyo never allowed us to be creative as a reaction to Eva. We already had a lot of problems in the first half of the project.

TV Tokyo was quite distrustful of us because of the various things that Anno had done without telling them during the "Eva".

"Kare Kano" was after "Eva," so they looked at the project with a stern eye.

Because of that, I, who was working between the production studio and TV Tokyo, suffered a lot.

What terrible things happened to you?

The timing of Anno dropping out of the director's chair in episode 14 was the most difficult, though. The first accident happened in episode 10.

... Actually, it wasn't the first one at all, but it was the first one that I can talk about here... (laughs).

In one of the stories that Imaishi (Hiroyuki) storyboarded, there was one panel in which a deformed 2.5 heads tall Yukino is running and you can see a white piece of cloth between her legs.

In other words, it is a ‘Pan chira’ (a brief glimpse of a woman’s underwear).

At the time, TV Tokyo that aired Kare Kano prohibited the broadcast of sexual expressions, including Pan chira.

They told me, "You have to change it because we can't broadcast it."

Then Anno responded, "Are you kidding me? You were broadcasting 'Gilgamesh Night*' and so on. If anyone masturbates with this picture, bring him to me!” Anno had a big argument with TV Tokyo.

This wasn't such a big deal when I think about what happened afterwards....

Finally, I bowed down to him at the video editing room and asked him, "Anno, I'm going to paint this white spot with a black marker. I'm sorry, but please let me deliver it to TV Tokyo."

Anno said, "Matsukura, you owe me one," and he settled the situation down.

*a softcore porn Japanese variety TV show broadcast from October 1991 to March 1998. (Wikipedia)

Anno had no choice but to give up (laughs)?

In a way, he respected my decision. This "owe" led to the creation of episode 14, "The Story So Far".

Episode 14 was originally planned to be a compilation.

Anno spent a lot of time in the video editing room making the compilation, which consisted of 13 episodes compressed and shown in super fast-motion.

He was pleased with the compilation, saying, "Ha ha ha, this is the real compilation."

However, TV Tokyo refused to accept it, saying, "What do you think TV is!"

When I reported this to Anno, he said, "Well, I already owe you one. So I'm going to drop out" (laughs).

That was around mid-December 1998.

Tencho (Hiroki Sato) was upset. He was talking fast and furious in a Kansai dialect (laugh).

Otsuki was silent with a sour face.

I was the only one who stood in between and kept apologizing for 2 hours, saying "I'm sorry, I'll handle it."

It was absolute hell.

Did you think you could handle the situation?

No, I can't really do anything about it. There is nothing we can do about it.(laughs)

“What am I supposed to do in such a chaotic situation?” I was in my 20s at the time (laughs). But the broadcast was approaching. I booked the PCL** around midnight.

Then I called Otsuki on my cell phone.

"We have no choice but to broadcast it. Pick your favorite scene!"

I gave him the scripts of the post recordings so far and asked him to choose his favorite scene.

We recorded the narration later between scenes and managed to finish it in time for the broadcast.

That is the story behind the part 1 and part 2 of episode 14, "The Story So Far," for which there is no master data left today (laughs).

**PCL: Sony PCL Koenji Studio (?)

There is no footage of the "super fast-motion version" of episode 14?

No, we don't. We delivered it to TV Tokyo, but they rejected it. So I think the master data was deleted and used to overwrite another episode.

We continued to confuse TV Tokyo by repeatedly using experimental methods.

For example, the "Gekimation" in episode 19 (laughs).

Some people objected to it though. "Gekimation" is a term that has been used by the same TV station in the past, so we insisted, "This is animation, too!"

Anyway, like that, the ground-breaking idea that GAINAX came up with broke common sense and confused a lot of people.

During the 7 or 8 months I was getting complaints and demands for improvement from furious TV Tokyo staff every morning from 9:00 a.m. until about midnight at night.

When I told this to Tencho, he backfired at me. Next, I talked to Anno, and he said, "I'll leave it to Matsukura." Finally, I talked to Otsuki, and he just had no answer and was at a loss.

I did this every day all the time (laughs).



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