At the AnimagiC we had the honor to interview the makers of Seraph of the End. Mangaka Yamato Yamamoto and author Takaya Kagami answered our questions very detailed. The results you see below!
Sumikai: Welcome in Germany. Is that your first visit? What comes in your mind when you hear about „Germany“ at first?
Yamamoto: This is my first visit in Germany and Europe. I like German beer.
Kagami: I’m fascinated by cars and taking photos of them. So the first thing I think of are German cars.
Sumikai: How did you develop the story concept of Seraph of the End and what inspired you?
Kagami: The wish to create a vampire story existed for over 10 years. About 16 years ago I submitted the suggestion for Seraph of the End for the first time, but it wasn’t taken. At that time I submitted two suggestions. One of them was The Legend of the Legendary Heroes (Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu). That one was taken. That story still goes on until today and even was adapted into an anime.
In Seraph of the End are also other elements than vampires included, jujustu, the japanese fighting art, for example. The manga is a compressed image of all my inspiration and interests. So I’m very grateful for its success.
In addition I worked for another publisher before. Seraph of the End was my first project in the new one, so there was a great pressure for the work to be successful. And we both were successful people in our jobs before. Therefore we weren’t allowed not to be successful anymore. I was very excited and insecure.
Yamamoto: I’m very interested in vampire stories. So I took that job very willingly. In spite of the pressure to succeed I believed in the ability of Kagami-san and for Seraph of the End to be loved by the readers.
Sumikai: Owari no Seraph: Ichinose Guren, 16-sai no Catastrophe is a prequel with Ichinose as the protagonist while the manga main story focuses on the Hyakuya brothers. What inspired you to these three characters and their backstory?
Kagami: I spent a lot of time to develop the first chapter with Yuu and Michaelas story. It was a long process until the characters had their final positions. I wrote the first chapter for over a year until the roles of Guren und Michaela were firm. Partly the roles were changed from their first position during the writing process. All in all I rewrote the first chapter 15 times. In that time the characters firmed their positions. After that they grew by themselves. It was a very difficult process because I wrote on the novel at the same time.
Sumikai: Seraph of the End inspired two light novel series and one manga. Do you already have specific ideas about the total length of the project in the future?
Kagami: Beside the two light novel and the manga there exists the anime and a musical version.
The manga itself is at a turning point at the moment and half of the story is told by now. The current chapters in the magazines tell several disclosures and discoveries. There are still many things to be told. So you can expect at least the same amount of volumes than already exist.
Sumikai: In which way did you oversee the anime production? Did you participate in the meetings to discuss the course of the story?
Kagami: When they started to work on it I was invited and took part in the first important discussions with the production team on how the story should develop. It was told that the anime will adapt the same aspects as the manga. So I was forced to write several chapters in advance. At times I developed up to 10 episodes in one go to be ready for the anime to be further in the story than the manga.
The anime is based on my scripts. My texts are adapted into an anime script and into a manga script. In the anime the director is responsible for the final adaption. In the manga Yamamoto-san and I work together. But it was interesting to watch how the script developed on both sides. That is because in the manga we have direct contact with each other but it’s always a surprise how the anime looks like in the end. Especially interesting was that process in the end when anime and manga described the same part of the story at the same time.
Sumikai: Are you fully satisfied with the result of the anime or are there any minor issues with the adaptation that you disliked?
Kagami: The team working for the anime adaption is a very competent and motivated one. So I’m very satisfied in many aspects. We are working hard on the manga and at the same time the anime team is working hard on the anime in order to produce the best work. This collision between both is so exciting. There exist different ways of thinking. Nevertheless the anime team did a professional work.
It was exciting to develope the manga and anime at the same time. We encouraged each other. I think it was an inspiration for both sides. Overall it seldom happens that the anime keeps so close to its original.
For example there were difficulties to tell some things in the anime the way they were done in the manga because there was not enough time. So these things were shortened and compressed. The anime team had a hard time to think of the implemention. Some things are good to implement, others are better to be changed in the anime so it looks better. I’m thankful that the anime keeps so close to its original.
Sumikai: Last but not least – What do you like the most about your job as an illustrator and author? May there even exist things or current developments in both jobs which you watch in a critical way?
Kagami: We have two completely different works to do. This is something special because usually the works are not that clearly separated. We seldom talk with each other. I concentrate on the story.
When I am working on a new story, of course, I can not write always what I want to.
So I continue to write only for the moment when I could write a good story for the readers. It will be very long patience, or maybe I can write it immediately. That motivates me when I feel like “Wow I can write a good story.”
Yamamoto: Every time a new script arrives I’m very happy and excited and think about how to adapt the story into pictures.
Kagami: I didn’t know that. So I’m very happy about it.
Thank you very much to Yamato Yamamoto and Takaya Kagami for the interview.