The original authors of "DanMachi x StriBlo" talk about the secret of their collaboration with "spoilers"! Oomori Fujino and Mikumo Gakuto talk about the future of the their own novels (Interview)
From March 25 to April 29, 2021, "Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? -Memoria Freese-", a smartphone RPG based on "Is It Wrong To Pick Up Girls In a Dungeon (abbreviated DanMachi in Japan)", is collaborating with "Strike the Blood IV (abbreviated StriBlo in Japan)".
“DanMachi" is an otherworldly fantasy and "StriBlo" is a modern school fantasy, so it could be said that the worlds are far apart, but "there were a lot of similarities," said "DanMachi" author Oomori Fujino. The scenario written jointly by Oomori-sensei and Mikumo Gakuto-sensei, the original author of "StriBlo," is a valuable story that makes full use of these "common points.
Anime! Anime! conducted an interview with both original authors to find out the secret story behind the birth of the collaboration and the creation of the scenario.
Following the "Spoiler-Free" interview that was released the other day, this "Spoilers Included" interview focuses directly on specific scenes, dialogues, and costumes. Oomori-sensei's "love for Sayaka" led to a scene that even Mikumo-sensei couldn't help but say "I was so nervous", and there's also a story from the original work that hasn't been made into the anime, which is a must-see episode for fans!
[Interview and text by Yoneda Kaori].
■A collaboration of the original story that has never been animated!
--The first half of the story is mainly dungeon, and from the second half, vampire elements were added, and I was swallowed into the worldview as you read on. Did you intentionally make the elements of each work stronger in the first and second parts?
Oomori: No, I didn't consciously try to make the first half and second half have elements of each story. In my mind, I created a general framework of "a story in a dungeon" and wrote it, and by adding the scenes of Wiene and Avrora in the second half, I had the impression that the colors of each work became stronger separately in the first and second parts.
--Did you find it difficult to express the world of "StriBlo"?
Oomori: I think the most important thing when collaborating is to have "respect" for the work. This has been the case since the first "Kino's Journey" collaboration, and it's getting stronger with each successive collaboration. For the "StriBlo" collaboration this time, I went so far as to write a character that would feel right at home as a character in "DanMachi".
--Mikumo-sensei, did you have any sense of discomfort with the world of "StriBlo" as written by Oomori-sensei?
Mikumo: Not at all. He faithfully reproduced the atmosphere of the original work and made it fit in well, so I was grateful to him.
In "StriBlo," the characters start off at a relatively mature stage. So, when I saw the scene where Kojo gives advice to Welf, I thought, "He knows what he's doing!”
Oomori: I love the episode "Fools and Tyrants" in volume 8 of "StriBlo", which reveals Kojo's past and why he became the True Ancestor. I was very happy to find out that even without the power of the past True Ancestors, the "roots of Kojo" have not changed.
When I thought about what he would say if he were to appear in “DanMachi”, I thought that Kojo in volume 8 would be a good choice, so I included that conversation in this scenario.
--What did you want to do for the collaboration with "StriBlo"? What were you particular about?
Oomori: In my mind, "StriBlo" is all about chanting! That's why I really wanted to include the chanting in Kojo. Also, Kojo has the important keyword "Kaleido Blood", and Welf from "DanMachi" has the skill "Crozzo Blood". I definitely wanted to make use of these similarities (lol).
Mikumo: I asked for Nagisa to be in the position of the last boss in this collaboration.
Oomori: In the original work, volume 8, "The Fool and the Tyrant", there is a scene where Nagisa is taken over by Avrora. I really wanted to do that scene, because it has not yet been animated!
Hidaka Rina, who plays Nagisa, also playes Wiene in "DanMachi", and her performance when she went out of control left a great impression on me, so I knew I could trust her with the boss character.
Mikumo: Director Yamamoto Hideyo had always said that he wanted to do volume 8 in the anime. This time, I was very happy to see Hidaka-san's performance in a scene that reminded me of it.
--When Mikumo-sensei saw the scenario from Oomori-sensei, he thought, "I can't believe he's using this character like this!"
Mikumo: There was a character named Dimitrie Vatler who didn't appear much in the main story. I was surprised that they let him play such an active role.
Oomori: Because Vatler is a good character! I thought, "This character will be able to stir things up!" That's why I decided to use him.
Mikumo: I couldn't stop groaning "You're so good at using them!”
Oomori: Whenever I had a problem, I'd ask Vatler to solve it (laughs). Vatler was as much fun to write as Kojo.
There are scenes where he buys time for everyone to escape, and for Welf, Kojo was like candy and Vatler was like a whip.
--Oomori-sensei, why did you decide to have Vatler appear in this scenario?
Oomori: It's the same with "DanMachi", but since I write the scenes I want to do, I'm always struggling with how to fill in the gaps. I was struggling with this scenario as well, but then Vatler came into my head and said, "Leave it to me!”
When I write a story, I always try to avoid moving the characters for the author's convenience. I'm always conscious of what this character would do, and this time, Vatler did a lot of work for me, which was very helpful.
Mikumo: I think he was really into it too (lol).
--Did you discover anything new about your own character as a result of this collaboration?
Mikumo: I don't have a specific character in mind, but Oomori-sensei asked me a lot of questions about the detailed settings, which gave me a chance to review settings that I had forgotten. There were a lot of things that made me wonder, "Did I make such a setting? (lol).
Oomori: I'm really sorry that I asked so many questions to Mikumo-sensei.
Mikumo: No, no, no! He asked very important questions with pinpoint accuracy, and I was happy to see that he had read "StriBlo" thoroughly.
Oomori: For myself, I was too shy to get involved with girls, so I couldn't really switch it off. ...... When I wrote the part where Kojo ripped off Refiya's clothes this time, I realized that I needed to switch it off to some extent. You have to take off their pants without being shy.
I realized that writers also need to take off their "mental pants" (lol).
Mikumo: I think I may have been a bad influence (lol).
→Next page: Tiny breasts or normal breasts... I'm torn between Yukina and Refiya's collaboration costumes.
■Tiny breasts or average breasts... I'm torn between Yukina and Refiya's collaboration costumes.
--During the story, you mention the costumes from each work. Please tell us about your impressions of the collaboration visuals.
Oomori: Even though I tore up Refiya's clothes in the story, I actually had a hard time deciding what to have her wear.
The illustrations by Manyako, the character designer of "StriBlo", were so beautiful that I had so many things I wanted her to wear.
Although I didn't include it in the scenario, I was told that the uniform worn by Kasuko-san (Kasugaya Shizuri Castiera) in the 16th volume of the original story would be good, but since "StriBlo" is about the private school uniform of Saikai Academy, I decided to have her wear that. I did have to be selfish and say "I definitely want Welf to wear the Kojo uniform" (laughs).
--Mikumo-sensei, you commented on Twitter about Yukina's costume.
Mikumo: It's not that I wanted a big-breasted version or anything like that! I was asked to choose between the two, so I decided to use it as content on my Twitter feed (lol).
-- "Tiny breasts are a status! It's a scarcity value! There's even a quote that says, "Tiny breasts are a form of status!
Mikumo: In the original work, Yukina is often portrayed as a thin and slender girl, but in the anime, her breasts are enlarged more and more (lol). I think that's why the production team had a hard time deciding which way to go (lol).
■Sticking to Naaza's confession scene, what did she tell Hayama Ikumi?
--There is a scene in "StriBlo" where Naaza confesses her feelings to Kojo, imitating the voice of Sayaka, who has feelings for Kojo. Did you have any particular ideas about how you wanted the characters to interact with each other, such as "I wanted this to happen here" or "I wanted this character to say this"?
Oomori: For the confession scene, I really liked Sayaka so much that I ended up going out of control like that ...... (lol).
When submitting a scenario, I would put a marker on the part and ask, "I made her run off like this, are you okay, Mikumo-sensei?”
I was personally eager to get Sayaka and Naaza involved, so I may have put the author's desire into that.
--Mikumo-sensei, how did you feel when you read that scene?
Mikumo: I was very excited and honored. I replied that if there was someone who would enjoy it, then by all means, please include it.
--I heard that this voice recording was all done in one day. Have you already heard the voice actors' voices?
Oomori: You recorded it in one day? That's amazing!
Mikumo: There was a lot of dialogue, so I'm sure it was a lot of work.
Oomori: I haven't listened to the audio yet because I thought I'd wait until it was implemented in the game. I basically trust the production company for direction, etc., so I only entrusted them with the nuances of "this is how it should be" for the parts I was particular about.
--What was the scene that you were so particular about and entrusted to direct?
Oomori: The scene where Naaza imitates Sayaka's voice and confesses her feelings to Kojo. I told her to forget about her normal character and let her feelings go.
Also, the scene where Avrora takes over Weene, since volume 8 hasn't been animated yet, I thought it might be difficult for Hidaka-san to grasp the feeling of the scene, so I exchanged opinions with Mikumo-sensei and gave her instructions to act like this.
■What will happen to "StriBlo" and "DanMachi" in the future? We asked the authors about their vision.
--"DanMachi" and “StriBlo", what are the things that you both value when you draw the stories and characters?
Oomori: As I mentioned earlier, I'm always conscious of the fact that I don't want to impose my ego on the work or characters.
Even if it's not the author's intention and it's a rough and thorny road, I try to put the character's thoughts first.
Mikumo: It's almost the same as Oomori-sensei's said, but I think what readers want to read is the emotional turmoil of the characters, so I try to keep that in mind. I don't want to distort the emotions of the characters for the convenience of the author or the story.
Whenever I try to create a twist in the story, the character's emotions inevitably get wrinkled. ...... I try to make it smooth and natural, but I'm still not sure if I'm doing it right (lol).
--In terms of "what readers want to read," was it easy for you, Omori-sensei, a fan of "StriBlo," to write this collaboration scenario?
Oomori: I think that was more a result of Kojo's initiative than my own. Kojo is a hero who does things when he has to, and he's a reliable character in the scenario. I thought, "Kojo will do something about it," and I really enjoyed writing him.
-- After being exposed to the scenario of another work in this collaboration, please tell us if there is anything that you thought you could apply to your own work.
Omori: "DanMachi" tends to be a one-dimensional story with dungeons, battles, dungeons, battles, and I was always worried that people would get bored of it. ...... Writing the collaboration with "StriBlo" gave me the motivation to try something new and adventurous with "DanMachi".
Mikumo: "StriBlo" was a one-volume story, or rather, an incident occurred in each volume and was solved, but I thought it would be nice to continue the story for a long time like "DanMachi". But I think it takes a lot of energy to write it (lol), so I'd like to write it while I still have the energy.
Oomori: That being said, I'd like to go back to the one-volume completion style, back to around volume 6 or 7 (lol). I have an illness where I want to write so much that it becomes too long.
--Thank you very much for all your valuable discussions. I hope you will allow me to start summarizing now.
Oomori: Can I make one point myself? Mikumo-sensei, this may be a reckless question, but is “StriBlo" going to continue?
Mikumo: I'm still getting opportunities to write short stories, and I've always wanted to write a spin-off of some sort.
Oomori: Oh! I'm looking forward to it!
--Now, please give a message to the fans again.
Oomori: As a fan of "StriBlo", I was really honored to be able to write the scenario. I'd like all "StriBlo" fans to read it, and I'd also be happy if they get interested in "DanMachi" after reading this scenario.
Mikumo: I'm really happy to have been a part of such a wonderful collaboration this time. The characters from "StriBlo" are having fun adventuring in the world of "DanMemo", so I hope that both "StriBlo" and "DanMachi" fans will enjoy this game.