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|Unedited Feed from the Tiger and Bunny panel at Otakon 2011. Transcription: bayoab
Note: ( ) is usually commenting on the panel and was not said.
10:33:14 <bay|Ota|TB> (Tiger and Bunny, then Viz)
10:33:21 <bay|Ota|TB> (Funi SP has too often just been a trailer reel)
10:34:32 <bay|Ota|TB> Good morning
10:34:35 <bay|Ota|TB> Thank you for coming
10:34:46 <bay|Ota|TB> Welcome to the tiger and bunny panel
10:34:55 <bay|Ota|TB> This is the first panel in the world, including Japan
10:35:08 <bay|Ota|TB> Thank you for coming such early morning.
10:35:09 <bay|Ota|TB> Thank you.
10:35:49 <bay|Ota|TB> And as you see, my clothes is like Kotetsu's fashion.. not complete, but... Kotetsu Otakon version.. white version
10:35:53 <bay|Ota|TB> and because it is so hot in baltimore
10:36:19 <bay|Ota|TB> Today in the panel, we start with a PV of Tiger Bunny made exclusively for Otakon
10:37:07 <bay|Ota|TB> (Followed by stuffs and Q&A)
10:41:32 <bay|Ota|TB> T&B PV - Viz Intro Logo
10:37:27 <bay|Ota|TB> (This is the same video as yesterday)
10:41:32 <bay|Ota|TB> Wonderful, truly wonderful
10:42:13 <bay|Ota|TB> Audience: Yes
10:42:13 <bay|Ota|TB> I was amazed that people clapped for oragami cyclone.. is he popular in the US?
10:42:13 <bay|Ota|TB> Same in Japan, I never believed that it be when started (paraphrased)
10:42:24 <bay|Ota|TB> Let's start Q&A
10:42:30 <bay|Ota|TB> Chris Mcdonald ANN
10:43:00 <bay|Ota|TB> Ozaki(?) producer and
10:43:00 <bay|Ota|TB> Q; Why did you decide to do the sponsorships?
10:43:01 <bay|Ota|TB> A: The idea came up 3 years ago
10:43:37 <bay|Ota|TB> And it determined that we would do an original show with the director Keiji Sato
10:43:38 <bay|Ota|TB> And Keiji sato said he wanted to do a super hero show
10:43:51 <bay|Ota|TB> But as producer, I knew just doing a plain superhero show wouldn't fly to well
10:44:17 <bay|Ota|TB> And so, I knew that we needed a new gimmick, and as a producer, i wanted to include a lot of human drama into the story
10:44:21 <bay|Ota|TB> and this was around the beijing lyrics
10:44:54 <bay|Ota|TB> and for swimming, the british swimwear maker speedo had a new swimsuit that allowed swimmers to get new records
10:45:19 <bay|Ota|TB> and so I saw a japanese swimmer do a press interview in tears saying he doesn't have a speedo sponsorship in tears so he can't wear it
10:45:32 <bay|Ota|TB> and that's the drama, and so the idea came to me, sponsor, and the athelete... change the athlete to the hero
10:45:37 <bay|Ota|TB> I think that's an interesting story, maybe so
10:46:09 <bay|Ota|TB> So that's where we started with the idea, with the idea that super heros are all corporate sponsored and had the logos
10:46:26 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: So Tiger and Bunny goes back 3 years, but it wasn't certain that you would produce it, you ran into problems?
10:46:38 <bay|Ota|TB> A; If i start talking about the problems, 90 min won't be sufficient
10:46:43 <bay|Ota|TB> And one big problem we have..
10:47:09 <bay|Ota|TB> There was a certain financial crisis that originated in the states back then that propogated back to Japan
10:47:41 <bay|Ota|TB> And so th eproject was going ahead, but we had trouble getting real life sponsors, so we were considering putting it on hiatus
10:47:54 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: Youy ran into many problems, but there was one specific problem dealing with the show itself, the charcter
10:49:04 <bay|Ota|TB> A: Another problem was a creative problem (missed a line here)
10:48:19 <bay|Ota|TB> It's been considered that any character with facial hair will be a bust
10:48:34 <bay|Ota|TB> Apparently Japanese women do not feel attracted to men with facial hair
10:48:58 <bay|Ota|TB> And in addition, Kotetsu is so old...
10:49:14 <bay|Ota|TB> And he has a daughter....
10:49:44 <bay|Ota|TB> So the main character has facial age, into his age, has a child, and is about super heroes which isn't that popular in japan
10:49:50 <bay|Ota|TB> so this was filled with elements that were mostly considered busts
10:49:53 <bay|Ota|TB> that was another biggest problem
10:49:58 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: Speaking of Kotetsu's age
10:50:04 <bay|Ota|TB> A lot has been made about the target demographic
10:50:20 <bay|Ota|TB> It's been made to appeal to a slightly different audience than the usual anime, and a lot of that has to do the characters
10:50:40 <bay|Ota|TB> (And you've also have done a story that has a differenet audience [lost])
10:51:02 <bay|Ota|TB> A: We had two in mind, former anime fans, the old school people who used to watch anime but no longer
10:51:29 <bay|Ota|TB> And the other target demographic we had in mind are japanese viewers of american prime time live action tv shows
10:51:35 <bay|Ota|TB> those who were mature and in the workforce
10:51:52 <bay|Ota|TB> So that's why I wanted to add other elements into the show to appeal to them
10:52:01 <bay|Ota|TB> For one thing, the script had to be well written
10:52:14 <bay|Ota|TB> We had to have elements of comedy and witty dialogue
10:52:57 <bay|Ota|TB> And then we wanted to appeal not to a japanese audience but a worldwide audience, so the show takes place in a new future like manhattan city and the characters are racially diverse
10:53:17 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: Speaking of the target audience, it's popular with the female audience, both japan and here.. and in Japan.. the fujoshi love Tand B
10:53:19 <bay|Ota|TB> did this surprise you?
10:53:52 <bay|Ota|TB> A; Yes. Frankly speaking. I did not care much about the fujoshi so I am so surprised at the situation
10:54:00 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: What would you say is the theme of Tiger and Bunny?
10:54:12 <bay|Ota|TB> A; There are two, one is never give up mind(?), stands for kotetsu's spirit
10:54:22 <bay|Ota|TB> Bones between shoeman? Like between Kotetsu and Barnaby
10:54:55 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: You were telling me, there are interesting stories, going back to the advertising, between picking the logs and the sponsors for the characters. One of the characters had logos prepared but something happened and the sponsor decided to pull out.
10:55:05 <bay|Ota|TB> A: So I had many many episodes of sponsor
10:55:12 <bay|Ota|TB> So one is fire emblem, he is as you know, gay
10:55:45 <bay|Ota|TB> And at first, one company, was interested in fire emblem, and at that time, that company did not know the scenario or the character, and after that, the company knew that fire emblem was gay
10:55:57 <bay|Ota|TB> and at that point, the company said.. sorry, we cannot sponsor to him
10:56:27 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: When the characters were created, their physical designs, you were thinking about sponsors for some of them
10:56:37 <bay|Ota|TB> A: Yes, for example, rock bison
10:56:41 <bay|Ota|TB> As you know, his motif is bull, bison
10:57:10 <bay|Ota|TB> And when you were doing character design work, he was always going to be based on the ox motif for his design
10:57:27 <bay|Ota|TB> and as producer, i knew his corporate sponser had to do something with bovine themes
10:57:54 <bay|Ota|TB> so first corporate sponser we sought was gyukaku, the japanese korean bbq chain, and they were very happy to sponsor him
10:58:20 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: (something about the drink he's holding)
10:58:12 <bay|Ota|TB> A: as you know, blue rose has a pepsi logo
10:58:31 <bay|Ota|TB> And the japanese agent for pepsi is suntory
10:58:51 <bay|Ota|TB> And Suntory was actually the company the first successful in the world to engineer the impossible, a blue rose
10:59:03 <bay|Ota|TB> So I definitely wanted this character to be sponsored by Suntory
10:59:27 <bay|Ota|TB> So in order to entise suntory, her name was to be bluerose
10:59:45 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: People don't always react well to product placement, were you worried about that?
11:00:01 <bay|Ota|TB> A: And yes, that was on concern that we had to keep in mind.
11:00:42 <bay|Ota|TB> And because I do know, that the audience do have a hard time being sympathetic to a show if it's blatently commercial, and there are plenty of examples of that
11:01:38 <bay|Ota|TB> But within the context of Tiger and Bunny, it already takes place in the context of a world where the (tv is already corpoprate sponsored so people had an easier time taking the framework)
11:02:00 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: As previously mentioned, it's really different (Examples), is there anything you are particularly proud of in making it a different show.
11:02:21 <bay|Ota|TB> A: As a lot of you may know, it's much more difficult to do an original story and make it successful
11:02:44 <bay|Ota|TB> And in order to do that, you need to catch the fans offguard and make them notice the show
11:03:04 <bay|Ota|TB> And one gimmick to entice the audience was the sponsor logos, and i think that was a successful device for the show
11:03:46 <bay|Ota|TB> And I knew that, once that someone would catch an episode, they would be hooked, but conversely that meant, if thye didn't look at the show, it would be forgotten, so i think the logo worked pretty well to be that hook
11:04:52 <bay|Ota|TB> But i think the most important part is (lost) characters sympathetic; [something about othodox and something about the story]
11:05:13 <bay|Ota|TB> And in my opinion, in order to grab the audience heart, you don't need the curveballs, you just need a straight on attempt and that's exactly what it does
11:05:41 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: One last question before the audience, I was told not to ask you officially about it... but speaking not as a representative of sunrise but personally, what would you like to see that happen
11:05:44 <bay|Ota|TB> My personal opinion
11:05:50 <bay|Ota|TB> This season is 25 episodes, only 25
11:06:55 <bay|Ota|TB> I want to make next story, and this isn't anything that i've brought up, but it's a personal aspiration
11:07:15 <bay|Ota|TB> And even within the 25 episode run, there is a jump between the cours (~13 eps)
11:07:37 <bay|Ota|TB> And I think there is room to explore what happens between the two stories and also more could be explored (lost)
11:08:01 <bay|Ota|TB> And there are charactesr that haven't received enough attention in the story yet
11:08:11 <bay|Ota|TB> Origami Cyclone, Orobos, Sky High
11:08:17 <bay|Ota|TB> I want to make their stories
11:08:38 <bay|Ota|TB> So currently, 25 episodes is what we have on the plate
11:08:43 <bay|Ota|TB> The after story is something I'd like to develop if possible
11:08:57 <bay|Ota|TB> And this is something I like to ask you guys
11:09:04 <bay|Ota|TB> would you guys like to see an episode that focuses on lunatic
11:09:08 <bay|Ota|TB> (decently loud applause)
11:09:21 <bay|Ota|TB> I feel inspiration so much, wonderful response
11:09:24 <bay|Ota|TB> I will make his episode
11:09:57 <bay|Ota|TB> And I have no idea what format the next show would take
11:10:14 <bay|Ota|TB> But I'd like to get started on developing the script and pre-production
11:10:24 <bay|Ota|TB> And another question for the audience
11:10:37 <bay|Ota|TB> Would you like to see a live action version?
11:10:38 <bay|Ota|TB> (Cheers)
11:11:16 <bay|Ota|TB> And well, sunrise alone cant produce a live action, we need your support to work on hollywood to get support for them to come to us and license it from us.
11:11:19 <bay|Ota|TB> Q&A for audience
11:13:10 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: How do you feel when you see somuch fanart done for Tiger and Bunny?
11:13:10 <bay|Ota|TB> A: I'm very happy to see a lot of fanart
11:13:31 <bay|Ota|TB> Sunrise tends to have a reputation of being picky about copyright and derivative artwork, especially with Gundam
11:14:04 <bay|Ota|TB> And I do think protecting intelluctual property is important, but audience love and fan activity is very important as well
11:14:18 <bay|Ota|TB> We can't afford to be like miku where everything is open sourced, but a lot of fan support is something that's crucial
11:14:44 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: Why doesn't Tiger tell his daughter he's a hero?
11:15:51 <bay|Ota|TB> A: That is Kotetsu being a parent, he doesn't want to tell her because if she lets it slip in class, that her father is a super hero, that might have ramafications, for example danger might befall unto her, and also he doesnt' want her to worry about what she's doing.
11:16:27 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: And I noticed that Bunny's characteristic changed after the fight with Oroboros, what do you think?
11:16:35 <bay|Ota|TB> (Note, I will mark any question that is prefaced as a spoiler)
11:16:43 <bay|Ota|TB> (Or that sounds like one)
11:17:35 <bay|Ota|TB> A: And it was the actual idea for tiger and bunny to develop the relationship over the 25 (years?) between kotetsu and bunny
11:18:02 <bay|Ota|TB> So it really is the story of the growth of the relationship between barnaby and kotetsu as they clash and (lost)
11:18:15 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: With all the product placement, Fire Emblem is already a nintendo series, is that intentional or coincidence?
11:18:29 <bay|Ota|TB> A: This was completely unintentional
11:19:11 <bay|Ota|TB> When we were designing the character, he was to be a fire user, so as a fire user, his code name evolved to be fire emblem
11:20:04 <bay|Ota|TB> And when fire emblem is spelled out in english is spelled the same as the game, but in Japanese, there is a one character difference between the names
11:20:08 <bay|Ota|TB> this is also coincidence
11:20:40 <bay|Ota|TB> Q; The product placement from Japan to america, How would they take it? (missed)
11:21:32 <bay|Ota|TB> A: Since tiger and bunny was not just meant to be japanese domestic, but was meant to be more global, the goal was to have a corporate sponsorship that was more global in nature
11:21:55 <bay|Ota|TB> And currently, the product placements are a hodgepodges of japanese domestic and international companies
11:22:25 <bay|Ota|TB> But in the localization efforts in the future, I hope we can have more global sponsorship, and specifically for the US, it's something we need to work out with Viz
11:22:50 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: About the 2nd tier heroes in the second part of the series? Thought of doing mini-shorts for them? A regular promotion system for them for later if a second series were to come out.
11:23:37 <bay|Ota|TB> A: Is this question in the context of the show, where we have the A, B and C part with the C being the epilogue
11:23:59 <bay|Ota|TB> Q-More like the second tiers here... kinda like the lower parts have the lower(??), (missed) kinda like in soccer
11:24:20 <bay|Ota|TB> To clarify, promotion relegation, one of the heroes would go to the second tier and one of the second tier would come up
11:24:56 <bay|Ota|TB> A: That's an interesting idea and we think that setting as you say...
11:25:41 <bay|Ota|TB> Also, it would be great if we could do short films with the character and tie that in with the sponsors (paraphrased)
11:25:52 <bay|Ota|TB> And there is actually is a pepsi commercial with blue rose drinking pepsi for the japanese market
11:26:46 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: How much control do the sponsors themselves have over the show? I know Pepsi is very protective of their logo. How well have the sponsors goods and products sold w.r.t how they are portayed
11:26:52 <bay|Ota|TB> A: very good question
11:27:28 <bay|Ota|TB> It's not just pepsi, but we do keep the corporate image of all the sponors in mind and we kept that in consideriation when we developed the script
11:27:54 <bay|Ota|TB> So we communicate with the sponors, we send them the script and storyboard before it goes into production so we can keep up a good relation
11:28:05 <bay|Ota|TB> As for the second part...
11:28:36 <bay|Ota|TB> Companies like pepsi, gyukaku and bandai have seen revenue growth thanks to Tiger and Bunny
11:29:30 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: Question about the merchandising, the DVDs seem to be doing well, espeically bluray 1, why the english subtitles on the bluray in Japan? And (missed the rest of the extras for the US release)
11:30:35 <bay|Ota|TB> A: And uh, yes there has been a monthly release of the packaged release, and the reason why the bluray has english subs is because we wanted a global audience such as you guys to see it
11:31:29 <bay|Ota|TB> However, it is possible to prucahse theDVD and bluray through amazon.jp and sent here, but vol 1 is alrady complete sold out in japan, and on the internet, it's selling for 2x or 3x msrp
11:31:37 <bay|Ota|TB> so it's going to be a while before it's available for retail again
11:32:54 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: making fake commercials of the superheros doing their product placements? story behind one of the logos being bandai while viz anime is the R1 distirbutor
11:34:22 <bay|Ota|TB> A: as for the idea of having mock commercials, they are corporate sponsored, so they need to act as spokesperson, so it's a very enticing idea to incorporate them into the show
11:35:05 <bay|Ota|TB> And specifically for the Bandai Logo, they are a real life sponsor of the show, so they get a logo placement
11:35:21 <bay|Ota|TB> it's not because they are the parent corporation to sunrise
11:36:19 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: (missed)
11:37:31 <bay|Ota|TB> A: The japanese audience tokusatsu live action shows, are targeted toward childen, so that's their format, we wanted to do dramas for grownups, so we have incentive to move away and do something different.
11:37:47 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: Who comes up with the facts at the end of the show about Kotetsu and Barnaby?
11:38:10 <bay|Ota|TB> (Dondake schedule change, viz is suppoed to start now and end at 12:30)
11:39:01 <bay|Ota|TB> A: This is a fun play we put into the show, it doesn't necessarily have any inspirations (lost)
11:39:23 <bay|Ota|TB> And it's entirely that the lines in the script, that the staff members likes or tendencies are unintentional incorporated
11:39:29 <bay|Ota|TB> but that's really up the audience's speculation
11:39:45 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: Are you looking into making merchandise? Or figurines?
11:40:16 <bay|Ota|TB> A: Actually, we have many many offers, in recent, as yes, regarding figures, bandai will make figures of all heroes
11:40:26 <bay|Ota|TB> and action figures
11:40:33 <bay|Ota|TB> (not clear if inclusive or not)
11:40:52 <bay|Ota|TB> And they are planning on releasing lots of character goods as well.
11:42:00 <bay|Ota|TB> For example, (bunch of examples), belt, jackets, watches, etc
11:42:42 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: Can we expect a Rock Bison character episode ?
11:43:34 <bay|Ota|TB> A: I do think that 25 episodes is not enough to give depths to all 8 super heroes
11:44:01 <bay|Ota|TB> And I do wish that I had a few episodes to give depth to each character
11:44:17 <bay|Ota|TB> And antonio is a friend of kotetsu since student days
11:44:46 <bay|Ota|TB> So I certainly hope that more indepth episodes of antonio and kotetsu can be done in future (missed)
11:45:06 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: There is this reality TV show thing going with the point system, where is the full influence of that?
11:46:25 <bay|Ota|TB> A: The reality show aspect has much influence from F1 livecasting.
11:46:41 <bay|Ota|TB> And another influence is the american reality shows
11:47:15 <bay|Ota|TB> And I do think that hero tv is a great plot device, or a great plot device or gimmick, so I do want to make a full episode that's a hero tv telecast
11:47:35 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: You said lots of merchandise? Does that include a video game or a plush of the characters?
11:47:38 <bay|Ota|TB> A: Of course
11:47:48 <bay|Ota|TB> Actually, namco bandai games is now developing a video game
11:48:07 <bay|Ota|TB> And we are getting offers to do stuffed dolls of the characters
11:48:36 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: You have references to the chinese zodiac in the names, coincidence or came up in development?
11:49:42 <bay|Ota|TB> A: Well, we wanted to have a (for a diverse audience, and we thought the most accessible thing would be animals)
11:49:59 <bay|Ota|TB> And so we went through the character designs and the end result just happened to partially match the chinese zodiac
11:50:16 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: Bunny's backstory based off of batman?
11:50:40 <bay|Ota|TB> A: That wasn't a concious influence
11:51:26 <bay|Ota|TB> Each of the characters do have a backstory and 25 episodes may not be enough to give it to each of them
11:52:19 <bay|Ota|TB> And thing that i wanted in tiger and bunny was to depict the human aspect of the superheroes, and that's common in the US comics, like batman and spiderman
11:52:24 <bay|Ota|TB> If you see overlap, i consider that an honor
11:52:34 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: Which one is your favorite? And which one personifies you?
11:52:51 <bay|Ota|TB> A; Difficult question, I love all heroes
11:53:04 <bay|Ota|TB> But I'm closest in age to kotetsu
11:53:17 <bay|Ota|TB> So I do find him to be the most sympathetic
11:53:51 <bay|Ota|TB> But I love them all, Sky high, cyclone, bison... and dragon kid is cute
11:54:10 <bay|Ota|TB> But there is another character, which is the same one that the script writer has a fixation on
11:54:17 <bay|Ota|TB> and that's Dr. Saito, the mechanic
11:54:29 <bay|Ota|TB> And we are very fond of saito as production staff
11:55:05 <bay|Ota|TB> As for myself, I like Ben, Kotetsu's former boss, he's my personal favorite
11:55:35 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: Which actors do you want to see do Tiger and bunny?
11:55:48 <bay|Ota|TB> A: For the timing being, in my brain, i can imagine some actors and actresses, but now, i don't say
11:55:58 <bay|Ota|TB> (re: Live action)
11:56:17 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: I know they like to put in injokes like the scarf girl and staff initials on license plates
11:56:38 <bay|Ota|TB> have you done any easter eggs? which is your favorite? any that the fans haven't caught on to?
11:57:04 <bay|Ota|TB> A: Visually, there isn't anything i'm responsible for
11:57:18 <bay|Ota|TB> Those are pretty much the responsibility of the director and the animators to be accountable for
11:57:45 <bay|Ota|TB> But there is plenty of personal play, and things that i can play in the script of setting or character designs
11:58:41 <bay|Ota|TB> I won't point out specifics, but there are references to past works of mine, and I do have a favorite real life actors and there are homoages to them within dialogues or within the character designs
11:59:14 <bay|Ota|TB> Q: What's barnaby's cologne? (people have figured out what kotetsu's is)
11:59:46 <bay|Ota|TB> A: Kotetsu cologne, that is a common topic of intense speculation among the fans
12:00:11 <bay|Ota|TB> But there will be issues if i make an official announcement of what that is
12:00:15 <bay|Ota|TB> so it is for you to speculate and have fun
12:00:27 <bay|Ota|TB> Thank you all for coming
12:00:39 <bay|Ota|TB> And lastly, please say together... (something
12:00:56 <bay|Ota|TB> (They call the sky high cosplayer to the stage)
12:01:04 <bay|Ota|TB> (Thank you and Thank you again)
12:01:16 <bay|Ota|TB> Later, please, take a photo together, there are so many cosplayers of t and b
12:01:58 <bay|Ota|TB> I'll let the actors and japanese fans see them
12:02:18 <bay|Ota|TB> ANN plug - contest coming... something creative...
12:02:43 <bay|Ota|TB> ANN has two copies of vol 1 bluray japan, signed, that ANN will be giving away
12:02:50 <bay|Ota|TB> (Starting soon, Viz)