March 23, 2012

So, I learned the other day that Ixtl now has its own website up.

Contrary to what I had kind of been thinking, it seems that Ixtl is not just an offshoot of ACID (Age’s parent company), but a distinctly separate company.  The president of Ixtl is Takashi Nakanishi, the former president of AG-ONE and the current vice-president of MAGES (the combination of 5pb and AG-ONE).  If I had to guess, I would say that Yoshimune probably convinced MAGES to assign some of their employees to handle Age’s copyrights, and together they formed a new company.

It’s not just copyrights, though – Ixtl is credited for helping to plan the upcoming live event in April, and apparently they’ve also started managing Minami Kuribayashi’s career.  These are all things that ACID used to do.  Yoshimune mentioned in the past that this reorganization would help them put out games faster, and it looks like the reason for that is that now ACID can focus completely on game development, while Ixtl will handle all of the other stuff they used to do – copyright, licensing, merchandising, event planning, career management.

I still have no idea why Ixtl is credited on Animation Production, though.  It may simply be some legal thing.


Newtype 04/2012

March 18, 2012

Here are a few selected quotes from this month’s Newtype article, from director Takayuki Inagaki:

“I was a fan of the original, so much so that I begged a producer I knew to let me do the anime (laughs).”

“I got into the anime industry because I wanted to draw mechs.”

“It’s been a long time since we had a show where robots are portrayed as conventional weapons used by the military.”

“Pilots and mechs are gathered from many different countries, and their different ideologies come into conflict.  I would especially like Real Robot fans to look forward to this.”

“As far as the action goes, we’re going for a more realistic feel than Satelight’s other show Aquarion Evol.”

“Although our main characters are in the military, in this world, war has continued for decades, and many of the adults have died out, so 17-18 year olds are pilots.  In that sense it’s not that different from your average high school show.  Even though this is a war story, I want people who are the same generation as these characters to empathize with them.”

“I think that this story’s core is very thick.  The foundation of this work is how people continue to live on in the midst of the cruelty of war.  People are portrayed very candidly, so the drama is very stern and impressive.  Of course, those who don’t want to think too hard and simply want to see cute girls and robots will also find something to like in this show (laughs).  I think people can enjoy this show no matter what they are looking for.”

Yoshimune Tweets

March 17, 2012

Here are some tweets made by Kouki Yoshimune recently, explaining why they are making an anime out of Total Eclipse instead of the core Muv-Luv story:

I would love to have started with Muv-Luv, but the people who fund these things avoid shows with risk factors, regardless of the quality of the content.  The truth is that we had gotten an offer to do Muv-Luv and Alternative from a certain large company during the planning stage, but even after 8 years we couldn’t come to terms.

To be specific, these risk factors include “It’s too long”, “It has a lot of nitpicky fans”, “It has (or appears to have) political/ideological elements”, “It’s based on an eroge”, “It’s old”, “Robots take too much energy to animate”, “SF doesn’t sell well”, “It’s not moe”.  People tend to avoid these kinds of risks.

In that sense, the threshold for Total Eclipse is lower than for Muv-Luv and Alternative (at least, in terms of the different Muv-Luv works at the time the anime project began).  And in fact, the good sales of the figures and A3 products helped reassure the minds of the people who fund these things.

But even so, I don’t mean to suggest that Total Eclipse is merely an underdog or stepstool (laughs).  This is all kind of inside baseball, but the lives and futures of many people depend on this, so it’s not something that they do lightly or without thought.

I suspect everybody is assuming that we will simply copy the novels directly into animation, but I don’t like copying things exactly.  The director also has experience making numerous shows, so we are taking care that Total Eclipse is a completely standalone work.

Although we’re covering the same major themes, what we’re going for is to keep the character development the same, while liberally changing the background setting and flow of the story.  The characteristics of each medium are different, and since I myself am from the previous generation, I’m used to the story and overall feel, and even the characters’ faces, being different in each medium (laughs).

As the Total Eclipse anime’s executive producer, my job is to supply the director with as many choices as possible.  The anime is ultimately the director’s film, and when it comes to making the hard choices, it should have the unity of a single person’s vision.


March 16, 2012

This is a blog I started to support the upcoming anime Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse.  Well, it’s not really a “blog”, I intend it to be mostly a dumping ground for translations of various articles and stuff that may be of interest.  Please feel free to repost anything you see here wherever you like.  I have zero interest in “credit” and you don’t even necessarily have to link back here – I only ask that you not pretend to have made the translation yourself.

I guess I’ll kick off this blog with what is known about the anime so far:


Original Work: Kouki Yoshimune (Ixtl / Age)
Executive Producer: Kouki Yoshimune
Director: Takayuki Inagaki
Character Design: Yumiko Hara
Chief Animation Directors: Rondo Mizukami, Kenji Shinohara
Sound Director: Jin Aketagawa
Animation Production: Ixtl x Satelight


Yuya Bridges – Daisuke Ono
Yui Takamura – Mai Nakahara
Cryska Barchenowa – Hitomi Nabatame
Inia Sestina – Mamiko Noto
Tarisa Manandal – Sakura Nogawa
Vincent Lowell – Tomokazu Sugita

Airdate: Summer 2012


(Although not mentioned, it seems pretty likely that the main writer will indeed be Hiroshi Yamaguchi, as was originally leaked last year.)

Just to note, “Ixtl” is not an animation company, but a company founded by Age, apparently to manage its copyright.  They’ve never fully explained just what it does or how the companies are different, except to assure fans that it’s all a behind-the-scenes reorganization that should help things run more smoothly but will not affect fans in any way.  At any rate, we can think of Ixtl as essentially being Age itself.  I’ve never seen an Animation Production credit like that before, and it seems to imply that the original creators of Muv-Luv are involved with the anime production on a level far beyond what is typical of a normal adaptation.

Information for Total Eclipse will probably come out through magazines like Newtype (which comes out every 10th of the month) and Tech Gian (every 21st).  Other magazines will have info too, but these should be the major ones.  The other major source of information is going to be Kouki Yoshimune’s Twitter account.  Yoshimune is the CEO of Age and the creator/writer for Kimi ga Nozomu Eien, Muv-Luv Alternative, and Total Eclipse.  He’s also a huge blabbermouth on Twitter, which of course is great news for fans.  In addition to Twitter, he hosts occasional NicoNico Live broadcasts where he shows off the latest news.  As for the near future, watch for big news from the upcoming special magazine Gianism Vol. 2 (out March 30th) and the live event TE MEMORIAL NIGHT powered by MUV-LUV (April 7th).  The upcoming game Muv-Luv Alternative Chronicles 03 (out March 30th) is also said to include a trailer for the anime.