Production I.G> WORK LIST> Le Chevalier D'Eon> SPECIAL FEATURE> Les 24 Chevaliers Part V: Yasuyuki Muto (Chief Writer) first half

Les 24 Chevaliers Part V: Yasuyuki Muto (Chief Writer) first half

In this installment, we have Yasuyuki Muto, the chief writer for the series. Being responsible for 11 out of 24 episodes, his wide perspective of the entire series enabled him to insert various narrative tricks and give depth to not only the story, but also to the characters. Along with the director Kazuhiro Furuhashi and story supervisor Tow Ubukata, he is an indispensable part of the troika that supports the world of Le Chevalier D'Eon.

Part V (first half)
Yasuyuki Muto's In principio erat Verbum: "Kokubunji"!

Yasuyuki Muto
Since his debut as a writer, he had tried to appeal to his most respected director, Kazuhiro Furuhashi, by, for instance, sending his original stories to him. And after the success he achieved in the TV series Basilisk, Muto eventually landed in Le Chevalier D'Eon team with Furuhashi's recommendation. He took up the task of imparting subtleties and human depth to each character who lived within the concept created by Tow Ubukata. He ended up contributing almost half of the episode scripts for the entire series.

What was your impression when you first joined the team?
This is a huge period drama with truth and fiction combined, and practically an original work. So I sat back and thought that Ubukata-san would write at least the first three episodes. But it turned out I was asked to write the second episode. I almost cried out, "No way!" But I was attracted by the story of the encounter of the four musketeers, and also fascinated by the character of Bernice as seen in the first episode, so I was tempted to finish his last hours. These were the reasons I got the courage to take up the challenge.

When I think of it now, I was able to really immerse myself in Le Chevalier D'Eon because they let me do the second episode initially. It was very arduous, but also simply fun to create the dialogues for Durand and Teillagory before anyone in the staff knew their language traits. That certainly connected me more with the characters.

Where do you place priority in the process of creating Le Chevalier D'Eon
I'd say the "emotion" of each character. Of course the historical background and the settings are also important, but for me, the mentality of the characters including D'Eon was very interesting and gave me that urge to write. To a large extent, the sagas of the knights in the West really strike the hearts of the Japanese. Personally, I had a project cancelled on me at the time. Because I had committed myself to put all my effort in that project that I was supposed to be involved with, I needed to work on something in order to release my urge to portray people. It was a great piece of luck that I was called to work on Le Chevalier D'Eon at that time.

What do you think of the staff you are working with?
It might sound cocky, but each and everyone, including the planners, creators and young production staff members, are all committed and are doing a great job. I can feel everyone's commitment directly. For example, when I go through the character designs by Tomomi Ozaki, I can see that she really devoted to this project. You can see drawings of facial expressions and her notes for everyone including the side characters. The hot enthusiasm of the team comes together in a good way.

We sometimes spent more than twelve hours sitting at script meetings, but we never came out empty handed. They were always meaningful and productive in an appropriate way.

Until this project, Kokubunji (*) was only a train station where I changed trains to visit my dad's grave. I now know that this is a place where really "passionate people" colonized. I feel so lucky that I quit my office job to become a scriptwriter.

(to be continued)

(*) Production I.G studios are located around the station of Kokubunji, in the outskirts of Tokyo.