Production I.G> WORK LIST> Le Chevalier D'Eon> SPECIAL FEATURE> Les 24 Chevaliers Part XXIV: Kazuhiro Furuhashi (Director) (01)

Les 24 Chevaliers Part XXIV: Kazuhiro Furuhashi (Director) (01)

As it could be easily guessed, the 24th of our Chevaliers is none but the helmer of the series, Kazuhiro Furuhashi, who talked with us about Le Chevalier D'Eon in a long, 4-part interview.

Part XXIV (01)
Kazuhiro Furuhashi's In principio erat Verbum: "Unique"

Kazuhiro Furuhashi
Born on June 9, 1960. Director. He's known among anime fans worldwide for his TV series, Getbackers, Rurouni Kenshin, Hunter x Hunter, and Zipang. These works illuminated his realistic story structures and meticulously detailed rendering of the characters, which are also profoundly evident in Le Chevalier D'Eon. Furuhashi is currently working on his new series, Real Drive based on an original story by Shirow Masamune.

PART 01: The Inception of the Project

Le Chevalier D'Eon is really a very detailed work. It is based on real history, but it goes beyond that to include love stories, sword fights and occult topics. And of course this is a story of the French revolution.
We've dedicated a lot of time to the script. With the original author, Tow Ubukata we spent about ten months - if not a whole year - to complete the script. We questioned a lot of things, added more background settings, and tried to make the storyline consistent.

Wow, one year! Why did you decide to direct this anime in the first place?
I had a wish to make an original anime for mature audience. Then they offered me this job. I had no reason to say no. (lol) I heard that it was Tow Ubukata who would be writing the series plot. You see, when I learned that he previously worked on Soryu no Fafner (Fafner of the Blue Sky), I thought that it's very uncommon for a novelist to work on an anime. And I felt, "if I had a chance to collaborate with a novelist, we might be able to assemble a unique show." That was when I got this offer and I thought it was like fate. Therefore I obviously decided to take the offer.

According to Tow Ubukata, Le Chevalier D'Eon takes a form of a who-done-it story, a mystery of D'Eon searching for his sister's killer. As he exposes the truth behind his sister's death, the drama of the Four Musketeers prevails. It doesn't rely on eccentricity, but the well structured story let's us uncover something new every time we watch it.

The strength of the story goes beyond being a well-made mystery. Facial expressions and movements of the characters are quite funny, sometimes. Playful renderings such as Durand's signature pose when he takes a bite of bread or when Teillagory stares at his pierced hat give a good variation to the story.

You have a point. We should take into account. It is a collaborative work with a novelist.
We have about 30 or 40 percent more information in the script than in a standard TV production. So I think this work is well made to accommodate people who watch it over and over.

Whew, 30 to 40 percent more? That's huge. Did you have a definite plot in the very first stage of the project?
No, we didn't. They talked about the media mix and then they told me the story outline. We took from there and discussed the how to develop the animation version within that media mix context.

You talked about media mix. Le Chevalier D'Eon is also available in both novel and comic formats. They all take place in 18th century France. What is your view of that era?
To say the truth, at the time we started with this series, I had no particular idea. I'm sure I watched The Star of La Seine and The Roses of Versailles when they were on TV, but I don't really remember them well, so maybe I was not that interested. I am not very keen about the history of France, not to mention European history in general. So, of people like Ekaterina and Pompadour, I only knew the names. I had to start by reading their biographies.

(1 - to be continued)

© Tow Ubukata · Production I.G/Project Chevalier 2006