Article: Kazuya Murata and Masahiko Minami interview
Sacred Stars of the BFI: An interview with Kazuya Murata and Masahiko Minami - Page 3
Are there any interesting anecdotes about the production process of The Sacred Star of Milos that you'd like to share?
Murata: Hmm.... Kenichi Konishi, the animation director; Shingo Natsume, the associate director; and the animators were into playing the ball-and-cup game "kendama" - they all had a bit of a competition to see who could score the most or keep going for the longest. They had a big piece of graph paper pinned up to record who had managed to keep going at the game longest!
Minami: Usually if there's graph paper up it shows how the production is progressing, so I'd look at it and think "Ooh, they're doing really well!", then when I looked closer I could see that there was something slightly strange going on with that particular chart!
Who won the contest?!
Murata: I think it was Kenichi Konishi. I'm sure they were really all doing it to improve their concentration!
Do you have a favourite character from Fullmetal Alchemist, be it the series or this movie?
Murata: I like Julia from The Sacred Star of Milos, and also Kimblee from the main series. Oh, and of course I like Ed and Al as well!
Are there any future projects that you're allowed to talk about which you're working on at the moment?
Murata: I can't really talk about what I'm working on, but I'm sure that you're going to love it! Of course, this is the original TV series that I'm working on which I mentioned earlier.
Are you surprised at all by the enduring popularity of Fullmetal Alchemist outside of Japan over the years?
Murata: I was surprised when I first heard about how popular it was - we had a panel discussion with members of the staff in front of an audience in Tokyo, and there was a fan from Saudi Arabia who came up to us afterwards just to tell us how much of a fan he was. He told us that his whole family love Fullmetal Alchemist! I was surprised at how well supported we are all around the world.
Minami: It's really nice to be able to go to other countries and meet such passionate fans of Fullmetal Alchemist.
As our final question - what did you learn from making this movie?
Murata: I learned the difficulties of controlling a team of people working on a film, but then main thing which I took away from the experience was that I rediscovered how much fun it is to create an animation; to move the characters and to make something that's dynamic and dramatic.
With that, our time was up and we reluctantly but gratefully said our goodbyes to this talented duo - that evening, The Sacred Star of Milos had its first UK outing in front of an enthusiastic crowd, followed by a question and answer session with both Minami and Murata to shed a light on some of the fan's questions directly to make for a satisfying end to an enjoyable day. Who knows, maybe both individuals will want to visit again having had a taste of British anime fandom?
Many thanks to Manga Entertainment and Fetch Publicity for organising this interview, and to Bethan Jones for her top-notch interpreting skills. Finally, of course, our huge thanks go to both Kazuya Murata and Masahiko Minami for taking the time out of their busy schedules to visit London and speak to both us and their fans!