Anime Expo 2018 hosted the US premiere of Sirius the Jaegar, an original anime that is a collaborative effort between P.A. Works and Warner Brothers Japan. P.A. Works brought the President of the animation studio Kenji Horikawa and music producer Noriko Dohi to Anime Expo for the premiere. A brief Q&A session was conducted prior to the screening of Sirius the Jaegar. Mari, an individual in anime sales and marketing, is the translator for this panel.
Question: What is Sirius the Jaegar?
Mari: Sirius the Jaegar, or simply Sirius in Japanese, is an original animation series created by P.A. Works and Warner Brothers Japan. You might know that we [P.A. Works & Warner Bros.] have worked together on Shirobako before, but as you can see, this one [Sirius the Jaegar] is a completely different genre from Shirobako.
Q: What is the plot?
M: So, the story takes place in 1930s Japan, where the characters are in the Imperial Capital of Tokyo, and they are all different in age, gender, and race, but they all belong to a secret organization to slay vampires. They call themselves “jaegars”, the German word for “hunters”. While Imperial Tokyo is oblivious to the jaegars or the vampires, they are afraid of the convicts, serial murderers, and vicious attacks by a terrorist organization known as the Hyakko Party.
Q: Who are the creators?
M: The director of the anime is Masahiro Ando, who’s known for his action anime series Canaan and Sword of the Stranger that is produced by Bones. He’s famous for the art style in the street fights of the characters. The character designs are by Kinu Nishimura who’s known for her work in Street Fighter. The series composition is done by Keigo Koyanagi, and the action animation director is Masahiro Sato. The music that was playing when you walked in is by Masaru Yokoyama. He did music for Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans. And of course, the animation is done by none other than P.A. Works.
M: Speaking of P.A. Works, we have a special guest today. Please welcome, CEO and the founder of the studio Kenji Horikawa. Thank you for joining us today. Please introduce yourself.
Horikawa, Kenji: Thank you for letting me coming out today. My name is Kenji Horikawa, and I am the producer of P.A. Works. It’s going to be very brief for me, but please enjoy the panel.
Q: How are you involved in Sirius?
H: In short, the animation industry has changed a lot since the old days. The main outlet is now streaming, and most of the anime that is being streamed is aimed for overseas audiences. So P.A. Works is changing too. Before, I wanted to create an anime from my own ideas. But nowadays, I want to bring in more young creators who have an idea for oversea audiences. Essentially, I’m kind of passing the torch to the younger generation. And Sirius is just doing that. With Director Ando and the P.A. Works producers, I’m kind of letting them take the lead.
Q: P.A. Works has worked with Masahiro Ando before on Canaan and Hanasaku Iroha. What is your impression on Mr. Ando and his work?
H: Mr. Ando, before he started directing, was renowned for his action animation and everyone admired and respected him. So when he became the director, all the young people wanted to work for him and if you got picked by him, it was like an honor.
H: For young people, because Mr. Ando’s series are perfect and demands high quality, it’s a challenge for them to grant the wishes that Mr. Ando has, but it’s still an honor to work with him.
Q: There must be a lot of themes for the fans to notice. If you have to pick one aspect, what do you want the audience to notice?
H: If you see the animation, you notice that the action, music, and the creation of the world are absolutely in perfect quality. But I would also like you to notice that we are tackling a difficult theme like what a modern hero should be. So, throughout the course of watching the first and second episode that will be shown later, please think on that.
Q: Last but not least, do you have any messages for the fans?
H: All the young staff in P.A. Works are tackling this theme with Director Mr. Ando and they are trying their best to produce this beautiful yet difficult anime. I hope you will enjoy it when it comes out to the U.S. and appreciate the work and effort put into this picture as the staff did.
M: We would also like to welcome one more guest to the stage.
Dohi, Noriko: Hi everyone! I am Noriko Dohi from Warner Brothers Japan, and it is nice to see you all!
M: Dohi-san is a music producer, so let’s ask something about music!
Q: So who exactly is Sajou no Hana? Can you tell us a little bit about them?
D: Sajou no Hana is making their debut in this anime, but as you know Kishida Kyoudan is doing the opening and Masaru Yokoyama is doing the music. We decided to use new guys for the ending theme. Sajou no Hana’s music is created by Shou Watanabe, who made music for LiSA’s “Crossing Fields” for Sword Art Online and “Oath’s Sign” for Fate/Zero. He’s also done “Connect” for Madoka Magica and produced music for other famous singers, so he’s pretty famous before Sajou no Hana.
D: Sajou no Hana is a three-piece band with Shou Watanabe as the leader. The band’s name is actually a Japanese term that means “flower blooming in the desert”. The concept is that the flower blooming in the desert is beautiful and fragile, but is like an oasis to you guys. So I hope the music will be like an oasis to you when you are feeling a bit dry.
Q: There’s actually an interesting fact about the vocalist for Sajou no Hana. Who is she?
D: You will be seeing two episodes today, and from episode two there will be an ending song. The vocalist for the ending is Sana. She’s actually in MOB CHOIR, the group that did the opening theme song for Mob Psycho 100. No one actually knows the band, and she was there just for that song. If you listen closely, you can hear the resemblance on Mob Psycho 100’s theme. Thank you very much for having me.
Check out the first impressions review of Sirius the Jaegar here.