Gundam 00 Interview with Newtype magazine

Gunota Headlines has kindly translated the interview with Seiji Mizushima, director of the Gundam 00 series, in anime magazine Newtype.

Q: A 15-second long promo video appeared after Toward the Terra on June 2. Any response from the public?
A:
They were a lot of responses and they were fast, too. A day after the promo, my friend who was eating at a restaurant overheard young people talking about the next Gundam by watching it on their mobile phones.

Q: This Gundam doesn’t take place in ___ Era, instead it takes place in Seireki (anno domini aka AD) 2307.
A:
I wanted to do it in AD. Since my knowledge regarding UC and CE is very low, doing it in AD would be a lot easier and allow me to bring in real world agendas.

Q: Was bringing a real world agenda the start of your concept?
A:
Since this is Mobile Suit Gundam, I believe you are placed in a
situation where you have to write something about war. If that is the case, it could be on something like a conflict or terror we see today. In a Gundam series, the Gundam serves as a weapon which allows me to do these things. It is possible to make this story a fantasy, but I didn’t want to do that with this Gundam. I wanted an era based on today’s world.

Q: Setsuna F. Seiei, the main character, is a former soldier from the Middle East. This smells like the ethnic and religious clash we have today.
A:
300years from now, I don’t think this problem will be solved. However, I don’t want to present a solution to this social problem. If young people ended up searching on the net, it would be worth making the series. Instead of just watching the events, I’m personally hoping we can approach it more closely. For us, it is hard to understand the thoughts of people who are living under war conditions, but we can know a little bit by studying. I want to absorb them and express them on film. I do believe this is a hard thing to do.

There is another challenge. I’m aiming for a new innovation as far as MS action goes. Each group will have their own MS, unique in shape and movement as well. To put it simply, a normal MS will have realistic behavior. Since Gundams are super weapons, they will have super mechanic movements. These differences will be purposely put in place and I’m looking forward to how much variety of actions we can express. I want everyone to look forward to this because I am, too.

Q: Setsuna is described as a cool person who hardly reveals any emotion. Does this mean he is keeping his feelings inside himself regarding why he fights?
A:
That is still a secret. *laughs* His past is difficult to understand which probably makes him look cool. Once people see the facts, they will understand.

Q: Why did you decide on him as the main character?
A:
At first, I wanted a character that doesn’t fit a typical Japanese
person. Then I went through the process of what this young person and I would do if I were placed in these circumstances. I believe this is an important step when you develop a story.

Q: This is far away from the viewer’s standpoint.

A:
Yes, it is. Which is why I asked Yun Kouga for character designs. If
this wasn’t Kouga-san’s designs, people might have been afraid, grossed out, or not even empathize. It may sound like this is all we’re doing based on my conversation, but it is only part of it. This is an entertainment show so we’ll have those other elements, too.

Q: Will there be any romance?

A:
There will be plenty of romance even under these harsh circumstances. *laughs* Yousuke Kuroda is going to include lots of romance in the
story.

Q: Which means a heroine character is going to appear?
A: We haven’t made that public yet? There is one, a 24-year-old heroine. She’s been through a lot of difficulties.

Q: Will she be Setsuna’s primary interest?

A: Umm, we haven’t decided that yet. Again, she’s been through a lot…

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