Gunota Headlines has kindly translated the interview with Seiji Mizushima, director of the Gundam 00 series, in anime magazine Animage.
Q: Tell us how the title “Mobile Suit Gundam 00” came about?
It started as a temporary title, but it ended up being the official
title. Originally I wanted to have a cool name, but we all forgot about it. Besides the obvious reason of starting from zero, there are other reasons. Right now it is a secret, but it will become a keyword as the story progresses.
Q: Reason behind why this series is set in the future of our world?
I personally have no deep knowledge about UC or CE so jumping into their worlds would be inappropriate and offensive to the staff who worked on those series. To me, it made perfect sense to make this series connected to our world. By doing this, it is easier to reflect our history and blend it with the series. At this moment, I am not focusing too much about making this ultra real or serious. This is entertainment after all so I’ll mirror some of the real world issues in this series like I have with the anime I worked on in the past.
Q: What kind of Gundam story are you aiming for?
Don’t know if this is a good or bad thing. I haven’t watched a lot of
the previous Gundam series. When I was first offered this job, I
thought to myself, “Aren’t there more Gundam-minded people than me?” Sunrise told me “We want to create a new Gundam so the director doesn’t have to know a lot about Gundam.” I have staff like Yousuke Kuroda and mecha designers, who are Gundam fans, so they will make sure it is Gundam while I will try to create without thinking too much that this is a Gundam series. Perhaps, this might be the theme, but I will bring my own Gundam-ness to the series.
Q: What is your Gundam-ness?
One is writing about war. Gundam is a weapon after all. This doesn’t mean I’m going to be devoted to battles scenes. Instead I believe it is important to approach the war theme straightforward. (Gunota note: from here he tries to be funny) Other than that, a mobile weapon walking on 2 legs using beam sabers and a beam rifle. Then the basic stuff like Gundam is red, blue, yellow, and white. *laughs* This time, we are being more adventurous with the designs. If you have these 4 colors, they look like Gundam. *laughs*
Q: The pilots of the Gundams belong to a group who are trying to end war. What are you trying to say with this?
Let’s take this one phrase, “Using force to end wars” and see what
happens when someone carries out this contradicting act. “What do you start to see?” is one of things I want to write. Since this is a drama involving these characters, you will see “What happens to the world when they pilot the Gundam? What will these pilots do and how will they change?” This will be the gut of the series for sure.
Q: How will the MS designs and battle action turn out?
We hope to bring 2 styles: one is the super action style from SEED,
second are actions that take advantage of the MS. When the plot of Gundams entering the conflict was being setup, we had a conversation saying “It might be all right for the Gundams to be super mecha.” Therefore, the antagonist’s MS was designed reflecting today’s weapons and the Gundams were designed to confront them. It will feel like super mecha vs real mecha. The concept of the Gundam being far superior is one concept I had from the beginning. I don’t know how much of that you will see, but the staff will follow along and hopefully you might see some odd looking scenes.
Q: Lastly, a message for the fans of the upcoming series.
While this will be a drama connecting people with people or people with the world, I will not be forcing answers on them. I’m hoping this series will motivate viewers into thinking. A Gundam novice like me is working real hard creating a new Gundam so I hope the previous fans and new fans will support us.