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Madman Anime Festival: Interview with the Sword Art Online Guests

If you’ve kept up to date with what’s been going on with The Vanguard over the past week, then you’d know that I attended Madman Entertainment’s first ever Anime Festival in Melbourne last weekend. The festival was brilliant and I had loads of fun. Not only did I enjoy the events that were on, but I was incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to interview some of the guests that were in attendance.

On Day 1, I interviewed both the Director and voice actor of One Punch Man, which I’ve written about in the previous post. On Day 2, I was pleasantly surprised to have been granted interviews with all three Sword Art Online guests, including the Director of the series, Tomohiko Ito, the character designer, Shingo Adachi and the Producer of A1 Pictures, Atsushi Kaneko.

All three guests were incredibly well put together, funny and were incredibly open with fans, signing autographs on Sword Art Online fan merchandise and answering fan questions. All three men were stand up guys and like the One Punch Man guests, they did not speak English, so the interview had to be translated, which worked out smoothly.

Here’s my interview with the Sword Art Online guests.


Q: What do you think is the main attraction and appeal of the Sword Art Online anime series?

A: There are a number of things. Based on our research and interactions with the Australian fans here at the festival, one of the things that we found and was mentioned by some of the Australian fans is the drama between characters and the action. Although they are not personally what we think, it’s definitely what the Australian fans seem to enjoy and what they like about Sword Art Online.  

Q: With the sword fighting scenes, did you choreograph them in real life or get inspiration from real life sword play?

A: It actually comes completely from scratch. We actually have someone who is very good at action scenes so we leave it completely up to them and what we find is that if it’s something they have conceptualised in their heads, they try to recreate what they have imagined up onto the screen.

With sword fighting, it’s not something that anyone can just play with and become like Kirito. It actually takes some creation and putting the action sequences down on paper. Imagination is very important.

Other arcs like Gun Gale Online, however, is different, as a lot of people are familiar with the use of guns; we’ve seen it several times before on movies and on TV. There’s a bit of realism with it. It’s a completely different situation altogether because the focus is primarily on making it look real.

Q: What does the future hold for the Sword Art Online anime series? Will there be more volumes developed or will the series end after the Ordinary Scale movie?

A: On the production side, it really depends. If you have read the novels, then you’ll know that the series does continue. By all means it’s not a zero chance for things to continue. Where the novel and the anime end, there is only about 30% difference of how far along the novel has actually gone compared to the anime, so we’re not sure just yet at this stage.  


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