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09 December 2008 @ 08:08 am
Kubo Interview from FTB movie guide!  

Translation by the wonderful melodymix . Highlights are that Shishou decided to jump whole hog into the movie after finding out that it was going to have a "back to the beginning" theme and that Ichigo and Rukia were going to be the main characters, he defines the IchiRuki relationship as more than nakama but not lovers and utterly unique, and he says this movie is the closest to the original work.


Finally the movie has reached its 3rd. They say what ever happens twice, there is always the third time (a famous saying in Japan). Sensei, were you expecting this third movie to come out?

Of course I thought there will be another one (laughs) and like how the fan’s number 1 most popular character Hitsugaya was the main character of the second movie I was looking forward to know who is the main character and what sort of story the next one is going to be.

Like your previous work, in this year’s movie we heard you were involved since the early stage.

Around March I think it all started when the director Abe and the movie staffs came to me. From that time director Abe wanted a “Back to the beginning” theme and wished the main characters Ichigo and Rukia to be the focus of the story. On top of that he wanted to portray something that linked to the first chapter of Bleach, the original appearance of Bleach… For me, I was very happy to know that the movie was heading that direction and said “That’s good, let’s go with that!” And from there on I joined in the production and put together the story and the setting after discussing it with everyone.

We heard the scenario was completed after a lot of hardship?

The subject matter of the story is something I can agree with but there are still parts that made me worried until the end. Especially the speech in the last scene, I discussed and decided it with the director at the recording studio (laughs)
To tell you the truth there are still bits I wanted to develop but if I do that who knows how long the film would be (laughs)

Even the subtitle was given from you?

From the 2nd movie the subtitle was brought up by me. From the time when I first heard that the memory of Rukia will disappear an image came into my mind that Rukia’s memory of Ichigo and the gotei 13 will be disappearing. From there the meaning of “Disappearing into black” became the subtitle “Fade to black”.

You even came up with the Japanese subtitle “Calling Out Your Name”

After coming up with the English subtitle "Fade to Black” they asked me to come up with the Japanese subtitle (laughs) So after carefully digesting the scenario I searched for some scenes that can be the key word or words that I can use, and found that in the plot, someone calling out someone’s name, especially in this story where Ichigo calling out Rukia’s name was a strong expression that even though no one else remembers you I do, and I found out it had an important meaning behind it. So that’s how I came up with the subtitle “Calling Out Your name”

You were also in charge of deciding the original characters?

Yes. Like the character Kusaka Soujirou in the previous movie, in the first discussion we briefly decided the big sister and the little brother’s character was decided that during their childhood times they lived with Rukia and because of their power they managed to steal Rukia’s memory. Not only that but even though they are now siblings we were thinking about making them twins at first. If you think about it now the character we have now and the planning stage was very different.

How did you decide the setting of the 2 characters?

From my first impression that I felt, I drew their looks as I had an image of fire for the big sister and an image of water for the little brother. The first image that popped up into my mind was a character that has different eyes compared to other characters. Like a bird the black part of the eyes being big is a trait and because they were so attached to Rukia and had an image of “wWe will die without Rukia” I had an image of a baby bird in my mind and drew them. I remember I drew them pretty quickly.

Any other settings that you decided on?

Weapon and names. The weapon which is a sickle the little brother is using was taken from my suggestion. For their names the script writer Takahashi Natsuko-san asked me “While deciding the looks for the sister and brother please think of a name for them” and I agreed with “okay”.

You seen to make a fuss about names but did you have any difficulty coming up with their names?

Yes. Because the name of the sister and brother is an important point for the story I struggled a lot. For me usually when I am creating a character their looks and name just comes to me at the same time. And because of that I never struggled to come up with a name however, this sister and brother’s character was not created by me (he only gave them their name and looks) and on top of that since Rukia was going to name them I wondered what sort of name would she come up with… and the condition had to be the sibling’s name had to match each other so I thought instead of having a complicated name I thought its better to have a straight name. And naming them after daily happenings was what Rukia would have done and to give a soft impression I thought it was best to write their name in hiragana. After getting asked to come up with their name I thought about it for the next few months and finally decided 10 days before the voicing (laughs). It was all in the last moment but I think I came up with a name that suits them.

Is there a reason behind the names?

There is a scene with Rukia where there is a flashback of the sibling during their childhood times. A water lily that is wet by the morning dew opens up. So I researched the flower meaning of this water lily and it was “As long as you are here my pain would soften” and I thought this matched very well with the atmosphere in the movie so I created a little episode for it. At the start I discussed it with the director whether we should add this episode in the movie but he said “Considering the time, it’s impossible” (laughs)
So in the end both their names became different from water lily. I wish you too confirm both their names in the movie. This is a preview but me and the novelist of the Bleach movies Matsubara Makoto-san got excited after she said she wants to use that scene in her novel so I believe in the novel you are able to check some scenes that aren’t in the movie. Other than that in the novel version there are scenes that follow the movie like the details to why Urahara Kisuke decided to wear the captain’s uniform.

You were watching the voicing from the start to the very end?

This was my first time to witness the voicing from the start to finish. I try not to speak much during the recording but when the director or the music director needed help I gave them advices. The brother’s voice actor, Kamiya-san had difficulty with the intonation so I did help him with that.

You are putting a lot of effort into it

I was also part of deciding the original character of the second movie, Kusaka Soujirou however with him there were too many cross-over with the original manga there were many restrictions. But compared to that in this year’s episode, because the story took place before Rukia met Renji the existence of the siblings gave me a stimulating inspiration. And because of that I wanted to know how these two would open up a story and I was at the voicing studio until they finished. I had fun watching them.

Please tell us the highlight of the movie in your opinion

With the battle it is not Ichigo vs. Gotei 13 but Ichigo vs. Rukia. In the first scenario the last boss was not decided yet and someone raised the question “Then what will we do about the last boss?” and we thought if Ichigo forgot about Rukia we thought “We want to see Ichigo and Rukia!”. We then started the discussion from there. In this battle there is actually a scene that links with the very first chapter of the comic and in my opinion I feel as though that is the most important scene in the movie. It links to what director said “back to the beginning” .

Because you were involved in this movie were there any bits you drew thinking about the theme “Back to the Beginning”?

In my own thought I did not come up with the idea of drawing the scene where Rukia gives Ichigo her power like the very first chapter. So returning that scene in the movie gave me a strong impact and thought it was very interesting. On top of that because of this story I recognized once again that Ichigo and Rukia’s relationship is something special.

What do you think the bond is that these two have with each other?

It’s not friendship but it’s not an amorous feeling either. With these 2’s relationship, I think there is no other relationship like them in other works where despite both standing in a very close position with each other it is not romance (laughs)
But in this year’s movie there is a scene where Ichigo says Rukia is his “Precious nakama” and I think that explains the of their relationship well.

To you what sort of existence is a movie compared to manga and tv anime?

I think a movie is something that is not in the manga and we can do something special about it. I want the tv anime to be much devoted to the manga as possible, and so I check them out to see if it feels personally wrong or if it would be something I would want to draw in my original work. But with the movie it crosses the loop of the manga and I sum it up and help with respect to the plot that the production team comes up with. I think that point is the number one difference between the manga and the anime compared to the movie.

You went and watched the movie at the private screening but what sort of feelings do you have for that?

I had fun (laughs) because it is my work it feels completed but on the other hands it means that you can’t create something stronger than that. In some bits while I was drawing it made me think “Would this sort of situation really happen?” but even so I was the one who thought and came up with the plot so even if I am surprised it does not feel fresh. Even if the author like me is involved in the production the drawings are done by other people, the voicings are done by the seiyuus, so when the movie is completed I always savour the feeling of surprise. They move like this, their voices are like this, with emotional excitement I always say my feed backs and I am always looking forward to that.

Finally at last, got any message to the fans?

In this year’s movie the theme of “Back to the beginning” is shown in the movie. Compared to the other movies I believe this one is the one which has the closest link to the original work, and giving a link to the first chapter was not seen in the anime or the original manga and I think that is something very special. I think a fan that loves the original manga would love the work. I think I made a movie where even if you touched Bleach first by watching this movie you would end up wanting to read the original manga. Please enjoy it!

  oh, and http://www.debbiechan.com/ is updated with most of the art entries of the previous contest on board.
V to the A to the D-E-R (Vader!)jaina on December 9th, 2008 04:08 pm (UTC)
With the battle it is not Ichigo vs. Gotei 13 but Ichigo vs. Rukia.

Damn right that's the highlight!

Countdown to certain fans crowing about how Kubo has declared Ichigo/Rukia to be not romantic. Well duh, it's not now.
_debbiechan_: thorn in the side of fandom_debbiechan_ on December 9th, 2008 04:28 pm (UTC)
phew! Shippers on it like ants on candy! XD XD. The IchiRuki enthusiasm doesn't seem dimmed though, either in Japan or where I can read and understand. There were some attempts to understand what Kubo was talking about at the IchiRuki FC. I wrote:

Originally Posted by Lucia View Post
Mel In this interview, he said IchiRuki's relationship isn't friendship, but it's not love/romance either. Then he said they're "precious nakama" to each other. But then didn't he just said that they aren't friends?? ....

Ah, don't worry about it, Lucia. Here's where I always go people, please, stop pouring over his interviews like rabbis over the Talmud--you're not going to get consistent sense. Just go for the main idea and the general emotion behind his words and don't hold the interviewee to specifics!

Precious nakama or "more than nakama"--whatever, it's plain from canon manga, Kubo's words, Orihime's words, plenty sources that Rukia is MORE than JUST A NAKAMA to Ichigo.

She's not his lover. Whether or not she becomes one or what is all up in the air and the situation is not, as Kubo rightly says, amorous.

But let's look at the ones who are going to squee about Kubo's words as hope for their ship. Orihime has been stated over and over by Ichigo to be a nakama to him. Orihime is our nakama. Not more than, not precious, and if there's going to be a love relationship gotten there, well---look at who she has to compete with as the most important person in Ichigo's life.

This movie, as director Abe says, and how Fumi and others have observed, is about how DEEP Ichigo's feelings run for Rukia. Deep feelings.

In just about every story and RL situation, these feelings in a man mean something more or turn into something more very quick. You just don't have a guy running around having obsessive SIBLING feelings for a girl he just met, do you?

oh and I answered this post thusly:

Originally Posted by cris View Post
Kubo said he would not make a romance of Bleach, Bleach is not a shoujo. And the relationship "love" in shounens is different from the "love" of shoujo.
I see the "couples" shounes the typical relationship of the "samurai and his wife", the samurai women were Nakama of their husbands.
Also the feeling more valued in a shounem Manga is the friendship, Nakama ... Not the love between a man and a woman, much less the "love romantic."
It was "romantic" the relation between Gohan and Videl? (Dragon Ball)
It was "romantic" relationship between the Manta and Anna? (Shaman King)
It was "romantic" relationship between the Chidori and Sagara "(Full Metal Panic!)
I think not.

You mean Yoh and Anna. Manta didn't end up with her. And I will always love Yoh and Anna because they are so IchiRuki. Anna always whipping and kicking Yoh's butt into gear and then... what? Yeah, it was "more than nakama" but they had sex at some point as mere teenagers in the manga and "more than nakama" was something else really QUICK. . At no point was the relationship ever "amorous" though.

Yeah, I figure the tweakers and nitpickers are going to have a field day going "told you so--it's not LOVE"--they were already misrepresenting the seiyuu interviews as Morita saying that BOND and LOVE were mutually exclusive (as someone who's been grading intro Logic finals for an ailing husband all this week, I just have to say that someone needs to teach shippers how to draw Venn diagrams--it would make fandom a more fun place!).

But "more than nakama" is what Orihime said herself and "not lovers" goes without saying (although Kubo's saying it is going to make a hand from the sinking ship put hold out a single candle as the waves wash over).

Looks like a duck, quacks like a duck. Shouts her name, cups her face. Yeah, Ichigo's most important person is Rukia. He's about a couple years of manga chapters, maybe more, from moving into the amorous zone with Rukia, but don't think you're fooling us, Shishou, we know where you're going. XD
V to the A to the D-E-R (Vader!)jaina on December 9th, 2008 04:33 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you said it somewhere because the idea of diving back into the ship wars just makes me...really tired. And I should be celebrating because I've done the "more than friends, less than lovers" repeatedly in the past, so I should be jumping with glee that Kubo confirmed that, but I just lack the energy. (Hmm. Maybe it's because gut pain woke me up at 3 AM for a while and not ship because of potential ship wars.)
Becky: Tim Burtongully_moe on December 9th, 2008 04:09 pm (UTC)
YAY. I've been so impatient waiting for this one. But thanks in advance, melodymix

peca_06peca_06 on December 9th, 2008 04:35 pm (UTC)
Well, this is definitely what we hoped in our hearts it was true and we suspected a major involvement from Kubo, but this is even better than expected haha. I love the part where it says that they were worst than "shippers" and that scenes like Ichi vs Ruki have been drawn by fanartists and written in ficcies hahaha. Kubo is the biggest shipper of Ichiruki of all ^_^!!! If you are a fan of the ORIGINAL MANGA you would love this movie!!!
There is so much to take, analyze and dissect in here, that is overwhelming, but I tell you that I am happy as I can possibly be now and I have great expectations for this movie. The artistic quality, the plot, the fights, the passion... is all top notch and Kubo approve and worked on from the beginning (hehehe) I can't wait to see more :D

I hope he was kidding when he said he can't top that off in the manga LOL . I know he can :P (you can't underestimate the element of surprise if you downplay something)
I hope that made any sense hahaha I am so happy yay! Thanks for posting all this nice translations here and thank you MEL. <3333333
_debbiechan_: debbiechan is my lover_debbiechan_ on December 9th, 2008 04:42 pm (UTC)

I hope he was kidding when he said he can't top that off in the manga

Oh, like we should take everything Shishou says at face value. *rolls eyes* My clever, clever Kubo-sensei. I can't wait for more manga... I can't wait for the Ulquiorra and Ichigo fight... that alone ought to be as good as the Ichigo Rukia fight and what you want to bet that Kubo will make us all weep buckets more when he gives us our promised IchiRuki reunion?
peca_06peca_06 on December 9th, 2008 04:55 pm (UTC)
LOL I know ^_^, he is so clever with semantics. He is sure loves to not be very clear and says one thing, but the "actions" speak another :D. I can't wait for that battle either and the ichiruki reunion we (and Ichi ^_^) had been promised. OOOH lots of great stuff still coming our way! yay!
a regrettably  small bearcelemna on December 9th, 2008 04:39 pm (UTC)

Jesus Kubo denying your own canonz :wacky: Lol of course they're not 'romantic' yet, Ichigo hasn't exactly swept Hime off her feet either. For now everyone is nakama......except Ishida and Renji. *glare* they are canonz.
_debbiechan_: ren ishi sittin in a tree_debbiechan_ on December 9th, 2008 04:43 pm (UTC)

Shoulder-clutching, heart-stopping, name-calling CANONZ! :YELL
サラ・: Ichiruki: Gallop handspixyteri on December 9th, 2008 08:07 pm (UTC)
UGH COME ON! Kubo you're an idiot! :P Ichiruki is romantic and a pairing doofus!
_debbiechan_: Kubo is my boyfriend 2_debbiechan_ on December 9th, 2008 08:24 pm (UTC)

You can't argue with the manga-ka! He's only stating the plain facts. Ichigo and Rukia ARE NOT IN A ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP---DUH. HAVEN'T WE BEEN SAYING THIS ALL ALONG? MORE THAN FRIENDS but not lovers.

Thing is, where does it go from here? When asked if he plans to make Ichigo and Rukia a couple, Kubo has giggled and said "I can not confirm or deny that statement."

melodymix: FMA ED approvedmelodymix on December 9th, 2008 08:49 pm (UTC)
Lol, I remember that interview XD I also remember the one where he said although he puts romance here and there it is not the focus.

With IchiRuki I am expecting a canon confirm by the end of the manga but it will not be something really romantic (like a kiss or getting married XD)so thining about that this intrview in a way makes senses.
But then again, as an author he would have resitricted his answer about this whole relationship issue XD
_debbiechan_: meow_debbiechan_ on December 9th, 2008 09:30 pm (UTC)

Oh I expect more of the same throughout the manga... gosh, if the manga just achieves the levels of this movie it will be GAH!SHIPPY enough... and an eventual canon IchiRuki pairing at the end. With Kubo, who likes to do things grand style, I do expect something unarguably ROMANTIC but totally IchiRuki. NO MUSH PLEASE.
サラ・: Rukia Cosplay: Glovepixyteri on December 9th, 2008 09:37 pm (UTC)
Eh true that. *_*..did he really...giggle? XD LOL.
Shinigami_Lucia: Rukia&Konshinigami_lucia on December 9th, 2008 10:13 pm (UTC)
Yes, he did. He laughed when he answered "I can't confirm it nor deny it," which basically means to me that IchiRuki is a possibility waiting to happen. That's why this latest interview shouldn't be taken as proof that it's already canon that IchiRuki will never be a couple, and that the other side won, etc etc..
Adam Eppadam_epp on December 10th, 2008 01:04 am (UTC)
I think I'd be excited if Kubo did something like this in the manga, rather than in a filler movie. The recent chapters aren't soul-destroying bad, by any means (they're good), but I find the beginning chapters so much more enjoyable; a return to the roots, in some fashion, is something I would quite like.
_debbiechan__debbiechan_ on December 10th, 2008 11:16 am (UTC)
Eh, count me as a HM lover. I'm all into the Arrancar. It's obvious, though, from tankoubon sales and I don't know what else that the SS arc is what the public loved most. They're demanding it refried. The movie sounds like it's a decent homage though, and not just a rehash.

I don't want to see flashbacks in a manga--I hate it when they do that. It's filler-time! But Bleach's story is so long and complicated there's no way around it--those dark cross-hatched "in the past" panels have to keep springing up just to keep people current with the story.

And as for the IchiRuki not being amorous thing that people are going on about, has it occurred to anyone Kubo was giving that interview for a movie guide for a lot of people who may never had seen or read Bleach before coming to see the movie ?

and who may think that Ichigo and Rukia were already lovers
from the way Ichigo was acting ? lol

C.C. Lemoncclemon on December 10th, 2008 05:34 am (UTC)
Debbie, did you receive my e-mails regarding the contest?
_debbiechan__debbiechan_ on December 10th, 2008 08:26 am (UTC)

Your address? I've sent your package! ^___^ Been a bit busy here, sorry--should have let you know! Yes, I got your emails. I've got a backlog of LJ mail but I know I took care of bleachness business this weekend and addressed your package. I was at the post yesterday!
C.C. Lemoncclemon on December 11th, 2008 08:06 am (UTC)
Okay, great! :) Just wanted to make sure they reached you all right, since I've had a few e-mail issues recently. Thanks! :D
Becky: Bleach - Ulquiorragully_moe on December 10th, 2008 03:05 pm (UTC)
I wanna say this, since things have really been getting out of hand with how people have interpreted this.

Just because Kubo said that they don't have romantic feelings doesn't mean they won't. Also it doesn't really help the other side if you look at it this way; if Ichigo doesn't have romantic feelings for Rukia, then he isn't close to it for Orihime either. His feelings have always been strong for Rukia. These past few interviews and such still stays their bond is strong, and their relationship is important. IchiHime is still one sided, and then I also wonder if Renji's feelings aren't romantic either, being that he and Ichigo both care strongly for Rukia.

But however, by the sounds of this movie, it still sounds romantic.
Shinigami_Luciashinigami_lucia on December 10th, 2008 05:26 pm (UTC)
I think I heard somewhere that Renji's voice actor mentioned boldly in the guide book, that Renji is in love with Rukia. However, I always thought that this is pretty much obvious ever since SS arc. You know, I think it's interesting that both Orihime and Renji likes Ichigo and Rukia, while at the same time, Ichigo and Rukia are oblivious to these feelings XDD
Becky: Never Ending Storygully_moe on December 10th, 2008 05:36 pm (UTC)
That's interesting because Renji's feelings are quite subtle. I've always knew he had feelings though, but it's just interesting because his feelings are perhaps just as strong as Ichigo's, yet Ichigo's are confirmed to not be romantic as of now. However Renji has known Rukia a lot longer than Rukia, so it could be because of a time difference? There is still a possibility then that overtime Ichigo's feelings can lead that way like Renji's, perhaps?

Honestly, this has really got out of hand. It's not like IchiRuki is dead, or that it won't happen. A lot of ships won't happen, and people can still see them in a romantic light if they want to.

By the way, after reading another interview with Morita in the IchiRuki FC, he interpreted a certain speech of Ichigo's from the movie to be romantic. I guess he's a delusional shipper? XD
(Anonymous) on December 23rd, 2008 09:44 pm (UTC)
So does this officially mean that Rukia and Ichigo will be together or not..
(Anonymous) on October 2nd, 2010 06:59 pm (UTC)
nada de nada tite says: With these 2’s relationship, I think there is no other relationship like them in other works where despite both standing in a very close position with each other it is not romance (laughs) in other words ichigo see rukia like his Precious nakama nothing elese i think rukia is the elder sister that ichigo never have
Marcos Alonso on June 16th, 2015 09:26 pm (UTC)
So is the movie canon?
I mean Canon to the manga and anime. After is not contradicting anything in the manga and it can be said is when Orihime was taken to Hueco Mundo.
Marcos Alonso on June 16th, 2015 09:57 pm (UTC)
Is This movie canon?
I mean is not contradicting anything. Is backed by story, and is situated when orihime was kidnapped.