Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Sakamoto Yuji - Soredemo Ikite Yuku interview Part 1A

When Chuks posted the link to the Sakamoto Yuji interview in the comments section, I knew I had to translate this thing.  This is only half of the first part of the interview and it took me a couple of days and asking friends to help with bits and pieces. My Japanese is crap so lots of mistakes here and there. Its going to take me a while to translate the whole thing and I can't guarantee I'll do it.

I need to finish Zero no Kiseki so I can get straight on either Sora no Kiseki or Sen no Kiseki, can't decide which. This Eiyuu Densetsu series is the most wordy RPG I have ever played. If anyone's got any corrections, please let me know. If anyone with decent Japanese wants to translate the rest of the interview, even better!

'There is a killer, and then there is his sister'

Ekirebi!  Writer and mystery author Abiko Takemaru says Soredemo Ikite Yuku is as a once in 50 years masterpiece. Just recently the long-awaited DVD was released. Memories of the dorama’s script and actors have resurfaced. I requested to talk to screenwriter Sakamoto Yuji of this drama.  The very rich and interesting dialogue has been split into 4 parts.

Abiko: Last time there was no announcement of the DVD.  I thought this is a dorama that everyone should see.  So I wrote the previous review.

Sakamoto: I was encouraged by the review.

Abiko: Did you think about the bad ratings or small numbers? This time did you plan to do 11 chapters from the beginning?

Sakamoto. Yes. I did not want to do a shortened story.

Abiko:  As one would expect nothing was cut, but did the numbers had any effect at all on the fact there are no deleted scenes/extras and no announcement of the DVD.

Sakamoto: It seems there are no extras.  Extras not are necessarily influenced by ratings. Its an unfortunate consequence and I think the producer was sour about it.

Abiko: But with your previous work "Mother" had a considerable popularity.  Did you think any of the numbers would come out a little better?

Sakamoto: My job is not having to worry about the ratings while writing this and I'm not writing just for that.  Summer doramas are always very difficult in terms of ratings. Because it was summer, I I made a dorama about adventure.

Abiko: Didn't the DVD sell well?

Sakamoto: DVDs don't sell well in this era. Well, what can I do about it?  But there is an impression that sold well in comparison with the ratings for Mother.

Abiko: Eh? Mother had good ratings right?

Sakamoto: No, the ratings were not good. This is a part of the illusion since the ratings went up towards the end, but on average the ratings were low. Mother is an April program and Soredemo Ikite Yuku is a July program. Personally I don’t think there would changes. (in the ratings)

Abiko: There is a mistake putting it in the summer season?

Sakamoto: I can't deny that, it is evident that doramas don't rate well in summer. People are not at home because of the obon festival. Normally the numbers as a whole go down....


We were prepared to from the very beginning for that.

Abiko: Dorama ratings in general have fallen, haven’t they?  Not to mention this time its also a dark dorama. I thought that it couldn’t be helped if I couldn’t get the numbers. Then later Kaseifu no Mita’s last episode got over 40%. I couldn’t believe it. An unbelievable rating appeared. I unexpectedly watched the whole of Kaseifu no Mita. I thought it was an overly simplistic and overly easy to understand dorama and no matter how you think about it, the story is nonsensical. Don’t you feel that compared to the old days, dorama making is about looking down on the viewers? Well, that could simply be my impression because of my old age.

Sakamoto:  I don’t think they treat the audience like idiots .  It is true that not easy to understand doramas and do not get ratings. TV is about ‘explain explain explain’: It’s the Mito Komon predetermined ending. I think Its not about writing for idiots but rather writing in good faith. (not sure about this one)

Akibo: About looking down (on the audience), don’t you think you have to do it or else they won’t understand?

Sakamoto: Even to make something that its very easy to understand requires much effort and devotion. Today’s doing variety and doramas today. Compared to the past, this business is more difficult.  In the past planning and scripts are less detailed, photos were simply taken. Now its ‘ you have come all the way here’ or ‘use that hand or this hand’. There is no doubt that it takes tremendous effort to make a hit dorama.

Abiko: Sakamoto-san said that you did not care about audience ratings while ago, but what about the other staff?  For example anyone who is depressed?.

Sakamoto: There was no sign of anyone who was depressed on set. There was a sense of accomplishment and everyone was proud of the launch. No matter what the numbers were, everyone was excited for the launch. The producer was mostly ashamed but I can feel that the sense of accomplishment was there from the director, actors and everyone on set.

Abiko: Well I’ve rewatched the whole thing on DVD.

Sakamoto: Thank you.

Abiko: I want to say it again, in my review I asked whether or not this dorama was an illusion. (laughs) After watching this dorama, I thought I had been cursed because the basis for judging other shows has gone up…


Anonymous said...

Thanks for translating it.

I also happened to read this interview, and it was an eye-opening read. I think the title should be "There is a killer, and then there is his sister."

Akiramike said...

Thanks for the suggestion. If you find any mistakes let me know. Nearly done with the second half of part 1.