Honey-chan seemed as busy as a bee at Otakon, chatting with actors and directors of some of our favorite anime. She was even able to get a chance to do a one-on-one interview with Ei Aoki who was making the rounds thanks to Aniplex of America. Ei Aoki is an animation director whose credits include GA-REI-ZERO, The Garden of Sinners, and FATE/Zero. He also helped found TROYCA studio and was the director for the series ALDNOAH.ZERO. Ei Aoki’s current project is the hit RE:CREATORS. It’s a story of animated characters coming to life in our world and some of them taking revenge on the “gods” -- the writers of their stories.
Interview with Ei Aoki
As a director, do you think of yourself as a storyteller?
In a sense, yes. I’m telling them [the production staff] what I like, what the direction is, and although I’m not the script writer, I still get to provide some input. I wouldn’t say I’m a storyteller, but rather I’m a part of a team of storytellers.
The last three anime you directed were all action. Is that a personal preference or is it just how your jobs lined up?
One of the reasons I’ve done a lot of action projects recently is because that is what the clients wish for. With that being said, it’s not that I don’t like action or do it just because they offer it. It’s because I really enjoy it.
You worked on Fate/ZERO. Is it hard to work on an established franchise?
Right now, there are a lot of different series within the Fate Universe. But back when I was directing Fate/ZERO, the Fate series, at least in terms of anime, wasn’t as saturated. In that sense, I didn't’t think my job was that pressure-filled yet.
You use a lot of science to explain things is ALDNOAH.ZERO. Do you like using real science to explain things in anime?
I do like using science to explain things. I believe that by using science and theories you bring in a layer of reality inside an animated story. By adding these features, I believe it does enhance animation.
RE:CREATORS is a big hit, I’m a fan myself. The plot has anime and manga characters coming into our world. Is there a character from an anime you’ve done that you’d like to meet here?
If it was possible, I would like to meet them all actually. I’m pretty sure some of them have a grudge against me.
What are your hopes for RE:CREATORS? The show hasn’t finished airing in the United States, so please no spoilers, but do you think there are more stories to be told in this universe?
I think RE:CREATORS ended on a relatively clean note. But, in terms of whether you are going to see more from this universe, well that is all up to how well RE:CREATORS does.
You worked on Wondering Son, a very subtle story. Is there a different set of skills you use when making a subtle story as opposed to an action show where you have explosions?
Wandering Son was originally a manga I liked by Takako Shimura. I liked it so much I wanted to make an animation about it. I think in reference to the skill sets, though, I actually don’t think there is too much of a difference. Although there are explosions like you talked about in action, the truth is that the important thing is that you express the characters to the first degree. So whether it be RE:CREATORS or Wandering Son, I believe the [skill sets are] on a similar line.
We thank you for bringing such wonderful stories to our screens. My Senpai Zeke-kun has watched ALDNOAH.ZERO seven times. We can’t wait to see what happens next in RE:CREATORS and what projects you work on next.