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NISA Europe Prinnies Interview Kazutaka Kodaka (Part 2/3)

Posted on August 04, 2017 by NISA EUROPE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
We continue with part 2/3 of the interview our prinnies (Jaspreet & Taku) conducted with Kazutaka Kodaka, creator and scenario writer of the Dangaronpa series. We hope you enjoyed reading part 1/3 and learnt some interesting titbits about the Danganronpa series and Kodaka-san, well without further ado let's get the second part of NISA Europe's "Ultimate" interview underway, dood!                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Question 7
Jas:
Punishments are a huge part of the Danganronpa series, and fans love these parts a lot as it’s very cinematic, how do you come up with these and how do you continue to come up with new and exciting idea for future ones?

Kazutaka Kodaka:
When I was working on Danganronpa 1, I was working with one other person for the execution scenes, and that other person and I got along pretty well and had pretty good chemistry, but he actually left the company before Danganronpa 2.

For Danganronpa 2, from chapters 1 to 4 I let someone else handle those, but for chapter 5 I did everything. In Japan, we got told that chapters 1 to 4 were kind of mediocre, but chapter 5 was back to its roots.

I didn’t want this to happen in Danganronpa V3 so I’ve done all of the execution scenes by myself in Danganronpa V3 and I’ve been getting told that these are perhaps some of the darkest executions I’ve made. So I’m very happy with what I’ve created.

 *Everyone expresses their excitement*
When I’m creating the execution scenes I really think of incorporating an idea where it would draw people to want to watch it.

Jas:
Yeah!

Kazutaka Kodaka:
Instead of, “Oh it’s an execution scene, I don’t want to see it,” and look away.

Jas:
So they are fixated and can’t take their eyes of the screen.

Kazutaka Kodaka:
I make it so that there is one element that would draw them in, either it’s something cute, something really horrible, or make it into a dark joke.

Taku:
I’m looking forward to it now! I like to see people die.
*Everyone laughs*

Jas:
It is really interesting though, as you’ve had feedback on the earlier games people have obviously noticed and how you’ve gone back and realised that you need to go back to your roots, it’s really cool that you went back to change that.

Kazutaka Kodaka:
This is going to sound a little rude, but I don’t really listen to what the fans have to say. I think I must have had lingering feelings toward the reactions from Danganronpa 2.


Jas:
So you felt that this wasn’t up to your standards.

Kazutaka Kodaka:
Yeah that’s right!
*He laughs*

Question 8
Jas:
Since many of the games are focused on school life and younger characters, what was your school life like and did any of that play and impact on these games?
*He laughs*

Kazutaka Kodaka:
For middle school and high school, I went to an all-boys school.

Jas:
Ah, same as you, Taku.

Taku:
Yeah, I went to an all-boys school as well.

Kazutaka Kodaka:
Taku probably understands, but if you’re spending six years with only guys you kind of go crazy.
*Everyone laughs*

Kazutaka Kodaka:
That crazy part is reflected in Danganronpa.
*Everyone laughs*

Jas:
Ah, so a lot of it is developed into the game.

Kazutaka Kodaka:
Yeah!
*still laughing*

Kazutaka Kodaka:
You probably understand that if you are in an all-guys situation for six years, you kind of lose the hope for attracting females.
*He laughs*
You don’t really focus on that aspect anymore but you focus on your hobbies and your interests more. So, people tend to get really deep into their hobbies.

Jas:
Lots of focus.

Kazutaka Kodaka:
Yeah, so I feel that’s what helped me create Danganronpa.

Taku:
I had a similar experience.
*Kodaka pats Taku on the back*
*Everyone laughs*

Jas:
Do you use any of your school friends as character references or people you’ve met?

Kazutaka Kodaka:
No, not really. In reality you don’t meet people who are that crazy, and if there was someone that crazy, I wouldn’t want to be friends with them.
*Everyone laughs*

Jas:
There’s nothing that you drew from friends like character traits or inspirations from other people? 

Kazutaka Kodaka:
You know Mondo Owada from Danganronpa 1?

Jas:
Yes.

Kazutaka Kodaka:
There were actually two brothers’ kind of like him in my school called Dia and Mondo, so I used them as a motif, but not the way they looked or talked.

Jas:
Right, so they had similar traits?

Kazutaka Kodaka:
Yes!

Jas:
Ah right, that’s cool. It’s nice to see when people have personal experiences and they can then implement them into their own game. And really fascinating to see where these ideas come from.

Question 9
Jas:
Were there any scenes or parts of the games from 1, 2 Another Episode or V3 that you’ve gone back and cut out of the game? And people don’t know about it?
*He thinks quite deeply here*

Kazutaka Kodaka:
Actually I don’t cut anything, I usually add things. In Danganronpa V3, as the story progresses, things get more intricate, more detailed, and the content keeps expanding. I kept adding more things and it turned into a big last-minute rush towards the end.
*Everyone laughs*

Jas:
That’s cool because I know a lot of fans fixate on “what did I miss” or “was there anything that was cut” and that’s usually quite fascinating. Especially in films where they have deleted scenes that fans love to watch, but it’s nice to see that you like to keep everything in.

Kazutaka Kodaka:
When writing the scenarios, if it’s not interesting or if I don’t like it I do cut it, but not after the scenario has been finished.

 

Question 10
Jas:
Following up from that last question, what is your planning process like? Do you plan everything in advance or do you do it and make the rest up as you go along?

Kazutaka Kodaka:
Besides the script part?

Jas:
Kind of for both, for the script and also for designing.

Kazutaka Kodaka:
The overall story doesn’t change, but when I’m writing the script I’m constantly changing it if I feel it doesn’t work. When we go into production, I’m in charge of the character facial expressions and putting the music together, so If I feel like something doesn’t fit, then I’ll also change the script.

 

Question 11
Jas:
So recently you attended Japan Expo in Paris, and you met a lot of the French fans, so we wanted to know what are the differences between the Japanese fans and the European fans?

Kazutaka Kodaka:
They are actually very similar.

Jas:
Yeah? Just as crazy?

Kazutaka Kodaka:
Their language and the way they look is the only thing that makes them different. 
*Everyone laughs*

Kazutaka Kodaka:
People all over the world have been united with this one piece of fiction!
*Everyone laughs*

 

Question 12
Jas:
So all of the characters in the game are “Ultimate’s” of something, if you could be an “Ultimate” what would your “Ultimate” ability be?

Kazutaka Kodaka:
What would it be or what would I like?

Jas:
I guess both, what you’d like it to be, and what you think it actually is?

Kazutaka Kodaka:
Ummm the “Ultimate Millionaire.”
*Everyone laughs*

Jas:
Is that what you are or would like to be?


Kazutaka Kodaka:
What I’d like to be.
*Everyone continues to laugh*

Jas:
And in real life?
*He takes some time to consider*

Kazutaka Kodaka:
In real life I’d probably be “Ultimate Lucky”. I can’t program a game, I can’t draw, and I type the script with two fingers.
*Everyone laughs*

Jas:
So you feel lucky to be where you are?

Kazutaka Kodaka:
Yes.

Taku:
I’d say that you are the “Ultimate Storyteller.”

Kazutaka Kodaka:
Thank you.
*Kodaka pats Taku on the back*
*Everyone laughs*

End of Part 2

 

Translation by:
                                Ai Umeno
                                (Assisted by) Alan Costa

Questions by:
                                Jaspreet S Marwaha
                                (Assisted by) Taku Mavhunduke

 

Don't despair! You can still pre-order Danganronpa V3 Limited Edition from our store!

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