With season 2 of Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans hitting Toonami airwaves—and season 1 coming to Blu-ray/DVD 11/14 (pre-order here!) —we sat down with Gundam IBO producer Masakazu Ogawa to talk about the inspiration and themes behind this dramatic and surprisingly realistic mecha anime, in this translated interview:
Could you please introduce yourself and tell us about your involvement in Iron-Blooded Orphans?
Ogawa: I was in charge of the production team and worked with the director to create this show.
Can you tell us a little bit about how the Iron-Blooded Orphans project came about? Was there a different approach to developing this series in comparison to other Gundam series?
Ogawa: Director Nagai and I started working on the idea five or six years ago, after Gundam 00. The idea went on hold for a while, then we decided to start it up again two to three years ago. This time, we really wanted the story to focus on young boys rather than on a broader world-wide issue, as we have done in previous series.
Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans’ director and writer team, Tatsuyuki Nagai and Mari Okada, have worked together on previous anime projects like Anohana and The Anthem of the Heart, both of which are quite tonally different from the Gundam franchise. What did you hope that these two staff members would add to this series?
Ogawa: These two are known for creating series that impact and resound with viewers. Since our story focuses on teenagers’ lives, we wanted a piercing and impactful story that would speak into the hearts of viewers. They did a great job with that.
Are there any specific themes or inspiration from previous Gundam series that you wanted to maintain in Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans?
Ogawa: Characters are fictional, but we always create realistic characters that seem to be actually living within the story. They go through life or death situations and can die in the story. We wanted to keep this part consistent with previous Gundam series. [Read more…]