Here is the first of the interviews.
What was it like hearing that there was to be an anime adaption the first time?
I was surprised. Kind of like, "What, you can make an anime of it?" This was because, at the time the popular works in Jump would normally get an anime adaption, but I thought that "Dai" could not be an anime since there was the original "Dragon Quest" productions that it was based on. Then, once it was decided, I was shocked at the unusual speed that everything progressed. But at the time besides writing the script for "Dai" I was also writing articles for Jump, and I was writing the articles about articles about other anime so my impression was just that "My work has kind of increased". I was spending the whole day at the Jump Editorial department so it did not feel that difficult. My entire workload was too much. I was young (laugh).
How were the meetings between you and the anime staff for things like script writing and series composition?
We often had meetings with me the producer, the director, and the script writer discussing the larger direction of the story. Particularly I would do things like offer suggestions for things like new characters for content that was not in the manga such animated movies. It is at this time that I met Nobutaka Nishizawa, who years later I would meet up with again when I did script writing work for Toei Animation. When I was young, the animated movie that I found the most provocative was "Mazinger Z tai Ankoku Daishōgun". So I was very excited to meet and talk with it's director. The contents of the movie "Shinsei Rokudai Shoguo" highly reflect those emotions.
At the time that the anime was aired toys were also being sold, and things were exciting across various media.
I liked character toys from the start so I was touched to see the characters for a series I was involved with lined up on store shelves. In discussions with the toy producers, Takara (Now known as Takara Tomy) I was asked, "Sanjo Sensei, is there any type of goods that you would like?" So I said I would like something like the Star Wars figure line that was sold overseas. Since Dai is a party battle manga I wanted to keep the taste that "everyone is the main character" and wanted a toy series that had a lot of side characters released. After hearing this they made the "Adventure Hero Selection" toy series, which is the one I am most fond of. It is the only one that has Hadler and his 6 Commanders in color. I excitedly explained to the person in charge "There is even a toy of Carbonite Frozen Han Solo" which I think even now was the hint to the Frozen Leona campaign (laugh).
In the anime (Both TV series and Movies) please tell us an episode that you most closely empathized with.
The memory that is most vivid is the first movie. Since we were attempting trial of "anime debut through a movie" I collaborated with the staff as we puzzled over everything starting from the plot creation. If we started from "Derupa! Iruiru!" like in the manga then we could not show Dai's heroics. If we did "Dai Explodes!!!" then the final boss was a bit weak. So to deal with these sorts of issues we had the evil idol if Hadlar as an original feature to the anime, mixing elements from the one shot stories and the serialization. With the addition of Toshiko Fujita's lively voice to the finished work, I remember feeling extremely touched watching Dai moving around. This is the only animated work of "Dai" that has not been released to any home video product before, so along with my personal emotions it makes me especially happy.
Please give a message to the fans who have purchased the Blu-ray Box.
Everyone, thank you for the purchase. I thank you from my heart for not forgetting Dai over all these years, and for taking this Blu-ray Box into your hands. It's been so many years since the original broadcast, and we jumped over a laser-disc and DVD release (laugh), to go straight to a Blu-ray release. It is kind of like "Dai" to do that, and I think it is thanks to all of your continual support. Please keep your emotions over from these 30 years running, and continue to support the developments of "Dai". I am counting on you.