anibee Features: Author of 'From The New World', Yusuke Kishi!


As the year draws to its 4th quarter, we here at anibee are gearing up for something epic - From The New World! Telling the tale of Saki and her friends who live in a seemingly utopian-like world 1000 years in the future, they discover an old relic that tells them the shocking and violent truth behind the history of their world.

We got to speak to the author of the original, 29th Nihon SF Taisho Award-winning novel, Yusuke Kishi, on what we can look forward to!

anibee: Please tell us how you thought up of the idea for the story!

Kishi: I first came up with the story about 30 years ago when I was in university, upon reading 'On Aggression', by Austrian Ethologist Konrad Lorenz (published in Japan in 1970). The book writes about how humans, who are weak creatures by nature, fight amongst themselves to control fellow members of their species that are weaker to themselves. With this concept in mind, I then proceeded to conceive this story.

anibee: What was your reason for making the setting 1000 years in the future?

Kishi: I had considered a number of different time periods to set it in, before deciding on the setting of 1000 years in the future. One reason for this is that I had wanted to draw more unusual, bizarre flora & fauna. Although truthfully, that reason alone wasn't enough to justify such a setting, as such things can be set in any number of years in the future, be it 10,000 or even 100,000. So we decided to also feature a rich story based around finding relics of a modern civilisation on top of that. After a lot of research and analysing various other scenarios, comparing and adjusting ideas, we finally managed to come up with a concrete concept and felt setting it 1000 years in the future was best.

anibee: Why did you not decide to make it a parallel world setting?

Kishi: Although the concept of a parallel world is an effective one that has been used often in various other media such as films and novels, I did not decide to use the concept for this production for that mere reason alone. I really wanted to present something that could happen in our modern society, as it would hold more relevance and have more impact and get readers thinking. For instance, the novel is written as a note being addressed to Saki and the rest of the main characters, from their ancestors 1000 years ago, but it also can be interpreted as a message addressed to us. I feel that a parallel world would have been too abstract and would not have been able to produce this sort of effect.

anibee: What impression did you have regarding the anime adaptation?

Kishi: I definitely felt that an anime adaptation would be the most suitable for this work, as I feel it is a medium that possesses infinite possibilities.

Although other works have been successfully adapted into other forms such as live-action film thanks to today's technology, I personally am always concerned that some essence of the source material gets lost in the process. For instance, with a live-action film, many would be mindful of special effects and think "That's not real", which takes away from the experience - this is one of the biggest problems to me.

For an anime, such a boundary does not really exist, and moreover elements like fight or action scenes can be expressed with little compromise. Additionally when it comes to showing disturbing scenes or unsettling settings, the lack of realism inherently makes an anime version easier for the average audience member to watch and not feel uncomfortable, as opposed to a live-action set. Even scenes of violence and blood can be presented in a far less grotesque way in an anime.

anibee: What are your expectations with the anime version of From The New World?

Like anyone who has put all his heart into a work he has produced himself, I would hope that the people working on the anime would likewise, appreciate it like it was their own. I hope that they will give it their best effort to make the anime the best product it can be and overcome any possible difficulties, and accurately capture the essence of the story.

From looking at the script so far, I have no worries - I think even I couldn't produce as good a script myself! I have no regrets leaving the anime adaptation in the studio's' capable hands, and I hope it has a positive effect on everyone!

anibee: Please give a message to the audience!

I hope that viewers will be able to relate to the characters in the show, and imagine what it would be like to be born in a time like Saki's. Once they are able to relate to the characters, I am confident that it will be a great viewing experience for them.

anibee: What do you feel makes "From The New World" special?

The depiction of a very possible, believable utopia that yet, is filled with complications and strife... and somehow it still ends up as a fun adventure!

Sounds like a blast to us, we can't wait! There's still more coverage to come, so stay tuned!

Images courtesy of TV Asahi!

- Q