tsukihime fate mahoyo rakkyo merubura

Star Scenario Writer Interview

Published in 『Kusarihime Dokuhon ~Akayuki Furan Soushi~』
(『腐り姫読本~赤雪腐爛草紙~』) in 2002
Translation by Molokidan

Kusarihime ~Euthanasia~』 is a visual novel released by Lair-soft in 2002. The game was praised for its unique settings and the story. Soon after its release, 『Kusarihime』's scenario writer Hoshizora Meteo (who later joined TYPE-MOON to work on 『Girls' Work』) gathered several people from around the industry, including scenario writers Nasu Kinoko, Tanaka Romeo, and Urobuchi Gen, to talk about the game, which later resulted in a 『Kusarihime』 fanbook.

Inspired by their discussion of 『Kusarihime』, Romeo went on to create 『CROSS†CHANNEL』, Urobuchi Gen made 『Saya no Uta』, and Nasu came up with Heaven's Feel route for 『Fate/stay night』. Not only is 『Kusarihime』 is considered a classic, but it is also considered a cradle of other classics. The dialog

Below is the legendary talk that appeared in the 『Kusarihime』 fanbook. Note that the interview contains 『Kusarihime』 spoilers.

The men who were charmed by 『Kusarihime』
We got together the top scenario writers in the bishoujo game world along with Nakamura-shi, who played a part in the original draft of 『Kusarihime』, for a special interview! Here, they'll be discussing the charm of a very imaginative game that snatched the hearts of many.
Liar-soft Scenario WriterHoshizora Meteo
Nitroplus Scenario WriterUrobuchi Gen
Freelance Scenario WriterTanaka Romeo
TYPE-MOON Scenario WriterNasu Kinoko
Kusarihime Concept ArtistNakamura Tetsuya
How did 『Kusarihime』 charm you scenario writers?
Meteo Thank you for gathering here today, everyone. We hardly ever have a chance to get together like this, so as we talk about 『Kusarihime』 today, I'd also like you to work in your own personal thoughts on writing, and any other stories you might have. To start off, I'd like to ask each of you to explain what you liked about 『Kusarihime』...
Nasu That's a tough question, because I liked it all. The first time I looked at the home page, I saw the words on the main image: "Euthanasia and Ruins." (*1) That was enough to get me excited. Afterwards, I played the demo that came out in the beginning of 2002, and it really held up that image. The rural novel 『Shiki』 is a completely different medium and genre, (*2) but that's really what it reminded me of. I expected it to be a story about a love-and-hate relationship in one closed setting. When I actually got the final version and played, it though, I was surprised that it was actually science-fiction dealing with cyclical time that still retained the themes I originally saw in it.
Urobuchi When I saw that it began again right after it ended, I was like "What kind of a system is this game running on?" It really puzzled me. I thought I had to play through the entire game all over again. (LOL)
Nasu The most surprising thing to me was that there was no opening movie. (*3)
All (Loud laughter)
Meteo I ran into Tanaka-san the other day, and he asked me: "Does 『Kusarihime』 really have no movie in it?"
Tanaka I played it without really understanding what the deal was, but then later I heard that there actually is a movie in it.
Meteo A movie is supposed to play at the beginning your second run, but...we forgot to bug check it...haha...ha...
Tanaka I thought so. There was an opening error, so I figured that might have been what happened.
I see. Seems like you were all following Kusarihime since it was originally announced.
Nasu I've always been a Liar-soft fan, so I was excited from the moment I saw the announcement. I entered this industry because of my love for "romantic"- style works like 『Kusarihime』, so the visuals really hit me hard. However, rather than the difficult subject matter, I was honestly more worried about how an experimental game like this would be able to be taken seriously in the 18+ bishoujo game environment we're in right now. Also, I wondered if they could really bring that visual image they originally had in their minds to life perfectly within the game. After playing, it, though, those thoughts immediately disappeared. The setting, the characters, honestly, everything was top quality... so today I came here basically to do nothing but flatter the people who made it. (LOL)
All (LOL)
Meteo I had a very firm vision from the beginning of this project as far as visuals go. I think I managed to visualize about 70% of it. Of course, there were many spots that I felt I sort of messed up, so I was surprised by so many people were worried about the "Moe!" aspect of it.
Urobuchi I wonder if many average users can get their "moe" (*4) fix with 『Kusarihime』.
Nasu I don't want to use such a simple word like Moe to describe this game. Recently, the word moe's become a very vague, encompassing term. But to put it simply, this game fit my tastes perfectly.
Urobuchi It's true, you can't really define the word Moe these days. It's a very private thing, after all.
Nakamura I saw a post once on the net that said "I can't get any Moe out of Nakamura's art." (tear)
Urobuchi What?! Really?
Meteo They're complimenting you. (LOL)
I felt that the visuals, characters, and backgrounds you worked on were very fresh.
Tanaka They were certainly fresh when it was originally released. In the past, I did a lot of things with multiple characters on monotone backgrounds (*5) that was completely the opposite of 『Kusarihime』.
The numerous good classic ways to create.
Meteo 『Kusarihime』 didn't go for the traditional bishoujo game approach of "close-ups on the girl smiling," but rather just gives the information that she's there. It's certainly impossible to express everything all at once, but maybe it's just easier to give the absolute necessary amount of information and then say "OK, now imagine the rest." (LOL) It's a bit selfish, and it may seem like the users are being forsaken in a way.
Urobuchi The way Juri was handled after she was supposed to have been dead wouldn't have been possible without that approach.
Meteo True. That was like a horror film.
Nasu "Someone's there! Someone's there!"
Nakamura "Somebody make fun of me!"
Urobuchi Like Shimura Ken when he was with The Drifters. (LOL)
Nasu "Itsuki, behind you, behind you!" (LOL)
You can see that in Elf-san's older works too.
Tanaka For example, with 『YU-NO』 *6 there was an image of a girl looking at a rock right in the center of the screen. At that time, only having one standing graphic of each character was typical. Everything was like that. I really like that sort of expression, though, so ever since I entered this industry I've been wanting to try and make a game like that, but people keep telling me stuff like "No one wants to play a weird game like that." (LOL) It's true, though, because in most bishoujo games these days, characters appear from their knees up.
Meteo It may be hard to do games like that, but I wonder if rather, those types of games disappeared because those scenes don't appear in magazines. (*7) It's really only the event scenes or the CG scenes that are used.
Tanaka Unless the backgrounds are done really well, those kinds of images won't have the right impact. They're actually really difficult to pull off, unless you're a very proactive creator like Nakamura-san who can really work them into the image itself.
Nakamura Meteo-san didn't really give me many orders. He sort of left things to me, or ignored me, I guess. So I thought, "I need to trust him back" and did my best. Later on, I was glad to be left to my own devices, because he actually started using me a lot. (LOL) Thinking about it now, I felt that being left alone helped me work better.
Meteo I calculated that a manga artist could easily handle this much detailed standing graphics, and we ended up with twice the amount we originally planned... looking back on my previous games, average graphics weren't paired with backgrounds, we always had special individual CG prepared. That isn't how it's done these days so there's no way we could do that, but I did want to try and recreate that dramatic atmosphere that was present in my old works. Like put in voices during the bust profile CG, but have no voices in the standing graphics. I thought that could abridge things and still leave an impact.
Nakamura I had three chances to actually stay overnight in the Liar-soft development office, where they gave me pointers and helped me work. And by the time I was finished, I came up with twice the estimated amount. They were all images we needed, though, so I kept drawing.
How are things over at Nitroplus?
Urobuchi The complete opposite of that, I suppose. Nitroplus' staff members are all very picky, however I do a lot of fixing bust profile CG images into generic backgrounds. Taking this semiotic approach allows the scenario writer to struggle through to the very end. "Oh no, we need this kind of scene!" If that sort of problem arises, we can just rearrange the parts we've created up to now into something appropriate, to reflect his idea to the highest possible degree. And it really helps on our side if those symbols permeate through the users. Basically it's easier to run away from. (LOL)
Meteo So you aren't too proactive about inserting audio files, huh?
Urobuchi I'm the only one who isn't interested. The other staff members want to put them in, but I keep saying no. From my point of view as a scenario writer, adding audio makes it harder to write complicated lines...
Tanaka Some voice actresses have surprisingly low kanji reading ability. One read the kanji 苦汁 as "nigajiru," when it's actually "kujuu." (LOL)
Nasu Nigajiru... changing the subject, I was surprised by the whole putting moans over the text in erotic scenes thing. (*8)
Meteo We weren't the first ones to do that. (LOL)
Nasu Really? But I was like "Woah, this is REALLY erotic!!"
Tanaka There was something like that in one of my older works, but it was mostly all just coincidences that they were put in. This time, however, Liar-soft put those in on purpose. That's where the big difference is.
Meteo It was more effective than I could have imagined.
Nasu By the way, back to what Urobuchi-san was saying earlier about having lots of generic parts that can be fixed together to make something appropriate, what do you think about the idea that using generic parts will make the overall product look cheap?
Urobuchi In my case, my staff is always there to help me, so it works out OK. For example, the CG team always just creates what they can and says "I guess it's ok for a first draft." But when they show it to me I'm like "Oh my god!" The scene we use them in would have to be pretty elaborate too. So in the end, they give me more wood for my fire as a scenario writer, and I'm really thankful. They just focus on what they're in charge of and leave the rest to other people. On the other hand, it seems to piss the other groups off.
Nasu An "If you're going to go that far, then don't mind if I tell you a few of my own ideas" sort of thing?
Urobuchi Except in the end, someone says "How many break-even points is this going to give us?" and then everyone cries over the budget. (LOL)
Nakamura Are you usually the leader of the projects?
Urobuchi I'm more of the man behind the curtain. Role-wise, I just try to plant seeds that will make everyone get excited and work hard, and then when things explode, I retreat to the safest point. I've been learning how to get really good at that lately. (LOL)
Meteo Wow! As a product, 『Kusarihime』 had a very unique image, so people were very interested in the backgrounds and music.
They're also picky about how their ideas are transmitted to the users.
Urobuchi So you always have a visual image for your product from the very start?
Meteo Yes, in our heads only. (LOL) When we're planning the image, we search for CG and soundtrack CDs on the net, then make samples saying "This is what we're going for."
Nakamura The samples really gave me a very clear idea of what you were looking for image-wise. On top of that, Meteo-san can also draw, so......
Meteo Urobuchi-san also drew some sketches for the 『Kikokugai』 fan book. (*9)
Urobuchi True. (LOL)
Meteo Being able to transmit your image through art also changes the approach you choose. But I don't think it's good to rely too much on the images and make everything revolve around them, then it's only basically between you and the artist. I need the understanding of my other staff members, and of course the users in order to be satisfied.
Nakamura I think it was easy to put 『Kusarihime』 together, because we had images and music, really general, really easy to understand elements. (*10) I think it would have been hard to understand even just with images alone.
Fear that seeps in through wholesome everyday life.
What do you generally think about staff members sharing the same image during production?
Tanaka I think it depends on the brand. Some really professional places figure out all the details in the first few minutes, then they just go about their own separate jobs. That's the most common, company, desk work-ish way to go about it. The person next to you is working against a deadline, but you're not even close yet.
Meteo With that approach, there's no telling what other people are going to come up with, aside from the very basic information that was shared at the beginning. Including their relationships with the creator...
Tanaka Producers usually have someone else in between them and the actual staff.
Urobuchi I couldn't imagine that. (LOL)
Nasu That seems like it would make things really difficult.
Meteo I think you and TYPE-MOON is a perfect counter-example of that. I thought that you were totally in charge of the scenario, Nasu-san, but in reality, it seems like Takeuchi-san (*11) also does a lot of work on it.
Nasu I still have ill feelings toward what is publicly known as "moe," so he writes things in to make sure the plot has those elements, but he retains that "I haven't completely sold my soul yet!" But then he goes and says "We could use some moe here, and there." (LOL) That's all he ever talks about, wanting more moe. He doesn't say what type of moe he wants, or what kind it needs, so eventually I have to ask him "What exactly do you want?" And he replies "That's for you to think about."
All (LOL)
Nasu I wonder if things aren't the same with Tanaka-san and Meteo-san. Talking with another creator who possesses feelings different from mine allows me to make discoveries, like "Ohh, so people can think about things like this..." I think I unconsciously try to avoid areas that I'm not familiar with in my writing. For example, it'd be interesting to take the story in one direction, but it'd be a pain to write, and I tend to escape down the simplest path. He, however, catches this, and says "This way would be more entertaining." So I'm forced to do it. But no matter how much I complain, I end up rewriting things. (LOL)
Nakamura I can sympathize with that. When I first got the project documents for 『Kusarihime』, I thought, "This is something I could never come up with," so I really wanted to work on it.
Tanaka What aspects of it made you feel that way?
Nakamura The theme of "euthanasia." I felt like working on this project would give me a wider repertoire as an artist. And I was happy to receive a request from Liar-soft.
Meteo Honestly, although it may sound rude, we weren't thinking at all about promoting Nakamura-san's art. It was all decided on how well we thought the art would convey my image. I was acquainted with Nakamura-san (*12), when he secretly worked on one of our projects. I don't think 『Kusarihime』 would have been born if we were only communicating with an artist through phone and data.
Urobuchi The wholesome quality of Nakamura-san's art really comes through in 『Kusarihime』. For example, if our artist, Chuo Higashiguchi (*13), had drawn 『Kusarihime』 with his gloopy art, Toukanmori's peaceful atmosphere would be replaced with a scary one, I feel. There wouldn't have been as much shock. I think wholesomeness is there because there's happiness present. Like a ray of hope. (LOL)
Nakamura My art is wholesome. (LOL) I just didn't want to kill the manga-ish feeling it had. (*14)
Urobuchi I feel like you were successful. If it was dark pictures along with a dark atmosphere, the cheerful BGM scenes wouldn't have worked at all.
Writing and CG backgrounds that bring the hometown setting to life.
Nasu In Naka-mura-san and Meteo-san's discussion (see page 47) you mentioned how 『Beneath the Endless Blue Sky...』 (*15) was the summit, and how it couldn't be surpassed. Now I know exactly what that work has. It has the nostalgia and rustic locale that Urobuchi-san was talking about, yet it gives birth to a fear that slowly seeps through and turns everything upside down.
Urobuchi Would you call that Japanese horror?
Nasu Yes, it's a beautifully harmonious antinomy.
Nakamura The nostalgia I feel is slightly different from the nostalgia that appears in 『Kusarihime』. The nostalgia I draw is like the kind of townscapes that appeared in 『Ultraman Taro』. Newly-developed residential areas, slightly lonely remains of factories. A bit different from typical rustic landscapes.
Meteo During production, we started to run down a different path than typical Japanese horror. The whole "ruins" part adds to this, but like Nakamura-san just said, we wanted to give off a sort of "decayed" vibe to the countryside.
Urobuchi Like a town that failed to modernize itself.
Tanaka Hearing that and seeing the manual immediately connected my idea of it with a PBM-like (*16) vibe.
Meteo We were really particular about the setting and peripheral matters.
Tanaka There were a lot of ruins photograph collections (*17) going on sale at the time when 『Kusarihime』 came out.
Meteo So at that point, you had already felt that "ruins themselves are going out of style?"
Tanaka Still, I was really jealous of the background CGs that were able to perfectly express it. The work that I was working on the scenario for seemed so "polygon-ish"... (LOL)
Urobuchi Good point. Polygon backgrounds couldn't cut it.
Nasu You could call THAT the summit of hand-drawn backgrounds.
Meteo But recently, we've been able to make extremely high-level polygon backgrounds at Nitroplus.
Urobuchi It seems like the polygon staff always goes off the deep end and makes the 2D background staff suffer. "We can't use this background, there isn't enough shade!" and stuff like that. (LOL) So while we mostly operate with polygons, there are times when I think hand-drawn is a better choice.
Meteo I think hand-drawn will only be able to remain by continuing on in a manner that really highlights its special characteristics.
Tanaka But polygon backgrounds work well in shut-in spaces like hospitals and factories. Using shoddy polygons in outside spaces makes the inserted images look pretty bad. Like, "What's this avant garde art doing here?!" (LOL)
Yoshino's taboo, therefore titillating erotic scenes.
Changing the subject, which heroine do you all like best?
Nasu Mama Yoshino. (Immediate answer.)
Tanaka Same with me.
Nakamura I was looking over some drawings I did for the talk today, and I think that Mama is my favorite too. She was really cute for some reason in the events that happen in the second half.
Tanaka Mama's erotic scenes were very nice.
All (Deep nod)
Meteo She's a mother in law, but we tried to probe the idea of "incest" with her character.
Nakamura For me it'd have to be Jun... unlike the heroines, who became exactly what they were supposed to, for some reason Jun became a completely different character, and she was fun to draw. As a user, however, Juri was my favorite.
Feelings about the beloved heroines of 『Kusarihime』.
Tanaka I didn't really think much about it, but what did everyone think about Natsuki-nee-san's popularity?
Meteo There is none.
All (LOL)
Meteo Although, I guess there is one aspect about Natsuki that's popular.
Nasu And that would be?
Nakamura Maybe whatever Natsuki-nee-san does, be it sad, or stupid, people think, "Oh well, it's just Natsuki-nee-san, it can't be helped." That aspect may grab some fans. On the surface, just seeing that character standing there is sad on its own. I wrote about this on my homepage (*18), but this person understands that they have no future, yet in the end Natsuki-nee-san says stuff like "At Itsuki's wedding ceremony..." (*19) that are just truly sad. I don't like talking about people who are dead, but she accepts she's going to die, and has lost the chance to experience the most important point in her life that's yet to come. So she isn't resisting it. I think it's a good scene. I could never write it on my own.
What about the other heroines?
Nakamura I loved how Kiriko became crazier the more sex she had. Poor thing.
Meteo Her handicap didn't really matter to her. She's actually the strongest, maybe. (*20)
Urobuchi We talked about this in the interview, but we wanted Jun to be more of a scream queen (*21).
Tanaka Yeah, we wanted her to be scream-elemental.
Urobuchi But the scene where she was blood-splattered and crying had a lot of moe in it. (*22)
Nasu The scene where she has a hatchet and a look on her face like "Look what I did."
Urobuchi And the part where she was like "Uwahh, she's really scared!"
Tanaka She was so harsh in the beginning, but in the second half she screams so much in front of your eyes. I liked that gap.
Nakamura It was amazing how cute she eventually got.
Urobuchi It's even better because you can find out that she was being so harsh in the beginning because she was so panicked herself.
Nakamura I loved when she started fidgeting when Mama transformed. (*23) Even she was scared!
Urobuchi Well, it was really scary.
Nasu That was such a good expression.
Back on topic, what do you like about Yoshino, Nasu-san?
Nasu (After a period of deep thought) ...if I were to talk about the romantic bits, I'd say because she's a "girl." She's strong at the core, and the oldest, so she has to protect Itsuki as a mother, so she NEEDS to be strong. It's a bit fleeting in a way. When she's disappearing while dancing happily with Itsuki at the end (*24) it may have seemed a bit like her efforts were unrequited, but I like how the story made it seem like Yoshino was happy. At that point I was like "Damn it! They got me!" Also, when child Itsuki (*25) comes back from preschool and says "I have two mothers," I was like "Ahhh, I love this!" ...that's the wholesome stuff. Honestly, I just like the erotic bits! (LOL)
All (ROFL)
Nasu It's so sexy. Not physically sexy, but mentally sexy.
Tanaka You've really looked deep into it. I'm practical, so I really liked the parts where, after having sex, they would twist their fingers together at breakfast the next morning. (LOL) I think it's charming how women also have those frightening aspects in stock in this piece.
Nakamura I remember really working hard to draw that. Looking at Itsuki, with slight embarrassment. That's the kind of scene it was.
Tanaka Then the bath scene, when she gets in without noticing Itsuki in there. When she notices him, she gets mad a little bit... that was really great.
Nasu Physically, I really liked how cloudy her eyes got.
Nakamura I once saw in some other game how they drew someone's eyes without any highlighting, so that's what it became when I was thinking up other ways of expression. It was scarier than I thought it'd be.
Urobuchi I like how she's the only one who tries to kill Juri. (*26)
All (LOL)
Urobuchi Jun's scared, yet Yoshino-san goes to kill her. That serious anger she shows toward Juri is paralyzing.
Meteo I watched the recording for Yoshino-san's strangling scene, and Nakamura-san and I screamed "Scary!" The director got mad and told us to shut up. (LOL)
Urobuchi I also like the line "But I'm your mother..." during the erotic scene with Itsuki. (*27)
Nakamura There's some unnaturalness, some consistency, and that gap is what makes it good.
Urobuchi Her violent nature comes from her being a mother, I feel. I could sense her firm will to "protect."
Meteo I'm an old man now too, but I tried to project a sense of "Things haven't changed since childhood" through Yoshino. For me, my mind really changed during my adolescence in middle school, but I haven't really felt how I've changed since then. However, I keep learning how to act like an adult, all the surface things I need to do. That's how everyone becomes an adult, but deep down, they haven't changed. So I thought, I'm going to try to express that with a female, who's an adult female on the outside but still a child on the inside.
Yoshino is extremely popular. What about Kurame...?
Nasu ...ummm. We don't have much time, so how about we talk about our true love, Kurame? (LOL)
Nakamura Meteo-san once said "Vulcan (*28) culture gave birth to Kurame." Like, when people are of one mind so much that they begin to understand each other too much and then start to lose interest in new things, and just die. The people share one mind, so if one decides "I guess I'll just die," and it's logical enough that it can't be refuted, then everyone says "Very logical," agrees, and decides to go with euthanasia.
Nasu I was thinking of Kurame as a planet-scope euthanasia device. Like, she made everyone choose euthanasia on the last planet she was on, and she was the only one left over in the end. Then she went off to other planets, and gradually got more and more out of control.
Meteo That's actually the real story. (LOL)
Urobuchi She exists to heal. I think some people may be against that method of healing (*29) though. (LOL)
Nakamura She's kind of like the subsidiary character necessary for the plot in kabuki, the kyougen-mawashi. So I don't have much attachment to her myself, (*30) but what about everyone else?
Tanaka She's like #2 to me. Mama Yoshino's far ahead in #1. It's like, Mama, and then everyone else. (LOL) And Mama isn't just Mama, but my Mama. My Mama, and everything else...(LOL)
Nasu There's a fear we carry toward non-human characters. But Kurame has not only fear, but a cute aspect that makes you want to protect her as well. To put it simply, she's a non-human lolita... (LOL) But I like how you can't drop your guard around her, or she might slice your neck as you sleep.
Urobuchi Like she heals and kills off all other existence...
Nasu Kills them through healing!
Urobuchi On the other hand, Kurame is never healed right to the end, and never dies.
Nakamura She can't kill herself.
Urobuchi Thinking about it that way, she's very pitiable. She is made to destroy, but can't destroy herself.
Nakamura In Leanhaum's ending (*31) in 『Vjedogonia』, there was a part where everyone who remembers her disappears. I think something like that would be very painful.
Urobuchi That's exactly what Kurame's situation is.
Special information about the exquisite balance of the game that encourages fantasizing.
Do you think the public's idea of 『Kusarihime』 as a "little sister game" is rather strong?
Nasu Actually, I think it's weak.
Urobuchi Our first media presentation (*32) ended up that way. I mean, incest is the easiest thing to tie with destruction, isn't it? This game represents the aesthetics of destruction in a way. That's why I think stuff where all these little sisters line up and say "Yay, we're not BLOOD relatives!" is sort of missing the point.
Tanaka Depending on the product, there are some endings where the characters actually end up as being blood relatives.
Urobuchi I think that's actually where stories need to begin! Like, "If we go any farther than this, then we'll really be in trouble. What should we do?" I think points like those are where real romances begin.
Nakamura Not whether or not to fall off the cliff, but continuing the romance as you fall. (LOL)
Urobuchi Yes. That's right. If they're ever actually seen as together, everyone will think of them as perverts. So it's best to end things when the romance is at its peak, correct? If they can't die together, then the next best thing would be to have your beloved woman kill you. Although maybe there could be a third option of killing her instead. (LOL)
Tanaka You can't depict incest within games. Although in reality, I think the whole loli thing is a lot more dangerous.
Meteo There are some kinds of things you have to calculate and then avoid from showing on the surface, aren't there? Like, things that would take too long to accurately explain, things that couldn't be accurately expressed in one sentence on one screen, etc. Games are read differently than novels. On the good side, having a lot of explanation can sometimes hook the interest of the players, but I think about half of the script should be written from a player's point of view.
Urobuchi In that regard, 『Kusarihime』 is really easy to work to fantasize about. There was an excellent balance that allowed me to fill in the blanks as I liked.
Meteo It's often not smart to explain everything. And sometimes it ruins the rhythm of the story, so we avoided a lot. You have to leave the choice of where to cut off explanations and where to shorten things to the creators, and I don't think there are any completely right answers. I'm sure there are many people out there who think "『Kusarihime』 let me fantasize a lot, so I enjoyed it," while others will say "It didn't explain enough." You have to be smart and change things based on the current trends. That's the real job of the creators.
Urobuchi If we had written that Seiji was heterosexual (*33) in the story, people would have definitely booed us. (LOL)
Nakamura A lot of people said "Juri = Kurame," and I really think that all comes from me not being able to draw enough difference between the two. They are two peas cut from the same pod, though. And I think in a very early stage I got some instruction that said "Juri is not an illusion that Kurame is creating, it's one that Itsuki is creating, that only the player can see."
Urobuchi I wonder if people who put a lot of weight on Juri don't want her to be equal with Kurame. Personally, I feel that way. I put all my money on Juri. (LOL)
Meteo I imagine people with weak hearts wouldn't be able to stand it unless Kurame had a happy ending.
Nakamura For me, I gradually lost interest in Itsuki, like "Who cares if they're siblings? Who cares if he turns into snow and flies away?" (LOL)
Tanaka When the pet dog Kuro came out, I instantly thought it would be killed by Juri. I really sensed a lot of danger there. (LOL)
Nakamura When Juri noticed Itsuki really liked Kuro, things took a turn for the worst.
Tanaka Makes you want to hear the line "If you love Kuro so much, then I don't ever want you to bring Kuro in front of me again!"
Urobuchi Thinking of the monster transformation that happens later, I think even I'd have killed that dog at some point. (LOL)
Looks like this conversation will never end! Unfortunately, however, it's time for us to close.
Meteo Thank you very much. Wow, everyone's become red snow all of a sudden!
Nakamura No... not yet...


*1: Euthanasia and ruins... an important motif in 『Kusarihime』. The idea of euthanasia as the ultimate form of healing appears many times within the story. The ruins part signifies the place where Itsuki and the other characters' memories come from, the desolate feeling of having no one else around, and Itsuki's current state of a hollow mind and lost memories.

*2: 『Shiki』... A novel by Ono Fuyumi, published in 1998 by Sinchosha. It's a horror novel that takes place in a depopulated mountain village, where the conservative villagers must come to face the fact that man-eating corpses known as Shiki have suddenly come to life around them.

*3: There was no opening movie... in the first shipment of 『Kusarihime』, the opening movie file was completely absent.

*4: Moe... generally refers to extreme attachment for mainly bishoujo characters, but this has slowly come to encompass "easy-to-understand" stereotypes like maids, priestesses, sister-in-laws, to fetishes like knee socks, eyepatches, or even crossdressing bishounen. Like Urobuchi-shi said in the interview, it can't be accurately defined anymore.

*5: His other representative works include the visual novels 『Rei, 『Ato, both released in 1996 by LEAF. These two works had CG character bust profiles on monotone backgrounds, exactly the opposite of 『Kusarihime』.

*6: 『YU-NO』... an adventure game released by ELF in 1996, under the full title: 『The Girl Who Sings About Love at the End of the World, YU-NO』. Receiving a strange stone slab and a treasure from his father, whom he thought was dead, the main character journeys to a parallel world. Praised by fans for its moving story, it was also ported to a consumer game console.

*7: In magazines... it's usually the erotic scenes and the event CG from games that appear in bishoujo game magazines. Normally dialog scenes are almost never shown. Games with few erotic scenes just get the same CG repeated for months and months.

*8: Moaning... In some of the erotic scenes in 『Kusarihime』, there are moaning sound effects (?) that continually sound out.

*9: 『Kikokugai Fan Book』... Published in 2003 by Shinyuusha. Taking off the cover will allow you to see Urobuchi-shi's sketches.

*10: Images and music... They had the staff collect images and music from the net that fit the description to help convey their own personal images inside their minds. "Some people who are familiar with the sources we used may be able to figure it out right away, but we won't say any more," said Meteo-shi.

*11: Takeuchi-san... a fellow creator who caused a ripple in the industry with 『Tsukihime』. He is the representative of TYPE-MOON, which is currently producing 『Fate/stay night』.

*12: Acquainted with Nakamura-san... Liar-soft's first release in 1998, 『Cho Ita ~Wonderful Superpower Life~』 had Nakamura-shi working on the art under the pseudonym of Mikhail Gorbachev. He also worked with Meteo-shi even before that, when Liar-soft staff worked on a PBM (play-by-mail) game.

*13: Chuuou Higashiguchi... an artist from Nitroplus. He's worked on 『Vampirdzhija Vjedogonia』, 『Kikokugai』, and has an illustration column in a Dengeki magazine called 『Chuuou Higashiguchi's Shining Exorcist』.

*14: Manga-ish feeling... Nakamura-shi, who did the art for 『Kusarihime』, is also a manga artist. he published the 7-volume manga 『Duel Fighter Jin』.

*15: 『Beneath the Endless Blue Sky...』 An adventure game released by TOPCAT in 2000. Set in a rural academy that is going to close in a year, it paints a nostalgic picture of mysterious events happening around town.

*16: Play-By-Mail... A game that utilizes the postal service. Players send their choices and data by mail, then wait for the results to come back to them. Currently PBMs are played using e-mail. 『Hourai Gakuen no Bouken! is a representative body of work.

*17: Ruins photograph collections... Maruta Shouzou's 『Haikei series. Kobayashi Shinichi's 『Ruins Play』, 『Ruins Wanderer』. Gudou Gakusha's 『Synthesized Culture Reminiscence Magazine - Kaoru』. Kakida Kiyohide's 『Crumbling Memories: Gunkanjima』. United Design's 『Dojunkai Apartments』. Zenzai Hajime's 『Border/Yagura』, et al.

*18: My homepage... Nakamura Tetsuya-shi's self-run site "Kazeyomitey." He even has cell phone wallpapers up for characters from 『Kusarihime』, so for fans it's a MUST-SEE:

*19: Itsuki's wedding... When she turns into red snow and decays, there's a scene where Natsuki remembers the time she spent when Itsuki was a child. Then she speaks about the future that she will probably never experience. It's fantastic and beautiful, but also filled with sadness.

*20: The strongest... Kiriko's the only one who kicked away the other girls and tried to get Itsuki for herself. Is she using that crutch as a weapon?!

*21: Scream queen...... the girls who are taking showers even though Jason's right on the other side. Then they get attacked and scream a lot.

*22: Blood-splattered and crying... Jun sits shivering with a blood-splattered hatchet which she used to murder Kurame, because she lost herself to her rising emotions. The point when her fear toward Kurame, who had controlled her up to that point changes to the fear toward the weight of what she did is especially superb.

*23: Mama transformed... a motif often used in Umezu Kazuo manga. When suddenly, your mother, who many people think is the closest person to them, suddenly changes her personality and scares you.

*24: Happily dancing... the scene right before Yoshino decays. Removed from all her shackles, she begins dancing around like a little girl. Then she turns into red snow and decays away.

*25: Child Itsuki... the young Itsuki that appears in a flashback. A young Yoshino welcomes him home from preschool. She has her hair up at the time.

*26: Tries to kill Juri... A shocking scene inserted into the story many times through flashbacks used to heighten the sense of fear. The voice actress, Kawashima Rino-san really made the scene.

*27: "But I'm your mother..." Yoshino heals her burning body with thoughts of Itsuki, despite being her own son, overlapped with the image of her old husband, Kenshou. Seeing this normally well-behaved, proper mother engage in such a perverted act, along with the immoral nature of it all is what makes the scene so fantastic.

*28: Vulcan... A calm, cool race of people with pointed ears that appear in the popular SF series, 『Star Trek』. In the flashback scene "Planet of the Fire God" we see the girl who was the source of Kurame as a rotted corpse with pointed ears. Incidentally, Fire God refers to the Roman god of fire and blacksmithing, Vulcan.

*29: That method of healing... Those sliced by the red nail on the middle finger of Kurame's right hand eventually turn into red snow and decay. The important thing to note here is that all those slashed by Kurame's nail are in ecstasy as they die.

*30: "Sorry. That was just a drunk speaking out of his rear end. That is absolutely NOT the case! I swear..." --Nakamura

*31: Leanhaum's ending... In the Nitroplus game 『Vjedogonia』, a character named Leanhaum has an ending that takes place 80 years after the main story. The main character, who has become a vampire, tearfully cares for the final person who the main character is remembered by. Here, the noble way humans live their lives naturally and die, and the sadness of the immortals who have to continue to live eternally through time is keenly displayed.

*32: Media presentation... there was a huge little sister boom when 『Kusarihime』 was first announced. At the time, it was presented as an "occult little sister game between a main character, his adopted sister, and his dead real sister."

*33: Aoji is heterosexual... the Aoji X Itsuki coupling was very popular among fujoshi Liar-soft fans. Officially, they share platonic love, but apparently Aoji really loves Itsuki.